Posts Tagged ‘MythTV’

Slow MythTV Deletes (Solved!)

November 10th, 2008 1 comment

Less than an hour after I post my latest progress as “Doesn’t make much difference”, I’ve managed to fix the problem (Well, it works for me at least).

The secret was written in a post that I linked to in my very first post about this problem. I can’t believe that I didn’t pay it any attention before.

Basically, all you need to do is to run “mythfilldatabase” without any parameters. As well as retrieving new data, it resets the database.

Now this, actually, makes sense to me. I guess the reason that I never encountered this before is that I always used to use the Radio Times grabber for downloading my programme listings, however the other year I switched to EPG (electronic programme guide). That means that I don’t run mythfilldatabase on a regular schedule.

And therefore, that means that I’m not downloading data, and cleansing the database, as much as I should be! I seem to remember something about a few thousand items being marked for something, as it scrolled up the screen. I subsequently ran it again just to check, and this time it showed zero for all items.

I since tested it, and I was able to delete around 10 different programmes, and still didn’t receive any lag in deletions. That’s going to way in around the 15 to 20GB range. That’s pretty damn good, if you ask me.

All I need to make sure is that mythfilldatabase didn’t cock anything up, and then somehow schedule it to run frequently. More than once a year I guess would be a bonus….

Categories: MythTV Tags: ,

MythTV Slow Deletes (Still)

November 10th, 2008 No comments

Having spent bloody ages explaining, and then doing, the defragmentation of a Linux hard drive partition, I’m still experiencing very slow delete times from my MythTV media centre.

To make matters worse, I now get a time out on a lot of different interactions with the box, for example when I escape out of watching a tv programme. The screen will go black and the two minutes later I see a popup telling me the connection to the master backend has ‘gone away’.

I have now done an optimzation on the database through several methods and it does not appear to make life any better. It does appear to make a difference for a while but it soon returns to normal behaviour. Admittedly though I was planning on doing an ‘OPTIMIZE TABLE’ for every table in the database and so far I have only done it on the ‘program’ table.

One tool I did use was ‘myisamcheck –analyze –check-only-changed –quick –sort-index *.MYI’ in /var/lib/mysql/mythconverg

That seemed to spend sometime checking several tables, including ‘program’.

M planning on running a full optimize when I get the chance, but I’m also wondering what else could be going on which would cause this problem. Might need to consult ‘top’!

Categories: MythTV Tags: ,

This is ridiculous

April 13th, 2006 No comments

OK, I don’t get this guys logic at all.

He’s building his own projector rig for his computer (I’m guessing that he wants to do the whole media centre thing, or may be he just wants to looks at things just that little bit bigger – I don’t know, it’s not the issue though).

So, he decides to take the hard disks out of his case, put them on the floor, and cool them using 4 fans with LEDs on them. He then posts instructions on how to create a switch to turn the lights off.

Why? I mean, why didn’t he just buy fans with no lights on in the first place! It would have been cheaper, plus you’ve made your “cool looking rig” look rubbish by having a huge switch box taped to your desk with loads of leads coming down!

And besides, does a hard disk generate that much heat? To me, it doesn’t really, and if it does, then if it’s outside the case, then it probably doesn’t need cooling, but at most 1 fan should do it!

And I don’t get me started on the whole case mod thing – it’s a collection of Chavs making their computers look “cool” by putting stupid lights on them and making them insanely cold, which won’t affect the performance that much. All the Chavs have done is migrate the “lets de-badge my Saxo and put a skirt and a big exhaust on it – it’ll make it go faster” ethos to their computers!

Categories: Uncategorised Tags: , ,

New Kernel!

December 10th, 2005 No comments

I’ve just updated the Kernel version on my MythTV box to 2.6.14, from my distro’s default 2.6.11.

I did actually have 2.6.13 installed, but I found that the DVB support had not been compiled in, unlike the stock Fedora Core 4 2.6.11 kernel, so I went back to the older version.

Having just updated to the latest version, I’ve found that it’s now suitably configure to work with DVB TV cards, so I’m sticking with the new version!

