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Preview the New MythTV User Interface

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the it-might-be-time dept.

GUI 229

Tombstone-f sent in a cool update on a project that I continue to keep an eye on. MythTV has become a dominant force in the do-it-yourself media-mega-box space, so any improvements to the UI matter significantly. "One of the biggest new features of the next version of MythTV (version .22) will be its new user interface. This new interface will offer many new features to MythTV, including animation, better interactivity, and faster and easier development for themers and developers alike." I think it still has a ways to go to compete with some of the more mainstream PVR boxes in terms of minimalism and good use of whitespace, but hopefully the improvements will get more people into the door.

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Pointless chrome (0, Offtopic)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786161)

Rather than add pointless chrome, I'd rather they fixed the installer. 8.04 was a PITA, especially on a small screen like the one I keep just for headless installs.

Re:Pointless chrome (4, Informative)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786283)

Huh? What installer? This is MythTV. It has no installer (other than a makefile). If you are thinking of Mythbuntu, Mythdora, Knoppmyth, or something like that, the guys on the MythTV team have little or nothing to do with any of that.

Re:Pointless chrome (0, Flamebait)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786579)

Meh. I've tried a number of the various MythTV flavors and it all comes down to the stupidity that the "We're Linux, We Can Fix Anything" crowd insists that I blow upwards of $800 buying new hardware to get it to work.

Keep in mind: I've got an Athlon X2, 4 GB of RAM slotted, and the "incompatible" parts are (a) my video board and tv capture board (ATi All-In-Wonder 9600XT and HDTV Wonder respectively) and my remote control (Remote Wonder 2).

They work fine. I'm currently looking at XBMC's windows port as the 'replacement' for the aging ATi interface, but that interface has served me well and solidly for a few years now. MythTV, on the other hand, has not had support for my hardware in any of the flavors I've tried and has been annoying to get running even just to play back things I previously recorded.

If I had a no-name brand capture card from some fly-by-night taiwanese company, this might make sense, but there is NO excuse for Linux not supporting hardware from one of the two big players in the industry. I can stick to other solutions and be happy, and they can sit around congratulating each other on adding little bits of chrome to the interface while not paying attention to the big picture issue, which is that they can only grow their user base by making their software friendly to as much hardware as possible (especially when it's made by one of the "big 2").

Re:Pointless chrome (4, Insightful)

Albanach (527650) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786693)

If I had a no-name brand capture card from some fly-by-night taiwanese company, this might make sense, but there is NO excuse for Linux not supporting hardware from one of the two big players in the industry.

Let me correct that for you.

If I had a no-name brand capture card from some fly-by-night taiwanese company, this might make sense, but there is NO excuse for one of the two big players in the industry not supporting their hardware on Linux .

Myth shouldn't be struggling to support hardware. You think Microsoft have to reverse engineer and hack away at every card to make it work with their media center? The folks at ATI should be making sure something like a capture card works properly on linux with mythtv.

Re:Pointless chrome (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25787281)

You think Microsoft have to reverse engineer and hack away at every card to make it work with their media center?

No, Microsoft sits down for a bit and thinks about how they can best support a particular kind of hardware. They sometimes call up the relevant hardware manufacturers and say "hey, helps up define the API for this." After a few months they come away with an API that clearly defines what they hardware manufacturer is responsible for, what Microsoft is responsible for, what the basic functionality is. Then they stick to it. They don't change shit on a whim because "it's better this way." Thus the hardware vendors don't have to rewrite their drivers every few months just to provide the same functionality they had in the first place.

True, sometimes Microsoft fucks this process up and the standard just isn't right (wrong functionality, wrong prediction of what the future holds for a particular technology.) But quite often they're right, or at least right enough.

Linux might get more buy in if hardware vendors didn't have to commit to a full time employee rewriting drivers to suit the whims of some hobbyist on a caffeine and sugar bender.

Re:Pointless chrome (2, Interesting)

dwandy (907337) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787741)

-1: Wrong [arstechnica.com]

Re:Pointless chrome (4, Informative)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787821)

Linux might get more buy in if hardware vendors didn't have to commit to a full time employee rewriting drivers to suit the whims of some hobbyist on a caffeine and sugar bender.

Linux doesn't need to have ATI commit to a full time employee for writing drivers. Just the same level of access to the specs like the 5+ employees writing the windows drivers.

Re:Pointless chrome (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787963)

...and by the "same level of access" you mean give the specs to someone not employed by ATI or under any obligations to ATI, who then might eventualy produce a driver if they are lucky.

Re:Pointless chrome (3, Informative)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786789)

About the remote control, that (like the installer) has nothing to do with the myth team. For remotes, you are looking for lirc support (the linux standard system for IR input). Once lirc supports it, myth will work with it just fine.

As for the video, I don't know about that particular card, but I know a lot of the All in Wonder cards have notoriously poor driver support under linux. If yours is one of those, I don't know how you expect a miracle when ATI would provide neither an adequate driver nor the necessary specs for an open source version to be created.

Re:Pointless chrome (3, Informative)

Narfubel (1391263) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786859)

I made a mythbox for less than 200 dollars. The point is to buy compatible hardware from the start, don't blame the myth team though, it's hard to write drivers for devices that they get no support at all from the manufacturer. They do what they can and they do it well.

Re:Pointless chrome (4, Interesting)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786953)

Meh. I've tried a number of the various MythTV flavors and it all comes down to the stupidity that the "We're Linux, We Can Fix Anything" crowd insists that I blow upwards of $800 buying new hardware to get it to work.

Like all things if you want the all the bells and whistles you have to get the best hardware. I have MythTV working on an old PIII box. I think I spent $200 and most of that was for the Hauppage TV card. Bear in mind, I can't play games and do a lot of the nifty features. But it served the basic purpose of a DVR on my 27" CRT. Now if I wanted digital and the best picture, I would have to drop some money. It still works but I've upgraded homes and now have a networked system. But the old one is in a closet and would be functional had I not used the HD in another machine.

Keep in mind: I've got an Athlon X2, 4 GB of RAM slotted, and the "incompatible" parts are (a) my video board and tv capture board (ATi All-In-Wonder 9600XT and HDTV Wonder respectively) and my remote control (Remote Wonder 2).

So you're complaining that MythTV doesn't work well when you used cards (ATI) that do not have very good Linux support. When I built my DVR, I researched the type of card to use. By far, everyone said not to use ATi as there wasn't very much support. Not that some people couldn't get it to work, but that the support was lacking. There are other cards that you could have used. I would say rather it's a testament to Linux that it works at all.

