Monster PVR

By Deane Barker on January 20, 2006

Godzilla PVR: These guys built their own PVR with 11 tuners and 1TB of storage space. They did this to demo their own software: Beyond TV. For $70 and the hardware, you too can make the PVR of your dreams.

Since the price of 250 GB hard drives have dropped recently we choose to install four Seagate 250GB SATA drives for storing our BTV recordings and two Seagate 160GB SATA drives for the OS and other applications. We configured the four 250GB drives as RAID 0 (striping) and formatted them with NTFS and 64k blocks to increase the disk size and performance.

With one terrabyte of space allocated as our recording drive we are able to record 112 hours of HD material or 424 hours of standard definition material at Better quality.



  1. A PVR for only $4200, what a steal.

    I created my own PVR awhile back with a P4 1.5Ghz, 512mb, 80GIGHD, a WinTV150 card, and BeyondTV. It worked but here are my beefs with PVRs:

    1.) If you want to watch one program and record another — or record two programs at once — you’ll need an extra capture card. Add another $140 to your PVR costs.

    2.) No matter which setup you use, the encoding quality just isn’t as good as the stand-alone DVRs I’ve used.

    3.) ALL PVR software is plagued with bugs, open source or not. I’ve tried Media Portal, GB-PVR, MythTV, and a few others I can’t recall. BeyondTV is perhaps the biggest joke of them all charging $70 for software that’s still in beta.

    4.) Figure that you’ll spend at least 15-20 hours getting the PVR to do exactly what you want it to do.

    5.) Most importantly, you have to figure the computer costs at LEAST $200 + $140 for the single capture card (more for a dual tuner) + $70 for BeyondTV. We won’t count the cost of a good video card, wirless card, and other extras… That means a PVR will cost anywhere from $400-$500. The same price as a TiVO lifetime membership so why not just get a TiVO? The new TiVOs are really impressive.

    Computers are great for reading Gadgetopia, but if you want to record TV or game, I say get a stand-alone.

  2. I just want some more space in mine. I set up a series recording for “Modern Marvels.” Sadly, it was right before a “Modern Marvels” marathon kicked off. The DVR deleted almost all of my daughters Dora episodes before I caught it.

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