http://www.mythtv.org/ mythTV is a GPL licensed suite of programs that allow you to build the mythical home media convergence box on your own using Open Source software and operating systems. There are several personal video recorder PVR systems available. TiVo is a well known subscription PVR appliance. There were some comparisons made with TiVo during the presentation.
Bruce Smith has a very functional PVR system installed in his home. He has a backend myth server that does the recording and two frontend myth boxes that are connected to his TV’s. He has an analog signal cable and a digital cable converter box connected to two PVR150 PC cards. The frontend boxes just plug into the home LAN and his televisions. These boxes replace remote cable converters and function the same. You could configure your system with a single box. There are myth TV drivers available from NVIDIA for their graphics cards. The video signal quality looked great. The myth TV backend box Bruce is using has a 300 Gb hard drive. His system gobbles up 2 Gb of hard drive space per hour of recording. That does give him 150 hours of stored video programming. He can add more hard drive space easily if he needs it!
The ease of configuring the myth TV backend server was demonstrated . Marking what shows you want to record from a GUI menu is easy. The frontend boxes have a user friendly GUI interface for playback too.