[nSLUG] PVR systems

Robin Murray nibor.yarrum at gmail.com
Mon Feb 7 16:10:05 AST 2011

I've found MythTV to be very easy to use - once it's set up. We had it
running for a couple of years before we got rid of cable and switched to
netflix. My wife loved it and can't stand watching regular TV anymore, and
she's very untechnical. Everything is controlled through a remote and the
main menus for browsing recordings are very easy to navigate once you catch
on. I had a client/server installation and it just sat there and hummed with
very little maintenance required.

The interface to set up recordings is a bit more clunky, but it has a web
interface which you can turn on, and you can even use it to set up the
recordings remotely for your friend with just a few clicks.

It can be a bit of a struggle to set everything up though, mostly because it
supports such a wide variety of hardware and it is an inherently complex
system with a lot of interfaces.

If you don't mind making a reasonable donation I'm sure my brother could be
talked into building you a system - he's been through the routine probably
20 or 30 times already. You may be able to take a look at his setup too so
you can check it out for yourself before taking the dive. He doesn't do this
commercially or anything, and I gain nothing financially by recommending

Let me know if you want to pursue further.

Robin Murray
Hatchet Lake,
Nova Scotia

On Mon, Feb 7, 2011 at 1:40 PM, Ted Tibbetts <intuited at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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.
> Salutations,
> -Ted
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