So far I’m still at the hardware planning stages, but the price looks good — around $455 (plus shipping) for a working, thoroughly hackable, silent, set-top PVR system.
(Silence is a key aim here — last thing I want is something noisy taking over the room. But silence typically seems to cost the dollars, once you get into Shuttle gear and the like.)
If anyone wants to follow along, or provide some tips — I’m going to track progress (very slowly) on this wiki page. Like all wiki pages, it’s editable — although you’ll need to create an account to edit pages there (sorry, anti-spam measure).
BTW, lately, there’s been a lot of talk about using a Mac mini as a media center. So I took a quick look — but wow, it’s pricey! $499 + $329 for an EyeTV 200 tuner? Dude, that’s over 800 dollars, not include shipping or sales tax. Given whatever extras turn out to be appropriate, I wouldn’t be surprised if it hits double the mini-ITX’s price.