MythTV is an exceptional linux based PVR. It has an interesting and very configurable split frontend/backend architecture.
One traditional use for this split architecture is to put all the mass storage and recording hardware in a box under the stairs and then have a lightweight (and silent) machine plugged into the TV. Encoding video in realtime requires either some pretty powerful CPUs or alternatively dedicated hardware.
Enter DVB-T and a USB dongle to capture DVB mpeg streams.
GNU Screen is a fantastic piece of software when working with only an SSH connection.
It allows you to run multiple virtual terminals in a single window, but most importantly allows you to detach from the session. By this I mean you detach from the screen session, close your SSH sessions and whatever was running in the terminal remains running. You can then SSH back in at a later date, reconnect to the screen session and be right back where you were. Brilliant for any long running jobs like large compiles when you don't want to keep the SSH session running.
For more details take a look here