$50 will get you a used TiVo on ebay. With this and a little hacking to get you the analog
input as a channel you can record your data easily from any analog source. (You could do it
without hacking too, but it's not as clean and easy.)
The nice part is that with a little more hacking (installing TivoWeb,) you can even give it a
title and leave it available in a convenient list of other video material accessible easily
from the TiVo remote to play directly on your TV. No PC, no monitor, watch it from the
convenience of your couch.
A little more hacking (mfs_ftp, ffmpeg) and you can extract it and convert it to many other
formats for web viewing, emailing to grandparents, saving to DVD...
$50 more for an ethernet card (turbonet) will make these tasks much quicker (especially the
Lastly since that $50 TiVo probably has limited storage (+-30GB,) you can spend ~$100 and drop
in a 500GB drive. Or, if you already have plenty of space on your PC, stream extra storage
This may not be quite the same quality as other solutions, but if you are recording VHS or
8mm, the TiVo mpeg1 is probably already better quality (at BEST resolution) than the source.
Compression may not be quite as good, but it really won't make that much of a difference with a
500GB drive, soon you will wonder why you bothered trying to get every extra KB of
It really is a quite convenient method which is something even the non-techies in the
household can do once you have it setup (well, as long as they can program a VCR.)
Beware that Jan 2009, NTSC broadcast will be interrupted, that TiVo may not be valuable for
anything else after that (not a problem if you use it just for what I mentioned above.)