They work fine. I'm currently looking at XBMC's windows port as the 'replacement' for the aging ATi interface, but that interface has served me well and solidly for a few years now. MythTV, on the other hand, has not had support for my hardware in any of the flavors I've tried and has been annoying to get running even just to play back things I previously recorded.

To be fair, the problem is Linux doesn't have much support for your cards. The problem is not exclusive to MythTV.

If I had a no-name brand capture card from some fly-by-night taiwanese company, this might make sense, but there is NO excuse for Linux not supporting hardware from one of the two big players in the industry.

For years now, Linux people have complained about ATI support. Until recently they have not helped the community much. If they had released a spec, an API, etc. Instead, all the work to date has been done by reverse engineering. nVidia has done a little more and in fact, nVidia has released binary drivers.

Now I don't mean to sound rude, but you're complaining that the free help with ATI you have gotten from the Linux community hasn't been enough. You're complaining that all the time and work these people have done for you without asking, without thanks, without compensation isn't adequate. Well, open source software has a solution for you. Learn C and write your own driver.

These are not the Drones you seek... (1)

ronadams (987516) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786981)

You do realize it's ATI's fault their hardware support is bad, right? Linux developers can't make it any easier for ATI to make a good driver and API; they have the complete source of the OS at their disposal. If ATI doesn't release good drivers and/or APIs, you get bad hardware support.

Re:Pointless chrome (3, Insightful)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787135)

Meh. I've tried a number of the various MythTV flavors and it all comes down to the stupidity that the "We're Linux, We Can Fix Anything" crowd insists that I blow upwards of $800 buying new hardware to get it to work.

Keep in mind: I've got an Athlon X2, 4 GB of RAM slotted, and the "incompatible" parts are (a) my video board and tv capture board (ATi All-In-Wonder 9600XT and HDTV Wonder respectively) and my remote control (Remote Wonder 2).

I think you're confusing the stupidity that the "We're ATI, Of Course We Have Drivers, Which Version of Windows XP Do You Have?" crowd with the "We're Linux, Please Just Release Some Damn Specs So We Can Support The Hardware Already" crowd. There's a difference, you know.

If I had a no-name brand capture card from some fly-by-night taiwanese company, this might make sense, but there is NO excuse for Linux not supporting hardware from one of the two big players in the industry.

Remember, that address again is Investor.Relations@amd.com.

Re:Pointless chrome (3, Informative)

WaXHeLL (452463) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787361)

Actually, the ATI HDTV Wonder is compatible with mythTV. In fact, the HDTV Wonder works better with MythTV than it does with Windows (since it natively supports QAM decoding, but is crippled in the windows drivers).

I will admit that it took me a long time to setup my HDTV Wonder, but that was primarily because I was impatient in the channel scanning process (and would cancel it before it found any channels).

Re:Pointless chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25787555)

Also it's not Linux that is lacking support for ATi but ATI that lacks support for Linux. They have recently changed their position on Linux drivers but they are behind when compared to NVidia.

Re:Pointless chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25788129)

Dude, it's very simple; ATI hated Linux. AMD now owns them and is making them play nice, but it started with the GPUs, TV tuners won't be on AMD's 'open source it now' roadmap for years at this rate.

It's YOUR fault for buying hardware from a company KNOWN to be wildly antagonistic to open specs. Particularly with TV products, ATI has NEVER been a good choice for anything but full Windows operation.

My ATI TV Wonder was a generic Brooktree chipsetted BT878 card, but EVERY OTHER BT878 CARD IN THE WORLD was supported first because ATI refused to let out ANY info on the changes they'd made to the BT878 reference. It took a long time for the OSS hackers to reverse-engineer and document the bits they needed, and ATI was ZERO help.

Simply put, NOT IN ANY WAY LINUX'S FAULT.

Re:Pointless chrome (3, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 5 years ago | (#25788137)

"If I had a no-name brand capture card from some fly-by-night taiwanese company, this might make sense, but there is NO excuse for Linux not supporting hardware from one of the two big players in the industry."
There is plenty of excuse. The biggest players in the industry tend to be the ones that don't give a damn about Linux and hence refuse to provide documentation. ATI TV cards are notorious in this regard - The AMD purchase/merger seems to be helping in this regard, but ATI cards (not just TV cards but graphics in general) had a very long track record of poor Linux support due to lack of manufacturer cooperation.

Maybe you should've given your business to a vendor that actually cares about Linux and has even given sample hardware to select Linux driver/application developers for driver development and testing. Hauppauge is a good place to start - they don't officially support Linux but are VERY cooperative as far as giving driver developers documentation, support, and even in some cases early access to new hardware (such as with the HD-PVR 1212).

Re:Pointless chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25788221)

crowd insists that I blow upwards of $800 buying new hardware to get it to work.

Keep in mind: I've got an Athlon X2, 4 GB of RAM slotted, and the "incompatible" parts are (a) my video board and tv capture board (ATi All-In-Wonder 9600XT and HDTV Wonder respectively) and my remote control (Remote Wonder 2).

Are you sure you didn't already blow some money? Did the aforementioned hardware just fall out of the sky into your lap?

Before I buy hardware, I check to see if it might work. If Yes, then I check to see if it will work. When we talk about video capture, you damn well know that the industry has been compromised by HDMI and related concepts, so you have to be very careful before spending money. And if you don't know, maybe you're part of the problem: if people like you would pay attention to the industry's hostility toward customers, and choose too pirate instead, they might decide to stop telling customers to go away.

Re:Pointless chrome (5, Informative)

dfdashh (1060546) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786687)

Perhaps he's talking about mythtv-setup [mythtv.org] .

Re:Pointless chrome (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787365)

You are correct, I was indeed thinking of mythbuntu. Must have had a brainfart. But what the heck, first posts always get modded down anyway.

Re:Pointless chrome (3, Interesting)

SevenHands (984677) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786301)

There are other MythTV distros than Mythbuntu (Knoppmyth, Mythdora) that you might want to try if you find the Muthbuntu installer difficult. That said, Mythbuntu 8.04 was the first version of MythTV that I got my wireless card to work without fuss (Atheros based), and with that one point, made the install heaps easier than previous versions.

Re:Pointless chrome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25786329)

That's Ubuntu, not MythTV. MythTV doesn't have an installer.

