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MythTV Vs. TiVo, Round 2

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the head-to-head dept.

Television 337

Egadfly writes with a comparison of the open source MythTV and the highly commercial TiVo Series 3. "How different are the two systems' available remote control devices and their graphic interfaces when it comes to ease of use? Which product should you choose if your HD signal comes OTA or if you plan to use CableCARDs? And what software features (present and future) can you expect with each product? Will loopholes in FCC regulations and cable company encryption ultimately squeeze out MythTV and other open source players?"

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337 comments

TiVo wins of course... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18344581)

...just like any other half baked OSS software vs that built by professionals.

Re:TiVo wins of course... (5, Funny)

the_tsi (19767) | more than 7 years ago | (#18344661)

Hold on, guys, we can watch this show right after I reboot. Aw, crap, the nfs mount from the file server hung. Be right back, this will only take a minute. Wait, no, it's working now. Okay, there. I dunno why it's skipping, that should fix itself in a minute. Yeah, I know, it's still going on. Maybe another reboot would fix it. Aw shucks, it oopsed. Maybe this weekend I'll stop overclocking this AMD K6 I found in a dumpster over the holidays. I know, I know, but it didn't cost me a dime! Where are you guys going? Don't leave, this will only be a few more seconds. Trust me, this show is so awesome it's totally worth it. I'll just copy it over to the entertainment center box instead of the file server. Hm. I thought my network was faster than that, this should totally be taking less time. Fuck. Out of disk. Just lemme delete a couple things... there, now I'll redo the transfer. Oh, hey, you're back. What's in the bag from Fry's? No, what the hell, dude! I don't want a TiVo in my place, that thing is a tool of corporate oppression! Trust me, the myth box works 100% of the time, this is the only hiccup it's ever have, and it'll be fixed in a second. I don't care if that thing can download from Amazon! I can torrent any show ever. Okay, well, not that one. Or that one. But everything else is on torrent. Or usenet. There, see, it's booted now! Okay, it's playing. Hey, where'd everybody go?

Re:TiVo wins of course... (4, Funny)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18344675)

The moral of the story is that your friends only wanted you for your PVR capabilities?

Myth Wins of course (4, Funny)

mattaw (718560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18344721)

Sitting at my desk I realise that I have a whole weekend fiddling with my Mythbox:

Installing larger HDDs and playing with Volume manager so I can 'easily expand my storage space'
Installing a second tuner card so we can record two shows at a time
Making WOL work properly so I can start the backend from sleep with my laptop
Get The MythWeb plugin running so I can schedule shows from work
Install the SNES emulator so I can play supermario
Fix a quiter CPU fan to improve the noise footprint

If I owned a TiVO it would have installed with no trouble!
With myth I have weeks of fun ahead

Re:Myth Wins of course (4, Interesting)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345403)

I gave up on trying to figure out mythtv...

on my desktop I have a watch-tv.sh file:
START
    #!/bin/sh
    cat /dev/cxm0 > vlc stream:///dev/stdin
    bash &
STOP

I use the pvr250-control console app that was with the driver application to change the channel/input source.

To record? I cron a record.sh I made: record.sh channel file duration-in-minutes
START
    #!/bin/sh
    pvr250-control -t -m 0 $1
    cat /dev/cxm0 > $2 &
    sleep 1
    PID=$(ps | grep cat | grep cxm0 | cut -f 2 -d ' ')
    sleep $(echo "$3 * 60" | bc)
    kill $PID
STOP

Fancy? No
Elegant? Hell No
Works? Yes
Low Hassle? Yes

but yeah, a TiVo would probably be even easier than that.

Re:TiVo wins of course... (4, Insightful)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18344739)

Nice try! The live TV side of Myth might be flaky - probably due to hardware constraints as much as the program - but for playing downloaded video It Works, I've never had a problem like that which you mention. And I use an nfs diskless solution too, never has it not booted. And thanks to power cuts it has gracelessly shut down several times, but so far so good.

Broadcast TV is dead, by the way.

Re:TiVo wins of course... (2, Insightful)

Not Public (257178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345319)

unfortunately, as much as I love the idea of my mythtv... I've had the opposite experience.
I've got nfs share over wireless (802.11g) that randomly disconnects itself when idle. and mythtv & the nfs & the wireless require a reboot to function. unfortunately, due to sequencing and timing of boot, the nfs share doesn't always reconnect at boot, and I'm not always able to remember to check the the wireless connection is up, before I check the nfs share to mount the share, before I boot mythtv. If I get in a hurry, or forget to check something- I have to reboot. not that I can blame these issues 100% on mythtv, but unfortunately, it does rely on some inconsistent technologies as I've implemented it. maybe if I had a cat6 run between machines and maybe if i had a better file server it wouldn't choke... but that's not an option for me.

Now when it works, it works wonderfully for watching downloaded video.

when it works.

Re:TiVo wins of course... (1)

JWW (79176) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345811)

I've got nfs share over wireless (802.11g) that randomly disconnects itself when idle.

Check the firmware on your router, or alternately check you DHCP server. I had a version of dd-wrt on my linksys whose DHCP would fail to hand out addresses after about a day, requiring me to reboot the router to get DHCP going again. Though for Myth, wired capability to the file server is always desirable.

and mythtv & the nfs & the wireless require a reboot to function.

It shouldn't require rebooting. Between the network startup and shutdown scripts, mount, and just stopping and starting mythbackend (which I actually have a watch script that checks to make sure its up that restarts it if necessary), none of these things should require a reboot.

Re:TiVo wins of course... (1)

itlurksbeneath (952654) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346097)

Yeah... The third MythTV commandment is "Thou shalt not mount NFS over wireless". Pretty good idea even for non-mythtv setups.

Re:TiVo wins of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18346231)

ARRRRGGG ffs just use a soft mount

Re:TiVo wins of course... (3, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18344765)

TIVO owner: Hold on guys, while I play this show I recorded on my tivo.

