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Q: Computer--->Tivo ( Answered 1 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Computer--->Tivo
Category: Computers
Asked by: thearchitect-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 31 Jul 2003 17:00 PDT
Expires: 30 Aug 2003 17:00 PDT
Question ID: 237565
I want to turn my computer into a Tivo
How should I go about doing it?
I have a fairly new Nvidia card in my computer right now, and an old
TV card in there, I believe that it is bade by happauage or something
like that.   I have a CD burner on my computer, and a DVD player that
is capable of reading VCDs
I woudl like to know some pieces of software and strategies that I
might take to turn my computer into a Tivo
Ideally, I would like to stream the video to my TV, but I don't know
how and how much this will cost, so I am consitering buying a $160 dvd
burner, and just burning 10 hours or so of VCD quality tv every once
and a while.   Any suggestions??

Request for Question Clarification by snapanswer-ga on 31 Jul 2003 20:03 PDT
As I began to answer your question, I found that I had to use generic
generalizations that may be less helpful to you.  The answers to the
following questions will allow me to craft a more specific answer for

Which processor do you have in your computer?  Is it 1Ghz or faster? 
What speed?

How much RAM do you have on your computer?  How big is your hard

Which Hauppauge tuner card do you have?  Which NVidia card?

Did your Hauppauge tuner card come with PVR (Personal Video Recorder)

What type of TV do you have?  Is it a digital TV or HDTV?  Does it
have a DVI input to connect to a digital set top box?

If you prefer, I can post a generic answer.  However, if you provide
the details sought above, I can be more precise with the advice in my
Subject: Re: Computer--->Tivo
Answered By: jeremymiles-ga on 01 Aug 2003 07:17 PDT
Rated:1 out of 5 stars
It sounds to me like you want a Freevo.

Have a look at

Here are the system requirements (from :

A 400 MHz class CPU is sufficient for a low-end system to play music,
movies and watch TV.

Graphics Board
Almost any graphics board can be used. Freevo uses SDL which supports
X11, FB, etc.

Video Capture and Compression
Any Video4Linux1/2 compatible board, which includes the popular
Hauppage WinTV boards. There is also support for recording via the
Hauppauage PVR cards, provided they are based on the ivtv-chipset.

VCD-quality video compression can be in software via mp1e even on a
Celeron 400, but higher quality compression like MPEG-2 or Divx/Xvid
require a more powerful machine.

From what you have said, it looks like you should be able to do it.

However, Freevo only runs under Linux.  You don't say what OS you are
using, or whether you want to continue to use your machine for other
purposes.  If so, you will probably want to consider setting it up as
a dual boot machine.

There are free versions of Linux, but they are a little tricky to
install.  You are probably going to be better off buying a boxed
version, of something like redhat.

search strategy:
I knew that freevo existed, because I read


Request for Answer Clarification by thearchitect-ga on 05 Aug 2003 08:16 PDT
Did I imply that I was using a Linux box at my home, or that I had any
intention of installing one?   Sorry I did not.   If there are not any
PVR solutions out there for a Windows OS, then your answer would be
sufficient, but the fact that you saw a technicality within my request
for an answer, and supplied a Linux solution does not make for a good
answer.   Linux is not currently a mainstream OS, and it still has
problems.   Just by the market share that Linux holds in the personal
desktop environment, you could probubly assume that I am not running a
Linux box.  I am not going to post a rating right now because I would
give you 0 stars, and it is not really fair unless I give you a chance
to give me a windows solution.   Granted, I did not say that I was
running a windows box, but you assumed that I wanted/was willing to
install a Linux box.   I hope that you can give me a good answer, so I
will give you a few days.
thearchitect-ga rated this answer:1 out of 5 stars
As explained above, I believe that this is a very ppo answer, for a
few reasons:
-JeremyMiles assumed that I was willing to install a Linux system, and
run a dual boot system to accomplish this task.   This was not a
correct assumption.
-I gave him a chance to fix the problem, but to no avail.
-If there are no possible solutions in the PC market, than this would
be acceptable, but again, this is not the case.
-Overall, I believe that this researcher already knew about Freevo,
possilby from personal experience, saw that I wanted to install
something similar, and then jumped on the fact that I did not specify
that I was running a windows OS, even though the % of Windows on the
desktop is vast.
-There was not even a search over the internet for the information
that I requested, just a website that he already knew about.   There
was no actual 'research', and his answer was not up to par.

Subject: Re: Computer--->Tivo
From: snapanswer-ga on 08 Aug 2003 21:21 PDT
There are a couple software packages that you may want to consider. 
First, if your Hauppauge card came with PVR software, you may want to
give that a try or see if they offer an upgrade.

Next, consider SnapStream and SageTV.  I believe these can be
downloaded for a free trial, while you determine whether or not they
meet your needs.  Once you determine which Hauppauge card you have,
you can double check to make sure these software packages are


If you want to experiment with full customization of your system, you
might also be interested in myHTPC for a custom interface and Girder
to control everything by remote control.  Both packages are Freeware,
I believe.



These may also be of interest:

TechTV:  Patrick Norton reviews SnapStream,24330,3439246,00.html

TechTV:  Leo Laporte discusses PVR PCs,24330,3485189,00.html

AVS Forum:  HTPC
Subject: Re: Computer--->Tivo
From: mutilator-ga on 14 Mar 2004 15:32 PST
you could try showshifter,

its commercial, but they offer a free trial.
compatable with a few input devices i belive

Subject: Re: Computer--->Tivo
From: mikeaustn-ga on 24 Feb 2005 16:34 PST
Just to note. Linux is a very Mainstream OS. Maybe not the ideal
platform for a desktop computer unless you know what your getting
into, but for custom needs like turning a computer into a Tivo type
system, its much more versatile than Windows. Also linux does not have
many problems other than the occasional security hole. Windows has
frequent security holes and many other problems that are constantly
having to be fixed. The suggestion about freevo was a good one and I
don't think its resonable or fair to see it otherwise.

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