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Build Your Own PVR

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the some-assembly-required dept.

Television 469

An anonymous reader submits: "One geek's trials and tribulations of buying a ReplayTV, hating it, and deciding to build his own Linux PVR from nothing. The first try sinks into the swamp (hardware problems). The second try sinks into the swamp (more hardware problems). The third try... you get the idea. But success, finally, based on SageTV, a Windows PVR client. Makes you wonder if current Linux PVR apps are just too much of a pain to get working well?"

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469 comments

PVR (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071857)

I built my own PVR: Playboy Video Recorder ... it works great, I only needed a VHS and a stolen signal!!!!!

Sad news ... Stephen King dead at 56 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071863)


I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Re:Sad news ... Stephen King dead at 56 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071877)

You have no life at all, do you?

Re:Sad news ... Stephen King dead at 56 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071884)

ya right, post a link, not just mindless talk. I just searched cnn's site and nothing about it, you moron.

Trolled (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071907)

Welcome to Slashdot.

Re:Sad news ... Stephen King dead at 56 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8072002)



YHBT. YHL. HAND.

Ya n00b b00b.

linux (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071866)

*is* the swamp!

pushy (5, Funny)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071869)

Build Your Own PVR

I don't have the time! Stop pressuring me!

Re:pushy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071986)



I thought the subject of your post was "pussy" and I got all excited for a moment.



Nice Work (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071875)

Building a troll into the article like that. Linux PVR's don't work.

As subtle as a sledge hammer and you got it through.

Good One

Well I can say this for one.. (1, Interesting)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071882)

I have to say it is a lot of pain.. especially for those not too akin to linux like myself.. I admit to being an advanced user of windows, but nearly none of the knowledge transfers over..

I commend this company for doing it in windows, but at the same time, I think what he's doing is stupid: selling software to run with windows seems to be going out of style.. especially since you can do it all and more with linux all for free.. it's just so much harder. We'll wait and see if this catches on....

SkyTV PVR (3, Interesting)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071883)

I still want one that supports Sky TV in the UK. I could take the output from the decoder box but then anything I wanted to record I would have to set the box and the PVR, defeating the purpose.

Anyone know how to put a Sky signal straight from the dish into a PC? They use some obscure encryption so even when you pay for a viewing card you cant use it.

Re:SkyTV PVR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071953)

Apparently you can take the unencrypted feed from the IC, heard of it being done but not been able to replicate it.

Re:SkyTV PVR (4, Informative)

Osty (16825) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072061)

Do what TiVO does with cable boxes -- get an IR blaster. Program the PVR with the codes to change channels on your Sky TV box, and let it change the channels on the STB for you. Any good PVR app will have support for this.


As a side note, TiVO has recently (within the past 6 months or so) started supporting certain cable boxes via the serial port, and they do support many satellite boxes via the serial port as well (just in case you had a TiVO before you got on DirecTV, and didn't want to get the DirecTiVO). However, the IR blaster approach is still required for a lot of cable boxes, and it works.

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071887)

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

  • Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals (ha!) All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest (C) 1997-2003 OSDN Your comment has too few characters per line Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)


I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

  • Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals (ha!) All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest (C) 1997-2003 OSDN Your comment has too few characters per line Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)


I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

  • Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals (ha!) All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest (C) 1997-2003 OSDN Your comment has too few characters per line Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)


I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

  • Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals (ha!) All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest (C) 1997-2003 OSDN Your comment has too few characters per line Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)


I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

  • Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals (ha!) All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest (C) 1997-2003 OSDN Your comment has too few characters per line Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)


I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

  • Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals (ha!) All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest (C) 1997-2003 OSDN Your comment has too few characters per line Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)


I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

  • Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals (ha!) All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest (C) 1997-2003 OSDN Your comment has too few characters per line Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)


I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

  • Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals (ha!) All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest (C) 1997-2003 OSDN Your comment has too few characters per line Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)


I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

  • Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals (ha!) All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest (C) 1997-2003 OSDN Your comment has too few characters per line Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)


I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

  • Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals (ha!) All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest (C) 1997-2003 OSDN Your comment has too few characters per line Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)


I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE

  • Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals (ha!) All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest (C) 1997-2003 OSDN Your comment has too few characters per line Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page)

The history of PVRs - back to the 70s! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071889)




HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF

MONDAY MORNING
Cmdr Taco:I will not suck any more dick ever again.
MONDAY EVENING
Cmdr Taco: *slurp* *slurp* *slurp*

TUESDAY MORNING
Cmdr Taco: I will not suck any more dick ever again.
TUESDAY EVENING
Cmdr Taco: *slurp* *slurp* *slurp*

WEDNESDAY MORNING
Cmdr Taco: I will not suck any more dick ever again.
WEDNESDAY EVENING
Cmdr Taco: *slurp* *slurp* *slurp*

THURSDAY MORNING
Cmdr Taco: I will not suck any more dick ever again.
THURSDAY EVENING
Cmdr Taco: *slurp* *slurp* *slurp*