TIVO: Sorry, I've deleted that show because a local company 'accidentally' set the macrovision copy protection flag [tivocommunity.com] on the broadcast.

There are some pragmatic benefits to using free software to store/watch/stream/listen to/etc your media.

(and its not as hard as you make out)

Re:TiVo wins of course... (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345103)

(and its not as hard as you make out)

Well, I just read the TF installation Manual [mythtv.org] and it seems quite complicated. Mostly due to the hundreds of different hardware that is not compatible or will not work one way or another in Linux.

From what I have read so far (from chapter 1 to 4, without counting: Download&Compile, Config Sound, MySQl,Setup Remote Control, Configuring MythTV, Configuring Frontend, installing Plugins, Troubleshooting) it seems you will need to spend a good 5 hours of your time just to make sure the components you buy are all compatible. At $200 the hour this is $1000 of my time (without including the cost of the hardware and config). Against $200 for a year of Tivo...

Re:TiVo wins of course... (5, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345137)

You know that part about not being as hard as you make it out to be? You should have paid attention to that. Get knoppmyth [mysettopbox.tv] burn to CD, boot from it and you are off and running. That pretty much works out of the box for ~80% of the people who try it.

Re:TiVo wins of course... (3, Informative)

frogstar_robot (926792) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345317)

Invariably when KnoppMyth is mentioned, several sombodies will complain it is out of date. Valid enough but pointing my newly installed machine at Debian Testing and apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade took care of that.

Re:TiVo wins of course... (2, Interesting)

mrand (147739) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345347)

You know that part about not being as hard as you make it out to be? You should have paid attention to that. Get knoppmyth [mysettopbox.tv] burn to CD, boot from it and you are off and running. That pretty much works out of the box for ~80% of the people who try it.
Ok, I'll bite.

I've wanted a HTPC for quite a while now, and have A LITTLE time coming this spring to do it. How does knoppmyth compare to mythdora? What other acceptable solutions are out there besides those two (ignoring Media center)? I'm willing to pay some dollars for it (so it doesn't HAVE to be free, although that's certainly nice), but I want control over the media ... i.e. without Tivo or Microsoft dictating what I can and can't record.

      Marc

Re:TiVo wins of course... (4, Insightful)

indifferent children (842621) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345309)

5 hours of your time just to make sure the components you buy are all compatible. At $200 the hour this is $1000 of my time

This is a device for watching television. You are building/buying this device so that you can sit in front of the idiot box like a slack-jawed yokel for thousands of hours. You're complaining that the 5 hours learning how to set-up MythTV is the waste?

What rate do you want to bill the universe for your TV-watching hours? Go for $450/hr; it sounds even more impressive. Your TV watching hobby might be costing you $200,000 per year, OMFG!

Re:TiVo wins of course... (1)

Viking Coder (102287) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346009)

What you should have replied with was pointing at the KPR Dragon 2.0, because that's basically a certified Tier 1 "It Just Works" system.

The problem I personally have is that it's HDTV only... I need a system like KPR Dragon that's for SDTV. They say one's in the works, but not very soon.

I would have thought the community would be working its ass off to find the cheapest possible off-the-shelf system that you could drop two Hauppauge 150s into, and boom, you're flying.

Like, for instance, does Slashdot think this is a good off-the-shelf system for MythTV?

Dell E521n with Athlon 64 3200+? $481 USD, before I add the two Hauppauge 150s, and plug in a 500GB USB drive...?

According to this guy [swik.net], it's not 100% effortless... But it sounds like it can be made to work.

PLEASE, Slashdot, impress me by pointing me at the cheapest-possible off-the-shelf that will Just Work!

Re:TiVo wins of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18345933)

$200 an hour? Yeah, right. 400k a year execs don't post on slashdot.

Unless you're pricing your leisure time way above your work time... in which case you should quit your job.

Re:TiVo wins of course... (1)

jotok (728554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345965)

Or, you could follow Jarod's Wilson's Step-by-step guide to building a MythTV System on Fedora Core 6 w/ATrpms [wilsonet.com] which takes about an hour, including installing FC6. Since the majority of that time does not require interaction on the part of the user, surely you should pro-rate the hourly cost.

Oh, and as an added bonus, the site details what hardware you need to get in order to make sure you won't have hardware issues: so assuming you have an old computer lying around (otherwise, why would you complain about incompatibilities?), you only need to purchase about $200 in video hardware.

So, let's say you have now expended $300 in real and opportunity cost to build this HD Myth Box. A similar TiVo product would run you ~$1030 in the first year (oh! you didn't know that the HD TiVo starts at around $800? $200 indeed).

So, the realities are $300 vs. $1000. If you want to piss away 5 hours' salary on something, that's on you, but it's an illegitimate claim to make that it is too difficult to justify the time investment to set up a Myth box.

Re:TiVo wins of course... (1)

Sketch (2817) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346067)

Just make sure all of your Myth boxes are running Fedora/atrpms. The atrpms Myth packages are not standard mythtv-0.20 packages, they are patched with some changes from CVS which make them incompatible with boxes running standard 0.20. Also, I tried CVS Myth on my non-Fedora box, and it was newer than what's in the atrpms packages, so it wasn't compatible eitehr.

On the Tivo vs MythTV debate: The time on my MythTV box is correct, but the time on my S1 Tivo is off by an hour for the next 3 weeks and TIvo feels it isn't important enough to fix anymore.

Re:TiVo wins of course... (1)

itlurksbeneath (952654) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346153)

Umm.. I think the Ubuntu install is as complicated as:

sudo apt-get install mythtv mythvideo mythmusic mythtv-themes

Took about 10 minutes.

Yeah, yeah, I know.. It's a LITTLE more complicated than that, but copy and pasting commands from a HOWTO isn't really that complicated is it?

Re:TiVo wins of course... (5, Insightful)

dwandy (907337) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345125)

I get this same argument discussing linux vs windows.

