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O'Reilly Builds a MythTV Box

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the summer-projects dept.

Television 203

enrico_suave writes "While the Broadcast Flag battle continues, it's still legal to put together your own HDTV PC HTPC/PVR. O'Reilly has posted part 1 in a series of articles describing the ins and outs of Building a MythTV Box" From the article: "For now, the good news is that it is still legal to put together your own home-theater PC. Parts are now cheap enough that it is no longer ridiculous to build a PC specifically to handle TV for you, much like the VCR in Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency..."

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I already have a PVR (0)

Approaching.sanity (889047) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936546)

I am still waiting on the CVS camera!

I JUST WANNA SAY (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12936720)

the "from the-[...]" department shit is STUPID.

it sucks.

i'm sick of it.

it makes me sad that somebody puts their time into it.

WHO'S WITH ME?

i wish it would stop.

oh wait, that's right, you're all stupid!!!

Re:I JUST WANNA SAY (1)

ToasterofDOOM (878240) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936732)

You must be new here ... wow that's the second time i've said that today! I'm on a roll

Re:I JUST WANNA SAY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12936880)

Judging by the number of digits in your userid #, you're not exactly an old timer, either.

Myth firewire DTV support (3, Interesting)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936563)

Hi,
How is Myth's firewire support for DTV cable boxes shaping up? Preferably HDTV. Is there a DTV howto yet, with tips for receivers generally and particular models particularly?

I'd consider swapping my TiVo out (given its really crappy slow performance lately, lack of digital audio or video, and monthly fees) but it's easy to use and having to go thru config hell wouldn't be worth it for me if I didn't get anything nifty in terms of features..

Re:Myth firewire DTV support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12936811)

1394 from cable boxes is a no-go. Basically, the cable companies are encrypting the signal with 5C so you can't get at the picture. Different providers are doing different amounts. Mine blocks the lot. :(

Re:Myth firewire DTV support (1)

assassinator42 (844848) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936861)

AFAIK, not with comcast. Their HD DVR box at least transfers the video through firewire unencrypted. Not sure about other boxes, but I would not call firewire a "no-go".

Re:Myth firewire DTV support (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936967)

Local OTA channels only. Here, out of the 15 or so HD channels, I get 4-5 unencrypted. All the cable networks, premium channels, INHD1 and INHD2 are encrypted.

Re:Myth firewire DTV support (1)

Jerry Rivers (881171) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937194)

HD through Firewire works perfectly with my Comcast box. And with OS X there is already software in the developer kit that allows me to (manually at least) capture it. All I need to do now is work on using Automator and Applescript to schedule it and I'll have my very own HDPVR with most of the hardware and software work already done for me.

Re:Myth firewire DTV support (2, Informative)

rogabean (741411) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937053)

The support is fine with MythTV itself (MythTv user myself for a long time now).

The issue of it working solely resides with your cable provider. Alot of them cripple that port.

What? (1)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936564)

Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

Is it just me, or is this some sort of geeky, nerdy analogy that nobody here is going to get? I wonder if it is just me.....

Hmm....

maybe.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12936609)

Dirk was one of Adams' other characters not in the Guide series. I presume he had a computer controled vcr or somesuch, but as I've only listened to the books once on tape years ago, and was thouroughly confused then, I don't remember.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12936637)

It's a reference to a movie few people saw this year, but will later claim they loved it since it came out. It's destined to be a cult classic.

I'd mention the name, but the swarm of /.'rs looking to get into the cult at the ground level would trash the poor server.

I'll give you a hint. There is a vowel than can also be used as a proper noun for the first work in the title.

A symbol for the second word, and the title ends with huckabees.

--ofjbwbt these are the letter this script parsed from the image

It is just you...with quote (5, Informative)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936639)

The Electric Monk was a labour-saving device, like a dishwasher or a video recorder. Dishwashers washed tedious dishes for you, thus saving you the bother of washing them yourself, video recorders watched tedious television for you, thus saving you the bother of looking at it yourself; Electric Monks believed things for you, thus saving you what was becoming an increasingly onerous task, that of believing all the things the world expected you to believe.
Douglas Adams is definitely fair-game for geek-speak. His writings are even well-read by non-geeks.

Re:It is just you...with quote (1)

tolkienfan (892463) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936888)

But you have to be a geek to really appreciate his work.

