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Television Software Media Linux

MythTV 0.19 Released 282

Posted by Zonk
from the your-sunday-project dept.
slummy writes "After much anticipation, MythTV 0.19 has been released. The release notes outline the new features and bug fixes, and the official announcement for this release is available on the MythTV site." From the release notes: "The major changes in this release [include]: LiveTV rewritten to support saving buffered content while watching. Signal Monitoring for DVB and pcHDTV recorders. Ending times may be changed while recordings are in progress. Playgroups allow for default playback options on recordings. Channel changes can be made across tuners without changing tuners manually first. New popup keyboard simplifies setup using remote. Preview schedule changes when making adjustments to recording schedules. Added ability to control MythFrontend through a telnet socket."
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MythTV 0.19 Released

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  • MythTV Usage? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hunterkll (949515) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @06:59PM (#14701744) Homepage
    I've been reading about MythTV, but was wondering, besides the bog standard DVR usage, what other usage people get out of it? Do you jack your game systems into it and record plays for later use? :) Do you play with vintage computers, and record demos? Do you have it record directly into an ipod compatable format? (can it do that?) What unique things can this system do?
    • Re:MythTV Usage? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by WTBF (893340) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @07:05PM (#14701776)
      Do you have it record directly into an ipod compatable format?

      I have mine encode certain shows ready for my iPod and they appear in iTunes as a podcast ready to put on my iPod.

      I also enjoy how it can detect adverts, which is been getting better and better in recent releases - something that is unlikely to appear in some commercial PVR software.

      The multiple frontend (and backend) ability is also great, as it means that I can record and watch a recording as someone else as watching something elsewhere in the house.
      • Same in Windows (Score:2, Interesting)

        by voxel (70407)
        I enjoy all of the above, but in Windows, using SageTV. (sagetv.com)

        I also enjoy things like a real time-line progress bar w/ commercial markers.

        Stability with ATI HDTV Wonder, and AverMedia A180 HDTV Tuners...

        WebUI, Adskip, DVD rip, Weather, Full UI mods/skins, client/server, awsome HDTV support, and kick-ass driver support for every tuner card out there (No PVR250 needed).

        All for the cost of some $$$.. Well worth it to me.
      • by evilviper (135110) on Monday February 13, 2006 @01:46AM (#14703682) Journal
        it means that I can record and watch a recording as someone else as watching something elsewhere

        Wow... Just, wow.

        Can anyone decipher that?
    • Re:MythTV Usage? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by zCyl (14362) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @07:37PM (#14701904)
      Do you jack your game systems into it and record plays for later use? :)

      With most TV capture cards, you wouldn't want to actually play the games through the capture card, since there is an added delay of around a second to a few seconds. For live TV this is not important, but that'd really mess with a gaming experience. But if you split the signal, play off of a TV, and route the spare signal through the capture card for recording, then you could do this.

      What unique things can this system do?

      One feature which I think is underappreciated is the networking ability. MythTV is split into a backend and a frontend, and multiple frontends can be connected to the backend at a time (although the number of sessions actively watching live tv is limited by the number of capture cards, a large number can watch recorded shows). You can even run MythTV via an ssh tunnel if you route port 3306 (for mysql) and port 6543 (for mythtv) through ssh. This means you can sit a server at home for your primary TV with a single capture card, and then watch recordings or live cable TV securely from any linux machine (laptop or desktop) that you have on a good network connection.

      This is a convenient way to be able to watch different shows in different parts of the house without splitting the cable line or buying a lot of TVs, and also a convenient way to get access to cable TV in places that have good network connectivity, but no cable line or TV.