Granting someone else control over your box may* make it easier for you to use, but it sure as hell isn't your box anymore.
Back on the topic of media specifically, I'm afraid that most people have no idea how much the BigCo's are pushing for control [boingboing.net]. If people knew, would they care? I doubt most people will even see a problem with broadcast flags and devices that refuse to play content...
People are complacent, and have learned to accept a (imho) fairly high level of suck in exchange for not having to think.

(*But no guarantee ... while I have no 1st hand experience with it, Vista reads like a nightmare compared to any reasonable modern distro)

Re:TiVo wins of course... (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345281)

People are complacent, and have learned to accept a (imho) fairly high level of suck in exchange for not having to think.

To a significant degree, I think you're correct. Look at what Microsoft foisted upon the world, in the form of Win9X. Talk about your high level of suck ... and we accepted it! However, at a certain point you have to improve matters because too much suck causes lost sales, and gives the competition an edge. The problem with the entertainment people is that they don't want any competition, thereby allowing them a free hand to shove as much as suck at us as they want. People would probably scream bloody murder if they were told that, by Federal law, only Windows boxes could be used or sold in the United States. They don't, however, seem to have as much of a problem with having that level of control applied to their software or their entertainment (which is, after all, just more software.)

That bothers me.

Re:TiVo wins of course... (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345957)

Look at what Microsoft foisted upon the world, in the form of Win9X. Talk about your high level of suck ... and we accepted it!
Not for all of us. Win9x existed solely on a separate partition for the couple of games that weren't supported on OS/2. Linux just wasn't up to the job at the time of playing desktop, although it made a damn good server even back then.

Re:TiVo wins of course... (1)

Famatra (669740) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345247)

"TIVO: Sorry, I've deleted that show"

It can get even worse than that though.

'Sorry, I've deleted that clip' of $president-leader saying something wrong/foolish/a lie. Now they just have to make sure all hardware complies with their 'accidental' delete requests and they'll be set.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanboy (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#18344849)

I think the best uptime I've had on my MythTV PVR is around 200 days. I blame the power company for that one.

Re:TiVo wins of course... (2, Interesting)

coffee412 (787700) | more than 7 years ago | (#18344987)

Oh, Theres a mythtv for windows?

Ive used mythtv on my linux box sitting next to the big screen for years now. Never much of a problem at all. Love mythtv and will never give it up.

"I WANT MY MYTH TV!!"

Re:TiVo wins of course... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345039)

So how about you come join the Unreal Tournament server I just started on my Myth TV box with your Tivo? Oh wait, you can't...

Re:TiVo wins of course... (1)

matt328 (916281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345515)

Who would have thought running DVR software on a Linux platform would require knowledge of Linux?

Re:TiVo wins of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18345845)

Compared to Tivo? ok... Hey I want to record Discovery HD on cable.... wait, why cant I tune in Discovery HD? what is the deal here? I cant recieve any of my HD channels except for 2 of them I paid how much for this piece of crap?

THE ONLY useable PVR for HD is the one your cable company rents you. the Tivo sucks, Mythtv sucks, Windows MCE really sucks, etc.... and this is on purpose.

The cable companies do not WANT you to have a PVR that is not under their control. There are going to be some Windows vista MCE boxes that will be blessed and will be allowed to have a cablecard to tune in your HD goodness, but those will protect that innocent content from evil you.

Tivo series 3 sucks. Mythtv sucks, All of them suck. Because the Content providers are raging assholes.

It's as simple as that.

Now, Tivo may get cablecard working soon and save their butts. But I know that all networkability will be disabled on it

Re:TiVo wins of course... (4, Interesting)

AusIV (950840) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345851)

To be fair, I've never used a Tivo. I have used a number of other DVRs provided by cable companies, and I'll take MythTV any day. The others I've used won't allow you to short your shows by TV show. When you have over 350 shows recorded, this is a must. I also have a 400 GB RAID for storage. Other DVRs will allow an eSATA drive, so they can get up to 500 GB, but lets hope you don't have a drive failure. MythTV also has a nice web interface, so I can set shows to record whether I'm in my room or across the country. My MythTV box has been up for a solid month without any problems, and I only rebooted then to try out a new Live CD and see if it would auto-detect my RAID. While I have had some more serious issues with MythTV, it's been 6 months, and I've upgraded both MythTV and my distro since then and it's been completely reliable. Tivo may be a cut above the other DVRs offered by my cable company, but MythTV puts the DVRs I've used to shame.

Re:TiVo wins of course... (3, Informative)

stang (90261) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346339)

To be fair, I've never used a Tivo

Lemme help, then.

won't allow you to short your shows by TV show

Tivo does. Sort by show or date/time recorded. Also groups related shows together into a folder (e.g., "Doctor Who - 5 episodes"). Series 3 also puts all HD shows in another folder.

I also have a 400 GB RAID for storage

Tivo doesn't offer RAID. It's pretty easy to stick a second (or replace your original with a larger) drive. Series 2 (non-HD) does allow transfers back and forth from your computer, so you can store 'em on your own RAID, tape backup, DVD-ROM, or what have you. Series 3 doesn't have this; it appears to be a legal issue getting worked out with Cable Labs. You'll probably see the same thing on any new device with a CableCard in it.

MythTV also has a nice web interface

Tivo's got one, too.

My MythTV box has been up for a solid month without any problems

My Tivo's uptime is measured in months/years. It reboots itself when new updates are available. It does this at 2:00 AM and hasn't missed a show yet. In the 7 years that I've had a Tivo (Series 1/2/3), I've forced a reboot *once*.

Tivo is an incredibly easy to use, rock solid (hey, it's running Linux) unit. Look, if you're happy tinkering with the thing, more power to ya. As for me, I turn the TV on when I'm done working, the kids are in bed, and I'm looking to unwind. I've got enough between work and my own side projects--I don't need to be messing with the TV, too.

