Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Linux PVRs Highlighted

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the shifting-time-and-space dept.

Entertainment 264

foolinator writes "Yahoo News is featuring an article highlighting TiVO alternatives. This includes MythTV (my favorite), Freevo, and even sites on how to start as a newbie. All of us who subscribe to the mailing lists be prepared to help out the newbies as Linux PVRs become more mainstream."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

TiVo uses Linux too! (5, Informative)

mdrejhon (203654) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372956)

This is great -- more PVR software to help innovate PVR along.

But remember, TiVo uses Linux too! There's a TiVo hacker forum here [tivocommunity.com] .

Re:TiVo uses Linux too! (2, Interesting)

stanbrown (724448) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373355)

But they have done a pretty good job of locking you out, satrting with the Series 2 units. I personaly think this is a serious abuse of the GPL.

Neal Cavuto (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9372959)

rizzy fizzy pizzy!

Does this really apply? (5, Interesting)

Allen Zadr (767458) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372962)

Tivo is a service. The service is tied to a hardware platform, but it's still a service.

It occurs to me that trying to use one of these alternatives will work great until the automated TV listing parser stops working due to a moved web page or some other problem.

I would be willing to update a system every couple of months if necessary, but my Mother sure wouldn't...
more importantly, Dave Letterman wouldn't.

Re:Does this really apply? (1)

dg41 (743918) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373020)

It is a problem, it seems like there are new builds of XMLTV (used by MythTV) out frequently because of a minute change in the source. However, it still beats the TiVo monthly fee.

Re:Does this really apply? (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373026)

Tivo is a service. It occurs to me that trying to use one of these alternatives will work great until the automated TV listing parser stops working due to a moved web page or some other problem.

I am more trusting of a freely available software package rather than a service. What happens if Tivo goes bankrupt or ups the price or whatever?

If a website changes and code needs to be fixed the people running the software will do so and get the changes down to the endusers quickly.

Even if it doesn't work anymore at least I wouldn't be losing money like I would if Tivo died.

Re:Does this really apply? (3, Informative)

Allen Zadr (767458) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373092)

That's where TCO analysis comes into play. How much is it worth to you to have someone send you the updated stuff, automatically, over the life of the hardware as compared to the do-it-yourself DVR?

I doubt that I could build a computer to do what TiVo does for less than twice what a TiVo costs (just the hardware), add monthly fees - and I'm thinking that it would take two or three years to break even.

This stuff is really cool - and I like the fact that a single system can stream video across my home, but I wouldn't realistically use this.

Finally, with David Letterman (Late night talk-show host, for those whom don't know) plugging TiVo continuously on his show... I doubt that TiVo is going away anytime soon.

Re:Does this really apply? (1)

MayonakaHa (562348) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373223)

Same thing happens with a local "independent" station in our area where one of the jockeys plugs the iPod every 3 songs and plays a song from his while doing it. Whenever that guy gets on I just change the station.. it's damned annoying.

But I just "built" myself a MythTV PVR using KnoppMyth. TCO = almost zero. Honestly all I did was use the old Gateway computer my girlfriend used to use before I built her a new system (which we were planning to do anyways) with a bit of extra money and a lot of the parts I still had hanging around. The only thing I really added to the old system was the video cap card I had in my system anyways.

I figured if I wasn't using the cap card or the old machine, why not do something handy with it that would keep me from spending a couple hundred on a PVR and service charges.

Re:Does this really apply? (4, Informative)

ehintz (10572) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373442)

I am more trusting of a freely available software package rather than a service. What happens if Tivo goes bankrupt or ups the price or whatever?

If a website changes and code needs to be fixed the people running the software will do so and get the changes down to the endusers quickly.

Even if it doesn't work anymore at least I wouldn't be losing money like I would if Tivo died.

If Tivo goes belly up, just roll your own data (or more likely join a community of people who do). The Tivo guide data format is hardly a secret these days. The service actually exists in the UK and US, but there are thriving widly active Tivo communities in AU and Canada. I've been running a service emulator for New Zealand since April, and before that we (NZ) were all manually loading guide data. So if Tivo Inc. goes belly up, those of you in the US will surely band together quickly and no doubt have a solid system running in no time flat... The Aussies have a really nice setup, with seemingly very reliable guide data and the like, and the numbers in the states eclipse AU by several orders of magnitude.

Re:Does this really apply? (4, Interesting)

Snad (719864) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373059)

It occurs to me that trying to use one of these alternatives will work great until the automated TV listing parser stops working due to a moved web page or some other problem.

Indeed. I was very interested in MythTV, but given that there are currently no active, reliable ways to obtain the program listings for New Zealand television (such as it is...) the whole thing became rather moot.

One of the great advantages I saw was being able to present my gf with a list of TV program names on screen that she wanted to record (or had recorded and therefore could play back), rather than dick around with the video tapes and the (let's face it) pathetic UI that exists on most video recorders.

Without that program listing things like MythTV lose some of their gloss.

The obvious solution being that I should create my own mechanism for scraping NZ TV websites for program listings but I spend far too much time on /. to have time to create, and more importantly maintain, such a method. My gf, and my mother, and their work colleagues would be even less inclined to do so.

Of course, being in such a small country we're SOL with regard to any kind of TiVo-like service anyway.

Re:Does this really apply? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373265)

there are currently no active, reliable ways to obtain the program listings for New Zealand television

I have been to NZ. You have no television.

Re:Does this really apply? (3, Interesting)

nathanh (1214) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373322)

Indeed. I was very interested in MythTV, but given that there are currently no active, reliable ways to obtain the program listings for New Zealand television (such as it is...) the whole thing became rather moot.

Yeah, good point. The live-tv stuff I must admit isn't very useful to me. What I use MythTV for is saying "I want all episodes of BLAH and you figure it out". Then I come back a few weeks later and watch them all back to back.

Without a functional tv_grab script I simply wouldn't bother. Thankfully the tv_grab_au script does seem to work pretty well. I see tv_grab_nz in the xmltv install. Does it not work for you?

Re:Does this really apply? (1)

The Conductor (758639) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373571)

mechanism for scraping NZ TV websites for program listings...time to create, and more importantly maintain, such a method.

