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Television Software Media Hardware Hacking Linux

O'Reilly Builds a MythTV Box 203

Posted by Zonk
from the summer-projects dept.
enrico_suave writes "While the Broadcast Flag battle continues, it's still legal to put together your own HDTV PC HTPC/PVR. O'Reilly has posted part 1 in a series of articles describing the ins and outs of Building a MythTV Box" From the article: "For now, the good news is that it is still legal to put together your own home-theater PC. Parts are now cheap enough that it is no longer ridiculous to build a PC specifically to handle TV for you, much like the VCR in Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency..."
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O'Reilly Builds a MythTV Box

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  • by otis wildflower (4889) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @06:34PM (#12936563) Homepage
    Hi,
    How is Myth's firewire support for DTV cable boxes shaping up? Preferably HDTV. Is there a DTV howto yet, with tips for receivers generally and particular models particularly?

    I'd consider swapping my TiVo out (given its really crappy slow performance lately, lack of digital audio or video, and monthly fees) but it's easy to use and having to go thru config hell wouldn't be worth it for me if I didn't get anything nifty in terms of features..
  • Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

    Is it just me, or is this some sort of geeky, nerdy analogy that nobody here is going to get? I wonder if it is just me.....

    Hmm....

    maybe.

    • by Noksagt (69097) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @06:44PM (#12936639) Homepage
      The Electric Monk was a labour-saving device, like a dishwasher or a video recorder. Dishwashers washed tedious dishes for you, thus saving you the bother of washing them yourself, video recorders watched tedious television for you, thus saving you the bother of looking at it yourself; Electric Monks believed things for you, thus saving you what was becoming an increasingly onerous task, that of believing all the things the world expected you to believe.
      Douglas Adams is definitely fair-game for geek-speak. His writings are even well-read by non-geeks.
  • It will be interesting to see how it turns out. This is what initially brought me to the linux fold, and I'm working on my own project, which is following a lot of the same hardware paths as the author.
  • Legal/illegal? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by daniil (775990) <evilbj8rn@hotmail.com> on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @06:38PM (#12936596) Journal
    For now, the good news is that it is still legal to put together your own home-theater PC.

    Bah. The broadcast flag will not make it illegal for you to build your own home-theater. How could they stop you from doing it? You just won't be able to record (or watch?) anything.

    ---
    "Follow the links," he said. [slashdot.org]

    • Brilliant linkage troll.
    • Re:Legal/illegal? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You just won't be able to record (or watch?) anything.

      The stupidest, stupidest, stupidest thing that television could do right now is prevent you from recording television and watching it on your own time.

      Most people in frustration would stop watching television altogether.

      "What do you mean it didn't record Alias?!?"

      -THREE WEEKS LATER-

      "Nah, didn't see it. My stupid machine won't let me see it. I'm three weeks behind. I can't watch it now, because I tried to get back early to see it
      • I never have mod points when I really need them. Somebody boost parent, 'cause truer words were never spoken (O.K., in this case, written).
    • I'd like to thank you for your insightful post.

      I must admit I've been one of the Slashbots bitching about the broadcast flag. I actually thought it would make it illegal to build a system. As you clarified, I was wrong. It won't actually make it illegal to build a system

      You just won't be able to record (or watch?) anything.

      I now realize that they only want to throw you in FUCKING PRISON if you try to build a system that actually works. My bad.

      -
      • I'd like to thank you for your awfully sarcastic reply. Unfortunately, you completely missed the point of my posting this comment. I posted it with the purpose of a) getting an early comment and b) getting modded up in order to c) make more people follow the chain of links in my double sig. Unfortunately, i had to sacrifice any actual content my post could have had in order to fulfil the aforementioned three objectives. Were i a subscriber, i would have had more time to put more thought into my comment. Unf
  • I'm too lazy (Score:5, Informative)

    by udderly (890305) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @06:42PM (#12936621)
    Given the good enough performance and price ($5/month) of my Tivo, I just can't justify the time and effort. My brother-in-law (aka the King of DIY) made one and he is constantly wrenching that thing.
    • Re:I'm too lazy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AuMatar (183847) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @06:53PM (#12936707)
      There's a couple reasons to want to go DIY. Its not for everyone, but here they are:

      1)I hate monthly fees. I refuse to pay them. I'd rather pay $100 up front than5 a month in fees.