      That's not a bad featureset for only requiring a $50 capture card and some time to set up MythTV.
    • I don't have TV hooked into mine (no tuner card yet). I have a digital camera and we have tons of video and pictures of my kids. We also rip DVDs to the disk and play them later, and play mp3's. We're planning on getting a tuner card, so we'll also record TV. Plus, then we'll hook the camera into it and use MythPhone as a video phone.
      We've had the system for only about 2 months, but we're finding it very fun and useful. It's definitely something we're going to keep, even without DVR capabilities.
    • Re:MythTV Usage? (Score:2, Informative)

      It does a bunch of things, not all unique:
      - Split frontend/backend to spread the load around. Multiple backends can be slaved together for a lot of recording cards and storage, and lighter frontend-only machines can be used just for viewing. Or do both on one machine.
      - Tivo-like recording tools, live tv pause/rewind, and commercial skip
      - Play and rip DVD's, play video files (avi, mpg, wmv, etc)
      - Play CD's and online music in various formats, as well as rip music to various formats
      - Obligatory picture v

      • Setup, schmetup. With Knoppmyth it's dead easy, and there's a new release just around the corner. Cecil has been hard at working killing bugs in preparation for this very Myth release. Head over to mysettopbox.tv and read more.
    • Re:MythTV Usage? (Score:3, Informative)

      by acid_zebra (552109)
      I've been using it for ~ ayear now, it's permanently got around 3 months of recorded TV on it (which gets scanned for commercial breaks, cut up, and then converted to xvid to save space), I use it (of course) to watch live TV (the 'pause' and tv guide functions rule) , it's got all my downloaded movies/series on it (it uses RSS+bittorrent to get new stuff automatically), it's got and plays my MAME and SNES rom collection, it indexes and plays my MP3 collection (from a network share on a different comp).

      It a
  • Since I am stuck with lousy Scientific Atlanta boxes from Comcast, I thought this was the most exciting new feature:

    Added firewire and external channel changing support for SA3250HD

  • by Plug (14127) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @07:01PM (#14701753) Homepage
    Ubuntu Breezy packages for MythTV can be found at http://deb.thehunter.ws/ [thehunter.ws]. Huge thanks to those Drunken Caffeinated Monkeys.
    • This would seem to be a bad idea -- installing .debs from someplace random... YMMV.
      • Yep, around about as stupid as installing .tar.gzs from someplace random [mythtv.org]. Besides, you can always download the source files and build the .debs yourself after satisfying yourself that it is indeed the same source code.
      • And yet that is what most Debian Stable and Ubuntu users do for new third-party products.

        If you want PHP5 for Debian, you need to download it from some unofficial Debian site. Some people know the site and trust the packages. To me, it's a "Random site".

        This is a very common practice.
    • It is highly recommended if you are using the Nvidia binary VGA drivers that you use version 7676 or earlier as later revisions have serious problems with features like XvMC and OpenGL sync which can result in poor performance or lockups.

      Will the breezy package automatically check for that?
  • MythTV just keeps getting better and better. I can't wait until .19 (presumably) gets folded into knoppmyth (yeah I know, just build it from scratch using one of the excellent guides like Jarrod's Fedora Core howto... but knoppmyth does make it so easy...)

    e.
  • Windows? (Score:3, Funny)

    by hunterkll (949515) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @07:07PM (#14701778) Homepage
    I've looked, but they seem to miss this important feature annoucement, or does it just lack? Does it run on windows?
    • There is a .Net client that has very limited functionality that runs on windows, but the proper mythtv stuff itself doesn't.

      However, if you want a Mythtv box I would really reccomend dedicating it to mythtv and so the operating system is fairly unimportant as long as it will run mythtv.
      • Of course, you can share the recordings with Winblows boxes via Samba. There's even a script included to make human-friendly filenames for the shows.
        • MythstreamTV [sourceforge.net] allows you to stream recorded shows to Windows PCs.

          It's not quite as good as watching it directly on your MythTV box but it's decent.
        • Of course, you can share the recordings with Winblows boxes via Samba. There's even a script included to make human-friendly filenames for the shows.

          There's also a shell extension that looks up filenames in the MythTV database and makes show metadata available to Explorer in the details view. It's part of DSMyth [sourceforge.net] (which also includes DirectShow filters for the MPEG-4 recordings MythTV can create, but I don't use that part of it since all of my captures are MPEG-2).

      • There is a .Net client that has very limited functionality that runs on windows, but the proper mythtv stuff itself doesn't.