FRIDAY MORNING
Cmdr Taco: I will not suck any more dick ever again.
FRIDAY EVENING
Cmdr Taco: *slurp* *slurp* *slurp* *slurp*

SATURDAY MORNING
Cmdr Taco: I will not suck any more dick ever again.
SATURDAY EVENING
Cmdr Taco: *slurp* *slurp* *slurp*

SUNDAY MORNING
Cmdr Taco: Today is the Lord's day!
SUNDAY AFTERNOON
Cmdr Taco: *slurp* *slurp* *slurp*


Windows Saves the Day!! (-1, Troll)

lavaface (685630) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071890)

You say this guy's a geek? ; )

Re:Windows Saves the Day!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071918)

You're a fucking cum-gurgling aids-infested faggot, you piece of shit. Please, suck the shit straight out of my asshole. I wish I had a time machine so I could go back in time and rip your mother's uterus out with a fork and prevent your birth. After I finish raping her of course. However I doubt your were born, your mom probably shit you out and scooped you out of the toilet and starded feeding you, and holy shit it grew into lavaface!

MYTHTV does this allready! (5, Informative)

Nicholas_D (548536) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071892)

www.mythtv.org the best PVR ever... it does everything, great UI, great support (pchdtv card, HARDWARE MPEG2 encoder/tuner cards.) Absolutley great functionality and pretty to boot! I think this answers this articles question!

Re:MYTHTV does this allready! (5, Informative)

prockcore (543967) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071974)

mythtv has a lot of great ideas, but it is way too buggy right now.

Watch a half hour program. then mythtv crashes and locks the device so you can't even restart it without rebooting.

Re:MYTHTV does this allready! (3, Informative)

Kraken137 (15062) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072060)

Pehaps for you. I've been using MythTV for about a year now, and it's wonderful. My MythTV machine has a higher uptime than my firewall right now. The Debian packages work great.

Re:MYTHTV does this allready! (2, Insightful)

prockcore (543967) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072119)

Perhaps it is a hardware problem. What TV card are you using? We were using a haapauge WinTV PCI card. We've never had problems with it before under linux, but maybe MythTV doesn't like certain cards.

Re:MYTHTV does this allready! (1)

radixvir (659331) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072141)

i have that exact same card. ive got it working perfect with 2.4.x and 2.6 kernels.

Re:MYTHTV does this allready! (4, Informative)

jpmkm (160526) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072072)

Sounds like a hardware problem. Mine doesn't do that. Although on about 1 in 20 recordings the sound is kinda metallic with my wintv-dbx and turtle beach santa cruz.

Re:MYTHTV does this allready! (4, Informative)

radixvir (659331) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072075)

mythtv has a lot of great ideas, but it is way too buggy right now. Watch a half hour program. then mythtv crashes and locks the device so you can't even restart it without rebooting.

You make it sound like everyone who uses mythtv has this problem. I use it day to day and it works great. once you get it up and going its alot better than even those pay products like sage. but i have to agree, unless you have experience with linux, its going to be tough

Re:MYTHTV does this allready! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8072008)

The real myth is that your mom isn't an aids spreading crack whore, with green juice dripping out of her cunt. She is. I still enjoy raping her though, but you can bet your nuts that I double wrap it!

Still suffering from premature ejaculation then? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8072144)

You can cum while double wrapped?

I bet you cum in under 15 seconds, right?

Re:MYTHTV does this allready! (3, Interesting)

CaptBubba (696284) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072080)

I love my mythtv installation, it is what made me move over to Linux for good.

The only "issue" is that MPEG-4 really puts strain on my CPU, holding a Athlon 2600+ at ~60% while encoding.

I now do homework for the next day's courses instead of watching adult swim and the daily show at night. I also watched some football games with it, and having a frame-by-frame slow-mo is wonderful. What's even better is never watching commercials, cuts the time of shows way down. Even with a crappy four year old bt878-based capture card I get fine picture on my 19" monitor, which is better in color and brightness than my 19" TV.

I tried Freevo, which was horrid. I never got it to work correctly. But with a fresh installation of gentoo I had more trouble locating drivers for my TV card than getting mythtv set up and recording. The biggest major hurdle when installing was figuring out that my microphone was selected at the recording device, so I had to swap it to line in.

It wasn't point-and-click easy to set up, but it worked, and I suppose that's all that matters. Now that it is installed I havn't had one crash except when alsa was already in use and I tried to watch a recorded show (I really need a sound card with hardware mixer support).

What, no TiVo? (5, Insightful)

LimpGuppy (161354) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071894)

It seems the submitter forgot that the "best" PVR is already running Linux...

