An HTPC (Home Theater PC) has many pros/cons over Tivo, but I believe that the long term cost/benefit of an HTPC is better than a Tivo. For instance Tivo's lifetime subscription is $400 the Tivo HD itself costs $200. Building an energy efficient HTPC initially costs the same but can skip commercials, take HD video where ever you want (online or off), is fully upgradeable, and can replace/consolidate your Blu-Ray and/or your DVD player. And you NEVER pay a subscription fee.
Things You Will Need
An HTPC Case (That accepts Micro ATX motherboards)
80 Plus (Bronze, Silver, or Gold) Power supply (unless included with case)
A Micro ATX motherboard with integrated video
2 to 4 gigs of RAM
500 meg SATA hard drive or larger
A DVD or Blu-Ray Drive
A low thermal power processor dual core or better
An Operating System (Win 7 shown here)
A TV tuner(s)
A 7/16 inch wrench
Step 10If you have an internal TV Tuner, please install it now. External USB tuners can be added once the operating system is installed.
Connect your PC to your TV.