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MythTV 0.25 Released, New HW Acceleration and Audio Standards Support

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the now-that's-some-conservative-numbering dept.

Media 144

unts writes "The highly configurable Linux PVR, MythTV, has reached the 0.25 release, over 500 days after the previous full release. New features include VAAPI support, E-AC3, TrueHD, and DTS-HD audio, the ability to control other home entertainment devices via HDMI CEC and additions to the API to allow HTTP live streaming. The release notes for 0.25 don't reflect the release status at the time of writing, but should contain most of the relevant changes. MythTV can be used as a backend (recorder) and frontend (viewer), but can also feed other frontends such as appropriate versions of XBMC. Hopefully the new HTTP streaming API will lead to even more ways to get your video fix."

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User Guide anyone? (5, Insightful)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#39632943)

I think MythTV is in dire need of a more polished and coherent UI. And a comprehensive user and installation guide.

New tech feats are ok, but they'll probably make the whole thing even less useable.

Re:User Guide anyone? (3, Insightful)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633141)

And a comprehensive user and installation guide.

Thats my biggest issue with F/OSS - poor or missing or flat out wrong and outdated documentation...

Re:User Guide anyone? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39633193)

It's one of the things I love about OpenBSD. They classify missing documentation on any feature as a bug.

Re:User Guide anyone? (3, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633795)

I actually LOVED MythTV...back when I was watching HD over the air, in combination with getting free analog cable tv from my cable internet connection....there were also some HD (local stuff) on that unfiltered cable feed.

However, I've moved about in recent years, and at the current new place, can't find the filter to remove for that cable internet connection. And now set up with UVerse, I wanted lots of HD content for new big plasma tv.

I wish there was a way to integrate MythTV with Uverse....but until I can find a way to do that, Myth is not something I mess with any longer.

I did prefer it...great for setting recording filters and keywords, etc. Much better than any DVR that comes with cable or uverse or satellite.

Re:User Guide anyone? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39634081)

I wish there was a way to integrate MythTV with Uverse....but until I can find a way to do that, Myth is not something I mess with any longer.

Try sickbeard. It isn't quite what you want, but it will integrate very well with the internet part of Uverse...

Re:User Guide anyone? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634613)

> I wish there was a way to integrate MythTV with Uverse....but until I can find a way to do that

Use the old style S1 Tivo approach. People used PVRs with digital cable long before digital tuners of any sort came out.

Re:User Guide anyone? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634615)

Over-the-air is the way to go (it's free). But some people live in poor areas and have to use satellite. Can the MythTV replace Dish's $7/month DVR (what an insane price; the whole thing only costs $150 if purchased outright).

Re:User Guide anyone? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634807)

Over-the-air is the way to go (it's free).

Well, sadly...I can't get most of the channels I watch in HD over the air.

I can't get:

FoodTV

Cooking Channel

Discovery Channels (multiple ones)

History Channels

CNN

Fox News

MSNBC

(yes, I like to see varied points of view)

Velocity Channel......etc. I think you can see where I'm going here.

I very seldom watch the big 3 network channels. I pretty much only watch the Big Bang Theory, and that's really it except for my local news. But OTA only offers 5-6 channels tops...and they're not putting out the HD content I watch 99% of the time.

Re:User Guide anyone? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39635885)

I was flipping through those channels over the weekend, while sitting in my hotel.

Basically there was nothing worth watching, which is why I don't send comcast $1000/year. Besides there are a lot of over-the-air equivalents to Discovery (PBS), TVland (Retro/antennaTV), TNT/AMC (thisTV/other movie channels), 24 hour news (france24, RT, BBC, and the daily FOX,NBC,CBS,ABC news), and so on.

The only thing I want but can't get is Syfy's various shows, but Hulu fills-in that gap. Overall I don't miss the cable one bit. OTA + internet is good enough and cheap ($15/month).

Re:User Guide anyone? (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39636085)

Some of us want to watch The Walking Dead, MythBusters, South Park, etc. legally and can't be watched OTA. :P

Re:User Guide anyone? (1)

colinnwn (677715) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634769)

There is a way, though it is expensive and inconvenient. It involves using a Hauppauge HD-PVR and the IR blaster with your Uverse box. http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hdpvr.html [hauppauge.com]

Re:User Guide anyone? (2)

Orphaze (243436) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634923)

I'm in the same boat, having Comcast with a number of HD channels that I like to record and watch. For some lucky few, such channels are available via firewire, unencrypted out of the cable box. I am not so lucky.

To remedy this, I have a Hauppuage HD-PVR. It is basically a $150 component + digital audio to h264 hardware encoder. Myth uses it combined with firewire channel changing (ir blasting works just fine though) to record all of my premium channels. The decrease in quality is barely perceptible even on our large set, and it is a small price to pay for such a great system.

Re:User Guide anyone? (1)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 2 years ago | (#39636029)

Maybe the silicondust hdhomerun prime? it is a cable card tuner, allowing more HD to be recorded if the provider uses cable cards.