Re:What, no TiVo? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071950)

HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF

+MONDAY MORNING+
Cmdr Taco: I will not suck any more dick ever again.
+MONDAY EVENING+
Cmdr Taco: *slurp* *slurp* *slurp*

+TUESDAY MORNING+
Cmdr Taco: I will not suck any more dick ever again.
+TUESDAY EVENING+
Cmdr Taco: *slurp* *slurp* *slurp*

+WEDNESDAY MORNING+
Cmdr Taco: I will not suck any more dick ever again.
+WEDNESDAY EVENING+
Cmdr Taco: *slurp* *slurp* *slurp*

+THURSDAY MORNING+
Cmdr Taco: I will not suck any more dick ever again.
+THURSDAY EVENING+
Cmdr Taco: *slurp* *slurp* *slurp*

+FRIDAY MORNING+
Cmdr Taco: I will not suck any more dick ever again.
+FRIDAY EVENING+
Cmdr Taco: *slurp* *slurp* *slurp* *slurp*

+SATURDAY MORNING+
Cmdr Taco: I will not suck any more dick ever again.
+SATURDAY EVENING+
Cmdr Taco: *slurp* *slurp* *slurp*

+SUNDAY MORNING+
Cmdr Taco: Today is the Lord's day.
+SUNDAY AFTERNOON+
Cmdr Taco: *slurp* *slurp* *slurp*

Re:What, no TiVo? (5, Insightful)

pfunkmallone (89539) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071960)

That's what I was wondering...this guy was impressed with his friends Tivo. He then went out, bought Replay and decided he hated it. Then, went out and spent a bunch of cash on another computer?

Why not just by a Tivo? At his rate, it would have saved him time and money (assuming he couldn't return the Replay).

My Series 1 absolutely rocks. 120GB drive in it, with Tivoweb. Sure, there are things I wish it would do, but then again...what it DOES do, it does REALLY WELL.

After a couple of month of the monthly $12 fee, I learned that my TV watching had changed forever, and I sprung for the lifetime subscription before they bumped it up from $250 to $300. I've got backups of the software...but I absolutely dread the day my hardware dies (I hope I outlive it).

Nah (2, Interesting)

ryanr (30917) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071895)

I had occasion to build both a Windows and a Linux HTPC for a recent book. The Linux one took longer for some of the steps, and I had to do some hairy troubleshooting, but it is perfectly possible. MythTV is pretty impressive, actually. The DVD ripping on the Linux side was much nicer.

Hmm... maths a bit out? (1)

NeoThermic (732100) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071896)

From the article: "Tivo costs about $250. Plus another $299 for a lifetime service subscription. That is $600 beans. Not cheap."

Actualy, I make that about $549... thats about $51 short of his beans count...

NeoThermic

Re:Hmm... maths a bit out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071933)

Maybe the difference could be tax??? Now that's some beans the government really likes to take.

Re:Hmm... maths a bit out? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071935)

What the hell is wrong with you? Ass.

Re:Hmm... maths a bit out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8072026)

$549 worth of beans is a lot of beans. Be sure Bean-O is handy though, otherwise you'll be powering the next Mission to Mars.

Uh, Tivo? (3, Insightful)

macemoneta (154740) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071898)

Tivo didn't seem to have that much trouble buiding a Linux PVR. Isn't one person's experience too small a sample for such a broad comment?

Um, are you shitting me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071926)

Trying to coax Linux into working on a do-it-yourself system is NOTHING like Linux being used in an embedded fashion on a turnkey solution like TiVo.

Re:Uh, Tivo? (2, Interesting)

RatBastard (949) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071941)

There have been many stories here about home-brew Tivo/Replay (both run Linux, BTW) systems and almost every one has been filled with horror storied about getting things working.

The advantage that Tivo and Replay have over home-brew systems is that both systems are fixed hardware platforms and as such, drivers are a non-issue. Much like game consoles. Tivo's software was written and tested on Tivo equipment. They don't have to worry about getting different brands of sound cards to work, or different kernels or any of the multitudes of issues that home-brews have to worry about.

Re:Uh, Tivo? (1)

asavage (548758) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072095)

It looks like the submitter didn't read the article (not that I am suprised). The article's author couldn't even install Fedora let alone try using the PVR software.

Re:Uh, Tivo? (2, Informative)

jerw134 (409531) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071944)

It runs on the Linux kernel, but Tivo had to write all the software themselves. Are you suggesting the average person can write their own PVR software? Get real.

Re:Uh, Tivo? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8072000)

This guy's whole problem was that he couldn't get linux installed, it says nothing about PVR software. I built a Myth-Tv box (without a floppy drive, I mean seriously thats what hung him up?) using Mandrake 9.2 and Thac's RPMs (http://rpm.nyvalls.se/) with URPMI.

Install was litterally: urpmi mythtv, follow the simple instruction for populating the database, and watch tv. Took about an hour, including putting the cheap ass tv card in the pc, and download time for the software and tv listings.