Do you have any way of contacting other Kiwis who want to use MythTV? Even if it is 10 guys, or 5, the task may be easily parallelizable, and you are looking at a small faction of the work. Hell, the back room technician at the TV station may be able to help some if NZ has the hometown flavor it appears to have--to outsiders, at least (by posting a database-friendly text file of listings on the TV website, for example).

If nothing else you could put up a simple webpage or sourceforge project, and see if anyone googles in.

If Tivo or other PVR suppliers don't cater to the NZ market & you are ambitious, make a business of it and sell hardware/software/service combinations, through the local satellite TV shops, perhaps.

Re:Does this really apply? (5, Informative)

elykyllek (543092) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373066)

The latest version of MythTV uses Zap2It's datadirect service [zap2it.com] which does not scrape webpages. They have also said in their forums that it will remain free, your only obligation is to fill out a survey every three months to continue the subscription.

Re:Does this really apply? (2, Insightful)

Allen Zadr (767458) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373129)

Uh, again - me, sure. My mother, no way in hell would she do that. Hell, my wife is really computer savvy, but that's far to much of a pain in the ass for her as well.

Also, I remember the last company [redhat.com] to say they would keep a product free, just fill out this form.

It's a subscription at a different price. Time vs. Money.

Re:Does this really apply? (3, Insightful)

stanbrown (724448) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373301)

I have a high level of concern over this issue, also. I would be happy to pay a reasonable cost (say 50% of the TIVO fee?) for a reliable long term non changing source of listings. I'm suspicous of this whole "Direct" Zap2It thing. They want to issue you a "certificate", and then require you to fill out a survey. And for all this you get about 3 months of service. I suspect that their bussiness model will not work any better (if they have one) than so many of the dotcom models. Someone pleas convince me I'm wrong.

Re:Does this really apply? (4, Informative)

Gaewyn L Knight (16566) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373069)

Ahhh yes young grasshopper....

But zap2it.com is catching on and just added XML data downloads to their labs. They call it datadirect or some such nonsense. No more parsing hundreds of webpages for the listings. You just get a nice XML download. Mythtv already supports it great.

Check it out yourself at http://labs.zap2it.com.

MythTV has a code to use for signup in their setup documents and with that and a short survey you are in business.

Re:Does this really apply? (1)

forevermore (582201) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373106)

until the automated TV listing parser stops working

Yeah, except that zap2it now provides users with a direct xml feed for free (well, at the cost of a small survey every 3 months). It's integrated into mythtv, and there is a grabber for xmltv.

Re:Does this really apply? (2, Informative)

enrico_suave (179651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373188)

"it occurs to me that trying to use one of these alternatives will work great until the automated TV listing parser stops working due to a moved web page or some other problem.
"

Fair point... except most of the major homebrew PVR software applications no longer use screenscraping. IIRC the latest XMLTV uses a direct connection to get the guide data (from zaptoit i *think*)... the guide data is starting to find ways to partner with the diff software out there...

Also although it's not free (either as in beer or speech) software like SageTV [www.sage.tv] (which i'm in love with for it's pvr 350 support) and snapstream's beyondTV include the listing service, if i'm not mistaken...

*shrug*

e.
--> hey /. crowd take it easy on my site please it's had a rough day =)

Re:Does this really apply? (2, Insightful)

Allen Zadr (767458) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373236)

So, why turn my back on cheaper hardware (TiVo), for a slightly lower subscription service (Any of the alternatives) just to use a fully Open product (TiVo runs on Linux, too).

To me, if TiVo's the best, and still cheaper (at least for the first couple of years of use), why use homebrew except for bragging rights?

Re:Does this really apply? (4, Insightful)

enrico_suave (179651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373366)

"To me, if TiVo's the best, and still cheaper (at least for the first couple of years of use), why use homebrew except for bragging rights?"

well, as I've stated on many occasions... building your own PVR isn't for everybody. It helps if you like to tinker with PCs/software/etc... not everyone likes to DIY but I do =) [randomdrivel.com]

that said, I love my Tivo.. but it isn't everything. I kinda wish I got a replayTV as Tivo's home media options (which you pay more to network your Tivo to your PC, sorta) is a joke.

A tivo with lifetime subscription is 110 (after rebate 40 hours) + 300... 410

I'd much rather pay that in hardware/toys to play with (you do know you are on slashdot, right? =)) and then some to have MORE functionality (like weather modules, RSS feeds, MAME, mp3's, divx, and so on....)...

*shrug* again DIY PVr is not for everyone, but it's not a meritless endeavor. And yes, you may end up spending more, especially if you want it small/sexy looking, than you'd ever pay for a Tivo+subscription...

I must say in the short time I've been running the site, the advancements in the software has been really amazing... SageTV (not free beer/speech... cue boo's and hisses) works awesome with my pvr350 and approaches tivo-esque look/feel/usability...

YMMV,

e.

Re:Does this really apply? (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373512)

I agree. If I wanted a seperate unit, I'd go Tivo. It's just more convenient.

However, I bought a TV Tuner card, and Snapstream for my main Windows box.I split the coax and ran it to my desktop. It's great if I need to record something, and I can archive stuff to DVD if I really like it.

I've started to ween myself off Windows, and start using my Powerbook for most things. So I figured I might as well put my Windows PC to good use. I rarely play games anymore (other than Thief III), so it just seemed like to best solution.

All-in-all, it works great. And since my powerbook has a DVD burner, I can burn DVD's of the stuff I really like.

But there's no way in hell I'd spend the time or money on a seperate PC to just sit there and act like a Tivo.

Re:Does this really apply? (1)

stanbrown (724448) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373338)

And it's a locked in peice of hardware. At least starting with the Series 2 units. They have a PROM checksum that checks all teh critical bits on boot up, and will not allow any mods :-( I think this is a serious abuse of teh GPL, myself!

Schedules (3, Funny)

andyrut (300890) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372971)

One of the things that makes TiVO so great is that it knows what television programs are on by downloading a schedule. With a free alternative, will some free service offer updated schedules so the devices know what's on, or will "homebrew" PVR users have to program it manually like a VCR?