Re:User Guide anyone? (1)

cluedweasel (832743) | more than 2 years ago | (#39635733)

It's a security feature, surely?

Re:User Guide anyone? (2)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633423)

Too many in the FOSS community think the programmers are all you need to make decent software. So they take a "Who needs UI designers and technical writers?" approach that leaves the software produced sorely lacking in the kind of polish that people are willing to spend money for with commercial software.

Re:User Guide anyone? (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634003)

In a nutshell.

The larger picture is, the programmers often ACTIVELY reject offers of critical help on interface design and usability, not to mention requests to streamline the installation of basic hardware such as remote controls. For instance, the Mythbuntu page for using ATi Remote Wonder remotes [mythtv.org] , which were immensely popular and are still readily available in retail packaged alone or with ATi's capture boards including the All-In-Wonder HD line. Setup for these things is a nightmare - command line garbage, edit this or that file, go see "this other page" to find out how to get all the buttons working.

Would it REALLY be hard to set up a script that could enable the necessary settings? Of course not, they've done it for a number of the other remotes by outfites like Hauppauge. But because scripting that isn't "sexy" and some of the programmers are still acting all butthurt about ATi not having open drivers before AMD bought them out, none of the MythTV or Mythbuntu team want to get off their ass and integrate such a script into the main trunk even if someone from the outside submitted it.

It's shit like this that hinders F/OSS adoption by the larger population.

Re:User Guide anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39635125)

The larger picture is, the programmers often ACTIVELY reject offers of critical help on interface design and usability

And thus Gnome3 was born. FYI, they ACTIVELY rejected criticisms of their own usability experts and endless usability guides and studies to create what is lovingly known as Gnome3 (aka a stinking POS). And, oh, according to the developers, if you disagree with them, then you are lacking the mental facilities to comment on the subject anyways.

Re:User Guide anyone? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39635189)

My distribution handles all of my IR remote issues automagically. This is as it should be because it really has nothing to do with MythTV. It's a basic OS level hardware support issue.

Your own description of the situation seems to highlight why a lot of people still have a considerable amount of "skepticism" when it comes to ATI.

ATI has been a "vendor best avoided" since the bt879 days.

Even on Windows it helps to ask the community for recommendations and actually listen to them.

Re:User Guide anyone? (1, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39635355)

See, this is precisely the standard shitty linux user attitude that causes problems.

The ATi stuff I have, I've had for years. Under a Windows install, it worked great - STILL DOES in fact. F/OSS evangelists in my area are always trying to get me to "switch over" to a MythTV / Mythbuntu-based system, which I've tried a few times (no harm to slap in an alternate hard drive and test the build for the sake of testing).

You didn't even look at the wiki page I pointed to, to see all the different sets of instructions for multiple different distributions and specific issues on each. You just went straight into your bullshit about ATi being "a vendor best avoided since the bt879 days" which is twofold stupid considering (a) all you're doing is trash-talking and (b) I wasn't even talking about capture cards, I was talking about remotes, which operate completely independent of the capture hardware.

Your own description of the situation seems to highlight why a lot of people still have a considerable amount of "skepticism" when it comes to ATI. ATI has been a "vendor best avoided" since the bt879 days.

And your attitude shows why anyone who already owns ATi equipment is going to say Fuck You in return and go about their business, most of them never to try F/OSS alternatives again since you are acting like a bunch of stuck up pricks poo-pooing existing and widely used hardware.

Re:User Guide anyone? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634357)

Too many in the FOSS community think the programmers are all you need to make decent software. So they take a "Who needs UI designers and technical writers?" approach that leaves the software produced sorely lacking in the kind of polish that people are willing to spend money for with commercial software.

Exactly. Then again, given the derision towards companies that repackage technology (e.g., Apple) into more user-friendly form...

I mean, Apple's big points on marketing, but they score a pile on usability. With Jobs it was easy - he'd scream his head off if something was just a little bit off.

Then again, maybe it's just derision when we see our computers and other gadgets being used and enjoyed by the hoi polloi and realize that computer operation isn't as elite as it used to be even just 30 years ago. Especially since everyone needs to use a computer to do anything it seems.

Or maybe it's just human nature- I suppose the mechanics have similar "cupholder" stories to tell about people who use their cars as mere transportation rather than moving works of art they should be priviledged to touch?

Re:User Guide anyone? (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634545)

I don't know about cupholders, but I remember one of the trophy-wife types who was somehow working her way through an MBA (probably on her knees) when I was going through undergrad.

Come out to the parking lot, she's screaming at the BMW that had been her birthday gift from her sugar-daddy/husband a bit over a year ago, kicking the tire with her way-too-high heels, cussing up a storm because it makes a grinding noise and won't turn over to start. Tow truck shows up, guy asks her when her last oil change was.

Response of girl with more tit-silicone mass than brain mass: "you have to change the oil? Nobody told me that!"

