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A reasonably fast computer. An AMD Athlon XP 1800+ can handle high-quality (640x480) softwre-encoded live-tv mode at 50-60% CPU utilization. Medium resolution (480x480), about 30%. Low quality (352x240) TV watching takes it down to 5-10% CPU utilization. Theoretically, VCD quality live TV should be possible down to about a single CPU 500MHz box.
A TV card that is supported by V4L (Video for Linux)
Xmltv to grab program information
MySQL – used to store program information
FreeType – used to display on-screen fonts.
LAME – libmp3lame is used to compress audio
Sufficient hard disk space – medium quality video (480x480) uses roughly 1GB/hour