One other point (and you may have had a solid Myth system for long enough to see this): When you get a device like a Tivo that is stable, simple to use, and works every time, things change. It becomes a new tool that transforms how you do things. I can't imagine watching TV without Tivo--it's that different (and that much better) than plain-old service. I skip commercials (but fast-forward through them so I can catch new show announcements or the occasional ad that is amusing the first time you see it). I watch shows on "Tivo time," skipping through the boring parts. I fast forward to the end of the remodeling show so I can see the results without all the witty banter. I check out old shows I haven't seen in years because Tivo had space and nothing better to do than record it. I don't worry about when seasonal shows are on (like the Peanuts ones)--Tivo catches them for me.

If you like watching TV, and you don't have this kind of experience, you should get a Tivo.

Re:TiVo wins of course... (1)

itlurksbeneath (952654) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346031)

Funny, but reality is a bit different. I have a Myth box that the only time I have to reboot it is when I throw a kernel patch on. Right now, it's uptime is 45 days. The last big outage it had was upgrading from FC4 to Ubuntu, and that was only about 6 hours. Granted I'm a professional sysadmin by day, but there's a lot to be said for following instructions.

Re:TiVo wins of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18346237)

Amen to that.

My mythtv setup (5x tuners) gets rebooted for 2 reasons:
Power outages & hardware upgrades.

Linux sysadmin by day, but you're right, RTFM helps
a great deal.

Re:TiVo wins of course... (5, Insightful)

tijmentiming (813664) | more than 7 years ago | (#18344917)

Move along, nothing to see here...

From the article, about the User Interface:

This is a hard category to judge, but I'll give the interface and ease of use award to TiVo's Series 3. Really, the category is almost too tight to call. While MythTV has some better UI choices and abilities, TiVo's standard interface is more simple to setup (turn on the box) and more people are use to it.
I want screenshots! Not some excuse why it's hard to judge. "This is my seven page article. however, it's a hard subject. therefore I'm going to write how hard it is to write about this subject"

Re:TiVo wins of course... (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346185)

From the article, about the User Interface:

Really, the category is almost too tight to call. While MythTV has some better UI choices and abilities, TiVo's standard interface is more simple to setup (turn on the box) and more people are use to it .
Read: "more people have used it and learned it"

If that isn't the worst reason to rate something better than it obviously is from their own tests, I don't know what would be.

Balkenization. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18344609)

Is Tivoization [wikipedia.org] part of the consideration?

Re:Balkenization. (1)

vtcodger (957785) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345667)

***Is Tivoization [wikipedia.org] part of the consideration?***

Probably, but so is the fact that GPLed TIVO source code is (presumably) accessible even if you can't induce TIVO's hardware to run a modified version. One important use of source code that is rarely discussed is that examining the code is sometimes the only way to figure out why something that should work doesn't. Typically, it will turn out that you just have to do things a little different -- in some fashion that no sentient creature is likely to guess -- in order to do what you want to do.

Completely Off Topic (5, Interesting)

WaZiX (766733) | more than 7 years ago | (#18344963)

But maybe there should be a rule about not allowing links to Articles full of Advertisement that span over 7 pages with about 100 words/page...

Re:Completely Off Topic (4, Informative)

SenFo (761716) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345061)

Re:Completely Off Topic (3, Informative)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345239)

I thought he was kidding about how short the pages were until I looked. The intro page is short, and the summary is even shorter, yet they get a page each with no pictures. In fact only pages 2,3 and 5 have a reasonable amount on them, with the other 4 pages being only around two short paragraphs long each.

Add to that the fact that the summary doesn't really rule one way or the other...

Also your link doesn't work.

Re:Completely Off Topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18345411)

Also your link doesn't work.

True. You have to click on "Printer Friendly" once you get there. Then it works.

Replying to original parent: People who don't know how to use CSS properly should do all their layout in tables to avoid this sort of thing.

Re:Completely Off Topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18345207)

Indeed. This suggestion gets my vote!

Re:Completely Off Topic (1)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345533)

Am I missing something here? after clicking the pages a few times I couldn't see any adverts on any the pages at all, they all disappeared! this is without any adblocker type programs running.

The amount of content per page isn't that high but it has to be said I've seen much much worse when it comes to advert/content ratio.

Printer friendly version (1)

Little_Professor (971208) | more than 7 years ago | (#18344977)

Notice how they cloak the printer friendly version using some javascript wizardry. So you (next page) have to(next page) wade through (next page) pages of (next page) content free (next page) glorified ad billboards.

Re:Printer friendly version (1)

What'sInAName (115383) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345357)

There were ads? It's funny, but I guess my brain has learned to completely tune them out. Reall, I'm not being snarky. When I look at a page like this I see, 1) Article text -and- 2) Random junk that doesn't attract my attention.

I *really* hate ads though, so maybe that's why I learned to do this. On the down-side, if there is something that's off the main article text that I *should* notice (such as suplimental material for the article) I just miss it.

Re:Printer friendly version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18345759)

The print version worked fine for me.

CableCARD is all that matters (5, Insightful)

RoboRay (735839) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345013)

Until I can get CableCARD support in a home-built Linux box (and I know I never will) Myth is completely irrelevant. A set-top DVR is the only choice for a more-than-minimally-functional system.

Re:CableCARD is all that matters (3, Interesting)

croddy (659025) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345201)

For you, perhaps. I haven't a clue what CableCARD even means, and somehow I've managed to keep my Myth box's 160GB hard disk full continuously for as long as it's been in service.

Re:CableCARD is all that matters (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18345375)

CableCARD is basically a system that allows any equipment, not just provider-supplied decoders, to recieve and decrypt encrypted digital TV (typically from digital cable). It's similar to the CAMs that have been part of the DVB standard since the beginning, with the exception that CAMs were intended to be an open specification, and are supported well by Linux.

CableCARD is intentionally proprietary, and will likely never be supported by Linux without someone being sued for DMCA violation, despite still needing a valid subscription to receive encrypted content.