Re:User Guide anyone? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634511)

I enjoy writing documentation..... but only if I'm getting paid. I listen to audiobooks or talkradio while I'm writing. But since documenting OSS doesn't pay, I'm not doing it. (shrug)

Re:User Guide anyone? (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633883)

And really scary version numbers.
I see a 0.25 version number. I am like this isn't a full featured project. Then I have to step back and go. Well it is open source. They hate giving it a version 1.0 label until they get everything they wanted done.

Re:User Guide anyone? (3, Insightful)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39635193)

I've been using it since 0.17 and it's been "fully functional" as far as I care since then.

I don't think it's ever going to penetrate the commercial space now ; digital TV has made it much easier to make products with PVR features and you can get devices that are basically an HDMI dongle with an SD card slot that perform the significant function (stream recording and playback), you have the likes of Ubuntu TV and the built in OS that most digital TVs seem to have these days.

I cut my teeth on Linux with MythTV though - at the time, I had to use Gentoo to get the bleeding edge kernel support for my DVB hardware. I learned a lot. I'd guess it's still a reasonable way to learn something about Linux, even if it's much easier than it used to be. Which is another way of saying it's a hobbyists project.

Re:User Guide anyone? (1)

csubi (950112) | more than 2 years ago | (#39635389)

I don't think that many F/OSS projects lack documentation. Having said this, MythTV is definitely not a good example; the documentation and installation is a nightmare IMO.

Re:User Guide anyone? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39633155)

RTFM, nigger.

Re:User Guide anyone? (-1, Offtopic)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633229)

RTFM, nigger.

Yassuh !

Re:User Guide anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39633431)

Actually, to me, a working program is more important. I still haven't gotten past the issue where a simple act of changing the channel would crash the encoder. This has been checked with different capture cards in several computer systems that still results in the same error message.

I may be tempted to try again, but I don't hold much hope.

Re:User Guide anyone? (1)

jdastrup (1075795) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633495)

I've never seen that, and I've set up dozens of MythTV systems over the years for myself, family and friends, and used different hardware, althouth I usually try to stick to the "known to work" category

Re:User Guide anyone? (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634307)

Actually I sometimes see that problem as well. I have a PVR-350 although I no longer use the output port on it. If two programs are recorded back to back on different channels there is a small chance mythbackend will die and the second program will not record and nothing else will until I notice it and restart the backend.

I'm not super worried because I'm already saving my pennies for a Prime, especially with a new version out and hopefully simplifying setting one of them up to use all three tuners.

Re:User Guide anyone? (2)

Mojo66 (1131579) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633983)

I think MythTV is in dire need of a more polished and coherent UI. And a comprehensive user and installation guide.

New tech feats are ok, but they'll probably make the whole thing even less useable.

I'm still on 0.23 for exactly that reason. It took me ages to set it up properly and now I hesitate to upgrade.

Re:User Guide anyone? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39634271)

There are several distros out there that to all this for you. My favorite is Mythbuntu (www.mythbuntu.org) which is based on a scaled down version of Ubuntu. You can either install the packages into an existing Ubuntu install, or install from scratch and have only what is needed for the system to function. Installation and configuration of both server and client is easy this way...

Re:User Guide anyone? (2)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634891)

They finally have the structure in place for a decent UI (as of 0.24, actually). Unfortunately, there aren't any great designers working on themes. A lot of designers who make pretty pictures, but know nothing of how to make things for people who are using the TV from 10 feet away with a remote.

Re:User Guide anyone? (1)

bmxeroh (1694004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634977)

I'm with you on the installation guide. I have yet to complete a MythTV setup I started messing with forever ago. Admittedly I haven't messed with it much, but I went in to it thinking that I could have some basic functionality done in an hour or two. Definitely not the case.

Re:User Guide anyone? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39635235)

Anything not involving a tuner should be trivial and accomplished with little more than an invocation of "apt-get".

Wake me when it hits 1.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39632951)

n/t

Netflix (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39632963)

Have they created a netflix plugin yet? If not, then who the hell cares.

Re:Netflix (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633165)

I think there is one that works on Windows. For other platforms, the setup involves running Windows in VirtualBox or similar. Unfortunately this is a requirement because Netflix streaming uses Silverlight with some DRM that is not compatible with Moonlight, so is only available on Windows. Want to fix it? Write to the movie studios and tell them that this is why they're not getting any of your money.

Re:Netflix (3, Insightful)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633233)

Want to fix it? Write to the movie studios and tell them that this is why they're not getting any of your money.

Good luck with that. I'm pretty sure they're trying to kill netflix not get them more subscribers.

Re:Netflix (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39633361)

I fixed it by just buying a WDTV Live Plus last year and between Netflix and pirated content from Usenet I get everything I need. No need for tuners or cable boxes or complicated setups. Just a Linux backend running Sickbeard + Couch Potato for the Usenet-sourced content and the WDTV Live Plus plays it all and streams Netflix.