FYI, you can use the Ubuntu alternate install CD, or the server CD to install the OS. They're both text-mode installers (from Debian), so there's no problem with small screens.

Mythbuntu is just Ubuntu with MythTV installed. They have a guide on how to add it to an existing Ubuntu installation:

http://www.mythbuntu.org/existing-ubuntu

Re:Pointless chrome (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25786445)

That's what came to mind when I looked at it. Most of what they were doing seemed like adding thumbnails and transition effects all over the UI. I usually turn off thumbnails in any UI I use because each one tends to require one or more disk seeks to retrieve, so scrolling lists becomes sluggish and clunky. As for transitions, IMO they just add delays.

What I'd rather see is making an alternative UI for those using a computer interface (or logging in from another machine) in addition to the current TV remote oriented UI. If all of the configuration could be done through an app similar to the KDE control center, that would make MythTV much easier to set up, manage and understand. The TV-oriented interface is just too constraining to effectively present many of the complex concepts in the configuration options.

(Of course, I really can't complain since I'm not pitching in to improve things myself. I'm just putting my feedback out there in case anyone finds it useful.)

Re:Pointless chrome (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786585)

I also prefer they fix how crappy the media section works.

MythTV is an awesome TV recorder. It is utter crap as a media center.

XBMC on Linux kicks the utter crap out of MythTV when you are watching or listening to anything other than recorded TV.

Re:Pointless chrome (1)

neo8750 (566137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787085)

You can use XBMC to browse you recorded shows that are on the mythtv backend

just add the source myth://computer-ip-address/ and bang you have your recorded shows (just no commercial skip), You can browse live tv also, and it gives you a guide that im pretty sure allows you to record (that part is a little shaky if ask me i never use it i use the mythtv webui)

if they added the commercial skip feature to XBMC it would make a very nice mythtv frontend (with little tweak here and there)

Re:Pointless chrome (1)

JayAitch (1277640) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787717)

With all the searching I've done for the perfect HTPC how come I never came across this? I'll have to check it out. That's exactly my problem with MythTV browsing videos is poor. I'd like one simple feature (I''ve yet to find) where it marks videos you've watched.

Re:Pointless chrome (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787789)

Mediaportal does this by default.

problem is that it's windows based, so you need a crapload of processor to run it compared to XBMC linux.

I have used mediaportal for over 2 years now, but the underlying Windows makes it sucky for HD playback and stability.

Re:Pointless chrome (1)

dfdashh (1060546) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786729)

This release is anything but "pointless chrome." They are moving from QT3 to QT4, which will enable a lot of things (not the least of which being IDE support). Relevant thread here [gossamer-threads.com] .

tv makes you fat, tv makes you dull (1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786169)

don't watch this.

News? (1, Insightful)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786173)

Really, if every program's minor update gets front page, we'll be here all day reading the damn things. MythTV is lovely program and all but from the article, nothing really earth shattering is new.

Re:News? (1)

entgod (998805) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786217)

Some people (like me) actually like reading about the updates in (open source) software. I don't think it would be a bad idea to include a software section into slashdot. And besides, we already spend all day reading the stuff here, don't we? ;)

Re:News? (5, Informative)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786393)

Actually, this isn't a minor update. It is a significant rewrite of the user interface that has been in the works for years (the ticket for this new UI was opened in June 2005). However, this isn't something that is going to be so significant to the end user directly. A lot of what you'll see come out of this will be subtle. The bigger benefit of this is for developers. Both code developers and theme developers. I have a bit of experience doing both for MythTv, and from what I've seen this is going to be a cool change. It's not news for TV watcher, but I think it is for nerds (or at least some of us).

Just dumped MythTV (5, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786213)

I just dumped Mythbuntu and switched to XBMC Media Center [xbmc.org] . I don't actually have a TV signal, just use the machine for DVDs and recorded movies, music and pictures across the LAN. And for those purposes, I found it so awkward to work with as to be unusable. Particularly the interface for managing your music collection.

This article seems to focus entirely on the aspects relating to managing TV signals and shows. Is there anything in this new interface that might make me want to switch back?

Re:Just dumped MythTV (3, Insightful)

Jellybob (597204) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786285)

At a glance, I would say no - at the moment it looks more like technical infrastructure for new themes, rather then a full blown new look for the software.

MythTV really is meant to be for watching and recording TV, there's a clue to that in the name. For what you describe XBMC, especially with some of the newer high resolution themes, is easily a better choice.

Re:Just dumped MythTV (2, Informative)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786881)

MythTV really is meant to be for watching and recording TV, there's a clue to that in the name. For what you describe XBMC, especially with some of the newer high resolution themes, is easily a better choice.

XBMC on Linux had some serious bugs that just got fixed in their most recent release, so it only became the better choice last week. I tried the last release, and every time your mouse drifted across the section for handling weather, XBMC would crash because it failed to wait for the data to come across the network before trying to display it.

But the new version works great.

Re:Just dumped MythTV (1)

Tombstone-f (49843) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786319)

Honestly, I focused on the TV part of MythTV because that's the part I use. I haven't used the Music plugin for quite some time, and I don't use MythVideo too much either. MythMusic wasn't very good when I last used it, I hope this new UI library will allow themers to make some better user interfaces for Mythmusic.

Re:Just dumped MythTV (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787255)

MythMusic is passable and MythVideo is easy to tweak. This easy
tweakability quickly allows it to become something much better
than competitors and is very good for the WAF.

Re:Just dumped MythTV (1, Interesting)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786523)

Agreed - it would be nice if foreign media could be seamlessly integrated into the MythTV interface. Mythvideo is very primitive by comparison (the interface used for random avi/ogg/mpg files/etc).

One issue is that mythtv implemented their own media player, which means that only a few codecs are supported and there are very strict limitations on the video stream. For example, if keyframes aren't spaced completely uniformly the seektable breaks and any attempt to seek causes all kinds of problems. I think a better approach would be to use some other media player as the actual playback method and have myth focus on the value-adds like indexing the content, maintaining cutlists, GUI, etc. Mythtv would basically be a front-end to something like xine/mplayer. Why re-invent the wheel?

Re:Just dumped MythTV (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786627)

You can do this already with any media player you like for Myth Video. I have mine setup to use Xine.

For recorded shows, the internal player is actually quite good. The killer feature for me is that it skips commercials without any need to press any keys on the remote. It just happens automagically. Since Mythtv recorded them, there is no need to worry about codecs.

Re:Just dumped MythTV (3, Interesting)

Chang (2714) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786703)

Mythvideo can be a frontend to Xine/Mplayer.