Also, given past incidents [slashdot.org] involving competing products with similar names, the makers of Freevo might be "linspired" to avoid a name so similar to TiVO.

Re:Schedules (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373008)

They could parse up tvguide.com or something along those lines. Of course the system would probably break every time TV Guide changed its layout.

Re:Schedules (2, Informative)

elbarsal (232181) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373028)

will "homebrew" PVR users have to program it manually like a VCR?


For those who haven't looked more closely, MythTV uses a web listing service (I believe Zap2it) to get its listings. It really wouldn't be very useful if it had to be manually programmed, would it?

Re:Schedules (1)

eeg3 (785382) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373081)

"will some free service offer updated schedules so the devices know what's on"

TVGuide.com [tvguide.com] offers free listings. Seems like a script to parse that web page and put it into something the PVR can use wouldn't be rocket science. Of course, there is the aspect that TVGuide.com requires a registration, but that could be worked out fairly easily.

Re:Schedules (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373357)

I have a Hauppauge WinTV PVR (unfortuntely it's not the mass produced 250 that works with more 3rd party software, though I found some other drivers that worked with 3rd party software), and it has free tv listings that I just click on and it records it automatticly. TitanTV was the name of the service, which is free.

TitanTV [titantv.com]

Just you wait... (4, Interesting)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372999)

From the front page of www.byopvr.com: "I'm very sorry that our modest hosting buckled under the strain."

As a result of the CNN/Yahoo article(s), no less. Just wait until they see what Slashdot can do!

BTW, this is the exact site for me. I've been talking about doing this for a while, and every time I see an article on Slashdot I get a little closer to actually building one. I'm really excited now.

Don't forget pcHDTV (4, Informative)

YetAnotherName (168064) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373016)

Recall that all of these efforts are standard definition television. Despite the nay-sayers, high definition television is indeed a reality, and has Linux support thanks to the HD-2000 [pchdtv.com] card, which I'm happy to report has no support for Windows.

What a breath of fresh air. Now, back to watching hard-disk recordings of Alias featuring the supremely-cute Jennifer Gartner, who, in high-def, has many supremely-cute freckles.

Re:Don't forget pcHDTV (1)

YetAnotherName (168064) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373037)

Ugh. Why must I type her last name as "Gartner" over and over again? I know it's Garner. Sheesh. (Must have something to do with some ancient genetic muscle memory ... or something.)

Re:Don't forget pcHDTV (1)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373088)

Thumbs up to Alias.

Thumbs down to not having high definition. Comcast doesn't offer it in my area yet - and the few HD broadcasts don't justify buying an HD tuner at this point. So frustrating... and with a 57" HD monitor, too.

When HD is a reality for me, then I'll care. Not to belittle your complaints, but I'm still bitter that I don't have it. Argh.

Re:Don't forget pcHDTV (4, Interesting)

palutke (58340) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373157)

. . . and has Linux support thanks to the HD-2000 [pchdtv.com] card, which I'm happy to report has no support for Windows.

Why would you be happy to report that? It just hurts their chances of staying in business.

Re:Don't forget pcHDTV (3, Insightful)

MayonakaHa (562348) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373263)

Because the more companies that focus more on Linux and OSS systems than they do on Windows systems, the more people will be attracted.

I know you'll probably say that the market for Linux devices is tiny.. and I'll agree with you on that, however, it's growing incrementally every day as more and more people are introduced to it in a friendly way. Working in electronics retail I've come upon many people who want to try Linux but are afraid of it because of horror stories, or someone closeby tries to scare them away by saying "oh it can't do that, I tried it and it was crap". I always get a smile from the look on their face when I say "it can do it now and it's been able to for a few years now. When was the last time you looked at Linux?"

Re:Don't forget pcHDTV (1)

WiKKeSH (543962) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373307)

there have been windows solutions long before that card was available.

Re:Don't forget pcHDTV (1)

MayonakaHa (562348) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373316)

Right but that's not the point. The point was now there are Linux solutions that the developers are dedicated to. Rather than a hacked together driver that loses half it's function because the vendor is Windows only.

Re:Don't forget pcHDTV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373379)

You stupid ass. The best way for a product to exist is to find a happy medium. If Microsoft only catered to people running some crappy startup companies hardware, do you think they would have gotten as far as they have? No. Prime example of why Apple hasn't gone anywhere. Ever thought to yourself that if Apple had released OSX (and not just darwin) for x86 and whatnot that they might be back in the game? I sure as hell think so. But they constantly have the arrogance to only support their own hardware, then bitch about how they have such low sales. Well well well, you might be onto something there, captain obvious...

Re:Don't forget pcHDTV (1)

Openstandards.net (614258) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373320)

I love the picture on the front! THAT makes you appreciate the penguin logo.

On the down side, I was hoping it was the first video capture card for digital cable. Unforunately, there's still no hint we'll ever see one.

It doesn't support satellite broadcasts either, the website says. I think this proprietary communication is really starting to hit us. Are you ready to tell your grandchildren about the days when we could capture video in our computers, and didn't have to pay by the minute to use PVR?

Re:Don't forget pcHDTV (2, Informative)

JumboMessiah (316083) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373570)

Ok, here's some tuners that will work on Linux.

First of all, check out this [linuxtv.org] site to get the dvb drivers. For ease of use, they also have a patched kernel tree in CVS you can pull down and compile.

Second, if you're a non DirectTV satellite customer, you can get HDTV sat streams if your provider conforms to the DVB-S standard (ie not DirectTV). Or, if you're in Europe and your standard cable provider conforms to the DVB-C standard, you're in luck as well. Snap up one of the TechnoTrend cards from here [usa-x.org] . These have been reported to work with MythTV.

Now, for us in America and some other select countries, we're out of luck in the cable market.
We've seemed to create another standard called OpenCable [opencable.com] that the big boys like Time Warner are using.

As of right now there are no OpenCable cards available for Windows or Linux. The best we can do is OTA ATSC...

Re:Don't forget pcHDTV (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373347)

"...which I'm happy to report has no support for Windows."

