I've not had TV service(cable/satellite) where I live since about 2002. After roughly six years, mainstream media is back in my living room and I've found a ton of programs to catch up on. Problem is I'm hardly ever available when my favorite shows are on. So I decided to build my own DVR using a flavor of Ubuntu Linux running MythTV(Mythbuntu). I'm now able to watch Newcastle United games and "Rob & Big" episodes whenever I have the time.
The Mythbuntu install was pretty up front. I did a bit of research on popular hardware components and partition strategies before building and really havent had any major issues. If you are not familiar with MythTV but enjoy technologies like TiVo or DVRs I highly suggest checking out its capabilities. Best of all, its a quality product that is free. All answers and suggestions were found at http://www.mythbuntu.org/.
From the outside.
nVidia GeForce FX 5500 Video card.
Hauppauge WinTV PVR 250
The cards that work the magic.
TV listings can be viewed via Apache webserver which access a MySQL database holding all program listings for the up coming 2 weeks. Scheduling a recording(indicated by the green trim) is as easy as clicking on the desired show and chosing single, multiple, or entire season occurrences.
MythTV in action