MythTV (5, Informative)

ghideon (720955) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071900)

After looking around at alternatives to Tivo, I settled on MythTV [mythtv.org] [MythTV.org]. Lots of plugins (DVD, Video, etc) and surprisingly stable.
I run an Epia Nehemiah 1Ghz w/512 MB RAM with a Hauppauge PVR 350. The web front end makes all my Tivo using coworkers drool. Yes, it was a pain in the rear to get everything working, but in the end, I gained some knowledge and have one neat little system.

Re:MythTV (3, Interesting)

CommandNotFound (571326) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071956)

Has anyone tried KnoppMyth, which is basically a customized Knoppix ISO that anchors to the hard drive with MythTV? I have MythTV installed to a RH9 box, and it wasn't too difficult to install, but for a newb I suspect a CD installer would be easier. I looked at Windows products, but I really wanted the Mame/Emu frontend more than the PVR functions, so Myth was a no-brainer.

Re:MythTV (1)

ghideon (720955) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072004)

I've heard good things about KnoppMyth, and it's certainly worth a try. I figured I would have to start from scratch, since the Epia required a lot of patching for the kernel. For the Gentoo boys and girls, epia.kalf.org [kalf.org] has a lot of good Epia specific Gentoo ebuilds. The Linux OS forums at Viaarena.com [viaarena.com] also offer a good amount of information. For the PVR 350/250 users, IVTV [sf.net] has a Wiki [writeme.ch] with lots of good info, including getting the TV out on the PVR350 working.

found slash-dot from osdn personals... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071966)

hey guys,

i'm not sure exactly what i'm doing here. so...bear with me!

i clicked "geeky" on my match.com personals profile, thinking that i'd maybe get hooked up with somebody who was into math or some kind of toy train hobby or something...boy howdy was i in for a shock! i went on 4 dates with guys who all got on match.com because of osdn personals from slash-dot! 4 guys!

anyway, it didn't really work out with any of them, because it seemed like they were all under some kind of mind-control robot or something! i was like "what do you think about office? office 97 is enough for me, but there are some things about xp that are cool too...." the first guy i asked that to exploded on this tyrade about how office was evil, and that it uses html that's invalid...blah blah blah, whatever...i figured "ok, this guys a freak, but i'm not giving up that easily." so guy number two and i are having dinner, and just as a test i bring up office, and he says the *exact* *same* *things* the first guy said! it was like he was reading from a script! i'm thinking to myself "is everybody from slash-dot programmed to say the same thing or what?" i decided to do a bit of investigation.

i actually surfed over to slash-dot and read some of the articles...mostly they were pretty boring, and the comments were just like i expected judging from my previous past experience: scripted!!! just when i was about to completely write the whole thing off, i found a post from some guy who's with anti-slash, some kind of anti-slash-dot website. i mailed him and was all "i so agree with you guys, look at what sheap these slash-dot people are!" he wrote back and made some funny comments (funny and so *true*!...that is soooo the best kind of humor...but i dirgress...) and guess what? this weekend i'm supposed to meet him for dinner :) if you're reading this, i look forward to meeting you in person, john!

anyway, that's my story. ladies: if you're looking for the real cool geeks, check out anti-slash [anti-slash.org] . and fellas, you should check it out too and maybe use to to break out of your mind-control suits!

ok see ya later,

cyndi

Re:MythTV (2, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071970)

This poor guy gave up, when he couldn't solve a floppy seek on boot error...

He couldn't get past booting linux on the thing - not exactly a stunning indictment of MythTV!

Re:MythTV (1)

cpeterso (19082) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071985)


After rebates, I paid about $550 for my Tivo box, including lifetime subscription. Is the DIY hardware more or less expensive? For all the time and trouble, I think it would be difficult to save money. The only advantage over Tivo is that you are free to do whatever you want with your MythTV box (and recorded TV shows ;-)

Re:MythTV (1)

darco (514434) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072053)

Well... I ended up paying about that much for building my own MythTV-based PVR. But I wouldn't have it any other way... I can play DVDs, rip CDs, watch videos from my pre-existing collection, play video game emulators, etc., all from a single, simple TV interface. Great stuff.

Plus I can hack it to my whims. I am very satisfied with my box. I can't say that other people would feel the same way though... If you aren't the kind of person who enjoys hacking around, then the TiVO is probably the better way to go.

Re:MythTV (2, Informative)

darco (514434) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072023)

I also run MythTV [mythtv.org] on my PVR... It is an Asus Pundit [asus.com] with 2 ATi TV-Wonder cards. I can be recording two different TV programs and watching a pre-recorded program all at the same time. Plus, I can run MythTV on my workstation in my office and watch TV as if my workstation had a TV adapter, all over the network. Same goes for the TV recordings. Excellent software, always getting better.

If you are comfortable mucking around Linux, then MythTV is definitely the way to go.

I JUST STROKED MY PENIS UNTIL I EJACULATED (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071901)

I was looking at pictures of pretty naked women. They made my penis very stiff so I had to do something about it. I now have semen drying on the blanket covering my chair. Ejaculating is fun. I suggest you masturbate as soon as possible!