And then you're one of the clowns that gets pissed off when you can't use your digital camera in Linux because someone didn't provide you drivers for it. Or maybe you like to bitch about how the Nvidia drivers are shit, but at least they exist.

Put up or shutup. Personally, I'm really tired of browsing around here and seeing a bunch of Linux zealots going on and on about how X and Y is "sooooo much better" than whatever else (and in turn, it ends up sucking).

I've got no problem with OSS/etc, but you're the kind of people that are going to keep Linux from ever going anywhere. Oh, and if you actually think Linux has gone somehwere at this point, you might be right -- about 3% right. Nobody cares about how much server market you have, or that your stupid PDA runs Linux -- congratulations. Desktop market is where it's at. Anyways, sorry for deviating away from the topic at hand, but please, take your head out of your ass once in a while.

People with double standards piss me off.

Spelled wrong! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373022)

It is TiVo, big T, little i, big V, little o.

I can't believe the number of times I see it wrong here on Slashdot.

Re:Spelled wrong! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373173)

oK. tHANX 4 taht roflololo

The saw us comming ... (4, Funny)

mmarlett (520340) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373027)

... and could do nothing.

From one of the links that you probably can't get to by now:

I'm happy to welcome the influx of new visitors who found the site via the "Step aside TiVo, here comes Freevo " Reuters story CNN Money | Yahoo News | etc.

I'm very sorry that our modest hosting buckled under the strain. Ironically I was in the middle of moving the site to a new dedicated server to better cope with the growing interest in the site, when this hit the fan. We are now on that dedicated server, and it seems to be holding up fine (*knocks on wood*) I'm a little afraid this article will end up on slashdot then the site will really be toast.

Re:The saw us comming ... (5, Informative)

enrico_suave (179651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373242)

lol... you got me there =)

I meant to spend the day readying a nice new dedicated server for byopvr. I spent the day hot potato getting the site migrated off the VPS (after the first crushing courtesy of reuters/yahoo news)... then pvrblog [pvrblog.com] graciously linked to the site and that influx of new visitors crushed the new server, before I could even get to optimize it... now this... now this... =)

The site you see now is slightly pared down to help it limp through the crisis. I didn't really think anyone would post it to /. or if they did it would be to the original news story and somehow that would slow down the effect. *shrug* man was I wrong...

e.

HDTV will kill Homebrew PVRs... (2, Insightful)

HoxBox (670161) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373030)

These projects are nice but it looks like homebrew PVRs won't be able to do encoded HDTV signals for a long while. It is really doubtful that DirectTV or Time Warner will release their secret encoding. They will most likely want you to buy HDTV Tivo or the TW equivalent (which is out for selected markets already).

Re:HDTV will kill Homebrew PVRs... (4, Informative)

Zapdos (70654) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373528)

How about today.
http://www.pchdtv.com/

The next Xbox will be my Beevo (0)

brxndxn (461473) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373033)

I can't wait until Microsoft comes out with the next Xbox.. so I can have a media center pc running linux, recording all my shows, and playing bootleg games for $200 - all while pissing off Microsoft.

Re:The next Xbox will be my Beevo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373182)

...and playing bootleg games

That's real fucking cool asswipe. Thanks for probably stealing one of my games, and no, I don't work for Microsoft.

Re:The next Xbox will be my Beevo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373545)

This does not piss off Microsoft.

In their battle for game consoles they would give them away to make their market share bigger.

Buying an X-box for any purpose makes their market share look bigger and gives game developers more incentive for programing exclusively for X-box

But I don't watch TV... (2, Insightful)

howman (170527) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373044)

This is all fine and dandy as a recording medium goes, but I would like to see the technology put to some other uses, like recording my incomming e-mail messages direct to memory stick while skipping the spam.
For my mom, who works a couple days a week, the ability to record her soap programs, sans interuptions, while she is at work is great. I just find that if you record a 1 hr show without commercials, you get about 40 min of video on average. You spend 40 min watching this and recording another 30 min program, aprox. 22 min of real show. You record another show shile watching your 22 min show and so on... It is like constantly halving a distance... you seem to get somewhere in the beginning but you never reach the end.

Re:But I don't watch TV... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373110)

This is all fine and dandy as a recording medium goes, but I would like to see the technology put to some other uses, like recording my incomming e-mail messages direct to memory stick while skipping the spam.

What the hell does this have to do with PVR? You're talking vastly different, entirely unrelated technology.

Advert skipping (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373048)


do any of the the nix PVR's have advert skipping ?
as in advert skipping where it doesnt record the adverts (as apposed to fast forwarding)

i know its difficult but usually there are cues in the TV signal itself (bars etc) (like the film companies used to use markers to tell the projectionist when to change reels)

be a nice challenge, or even for the future using bayes filters to train what is an advert and what isnt

thoughts ?

Re:Advert skipping (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373139)

If nothing else, you can probably tell by checking audio levels. During commercials, it will almost always be at the maximum with little variation.

But it seems MythTV [mythtv.org] does record the adverts, though it can automatically delete them afterwards.

Re:Advert skipping (1)

whmac33 (524094) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373329)

I wouldn't want it to not record the adverts because what if it got it wrong and now your missing part of the program and have no chance to get it back. I don't know if the commercial ones Tivo,Replay are perfect in this regard or not.

Re:Advert skipping (4, Informative)

stanbrown (724448) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373382)

MythTV has post processing ad skiping that works fairly well. Doing it on the fly requires a lot of confideence in your mehcanisim, or you risk skiping parts of the program.

Actually have (5, Informative)

DrWho520 (655973) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373050)

My roommate and I actually built one of these. Its a great project that provided much anit-Wintel fun. It also provided a great reason to add wirless to the condo.

Gentoo Linux and an Athlon XP 2400 mate up very nicely. Only thing missing is that WinTV-PVR-350, deffinately the most expensive piece of hardware but well worth the $165+ price tag. We started with FreeVo, but decided on MythTV. It was much more mature a year ago.