Re:It is just you...with quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12936953)

Don't use "is" lightly.
Don't use "definitely".
Don't be so sure of things.
Especially those of which no one should be sure.

---

OT: Konqueror no longer renders the "random letters". The practical effect is Konqueror users are not welcome to post here.

Since I'm an AC, and we're treated like second-class, I won't warn about this... but if someone cares...

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12936645)

Maybe this
The Electric Monk was a labour-saving device, like a dishwasher or a video recorder. Dishwashers washed tedious dishes for you, thus saving you the bother of washing them yourself, video recorders watched tedious television for you, thus saving you the bother of looking at it yourself; Electric Monks believed things for you, thus saving you what was becoming an increasingly onerous task, that of believing all the things the world expected you to believe.

Re:What? (1)

wiml (883109) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937017)

Yeah, we wouldn't want to have any geeky, nerdy references on a "news for nerds" site.

Hmm...Interesting (1)

B11 (894359) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936575)

It will be interesting to see how it turns out. This is what initially brought me to the linux fold, and I'm working on my own project, which is following a lot of the same hardware paths as the author.

thin box type thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12936582)

I've been thinking lately about building a simple computer a couple of firewire and USB2 ports, a norton commander-type interface, a good video encoder, and a bunch of good video decoders. Seems to me that's all you'd need.

O'really? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12936584)

No text.

Legal/illegal? (4, Insightful)

daniil (775990) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936596)

For now, the good news is that it is still legal to put together your own home-theater PC.

Bah. The broadcast flag will not make it illegal for you to build your own home-theater. How could they stop you from doing it? You just won't be able to record (or watch?) anything.

---
"Follow the links," he said. [slashdot.org]

Re:Legal/illegal? (0)

nebaz (453974) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936611)

Brilliant linkage troll.

Re:Legal/illegal? (1)

nebaz (453974) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936652)

The first link, that is.

Re:Legal/illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12936677)

What?

Re:Legal/illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12936802)

Original post is a new form of troll.
Follow all the fake sig links and it takes you to something that doesn't need seen.

OT: Jingle (was Re:Legal/illegal?) (2, Funny)

ArielMT (757715) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937176)

A bloody brilliant string of links that spell out a shaving cream jingle. But yes, it does end in something that shouldn't be seen, not even on Slashdot.

On the plus side, the picture it's based on will, when viewed by any man questioning his heterosexuality, scare him straight for a very long time. http://bash.org/?42262 [bash.org]

Re:Legal/illegal? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12937549)

You just won't be able to record (or watch?) anything.

The stupidest, stupidest, stupidest thing that television could do right now is prevent you from recording television and watching it on your own time.

Most people in frustration would stop watching television altogether.

"What do you mean it didn't record Alias?!?"

-THREE WEEKS LATER-

"Nah, didn't see it. My stupid machine won't let me see it. I'm three weeks behind. I can't watch it now, because I tried to get back early to see it, and I'm totally lost."

I'm too lazy (4, Informative)

udderly (890305) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936621)

Given the good enough performance and price ($5/month) of my Tivo, I just can't justify the time and effort. My brother-in-law (aka the King of DIY) made one and he is constantly wrenching that thing.

Re:I'm too lazy (5, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936707)

There's a couple reasons to want to go DIY. Its not for everyone, but here they are:

1)I hate monthly fees. I refuse to pay them. I'd rather pay $100 up front than5 a month in fees.

2)Expandability. Want more RAM or another encoder? DIY just add it. Tivo- time to buy another Tivo

3)No comercials- Tivo is playing with adding commercials. My number 1 reason for buying one would be to kill commercials.

4)More (and easily expandable) storage. Add a RAID for reliability.

5)Additional features. You can pull any new feature when you want, and Myth is more than just a DVR (MythPhone, MythGames, etc)

6)The ability to do illegal stuff- like rent DVDs, and rip them to your hard drive for permanent sorage.

7)The ability to network it and add a file server. You may now watch your movie collection anywhere.

8)The ability to use 1 program for all media- music, video, and images.

9)No loss of features- you won't see disappearing features like 30 second skip.

I'm sure there's others people come up with as well. Tivo is nice hardware, but given the fact its subscription based and they're playing with commercials, its a no deal for me.

Re:I'm too lazy (3, Interesting)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936818)

9)No loss of features- you won't see disappearing features like 30 second skip.

this is one of the biggies i think. new products become popular for their features, then they become cheap when they cut those features.

