A personal video recorder is a PC based VCR.
It records tv shows onto a hard disk.
Wikipedia PVR explanation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PVR
and on self buildt PVRs: www.byopvr.com
It can be extending to pause live TV and more.
Commercial boxes are available:
To build a Gentoo Linux based MythTV box,
which sits quietly in the lounge.
I will first test tv encoding/decoding on my current game box.
If all works well, I will over time when resources allow start
building a dedicated pvr. Then extend forever.
Main aim is to test TV capture.
I have a high spec PC intended for games and general use.
It is an Athlon 2600 with a MSI FX5900XT VIVO card.
Dual boot it with Gentoo as it already has WinXP.
I intend to test it with a video input of some kind
to see if I can capture and record without dedicated hardware.
Ny X10 CCTV camera with s-video out will suffice.
My choice for PVR package, MythTV, will be installed.
Installed Gentoo with universal live-cd and stage 3.
Found a few inconcistensies in the Gentoo Handbook.
Spendt a few days getting grub to work.
Asked/hassled a few people on the MythTV mailing list.
Discovered RivaTV is the driver/app to use to
capture video from a Nvidia card in linux.
Extend the box by plugging in a NTL digital cable set top box.
Test first manual channel changing then later plug in a adaptor
to change channels from the box.
If this works fine, then I will run this set up for awhile in the
lounge to demonstrate the benefits of a PVR to my better half.
It is already housed in a stylish Antec Sonata atx case.
Extend the box with dedicated hardware for mpeg decoding and
hopefully decoding. A Hauppauge PCR250 or 350 seems
to be the tools for the job.
Dedicated PVR box. Setup a cheap but good pvr box.
Has to be quiet and good looking.
A CoolerMaster ATCS 620 seems to fit the task.
My shopping list from dabs
Extend the pvr box to make it quieter and more powerfull.
Replace CPU fan with a Zalman,
wrap hard disk in Quiet PC disk dampner,
perhaps include a second capture card.
Extend with more tuners for simultanious recordings.
A second digital cable box, and / or a freeview card.
Multiple box set up. Seperate front and back end boxes
for different purposes.