Re:I JUST STROKED MY PENIS UNTIL I EJACULATED (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071965)





That is an excellent idea. Sorry, gang, no more trolls from me tonight. Time to go beat off!







Re:I JUST STROKED MY PENIS UNTIL I EJACULATED (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071984)

truly brilliant idea

I Don't get it... (1)

blat.info (744034) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071902)

Uh, yeah, what a pain. While you're playing around with your hobby, I'll be enjoying today's barrage of re-runs, semi-commercial free. Just buy [blat.info] the damn thing.

Re:I Don't get it... (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072063)

While you're playing around with your hobby, I'll be enjoying today's barrage of re-runs, semi-commercial free.

At least the hobby guy is learning something while you're sitting on your passive ass watching reruns.

MythTV? (1, Funny)

adamshelley (441935) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071908)

Excuse me, but I don't think MythTV [mythtv.org] is that hard to get working. Try harder next time. Maybe you didn't *click* hard0enough.

I have one response to this reasoned article (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071913)

BURN THE HERETIC WITCH!

what's wrong with this picture? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071915)

Now you can finally be free of the arbitrary restrictions of proprietary software! Save money by avoiding costly OS licenses! Build your own Tivo-like device, using.. Windows?!?

Reminds me of people who combine two or three pre-packaged foods in a bowl and call it a "recipe".

Hardware Issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071917)

...deciding to build his own Linux PVR from nothing.

You'd think that using nothing he wouldn't have anything to troubleshoot.

Linux problems? (5, Insightful)

Welsh Dwarf (743630) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071920)

The guy gave up on a floppy not found error, which when added to his comments on a video card he gave up on, leads me to believe that he wasn't really that experianced with Linux.
This isn't a flame or anything, but this article doesn't reflect at all the state of Linux PVR.

This is worse than a dupe (4, Insightful)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071927)

How many "Build your own PVR!" articles have we seen in the past few months?

The SAME ANSWERS come up:
* "Why? Tivo is affordable"
* "MythTV!"
* "TV sucks!"
* "ATI All-In-Wonder!"
* other sourceforge suggestion...

Re:This is worse than a dupe (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8072022)

actually it's even worse than you think.

The article says the author is a "geek", and yet he's not comfortable with Linux/OSS, and compression ratios/MPEG quality settings were news to him.

Has the bar been lowered?

What's a PVR anyway? (2, Informative)

wolenczak (517857) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071928)

For those who don't know... as I: personal video recorder A personal video recorder (PVR) is an interactive TV recording device, in essence a sophisticated set-top box with recording capability (although it is not necessarily kept on top of the television set). Vendors and media also refer to the units by these names: digital video recorder (DVR); personal TV receiver (PTR); personal video station (PVS); and hard disk recorder (HDR). -BW

Re:What's a PVR anyway? (2, Insightful)

FlyerFanNC (112562) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072135)

Hmm, isn't a VCR also a PVR? I personally own it, and it records video. I prefer the term DVR.

But then again, I'm a language lawyer.

MythTV worked brilliantly (5, Informative)

afra242 (465406) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071932)

I tried building my own "Tivo"-like box too in Linux. It eventually cost a bit more than buying a Tivo, but I use it as my DVD burning and mp3 jukebox in addition to MythTV.

Installed Debian on it with similar hardware as the author of the article had. I had no problems whatsoever, though I've been using Linux since '98.

If you want just a Tivo box for cheap, I don't suggest doing it unless you want shady quality. Get a damned good TV Card (like the PVR-250 which does encoding on the hardware - this is around $120 alone), and a huge hard drive, and a good amount of memory. If you have the PVR-250, you don't need such a powerful CPU as the MPEG encoding is handled by the PVR.

All in all, it was worth the time. I never have to look back and it's simply an amazing solution. I've been using Myth for about 8 months and it never stops to amaze me.

Coulda, Shoulda, Didn't... (5, Interesting)

Cylix (55374) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071948)

Ok, Ok...

First of all, I get the idea this person is not a veteran of the linux industry. He does a good job of navigating through what are essentially basic problems.

I don't think its worthy to mention he had his jumpers wrong... everyone makes a jumper mistake and it is fairly easy to diagnose.

His major fault.... He purchased a Win-TV 250. This card is pretty good actually with onboard hardware mpeg2 encoding. (I own a 250 as well as a vanilla hauppage win-tv) The drawback to the Win-TV 250 is it does not have tv out. He should have spent a couple extra bucks and got the 350.

The next big mistake was relying on some integrated tv out solution. It's been my experience that onboard has the tendency to be slightly different then their off board branded brotherin. Thus, I can easily see why he had some troubles.

He said it himself, he suffers from some impulse buying habbits. I think a little more research on compatability would have turned up better linux results. Personally, I went into the linux pvr project with absolutely no starting knowledge other then getting my hauppage card working a long long time ago. (out of the box support made it no chore). However, knowing nothing about the task prompted me to research, research and well... read more.

