If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know I accumulate computer stuff. And, as more equipment comes in, more parts move to the attic where they await… let’s call it reassignment.
I’ve just rebuilt my ‘main’ machine, replacing some of its innards. A month or so ago, a friend’s sister gave me her discarded PC. And, with Steffie at college and the proud owner of a very pretty Dell laptop, I have her old AMD500.
My junk pile is large and old. Most of what I’ve got is way behind the curve. From time-to-time I’ve forced myself to throw stuff away. It’s a painful experience.
Still, I recently found myself with an old video tuner/capture card, an older Nvidia video card, Steffie’s 500 mHz machine and a posting on digg.com (actually, here are all the Digg postings about MythTV).
Perfectly clear now? It wasn’t to me, but a little light went on over my head.
They are referring to KnoppMyth. KnoppMyth is based on MythTV, a free set of programs to turn a computer into a DVR. KnoppMyth is referred to as “The world’s best HTPC distribution” because it allows you to put a disk in a computer and come back with the job totally done – as long as you want a computer that’s nothing but a DVR.
OK not quite that easy, but close enough.
Yesterday I downloaded files, burned a CD and began to install… and install… and install. I had no idea what I was doing and refused to read any documentation. Not only that, one critical part of the puzzle (a router) was unplugged and I didn’t realize it.
Sometime late last night, my job was sort of done. I still had to configure the system to recognize my particular hardware. And, I did.
Holy cow – I have a mainly free Tivo! That’s the point of this entry.
This old machine is somewhat limited. I can’t watch and record at the same time and the quality is good, not great. Still, I took an old computer and turned into something (oh – I hate to say this) useful.
If they’re listening at my cable company, this thing is better than the DVR I pay you for! That’s not because of the quality, but because of the amazing program guide and the ability to program it online!
All the programming info is parsed into a MySQL (if those initials mean nothing, don’t worry) database. That means it’s quickly and easily searched and manipulated.
I think I can stream what I record to any computer here on my home network or on the Internet. How cool is that? I began to follow the instructions for that conversion, but decided there wasn’t enough time tonight and temporarily ditched that idea.
This will keep me busy for a while.
¹ – HTPC means Home Theater PC… I think.