Re:I'm too lazy (1)

KillShill (877105) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936919)

the one and only reason i or any other reasonable person who has insight into this situation is:

you don't !control! the hardware you purchased. tivo can do things behind your back with the help of forced updates to negate any "hacks" aka things that help you wrest control away from people who have no business telling you what to do with your hw.

tivo = DRM

frankly, all i want is a digital VCR. i don't want listings, i don't want recommendations. i don't even watch much tv anyway and the occasional programs i do watch, i just want to record to watch later and i want to do that manually but have it recorded digitally on a small appliance with a Hard drive.

people really will get what they earn... keep buying DRM-crippled devices and the terrorists really will have won.

DIY vs. Buy (3, Informative)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936977)

I have built PVRs. I still watch TV through my Matrox G400TV quite frequently. However, I am happy with my ReplayTV. Mainly because:

1)Uses less power than most PC solutions.

2)Cheaper. I got it for $250 with lifetime subscription. Admittedly, the MSRP is much higher. But it still isn't as much as putting together a system, even if you get one of the $200 Dells to start it.

3)It just works. No messing with drivers, LIRC, etc.

Now, some of your points for DIY just don't hold.

1)I hate monthly fees.
You can purchase PVRs with lifetime subscriptions. You can't rely on Zap2It to always give you free listings for MythTV!
3)No comercials- Tivo is playing with adding commercials. My number 1 reason for buying one would be to kill commercials.
My ReplayTV 5040 still has Commercial Advance. Newer models don't, but they have "Show|Nav." You press a single button & it skips the commercials.
4)More (and easily expandable) storage.
Ditto most PVRs. You can network them & pull content onto a computer or you can drop in a larger harddrive or two.
7)The ability to network it and add a file server. You may now watch your movie collection anywhere.
Both ReplayTV and Tivo have this.
8)The ability to use 1 program for all media- music, video, and images.
ReplayTVs store images. You can upload video. It is space-inefficient, but you can upload audio encoded as video with whatever moving images you want.
9)No loss of features- you won't see disappearing features like 30 second skip.
This is a good point. But I think the bottom-line is that features may become illegal (which could take them out of the project's trunk). You can also prevent firmware upgrades on PVRs you buy.

The bottom-line is that we need to promote legislation to keep the features we want LEGAL.

Re:DIY vs. Buy (1)

NotWulfen (219204) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937421)

1)I hate monthly fees.
You can purchase PVRs with lifetime subscriptions. You can't rely on Zap2It to always give you free listings for MythTV!
so instead you want to rely on some company that could quietly implode and take away all support for your proprietary box at any given time? if Zap2It took away the XML feed people would just switch back to the old method (scraping it from HTML with scripts)

Re:I'm too lazy (1)

BenSnyder (253224) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937032)

I've had a Tivo for years and have nothing but good things to say about it. But if pressed, I'll tell you my only real problem. They need to build their boxes with two TV tuners. In 2005, recording one channel while watching another should be a no-brainer. Yes, Tivo tells you how to wire a workaround with a cable splitter but the way I see it, if I'm buying the box, let the box do the work. Other than that, I love the thing. I considered your 9 DIY points (among others) when I first bought my Tivo and here's what conclusions I came to:

1)I hate monthly fees. I refuse to pay them. I'd rather pay $100 up front than5 a month in fees.

Me too. That's why I paid $300 up front for lifetime service. The break even point was 17 months. I've had the service for over 2 years now.

2)Expandability. Want more RAM or another encoder? DIY just add it. Tivo- time to buy another Tivo

As far as I know, Tivo encourages hacking their boxes and plenty of people have dropped bigger drives into their Tivo.

3)No comercials- Tivo is playing with adding commercials. My number 1 reason for buying one would be to kill commercials.

I suppose you could find some software (or write your own) that looks for the black fade ins and outs to cut the commercials on the fly - but chances are, you're still going to see a commercial here and there with your own system. For Tivo, for my tastes, they've reduced the commercials to a level that I find acceptible. I don't need the complete lack of commercials to enjoy TV - I just need the ability to blow right by them. Look at it this way, Tivo *asked me* if I wanted to record the King Kong world premiere of the trailer. You can call that invasive advertising if you want, but *damn right* I wanted to see it. And yes, it ruled.