Re:Netflix (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39635255)

When I first started using MythTV, an mp3 streamer would set you back at least $300. Video streamers are so cheap now that the lack of Netflix in MythTV itself is a lot less of a problem.

A cheap Roku could be an MCE extender if not for the DRM nonsense with cable TV these days.

Re:Netflix (2)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634169)

Dear TheRaven64,
We here at the movie studios are writing you back to let you know that we don't agree with your open source stance, and that is why don't get the privilege of viewing our totally awesome content. You can keep your money, and we'll use your illegal downloading of our content to show how we've lost 10 billion trillion million dollars, and use that as a case to filter the internets, get the courts to allow us to rifle through any/all social networks whenever we want, place surveillance cameras in your home, and threaten to sue you until your grandkids go bankrupt.

Thank you,
The Movie Studios

Re:Netflix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39633323)

> who the hell cares.

Everyone who loves commercial auto-skip?

Re:Netflix (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634703)

> > who the hell cares.
>
> Everyone who loves commercial auto-skip?

I dumped Netflix streaming as soon as they started charging extra for it. If you already have a good PVR attached to a cable box, the selection of stuff on Netflix is just laughable.

Who the hell cares about Netflix Streaming?

Netflix streaming is lame. All the wishful thinking in the world won't turn it into a triple crown winner.

Re:Netflix (1)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633383)

A perfectly good netflix client for linux definitely does exist, because netflix comes standard on android-based googleTV devices. However, netflix is not willing to let the world have the sources, or even unrestricted access to the executables.

The only reason I can think of for this is that the netflix service must have some titanic security flaw that is so deeply embedded in their architecture that it would take absurd amounts of money to fix. You don't give up an income stream for no reason - maybe they're hiding something? I'd love to hear other explanations.

Re:Netflix (1)

thelexx (237096) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633803)

Projected support costs of Linux version vs. Projected revenue from it would be my guess. It's oft-repeated unfortunately.

Re:Netflix (2)

David Chappell (671429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634705)

Projected support costs of Linux version vs. Projected revenue from it would be my guess. It's oft-repeated unfortunately.

Yes, it is a frequently cited reason, but not necessary the true one. Netflix used to work on Linux (until they switched to Silverlight). The last explanation from a Netflix executives of why they still have not restored Linux support was a long string of technical gibberish which basically boiled down to "because it isn't Windows". It was clear that he had no idea what it would take to get Linux support back.

It is not just Netflix that does this. Estimates of how hard it would be to support Linux often assume a separate from-scratch development effort would be required. Often all that is really needed is to provide what they already have in a slightly different form. Sometimes this just means a new installer. In other cases all that is required is a few web pages. Very often the effort would benefit all of their uses. For example, if Garmin were to provided direct links to firmware files and instructions for copying them to the right place on the GPS, it would save users a lot of trouble when the just-click-this-and-don't-worry-your-pretty-little-head-about-it programs fail.

Re:Netflix (1)

berashith (222128) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633857)

the netflx client also exists for a few select android phones. There must be something in the hardware on some devices that allows netflix to lock something. Maybe it is that my G2 has no video out?

Re:Netflix (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#39636007)

Probably has more to do with system requirements.

I also have a G2, my wife has a Mytouch 4G slide, also no video out, but it has the Netflix app.

Re:Netflix (1)

Mojo66 (1131579) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634061)

I'd love to hear other explanations.

Microsoft shoved a lot of money up their asses in order to get a foothold in a market where they don't yet dominate.

Re:Netflix (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634587)

This is why it's a good idea for people to write GNU/Linux when they mean "That open source operating system Ubuntu is based upon", even if some people seem to feel like they have to refuse doing so because RMS wants them to, and RMS is a dirty hippy or something. (WTF?)

Basically, it doesn't matter that there's an Android version. The APIs for Android and GNU/Linux are so completely unalike it's probably easier to port the Mac OS X version (if there is one, although I think it's all Silverlight based anyway?) to GNU/Linux than it is the Android version.

Which is not to suggest it's impossible to use the Android version as a base for an unofficial port, but it'd be awkward, and in reality it'd probably be easier to run the Windows client under Wine. And probably more efficient.

Re:Netflix (1)

Cajun Hell (725246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39635929)

Has Netflix started using standards yet? If not, then who the hell cares.

huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39632967)

are people still using mythtv?

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39633227)

What do you suggest as an alternative?

Re:huh? (5, Insightful)

jdastrup (1075795) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633309)

Legit question, for several reasons, and I'm a huge MythTV fan, have been for 8+ years, but I still use it. Here's why, and why not:

1.I no longer frequently use the video and music plugins, since so much content is streaming over the Internet or other devices. I have some old DVD/BluRay rips still on it that I sometimes watch.
2. I no longer use it to watch any DVD's, for the same reason above, AND the DVD player in it sucks at playing 50% of the DVDs I have, and it doesn't play BluRays.
3. I still use it constantly for the TV recording features. It's still the best DVR by far than any thing else out there, F/OSS, or commercial. Yes, I understand, lots of you college kids and hippy-types watch everything on Hulu or wherever else on your laptops in the coffee-shops, but I like recording shows, watching them later THAT SAME NIGHT or the next night, AUTO-SKIP commercials, on a big 65" TV in HD. All my HD content is from an antenna - I only watch network shows, no cable, don't need it. So it works perfect for that.