      2)Expandability. Want more RAM or another encoder? DIY just add it. Tivo- time to buy another Tivo

      3)No comercials- Tivo is playing with adding commercials. My number 1 reason for buying one would be to kill commercials.

      4)More (and easily expandable) storage. Add a RAID for reliability.

      5)Additional features. You can pull any new feature when you want, and Myth is more than just a DVR (MythPhone, MythGames, etc)

      6)The ability to do illegal stuff- like rent DVDs, and rip them to your hard drive for permanent sorage.

      7)The ability to network it and add a file server. You may now watch your movie collection anywhere.

      8)The ability to use 1 program for all media- music, video, and images.

      9)No loss of features- you won't see disappearing features like 30 second skip.

      I'm sure there's others people come up with as well. Tivo is nice hardware, but given the fact its subscription based and they're playing with commercials, its a no deal for me.
      • Re:I'm too lazy (Score:3, Interesting)

        by happyfrogcow (708359)
        9)No loss of features- you won't see disappearing features like 30 second skip.

        this is one of the biggies i think. new products become popular for their features, then they become cheap when they cut those features.

        • I don't feel like digging on google right now, but do a search for 'tivo advanced codes' or something. I have a $60 Tivo and all I needed to do was a few key sequences on the remote to enable the feature forever.
          • Re:I'm too lazy (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Specter (11099)
            While playing back content:

            Select -> Play -> Select -> 3 -> 0 -> Select

            That should restore your 30 second skip if memory serves.

            What really annoys me about having to 'hack' the 30 second skip is that all the content providers complained bitterly about Tivo's 30 second skip function but it's ok for them to provide it themselves. I was out at my parents over Memorial day and they've got the Dish?/DirectTV? PVR which has a very handy, no hack required, 30 second skip.
      • the one and only reason i or any other reasonable person who has insight into this situation is:

        you don't !control! the hardware you purchased. tivo can do things behind your back with the help of forced updates to negate any "hacks" aka things that help you wrest control away from people who have no business telling you what to do with your hw.

        tivo = DRM

        frankly, all i want is a digital VCR. i don't want listings, i don't want recommendations. i don't even watch much tv anyway and the occasional programs
      • DIY vs. Buy (Score:4, Informative)

        by Noksagt (69097) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @07:30PM (#12936977) Homepage
        I have built PVRs. I still watch TV through my Matrox G400TV quite frequently. However, I am happy with my ReplayTV. Mainly because:

        1)Uses less power than most PC solutions.

        2)Cheaper. I got it for $250 with lifetime subscription. Admittedly, the MSRP is much higher. But it still isn't as much as putting together a system, even if you get one of the $200 Dells to start it.

        3)It just works. No messing with drivers, LIRC, etc.

        Now, some of your points for DIY just don't hold.

        1)I hate monthly fees.
        You can purchase PVRs with lifetime subscriptions. You can't rely on Zap2It to always give you free listings for MythTV!
        3)No comercials- Tivo is playing with adding commercials. My number 1 reason for buying one would be to kill commercials.
        My ReplayTV 5040 still has Commercial Advance. Newer models don't, but they have "Show|Nav." You press a single button & it skips the commercials.
        4)More (and easily expandable) storage.
        Ditto most PVRs. You can network them & pull content onto a computer or you can drop in a larger harddrive or two.
        7)The ability to network it and add a file server. You may now watch your movie collection anywhere.
        Both ReplayTV and Tivo have this.
        8)The ability to use 1 program for all media- music, video, and images.
        ReplayTVs store images. You can upload video. It is space-inefficient, but you can upload audio encoded as video with whatever moving images you want.
        9)No loss of features- you won't see disappearing features like 30 second skip.
        This is a good point. But I think the bottom-line is that features may become illegal (which could take them out of the project's trunk). You can also prevent firmware upgrades on PVRs you buy.

