Creating a Home PBX Using Asterisk and Digium

Use Asterisk and Digium to give all your family members their own phone extension and voice mail.
The Bottom Line

Asterisk can seem like a foreboding project to undertake, if you make the mistake of reading the manual and trying to do it yourself. But with some relatively inexpensive hardware and the right Linux distribution, you can have a home PBX screening your calls in less than an hour.

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James Turner is Product Review Editor for Linux Journal. He has written two books on Open Source Java development and is a Senior Software Engineer with Axis Technology, LLC.



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One of the main advantage of

Anonymous's picture

One of the main advantage of having a MythTV other than purely philosophical reasons is that you know you're in control of it. Every now and then I hear some controvery over whether TiVo records what shows you watch and sell it to advertisers, or that it's decided to remove some feature. If you build your own DVR however you're in absolute control and your media and privacy aren't in control of some corporation and you can modify it however you want (and are able to). Of course this isn't perfect since it's less convenient, there's no customer service, and it requires a bit of knowledge (or the willingness to learn it).

Besides that however, I'm not so sure building your own MythTV (or similar open source DVR) is that uneconomical compared to TiVo. It may be more expensive for the initial equipment, but there aren't any monthly payments. Like cell phone providers, they sell you the equipment for relatively cheap because you'll sign a contract and provide a constant revenue for them. Over several years, the $10-20 for monthly TiVo service does add up. Since it's built with off-the-shelf components if you already have any spare computer parts (or an older computer) they might be used as well to bring down the cost. And you can easily upgrade it when you want, unlike with Tivo where you have to buy the latest one to get the newest features. In the long run it would probably save a good deal of money.