Europeans have no such problem, of course. One can easily build a MythTV system using a dual-tuner DVB card, then plug the CAM into the card, insert the provider's smartcard into the CAM, and away you go. Such devices are actually far better supported under Linux than Windows.

Re:CableCARD is all that matters (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345923)

In the U.S., at least, Cablecard is the only way for someone with cable to receive the digital channels (i.e. channels 60-1000) without using the cable company's own cable box. It's a card that fits into a slot on your DVR that allows it to decrypt the digital channels.

Re:CableCARD is all that matters (4, Informative)

jotok (728554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345421)

My Myth setup simply uses an IR blaster to interact with the set-top box. It does precisely everything the latest HD TiVo does.

Just a suggestion, maybe you should know what you're talking about before you dismiss Myth as "irrelevant."

Re:CableCARD is all that matters (1)

TeamSPAM (166583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345775)

The usage of IR blasters it not optimal. I know because I'm using it on my Series 2 TiVo with my cablebox. In general it is pretty good at changing the channels, there times when it does not change the channel correctly. Honestly, the IR blaster are making me give serious consideration to buy a Series 3 TiVo so I can use a cablecard. I think given an option, most people who use IR blasters would use an alternative method if available.

Re:CableCARD is all that matters (1)

jotok (728554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345817)

Yah, a CableCard would be better (especially since at least Cox Cable and probably some other providers are bundling the HD STB with DVR functionality). But to say that a homebrew DVR is not functional because there is no CableCard support in Linux is just plain wrong.

Re:CableCARD is all that matters (1)

jeaton (44965) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345865)

Interesting, can your Myth setup record HD channels, including those which aren't in the clear, from cable without recompressing the bitstream? No? Then you aren't doing what the TiVo series 3 does.

Just a suggestion, maybe you should know what you're talking about


Irony.

Re:CableCARD is all that matters (1)

jotok (728554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346015)

Can anyone watching appreciate the difference?

No?

Clown.

Re:CableCARD is all that matters (1)

tji (74570) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346187)

What are you talking about? Noone can tell the difference between true HD and downconverted SD? That's what he's talking about. The Tivo can record encrypted HD channels, because it has CableCard cards.

The Tivo cannot use those channels, so it would either need to record the SD version of the channel (ESPN vs. ESPN-HD), or control the cable box & record the S-Video (standard definition) output of ESPN-HD. There are no HD encoder cards available in the home-user price range.

The difference between a High Definition channel and the Standard Definition version is HUGE.

Despite this, I still use MythTV, because most of the programs that I watch are either broadcast over the air in (unscrambled)HD or are only available in SD. The big exception is ESPN-HD, but I can live without that.

Re:CableCARD is all that matters (1)

tji (74570) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346229)

Oops, submitted that too quickly. Obviously the second paragraph should be "MythTV cannot use those channels" because it doesn't support CableCard.

Re:CableCARD is all that matters (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345879)

Really? including recording all the HDTV channels?

where are you because Comcast scrambles all HD content and disables the firewire connector on the back of the set top boxes around here.

Granted, if the Tivo Series 3 does not have cablecard, then it's useless as well.

Re:CableCARD is all that matters (2, Informative)

pyite (140350) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346069)

Comcast scrambles all HD content and disables the firewire connector on the back of the set top boxes around here.

While it's expected that some content is encrypted, by law, they must enable the Firewire connector. So, you can get it enabled. It will only help for unencrypted content, but it's still useful.

"...To accommodate these interfaces, effective April 1, 2004, upon consumer request, MSOs must provide functional 1394 outputs to HD STBs, either by downloading the necessary software to STBs with existing 1394 ports, or by replacing a deployed HD STB for one which includes 1394. These leased HD STBs must be controllable by a TV or other device equipped with a 1394 port for the tune function, mute function, restore volume function, power on, power off, and status inquiry. (Under the MOU, the STB will be provided at no additional cost to the customer, but MSOs may charge, as appropriate, for delivery and installation of the new STB.)..."

I'm not sure of the original source of that, but there ya go.

Re:CableCARD is all that matters (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346089)

where did you get that quote from? I really need that document to force the cable companies hand.

Re:CableCARD is all that matters (1)

jotok (728554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346077)

I'm in Virginia Beach. Cox also scrambles the HD content, so I take it from their HD set-top box.

They are replacing my STB with one that includes DVR functionality, so it's about to become moot--I could still use the myth box in the same fashion, but it would be redundant...though on the other hand, a TiVo or cable box won't let you space-shift your shows. So maybe there is still some value.

Re:CableCARD is all that matters (0)

airjrdn (681898) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346099)

I thought I read where they had to enable the firewire port (by law) if requested.

Re:CableCARD is all that matters (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345951)

Can it record two channels at the same time? Can it record an HD signal at full resolution without recompressing it?

Re:CableCARD is all that matters (2, Informative)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345621)

A set-top DVR is the only choice for a more-than-minimally-functional system.
How do you define a minimally-functional system? Every single thing I've wanted to watch over the past 3 or 4 years has been available via the analog cable tuner so my Hauppauge PVR 250 cards capture it just fine. If I really wanted to watch pay channels (though I don't subscribe to any) then I could just plug my cable box into the SVIDEO input on my card and use an IR blaster to change the channels as necessary like a TiVo does. In the end, I've found all I really watch is primarily network television that I could pick up with a pair of rabbit ears if I wanted to. I'll occasionally watch USA or TNT or something, but for the most part, everything I ever watch is available over my analog cable service.

Re:CableCARD is all that matters (1)

Thanster (669304) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345769)

I've got a DVB-C card working with myth-tv it does the trick for _unencrypted_ content very nicely (on uk cable networks that appears to be BBC1 BBC2 ITV and C4 (but not 5) there is is a seedy underground of "softcam" support for decrypting the other stuff.... but I havent looked at that. (mythTV wont let the project go anywhere near that stuff)

Re:CableCARD is all that matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18345823)

I have a similar setup (in that I have a cable box to unscramble the channels I pay for) and MythTV works perfectly with it. How? I bought something called MyBlaster that allows MythTV to control what channel the cable box is tuned to. No CableCARD is necessary.