4)More (and easily expandable) storage. Add a RAID for reliability.

Personally, anything I want to save, I use Tivo ToGo and move it to my PC. There's a hack that automates turning a .tivo file into a .mpg file - so transferring is painless and I'm not locked into their (admittedly PITA) DRM. Oh, it goes without saying that I can then use whatever setup I chose to store my data... RAID, whatever.

5)Additional features. You can pull any new feature when you want, and Myth is more than just a DVR (MythPhone, MythGames, etc)

At some point, I pull over on the feature highway and just want my DVR to be a kickass DVR with the best remote I've ever used. Tivo is that for me. My computer is 5 feet from my Tivo. I think I can manage VOIP and games on my computer. And honestly, wouldn't you rather use your TV with a game console? It's the old mobile phone idea. We all want easy simple mobile phones that are great at being mobile phones. I don't need a half assed PDA attached to it. Same thing goes for my DVR.

6)The ability to do illegal stuff- like rent DVDs, and rip them to your hard drive for permanent sorage.

Again, why not just do this on your PC?

7)The ability to network it and add a file server. You may now watch your movie collection anywhere.

Tivo offers that with Tivo ToGo.

8)The ability to use 1 program for all media- music, video, and images.

Tivo allows you to put music and videos in a shared file so you can view them on your Tivo.

9)No loss of features- you won't see disappearing features like 30 second skip.

As far as I know, Tivo doesn't really lose features. Though I don't lurk on Tivo messageboards either. I know that Tivo doesn't allow a 30 second skip, but I also know that they built in an easy remote control command to enable it. It's a hack, but it's an official hack.

All in all, I see your points. It comes down to wanting one box to do it all vs. being happy that I have a computer and have some game consoles and a Tivo and can use them all for their intended purpose. If the point is to record TV and not to turn said recording into a hobby, then Tivo is clearly the best option. However, if you enjoy DIY - then that's really the only reason you need to go that route.

Re:I'm too lazy (1)

lythotype (446239) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937688)

Tivo allows you to put music and videos in a shared file so you can view them on your Tivo.

I know that you can use the Tivo server on a network to push both picture and mp3 files to your Tivo, but I don't know how you can do this with video? The Tivo ToGo api doesn't mention anything about pushing video to the Tivo. How do you do it (other than hacking the Tivo HD)?

Re:I'm too lazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12937713)

> But if pressed, I'll tell you my only real problem. They need to build their boxes with two TV tuners.

They do. If you have a DirectTV TiVo you can indeed record one channel and watch another if you have a two-signal dish.

TiVo solved this problem years ago.

Re:I'm too lazy (3, Insightful)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937294)

Heres a good one:
How about I'm not in North America and can't get Tivo.

Re:I'm too lazy (1)

enrico_suave (179651) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937365)

AuMatar: Bravo! I couldn't have said it any better... although with the current climate (i.e. grokster SCOTUS decision) maybe not so much on number 6, eh?

Re:I'm too lazy (1)

modemboy (233342) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936855)

Where are you getting Tivo for $5 a month? Even if you buy a year at a time it is $13...

Re:I'm too lazy (1)

hawkbug (94280) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936879)

DirecTV

Re:I'm too lazy (1)

sirra462 (827954) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937261)

No excuse. Knoppmyth, pop in the disc and 30 minutes later you have time shifted TV. I built my first myth box from scratch and scoffed at Knoppmyth, many moments of blood, sweat and tears later I realized that I wanted it to work, not prove that I was a god among linux users. I tried knoppmyth and haven't been back since. If you spend time wrenching on it, that is because you are a tweaker at heart.

Systm's Video How To (5, Informative)

Noksagt (69097) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936622)

Systm had a video how-to [systm.org] of building a MythTV box. Having seen the short segment (and having assembled a PVR before it), I am surprised that the article is "Part 1."

Re:Systm's Video How To (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936765)

There is a link to Zap2it, but wasn't there a slashdot article not too long ago about Zap2it beginning to block users due to high traffic etc. Something like changing their format would render MythTv useless? I am really curious to know if it's possible.

Re:Systm's Video How To (3, Informative)

enrico_suave (179651) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936954)

" There is a link to Zap2it, but wasn't there a slashdot article not too long ago about Zap2it beginning to block users due to high traffic etc. Something like changing their format would render MythTv useless? I am really curious to know if it's possible."
Have a link?

