What's all this about then?
Ever wanted a Sky+® or TiVo® style recording unit, but didn't want to pay monthly subscription fees? Or have you ever fancied a project, just to kill some time? If so, this site could be of some use to you! Here you'll find guides on how to build a personal video recorder (pvr) based on Gentoo linux and Myth TV.
The guides assume you have a little linux experience, but it always helps when you know your system ;) Before reading them, you should really have a
basic grasp of how to use linux (especially gentoo) and how to compile your own kernel.
The structure of these guides are such that I assume you will be getting this up and running on a basic x86 PC. Then later guides focus on utilising
specific hardware, namely MPEG2 decoding on the EPIA based boards (see hardware). The reason for this is because
it is just the way I've done it myself - no point in buying all the hardware if you can't get it up and running. This means that there will be some
'more to come' sections in the guides, but I thought rather than wait around for me to finish it might as well be available for viewing.
Another thing to note about these guides is that they are targetted towards users in the United Kingdom who want to receive and record DVB-T freeview
programmes on their box. Although this sounds a bit restrictive, it isn't. I've found quite a few guides geared towards US viewers, but none specifically
for us Brits. It wouldn't be too difficult to apply what you read here though to any country ;)
So what will this box be able to do?
The box is being built to offer the following functionality:
Broadband wireless router
Allowing computers in the house to wirelessly access the broadband connection and any
files the box will hold (including video).
Including the option for 5 satellites and a subwoofer to be connected, as well as an
external dolby digital / DTS decoder. The box will also output video in the form of
an S-Video connector and a SCART RGB connector.
(Personal video recorder)
TV programmes will be saved in perfect digital format, including the possibility of
advertisement skipping. As well as this, a recording can be viewed while still being
recorded. This new concept is especially good. If you have begun recording a show
and it is half way through, but you can't be bothered to wait for it to finish, you
currently can either miss the first half and watch the second, or wait until it has
finished and watch it all. With this box, you will be able to begin watching from
the beginning while the rest of the show continues recording!
Catalogue all of your downloaded music and videos, and playback at the touch of a
button. And with the features offered in MythTV, you can download covers
and descriptions for your video files quickly and easily. Couple this with
automated movie trailer downloads, and you have a very neat media hub.
The box will be able to display TV listings retrieved over-the-air via the DVB
transmission. In this way, an online TV guide can be shown allowing the
user to simply select what they would like to record up to a week in advance,
just by pressing a button.
In the event that a large file is required for download, the box can be set to
download at a time when no-one else will be using the connection. As well as this,
the box itself will be made to update itself overnight.