I'm afraid it isn't that simple. When I built my Pi OTA PVR, I found a number of guides online purporting to show how to do this. They each had a bit of "the truth", but they all had info that I considered to be undesirable or inapplicable to my situation. This is a hobby project more than a "paint by number" kit. It takes a certain amount of experimentation and thought. Linux knowledge isn't so important as a willingness to learn by playing around with stuff.
You don't say what your experience is with Raspberry Pi. If you haven't done anything with it, start by Googling for 'getting started with Raspberry Pi'. There are a number of guides, including these:
http://www.howtogeek.com/138281/the-htg ... ry-pi/all/
http://lifehacker.com/the-always-up-to- ... 1781419054
Start by bringing up a RPi running Raspbian, the default OS. Play with it and get comfortable with it. When you start building your PVR, I recommend OSMC as the operating system.
In addition to the RPi, case, SD card, and power supply (don't bother about a heat sink) the obvious thing you need is a TV tuner. Many people use the HDHomeRun network tuner (https://www.silicondust.com/
). I used this USB Tuner: http://a.co/afPqZYj
. If you're having trouble using an indoor antennae now, you'll need to get a better antennae. I use an ordinary UHF/VHF antennae from the old analog TV days. It's in my attic.
If you want to just timeshift a small amount of programming, you can use the SD card for recording (at least 32GB in size). If you want to archive stuff (like an entire season of a show) get a hard drive. The current available from the Pi USB ports is limited, so you will either need a powered USB hub, or a Western Digital Pi Drive, which requires less current and comes with a special cable to power the drive.
Perhaps the trickiest part is setting up an Electronic Program Guide (EPG). I used this article as a starting point, but I don't think I did it exactly the way they said. Like I said, it all takes a bit of trial and error.
https://www.adventuresinoss.com/2015/01 ... ram-guide/
When I started my project, I told myself I was going to record everything I did in a journal. That lasted about 2 hours. It was too much fun to race ahead and try to get things running, and frankly there's a lot of detail. Someday I might write a comprehensive guide, but I don't have time now. Just get started and ask questions here or elsewhere as you go.
EDIT: To answer my original question at the top of this topic, is it practical? Well, yes, sort of. It's mostly stable for a few days at a time. It does record OTA TV just fine. But I need to restart it once a week or so. If you go on vacation for a couple of weeks, you may or may not come back to recordings of the TV you missed. I've learned that some operations work better than others. Regularly watching TV using the OSMC client shortens the time between required reboots. It's better to let the Pi do recordings, and view live TV using your regular TV tuner. There are at least two mechanisms provided by the GUI for watching recorded TV. One works well, the other one not at all. (Avoid TV --> Recordings. Use Videos --> Files).
In short, its cheaper than paying $400 for a Tivo, or paying $20/month for the Tivo service. It's not as good as Tivo, but you get what you pay for. I complained to a friend about how much time and money I was putting into the project and he said, "Expensive hobby, cheap therapy". How true.