It has _always_ been that way.

The built-in "Internal" video player is default but it is completely optional. It appeared a couple of releases ago.

Re:Just dumped MythTV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25786619)

Mythmusic is truly awful.. but I don't know how to improve it's usability.

Re:Just dumped MythTV (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786933)

Is there anything in this new interface that might make me want to switch back?

Why would you want to? MythTV isn't *supposed* to be a simple media player. It's primary goal is specifically to be a PVR. The rest of the features are implemented as plugins because they aren't part of the project's core mission.

So stick with XBMC. It does exactly what you need, and does it better than Myth... and it probably always will. There's nothing wrong with that.

Re:Just dumped MythTV (3, Informative)

djtachyon (975314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786975)

And I switched to the open-source MediaPortal [team-mediaportal.com] for Windows and haven't looked back since.

Slap it on an old XP machine in a decent media center ATX case [nmediapc.com] , and you have a great media pc. No hassles with linux makes, XP media center BS, or compatibility. Throw in a blowout on an Logitech media center remote package [google.com] with the Setpoint Uberoptions driver [mstar.net] to open up all the button options, and you are set. Just share all your media folders on your home network for any other media you want to show.

Re:Just dumped MythTV (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787705)

I used MediaPortal for a while on XP but all my media files are on a linux box. I have drive Z: mapped to the linux server and I can always access the files from explorer. However, MediaPortal almost always fails to read the network drive. When it works it's great, but if it doesn't it's worthless (for me). I have since removed it from the system, and gone back to using my clunky system of a firefox live bookmark pointing to playlists, which are then played using VLC, and that always works. It is all controlled by my tv cards remote too.
I would use mythTV but my tv cards have a proprietary remote that has its IR receiver plugged directly into the card. LIRC can't communicate using that, so myth is on hold until I find a way around it. I'm using DigiTV cards BTW. Nice cards but not supported by the manufacturer anymore. I can record as many muxes simultaneously as I have cards in the system. That works out to needing 4 or 5 cards to record the whole gamut of available DVB-T channels, all at the same time. I would probably need faster drives to do that though !

Re:Just dumped MythTV (2, Interesting)

eudaemon (320983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786977)

As a dyed in the wool nerd, I've been using MythTV for a while now. But its .21 user interface (prior to
update in the slashdot story) leaves a lot to be desired even for TV watching. Try cancelling a scheduled
recording sometime and getting the damn tuner back, for instance. It certainly has MCE beat to hell and back
with its separation of front and back ends. Yeah you can do with MCE it on an xbox. So what. I don't own an xbox.
Or a windows machine for that matter right now, lol. So MythTV has Windows beat for no vendor lock in. But
it just doesn't pass the wife acceptance factor test for intuitive user interface.

Cable TV watching has bigger problems, however. Many cable companies gladly drop VCT information, and Myth and MCE's
scanners can't find channels without that info. They both advise you add channels by hand to fix it.
You can go vendor lock in and get a cablecard solution - tivo or mce+cablecard, both of which are pricey.
Unfortunately open-source PVR is a very niche market. The mythtv guys are to be commended for that they've done,
but at the end of the day I'll probably go back to satellite just because their PVR doesn't require me to
script up stuff for the wife to restart mythTV when it isn't happy.

Re:Just dumped MythTV (5, Informative)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787709)

Do what I do: Use both!

XBMC can act as a front-end to MythTV. Recent builds have very good MythTV support. Just add a video source called myth://whatever and browse away. It doesn't support all of the MythTV frontend's advanced features, but basic browse/playback works fine.

I have a machine in the closet running the MythTV backend, and my XBMC in the living room for playback. I never have to touch the (IMHO) horrible MythTV GUI interface, except to configure the backend*

*Side note: The fact that you NEED the MythTV gui (running on X) to configure the backend is an awfully lame design decision on MythTV's part. Whatever happened to editing text files or a simple command-line based configurator?

Re:Just dumped MythTV (1)

jerkychew (80913) | more than 5 years ago | (#25788573)

You're confusing products a bit. The two pieces of Myth that handle non-tv media, MythMusic [mythtv.org] and MythDVD [mythtv.org] . These are both plug-ins to Myth and while they do tend to ship with most Myth setups, they are not part of the core MythTV product. I agree with you that they both suck - The UIs and overall management of media are just terrible - But don't poo-poo MythTV because of them. In essence it's like saying Firefox sucks because your Yahoo toolbar has a bad interface.

XBMC is awesome but it's not a replacement for MythTV. It has no mechanism for recording tv shows or hooking to any type of tuner card. What it excels at is, as you said, media management. I modified my MythTV menu to include XBMC, so when I want to watch my DVD ISOs on a Windows box I launch it from the MythTV interface. A quick blurb on how I did it is here [gossamer-threads.com] .

FWIW, you can add MythTV as a video source in XBMC using the mythtv:// prefix. You can then view recordings as well as live tv, although it was buggy the last time I tried it.

Preview right here (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25786237)

It's not good. [zoy.org]

Getting people in the door (1)

MaxwellEdison (1368785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786239)

I'm not sure this will really 'get people in the door' so to speak. Most people looking to build media box probably already had MythTV in mind. In order for a product like this to be mainstream, it needs to be integrated for the customer out of the box. Unfortunately the media mafiaa would come at any manufacturer selling Mythboxes with all guns blazing. So until they're taken down or at least safely muzzled, proprietary DVR devices will likely be all most people know.

Re:Getting people in the door (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25786449)

After my parents saw my Mythbuntu box with a 'professional' theme, they were interested. But, there are just a few issues and such when things like running out of hard drive space or log files that aren't limited in size grow and end up bringing down the system until someone troubleshoots it and fixes it.

I think visually, using a theme like Pear-TV (but replacing the pear with a mythbuntu/mythTV logo) would be all the improvement they need to make with the user experience in normal operation. It works just fine.

But it's the boring bug fixes, confusing menus and sub-menus, and coming out and approving hardware as mythTV-compatible that would make it a better product.

And I would like to see more guides on how to go from a pile of money to a working, functional MythTV box. I hope some are out there, but it would help a lot of people I think.