What I need to do now, is get LIRC working properly so that I can use the full range of keys on my remote control.

In researching the above though, I discovered a good reason why Fedora Core 4 doesn’t seem to work with Samba and Mac OS X – it’s all detailed here.

Categories: Uncategorised Tags: , ,

Somethings Still Surprise Me

October 12th, 2005 No comments

Something surprised me last night, to the point that it made me drop open my mouth, and then start laughing in amazement. This doesn’t happen very much anymore, especially when dealing with computers – even though the outcome may not be known to me, I can usually hazard a guess at the outcome, or determine an informed estimate. It’s nice to see that I’m yet to see everything this world has to offer me.

Last night I inserted a movie DVD into my MythTV media centre. I didn’t expect it work, as I had not configured anything, and I wasn’t sure whether I needed DeCSS, it runs Linux which isn’t supposed to support movie DVDs, etc, etc.

So, I went to the “Optical Discs” menu, selected “Play DVD”. It worked. Straight away. Wonderfully. Without error. I was amazed. Seriously amazed.

So it is now that I raise my hat, and pay tribute to those people who did this. You amaze me with your dedication, generousity (let’s not forget that this is all “Free” – in both senses of the word), ingenuity and talent. Bravo.

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“Cain” Parts List – Motherboard, CPU and Memory

August 13th, 2005 No comments

To decide on these pieces, I really stuck to a simple principle: The machine needs to be fast – it’s encoding and decoding video plus doing everything else a computer does – so I needed a fast CPU and lots of RAM. I also needed consider the form factor to fit into the case that I had chosen – so it had to be MiniATX.

With that in mind, I’ve gone with an Athlon XP3200+ (Socket A – mainly because they are cheap), and 1GB of RAM from Crucial Memory. To select this, I looked for a motherboard which supported everything that I wanted (400 MHz Front Side Bus, USB, SATA Hard Disk, Onboard LAN and Sound, plus more!) and matched it to a CPU speed, therefore I went for the Gigabyte GA-7VM400AM-RZ, and an AMD Athlon XP3200+ (Barton architecture).

To select the RAM, I went to the Crucial Website, and used their memory selector, which found exactly the right type of RAM that I wanted.

The motherboard can support up to 2GB of RAM, in 2 x 1GB sticks, but I went for 1 x 1GB which gives me the ability to upgrade it at a later date.

When the motherboard was delivered, I got a little worried as the port layout on the back of my case didn’t match the port layout that was on the motherboard. Fortunately, the back plate on the case was removable, and the Gigabyte had provided a replace panel which fit perfectly (although the replacement panel was a bit thin and cheap feeling – this I’m not too worried about as it isn’t really going to be seen). This was a bit of luck that it happened like this, so I really should urge you to check out the port layouts of both the case and the motherboard when purchasing – it will save a lot of worry (trust me!)

Categories: Uncategorised Tags: ,

My Experiences With

August 13th, 2005 No comments

Recently, when I posted a list of parts on line for my MythTV project, most of my components had come from and I said that I had found them the cheapest place to buy from. While that still seems to be the case, I now feel that I should issue a very big warning, if you are planning to order from them.

Although I’ve spoken to several people who have used them for years and have never had a problem with them, on my very first order from them
(i.e. the parts for my MythTV system), they screwed up so incredibly badly that I have a very large reluctance to order from them ever again.

Having paid extra for items to be delivered before the end of the week, only one (out of 14) items arrived by this time, and even then it was only a 22 pence floppy disk cable (I had nothing to plug into either end!). I then got another delivery on the following Monday, but this had an item missing. When I complained I was told it could take 3 days to investigate. Once this had happened, I was told it had been dispatched and therefore they would not send out another. I then complained again, they agreed to send another one out (but only because I had checked with the delivery company that there was only one box in the delivery). More than two weeks after I had paid to have all my items delivered by, I am still without one component (the CPU fan, so I can’t even turn my newly built PC on!). There is now also a
question as to whether they have charged me the £480, for my order, twice!

