"I just spent several weeks installing and configuring MythTV,
an open source application that gives a computer TiVo-like personal
video recorder capabilities. I learned a lot of lessons along the
way that I'll share here. The biggest one is... Don't do it! Unless
you can view the process as an intellectual challenge, spending the
money for an actual TiVo will save you dozens of hours you could
spend on more pleasurable activities.
"First, build MythTV only if you have a spare computer already.
If you have to buy new hardware to set up your MythTV appliance, it
makes no economic sense, and the TiVo unit is a lot prettier than a
white-box mini-tower sitting next to your home entertainment
center. According to the project's hardware requirements, the
computer you use should have 256MB of RAM and a video capture card.
I used Hauppauge's $49 WinTV-Go Model 190. It lacks remote control
capabilities, however; if you're planning to put your MythTV to
heavy use, consider paying an extra $50 for that feature. I also
suggest using a faster CPU than the 600MHz PIII I used..."