        The bottom-line is that we need to promote legislation to keep the features we want LEGAL.
      • I've had a Tivo for years and have nothing but good things to say about it. But if pressed, I'll tell you my only real problem. They need to build their boxes with two TV tuners. In 2005, recording one channel while watching another should be a no-brainer. Yes, Tivo tells you how to wire a workaround with a cable splitter but the way I see it, if I'm buying the box, let the box do the work. Other than that, I love the thing. I considered your 9 DIY points (among others) when I first bought my Tivo and
      • Re:I'm too lazy (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Frogbert (589961) <.frogbert. .at. .gmail.com.> on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @08:16PM (#12937294)
        Heres a good one:
        How about I'm not in North America and can't get Tivo.
      • 6)The ability to do illegal stuff- like rent DVDs, and rip them to your hard drive for permanent sorage ...
        Since you are telling people to get a product because of an illegal option does that mean you can be arrested as per a previous /. arcticle?

        http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/06/27/1 5 5212&tid=123&tid=103&tid=17 [slashdot.org]

        Tell me when the MPAA, er FBI, come though your door locking you up for breaking the DMCA.

        Personally I would have said, "the ability to do stuff that while illegal is ge
      • do you realize that I get to do almost ALL that stuff with my ReplayTV??

        I upgraded from a 40 hour to a 240 hour easily, adding another replaybox act's as a networked recorder so it's the same as adding another tuner and playback location, and adding a storage server is brain dead easy as well as ripping DVD's (on the server)

        and I do not have to mess with getting spammed silly by the zap2it poll process every 3 months so I can have for now free listings but will turn into pay for listings in the future.

        Ye
      • The number one draw for me is the ability to save to DVD. Several DVRs offer that now, and my wife and I own a Tivo with DVD-recorder, currently on extended loan to my inlaws. We liked it a lot, but there were some bugs in the implementation.

        For example, if you record two three hour shows and want to burn them to DVD, each show will be split into a two-hour segment for the first DVD and a one-hour segment for the second. You should be able to combine two one-hour second segments to make one DVD, but yo

      • MythTV also never questions your sexuality, regardless of what you watch... I can record all showings of Will & Grace, or a bunch of chick flicks, without fear of recrimination from my appliance.
      • 6)The ability to do illegal stuff- like rent DVDs, and rip them to your hard drive for permanent sorage.

        What's illegal about that?

    • Where are you getting Tivo for $5 a month? Even if you buy a year at a time it is $13...
  • Systm's Video How To (Score:5, Informative)

    by Noksagt (69097) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @06:42PM (#12936622) Homepage
    Systm had a video how-to [systm.org] of building a MythTV box. Having seen the short segment (and having assembled a PVR before it), I am surprised that the article is "Part 1."
    • There is a link to Zap2it, but wasn't there a slashdot article not too long ago about Zap2it beginning to block users due to high traffic etc. Something like changing their format would render MythTv useless? I am really curious to know if it's possible.

      • by enrico_suave (179651) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @07:28PM (#12936954) Homepage
        " There is a link to Zap2it, but wasn't there a slashdot article not too long ago about Zap2it beginning to block users due to high traffic etc. Something like changing their format would render MythTv useless? I am really curious to know if it's possible."
        Have a link?

        Unless I'm mistaken (or there was a 2nd incident), Zap2it had an open letter to the community about some certain commercial (shareware?) PVR software makers abusing the free datadirect service they were providing to freeware and OSS projects.

        In addition if someone was THAT concerned about the future of their listings could check out LxMSuites [lxmsuite.com] is offering robust EPG data tailored for MythTV as a subscription where some of the profits are re-invested in to the MythTV project.

        e.
        • Sounds like a good use for a P2P-type protocol. It could gather listing in a bittorrent-like format, wherein the first few are seeded from the main server and then share the listing with new clients.
  • by victorhooi (830021) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @06:44PM (#12936640)
    What I'm really waiting for is the O'Reilly "MythTV in a Nutshell", or "MythTv Hacks"...now that would be sweet...