Re:huh? (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633509)

and it doesn't play BluRays.

LOL the only BR I play come from Us**et and torrents as video files not old fashioned optical disks, but a glance at the readme for 0.25 shows that adding native blueray support was a major focus of 0.25.

If they're into adding legacy physical media, I'd like an 8-track interface for mythmusic while they're at it. Maybe sony mini-disc player support?

so much content is streaming over the Internet

One of the pains of being an early adopter is you get your attitudes set in stone from ye olden days. For me, streaming will always be shitty breaking up and stuttering realaudio from 1997. Has it improved any? I tried watching a couple youtube videos on my phone recently and they're all stutter and buffer but maybe real devices work better now? Or does streaming still suck?

Re:huh? (1)

jdastrup (1075795) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633589)

Native BluRay support would be nice, but considering they can't even get DVD playback to work reliably, I'm not counting on it.

Streaming from legit services (hulu, netflix, even YouTube if the SOURCE is good) is fine for me and all my devices. But, it either costs, has ads, or the content isn't current (e.g. Last season is available ,but not this season ,etc)

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39633989)

One of the pains of being an early adopter is you get your attitudes set in stone from ye olden days. For me, streaming will always be shitty breaking up and stuttering realaudio from 1997. Has it improved any? I tried watching a couple youtube videos on my phone recently and they're all stutter and buffer but maybe real devices work better now? Or does streaming still suck?

One Python script [github.com] to solve all your woes.

My experience echoes your own. I "watch" YouTube videos by cutting and pasting the ID onto the command line. Then I go do something else while the video downloads, and by the time I'm done reading, all my "streamed" content is cached - permanently - on disk.

The fact that it's immune from being thrown down the memory hole at some later date is just a bonus.

Re:huh? (1)

kalpol (714519) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633649)

This is exactly how I use it - recorded OTA television (no cable) and video files with MythTV, and then Netflix in Virtualbox, and Amarok for music. This results in more TV than I have time to watch anyway.

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39634125)

I would love to use a F/OSS media center type program but I am a little hesitant. I currently have a setup using windows media center on vista ultimate 64, it is silent, works with my onboard hdmi out and my diamond tv card. (I switched from 2 4870's to the onboard as they were loud and I just didn't need the graphics horsepower for watching tv. I use cable and record a lot of shows for my kids (disney/mickey mouse). I also use the media center remote with it. It's a quad core amd with an ssd for the os (40 gb) and multiple 2 tb drives for media.
Will myth tv work with cable and a tv card and remote and be able to send hdmi audio/video to my reciever?
I use ubuntu on my laptop and would be very willing to try it out, can I set up a flash drive to boot from and have ubuntu and myth tv on it and it be functional?
Thanks if anyone has any useful info.

Re:huh? (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 2 years ago | (#39635989)

Don't know which Diamond card you're using as a tuner, but Mythbuntu should be familiar enough for you, and is what I've been using.

It does all that you're doing now, and works with your Media Center remote. What chip is your onboard graphics?

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39634133)

Bwahaha! OTA? Really? You're living in the past, man!

Cablecard support? (3, Informative)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633365)

Doesn't do me much good if I can't use it on my cable system without a jerry-rigged IR blaster/multiple tuner setup.

Re:Cablecard support? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39633507)

already there!

http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/Recording_Digital_Cable#Option_4:_CableCard_Tuner

sad news is that most everything besides your local channels are likely to have the DRM flags set, which mythtv (or the tuner) honors so you can't record them.

Re:Cablecard support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39635143)

If you have a sucky cable provider like Time Warner, then that's true. With Comcast, you will most likely have everything except premium/PPV with Copy Free encryption (which can be watched under linux). With some cable companies, even most of the premium channels are Copy Free.

Re:Cablecard support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39635283)

To be clear, when I say "Copy Free encryption", the video is encrypted over the cable line, but the DRM allows the video to be passed to linux unencrypted.

Re:Cablecard support? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633535)

The phrase you didn't know to google for is "hdhomerun prime"

I have no personal experience with that device, but its the "talk of the town" in mythtv circles.

Re:Cablecard support? (3, Informative)

Digicrat (973598) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633591)

Unfortunately that's one issue outside the scope of the mythtv project.

The HDHomeRun Prime technically does support CableCARD usage with Linux - but only for stations marked as "copy freely." If your cable provider decides to place any more restrictive copy flags on it (now or later), then your out of luck.

To make things even more annoying, even if you have an Xbox360 to use as a supplement for those premium channels, it can't tune the encrypted stations live without a Win7 box to serve as a pass-through.