        The WinMyth frontend you refer to also seems to fail or crash for a lot of people who try it. It's still fairly solidly in the developmental stage.
    • I've looked, but they seem to miss this important feature annoucement, or does it just lack? Does it run on windows?

      I know the post was meant as a joke. :) But I really do think there would be some value in having a Windows mythfrontend available, if not a backend. Unfortunately, all that is available now is WinMyth [sourceforge.net]. And that doesn't work in most cases.

      Part of the problem IMHO, is the absolute lack of documentation [thinkhole.org] for the MythTV protocol.

    • Re:Windows? (Score:3, Informative)

      by ImaLamer (260199)
      A good alternative for Windows systems is GB-PVR:

      http://www.gbpvr.com/ [gbpvr.com]

      It is free, as in beer, and runs great on XP, 2000 and even Media Center (2004 & 2005). I've been using it on a Windows 2000 system with great success (the mainboard sucks and most features aren't supported in Linux, damn HP!). The PC has a 900 Mhz Celeron, 192 MB of RAM and the WinTV-PVR 500 (dual tuner) - works great, I watch a show while it records two with no problems.
    • This release includes a lot of enhancements, even though it doesn't look like it from first glance at the release notes. MythTV 0.19 can save cut commercials from MPEG2 video streams without transcoding. This saves you disk space. It also has many bugs fixed, resulting in better compatibility with video hardware. (some framegrabbers that wouldn't work before work now) Now, when you watch live TV, shows are automatically recorded. If you want to keep (rather than have them expire) them after you are do
    • The backend most likely will never run on Windows, but last I recall the frontend was capable of compiling on Windows given the right environment setup (the UI is QT based, so you need to compile against QT for Windows). Not sure if there are binaries or if this is even the case anymore, I haven't been on the mailing list for over a year.
  • MythTV is a bitch to configure.

    I have to lspci, then spend weeks messing around with mythtv-config and mythfrontend to try and get it to receive TV. I've done this with three different cards, all of which are supposed to work with MythTV and still the dumb program fails to be able to do the most basic things, such as let me change channel, or use more than one card at a time, or be able to use an NTSC/ATSC card in anything other than NTSC mode.

    It's not like I'm uneducated in these things. I was a principle
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I have no problem getting it configured to run with my WinTV PVR USB2 device which is not supposed to run with it at all. I can watch and decode DVD without a problem. I am not *uber* geek like most people claim to be on this site. However, with Jarrod's howto and Fedora 4 I was able to get this up and running in less then a half day. I used to be a die hard TIVO fanatic but now I don't know how I got by without MythTV plus now I have a reason to have a Fedora server at home that I can add stuff to it.

      I jus
    • I can't comment about your other complaints, since I don't use Myth as a PVR (we don't watch TV). But these two make no sense:

      It would be nice if it could actually watch or import DVDs, like it claims it can. WatchDVD drops out after the first intro section, playing only 1 section.

      Huh? You do realize that "Watch DVD" just runs mplayer, right? And mplayer works just fine. There is something seriously wrong with your setup.

      Import DVD does nothing. Yes I did install the CSS library.

      Did you also i

    • by croddy (659025) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @08:02PM (#14702033)
      Are you serious? That doesn't even remotely describe my experience with MythTV. Everything worked smoothly right out of the box -- spending a 5-10 minutes reading the install documentation *can* be very helpful.

      There's a good reason your TV gets by without any metadata about the channels it's receiving -- it doesn't have any functionality which makes use of that metadata. It doesn't have to schedule recordings or resolve conflicts. It just has to tune what you tell it to tune, and light up your CRT with the signal.

      All that aside, it's very rude for you to criticize something that people are writing and giving away freely on their own time and their own dime. Lots of people have used it successfully. If it doesn't work for you, track down the bugs and either report them or patch them. Vague, general complaints about the developers' priorities are completely out of line.

      • by ajs (35943) <ajs@noSPam.ajs.com> on Sunday February 12, 2006 @09:09PM (#14702383) Homepage Journal
        If it were rude to critisize open source, then Slashdot would be Miss Manners' nemesis. Fortunately, such criticism is part of the process, and has been since at least when I got involved, back in '88.