Unless I'm mistaken (or there was a 2nd incident), Zap2it had an open letter to the community about some certain commercial (shareware?) PVR software makers abusing the free datadirect service they were providing to freeware and OSS projects.

In addition if someone was THAT concerned about the future of their listings could check out LxMSuites [lxmsuite.com] is offering robust EPG data tailored for MythTV as a subscription where some of the profits are re-invested in to the MythTV project.

e.

Typical O'Reilly Standards ; Commercial mass-marke (5, Interesting)

victorhooi (830021) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936640)

What I'm really waiting for is the O'Reilly "MythTV in a Nutshell", or "MythTv Hacks"...now that would be sweet...

Until then, I'm stuck with consulting the massive tome of Myth links I've collected over the years, half of which are out-of-date, or unmaintained (although the official docs are a good effort). Would be nice if O'Reilly brought their professionalism to it.

One thing I've never figured out - why aren't there more companies mass-marketting and selling these? How come say, Phillips or some other company hasn't picked this up and prettified it to sell to the end consumer who's never heard of Linux? (It's not like companies haven't taken Linux and put it inside devices to sell to the "Just Works" crowd - all that embedded stuff, for example, a lot of routers/firewall products etc.)

Looking at the article, I'd have to say it rates 5 out of 5 - truly up to O'Reilly's normal standards - well set out, doesn't talk down to users, and pretty pictures...*in colour* (man...talk about innovation...I have *never* seen a colour O'Reilly article/book...althought since this is /., I give it 5 mins before somebody finds one, in some random alternative universe somewhere).

Re:Typical O'Reilly Standards ; Commercial mass-ma (1)

osmodion (716658) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936712)

I have *never* seen a colour O'Reilly article/book...althought since this is /., I give it 5 mins before somebody finds one, in some random alternative universe somewhere).

While I don't have a color O'Reilly book, my copy of Practical PostgreSQL, which I bought at Barnes & Noble, has the wrong spine colors. The black part at the top is pink and the large pink area is white with pink writing.

Re:Typical O'Reilly Standards ; Commercial mass-ma (1)

KJE (640748) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937046)

One thing I've never figured out - why aren't there more companies mass-marketting and selling these?

Because then you would be competing with TiVo. I've got a myth setup going and it's fecking awesome. It also took a ton of time to get working, but that was mostly because I'm using a shitty old Compaq and had non-MythTV related setup problems.

So even if these systems were all set up nicely by, say, Phillips, there are still tons of maintenance issues with MythTV. First off, there is the problem of channel listings. In North America Zap2It [zap2it.com] has been nice enough to offer free (with registration) listings to Myth users, and many other countries are left to scrape webpages for their listings with XMLTV [membled.com] . Then you come to the problem of tuners for different signal types... e.g. North America vs. Europe...and last but not least, cost. You are using generic components for a very specific task, this does not make things cheap. It is almost impossible to get TiVo size, style, and functionality for the price of a TiVo, starting from scratch...but for many geeks, and Do It Yourselfers, it's quite rewarding and worth it in the long run.

Re:Typical O'Reilly Standards ; Commercial mass-ma (1)

mattyrobinson69 (751521) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937239)

radiotimes (bbc) offers the listings in xml format for free in the uk (hooya!)

Re:Typical O'Reilly Standards ; Commercial mass-ma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12937070)

How come say, Phillips or some other company hasn't picked this up and prettified it to sell to the end consumer who's never heard of Linux?

Philips was one of the two original manufacturers of TiVo boxes.

Another re-hashed article? (1, Interesting)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936669)

This is the second article in as many days about something that that already has had 2,000 articles written about it.

"Results 1 - 10 of about 30,400 for build mythtv box. (0.28 seconds)"

Interestingly enough, the O'Reilly article is the #1 Google hit, and it has a publication date of 6/22. Today is 6/28. Wow, that's pretty fast!

Re:Another re-hashed article? (1)

Jozer99 (693146) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936986)

Google ranks pages according to the number and "reliability" of sites that link too it. Since O'Reilly's website is already linked to by many, anything he posts to the net will be considered useful by Google. It's a great system huh? Too bad it is easy to fool.

Why? (3, Funny)

jerw134 (409531) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936685)

The article fails to mention why Bill O'Reilly decided to build a MythTV box, and why I should care.

