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Well, that's pretty much it. What are my options? I don't mean for anyone to outline the steps for building a DVR. I just want to be pointed in the right direction.

Let me outline what I think my options are:

  1. A dumb set top box that will record television without scheduling, etc. For example, when I type "dvr" into newegg, this is what comes up:

    http://tinyurl.com/4h53fss

  2. If I want to be able to mimic Tivo, then I need to build my own. The main options are MythTV, Windows Media Center and Beyond TV. This answer tackles the "how to" part:

    How can I build my own DVR/PVR?

Am I missing something?

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2 Answers

As I've been poking around the past few months, it seems the only answer is "build your own". One can purchase off-the-shelf streming solutions, e.g., Google TV, Roku and Boxee, but even Boxee, the most promising of the off-the-shelf options, does not offer DVR capability.

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TiVo used to offer a lifetime subscription for $400. As far as I'm aware they no longer offer this promotion, so you're either going to have to build your own as Brett said, or look for a used box.

Right now is actually primetime to get a second-hand lifetime subscription TiVo box. Many TiVo users are upgrading to the newest version of the TiVo hardware, so they're getting rid of their old boxes. The lifetime subscription travels with the device, not the owner, so these secondhand devices are a great deal.

Obviously prices and availability will vary depending on where you live, but in my area I've seen them on craigslist as low as $100. Secondhand boxes won't be as nice as a brand new TiVo box, but I think it does what it's supposed to do quite well.

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