This section describes the different technologies used to build your own Linux VCR.
You will need to install a supported video4linux capture card in your computer. I currently use the Hauppauge WinTV tuner card which I purchased from Best Buy, but many other cards should work just as well. I don't have a suggestion for which is best, I can only comment that the one I own works for me.
Many GNU/Linux distributions already provide a Linux kernel that is configured to support video4linux devices. The Hauppauge WinTV card is supported by the 'bttv' driver. I have to load two modules into the linux kernel to support my card, namely the 'tuner' and 'bttv' modules. Check out the V4L homepage for details on supported tuner cards. Also check out ZDnet Linux Hardware for information about Linux tuner cards.
Recording with your digital VCR of course requires frame capture software. As I become aware of available software for capturing audio/video to mpeg/avi formats, I will place it in this list. If you have any suggestions for good software please let me know and I'll add it here.