Re:Actually have (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373104)

your 'roomate', ie your gay felch monkey

Re:Actually have (2, Informative)

bigbaddumbdog (786623) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373114)

Screw the PVR350. I have 2 WinTV tuners with an Athlon XP 2400+. They encode 2 channels of MPEG4 at 640x480 and supply upto 3 MythTV frontends all simultaneously and only use 85% of the CPU.

myhtpc (2, Insightful)

Anonymouse Cownerd (754174) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373070)

Though not Linux-based, myHTPC totally rocks.

Adding a Newbie to Linux and MythTV (1)

bigbaddumbdog (786623) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373085)

Out of the blue my brother who is a pharmacist, with no prior interest in computers, told me he wanted to learn Linux. After a visit to my house and seeing MythTV in action he was even more sold. So, he'll be staying at my house for a couple days in the coming week and we'll build him a new computer with Linux and MythTV. This more than anything gives me faith that Windows may be on the downslide.

Re:Adding a Newbie to Linux and MythTV (1)

MayonakaHa (562348) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373288)

I sincerely wish you good luck. Always makes me happy to see someone spark an interest in Linux. I've been living with my girlfriend for over a year now and slowly she's beginning to get more and more annoyed with Windows and thinking of Linux as an alternative thanks to me. Once I can get all the programs she wants to use running in Linux, or find suitable replacements for, I'm going to try to get her to make the switch.

No HD Solution! (1)

callipygian-showsyst (631222) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373090)

Too bad there's no HD solution! I went back to TiVo for HD!

Also, I'd love to see a (legit) DirecTV tuner card for PCs. I wonder if this will ever happen? I presume everyone's too concerned about their content getting ripped off, but it would be awfully handy. DirecTV is the best way to get TV now (with the addition of terrestrial digital--the best bargain in entertainment today!)

Re:No HD Solution! (2, Informative)

MayonakaHa (562348) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373303)

As another poster above provided the link for, here you go [pchdtv.com] .

My old coworker and friend uses this card and loves it, he just wishes he had better reception to get the HD channels in his area.

I just use Mencoder and tvtime (2, Informative)

dancedance (600701) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373123)

I have tried both freevo and mythtv and found that neither are exactly to my liking. Right now I use mencoder and cron to record any tv shows that I might want to watch later, and tvtime to watch tv live. I know its not a total solution, but thats not what I'm looking for: I don't have the luxury of having an extra pc to be a dedicated pvr(or for that matter a tv), thus I find mencoder does exactly what I want it to do. Are there any others out there that use alternatives to freevo and mythtv to record / watch tv? More specifically, what formats do people record to? I record to divx, does anyone record to mpeg2 and not use either freevo or myth? For anyone that is interested, here [wheaton.edu] is the script I use to record with mencoder.

Article is not broad enough (5, Interesting)

tjasond (680156) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373127)

This is just not broad enough for people to actually see the differences between the various htpc alternatives. Many of us htpc fans started over a year ago here [thegreenbutton.com] or here [xpmce.com] or here [mythtv.org] . This review, frankly, is inadequate. There are far more issues than meets the eye when making your own htpc, whether myth or xp mce. I'm not advocating either one, I'd just like to remark, after building my own htpc from scratch, that this article tells little to nothing about the pain and suffering of completing this complex task on your own.

Re:Article is not broad enough (2, Informative)

PolyDwarf (156355) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373340)

Amen.
I figured that Memorial Day weekend was a good weekend to try and get this working.. I had found a handy-dandy step-by-step guide on how to install MythTV on Fedora Core here.. I figured, how hard can it be?

I was wrong, by far... I never could get LIRC to run under Fedora Core 1, let alone the two instances I need (One for my remote, and the other to control my homemade IR Transmitter to control my digital cable box).

So, I tried another alternative, that being KnoppMyth [mysettopbox.tv] , a Knoppix disc customized for MythTV. By far, I've gotten much better results with this. I was able to get the second LIRC instance going too. I don't get the pretty gewgaws out of the box (KDE or Gnome, etc), but it does have the virtue of working.

For those considering building their own, and aren't Linux gurus, I would suggest going with the "standard" hardware in use (Nvidia video cards for TV Out+Hauppauge PVR250, or a Hauppauge PVR350).. You'll find much more help that way.

Re:Article is not broad enough (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373352)

That's why you buy one from TiVo.

I've considered buying an Xbox and turning into one of these, but it seems that all this stuff is still pretty flakey to get it working together harmoniously. Then again, it's linux and when does linux ever work harmoniously? The cost also seems high for something that just records television. Then again, people who buy TiVo's apparently swear by them.

(I use and prefer linux so it'd be like modding down a windows user for bitching about windows)

Mythtv Setup Guide (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373152)

If you want to learn how to set up mythtv, this is about as complete a guide as I have ever seen:

www.wilsonet.com/mythtv

Mad props to Jarod Wilson

I originally had a fedora core box, but I recently switched it over to gentoo.

Fros7 4ist (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373171)

for a 8oment and the point more

PVR with digital cable (4, Interesting)

Openstandards.net (614258) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373195)

I thought Myth TV looked awesome. However, I discovered that it can't support digital cable. But, it's not the project's fault, or even a Linux issue. I read that there are currently no PC video capture cards on the consumer market that can support digital TV.

Is this true? Can we ever expect a card to come out? Are cable and other companies using proprietary protocals? Encryption? Does this fall under the DMCA?

I just can't see using a PVR that doesn't support digital cable, as most of the channels I watch or would want to record are only available on digital. This includes most of the movie channels.

Re:PVR with digital cable (4, Informative)

tjasond (680156) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373254)

No that's not true. Any tv capture card can support digital cable, as long as its outputs are compatible with the tuner's inputs. The only issue I've seen in relation to a cable box is that you need to have a way to control the IR signal (usually via an IR Imitter) with one remote control. Every digital cable box that I've ever come across has had at least a coax out, if not RCA outs, which should be able to plug directly into most tuner cards. Beyond that, there should be no compatibility issues.

Re:PVR with digital cable (1)

Openstandards.net (614258) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373400)

This is good news. I didn't read it correctly.

The bad news is it appears to be true for HDTV output, but that could, and hopefully will change.

Even this the site for this video card says it doesn't support HDTV through cable or satellite on the FAQ. Terrestial signals don't appeal to me because I haven't watched more than 10 hours of "regular" TV a year in years. What's the point of paying $90/month for digital cable if you still have to watch commercials?

