With apologies to everyone who is reminded of the Salt and Pepa song this title was inspired by, although it’s damn hard to find lyric sites which don’t do evil things like redirecting you to a page you can’t escape from with the back button, or pop up ads. How mid-nineties!
Since I moved to the US, I’ve been using MythTV instead of my previous TiVo setup, and I am mighty happy. I thought that perhaps I should write some of that experience up, so here we go…
Let’s start my talking about the TV capture card I picked. I purchased a Hauppauge WinTV PVR 350 Personal Video Recorder from Amazon for a little over $100 US. I picked this card because of the hardware MPEG encoder, the hardware decoder, and the remote control. Perhaps in hindsight I should have gone for the WinTV 500, which has two tuners for simultaneous recording but no remote, but I don’t generally need to record more than one thing at once — especially given how often things are repeated over here. I can’t find a link to the WinTV 500 at the moment, but here is one to the WinTV PVR 500 media center edition which I suspect doesn’t work with MythTV for reasons I can’t really remember at the moment.
The card is just a plain old PCI card, and plugs straight into the cable outlet on the wall if you’re in America. The card has a tuner, so you don’t need to fight with IR blasting, which is something I wanted to avoid because it was always unreliable with the TiVo back in Australia. The IR remote plugs into the card as well, and if you want to use the card for TV playback, you plug your TV into it as well. The card even has s-video input and audio in if you’re that way inclined, as well as a FM radio tuner I have never used.
I recommend this card. I love it.