My DVR’s Better Than Your DVR

If Comcast and Cisco felt it was in their interest this hardware could surely support the level of sophistication my homebuilt DVR, built with a discarded computer and free software. provides.

I sat down at my desk at work and turned the TV on. It’s good to work in TV (well, for this one benefit it is). A story was running on CNN about David Letterman’s scheduled interview with Senator John McCain tonight.

I forgot to set the DVR. Damn!

No problem. My MythTV homebuilt DVR is online and within 90 seconds I found the show in Myth’s online database and set it to record. Pretty simple, which brings up the question–why can’t my Comcast DVR do this?

The Comcast DVR is made by Cisco, a company well versed on Internet technology. Comcast provides Internet access to my house. The DVR itself is a digital device with its own IP address (probably only internally addressable within Comcast’s domain). In other words, if Comcast and Cisco felt it was in their interest this hardware could surely support the level of sophistication my homebuilt DVR, built with a discarded computer and free software. provides.

Seriously, do you think I don’t notice this?

5 thoughts on “My DVR’s Better Than Your DVR”

  1. Geoff can you imagine what would happen when the unwashed masses all put their DVRs online, of course with the default passwords still installed, if any at all..

    I’m absolutely sure this is why we don’t see more advanced features in consumer products – because people don’t know how to use them properly – and companies just don’t have the resources to hand hold all these people who’s VCRs still blink 12:00 (and for that matter even still own a VCR…)

  2. I wish it were not true, but, I do enjoy the fact that I have a great DVR courtesy MythTV and a bit of Linux-ing, and they don’t.

  3. Ever try to find a DVR that is not connected to TVIO, Cable, or Sat. Cant seem to find one. Why do we have to pay and pay for something we should be able to own? The Gov. pass a law to make competition among the companies that make DVRs but it seems that has not happened. If anyone knows how to get a DVR that you can buy and not rent a service. We have become slaves to the cable companies and sats. I know all about the internet sites offering free tv at a smaller price but all I want is to be free of the high prices of CABLE.

    Any ideas.

  4. I love myth ­čÖé I finally broke down and built a mythdvr because I was sick of VHS and eventually, I’d need an ATSC tuner anyway, which my VHS machine lacks. (It also lacks the ability to control a DTV converter.)

    I haven’t put it out on the net yet, though. That’s a plan for another day, when I can get around to configuring the router so the ports are opened.

    -Adam

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