I separated out this from the other links, but Christy Marx passed along this link to a Robert X. Cringely column aboutÂ the future of TV (AKA NerdTV). He talks about some futuristic possibilities of where it is all heading, but includes this nugget about TiVo:
What’s far more disturbing, though, is the fact that our TiVo boxes are watching us and reporting our viewing habits back to their mother ship. And this is highly detailed snooping according to TiVo’s own report of the most replayed and most freeze-framed moments from the recent Academy Awards telecast. They not only know what you are watching, but how you are watching it on a second-by-second basis — information that of course will be sold to the very advertisers who think they are being subverted by TiVo technology.
I kind of read that as yet another reason why one might want to go the MythTV route. It might not have as much functionality as TiVo or Replay (yet) and it requires you to be the admin on the box and set things up (and to buy the box in the first place) but on the other hand it isn’t ever doing things you don’t know about. You can inspect all the code if you like and find out what it is doing where. Other than the whole deal of having to actually get a box small enough and quiet enough to use in an entertainment center, MythTV seems like a good way to go for a dork like me who doesn’t mind having to install and configure the DVR software.