If you are like me who loves watching the TV, I am sure you'd understand the importance of a personal video recorder (PVR). Unlike commercial PVRs that require you to pay a subscription fee, why not create a low-cost one yourself?
You may pause, fast-forward and rewind live Television.
You may install multiple video capture cards to record more than one program at a time.
You can have multiple servers, each with multiple capture cards in them. All servers are centrally managed and all programs are scheduled by the Master back-end.
You can have multiple clients (called "front-ends" in MythTV parlance), each with a common view of all available programs. Any client can watch any program that was recorded by any of the servers, assuming that they have the hardware capabilities to view the content; a low-powered front-end will not be able to watch HDTV, for example. Clients can be disk-less and controlled entirely by a remote control.
You may use any combination of standard analog capture card, MPEG-2, MJPEG, DVB, HDTV, USB and firewire capture devices. With appropriate hardware, MythTV can control set top boxes, often found in digital cable and satellite TV systems.
Program Guide Data in North America is downloaded from Zap2It.com, a subsidiary of Tribune Media Services. This free service is called DataDirect, and provides MythTV almost two weeks of scheduling information. Program Guide Data in other countries is obtained using XMLTV. MythTV uses this information to create a schedule that maximizes the number of programs that can be recorded if you don't have enough tuners.
MythTV implements a UPNP server, so a UPNP client may automatically see content from your MythTV system. N.B.: this feature has not been verified to work on every available UPNP client.