Re:Getting people in the door (1)

MaxwellEdison (1368785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786665)

My point wasn't really that MythTV couldn't be made an attractive alternative to consumers, but that it couldn't make it into the mainstream. I'm guessing your parents would not be building said Mythbox if they decided to go that route but would have you do it. Thats fine on a 1-1 scale like that, but when you try to actually form a business configuiring PVR boxes using MythTV as your platform you won't just be running into Linux's open source adoption problem. But also with the various **aa groups that would attempt to go after you from the legal side. It would be seen as a commercial tool for piracy, no matter how founded that argument may be. And until people like your parents are able to purchase such a box, via B&M, home shopping network, Amazon or what have you, it will be relegated to the category of "Look at this neat gizmo my clever boy cobbled together"

Re:Getting people in the door (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787027)

Unfortunately the media mafiaa would come at any manufacturer selling Mythboxes with all guns blazing.

You mean like these [monolithmc.com] , or guys [mythic.tv] , or maybe these [magicitx.com] , or guys [interact-tv.com] ?

Re:Getting people in the door (1)

MaxwellEdison (1368785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787353)

Actually yes, that is what I mean. Unfortunately they still need to get over the first hurdle, which is grabbing a share of the market. They'll face the **aa's after they go toe to toe with TiVo.

Re:Getting people in the door (1)

OolimPhon (1120895) | more than 5 years ago | (#25788029)

Hello? People in the rest of the world use Mythtv, not just those in the 50 states.

Re:Getting people in the door (1)

monkeyboythom (796957) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787151)

I'm not sure this will really 'get people in the door' so to speak.

Maybe the "people" referred to here are not consumers but companies that should have a vested interest in producing at the very least minimally functioning drivers. (Hello, AverMedia where is that linux driver for the M780? Hello? Hello?)

Until these companies get in the door, Microsoft wins this space by default. Also, making it simple enought to use is paramount. We are still dealing with people who never knew how to change their VCR to stop their clocks from blinking "12:00."

Fix the installer please (1)

mandark1967 (630856) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786263)

I have to echo FPs mention of the installer being a complete PITA. It was so much of a pain that I loaded (*gasp*)Vista Media Center instead.

While I like the new interface of MythTV, I'm going to find it more than a bit difficult to switch now that I'm used to the interface in Vista Media Center. It's relatively simple, it's uncluttered, and it just works. Oh...it was a snap to install as well.

Style over substance (3, Insightful)

Conor Turton (639827) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786281)

MythTV needs a lot more than an interface makeover. For a start, DVB-T channel searching and setting up an EPG is a joke. WTF do you need to run a server just to get a sodding programme guide?

The whole thing is such a PITA to set up and keep going without something or other packing up (usually the programme guide) that it makes it worthwhile paying £60 for Windows MCE just to save your sanity.

Re:Style over substance (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787183)

MythTV needs a lot more than an interface makeover. For a start, DVB-T channel searching and setting up an EPG is a joke. WTF do you need to run a server just to get a sodding programme guide?

To clarify you don't need a server (hardware) but you need to run a daemon that is a server process. I've been able to get it working on a PIII 800MHz desktop. The structure of MythTV is the classic server/client relationship. The UI to the user is the client (mythfrontend) and the background process is mythbackend. This is not new in any OS; Many applications run this way. For a standalone MythTV installation, the client and server are on the same machine.

If you think Windows MCE is any easier, good luck. Maybe they've made it easier but the only people I know to get it work (and not crash all the time) have been Windows admins. And they used the best hardware and the latest version of MCE.

Really, the setup in MythTV is ridiculous easy if you have a standalone. There are many versions that allow you to install it easily, even some are live CDs: MythDora, Mythbuntu, KnoppMyth. Now if you wanted something complex like a networked system, that's more challenging.

Considering now... (1)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786305)

I was just about to order a TiVo for the wife who is always missing the few TV shows she actually enjoys. I figured it was worth the subscription to make her life a bit brighter... I wrote MythTV off as a hacker's Tivo but I'll take a longer look and see if I can give it a go.

Just for the sake of sanity and not having to support it - I may go with the Tivo anyway.

Re:Considering now...NOT (5, Insightful)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786429)

It is a hacker's TIVO. I have tried it and had nothing but difficulty in getting things the way I wanted it. I spent hours...not to mention that ATI drivers in linux just suck.

I ended up with XP and SageTV. That product took a total of 20 minutes to install and configure (including my huge media library) and not hours to get nothing like mythtv.

Re:Considering now...NOT (3, Insightful)

Big Boss (7354) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786607)

I used Mythbuntu to install my current setup. It was as easy as anything else has been in Windows. Boot from CD, answer some questions, let it copy files and reboot. Then tell it that it's OK to install the binary NVidia driver and that all worked fine. I did have to tweak the XOrg.conf a little, but I understand that the new release of XOrg doesn't even require the conf file now. And my changes were more to make the TV output a little more how I like it than anything else, it worked fine out of the box. Then I told Myth what my tuner device was (HDHomeRun) and it found it and did a channel scan. Then I gave it my login info to Schedules Direct and it was up and running. Probably about an hours work from CD boot to working Myth install.

Note that I did pick my hardware for Linux and Myth compatibility. I knew that's what I was going to be using the hardware for, so I chose accordingly. It's still a hacker's TiVo, but I hacked my TiVo boxes, and Myth was easier than that.

Re:Considering now...NOT (4, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786757)

For anyone considering SageTV, it has it's own problems and gotchas. Having to pay for it would really piss me off.

Re:Considering now...NOT (2, Informative)

Remloc (1165839) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786763)

I built my 1st Myth system by hand without one of the new "nice" installers. Using apt-get and Jarod's guide. I got 95% of functionality working in one evening on the first try. Then proceeded pulling my hair out for 3 months to get the $@%ing remote to work. Totally existing P3/450. Only new hardware was the PVR-350.
Getting it working should be simple. Making it "wife friendly," maybe not so much.

Re:Considering now...NOT (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787125)

It is a hacker's TIVO. I have tried it and had nothing but difficulty in getting things the way I wanted it. I spent hours...not to mention that ATI drivers in linux just suck.

Which illustrates a vital lesson when building anything based on Linux: FFS, do your god damned research! Every MythTV FAQ out there tells you to stick with NVIDIA, as the Linux support is far superior. The fact you didn't do this basic diligence is your own damned fault.

Re:Considering now...NOT (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787341)

I would like to offer a ME TOO.

Sure, it can suck if you've already got some ATI video
card (why though, even in Windows). However, most of the
interesting stuff in MythTV is not stuff you are going to
typically just have lying around already.

You're going to have to buy a capture device and perhaps
a separate remote. So do a little basic checking and see
what's recommended. Nevermind about it merely "just
working". How about trying to figure out what "works well".