Oh wait, it was the other O'Reilly? Nevermind...

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

Leiterfluid (876193) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936743)

No-Spin MythTV.

Sweet.

Very odd coincidence... (5, Informative)

millennial (830897) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936687)

I'm currently building a MythTV system on a P4 1.5GHz. I've got it running pretty well so far in Gentoo under EvilWM. The instructions I'm trying to follow are here [gentoo-wiki.com] . They're pretty complete, and even though they don't match my setup exactly, I've only run into a couple hiccups so far. It involves using Zap2It or XMLTV to download the listings, setting up your IR remote, configuring X, and more. I highly suggest using it if you want to set up your own MythTV box.

Dilbert (0)

The Big Ugly (738455) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936696)

"Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency"

I bet he calls it HDTV PC HTPC/PVRbert. HAHAHAHA!!!!!11 (ala Catbert, Dogbert, etc)

ohh shit. i just realized that was Scott Adams. I'm a 'tard. i'll save you guys the time and punch myself in the nuts....

Re:Dilbert (1)

B11 (894359) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936871)

"Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" Didn't that come out in the summer of '69? Oh wait, that's Byran Adams!

Re:Dilbert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12936928)

Nice to see you guys are a least putting all of the really stupid jokes under the same thread.

Read Jarod's HOWTO (5, Insightful)

bitdamaged (177421) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936698)

Everyone eelse has and it worked for me.
http://wilsonet.com/mythtv/ [wilsonet.com]

Not Jarod again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12937650)

Please, enough about Jarod already. Yes, yes, he lost a lot of weight eating those stupid sandwhiches. I'm impressed. But I don't understand why that qualifies him to be a motivational speaker or why I should take his advice when building my own MythTV box! Next thing you know, Subway will be giving away a "Jarod's Home Manicuring Set" with the purchase of a party sub! Stop this insanity, people!

Newsworthy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12936710)

So, what's the difference between this story of someone setting up yet another MythTV box and the previous dozen? The story was rather pointless in the first place... This is making me wish for yet another case mode "review" instead...

NEWS FLASH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12936719)

No one gives a shit

Bill O'Reilly? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12936767)

Bill O'Reilly: Linus, haven't you... I mean... let's take it from the top here. You make a program, for lack of a better term, that enables people to use computers without paying for any software whatsoever. Isn't that considered illegal in the court system? Isn't that piracy by any modern standard?

Linus: Well, the system is an operating system that is maintained by many people. I just make the kernel. The userland is built by academics ar...

Bill O'Reilly: Wait a second! Wait a second! You are saying that academics build this, and trying to give it away for nothing, for the purpose of running commercial entities out of business?

Linus: No, that's not true at all... we build software to give it away to anyb...

Bill O'Reilly: And what's this I hear about writing software to enable pirating of television programs? You understand that we have men and women, DYING OVERSEAS, to protect our way of life, and our way of life is CAPITALISM... where's the logic in what you are doing?

Linus: Bill, I don't think it's a matter of capitalism but rath...

Bill O'Reilly: Awwww come on! COME ON! You're just... you know, you smug academics elites are all alike. You just want to take and take and take... and give away at the expense of the America pulbic! Well, I'll tell you -- we AIN'T buying it on the Factor. We ain't buying it one bit. And if you're smart, you'll wise up... next up on the Factor, some people claim that liberals eat live human fetuses. We'll investigate and show you how they're right and what you can do to stop it.

MOD PARENT UP!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12936868)

Funny, Funny, Funny!

Re:Bill O'Reilly? (0)

themoodykid (261964) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937771)

Oh man, that was good.

What a load of bullshit (0)

stubear (130454) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936775)

It will STILL be legal to build your own DVR even with the broadcast flag, you'll just have to purchase a broadcast flag enabled TV card. Don't let facts stand in the way of your warped reality though. What's illegal now, and still will be even without the broadcast flag, is distributing digital recordings on the internet. The broadcast flag simply adds a layer of enforcement not currently present.

Re:What a load of bullshit (1)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936848)

Yeah, that broadcast flag enabled TV card will just have to follow the rules and not let you record what you aren't allowed to record.

Re:What a load of bullshit (1)

trix7117 (835907) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937668)

Yeah, that broadcast flag enabled TV card will just have to follow the rules and not let you record what you aren't allowed to record.