    Until then, I'm stuck with consulting the massive tome of Myth links I've collected over the years, half of which are out-of-date, or unmaintained (although the official docs are a good effort). Would be nice if O'Reilly brought their professionalism to it.

    One thing I've never figured out - why aren't there more companies mass-marketting and selling these? How come say, Phillips or some other company hasn't picked this up and prettified it to sell to the end consumer who's never heard of Linux? (It's not like companies haven't taken Linux and put it inside devices to sell to the "Just Works" crowd - all that embedded stuff, for example, a lot of routers/firewall products etc.)

    Looking at the article, I'd have to say it rates 5 out of 5 - truly up to O'Reilly's normal standards - well set out, doesn't talk down to users, and pretty pictures...*in colour* (man...talk about innovation...I have *never* seen a colour O'Reilly article/book...althought since this is /., I give it 5 mins before somebody finds one, in some random alternative universe somewhere).

    • I have *never* seen a colour O'Reilly article/book...althought since this is /., I give it 5 mins before somebody finds one, in some random alternative universe somewhere).

      While I don't have a color O'Reilly book, my copy of Practical PostgreSQL, which I bought at Barnes & Noble, has the wrong spine colors. The black part at the top is pink and the large pink area is white with pink writing.

    • One thing I've never figured out - why aren't there more companies mass-marketting and selling these?

      Because then you would be competing with TiVo. I've got a myth setup going and it's fecking awesome. It also took a ton of time to get working, but that was mostly because I'm using a shitty old Compaq and had non-MythTV related setup problems.

      So even if these systems were all set up nicely by, say, Phillips, there are still tons of maintenance issues with MythTV. First off, there is the problem of chan

    • Use recommended hardware,stick a Knoppmyth CD in it and boot.

      I don't run Knoppmyth myself, I'm running MDK 10.2, but have set up several systems for family that way, as well as using it to troubleshoot MY system to see what the audio setup SHOULD be when it works.
      (Before I had it memorized)

      It tends to JUST WORK. OR NOT.
    • I think there is a business opportunity there.

      The challenge of a software-only solution is, of course, the hardware compatibility issue. So maybe it should be a $xx bundle of software and a cheapie PCI encoder card, perhaps ideally having the encoder card handle NSTC output as well as tuning, remote control, etc.

      The "commercial" aspect of this might also benefit from the ability to handle cablecard, which an OSS project seems less likely (or in much longer timeframes) to be able to use.

      Perhaps a commerc
    • why aren't there more companies mass-marketting and selling these?

      They'd be competing against the cable companies and their DVR offerings. Plus, some of the nicest things about the project come from its open-source nature (like commercial skipping, non-DRM storage formats, etc.). If a commercial entity tried to sell a product with those features, expect them to get litigated out of existence.

      Now a cable company could probably put the code (with all the nice plugins for music, weather, etc.) into th

  • This is the second article in as many days about something that that already has had 2,000 articles written about it.

    "Results 1 - 10 of about 30,400 for build mythtv box. (0.28 seconds)"

    Interestingly enough, the O'Reilly article is the #1 Google hit, and it has a publication date of 6/22. Today is 6/28. Wow, that's pretty fast!

    • Google ranks pages according to the number and "reliability" of sites that link too it. Since O'Reilly's website is already linked to by many, anything he posts to the net will be considered useful by Google. It's a great system huh? Too bad it is easy to fool.
  • Why? (Score:4, Funny)

    by jerw134 (409531) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @06:49PM (#12936685)
    The article fails to mention why Bill O'Reilly decided to build a MythTV box, and why I should care.