Linux works very well on the best low profile computing gear out there.

Re:Considering now... (1)

rmcd (53236) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786949)

I use Myth under Debian for OTA recording (we don't have cable). It's been running for about two years and it has been great but it was *not* easy to set up (I viewed it as a hobbyist project and boy did it fit the bill :-) I'm sure it would be easier now with one of the prepackaged distributions, but here is my recommendation:

If you enjoy tinkering and you want to see how a DVR can be put together under Linux, give Myth a try. If you are even close to on the fence, go with Tivo. If you have cable, encryption could be a hurdle to using Myth, make sure you explore that first.

Good luck!

Re:Considering now... (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787155)

If you have cable, encryption could be a hurdle to using Myth, make sure you explore that first.

Yeah, but unless you can get CableCARD working, the same thing is true for TiVo. In either case, you may end up with an analog capture from DSTB + IR blaster-based solution (which, BTW, is the setup I use with Myth, and it works just fine).

Re:Considering now... (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787091)

wrote MythTV off as a hacker's Tivo but I'll take a longer look and see if I can give it a go.

That's exactly what it is. :) That said, while it's not as polished as some of it's competitors, it does it's job quite well, IMHO, is perfectly usable, and in my judgment, is far more flexible than any other solution out there.

Re:Considering now... (3, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787271)

You should look into the Live CD versions to test out if you want to proceed. Many people are happy enough with them. KnoppMyth [mysettopbox.tv] , MythDora [mythdora.com] , Mythbuntu [mythbuntu.org] .

Animation is a waste of time (1)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786323)

My MythTV box had this intermittent problem where it would overheat. Finally tracked it down recently--it only happened when the program guide page was left open, and the animated content preview (showing you a thumbnail preview of the program) was running. Turned that feature off and problem went away. So there's a case where some silly eye-candy was actually causing the system to have dramatically lower reliability, as the CPU and hard drive would have both been under dramatically lower load had it never been invented.

It makes me kind of sad that anyone has wasted programming resources on animating "transitions between screens" when the basic UI still needs so much work to be friendlier. It looks like some of that has managed to get done anyway though, the sample program display with the categories in a tabbed view is a huge improvement over the old default here. Accidentally scrolling the category up or down instead of the program listing is the most common thing Tivo users trying a MythTV box do if you sit them down in front of one for the first time. I still fall prey to that myself sometimes.

Re:Animation is a waste of time (1)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786575)

First off, if your system can't run at full load without being unstable, then you have a hardware issue that needs to be looked at.

With regard to animations, they do have a valid purpose as far as usability. Often in programs, when you click a button and something in the UI changes, you can't tell exactly what it was that changed. You can see that something switched, but you aren't really sure what. With animations, you see the change before it has actually occurred, and your attention is focusing directly on it while it is occurring. When the change is complete, you know exactly what it was that changed.

Re:Animation is a waste of time (1)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786733)

I didn't say it was unstable, just that it would run much hotter than it should. All the fans were running around the clock sometimes, and I was looking into whether I needed even more of them in the larger enclosure because it was cooking the rest of the stuff in the cabinet. That never led to a crash, only the inevitable reduced system life that results from extra heat.

MythMusic (1)

dfdashh (1060546) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786431)

This release (and namely the UI improvements in it) is really going to benefit the plugins in particular. For example, here's hoping that "faster and easier development for themers and developers" will open the doors to a better UI for MythMusic!

Bravo to Isaac and the MythTV team. You've all done a great job in creating one of the coolest projects for media junkies out there. I look forward to the upcoming release.

Is it easy to install yet? (5, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786507)

I'm only worried about whether it's easy to install. When I was looking for making a PVR a couple years ago, I tried with Myth. I really did. I tried for days reading through the docs, trying to configure MySQL and set up databases. Trying to get my TV Tuner to work correctly. In the end, I downloaded a trial of SageTV and had everything up and running in 20 minutes. Haven't looked back since. Best $80 I ever spent. I use open source when possible, but not when it's that much more work than the alternative.

Re:Is it easy to install yet? (2, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786663)

If you went windows, then why not mediaportal?

http://www.team-mediaportal.com/ [team-mediaportal.com]

I switched from SageTV to it because it kicked SageTV's butt hard.

Now I Use linux plus XBMC. Myth is awesom at Recording. it's is crap at music and media.

Re:Is it easy to install yet? (1)

Yosho (135835) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786741)

Try Mythbuntu [mythbuntu.org] . I've installed it on three systems now and it's very easy to get working. I have never had to actually touch MySQL, let alone manually create a database, and the only time I've had to look in the MythTV docs was when I wanted to reconfigure a few buttons on my remote.

Re:Is it easy to install yet? (3, Informative)

moasat (1275424) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786897)

MythTV itself is easy to install. I think the problem most people have is getting their hardware to work under Linux. I have the most problems with ALSA but it is getting better. Once your hardware works, Myth is a breeze to install.

Re:Is it easy to install yet? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787523)

I found it not to be the case; I think I'll wait till 8.10 stabilises and give it another go.

Re:Is it easy to install yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25787569)

Isn't ease of install of any linux application really dependent on your distribution and whether or not they package it? Mythbuntu is a good choice if you're making a dedicated myth box, but I've never had to do anything more than type apt-get install mythtv, and then run mythtv-setup.

Re:Is it easy to install yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25787607)

Agreed. I'm no Linux pro, but I can get around Ubuntu, at least enough to be functional and do most things I want. I even use open source on my iPod. I made getting a Mythbuntu box up and running a kind of hobby to avoid just getting frustrated and quitting. I spent about 6 months (you can stop laughing now) and never got it working correctly. Before that I had no problem getting my other Ubuntu boxes running and playing nice with the network, our Apple computers, and our Windows computers. I don't think hardware was the issue. I finally gave up and loaded up XP MCE. It took forever to install, but since then has been flawless. For non Linux pros, I think it still needs some work.

Re:Is it easy to install yet? (1)

prestomation (583502) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787939)

To answer your question. Yes. My brother has been running Myth under various distros for years and I've heard of the work that used to go into it.

I built a mythbox out of spare parts just a few weeks ago using Mythbuntu 8.04. All of the installation was automatic. I had to do some configuration, mostly choosing the correct video driver, V4L driver, and pointing at the right sound card, but basic functionality was that easy.
Some of the younger plugins(Mytharchive. mythweb) took a little bit of config too.

