They picked SnapStream as their PVR software after reaching many of the same conclusions I did. In the end, the systems come to around $1400, but if you are using parts from old computers, it's possible to cut that down quite a bit.
Ouch..the pricing is a bit high, but they really do throw everything in. Check the parts list. Mine would be a little different (mainly dropping stuff you don’t need, like monitor, keyboard, etc. etc. – that’s what VNC or Remote Desktop are for; this is a server, after all):
- Case/Motherboard: Shuttle $320
- Processor: Intel P4 2.8Ghz $175
- Graphics: ATI All-in-Wonder R9000 $130
- Memory: 512MB $90
- Hard Drive: 120GB $100
- Sound Card: Audigy $55
- Optical: DVD-CD/RW $40
- PVR Software: Snapstream $80
You could go even cheaper by using a less expensive case and processor combo – like a $50 case, $100 motherboard, and $100 processor…bringing the price down to $745USD. Oh, right – this also doesn’t include the cost of Windows. OEM price on WinXP is around $150 or more. Ouch.