    Oh wait, it was the other O'Reilly? Nevermind...
  • by millennial (830897) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @06:50PM (#12936687) Journal
    I'm currently building a MythTV system on a P4 1.5GHz. I've got it running pretty well so far in Gentoo under EvilWM. The instructions I'm trying to follow are here [gentoo-wiki.com]. They're pretty complete, and even though they don't match my setup exactly, I've only run into a couple hiccups so far. It involves using Zap2It or XMLTV to download the listings, setting up your IR remote, configuring X, and more. I highly suggest using it if you want to set up your own MythTV box.
  • Read Jarod's HOWTO (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bitdamaged (177421) <mikerNO@SPAMbitdamaged.com> on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @06:52PM (#12936698) Homepage
    Everyone eelse has and it worked for me.
    http://wilsonet.com/mythtv/ [wilsonet.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @07:02PM (#12936767)
    Bill O'Reilly: Linus, haven't you... I mean... let's take it from the top here. You make a program, for lack of a better term, that enables people to use computers without paying for any software whatsoever. Isn't that considered illegal in the court system? Isn't that piracy by any modern standard?

    Linus: Well, the system is an operating system that is maintained by many people. I just make the kernel. The userland is built by academics ar...

    Bill O'Reilly: Wait a second! Wait a second! You are saying that academics build this, and trying to give it away for nothing, for the purpose of running commercial entities out of business?

    Linus: No, that's not true at all... we build software to give it away to anyb...

    Bill O'Reilly: And what's this I hear about writing software to enable pirating of television programs? You understand that we have men and women, DYING OVERSEAS, to protect our way of life, and our way of life is CAPITALISM... where's the logic in what you are doing?

    Linus: Bill, I don't think it's a matter of capitalism but rath...

    Bill O'Reilly: Awwww come on! COME ON! You're just... you know, you smug academics elites are all alike. You just want to take and take and take... and give away at the expense of the America pulbic! Well, I'll tell you -- we AIN'T buying it on the Factor. We ain't buying it one bit. And if you're smart, you'll wise up... next up on the Factor, some people claim that liberals eat live human fetuses. We'll investigate and show you how they're right and what you can do to stop it.

  • Here is a good mythTV on FreeBSD howto:

    http://mythtv.son.org/tiki-index.php [son.org]

    Personally, I use xdtv [sourceforge.net] for watching/recording tv on my FreeBSD machine.
  • heh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mad_Rain (674268) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @07:05PM (#12936794) Journal
    In my recent quest to build a MythTV box, I have discovered that building the system is not the difficult part. The challenge has been to get MythTV running smooth and stable.

    [rant mode ON]
    I think that it's a terrific project, I just wish that there was a little more consensus and standards between all these different components for the project. MythTV's compile reference system is Debian. The drivers for the HD-3000 are Red Hat/Fedora. Knoppmyth, Gentoo, Ubuntu, Mandriva, all seem to have their little quirks - can't we all just get along? ;)
    [rant mode OFF]
  • Heh, hasn't the author ever heard of a rheostat?
    He is frentic about the sound of his system but is using a case with a bunch of little buzzy fans.

    And he didn't notice that the motherboard had a fan? Ha, I can tell he researched real hard.

    But he does make a valid point, all of these nifty entertainment center type cases that I have seen use little noisy fans. For that reason I ended up going with an Antec Sonata for my mythtv box, it has 120 mm fans and a special molex connector off of the power supply tha
  • KnoppMyth (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @07:09PM (#12936824)
    For those impatient, there is KnoppMyth - a Knoppix based Live CD that runs MythTV. Link here [mysettopbox.tv] It looks good, but it doesn't run so well on my P3 450 Mhz. ;-)
  • Encryption anyone? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DaHat (247651) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @07:18PM (#12936886) Homepage
    I hate to be the barer of bad news... however more and more cable companies, at least here in the US are moving towards having most, if not all of their digital offerings encrypted.

    Buying a QAM demodulator is easy, getting it to decode an encrypted cable network is not, and such cards that are capable of this sort of work on cable are... really non existent.

    While such a PVR is nice, if you want HD programming, you are effectively limiting yourself to OTA ATSC stuff, which as we know is pretty feeble and will remain that way, just as OTA analog tv was feeble, as an encouragement to have you spend a few bucks a month for more channels through your local cable company.

