Build your own TIVO™ - DVR for almost Free!

DVR for Antenna System at Little or no Cost!

If you have converted to an Antenna and freed yourself from Cable or Dish TV or even if you haven't it is very easy to build your own DVR setup.  Why buy or rent a TIVO™ or DVR device when you already have half the system included in the Windows operating system. ( With the exception of Windows 8) 

One of the first things you need to do when moving to an Antenna only TV system is to setup a computer that will connect to the TV for streaming shows, movies, Internet content, etc. to your TV-Entertainment system.  A wealth of TV shows and movies are available for streaming now for free or very minimal cost.

The only thing you will need to purchase if you are not on Windows 8 yet is a PC Tuner for the streaming computer. I used this usb tuner that I had already purchased sometime ago.

Hauppauge 1191 WinTV-HVR-950Q TV Tuner Stick/Personal Video Recorder with Clear QAM and Remote Control (Black)

Once you have the tuner card installed on your streaming PC, the DVR functions are done in Windows Media Center which is included in XP, Windows 7, and must be purchased for $9.99 to add to Windows 8.  Once you start Windows Media Center you will configure your tuner and then it's off to the races.  You can view TV live, record while your watching TV so you can pause, schedule shows to record.  There is an online integration with a TV guide you set up for your zip code and it is very easy to watch, schedule or record your favorite shows.  I put a high quality splitter on the antenna line so I could run to the TV and the streaming PC tuner card.  If we want to record a show while watching another then we simply setup the show to record in Windows Media Center and then go back to the regular TV to watch our other show at the same time.  You could probably setup a dual tuner card as well on the streaming pc, but having not done that yet myself maybe someone can comment in that has done that setup.

There are a myriad of other applications besides TV in Windows Media Center that you can use with your entertainment system when you get it setup.  You can put your photo galleries in and run slide shows, setup your music library to play, and more.

I have already watched TV with the pause capability, recorded three scheduled shows when we were out or asleep and it has worked flawlessy.  My total investment for this DVR setup is $79.00.  I got the Windows Media Center for all our Windows 8 upgrades on a free promotion which unfortunately has ended.  Maybe Microsoft will revisit that because it is an awesome application for Windows.