I managed to find the name and business address of their managing directors, and then wrote them a letter. About a week later I got a reply, but only on their website – they did not have the courtesy to write a letter in reply, or to even send me an email (which would have been bad enough) – all I got was an “eNote” on their website.

I would advise anyone who is thinking from ordering from them to have a good hard think – I would personally recommend spending a couple more quid to get better service.

Please don’t think that I am alone in my problems with EBuyer – if you do a search for them on the Internet, there a large numbers of people that have had problems with delivery
and being overcharged.

Categories: Uncategorised Tags: ,

“Cain” Parts List – The Case

July 28th, 2005 No comments

OK, so starting the parts list for “Cain”, we have the case.

My requirements for the case were fairly restrictive – it needed to look like it fitted in with all my other AV stuff (which is silver – although the colour didn’t matter too much), and because of the cabinet where it was going to be housed, it needed to be no higher than 15cm (about 6 inches).

This severely limited me as to what I could buy. I did find some really nice looking cases, but most of the time they were either:

  1. Really expensive (£300+)
  2. Not available in the UK
  3. Had a sideways riser card for expansion (which limited the amount of cards that I could place in the system)
  4. All of the above

I was originally planning on getting a full ATX case, but I soon realised that I was limiting myself too much, and so starting looking at MiniATX cases.

I eventually found the “Enlight 7473”, which looks like two DVD players stacked on top of each other, looked decent, was silver (added bonus!), was reasonably priced, and is just under 15cm high!

I found a set of reviews for the case, and the reaction was (on the whole) generally really good. One post did put my mind at rest by saying that although the pictures make it look plasticky, the real product is a lot better.

Using Froogle, I found the cheapest place to buy the case from, but then realised the site looked a bit dodgy, so eventually bought it from SpecialTech (Product Page).

My advice for case buying:
Go for something that you like the look of – unless you buy a really cheap case, the quality isn’t going to be too bad, and it is not as if you are going to be moving it too often anyway.

Categories: Uncategorised Tags: ,

“Cain” Parts List

July 28th, 2005 No comments

As promised I have uploaded a components list for Cain, my media centre pc that I am building, and every so often, I will give details of why I opted for each component.

I have to say now, that I am no way connected (or endorsing) – All but one of the components (the case) has been ordered from there, and the reason being the price. I did shop around at, and, but I always found that eBuyer was always cheaper. There is also a slight hidden cost when you shop around – if you order from two sites, don’t forget that you are paying for two lots of postage, which could tip the balance in the direction of a more expensive component – think before you order!

Anyway, the Excel file is here, and I have placed a price next to each item. Some of the items are estimated (the values highlighted in orange), and some I have since realised that I may not need to buy (highlighted in green). In the “Actual Cost” sheet, you can see how much each item actually cost me, compared to the planned cost (e.g. once you include delivery, etc), and therefore the difference from my planned budget (this sheet is no way near complete, as I have not had all my deliveries yet!).

If you are interested, have a look through, and see if any of it helps you in your decisions! (My apologies, but Excel seems to want to save it as a 5.4MB file! Jesus!)

Categories: Uncategorised Tags: ,

“Cain” Components

July 28th, 2005 No comments

I should really update you on my media centre PC. Last weekend, I decided on the main components that I wanted in my new MythTV box (called “Cain”), and finalised everything on Monday night.

I then went and ordered everything, which practically melted my credit card.

I’ll provide a full list of components (as promised) and a justification (again, as promised) for each piece. So far, only the case has arrived, it came yesterday, (which is not surprising as it was bought from a different company to the rest of the bits), and I’m dead pleased with it (even though it weighs an absolute tonne!). Hopefully the other bits will arrive today, but I couldn’t get them delivered to work, so I have no idea if they have turned up at home yet.

I’ve also found some good resources for building PCs. Oh, and as a side note, seeing as I have never built a PC before, I felt like I needed a guide before I did anything stupid – so I bought this month’s (or it might have been last months) issue of “Personal Computer World”. It seemed to cover everything I needed to know when I was working out what components to buy, so I would highly recommend it if you are planning on doing the same.

My other piece of advice is to shop around (or use FroogleUK Version) to get the best prices – more on this when I post the parts list.

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