Re:CableCARD is all that matters (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345935)

Not to me.

I dont have cablecard and I enjoy all the shows in full HD.
I use the bittorrent card.

Full HD, no commercials, I get to watch them the next day anyways. Heck because the same guys release the TV shows I can easily write a script with wget and other apps to look for the torrents and download them automatically. It's just like a tivo except it extracts the commercials and compresses them to mpeg4 so it's even easy for me to take them on my laptop.

and yes, I dont give a rats about "legality" these same asshats that run these networks are forcing me to find the shows on bittorrent because they demand the cable companies scramble it.

Re:CableCARD is all that matters (2, Interesting)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346401)

A set-top DVR is the only choice for a more-than-minimally-functional system.

Never used Myth, huh?

Myth is constantly talked about as far as PVRs ar the like are concerned. What is often ignored is, frankly, the best part of the project; The videos section. I can "backup" a DVD on to disk, then play that from my myth box at the click of a button. A VERY handy thing to have with a house full of children. No more lost DVDs, scratched or otherwise unwatchable discs. Just quick and simple click of the button.

Oh, this method provides you with the opportunity to remove the ads before the movie as well. Disney being the worst offender.

So do yourself a favor and learn about a software package before you badmouth it. I just pointed out something that no commercial PVR will likely EVER have, yet is so damn useful it could be it's own product.

The thing that bugs me the most with Myth... (1)

1010110010 (1002553) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345175)

... actually has nothing to do with its core function (pvr). It's the fact that the video and game plugins operate with information stored in the database. In theory this is fine, it lets you add covers, information, etc. The problem is it means you have to refresh the information whenever you add things to your directories, and if you're downloading IPTV stuff fairly often that's a pain. I wish it would have the option of just browsing the directories.

Nah, it just needs to get smarter (1)

arodland (127775) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345299)

MPD keeps a database of all of your music, but you can update it at any time from within the client, and (except for the first time) a database update takes about 3 seconds. If MythVideo worked that well, didn't make you go way out of your way to do the update, and didn't recheck everything even if stat() says it shouldn't have changed, it would be just fine :)

(Incidentally if you ask me, MythMusic should be an MPD frontend... but that's a project for another day :)

Re:The thing that bugs me the most with Myth... (1)

legoburner (702695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345325)

The latest (subversion) version has an option for using the video manager as a way of browsing the directories. It actually just automatically re-scans your video folder if it detects anything has changed, which means you get a delay when clicking on the menu - still far from ideal, but at least there is no longer a need to go to the setup menu to view a new video.

Re:The thing that bugs me the most with Myth... (1)

Uteck (127534) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345613)

Version .20 will read the contents of a directory and display them, but you have to go back to the main screen, then select videos to force it to rescan the directory. You may have to enable this function in the setup, otherwise you you have to run the video manager to see new items.

Re:The thing that bugs me the most with Myth... (1)

Lee148 (656687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345677)

For videos at least, MythTV can now (0.20 perhaps before) browse the directory whenever you go into the Video List. You may have to check some checkboxes in the Video Settings.

the article sucks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18345193)

The article indeed is badly written and could be less snop-like.

HDCP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18345551)

TIVO is merely another link in the " we want your money so we are crippling your hardware " chain.

MythTV empowers me to do what I want with my hardware. That is the difference I see.

The only bitch I have is HDCP.

HDCP removes my ability to output my home movies from DVI to HDMI while attempting to prevent me from watching content some *AA thinks I would pay to see.

I have consulted a lawyer and am looking into a class action lawsuit.

My hardware.

My content.

You do not have the right to limit what I do with it. Especially when you could have a switch that disabled HDCP on the HDMI connection when I am watching non protected material.

If you the HDCP people think I should output DVI to component then why is HDMI superior to component and why should I buy HDMI ? Are you not marketing it as superior quality ?

I love MythTV because... (2, Interesting)

myz24 (256948) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345739)

...I can run the frontend on my laptop and watch live and recorded TV anywhere in my house. I don't yet use Myth for anything but TV using an 8 year old Hauppauge card but for me, the flexibility of the software is what wins me over. My only gripe is the default keyboard bindings don't make the most sense at first.

MythTV vs. Tivo vs. Cable PVR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18345787)

All PVR solutions have their pros and cons.

Mythtv
Pros: Most flexible when it comes to content. Goes beyond PVR capability with various plugins, like one for emulators.
Cons: Still difficult to setup for most people. Can also be time consuming to setup and maintain.

Tivo
Pros: Nice interface. Can learn based on your viewing habits.
Cons: Most expensive option, with the initial cost of the Tivo box, $19.95 for service (month-to-month) and additional costs related to an extra cable box/cablecard if you want to dual tuner capability. Also more restrictive of the recorded content than MythTV.

Cable PVR
Pros: Least expensive option. Easiest to setup (usually done by the cable company).
Cons: Most restrictive of the three when it comes to content.

The modern consumer called (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18345843)

He wants to use three computers to record six concurrect Saturday night live sports games, action films and a Lost episode, adding them to his private entertainment collection for watching on Sunday night or any time in the future while skipping all the commercials. If he is not allowed to do this he says he feels like a bug under the thumb of the broadcast companies, and will vote for a party that will let him do it.

International Use (2, Insightful)

funkyjunkman (721687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345947)

As a happy customer of Tivo for several years now I am quite disappointed to find that it will not work for me if I move to Australia.

I have been doing a little research on MythTV (again) and still am off put by the complexity of it. The Tivo box really is my OS X to MythTVs Windows, in my opinion. But an even bigger issue to me is if I had to start paying a monthly fee to Tivo since they dropped their lifetime support fee option.

ps. The article was so lean on details I wonder if the writer even touched either a Tivo or MythTV box.