Cable companies want above else for you to use their hardware and their services (DVR, cable box, etc) and are still fighting tooth and nail to cripple competing services on every front.

Re:Cablecard support? (1)

kalpol (714519) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633723)

Cable companies want above else for you to use their hardware and their services (DVR, cable box, etc) and are still fighting tooth and nail to cripple competing services on every front.

Well, too bad for them that they can't force me to subscribe to cable. I've even gone so far as to pull out the janky wiring from multiple cable installs over the years in the house I purchased.

Re:Cablecard support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39635437)

Verizon (at least in the Dallas, TX area) seems fairly friendly to computers with video-capture cards, such as the HDHomeRun. There's a whole section on their website on using cablecards with non-Verizon hardware. See http://www22.verizon.com/ResidentialHelp/FiOSTV/Other+Hardware/CableCARDs/CableCARDs.htm
That said, the wife and I have been happy over-the-air broadcast MythTV users for almost a decade, only recently adding Verizon to watch the Texas Rangers. Now that 0.25 is released, I'll be trying to use the cable box as a tuner over Firewire. If that doesn't work, I'll probably buy an HDHomeRun and rent a cablecard.

Re:Cablecard support? (1)

portwojc (201398) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633919)

There are three options for a cable card... http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/CableCARD

Of course there is still the DRM problem...

Re:Cablecard support? (1)

je1330 (606146) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634739)

Actually, there's another option for tuners. I'm using Mythbuntu with a WinTV-DCR-2650 and Verizon FiOS. When I first set things up, there were several local channels that had copy protection turned on *incorrectly* according to federal regulations, however some research showed that the manufacturer of the HD Homerun devices as well as Hauppauge had firmware updates out for their Cablecard devices that allowed incorrect copy protection flags to be ignored. I highly recommend this setup, the quality is great, I don't have any trouble with recording, and get all the channels I've signed up for (basic extended?).

Re:Cablecard support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39634841)

SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime is exceptionally slick and works great with MythTV.

Re:Cablecard support? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634851)

> Doesn't do me much good if I can't use it on my cable system without a jerry-rigged IR blaster/multiple tuner setup.

Worked well enough for Tivos.

Since cable cards are not a simple CAM, it's not really a one for one comparison. Using draconian encryption comes with it's own tradeoffs. They aren't something to be casually ignored.

mythnettv (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633399)

I wish they would integrate mythnettv into the mainline. Its an addon that shoves video podcasts into your "recorded tv shows" list as if they came over the air (or cable or satellite or whatever). Most of what I watch on "TV" is from revision3 or twit.tv or ted talks rss feed now rather than the old fashioned "tv" networks and it all comes from mythnettv run by a cron job every night pulling a bunch of RSS feeds.

Another thing thats bugged me for years with my myth setup at home is they've got all this psuedo-intelligent magic AI post-processing after recording that makes commercials disappear... literally hands free you're watching TV, a break comes up, it skips the commercials. Very nice, very impressive, something no other DVR has, a killer feature that makes it impossible to even consider trying another. However, for years and years they still can't figure out a way to auto-zoom widescreen content on a narrow channel shown on a wide display (in other words, a tiny pic in the center of a giant black border). You'd think tech smart enough to detect and autoskip commercials could figure out when a TV show gets "framed" and adjust the zoom appropriately. Maybe this is something they added back in 0.23 and I just haven't noticed yet, donno.

Another thing that bugs me is digital dropouts make a star trek like sound in addition to ugly picture and I wish the backend could be convinced if the mpeg stream turns to crap that it should cleanly eat the bad checksum frames and mute the sound stream. Doesn't happen often. But the concept of a squelch function when the input drops doesn't seem like rocket science to implement. Even a cheap TV can bluescreen on lack of input signal, why not my myth backend?

If you sign up for schedule data from schedules direct, how come myth can't tell you when it expires other than your listings disappearing?

Back around 0.20 there was a really nice streaming audio player and I found it amusing to listen to various world wide stations on my TV. That disappeared in recent versions, a rare feature regression. I miss that.

Honestly 0.24 is/was about 99% perfect, its just these weird corner cases that still bug me after years and years, and it sounds like 0.25 has fixed none of my real issues while adding support for stuff I simply don't care about.

I am pleased that its 1998 in mythtv land so they finally support ipv6... I'm thinking of setting up a frontend at my mother in law's place and this saves me the effort of putting a vpn client to make her house part of my network. Then she'd have my full library of media and a decent DVR. From multi-room DVR to multi-house DVR, here I come!

Re:mythnettv (1)

lynnroth (213826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633555)

MythTV definitely has the "zoom a letterboxed SD signal into a widescreen picture". It was at least in .23, which I was running until a couple of weeks ago.

Re:mythnettv (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633743)

For real? I'm not talking about bringing up the OSD menu, then selecting video then selecting ... zoom or whatever (from memory) then selecting full instead of none, but I'm requesting a magic auto-zoomer where if it sees a black donut with a pic in the middle then it eats the donut and autozooms.

