VDR - The Video Disk Recorder
To run the VDR software, you need a computer with a decent amount of
RAM (at least 512 MB) and a large hard disk (1 TB 2.5" drives are a
good choice, because they are pretty quiet). It is strongly recommended
to provide for the risk of disk failure, because losing hundreds of
recordings can be a traumatic experience! So you should at least use
two disks in a RAID-1 (mirrored) configuration. If one of them fails,
it can be easily replaced without data loss.
To receive digital tv you need at least one device that can handle DVB-S (satellite), DVB-T (terrestrial) or DVB-C (cable). This can be either a PCI card that is plugged into the computer, or a USB device. If you want to receive HDTV, you may want to get a device capable of handling DVB-S2 or DVB-T2, respectively.
Since you will also want to be able to view DVB programmes live, or replay your recordings, you will need some way of displaying them. Originally VDR was designed to work with so-called "full featured" DVB cards. These are devices that have both a DVB receiver and an MPEG decoder for displaying the data. There are two plugins that support such cards: "dvbsddevice" can be used with the full featured cards that follow the Siemens/TechnoTrend design, while "dvbhddevice" is for the TechnoTrend Premium S2-6400 Twin HD. Unfortunately, neither of these cards are produced any more. This is a great pity, especially for the TT S2-6400, which provides a very easy way of setting up a dual DVB-S2 receiver with hardware decoding. As an alternative you can use, for instance. the softhddevice plugin.
(The following describes my old VDR and will soon be replaced by a description of my new system!)
The hardware I have chosen to build the Video Disk Recorder consists of the following components:
Here are a few pictures of my VDR hardware