I'm happily recording TV on my Freeview card, but the files are a little big at around 2GB/hour. I've done some playing around with converting to Divx and now have a little script that converts to a reasonable looking Divx of around a quarter of the original size. The only problem is that the resulting files always play back in full screen (4:3) rather than the original widescreen (16:9) as the big versions (in MPEG) do. I've been reading various sites, but the mencoder manual says that it is possible to get the right aspect ration as long as you play back in mplayer. I've tried the example options at the bottom of this page, but got a 'FATAL: Cannot initialize video driver' error.
For reference my script is:
mencoder "$1" -ovc lavc -lavcopts vpass=1 -oac copy -ffourcc DX50 turbo -o "$2" mencoder "$1" -ovc lavc -lavcopts vpass=2 -oac copy -ffourcc DX50 -o "$2"
It uses two passes to improve the quality a little. So any ideas on what I should add to fix the aspect ratio? For now I am concentrating on generating files to play on the PC, but I will keep in mind that they may also get played on a Divz-capable DVD player through the TV.
I've had more contact with the author of ZapDVB. When we changed to summer time it started recording an hour later than I wanted it to. He pointed out that I had to run tzconfig to set my system's timezone. That fixed it.
Of course I also need a new TV one day. This one looks about right if someone wants to buy it for me. Apparently it burns about 1500W, so it will keep us warm too.