I am a self confessed gadget junkie. I love electronic gadgets and gizmos of every size and variety. Honestly, I could ramble on for pages on the various computers, tablets, pmp's smart TVs, remotes, etc that litter my house. But I'll just start with my favorite:
MythTV is to Tivo as Tivo is to a VCR. It is the ultimate DVR. It's an open source program that runs on linux, the fact that it's open source and you build the device yourself gives you incredible flexibility. It's not for everyone, it does require some expertise and upkeep, but that's half the fun for me (actually more like 68.7% of the fun). You add the tuners that you want - cable, satellite or antenna. I have 4 tuners that can record 11 shows at a time. I don't think I've ever recorded more than 5 at a time, the computer would probably melt if I tried 11. 2 HDHomeruns (dual tuner, each tuner can record 2 shows if they're on the same multiplex, a dual tuner analog card for SD cable and an HD-DVR for satellite. HDHomerun is a stand alone digital tuner that plugs into the network rather than the pc itself. I have a 3rd HDHR, an HDHR Prime that takes a cablecard, but it doesn't work with MythTV (I'll get to that one later).
The coolest thing about MythTV to me (other than no monthly DVR bill) is it will do query based recording. You can set up rules and it will record anything that fits that rule. I have rules set up to record every prime time show, every night on NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox and WB (I'm pretty sure i've never watched a WB show, but I have them all anyway). It also records the today show, all of the late night shows, some syndicated shows (simpsons, big bang, seinfeld, etc) and a handful of random programs (such as How it's made). I usually record about 20-30 shows a day. I have 5 terrabytes dedicated just to recording shows, so I have about 6 weeks worth of recordings at all times. Of course I only watch a fraction of the recorded shows, but it's nice not having to choose beforehand what I'm going to want to watch.
It has a built in DLNA server. For those not familiar with DLNA, get familiar, it's incredibly cool. It's essentially a whole home DVR. I can watch any show recorded on my MythTV box on any TV in my house that has DLNA built-in or an attached blu-ray player.
MythTV records shows as MPG2, which is huge, but it has what are called User Jobs available for post-recording. I have user jobs set up to knock the show down to mp4 (with handbrake, takes a 2GB show down to 150-200mb) and rename the file by show, season, episode number and episode name (with a program called filebot). So no more starting shows in the middle, just start recording and start watching once I have a full season or series, on TV, computer, tablet or phone.
As I said, MythTV isn't for everyone, but if you are a technically proficient TV junkie like myself, it's a must.
Who else has a gadget/technology review, good or bad?