The traditional advice is to choose software before choosing the hardware to run it on, and that advice remains valid. The PVR and related software applications that will run on the HTPC are fundamental. So, before we made specific hardware selections, we had to decide which PVR software we’d run.
The working title of this chapter was Building a Linux-Based PVR System, as this was our original intention. It seemed reasonable at the time. TiVo is based on Linux, of course, and so we assumed Linux would be a good foundation for our PVR/HTPC system. As it turned out, such was not the case.
The two primary Linux-based PVR applications, MythTV (http://www.mythtv.org) and Freevo(http://freevo.sourceforge.net ), are, like many Linux applications, a strange combination of crude and elegant, polished and rough, and powerful yet missing major functions. At the time we looked at it, for example, Freevo lacked such basic functions as TV Live Pause (time-shifting) and DVD menus.