I'm not too worked up, this is only an issue if my atsc tuners are all busy and I'm stuck watching a widescreen show on a SD analog tuner (standard analog cable input). So it doesn't happen often, but it does happen... PBS seems to be the worst WRT this, they've abandoned narrowscreen completely in my market but still push a widescreen image on their analog cable channel.

It looks pretty bad zoomed, but at least there's no black donut.

Re:mythnettv (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634207)

It's not automatic, but at least on my version of MythTV the 'W' key cycles through all the zoom settings during playback, so you don't have to pull up a menu. I use it all the time on my analog cable channels.

I also usually set 4:3 broadcasts to "half zoom" so that it fills up more of the TV screen at the expense of chopping a tiny bit off the top and bottom. So now I when I start watching a program, I instinctively hit W once for normal shows, and twice for letterboxed shows.

Re:mythnettv (1)

CaptainLugnuts (2594663) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634523)

It has an automatic zoom setting on 0.24 It's what I use at home.

Re:mythnettv (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634771)

Yup, it can be set to automagic. I do it, and lemme tell ya something. That one feature boosted the WAF by 50% alone. Making half-zoom the default on 4:3 content sealed the deal. Few TVs can even do that trick. She is now ready to go for an upgrade to a Prime and have to watch everything through Myth. The advantages of getting rid of/minimizing the stupid black bars everywhere were enough to overcome the slow channel changing while filling the ring buffer. And it looks like 0.25 has sped that up anyway so yea!

Re:mythnettv (1)

compgenius3 (726265) | more than 2 years ago | (#39635407)

Yes, it is automatic as of 0.24, but if you use VDPAU to decode, it will not work as the video stream is never passed back through mythtv.

Re:mythnettv (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39635691)

Ah that is exactly my situation.

Re:mythnettv (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39635205)

I'm requesting a magic auto-zoomer where if it sees a black donut with a pic in the middle then it eats the donut and autozooms.

What happens when a film fades in to a small but bright title/logo/whatever on a black background? Wouldn't your algorithm result in zooming in way too far on that image?

Re:mythnettv (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39635715)

The automagical commercial skipper already reads the whole file and thinks about it. If a "film" had that aspect ratio for 2 hours... that would be annoying enough not to watch.

Re:mythnettv (1)

hackersass (785308) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633627)

Expiration of Schedules Direct Data should show up under System Status, under I believe the Listings tab? Gives me a date that my Schedules Direct subscriptions is good until. Has done this since at least .20 as I recall back when it was still Zap2It Labs.

Re:mythnettv (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633959)

Hmm OK I guess I was hoping for that to show up in the channel guide. Where an end user could see it rather than a more esoteric location. I'm not asking for the blink tag, but a little something in the corner. Maybe it does that, I'll find out in a couple months.

Oh and I was just about to state that I LOVE schedules direct. I don't love paying for it, but talk about a service provider that just freaking works. You give them money and they do what they say they will all silent like, perfectly, every time, never fails. Its like Hurricane Electric QoS or a toyota car or something. Then I realized I wanted to add another simple myth complaint: I wipe certain channels from my cable system. Certain shopping and sports channels and foreign language channels have been expunged from existence in my mythtv. I can't see them, can't scroll thru them, they're just ... gone. The Schedules Direct link is that you have to obviously delete the channel from the backend tuner, no big deal, but also have to delete the channel from Schedules Direct or else mythtv re-adds the channel next time it downloads from SD. This should not be an issue. There should be a simple channel editor flag for "annihilate all record of this channel". No matter if SD sends it to you, or the channel editor picks it up... I know about the personal channel lists, but I'm talking a level above that system, simple removal from all records. This is also to keep my kids out of channels I want to keep them out of...

Re:mythnettv (1)

colinnwn (677715) | more than 2 years ago | (#39635093)

FYI SchedulesDirect is a volunteer not for profit retransmission of the Zap2it schedules feed. Z2I used to provide this feature as an experimental courtesy. But then they got tired of the support and expense and ended it. This threatened MythTV's relevance as one of the big maintenance headaches was updating the screen scraper scheduling software when schedule websites changed their format. They were generally against TOS of those sites as well. It is then that SD was organized by several people in the MythTV community to negotiate with and provide the Z2I service. The fact that SD is non profit, volunteer, and run by geeks, probably explains your satisfaction with it.

Re: zombie channels (1)

colinnwn (677715) | more than 2 years ago | (#39635149)

I had this problem, and as I recall the easier answer was rather than deleting the channel in both MythTv and SD, instead mark it as visible=false in MythWeb.

Re:mythnettv (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634297)

XBMC (Eden/Latest) directly streams Revision3 using the Revision3 Video Add-on. I no longer pull down RSS feeds and filter through them. Simply click Video Addon - Revision3 and browse all their shows.

Re:mythnettv (1)

el borak (263323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39636043)

something no other DVR has

My ReplayTVs have had this for well over 10 years.