If the MPAA companies get their way, and put the decryption in the TVs, we may one day not be able to use a video capture card to receive HDTV signals via cable or satellite, even if it becomes available in the near-term. Combine this with the FCC's vision to phase out analog in favor of HD, and video capture cards may only become useful for home made videos.

But, this is years away. We can still enjoy RCA and coaxial, and HDTV when and if it becomes completely accessible via cable and satellite to video cards, for at least a couple of years. Thanks for the info. I'll definately try MythTV soon.

Re:PVR with digital cable (1)

Openstandards.net (614258) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373412)

correction (runtime error 45 in anchor tag):

... Even this the site for this video card [pchdtv.com] says it ...

Re:PVR with digital cable (1)

maelstrom (638) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373255)

It is my understanding that you can connect a remote control device to your MythBox which then knows how to change the channels on your digital cable box. Your digital cable box of course outputs regular coax, otherwise how would your tv be able to display it?

Not the ideal solution, but it is possible.

Re:PVR with digital cable (1)

enrico_suave (179651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373272)

I dunno about the digital cable card... hypothetically maybe one will come out after they standardized the digital cable boxes (supposedly this summer you'll be able to buy a digital cable box at circuit city and bring it home and your cable company will "support" it's use -- unless i'm confused, which happens)

The way you deal with this on the homebrew PVR side, is the same way my tivo deals with it. You get your tivo/pc PVR to control the digital cable box and feed the output (svideo/rf coax) to your PVR's/encoders input.

You can control your digital cable box via IR blasters (which emulate/simulate the remote control you currently use to change your digital cable boxes channels) OR in some cases (notable motorolla boxes) you can use a serial/usb cable to have your PVR control your cable box (which leaves the tuning/unencrypting in the digital cable box)

*shrug* not a perfect solution, but a plausible/workable one...

e

Re:PVR with digital cable (1)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373277)

Doesn't mythtv support an IR blaster so you can use an external tuner?

Shoot they're easy to build - I made one with just a 555 chip running at 39KHz (1/3 duty cycle) off one pin of the parallel port.

Re:PVR with digital cable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373279)

You need a cable box to convert digital cable to RF (on coax) or video (composite/svideo). Myth can use either the serial port on the back of many cable boxes or an IR blaster to tune the cable box.

Program in your cable provider on zap2it's XML datadirect feed, and you can do everything (pause Live, Season Pass, etc., etc.)

Re:PVR with digital cable (2, Informative)

Viadd (173388) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373334)

All cable companies in the US are now required to provide HDTV customers with a firewire-equipped cable box, on request. You can use this to make an HDTV PVR system from a Mac. [macosxhints.com]

Re:PVR with digital cable (4, Informative)

Riskable (19437) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373469)

There's currently two ways to use MythTV with digital cable... The first (and most obvious) way is to use an IRBlaster. It's a device that hooks up to your MythTV box that changes the channel on your cable box when you change the channel on MythTV. It slows things down a bit, so it isn't ideal.

The other way is to get a cable box with a serial port (that works with MythTV). The only one I know off the top of my head is the Motorola DC2000 series. If you ask your cable company for a firewire-equipped box, they're most likely going to give you a DC2000. Also, if you get an HDTV cable box, you're most likely going to get a DC2000.

If you have the serial port setup, digital cable changes channels fast and works like a charm. A superior solution to the IRBlaster.

Side note: In this setup you don't even need a TV tuner card. Just some sort of video input to your PC. However, if you do want to get a TV tuner card, make sure you buy a WinTV PVR-250 or a PVR-350. They have built-in MPEG2 encoders which look absolutely beautiful and take quite a load off your CPU.

Re:PVR with digital cable (1)

jelle (14827) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373537)

AFAIK, digital cable uses standard MPEG2 transport streams (just like DVB), but uses a proprietary data encryption on top of the transport streams.

There are no digital cable tuners for PCs, but...

It does support digital cable, by connecting the s-video and audio out of your digital cable box to your PVR-250, and connecting an infrared transmitter (lirc.org) to your PC that you place in front of the cable box, and then some software configuration.

CNBC predicted the end of Tivo (1)

alen (225700) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373210)

I was watching my daily dose of CNBC after work and they talked about Tivo and the huge drop in their stock price today. Basically it's an easily replicated idea that they big boys are into and they mentioned freevo as a free alternative. They only positive thing going for tivo is the satellite tv deals.

I've looked into this, but... (2, Informative)

Chuck Bucket (142633) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373228)

once you buy all of the equipment and get everything installed, it's way more than Tivo would be. still, I don't do Tivo cause I don't want to pay for the service, so a Linux box running as a PVR will be what I do, eventually.

any news on this front? are the Linux PVR apps more mature featurewise than the monthy pay options?

I *want* to build one, but time (and money) are my current obstacles.

CBV

Re:I've looked into this, but... (1)

tukkayoot (528280) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373505)

Looking at MythTV's feature list, it certainly seems to me that a Linux PVR can be more feature-rich than a commercial PVR.

MythTV seems to have all of the standard PVR bases covered, and have a few nice little cherries on top, like a skinnable interface, and a front end for Atari, NES and SNES emulators.

Plus there's the fact that your HTPC is an actual PC and can do, even if you aren't inclined to use it much that way. So in terms of software it's a lot more flexible. Also in terms of hardware... one of the things I like about having a HTPC is that you can put a DVD burner in it, or connect a wireless adapter, ect., stuff that I doubt is as easy to do on a TiVo, or if you can do it on a TiVo, I bet you have to pay a premium for it.

I'm pondering building one of them myself, haven't yet taken the plunge though. My shopping list consists of:

VIA Epia MII-10000 motherboard
Morex Venus 669 (or 668) case + power supply
256 mb DDR266 RAM
Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-250
120 GB hard drive
NEC 8X DVD+RW/-RW drive
PCMCIA 802.11g adapter
A serial interface cable for my DirecTV receiver
and a Radio Shack universal remote

Last time I checked prices and did the tallying, the total price came to $740-$800, including shipping. Quite a bit more expensive than a TiVo, but also more powerful, and without subscription fees. Seems like a nice deal to me.