Who decides what I'm allowed to record? Or how long I can keep it? Would you say I'm allowed to record free over-the-air programming? The broadcast flag would allow the studios to say that I'm not, or that I can only keep the recording for a few days.

Re:What a load of bullshit (1)

enrico_suave (179651) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937617)

granted it's pretty extreme/reactionary to say that it will be illegal to build HD PC PVR's if the BF comes to fruition, the end game will essentially be that.

1. if your broadcast flag enabled HDTV PC card is told to not to allow record/save anymore, it's not much of a DVR any more is it?

2. Look closer at the BF spec... If I'm not mistaken it would prevent/limit/restrict/outlaw the ability to have open source BF enabled HDTV card driver. So a project like this one would be illegal in that hypothetical BF enabled future.

*Shrug*

e.

For the FreeBSD users: (1)

toadlife (301863) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936780)

Here is a good mythTV on FreeBSD howto:

http://mythtv.son.org/tiki-index.php [son.org]

Personally, I use xdtv [sourceforge.net] for watching/recording tv on my FreeBSD machine.

heh... (4, Insightful)

Mad_Rain (674268) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936794)

In my recent quest to build a MythTV box, I have discovered that building the system is not the difficult part. The challenge has been to get MythTV running smooth and stable.

[rant mode ON]
I think that it's a terrific project, I just wish that there was a little more consensus and standards between all these different components for the project. MythTV's compile reference system is Debian. The drivers for the HD-3000 are Red Hat/Fedora. Knoppmyth, Gentoo, Ubuntu, Mandriva, all seem to have their little quirks - can't we all just get along? ;)
[rant mode OFF]

Author's harware skills suck... (1)

modemboy (233342) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936823)

Heh, hasn't the author ever heard of a rheostat?
He is frentic about the sound of his system but is using a case with a bunch of little buzzy fans.

And he didn't notice that the motherboard had a fan? Ha, I can tell he researched real hard.

But he does make a valid point, all of these nifty entertainment center type cases that I have seen use little noisy fans. For that reason I ended up going with an Antec Sonata for my mythtv box, it has 120 mm fans and a special molex connector off of the power supply that is just for fans and auto slows with a temp sensor.

Plus he spends extra on a gig of ram which is of no use to mythtv but then admits saving ten bucks for 40 gigs of hd space, the most important thing to mythtv. What a moron...

Re:Author's harware skills suck... (1)

mikolas (223480) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937413)

I wanted to have a quiet setup so I decided to build a diskless MyhtTV frontend box. That way the only component that really needs efficient cooling is the CPU and the noise level is quite low, when compared to DVR boxes available in Europe (DVB based DVR systems).

Of course you need a server for this kind of setup, but you can have it in your cellar/closet/somewhere where noise isn't the problem. As an added bonus you'll have all the movies, music and recordings available from anywhere, anytime. I actually have my server on 24/7 so I can listen to music via Ampache from work and my other house.

KnoppMyth (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12936824)

For those impatient, there is KnoppMyth - a Knoppix based Live CD that runs MythTV. Link here [mysettopbox.tv] It looks good, but it doesn't run so well on my P3 450 Mhz. ;-)

Encryption anyone? (2, Interesting)

DaHat (247651) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936886)

I hate to be the barer of bad news... however more and more cable companies, at least here in the US are moving towards having most, if not all of their digital offerings encrypted.

Buying a QAM demodulator is easy, getting it to decode an encrypted cable network is not, and such cards that are capable of this sort of work on cable are... really non existent.

While such a PVR is nice, if you want HD programming, you are effectively limiting yourself to OTA ATSC stuff, which as we know is pretty feeble and will remain that way, just as OTA analog tv was feeble, as an encouragement to have you spend a few bucks a month for more channels through your local cable company.

Don't even get me started on the subject of QPSK (the modulation method used for digital satellite television).

Re:Encryption anyone? (2, Informative)

Bruha (412869) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936918)

And current federal law requires cable companies to provide at request a receiver with a firewire port that allows you to receive the encrypted video.

Re:Encryption anyone? (2, Informative)

DaHat (247651) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937214)

I think you have confused a law with a mandate from the FCC. Just because there is law authorizing them to act in certain ways does not mean that their decrees are inherently law.