It's certainly not as easy as a Tivo, or maybe SageTV(no experience there), but it wasn't as much has a trial as I was expecting.

Best hardware to put it on? (1)

ktappe (747125) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786561)

I took a serious look at MythTV a few years ago to try to replace my ReplayTV and avoid going TiVo. The biggest problem to me was I did not want a noisy, large PC in my living room. I want the quiet, console-sized form factor of a TiVo. I searched around the internet and never became satisfied with any of the options I found, especially when the quieter they got the higher-priced they got--when the price started approaching $1K, I bailed and resigned myself to getting the HD TiVo I now have.

But I now have a family member in the market for a DVR. So can anyone here recommend a case/box/hardware solution on which to install MythTV that's un-PC like so that it will truly "belong" in a media center? Thanks!

Re:Best hardware to put it on? (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 5 years ago | (#25786921)

I bought the D.Vine 5 HTPC Case by Ahanix and like it.

Re:Best hardware to put it on? (1)

rmcd (53236) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787061)

I got the Antec NSK2400. It's nice looking (as such things go ;-) and designed for silent operation. I bought a big passive heatsink for the CPU which I topped with a low speed fan. It all fit in the case, but just barely. The system is not completely silent but it's quieter than my home theater receiver, which has a fan. I found SilentPCReview [silentpcreview.com] invaluable. Good luck!

Re:Best hardware to put it on? (2, Insightful)

Albanach (527650) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787425)

It's worth remembering you only need a client in the living room.

I'd imagine you quickly end up with hundreds of GB of video, so you want some kind of RAID to protect from drive failure. That means multiple disks which tends to mean bigger box, more heat more fans and more noise.

Personally I'm using xbmc not having much need to record live TV. I run it on an eeebox that I picked up for $300. It's tiny. It draws 20 watts, is practically silent, runs 24x7 and can play up to 720P. It has DVI out so can be hooked up to HDMI and has optical audio out if you want to connect the sound to your amp.

It fills all my needs. If I was deploying Myth, I'd be looking for a tower with plenty of cooling to live in a cupboard and use something like an eeebox as the client.

Work on MythMusic and Video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25786701)

As someone without a cable subscription the PVR interface is not of interest. I had a Myth box for about 6 months (which was a freevo box previously) and they both fall heavily in the Music and Recorded Video (or downloaded) departments.

MythMusic is quite the most horrendously clunk interface, not making use of any mp3 tags or such to organise, so you end up with one big scrolling mess of files. Just awful.

XMBC is my next port of call once I pick up a consumer NAS

CableCard Support (1)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787041)

Let me know when they support CableCard and then I'll be interested. I shouldn't need to do IR blasting or capturing through Firewire. It's great that there's a new interface, but if you can't record the shows you want in HD, it's pointless.

Re:CableCard Support (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787427)

Let me know when they support CableCard ...

Probably never. As I understand it, CableCard isn't available to third-party video card vendors - just TV and cable box makers. In addition, I believe CableCard will be going away and the future will utilize embedded VMs with control information downloaded from the Cable COs.

Please, just make it not suck... (3, Informative)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787115)

MythTV is honestly a joke. (N.B. I've been running a mythtv box for 3 years)

For TV/PVR functionality, it's great. Want to watch a DVD or, gods forbid, a video file? Prepare for an exercise in pain.

Want to use some of the features it boasts (integrated emulators, image slideshow, etc...)? Suffer, worm!

Want to use an EXTREMELY COMMON remote(MCE)? Prepare to spend the better part of the evening manually remapping the buttons with vim. (I still have instances where I can't navigate DVD menus because of some weirdness on what is considered "up" and "down")

And if you DARE to want to record off of a non-tuned interface (RCA, e.g.) well, it will eat your face and lock you in the closet with a shoggoth.

But unfortunately, for TV, it is the best out there. :P

Re:Please, just make it not suck... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787527)

> For TV/PVR functionality, it's great. Want to watch a DVD or, gods forbid, a video file? Prepare for an exercise in pain.

          What pain? Just drop it somewhere Myth knows to look.

          If you have a more "complicated" setup. You will need to tell Myth to scan your collection again to pick up the new movie.

> evening manually remapping the buttons with vim.

          If you insist on using vi, that's your own problem and BDSM fetish.

          I use the same remote on all my machines so that everything is interchangeable and
          that no one gets confused going from room to room with the remotes. You don't have
          to go out of your way to make things hard for yourself.

          "vim" is a nice example of this.

> And if you DARE to want to record off of a non-tuned interface (RCA, e.g.)

        You mean like svideo? That's a recommended configuration.

Re:Please, just make it not suck... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787791)

> For TV/PVR functionality, it's great. Want to watch a DVD or, gods forbid, a video file? Prepare for an exercise in pain.

          What pain? Just drop it somewhere Myth knows to look.

          If you have a more "complicated" setup. You will need to tell Myth to scan your collection again to pick up the new movie.

Unless it's in a less common format. For example, anime fansubs are often found in Matroska (mkv) containers with subtitles and even multiple audio tracks built in. Back to remapping...

There's more to watching a video than just copying it onto the system. And I've never been able to just put it on the system and watch it without doing the rescan. All my videos are in /myth/video.

Not to mention the lack of NAS media server support.

> evening manually remapping the buttons with vim.

          If you insist on using vi, that's your own problem and BDSM fetish.

          I use the same remote on all my machines so that everything is interchangeable and
          that no one gets confused going from room to room with the remotes. You don't have
          to go out of your way to make things hard for yourself.

          "vim" is a nice example of this.

Way to miss the point (I'll assume you did that and you're not intentionally obfuscating it).

The point is not that you have to use vim. I prefer vim as my text editor, since I access the mythbox via ssh. But whether you're using vim, emacs, gedit, or scite, you're still remapping an extremely common remote because the stock setups are ridiculously flawed, and there's not an easier way to do it that I've found than looking at the .lircrc in one window and the mythtv keybindings in the other and making them match up, somehow.

> And if you DARE to want to record off of a non-tuned interface (RCA, e.g.)

        You mean like svideo? That's a recommended configuration.

No, I mean like Composite (fka "RCA"). To get that to work is such an amazing kluge it makes my head hurt to just remember doing it. And it didn't even work well.

I know what I'm doing, and I still find all of this to be a PITA. Moreso when I have to repeat it on upgrades. For anything other than watching TV, it is not user friendly at all.