Re:I've looked into this, but... (1)

tukkayoot (528280) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373552)

... but I should add that I was on the MythTV discussion mailing list for a while, and as others have pointed out, setting up one of these things is not a walk in the park. A lot of people seem to have various problems, some of them fairly serious. This is probably inevitable when you think about all the different hardware and software configurations people are using for their HTPC. A lot of people get their HTPCs to work just dandy though. So MythTV would seem less mature if you're going to take possible snafus into consideration.

Pretty Amazing (1)

bstone (145356) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373269)

The how to start as a newbie [byopvr.com] page is still up. Whatever server they're using, it seems to have survived the test pretty well. Their comment:

UPDATE 9:48 --- from the kicking me while I'm down department We're being Slashdot'ed on top of the yahoo/CNN and matt pvrblogs traffic. No mas! No Mas! =) Glad to see the site get so much attention (but in one day?!) so that we can grow our home brew tivo community.

Linux makes great media box, for lazy bastards. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373308)

I don't do much PVR'ing. But I am using a Hauppage PVR-250.

It's a tuner that encodes it output into MPEG stream. Note that I am using experimental IVTV drivers, so the quality/stability is not garrenteed. But it works for me. The device file that gets used is /dev/video1 The output is mpeg2 streams, bitrates and the tuner I control by ptune-iu.pl perl gui script.

All in all it's pretty primtive. I am to lazy to setup a real PVR program. Basicly to make a recording you can go like this:
cat /dev/video1 > show.mpeg

To play directly from the card:
mplayer -vo xv -vf pp=lb -framedrop /dev/video1

I wrote a script called "recorder"
(script)
#!/bin/bash
# Usage: recorder name channel length quality
# length is in minutes
echo "16000000 is great 8000000 is good 4000000 is normal for quality."
echo "name channel length quality"
~/bin/ptune.pl --input /dev/video1 --freqtable ntsc-cable-hrc $2 /usr/local/bin/test_ioctl -d /dev/video1 -c bitrate=$4,bitrate_peak=$4

echo "recorded $1 on channel $2 for $3 minutes at $4 quality at `date`" >> ~/media/recorded/recorded.log

if lsof |grep /dev/video1
then
killall mplayer
fi

cat /dev/video1 >> ~/media/recorded/$1 &

POO=$!

sleep $3m

kill $POO
(end script)

So I use it to scedual recordings of shows I want to watch. I use tv.yahoo.com for the listings.

So to record a show I use the at command. It goes like this:
at 11:25
recorder randumbshow 32 40 8000000
^d

And that sets the job to run at 11:25 for 40 minutes on channel 32 at medium-high quality.

That will take like 4gigs of space. To scedual recordings to go everyday at the same time I use "crontab -e" command. Syntax goes like this:

55 0 * * * $HOME/bin/recorder futurama 51 40 6000000

That sets it to record everynight at 00:55 (military time) for 40 minutes on channel 51 at medium quality. Simple stuff.

MythTV setup not for the faint of heart (3, Informative)

ptelligence (685287) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373315)

But it's well worth it. I've got one running at home, and it is an amazing device with all free software. You'll want to drop $120 to $150 on a Hauppauge WinTV PVR card with remote and your HD will eventually top 100 gigs if it hasn't already. You're looking at about a gig per half hour that you record. What's cool about my box is that in addition to acting as a PVR, it's also an ssh and samba server and its constantly grabbing 3 or 4 bittorrents. Also it can pause and rewind live tv. I must admit though that I have spent on the order of 30 hours setting it up and just fooling around with it in general. You'll want to be familiar with Linux before you even attempt to set up one of these. If you're looking for an easier way, you may want to try KnoppMyth. It's bootable live CD that installs myth TV. It may require a little tweaking at the end, but it could save you a heck of a lot of time. Of course then you'll realize that there's nothing good on TV anyway but your geeky pride will be stroked.

Be Prepared to help the newbies... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373324)

Big Deal? Why is this constantly brought up? I'm not trolling, but honestly, that's a little snide comment.

Listen, i'm all for open source, free as in beer, yadda yadda, but please, for the love of god, realize that EVERYONE IS A NEWBIE ONCE. I'm sure Joe SysAdmin Linux user would be more than happy to flex their geek muscle and help people. But doing it in a condescending way is absolutely NOT going to help spread any sort of information, besides what monumental jerks people can be.

What a better way to piss off your user base by calling them newbies and basically insulting their intelligence from the get go. I can already tell the general tone of these mailing lists, even before I join.

Linux PVRs can be a pain! (5, Informative)

truffle (37924) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373337)

Some points which pundits may not mention (I'm a MythTV user):
- Dedicated PVR systems are always cheaper than building your own from parts
- PVR systems based on old hardware will be slow. It doesn't matter if you throw a hardware encoder/decoder in your Duron 850, it will be slow. You want all the CPU and disk speed you can get. Trust me.
- Be prepared to spend 40+ hours over the next three months setting up, configuring, debugging your system. Less if you don't care about customizing and tweaking. More if you're less experienced, and want to compile from source, or don't have popular hardware.
- If you use your Linux box for other things, be aware the system resources mythtv demands may make it slow and chunky.
- Setting up a MythTV box requires installing lots of stuff. The mythtv software works with LIRC (remote control drivers), iVTV (tuner drivers), and a bunch of stuff I don't remember. This isn't an install one thing and you're done project.

I enjoy tweaking systems, but I wasn't aware of the amount of time I'd have to put into MythTV. This in no way detracts from the project - it's a great project. Just know you're getting into something that's fairly technical, and requires troubleshooting.

For the record, PVR 350 + Athlon 1800 + 512 megs/ram on my mythtv box. Debian.

PVR Distro (1)

jeffehobbs (419930) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373365)


I went looking for a "linux PVR distribution" this weekend and couldn't find it. Basically, I was looking for a linux distribution which could be easily installed, work out of the box with standard TV tuner/video out (and ideally, maybe even some sort of IR device) and give me the ability to watch DVDs, stream divx, listen to mp3s, etc.