        If you work on something like MythTV, you expect a ton of BWCing, but not all of it is bad. Often, the complaints of users demonstrate those areas that your software is truly lacking. Of course, detailed bug reports are ALWAYS more helpful, but if all the brain power you can spare is that requried for a rant... well, don't think you're the first.
    • You might consider GB-PVR [gbpvr.com]. Windows-based, easy to set up, and free (though not open-source). The software's skins are lacking, so if the wife-acceptance factor is critical, that might hurt. All in all, I've been happy with it. There are some significant problems (priority lists are hard to set up, automatically interrupts live recording to start a scheduled recording without prompting you...something that always seems to happen during important live events like the Super Bowl, etc...) but it's certainly goo
    • by rtos (179649) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @09:03PM (#14702354) Homepage
      MythTV is a bitch to configure.

      Actually, I found that MythTV itself was rather easy to configure. What was hard was all of the subsystems required by MythTV.

      For example, on a fresh Gentoo install, I have to get audio working (ALSA or OSS), and then video (Xorg, nvidia drivers, tv-out, etc.) and then get the capture/tuner card working (bttv, ivtv, etc.). And get them all working nicely together...

      Once I had all that done, MythTV was a snap to configure and have up and running.

      From experience I've found that when building a new MythTV, it's best to test/debug each subsystem as you go along.... most times the problem you are having has nothing to do with "MythTV" per se.

      • I found that MythTV itself was rather easy to configure. What was hard was all of the subsystems required by MythTV.

        And this, dear reader, is why hardly anyone uses MythTV. Who has time to figure out that subsystems are involved, let alone configure them?!

        • And this, dear reader, is why hardly anyone uses MythTV. Who has time to figure out that subsystems are involved, let alone configure them?!

          And this, dear reader, is why hardly anyone plays Windows games. Who has time to figure out that subsystems are involved, let alone configure them?!

          See how equally ridiculous it sounds the other way around? Video, sound, etc. are all BASIC parts of the OS.
        • Who has time to figure out that subsystems are involved, let alone configure them?!

          Who needs to? That sort of work is what computers are for. To install MythTV, just use Debian (or a derivative), add the Marillat repository to your sources.list and then apt-get install the Myth components you want. Apt will work out the dependencies and dpkg will configure it for you.

          Or, even easier, just download a knoppmyth ISO and install that.

    • It would be nice if it could actually watch or import DVDs, like it claims it can. WatchDVD drops out after the first intro section, playing only 1 section. Import DVD does nothing. Yes I did install the CSS library. It did not help


      I had the same problem on my box since Mplayer doesn't support menus on dvds at all. Install Xine and then change your Watch DVD to call
      xine -pfhq --no-splash dvd://
      instead.
      It works great AND Xine let's you fastforward/skip those obnoxious FBI messages at the start of DVDs.
    • So... Which closed source competitor do you work for now? That's about the only reason I can see for spouting nonsense like you have.

      I have to lspci, then spend weeks messing around with mythtv-config and mythfrontend to try and get it to receive TV
      If you have a properly configured VFL, ivtv or DVB card it's as simple as selecting the card type from a drop down list.

      It's not like I'm uneducated in these things. I was a principle engineer on a DVB set top box in the past.I do have a clue.
      So to break

    • by nmos (25822) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @09:33PM (#14702526)
      You really should consider reading the setup guide. If you were running incompatable hardware then I could see how it would be difficult but otherwise it's really pretty easy. In short, if it's taking you weeks with supported hardware then you really need to stop thinking you already know it all and try just following the instructions.
    • If you don't enjoy spending hours setting up a distro and installing MythTV, use a prerolled PVR distro like KnoppMyth [mysettopbox.tv]. KnoppMyth is integrated with the MythTV development process and includes current drivers for many tuner cards that aren't supported in the default kernel. It will also download and install NVidia drivers, basically everything except libdvdcss (for obvious reasons; but you can download and compile it yourself easily.)