MythTV + XBMC (4, Interesting)

Flammon (4726) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633819)

MythTV has great backend and XBMC has a great frontend. The combo is fantastic and I don't think there's anything in the proprietary space that offers anything on par. Truely jewels from FOSS.

Re:MythTV + XBMC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39635563)

OK. I bought a Media type HP PC that has a haupage TV card, one analog input and one digital (I forget the specs but you can find these on Woot). Plugged the antenna coax into the digital and the cable box's analog output into the other and it works great. I use Window's own, underadvertized Media Center. Free channel guides, as much space as I wish to buy to store programs, and it plays DVDs, radio, and sometime last year, it added a Netflix option.
The only set-up issue I had was playing with the IR blaster to use the Comcast box. I can record two programs while watching something else. And for all the streaming, Hulu, Youtube stuff, it is still a quad-core computer. Minimize the Media Center and do whatever I wish on the big screen, including all of my games. Oh, and it will use an Xbox or any other Windows PC on my home network to play content or watch live TV on another screen. MythTV and XMBC might do all of this if I had the inclination to try, but why should I?

Re:MythTV + XBMC (1)

The Good Reverend (84440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39635709)

I played with MythTV for a long time, and got it working pretty well. Then I got a Windows7 machine for other reasons, and Windows Media Center just works, right out of the box. I highly recommend it (and wish MS did too - I worry it'll stop being supported before long).

I use it on a Mac Mini (3, Interesting)

GlobalEcho (26240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39633913)

I've been using [boonstra.org] MythTV for a couple of years on Mac Mini (running [mythtv.org] OSX rather than Linux), talking to an HDHomeRun [silicondust.com] network tuner connected to a broadcast antenna in my attic. The team has really improved the OSX port in the last few years, with the only lack of Linux parity being in the realm of hardware-accelerated playback.

After dealing with the confusing setup screens and active channel scans, it has worked brilliantly, especially since the 0.24 release. The scheduling software is really good, especially using the web frontend. Watching TV on any computer in the house has been very convenient, and the automatic commercial skipping is pleasant.

Between broadcast and online sources, I get most of what I want to watch, the exceptions being Game of Thrones and some cable-only basketball and hockey broadcasts. The complete, uncompressed HD signals over broadcast TV are perceptibly clearer than HD cable (or, worse, HD satellite) signals, which suffer from the compression.

Re:I use it on a Mac Mini (1)

CaptainLugnuts (2594663) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634717)

OTA isn't uncompressed, it's just a higher bandwidth connection.

The ATSC spec has ~19Mb total bandwidth with up to 17Mb or so available for video. On a station with no subchannels you get an excellent picture. Cable uses QAM which usually has about 25Mb bandwidth per 6MHz channel. Before you think that it's an improvement, understands that cable companies put from one to six HD channels per 25Mb stream if they are using MPEG2. Usually premium channels (HBO and the like) get better bandwidth but cheaper stations get crappy bandwidth. I'm pretty sure that most of the cable companies are switching over to MPEG4 so I'm sure that they'll dump 6x the streams on the same 25Mb pipe just so they can advertise a thousand channels.

I'll stick with OTA where the quality is better

Re:I use it on a Mac Mini (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39634921)

> I'll stick with OTA where the quality is better.

Or not. The public broadcasters here in LA now jam LPB[123] onto their one HD OTA stream. The ABC station has a secondary NBC feed that has been abused to 720p to match the rest of the station's setup. The NBC station that is closest feeds NBC and a pair of SD junk streams. And so on.

I predicted this here on /. years ago, that real HD would be a chimera as soon as I read that stations would have the option to broadcast multiple streams. No way they would refuse the chance to increase revenue at the expense of picture quality.

Re:I use it on a Mac Mini (1)

CaptainLugnuts (2594663) | more than 2 years ago | (#39635515)

LA is a bit of an outlier. If you look at TVFool.com [tvfool.com] for LA you can see that the TV allocated spectrum is just about full. Even if they wanted to they couldn't broadcast on another frequency.

If you look at New York [tvfool.com] it's even worse.

Almost every other city has spare bandwidth available. I hope the companies that are doing whitespace crap realize that in the most populous cities they aren't going to have much success.

Re:I use it on a Mac Mini (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39635361)

> OTA isn't uncompressed, it's just a higher bandwidth connection.

It is the most pristine form of a particular broadcast channel available.

Cable companies will typically take that signal and mess around with it to enable better compression within their own transmission medium. There are even websites that track the level of compression that cable operators use for a particular channel.

Cable is like taking a DVD, ripping it, and then running it through mencoder.

Re:I use it on a Mac Mini (1)

GlobalEcho (26240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39635567)

I can't believe I wrote "uncompressed" . You're right, of course.

Re:I use it on a Mac Mini (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39636053)

I always thought satellite TV's feeds were better than cable for HD feeds. I know OTA has the best quality if one can get it where they are.

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