So the story behind this piece of code is that I've never really been very fond of watching TV live. I know, these days nobody does that any more, and everybody uses their cable company supplied (and crappy) PVRs, but back at the start of the millennium, it was a not un-novel idea.
|USB TV card|
So the idea is basically that we pull down the TV programme (thoughtfully provided by the XMLTV project), see what programs we want to record, and then record them. It's simple. Since it's Emacs-based, I can just ssh in to my machine from anywhere and add new programs to the list of stuff to be recorded from anywhere. Take that, User Experience people.
The computer is hooked up to an external USB tv card that provides an MPEG stream. So the actual recording is just "cat /dev/video0 > /tv/file".
|The nice little box running Linux|
The only problem (for some values of "problem") with this setup is that I can't watch TV live easily even if I wanted to. But I've been running stuff this way for a decade, and that hasn't really tempted me more than a couple of times, so, eh, whatev.