      The KnoppMyth installer assumes you're installing to an IDE hard drive tho
  • MythTV legal? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Sunday February 12, 2006 @07:14PM (#14701812)
    I'm not trolling or spreading FUD, but what is MythTV's legal status in regards to HD? I mean, if I was to consider such a solution (when I get a new Mac) over something like EyeTV, will it do broadcast flags if and when they come around?
    • It's really up to your capture hardware to worry about the broadcast flag. I don't think Myth knows or cares.

  • by renehollan (138013) <rhollan.clearwire@net> on Sunday February 12, 2006 @07:49PM (#14701977) Homepage Journal
    I've ben putting together a mythfrontend on a Via nano-ITX board in a Silverstone LC08 case.

    What attracted me to this platform was the CN400 H/W MPEG2 decoder chip it includes that is capable of deciding HD MPEG2 resolutions (up to 1080i) -- xine plays 1080i on this platform with the 1.0 GHz CPU about 30% idle.

    Of course, this is fairly bleeding edge, and there are the occasional dropped frames. Support for the CN400 comes from the openchrome [openchrome.org] project, which also supports dri/drm, and xine hooks for the resulting xxmc accelleration that takes advantage of the CN400.

    It isn't quite fanless -- there is a processor fansink that puts out around 14 dbA. I'm told the 800 Mhz version of the same mobo is fanless, and once I get this stable, will likely spend the $$$ to try one.

    • by mybecq (131456) on Monday February 13, 2006 @12:16AM (#14703332)
      xine plays 1080i on this platform with the 1.0 GHz CPU about 30% idle

      If you use the VIA supplied driver (comes in binary and re-compilable versions), you'll get about ~25-30% usage on the (800MHz) SP8000E.

      I have mythweb setup to run VeMP [sourceforge.net] (VIA's enhanced mplayer) for playback, and never see dropped frames on any HD content.

      It would be GREAT if VIA supported MythTV like they do the VeMP and ViaeXP [sourceforge.net] players. I think this would really help them get those little motherboards to sell. (A native HDTV output would help as well.)

      I think the main factor in getting a fanless system is the available convection airflow -- without that the system won't stay cool.
      • I generally avoid binary-only drivers.

        Also, I've read (but not verified) that the via drivers are only supported on older kernels. So, I've been following openchrome with interest.

        Finally, I haven't ruled out other issues related to the dropped frames -- remember I'm running a full FC3 right now, with all the servers that are installed by default. Clearly, that needs to change. Until it does, I'm not to harsh on the video drivers for the odd dropped frame (usb traffic, in particular, appears to muck thi

    • What attracted me to this platform was the CN400 H/W MPEG2 decoder chip it includes that is capable of deciding HD MPEG2 resolutions (up to 1080i) -- xine plays 1080i on this platform with the 1.0 GHz CPU about 30% idle.

      Many ATI/NVidia/Intel videocards can do hardware MPEG-1/2 decoding. I have such a card, and I NEVER use it. You can't do any postprocessing, deinterlacing, inverse telecine, noise removal, etc. Plus, it's completely useless for MPEG-4, WMV3 (aka VC-1, aka WMV9), H.264, etc., which is the

      • Sour grapes, perhaps?

        Many ATI/NVidia/Intel videocards can do hardware MPEG-1/2 decoding. I have such a card, and I NEVER use it. You can't do any postprocessing, deinterlacing, inverse telecine, noise removal, etc.

        Hmm. xine -xvmc and deinterlacing works just fine. The openchrome drivers apparently route the decoded video back for further processing, rather than just feed the chip's display engine, though it wouldn't surprise me if this were possible.

        I would STRONGLY recomend staying the hell away from

        • And for H/W MPEG2 decoding to HD resolutions...?

          I think you lost me. With a reasonbly fast CPU, decoding in software (MPlayer, Xine, VLC, ffplay, etc) is FASTER than XVMC, including higher resolutions like 1080.

          MPEG-2 decoding takes practically no time, it's displaying it that uses up CPU cycles, and display with eg. OpenGL or even XV will be quite a bit faster.

          And, as I said, you aren't just stuck with MPEG-2. You can playback any video codec. Otherwise, you'll be waiting for a week to watch your movie,

          • I think you lost me. With a reasonbly fast CPU, decoding in software (MPlayer, Xine, VLC, ffplay, etc) is FASTER than XVMC, including higher resolutions like 1080.