I wish he had tried a Knoppix MythTV Live CD as I would like to have seen the results. ie. used knoppix CD and it worked! (probably not with the odd video out)

Re:Coulda, Shoulda, Didn't... (1)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072057)

I'll second that... I'm putting together a myth box now, and a bit of good hardware planning goes a long way.

A mid-low end processor, decent disk, dvd-rom, and a Hauppage WinTV PVR 350 is the way to go, and the easiest to set up.

I actually started downloading KnopMyth a few hours ago, before this article showed up, to try it out.

I'm using a Wintv-GO and a GF4 tv-out.... one problm I'm having with mythtv is that when I go to watch live tv, I get buzz on the peakers, and blank video (but video works fine in xawtv.. and yes, the capture card settings are correct, it is NOt set to do hardware empeg...)

no, this guy's just clueless (4, Informative)

NateTech (50881) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071952)

Anyone who can't properly hook up an IDE disk (check the jumpers BEFORE you install it) shouldn't be attempting to both build a computer and install an OS they've never tried before under a deadline.

He also did a horrible job on research and homework. He could have probably slapped a KnoppMyth CD in the drive and been done in record time.

I'd say -- this guy simply didn't have the basic computer and Linux skills to do anything but install pre-packaged software. He ended up with the solution that fit that skillset the best.

No offense, but he wasn't ready to try a do-it-yourself solution. A consumer solution *is* the best for someone with the limited time he had available (self-imposed deadlines) and knowledge level.

no wonder!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8071955)

Of course he didn't like ReplayTV, he should have bought a TiVo in the first place!!!

TiVo (5, Funny)

511pf (685691) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071962)

So the writer spent dozens upon dozens of hours building, tearing down, rebuilding and troubleshooting something that's going to be less reliable and more expensive than a TiVo? DirecTV with TiVo is $100 plus $5 a month, not $600 I can just hear his wife now, "Matt! I JUST want to watch American Idol! Can I PLEASE watch American Idol? Why is there no sound? How come the picture looks bad? Why do I have to reboot the computer just to watch TV? What's a General Protection Fault? Wait! Something just popped up on the TV that says 'NIMDA' what's NIMDA? The TV said 'C: drive full' while I was watching the Trading Spaces Marathon! MATTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!" Dude - just buy the TiVo and you're done. Seriously.

Impatient Incompetence (3, Insightful)

C10H14N2 (640033) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071967)

"Though I still hope to improve my Linux competency someday, I seem not to have the patience."

One wonders, if you are going to venture into building something like this, with a confessed lack of competency and patience, would failure not be a certain outcome?

When one feels the need to document at length the oh-so-advanced topic of repeatedly screwing up the jumper settings on your hard drive, this becomes more an article on basic computer construction skills than anything about PVRs. I won't get into "the instructions said 'use a screwdriver.'" He ditched the entire linux idea because he couldn't disable the floppy seek. Please.

if(cant boot linux) { geek creds revoked; } (1)

sPaKr (116314) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071978)

If he cant the thing to boot linux, hes not a geek. Period. Further proof, instead of trying out Fbsd which supports happuage he runs to MickySoft. done.. end.. he sucks

er, interesting conclusions in context of the rest (4, Informative)

randyest (589159) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071983)

6. Conclusions

This is only my second day as a PVR equipped husband and already my wife has forgotten about TiVo. She watches episodes of Charmed and the Gilmore Girls and grins as she fast forwards through commercials. As for me, I have been spending quality time with John Stewart - his show on the Iowa Caucases was not to be missed.

Yes, this little project ended up being a little more pricey than I had expected, about $800 total, but I am left with an expandable and powerful system capable of doing a lot more than any TiVo can do. Perhaps the whole thing was silly. After all, VCR's basically do the same thing right?

Hey, kudos to him for getting it working. Most of the stories I've read in this genre end up with the author buying a ReplayTV or TiVO because his creation failed the spouse test. Or just wouldn't work reliably. According to the conclusion, wifey is as happy as a clam.

But:

Soon the sound started falling behind the movement of his lips. That was no good. Plus his body blurred when he moved. My hero, John Stewart was jittery and smeared. The wife grumbled.

So, we have $800 for a TiVO with a relatively unreliable guide with less info, no auto-commercial skip (as in 50XX series ReplayTV's), lots of fans and noise, 3x the power use, and picture quality issues that will be fixed Real Soon Now:

After all of this, the picture was better, but John Stewart still looked unintentionally silly.

Apparently, the next version (2) of Sage will be available in early February 2004, and these picture adjustment issues will be much easier to grapple with.


In my experience, SageTV always has image quality and sync problems (and they always blame the OS, or the video card, or cosmic radiation, etc. -- I got a refund). I really do want to make my own PVR one day, but I'm afraid the time is not yet right. Almost, but not quite.

