[nSLUG] PVR systems

Ted Tibbetts intuited at gmail.com
Mon Feb 7 13:40:08 AST 2011

Hello all,

I'm considering a PVR system as a gift for someone who is not particularly
techically proficient.  I've heard good things about MythTV, but have no
experience with either it or other PVR systems.  Actually I've never even
owned a television.  The potential recipient has an HDTV and HD-providing
Shaw satellite receiver.

So I've got a few questions about this:

1. Is MythTV relatively simple to operate?  The potential recipient is able,
with occasional bouts of cursing, to coerce a DVD-recorder into recording
programs supplied via the coax connection from the satellite receiver.

2. Is there a local (to Halifax) shop that sells pre-built appliances
running MythTV or some other Free PVR system?  As interesting as this sort
of thing is, diving into the sea of information on available hardware,
compatibility issues, configuration, and such forth is a bit too
time-consuming to fit into my current schedule.

3. If not, do people have recommendations on readily-available hardware that
could reliably fill this role?  A low-profile, appliance-like box would
definitely be preferable.  I'd prefer to buy local, but mail-order may be a
possibility as well.  Alternatively, if someone has a used box that they're
looking to sell, I would definitely consider that route.

4. Recording/playing HD would be nice, but is not an absolute must.  What
factors (hardware -> $$$, functionality) should be taken into consideration
in this respect?

Thanks for your help.

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