    Don't even get me started on the subject of QPSK (the modulation method used for digital satellite television).
    • by Bruha (412869)
      And current federal law requires cable companies to provide at request a receiver with a firewire port that allows you to receive the encrypted video.
      • by DaHat (247651)
        I think you have confused a law with a mandate from the FCC. Just because there is law authorizing them to act in certain ways does not mean that their decrees are inherently law.

        Anyway, this mandate, you are of course referring to: FCC 03-225 [fcc.gov] around page 50. There is something not specified here though, the cable box is not required to give you over firewire the high-def stream that you are viewing, it just has to supply a stream, and it doesn't take much for such a unit to take a pristine 1080i (or bette
      • I'd really like a link to this one, I'm skeptical. The law mentions firewire?
    • Um Just record the output of your cable box. Switch channels with either a serial or IR blaster and you don't have a problem
      • That solution works but does suck ass. Who wants to go back to the days of only being able to watch the channel your recording? That's lamer then lame and defeats the whole purpose. If your multimedia/gaming/music/mythtv or whatever box is in your living room(as most are) then you've just eliminated being able to use your main TV.
        • Who wants to go back to the days of only being able to watch the channel your recording?

          Absolutely everyone who is paying for Satellite or Digital Cable.

          The only way to watch one channel and record another is if you don't need a reciever box, which means only analog cable, or broadcast.

          That's lamer then lame and defeats the whole purpose.

          If you think it defeats the purpose, you don't know what the real purpose is...

          I have analog cable, and can watch live TV while recording something else, but I pr

  • by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @07:21PM (#12936912) Homepage
    Of course not - this is Slashdot, after all.

    So far, the guy has video working, but his audio stutters and he doesn't have a remote. The article doesn't even mention which MythTV distribution he uses (or if he's rolling his own from the packages). In short, this article should have been titled "Here's Some Stuff I Thought Would Make a Low Noise Box (and I Was Even Wrong About That) That I Could Slap a Couple of Tuner Cards Into and Watch TV With (and Maybe Someday I Will Be Able To, But Until Then, I'm Keeping My Tivo Plugged In)".

    This has got to be one of the most disappointing articles I've seen on the subject. You'd do better sticking with the MythTV FAQ's.

    • in fairness to the author, it's only Part I "Hardware" I'm sure Part II and beyond will better answer your gripes (at least I hope so!)

      Besides, sometimes posting about the trials and small failures of a project is more meaningful than just saying everything worked swimmingly, i.e. his example could help steer people towards less noisey stuff and to his credit he does point people to the excellent silent pc review resource.

      *Shrug*

      e.
  • How much does this thing cost?

    The video cards are $180, +new high end processor, mother board, etc. Wouldn't this run over $2000? I don't think 2 TIVO boxes are anywhere near that expensive.

    Ya, it's a hobby, but I wouldn't call that cheap enough, I think it's still ridiculous
    • Re:Cost? (Score:3, Informative)

      by bitdamaged (177421)
      Actually you don't need that hi end a processor. All the encoding is done on the card. I just built a Myth box from scratch and it cost about $600 all told. I could have kept the cost down a bit using an older processor and a cheaper case (I got a nicer case because this is in my living room).
      • I just built a Myth box from scratch and it cost about $600 all told.

        OK, but that's still enough to pay for a TiVo and lifetime service plus enough pizza and beer to last all weekend. I love a DiY project, but I had almost as much fun hacking my TiVo when I got it 4 or 5 years ago, and it didn't cost as much.

        • Considering the pricing it probably has greater storage, dual tuners and a dvdrw drive.
          I have priced out several combinations and they run between $400-$700.
      • Actually you don't need that hi end a processor. All the encoding is done on the card.

        This makes so little sense it's not even laughable...

        First off, HDTV cards don't do encoding on the card, the signal is already digitized.

        Also, HDTV is very high resolution, so you need a pretty high-end processor to decode it.

        However, if you have a videocard that has MPEG2 decoding built-in, and it is supported under Linux (mainly only NVidia cards), THEN you can get away with a low-end CPU.