Not Very (Linux) Geeky... (3, Insightful)

schwep (173358) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071991)

By the sounds of it this the guy did't have much (or really any) experience with linux. He simply wanted to slap a bunch of stuff together, and hope that the designers of Fedora & whaterver else he used could make everything "magically work." That belief lends its self to someone who should pay for an out of the box solution.

I can slap a lot of hardware together and try and run any number of systems on it, but if I'm not willing to WORK through problems, they will all fail.

Don't waste ./ers time with whiners.

Re:Not Very (Linux) Geeky... (1)

antiMStroll (664213) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072100)

More accurately, it takes a real Linux geek to figure out where he failed. For years now it's been possible to pop a one or another distro boot CD in and walk away from the install. In the dozen plus I've used I never ran across a floppy boot seek error. LILILILILILILILILILILILILILILILILILILILILILILILILI LILILILILILILILILILILILILILILILILILILILILILILILILI LILILILILI for sure, but never a floppy fail.

So he went with Windows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8072139)

"He simply wanted to slap a bunch of stuff together, and hope that the designers of Fedora & whaterver else he used could make everything magically work."

And then when he switched to Windows, everything "magically" worked! Linux is still a decade behind the rest of the OS world.

no... (1)

TwistedSpring (594284) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072014)

the linux people just havent had time to copy it properly yet. New, useful ideas first appear in easy-to-use form on Windows and are either sanitations of byzantine unix apps, or are quickly ported into an insanely byzantine linux app with no docs and little support. It's nice to see that this guy eventually bit the bullet and did it the easy way. Yes I run linux, but I don't try to do dumb stuff that it wasn't designed for with it.

Re:no... (2, Insightful)

bogie (31020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072044)

You get that out of Steve Balmer's handbook or what?

"Yes I run linux, but I don't try to do dumb stuff that it wasn't designed for with it."

For someone who "says" they run Linux you sure have one hell of a negative attitude about it.

He even give linux a chance? (1)

Gyorg_Lavode (520114) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072016)

Umm, did he even get linux to boot? Admitedly I just skimmed, but it sounds like he installed fedora, had it not boot because he didn't have a floppy, (which deserves it's own wtf since I don't think I have a working floppy and have never had a problem), and called it quits for linux before he ever got to mythTV, freevo, etc.

His ability lacks a bit... (5, Funny)

autophile (640621) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072025)

Tivo costs about $250. Plus another $299 for a lifetime service subscription. That is $600 beans. Not cheap.

If that's his math skill, no wonder he kept failing...

--Rob

First page, first factual error (4, Informative)

Kazymyr (190114) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072034)

Both TiVo and Replay run on the Linux operating system

TiVo does run Linux, but Replay uses some embedded realtime OS. Definitely not Linux.

Alas, SageTV is excellent (3, Informative)

monopole (44023) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072070)

Despite being a penguinista, my experiences with getting the ivtv driver to work with The Hauppage PVR 250 PCI cards were rather hopeless regardless of the distro I employed.
I finally broke down and installed SageTV on a Win2K box and have been very happy ever since. I'm using two PVR 250 capture/compression cards, an NVIDIA GeForce 5200 and a Fortissimo 7.1 (just for the TOSlink output) on an Athalon 2000+ system using an IRman universal IR recivever which makes the system think It's a tivo to allow for my universal remote to support it. One tuner is connected to the output of my cable box to allow access to the digital tier and HBO using an Actisys IR-200L.
The overall result is spectacular, I never have recording conflicts, flawless sound and picture quality, and I can back off shows to DVD with the Ulead MovieFactory package which comes with the PVR-250. I can also view the Mpeg files from my other computers as well. The SageTV package also serves as an MP3 and DVD Player. When the remote is not enough VNC works flawlessly. Quite indispensable given my schedule, and its addicted me to Inuyasha as well!
Excellent software, 'tho I intend to revisit mythtv when a mini-distro is available.

Nothing Beats MythTV (1)

masonjd (657070) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072082)

While it is very true that building a linux based PVR system can be difficult it is well worth it. I am constantly impressed with my MythTV system. The base functionality along with the various modules make it, in my opinion, the best homebrew PVR available.

Every new release comes with more useful features. From using it as an mp3 player to having it tell you who is calling on your Caller ID, it is pretty amazing. But don't get me wrong. It took me about 3 weeks to get it to work. I started using Redhat as the base system but ended up with KnoppMyth. KnoppMyth makes installation a snap.

Hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8072091)

So I'd like to build a MythTV box at some point. The problem I'm having is that it doesn't seem that you can pick up an affordable fanless PC anywhere yet. It looks like I can get an encoder card that works so that I don't need too much compute power. Any ideas?

Snapstream PVR (1)

wilpig (515764) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072093)

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

This is the software I use. It is another that is windows based, it supports all the major cards. It can also do some limited commercial skipping, and can transcode the recordings into other formats and sizes. The best part is you can log into their programming services http://www.snapstream.net [snapstream.net] from any computer and schedule your PC to record something. You can also see what you are scheduled to record along with what you have recorded via a webinterface from anywhere also. I guess that is standard anymore though as is the ability to watch live TV over the net as well.