Does this exist? It should. It could really work as a sneaky way to get people interested in linux in the home.

~jeff

Re:PVR Distro (4, Informative)

omega9 (138280) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373578)

Look a little harder. [mysettopbox.tv]

Linux PVR "support" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373367)

All of us who subscribe to the mailing lists be prepared to help out the newbies as Linux PVRs become more mainstream

Yes, get ready with helpful phrases like "This was just discussed last week! Didn't you search the mailing list?" and "A simple Google search would have turned up..." and "Just recompile your kernel with..."

Re:Linux PVR "support" (1)

john_anderson_ii (786633) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373434)

If you find the Linux community lacking in eagerness to support one too lazy to help themselves, I appologize. I think we all tire of answering the same questions over and over again no matter what the material subject is.

not cost effective yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373388)

You can get ReplayTV with lifetime subscription for $300:

http://www.digitalnetworksna.com/shop/_templates/c at_listRTV.asp?cat=51 [digitalnetworksna.com]

So unless you already have a TV Tuner card with your ready to dedicate to PVR-ing computer and both combined cost less than $300 does it make sense?

Oh yeah, plus you get a remote with ReplayTV.

I'm not sure what other competitor's deals are but they must be in the same ballpark, also. Until the cost of the computer+tv tuner card go down, this is not a cost effective solution.

**sigh** Wake up! (1, Insightful)

OpenSourceOfAllEvil (716426) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373394)

Having watched coworkers dodge TiVo monthly fees with their PVR alternatives. I see two things:

2. Most of them suck, and are just lame me-toos. Who cares if it's free or cheaper, it sucks.

1. TiVo is hardly a giant. They've already defended their market from Microsoft's PVR entry, once. Why endorse lame alternatives that weaken the viability of company that is on the side of the consumer until a giant can DRM you blind.

Yeah, yeah. So you got a free alternative you claim is just as awesome. And my Commodore 64 running Geos is still better than a Mac with OS X. Yeah, sure whatever.

Believe what you want. Go ahead, shoot TiVo in the foot and your consumer rights in the face.

Re:**sigh** Wake up! (4, Insightful)

john_anderson_ii (786633) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373493)

I certaintly can't answer for the rest of the Linux PVR community, but I for one think my Linux PVR works great! I don't watch nearly enough TV to purchase a TiVo, and since my PVR was frankensteined from dead machines I had laying about, it cost me nothing but time. Of course I enjoy configuring and tweaking systems in spare time. :) The sum and substance is: If you like playing around with this kind of stuff, go for it, and enjoy the fringe benifits of having some level of use. If you don't like spending the time, then buy a TiVo and support an emerging company. It's all about choice, and having a choice is just awesome in my opinion.

Re:**sigh** Wake up! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373503)

WTF are you talking about, and why did the mods mod you up?

This article is about a do-it-yourself PVR setup, using Linux, free software, and commodity hardware.

It's fun, and fairly easy, and very usefull.

TiVo is a good product, but it's not the alpha and the omega of multimedia devices.

Windows Media Center Edition? (3, Interesting)

altek (119814) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373417)

Yes, this article is about Linux PVR's, but how do people feel that the popular ones mentioned (Freevo, MythTV) compare to Windows Media Center Edition's PVR functions?

Don't treat this as a troll (I still expect usual M$ backlash from /.), but I'm really curious. A few things I know already about Media Center:

1) records in proprietary format (dvr-ms?)
2) no skipping of commercials (except of course fast-forward)
3) doesn't require a TV-tuner, can use any vid card with video capture (S-Video, RCA, coax, etc)
4) generally comes with a remote for all PVR functions and a IR transmitter to actually change your cable box channel
5) supports other media-ish functions like music, pictures, etc
6) It's Windows for chrissake

Please add/subtract/multiply/divide from this list. Just trying to get an idea of how MS's (cruddy) product stacks up to the free competition.

Re:Windows Media Center Edition? (5, Informative)

Riskable (19437) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373580)

All I can answer is in regards to MythTV:

1) If you use a Tuner card with an MPEG encoder, it records in MPEG2. If you use a Tuner without an MPEG2 encoder, MythTV uses your CPU to record in either RTJPEG or MPEG4 (user configurable). MythTV can transcode these formats to pretty much whatever you want after the recording is done.

2) MythTV can automatically flag commercials during recording. When it later transcodes the recording, it auto-skips these flagged areas. Works quite well, but can occasionally mess up (mostly it doesn't miss parts of your show, but might record an extraneous commercial or two). It has some newer experimental commercial skip features which I haven't tried yet. It's all user-configurable.

3) MythTV doesn't require a tuner. You could hook your cable box up to a video input of some sort on your PC and use it with an IRBlaster or serial cable (assuming your cable box can be controlled by a serial port).

4) If you buy a WinTV PVR card, it comes with a remote and IR interface... These work flawlessly with MythTV. However, I should note that MythTV works with LIRC... So if you get any old IR reciever working with LIRC, it'll work with MythTV. Essentially this means you can use MythTV with just about any remote you can get your hands on.

5) MythTV supports TV, Videos (auto-metadata lookups which is sweet, checkout the screenshots page), games (MAME, SNES, NES, Linux games, very cool), weather (My favorite module), RSS Newsfeeds, DVDs (which includes a nice ripper), and some others I can't think of off the top of my head right now. There's also a MythPhone module in development that works like Netmeeting/Gnomemeeting (http://www.zen13655.zen.co.uk/mythphone.html).

6) It's Linux, however, there's hooks and things in the code so that it might run on Windows some day. We'll see.

MythTV RIGHT NOW is an amazing piece of software, but because it's open-source, it's rapidly developing into something much, much more. Right now it's the PVR leader and I suspect it's going to remain that way for quite some time... A very promising future.

Dumb Question (1)

Omega1045 (584264) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373439)

Do any of these projects / products work with digital cable and/or sat? I love the DVR built into my sat (100 hours), but I have already had to delete shows I would like to have kept around a little longer. Since we have gotten into the habit of recording much of the content we watch, so we can watch it when we want to do so, I find myself running into the 100 hour limit.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?