I asked for comments about putting together your own Tivo, and this is what I got.
While I haven’t built one, I have equivalent function in the form of my
video card, one of the NVIDIA personal cinema units. I have a Visiontek
unit based on the GeForce2 MX400. It has an external tuner box with
RCA/s-video/antenna/digital audio connections and comes with WinDVR and
WinDVD. It was $199 with no subscription fees, unlike Tivo. While I haven’t
played with it much, the only thing I have found that I don’t like is the
scheduling isn’t point and click. Then again, maybe I can download the
schedules and just don’t know it yet. Maximum PC gave it a 7 out of 10
recently stating that if it were the GeForce 3 version it would have gotten
a 10 of 10.
I would have spent $100+ on a new video card (which I did need), so the
extra $100 for the “Tivo-like” features wasn’t bad.
Then install any large IDE drive of your choice into the second drive bay,
which is now so easy, a child could do it.
Took me literally 15 mins from
start to finish.
Voila! Instant 100+hour capacity Tivo for $149 + $100, more or less. It will
update itself to the latest software revision on the next nightly dialup.
This is nice hardware.
It’s a 50mhz PPC chip with dedicated MPEG-2 hardware
and VERY cool software and remote. One of the best consumer product designs
I’ve seen in years.
Some people get all bitter and angry about the nominal $10/month fee (I
guess they don’t play EverQuest?) but the Tivo service is so cool that it is
easily worth that. It really does change the way you view television. There
ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, especially in the implosion of the
current dot.com bubble.
Five years from now this kind of stuff will be a standard feature for any
pay television service (cable, dish, etc).
You can make your own TIVO!
I have an ATI “All In Wonder” card in one of my computers, and it allows you
to record any program to the hard disk. The Matrox cards with TV-In will do
the same thing.
One or both of them comes with the ability to get and integrate online TV
Guides to program the boards to record your show at specific times.
I have also seen them with integrated remote control.
You can have your
battery powered remote that will transmit to a wired infrared receiver that
is connected to your computer. This allows you to have your computer in a
Here is a small article
on one of them.