As a MythTV user... (5, Informative)

edmicman (830206) | more than 7 years ago | (#18345967)

of going on 2 years, I'd have to say it's not even close - Tivo wins for the masses. Sure, my MythTV box does what my friends' Tivos do and more. But even though they are tech guys, too, I don't see many of them going through the pain in the ass experience that is setting up and maintaining the MythTV box.

I built my MythTV box a couple of years ago so I could record two shows at the same time (dual tuner PVR500 card) and then watch a third on our main cable. I planned on reusing olds parts as I had a fairly decent PC sitting around unused; all I needed to invest in was the tuner card and a remote. I got the MCE remote and a PVR500 for the job. All was fine and dandy until I found out that some obscure library for MythTV didn't work on my Athlon VIA motherboard chipset. A new motherboard meant new memory, and a new CPU. I also got a "HTPC" case so the thing didn't look ugly in the living room. So right off the bat my quest to do a homemade Tivo on the cheap without monthly fees set me back about $600 after throwing in a large hard drive, too. This didn't really bother me, though, as I figured it was part of doing business.

I used Knoppmyth to set things up, and granted, it did go fairly smooth. The basic install goes along fine, it's the customization and other tweaks that take time and effort. I currently have it recording up to two shows at once, use it as a multimedia center so I can copy videos and MP3s to it and use it as a jukebox, and have used it to play emulated NES, SNES, and MAME games. But here are some things that I've noticed while using MythTV, in no particular order:

I started off with a Ti4600 video card. It's fan started to die, so I spent money on an FX5200 card which I've read is recommended for MythTV. This went fine, and configured fine. But for some reason if I need to reset my MythTV box, the video settings revert back to a "generic" video card, and I have to recopy over the FX5200 settings from the Knoppmyth wiki. I have no idea why this is.

Related to the above, when the generic video settings are on, recorded audio and video is out of sync. The video quality is noticeably bad, too. When it's configured correct, things are a lot better.

I've played NES and MAME games on it. I've tried SNES, but can't get my Gravis controllers to work for some reason. Supposedly there's Genesis emulators out there, but I can't figure out how to use those within MythTV. I had issues setting up two controllers for the NES games, and they worked for awhile, but then I had some friends over and we were going to play and the 2nd controller didn't work anymore. I don't know why. Also, with the games, integrating the remote is supposed to be possible, but I don't know how to do it for my remote. It would be nice to be able to map certain keys to the remote to do emulator actions or to hit escape. Otherwise, I have to have a keyboard and mouse available when I'm using the emulators (currently via VNC). I don't have a wireless mouse/keyboard for the HTPC yet.

After about a year, things started locking up, recordings were out of sync. Turns out MySQL defaults to logging every database action, and the database logs filled up my hard drive, killing MythTV. There was a fix in the forums, but it was a pain.

I can only record basic cable. It can do digital, but it would have to hook up to my digital box and use IR forwarding to control the box. That would sort of defeat the purpose of being able to record a show and watch something else at the same time. Not to mention the whole reason I got it was so I could record *two* shows at the same time. I'd either need another digital box dedicated to the MythTV box, or some sort of CableCARD thing.

Perhaps the coolest thing about MythTV is the commercial skip. After it records a show, it marks commercials, and pressing a certain button while watching them jumps to the next segment of the show. I've found this to be accurate about 50% of the time. Usually, it works for the first commercial break, but falls apart after that, and I have to go back and just skip commercials in 30 second increments.

My remote isn't fully set up...it can be, but I need to edit some obscure config file manually and I can't find any good resources for a current schema that uses all of my buttons on my MCE2005 remote. I still need to go and customize the button functions to particular functions in the software.

After installing, to get the full use I still had to set up vnc, openssh, and file shares so I could work with it from other PCs.

Every 3 months I have to "renew" my guide subscription at zap2it.com

Recently I noticed the the PC clock started shifting...shows would start recording somewhere around 20-30 seconds late, causing the beginning of the show to be missed. Turned out it was some power saving motherboard issue or something that needed to be disabled.

Would I do it again now? I don't know. TivoHD is too expensive. Comcast's DVR is convenient, and lets me record digital shows. But I've read that there's random deletions of people's shows and sometimes the DVR doesn't work. MythTV offers the recordings as a file format I want, and I can archive them off as I see fit. I'm starting to maybe look at some other options like MediaPortal, though. MythTV is nice, it just still seems very rough. It's definitely impressive, but just rough. Actually, I've started using more and more RSS feeds of torrents for TV shows. The day after a show airs I'll have it in HD, with the commercials already cut. Then I'd just be using MythTV as a media center jukebox, and there's probably better ways to do that. Just my $.02...

Re:As a MythTV user... (1, Informative)

airjrdn (681898) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346267)

Excellent info, thanks for posting it. From time to time I contemplate setting up a MythTV box, but end up not doing it for one reason or another. I'm currently on DirecTv running two hacked Tivos. For general media player functionality I use a modded XBox which I've found nothing can compete with. If you've never seen XBox Media Center, check it out, it's really slick, and plays pretty much every format out there.

GB-PVR (3, Informative)

rowle1jt (990668) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346053)

Anyone ever check out GB-PVR?

I run it home on top of XP Pro SP2, I only have the software installed thats needed for the PVR function, no Office or anything like that. Makes the machine very stable! Multiple tuner support, web based programming.. its got all the bells and whistles of Myth. The nice part is, EVERYTHING that needs to be done on the PVR side of things can be done from the remote! There is a very active forum/developer community and sub, the owner/programmer is on there posting and helping people daily.

http://www.gbpvr.com/ [gbpvr.com]

http://www.gbpvr.com/pmwiki/ [gbpvr.com]

http://forums.gbpvr.com/ [gbpvr.com]

Re:GB-PVR (2, Informative)

io-waiter (745875) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346485)

They have been bought by welltonway wich is a led by less than trustworthy people.

So expect the worst.

