That's very interesting. I wondered if a Pi was up to the job of being a Toppy replacement. I may well look into that when mine is finally retired.
Regarding a remote control. In the past I've managed to get HDMI-CEC to work as a remote control for Kodi it has the advantage of not needing any new hadrware at all. YMMV on that though.
Yes I'm also spurred on by cuthbert's post / article / site to look into the Raspberry Pi for DVR duties, or if not for DVR duty then as a conduit for file transfers to / from the MyStuff. Despite being into Unix OS stuff for a long time I never got around to trying out the Pi, it always seemed like a solution for a niche problem that I'd never had (or at least 'never knew I had', I'm sure if I thought about it there would have been something or other I could have used the Pi for in the past!).
I don't know if it's been mentioned on this forum before (edit: google says 'no'!) but I've been testing out a SiliconDust HDHomeRun
network dual tuner with Plex as an 'alternative' DVR solution. The HDHomeRun is a dedicated / standalone network tv tuner - it's a tiny 15x100x100mm box with 3 inputs: one for power, one for a TV aerial and one for a network cable. Once hooked up, you connect to the unit via the local network using either their own client or a suitable 3rd party client (I used Plex
which is hosted on a FreeBSD box, although I believe you can use TV HeadEnd which cuthbert mentioned or something like VLC on a windows host). It's a very basic system, the hardware itself does nothing really other than decode a TV signal and transmit it out onto the network. It's down to other software hosted on host machines to perform EPG / recording / playback duties.
I found several issues with this HDHomeRun setup though. Using it on the same network as as a Powerline network link introduced network interference which was a real headache to diagnose / work around. Basically I had to run a very long CAT5 cable directly to/from the homerun/router, rather than use the powerline network which would have been a lot easier.
Also at the time I was testing it out, Plex was not working so well with the homerun... I had thought it would be ideal to be able to fire up Plex on my phone, browse through an EPG on Plex and schedule recordings that I could then watch later over the network on one of the connected smart TVs or HTPCs / PCs in Plex. However unfortunately at that time the Plex smartphone app had no EPG functionality, and even the Plex web /desktop app EPGs weren't always as reliable as they could have been in various respects.
Since then I believe the phone app now has an EPG, so it might be worth a look again, although for me the bigger issue is getting a dedicated TV feed in to the homerun - that was the biggest stumbling block for me, the homerun seemed to need a really solid TV signal to work at even the most basic level, so a new aerial would be required to make it work for me at least.
In the end I ditched the HDHomeRun and haven't used it for the last few months. MyStuff is still my primary DVR solution and gets used for about 4-6hrs of recording per day. Short of the SD signal being cancelled I don't envisage moving from Toppy / MyStuff soon, although that said I do keep thinking about investing in an OpenVix box but there never seems to be a really compelling offering to dive in to. Maybe I should just go for a cheap and cheerful vix option just to test the waters.
As an aside, just out of curiosity can you watch live TV via a network connection on an OpenVix DVR? ie in an upstairs bedroom, fire up the PC and be able to watch live TV on the zgemma (or whatever) box downstairs in the living room?