    • Its not that expensive - no where near $2000. The thing to keep in mind is that by purchasing a capture card that does encoding in hardware, the CPU does not need to be powerful. With a PVR-250 card you could even use a Pentium II if you wanted. If you want a cheaper capture card that requires the CPU to perform the encoding then you need a more expensive/moden CPU

      However, I am willing to pay a premium for an open source solution. I do not want to pay a monthly subscription or have Tivo corporation monitori

    • Yeah, but you don't have to worry about:
      • TiVo increasing fees
      • If you have a 'lifetime' subscription, the lifetime of your box ending
      • TiVo disabling even more features
  • In other news... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Brandybuck (704397) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @07:46PM (#12937101) Homepage Journal
    In other news, the Food Network shows you how to make a souffle, while it's still legal.
  • Does this work outside the US? I've tried to get a TIVO for my parents in Europe, but I could not find any, except with a Sky package.
    What are others using?
  • How do you integrate MythTV with your cable or satelite provider? Anything above a certain channel I need to use their setup box...
    • " How do you integrate MythTV with your cable or satelite provider? Anything above a certain channel I need to use their setup box...
      "

      The same exact way you would if you bought a standalone series 2 Tivo... You route the digital cable box's (or satellite box) video/audio outputs into the PC PVR's tuner/encoder card's video/audio input and setup an IR blaster which will allow MythTV et al to change the channel on your cable box (just like your existing cable remote control) at the appropriate times to recor
      • KnoppMyth has an option to capture video from a range of sources, including FIREWIRE. The included docs don't really say much about how that works. The IR Blaster route is klunky, and looks kinda tacky. Firewire is certainly a bi-directional standard. Why would the set top box not allow you to capture video via firewire, and also use firewire to send channel commands?

        This is the kind of question that we need answers to. There is limited documenation on the inner workings of many set top boxes. Hell, the ca
    • It's an excellent question. In case the other post didn't fully answer your question, check out this how-to guide. [wikibooks.org]

      Using an IR-blaster to change the channels on your set-top box may seem like a bit of a strange hack, but I'm doing it and it works great. I no longer bother watching "live TV"... I just program it to record shows, it changes the channels as needed, and I watch everything time-shifted. Works like a charm.
  • There's one little snag for those of us who would like to get more than the broadcast channels on our PVR boxen. "5C" copy prevention [dtcp.com] (so called because five companies worked on it) prevents your untrusted device from communicating over firewire (IEEE-1394) to receive your cable company's digital signal. Each 5C-compliant firewire device must negotiate with the devices they communicate with to ensure that they are operating in a trusted fashion (meaning that the signal that one device sends another must c
    • Everything the parent says is true... The situation is annoying to be sure. That having been said, I don't think the "analog hole" is such a miserable hack. I have a digital set-top box, and use the S-video output into my MythTV's capture card. The resulting video is of very high quality (better than conventional analog cable and obviously much better than over-the-air). The cable companies are going to make it hard for us to get access to the raw digital signal... but a high-quality analog signal will be e
  • "For now, the good news is that it is still legal to put together your own home-theater PC"

    The bad news are having a legal system that make the above sentence make sense.
  • "Well, since my employer has given me a blank check for this project, I'll be using the best stuff I can lay hands on.."

    Come on you jerks, how about building one on a budget, something that the little people that WORK for their money can afford.

  • I've got one brand new high performance computer for sale. I built this machine about a month ago - but have barely used it! The computer comes in a very elegant Silverstone PC case and is fully loaded with lots of great componets. $1200 (below cost) gets you all of the hardware fully assembled, tested and known to work! Right now Debian Linux is installed on the computer, but I'm sure you can very easily install Windows on it. Everything will be delivered in a shipping-safe box with all of the origina
  • Since the author didn't mention cost I checked around for the components he mentioned and here's what I came up with, not trying to get the absolute best price on anything:

    video capture card $169
    case $226
    power supply $55
    cpu $183
    mbo $140
    graphics card, couldn't find the 1Gb version, best guess $160
    optical drive $60
    memory $90
    hard drive $90
    remote $24

    grand total $1197

One good reason why computers can do more work than people is that they never have to stop and answer the phone.

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