Personal Video Recorder (PVR) – Build Your Own for $200

Have you been thinking about Tivo, but don’t like the idea of paying a subscription? Well I just discovered an article which shows how a thrifty and clever person can make a highly functional PVR using an existing PC and about $200 worth of components. He then thumbs his nose at the mega-geeks who have spent at least twice as much money and four times the hours putting together a whole new computer. See Build your own PVR (DVR) for $200 is a great site to help you build your own PVR.

Netflix, TiVo Team Up on Broadband Movie Delivery

According to an article in PC World: Netflix and Tivo are teaming up for a service that will let Tivo owners download movies onto their Tivo boxes via a broadband connection. Netflix says the service will be available sometime next year. See Netflix, TiVo Team Up on Broadband Movie Delivery


is a manufacturer with some good articles on their web site at

See PVRs – The basics of recording TV shows on your PC

Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-350

  • TV and video recorder with hardware MPEG encoder and decoder plus FM radio!
  • Turn your PC into a Digital TV recorder
  • Watch and record your TV shows with instant replay and program pause
  • Watch your TV recordings on your PC screen or TV set
  • Burn your home videos and favorite TV shows onto CD-ROM or DVD* and play them on your home DVD player
  • Includes hi-performance hardware MPEG-2 encoder and hardware MPEG-2 decoder

Windows XP Media Center

And of course Microsoft is right there ready to take over. Mr. Gates has just unveiled a new version of the Windows XP Media Center software that combined with specially configured personal computers from dozens of manufacturers, turns the PC into a photo album, jukebox, DVD player and, most important, a TV set with a built-in recorder according to the New York Times.

TiVo Hacks

Tivo Hacks by Raffi Krikorian published by O’Reilly

TiVo Hacks covers tips for changing the order of recorded programs, activating the 30-second skip to blaze through commercials, and more, by using magical remote-control codes. Once you take the lid off, you will learn how to gain even more fun and functionality. You can upgrade the hard drive for more hours of recording, log in to the serial port for command-line access to programming data, log files, closed-captioning data, display graphics on the TiVo screen, and even play MP3s.

Raffi Krikorian is an unapologetic TiVo lover and a digital plumber. If you look hard enough, you can usually find him putting together a hack for some random stray idea that got him sidetracked from his last project. He is currently a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab where he is both studying systems of “organic scale” and constructing very small IP-nodes that self organize into larger systems. He does freely admits, however, that his serious television addiction is probably getting between him and his goal to finally graduate MIT for the second time.

Generous list of free sample Hacks from the O’Reilly book TIVO Hacks

Snapscreen’s Beyond TV4

If you have a TV Tuner Card, some other minor hardware and a moderately powerful PC running Windows XP or 2000, you can use Beyond TV4

  • Record more than one show at the same time or watch one while recording another with multi-tuner support
  • Quickly watch recorded shows by skipping blocks of commercials, or part of a recorded show, using SmartSkipâ„¢
  • Easily find and select shows to record using the free TV guide or do a search by title or keyword
  • Record an entire TV series ”“ Record a single, all or all new episodes of a show with one click
  • Shrink files with ShowSqueezeâ„¢ to save hard drive space
  • Set up your own personal video library with DVD-ready recordings
  • Plug your PC into your TV and let the show begi

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One thought on “Personal Video Recorder (PVR) – Build Your Own for $200

  1. james braselton

    hi there wow that means i will be stuck with 8 16 32 or 64 gb ssd flash drive capacity a 64 gb ssd cost only $99

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