Crap article.. (1)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072102)

as you certainly can build agreat PVR box from linux if you do five or ten minutes of actual research.

That said though.. a lot of comments say "Why not just buy a TiVO?"

Well, you are right. IF the TiVO features are what you want, and you live in the US, then by all meants,get tivo...

Many of us don't live there, and tivo is basically useless...

plus with a mythtv box or something, you can do a lot more than just Tv recording... add in DVD/MP3 ripping, burning, MAME/Snes emulators / weather / RSS news watcher / picure browsing / etc, plus whatever else you think of (home security monitoring, multiple capture cards, etc..._)

IT's a project, and fun.

And Freevo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8072115)

What has about Freevo [http://freevo.sourceforge.net/]? I believe that it is a good option, resemblance to MythTV.

Freevo (1, Interesting)

Antarius (542615) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072121)

What about Freevo? [freevo.org]
I've found it to boast similar features, however it works great on lower hardware specs than MythTV.

It's using the ever-popular mplayer (pre-configured - so anyone lacking the intestinal fortitude to configure mplayer can get it going as a no-brainer!), with mencoder for capture.

Add to that the slideshow (for your digital camera images or pR0n collection), MAME support and so forth and it becomes a great option!


I setup one of those crappy "BookPC" machines with MythTV, however it struggled with high-res DivX;-) playback. Upgrading the CPU was not an option (i810 chipset), so I swapped to Freevo and it worked a treat.

Try www.snapstream.com for less headaches (1)

BraveBrave_Sir_Robin (542910) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072123)

After trying mythtv for a while and not finding episode information I switched to snapstream. http://www.snapstream.com They go by BeyondTV now. It supports the hauppauge PVR cards and their remote controls. It support remote programming and configuration. It even streams the shows your record. Anyway, I am very happy with their product. It is $69.99 but worth it to me. It has free guide information and also supports episode information and many features like tivo for finding and recording programs. It also has a commercial detection algorythm that will mark the shows you record so that you can see where the commercials are.

linux vs. windows (2, Insightful)

z00ky (614811) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072130)

windows is a bit easier to manage when you have problems (because there are so many problems with it, most people who would build one are probably very experienced in fixing problems with windows) also, linux has always had major issues with drivers. always has, and always will.

kill -9 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8072147)

"Makes you wonder if current Linux PVR apps are just too much of a pain to get working well?"

kill -9 the heretic

I don't mean to be a fanboy... (4, Informative)

msimm (580077) | more than 10 years ago | (#8072151)

But I built my PVR over a year ago and had a great success the first time. Here's what I learned:
1) I use Mandrake and unless your using Debian or Gentoo I'd suggest using it simply because MythTV rpm's and ALL their dependencies have be set up by our good friends at Thacs and PLF.


2) Use MythTV ABSOLUTELY. I was lucky enough to start with it, but it has been one of those rare bits of software the continues to surprise me with *both* its design and implementation.

3) Make sure you have enough horse power, I'm using an AMD 1800 and its enough to get the job done. I'm sure some have done it with less, but I've found a couple of occasions its been a little tight.

4) Use the Hauppauge WinTV-PVR 250. Its supported under MythTV (thanks to their hard work) and will give you Mpeg1/2 recording in hardware.

5) Buy 2 Hauppauge cards. MythTV supports PIP and I think the coolest thing is to be able to let the kids watch one program while the other records in the background.

6) Use a VGA to NTSC video converter. Preferably one that uses its own hardware to convert the signal (I'm using one that is more or less a pass-through and had to set up some pretty weird modelines). You will not regret this.

7) Don't get stingy with the hard drive space! They are pretty cheap now and even having two 120 gig drives THINGS GET TIGHT. All day marathons of your favorite programs can unexpectedly create 100's of gigs of unwatched TV shows (add to that ripped DVD's and your entire Mp3 collection..).

8) Just a reminder: Use Mandrake. Its OSS, its friendly enough for your wife/kids/visiting friends and will install MythTV (or a MythTV update!) in a single shot. Just make sure to configure Urpmi (which will apply to Rpmdrake simultaneously) with the PLF [urpmi.org] and Thac [nyvalls.se] resources (you'll find how to configure them in the links I provided). Aside from have the MythTV packages they have a lot of really good (and really useful) multimedia software and after all the funniest part of having a homebuilt PVR that does more then most commercial packages is that its really a complete computer, so you might as well use it.
Like I said, I built mine over a year ago. I haven't stopped gloating since. Commercial detection, DVD ripping, dual WinTV-PRV containing, upgradable, themable and totally configurable home video entertainment at its best. And for the times your bored with that you can try a little gaming on the big screen (right after checking Slashdot and reading your email of course!).
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