Wellton way went chapter 11 and is now reconstructed and is trying to rake in cash in doubtful ways, consumer authorities in Sweden have issued warnings. Welltons earlier companies include Lappower which went down, bad.
My guess is that they will destroy GB PVR =(

gb-pvr anyone? (1)

daskrabs (976610) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346101)

Yeah, I know it's Windows-based, but gb-pvr is the best free pvr solution out there, IMHO. I tried myth-tv/knoppmyth first. For an intermediate Linux user like me, setup and configuration was a nightmare, even with recommended hardware (read: hauppauge/nvidia). gb is EASY to configure, and it only consumes slightly more resources than myth. It's way easier to use, supports all the hardware that myth does, and it has available many of the nice plugins that myth has. I've been using it for a month, and I'll never watch TV without gb again.

Knoppmyth Makes Things Easier (1)

MrMunkey (1039894) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346217)

Okay, I know that I'm a lot more technical than the general masses out there, but it took me all of 10 - 15 minutes to get Knoppmyth set up and working. I had a spare computer lying around, so I bought a Hauppauge PVR 350. I did have to tweak the sound a bit to get it to work right away after booting, and I did have some bad memory that I replaced (lock ups were not fun).

I enjoy being able to log my server usage with MRTG though. I'd like to see if Tivo can set up SNMP traps.

I will say that at the moment, Tivo is going to be a lot easier for the "moms and grandmas" out there to set up. Heck, they'd probably still need someone to set that up. There are pre-installed MythTV solutions though. http://mythic.tv/product_info.php?products_id=44 [mythic.tv] Is one such product. It's definitely more than Tivo, but at the moment there's no need for a monthly fee.

So, Tivo is currently more user friendly to set up. That could change if more people start offering comparable MythTV setups at comparable prices though.

Neither. It's MediaPortal versus Vista MCE (4, Insightful)

charnov (183495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346329)

Frankly, MediaPortal [team-mediaportal.com] and the new Vista MCE [microsoft.com] are heads and shoulders about the rest and have the added benefit of being able to use Windows drivers which means everything on the planet is and will be supported.

Why not just use the cable company's DVR? (1)

NickCatal (865805) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346411)

At my parent's house they just use Time Warner's HD Cable Box. Has a good 160GB of storage, interface is fine, and the monthly price is comparable to TiVO. No need for cablecard/ir-blaster/etc and there are 2 tuners and on demand video (although they never use it)

Depends on your needs/wants (1)

hawg2k (628081) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346543)

Both are great. I've used Mythtv now for about 3 years. However, whenever someone comes and asks me about using Mythtv, I always ask them "what do you want to do with it?" Basically, if you don't plan on keeping what you record permanently (where pre re-encoding commercial flagging comes in nice), and you don't plan on watching downloaded/otherwise created elsewhere video conenct, then I recommend just geting a tivo. Mythtv can be a lot of work to set up, and as others have mentioned, depending on your setup you'll be plagued with problems permanently.

Commercial flagging is nice, but reporogramming the tivo remote to do 30 second forwrad jumps is trivial and taking 8 seconds to get through 6 minutes of commercials plenty good enough. If you don't want all the quasi legal features of Mythtv, then there's no point in messing with it ... unless messing with it is the point.

VDR (2, Interesting)

GoatVomit (885506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346653)

I'm quite surprised that they used mythtv or is vdr too german? Here in Finland the popularity is reversed to say the least and getting softcam to work with some cheap smartcard readers wasn't that big of a hassle. Recording porn err documentaries has never been this easy.

Every time I think of taking the plunge and do it (3, Interesting)

zuki (845560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18346663)

Rigt before going to spec out a nice bunch of PC components on NewEgg and build a good box, I always pass by the Myth TV Users Mailing List [gossamer-threads.com] to make sure that I get the most relevant and updated hardware necessary, and instead end up reading a sampling of the horror stories they go through, taking a few minutes to savor the different tortures one can be subjected to (video out of sync with audio, artifacts on certain channels, MySQL database corruption, NuvExport screws up, X breaks dependencies, and all the rest) and decide to wait another few weeks, certainly the new upcoming release will be much more reliable and user-friendly? And by the way, what happened to all of the things that were done during last year's Google's 'Summer Of Code' for Myth TV ? All the great features and enhancements [mythtv.org] that were worked on?

So I keep waiting, hoping that the next time I check the mailing list, their version of Matt Groening's Life In Hell [wikipedia.org] have died down a bit....

Even though I am definitely doing a fair amount of Sys Admin duties on various distros, this is different, the killer part is what will happen when something screws up while I'm not around, and my wife gets mad because something didn't work, (provided I can even teach her to deal with all of these menus, options and the whole 'watching Live TV through Myth' syndrome) or my kid decides that he knows better and starts trying to hack the box himself in frustration....?

Surely the TiVo is an attractive box for the wife and kids, but with technology changing as rapidly as it has been, it is questionable whether to invest in such a product today, unless we were hard-core TV addicts, and could justify the cost as it would immediately be recouped.

Funnily enough, the most expedient thing I've ended up doing has been to identify the things I want to watch, and as a previous poster pointed out, just BitTorrent the shows in HD without commercials the next day, no matter where in the world I may be. (...and yes, it is sweet to download things at 10 Megs speed while in certain countries like Japan or Norway!!...LOL!)

Net result: I hardly EVER watch any TV whatsoever, and the few shows I care about can be watched on my laptop.

Well, I wish I had more time to tinker.... and still, major kudos to Jarod Wilson for having created this amazing open-source wonder. But as others have pointed out, for either of these two options, it's really going to all be about being able to have Myth TV interact with the CableCard slot, at least in major urban centers where cable companies rule the roost, and antenna reception is unwatchable!! The killer is that companies like Time Warner Cable are offering their own PVR deals, so they will make sure to lock anyone else out of the convenience until forced to do so by the FCC... Or that someone learns to hack the Firewire outputs of some of those new set-top decoders. Then you potentially still have HDCP to contend with. Oh, brother!! Brave new world !!

Z.
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