            Hmm.

            Last time I checked, one needed around a 2.5 GHz P4 to decode 1080i MPEG2 in software.

            On my nanoITX mobo, xine -V xvmc runs rings around stock xine.

  • DVB Subtitles (Score:4, Interesting)

    by labratuk (204918) on Sunday February 12, 2006 @08:21PM (#14702144)
    Now that DVB subtitles are available, can you imagine OCRing the (image based) subtitles, saving them into the recorded stream and having full-text-searchable tv programmes?
  • CableCard Support (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hoyty (35485)
    I know the likelyhood of official drivers for Cable Card PC hardware on linux being released are about zero. Just curious if anyone has any thoughts on the possibility of reverse engineering drivers and hacking them in to MythTV? Hopefully once the hardware gets out there even in pre-built vista machines there will be some more interesting stuff to happen.
  • M$ added DVD changer support in their MCE rollup update. Yet mythtv still lacks this.

    I had a box built and wanted to use it to rip all my dvd's to some massive storage but $$$ became an issue after figuring how much space I actually needed on the hard drives. DVD Changers are much more economic just a little slower.
    • Seems like you could do something with mythdvd and lirc...
      Would still have to have removable media support etc.

      I was curious about what a DVD changer cost, and Google found this...
      "http://www.compuplus.com/i-Sony-400-Disc-DVD-Chan ger-Player-DVP-CX985V-1005242~refer-froogle.html"

      For $279, seems almost too good to be true.

      Or is that what you had in mind?
  • I've played around a few times with building a Mythbox for this sort of thing. The two things stopping me are mainly that I can't decide on a capture card and finding a usable remote that's not insanely overpriced (Preferably USB. I don't want to have to solder up a serial IR receiver or whatever LIRC needed the last time I looked). Any suggestions? I don't care about HD content or any of that crap, just basic cable input, which the HD-3000 [pchdtv.com] I looked at for "futureproofing" doesn't seem able to handle (or at
    • Re:Hardware? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by modemboy (233342) on Monday February 13, 2006 @01:32AM (#14703630)
      For a cable capture card I would suggest a hauppauge pvr-150 non mce. They can be had for around $70 (got mine from buy.com) in the non mce version (means no remote). It is a hardware capture card so no system load, good quality too.

      For input I found the easiest way to go is to buy an infared keyboard mouse combo (liteon makes a nice one for around $30) and then also buy an ir learning remote of your choosing (as cheap as $20, Sony's are easy to setup). Then you use the IR keyboard to teach the remote whatever key presses you want to map to each button. Very easy to setup and infinetly customizeable without any pesky config files. Plus then you have a wireless keyboard handy for when you need to hack.

      KnoppMyth is the best!!
      • For input I found the easiest way to go is to buy an infared keyboard mouse combo (liteon makes a nice one for around $30) and then also buy an ir learning remote of your choosing (as cheap as $20, Sony's are easy to setup). Then you use the IR keyboard to teach the remote whatever key presses you want to map to each button. Very easy to setup and infinetly customizeable without any pesky config files. Plus then you have a wireless keyboard handy for when you need to hack

        That is easily the most clever solut
        • Yup, all 1 key inputs for all functions afaik.
          The only limitation is that key repeat doesn't work for me (as in I have to press the down key over and over to get through a list rather than holding it down) but I believe that has to do with the way I capture the ir codes/programmed the remote, I think I could get it working with some more fiddling but at this point I don't care, it works great for my purposes.

          No kidding about the ease of use, I see people banging their heads agains lirc tring to get these ch
    • I have a Hauppage PVR-350 which works great with myth AND comes with a perfectly supported remote.
  • by Schlaegel (28073) on Monday February 13, 2006 @02:13AM (#14703776)
    I have MythTV running in the background of my primary system. Using the hardware accelerated encode/decode/tvout of the Hauppauge WinTV-PVR 350 I can watch, pause, ff, and rw live and recorded television with little impact upon my system (doesn't even register in system monitor or top). I use a separate instance of the Xserver only displays on of the tvout of the 350 and only receives input from the remote of 350.

