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Posts Tagged ‘MythTV’

MythTV PC

July 20th, 2005 No comments

OK, so after months of thinking about it, I’m finally almost at the point of biting the bullet and building my media centre based around MythTV. I’ve never built a PC before, and seeing as I’m more interested in the software side of computers, my knowledge about hardware variants is fairly lacking (as in, I could give you a very good description of what each section of a computer is for and how it achieves this, but I couldn’t explain the difference between DDR and DDR2 memory).

When I was looking around the t’interweb, I couldn’t really find a good description of how somebody (in the UK, at least) was able to put together a MythTV system, so I think that this could be a good place to start.

What I’m going to do then is to use this blog as a place to put progress updates, and as much information as I can. I’m even going to create a new category called “Cain” (this is the first post in the category!), which will be the name (and machine name on my network) of the completed article.

As a starting point, I can tell you that I am planning to use Fedora Core 4 (I’ve already built a machine based on FC3, using Jarod’s guide (http://www.wilsonet.com/mythtv/fcmyth.php), and seeing as it was a brilliant guide and he’s planning to update it for FC4, I’ll hang around until he finishes that!), and that my machine will probably be fairly stacked in regards to CPU speed, memory, and hard disk space. For what I need, I’m not too interested in a top spec graphics card, but I will explain all of my hardware decisions once I’ve made them.

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MythTV Box Done (Again)

March 27th, 2005 No comments

OK, the other day, I receive even more donated PC parts (including another hard disk – this time only 3.2GB but big enough to shoe-horn Linux and MythTV onto, and leave the 10GB disk for recorded videos), so I did a complete reinstall of MythTV – this time missing out the step to trying to load the correct module settings for my bttv based card (which last time knackered everything up).

I had some major pain-in-the-arse stuff trying to get the channels loaded, but eventually I managed it.

Unfortunately, the spec of the PC is way too low to be able to watch live TV on it (because of the ring-buffer based hard disk recording for pausing playback etc), but it should be OK to record programs. I did schedule one recording, which it did, but it’s got no sound when I play it back (I know now that there was no sound recorded), which is a problem that I will have to overcome before the box becomes of any use at all.

I’m also trying to set up port forwarding on my home router so that I can access the program recording from outside my network (e.g. from work, or from my mobile phone), but so far I’m not having much luck!

On another note, I thought “Hang on a minute, I could probably write a application for Windows to be able to schedule recordings from my PC. Yes, I know about MythWeb, but still….”. Anyway, just to make sure that I wasn’t treading on anyone’s toes, I googled, and found “WinMyth” which lets you schedule programmes and also view recorded programmes. I have to say though, after I installed it, I couldn’t get it to run because it appeared to bail out with a .Net run time error (it looks like it is trying to reference a Null pointer – doh!). (Also seen here)

OK, I’ve now installed MythWeb on my router as well, to ensure that I can access my box from the outside. If you try this approach though, you should really look at this post on the User forums, but also this reply. Also bear in mind that you backend will need to have the IP address that it listens on changed as well – more information on this page under the first “General” heading (and be sure to read the note underneath as well!)
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MythTV A GoGo!

March 21st, 2005 3 comments

Well, I’ve spent a semi-productive weekend turning an old PC that was donated to me into a hard disk recorder, using the wonderful MythTV package and Fedora Core 3.

It’s still not a perfect setup, as I’m currently using an old Hauppage WinTV Go card (with a bttv tuner), so the picture quality is not wonderful. The other problem I have is that although I can get TVTime, and XawTV to receive a picture, I’m not able to receive any kind of picture in MythTV – which is something that I will have to solve. Otherwise though, I can get everything else working (i.e. MythWeather, MythWeb, etc).

Once I’ve got this one up and running, I’m planning on building a much more powerful system, with at least 2 cards (probably Digital so that I can watch FreeView, and get a better picture signal), and put it in a pretty case next to the TV. I thought it would probably be best to see if I can get it running at first on some (relatively) free stuff, before I splash out serious cash on a better system.

If anybody wants, I should be able to provide some notes on how I acheived the setup, and how I got everything working.

Unfortunately, I still can’t get a picture on the damn thing. I think it could be to do with the bttv module, and I script I used to find the best settings for the driver. It asks you to add some lines to /etc/modprobe.conf and I think that is what has nailed it. Unfortunately, when I put it back to how it was, it still didn’t work. I’m coming to the conclusion that it may just be better to reformat and start again (“Build one to throw away” as Richard always says…).
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