Re:Please, just make it not suck... (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787883)

It's not a joke. I've never had a problem watching video files. You've got a point with DVDs; the default mappings for remote control buttons in xine are idiotic, and in distributions like KnoppMyth, this should probably be reported as a bug and fixed. But really, edit the configuration file one time, and it's done. If it's done properly, you shouldn't have problems navigating DVD menus ever again. (Also be sure to save the config file, in case you ever accidentally overwrite it.)

Oh, and as another poster said, don't use vi if if it's such a pain. I never use it. And if you don't want to have to ever edit text configuration files by hand to get something working, well, MythTV probably isn't the right choice.

Re:Please, just make it not suck... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#25788007)

Oh, and as another poster said, don't use vi if if it's such a pain. I never use it. And if you don't want to have to ever edit text configuration files by hand to get something working, well, MythTV probably isn't the right choice.

No, I like vi. but it's not just a matter of editing the file. You're constantly vgrepping to cross reference the lirc mappings with the xine mappings, mythtv mappings, mplayer mappings, whatever is being used in your system. It's somewhat irritating.

Not to mention the parts that just plain don't work. I put up some images to play with the slideshow function, go into that menu, open the image and wham... instant freeze-up.

As for it not being the right choice... the most important functionality for me is the PVR, which it does fairly well (better than the alternatives at least) and since I do know what I'm doing, it's a viable option.

I don't think that means that I should not wish for improvements on the areas that it falls short.

XBMC (3, Interesting)

FunkyELF (609131) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787117)

I am a long time XBMC user. I used it pre-fork when it was called XBMP (xbox media player). I am also a MythTV user.
I would love to see MythTV completely drop the entire frontend and have MythTV be only for backend recording. If you want that old crappy mythfrontend stuff around make it a separate project altogether and let users choose between mythfrontend or XBMC.
One thing I hate about myth's front end is the use of a DB for music or videos. Why can't you browse a NFS share, samba mount, or just a local directory live? You wanna build a DB so you can sort by artist, genre or whatever...fine. Do that, but let me just browse my files.
Seriously...drop the crap, write a good plugin for XBMC and be done with it.

Not trying to knock MythTV. It rocks as a recorder and has an awesome web interface...but thats about it. Playback is pretty lousy. XBMC is an awesome at everything it does.

MythTV is great, so long as you take the time (1)

compgenius3 (726265) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787217)

I absolutely love MythTV, yeah I'll admit it's cost waay more than I originally thought it would, and I've spent far too much time working with it and maintaining it, but that's part of the fun. This past summer I finally reached a point where I don't have regular issues. Mostly it was an issue of getting hardware that had strong support. My suggestion to anyone looking to build a MythTV box, pick out some hardware then look on the Wiki for any issues. Overall, while it has been a huge time sink, MythTV has been an amazing learning experience and has gotten me into Linux more than I ever would have otherwise.

Re:MythTV is great, so long as you take the time (1)

Cybershark302 (251658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787859)

I agree 100% except for the point about cost. A few weeks ago I upgraded my first mythbox venture to the following for $307 shipped:

1TB HDD
E7200 CPU
2GB memory
Foxconn mATX board with HDMI out (nVidia 7100 onboard)

It runs a pair of Pinnacle 800i HD tuners and I haven't had any issues for it. I'm running mine in gentoo (control freak issues) and it even has the full support of the girlfriend...It's actually that simple.

It has taken a while to get it all tweaked out (3-4 weeks of intermittent playtime), but now it reliably grabs all my shows and I don't miss anything...

Do your research (4, Interesting)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#25787769)

Before trying MythTV, do your research. Many of the complaints so far are from people who had trouble getting to work tried to do too much. Here are some guidelines:
  1. Do some research on hardware [mythtv.org]
  2. DO NOT USE ATi cards.
    Some people have gotten them to work but support for ATi on Linux is lacking. Before anyone complains about the huge cost of getting a new card, you can get a cheap nVidia (FX5 or higher) for as little as $30.
  3. Try it out using a Live CD
    Don't wipe out your system just yet wondering if it will work. Use a live CD and see if it work at all. If it doesn't, you can eject the disc and reboot without any harm to your system. Currently, MythDora [mythdora.com] , Mythbuntu [mythbuntu.org] , and KnoppMyth [mysettopbox.tv] are the top versions
  4. Understand what you want, what you need.
    For basic DVR functionality installing one the previous versions mentioned above is easy enough for most people. To get all the features, you might have to invest in some hardware. To get a networked system, you're going have to know more about Linux. For digital OTA HD TV, you need a digital OTA tuner and a video card with at least DVI out. If you are staying on analog cable and TV, you can get it running on very cheap hardware. Right now using a digital cable tuner is not fully supported as these boxes don't always have API documentation.

Could Write A DVR in Time Spent Tweaking MythTV (1)

glennrrr (592457) | more than 5 years ago | (#25788121)

I have a MythTV in my basement. I've occasionally patched minor bugs in MythTV. I've even written a semi-popular iPhone remote control for MythTV. But the thing about this kind of do it yourself project is the amazing amount of time it wastes.

Think about it. If MythTV has (completely bogus numbers to follow) 100,000 users--and being MythTV users they are technically skillful--and it takes them an average of a 40 hour work week of tweaking to dial things in, then that is 4 Million hours which could be spent elsewhere. Like for instance doing something good for society like improving Linux's power management system; or writing a DVR which just works.

I did learn an awful lot about installing Linux packages.

And open source is supposed to compete with packages like EyeTV where the user is watching TV and scheduling shows in under an hour. I don't know about other people, but I would sell 40 hours of my time for somewhere in the neighborhood of $3000 for short term projects. It's like saying recycling cardboard is cost effective if you don't value the labor of the homeowner sorting it.

locking for a standard PVR backend (1)

toesterdahl (1409235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25788183)

MythTV is an as popular as unsuitable entry point for people to Linux. Lots of people seem to be trying Linux because of MythTV and just as many seem to be failing on it and leave Linux behind very frustrated. MythTV setup is probably allright if you work with databases and some system config on a daily basis, if you don't it is just to complicated. Unfortunately there is not so many good recording back-ends out there while there is plenty of good media-box apps. Best thing for the community would be if MythTV opened up to become the standard API for video recording and timeshifting. It definitely should do recording, timeshifting and playback. Perhaps it should do scheduling of new recordings. It does not need to do front-ends, tv-tables or managing channels. It might do also these things, but it would certainly do the rest of us a good favour if it openened up for using the backend with other front-ends.
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