    Before I took the plunge and set up MythTV the process confused me. There is so much talk of a MythTV frontend system and a backend system, that I was unsure if it was possible to run both parts of MythTV on the same system. I found that with a hardware accelerated card, both the frontend and the backend can be run in the background with little impact upon anything else. I do wish it didn't require MySql to save on ram usage.

    Now I do write, email, program, and browse on my system on the primary head, while my wife skips commercials on the television using the remote! Don't be afraid to try it, my system isn't a speed daemon and isn't even in the same room as my television. I just connect the system and television with some long high quality coax.

    Thank you MythTV developers!
  • by Yeechang Lee (3429) <ylee@pobox.com> on Monday February 13, 2006 @03:29AM (#14704099) Homepage
    I've been running MythTV for about two months, and have previously posted [slashdot.org] on my experience. I've been 100% Unix at home for ten years last month and my MythTV box is one of three Linux boxes plus one OS X box at home.

    My experience with MythTV is can be summed up in the statement "It's great, but . . ."

    Great:
    * Support for recording and playing back HDTV broadcast feeds from FireWire (cable box) and MPEG-2 capture card (over-the-air) sources.

    But . . .
    * FireWire input is generally reliable, but nodes sometimes mysteriously and unpredictably move around based on when and how the cable box, mythbackend daemon, and the MythTV box get started and restarted. (I don't think this is a MythTV problem, but more to do with the current state of the Linux FireWire libraries plus some unreliability on the part of the very common Motorola DCT-6200.)
    * MythTV's current state of over-the-air channel detection and setup is so, so horribly bad as to be nearly unusable. It's still not completely clear to me how the combination of Zap2It's program data and mythtv-setup's transport scanning are to work together. Anyone setting up over-the-air reception is going to run into the utterly baffling "missing PIDs" issue. Despite this I previously had, after enormous amounts of grief and multiple tries, three over-the-air HDTV channels working and working well; then all of a sudden one stopped working despite signal locks and an unchanged antenna orientation. Right now, with a rebuilt box, I only have one channel working right.

    Great:
    * Very, very nice user interface (I really like the Retro theme and Isthmus OSD) with tons of great features.

    But . . .
    * Holes in the most obvious places. For example, I have two HDTV cable boxes and the aforementioned over-the-air capture card. Let's say cable box #1 can't be used at the moment because fo the aforementioned wandering-node issue or because the preset channel is not broadcasting due to an outage. There's no way to, in Live TV mode, skip that tuner and go on to the others; instead, mythfrontend bounces me right back to the menu (if it doesn't crash completely). If the over-the-air card can't lock into the channel it's preset to, mythfrontend again bounces me right back to the menu or crashes instead of letting me instead try a channel that is working.

    So on and so forth. (By the way, I really dislike the way its fans tend to push KnoppMyth as some kind of all-in-one, turnkey MythTV box-on-a-CD for dummies. It's not, unless you want to call lack of support for SATA drives in the install script and USB keyboards and mice a "feature" (unless things have improved since 5A26), and portraying it this way simply hurts the MythTV cause.)

    Don't get me wrong; I still *really* like MythTV, am very happy with what I can do with it and how I've set up my little quasi-home theater setup, and it's quite possible 0.19 has taken care of some of the more glaring issues. But it's labeled 0.19 *for a reason*. Everything I wrote in my previous posting still holds, for better or for worse.
  • Looking for Distros (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Kernull (580554)
    On the subject of MythTV, I have been looking into setting up a PC Multimedia Center. Does anyone know a list of distros on this topic? Some distros I have found are:

    http://www.geexbox.org/en/ [geexbox.org]
    http://mysettopbox.tv/knoppmyth.html [mysettopbox.tv]
    http://www.davedina.org/content/ [davedina.org] (this looks promising, but is still in infancy stages)

    Ideally, I am looking for a distro that I can set up in my living room, and, giving non-linux-savvy-guests a mouse/keyboard they can navigate their way to video games (ROMS), videos or TV.
    I have b

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