Anyway, this mandate, you are of course referring to: FCC 03-225 [fcc.gov] around page 50. There is something not specified here though, the cable box is not required to give you over firewire the high-def stream that you are viewing, it just has to supply a stream, and it doesn't take much for such a unit to take a pristine 1080i (or better yet, 1080p) video and dither it down to a nice low bitrate 480i, exactly what many boxes are known to do at the mandate of the cable operator.

Re:Encryption anyone? (1)

bitdamaged (177421) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936949)

Um Just record the output of your cable box. Switch channels with either a serial or IR blaster and you don't have a problem

Re:Encryption anyone? (1)

DaHat (247651) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937135)

Recording the output of your cable box is not so easy, if you are having it modulate the video on to channel 3 or 4, you are stuck at nice low res. If you are going to capture some of the higher quality outs... be ready to pay up the rear.

Re:Encryption anyone? (1)

bogie (31020) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937437)

That solution works but does suck ass. Who wants to go back to the days of only being able to watch the channel your recording? That's lamer then lame and defeats the whole purpose. If your multimedia/gaming/music/mythtv or whatever box is in your living room(as most are) then you've just eliminated being able to use your main TV.

Did Anyone Acturall R TFA? (3, Insightful)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936912)

Of course not - this is Slashdot, after all.

So far, the guy has video working, but his audio stutters and he doesn't have a remote. The article doesn't even mention which MythTV distribution he uses (or if he's rolling his own from the packages). In short, this article should have been titled "Here's Some Stuff I Thought Would Make a Low Noise Box (and I Was Even Wrong About That) That I Could Slap a Couple of Tuner Cards Into and Watch TV With (and Maybe Someday I Will Be Able To, But Until Then, I'm Keeping My Tivo Plugged In)".

This has got to be one of the most disappointing articles I've seen on the subject. You'd do better sticking with the MythTV FAQ's.

Cost? (1)

swiggidy (311202) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936943)

How much does this thing cost?

The video cards are $180, +new high end processor, mother board, etc. Wouldn't this run over $2000? I don't think 2 TIVO boxes are anywhere near that expensive.

Ya, it's a hobby, but I wouldn't call that cheap enough, I think it's still ridiculous

Re:Cost? (3, Informative)

bitdamaged (177421) | more than 9 years ago | (#12936991)

Actually you don't need that hi end a processor. All the encoding is done on the card. I just built a Myth box from scratch and it cost about $600 all told. I could have kept the cost down a bit using an older processor and a cheaper case (I got a nicer case because this is in my living room).

Re:Cost? (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937436)

I just built a Myth box from scratch and it cost about $600 all told.

OK, but that's still enough to pay for a TiVo and lifetime service plus enough pizza and beer to last all weekend. I love a DiY project, but I had almost as much fun hacking my TiVo when I got it 4 or 5 years ago, and it didn't cost as much.

Re:Cost? (1)

krbvroc1 (725200) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937124)

Its not that expensive - no where near $2000. The thing to keep in mind is that by purchasing a capture card that does encoding in hardware, the CPU does not need to be powerful. With a PVR-250 card you could even use a Pentium II if you wanted. If you want a cheaper capture card that requires the CPU to perform the encoding then you need a more expensive/moden CPU

However, I am willing to pay a premium for an open source solution. I do not want to pay a monthly subscription or have Tivo corporation monitoring and selling my viewing data. I dont want Tivo corporation to change their 'terms and conditions' whenever they wish and remove features such as commerical skip or insert advertisements, etc.

My Mythtv box has 3 250GB disks in a sw raid configuration for more storage. It also has 2 PVR-250 cards so I can record more than one show at the same time.

Re:Cost? (1)

Ph33r th3 g(O)at (592622) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937324)

Yeah, but you don't have to worry about:
  • TiVo increasing fees
  • If you have a 'lifetime' subscription, the lifetime of your box ending
  • TiVo disabling even more features

Re:Cost? (1)

Ph33r th3 g(O)at (592622) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937341)

Oh, and forgot:

  • TiVo adding even more advertisements
  • TiVo selling your viewing habits

uhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12937025)

the LC10M come in silver too...

In other news... (3, Insightful)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937101)

In other news, the Food Network shows you how to make a souffle, while it's still legal.

MythTV and Tivo outside the US (1)

retostamm (91978) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937112)

Does this work outside the US? I've tried to get a TIVO for my parents in Europe, but I could not find any, except with a Sky package.
What are others using?

#irc.troPoltalk.com (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12937183)

what turns me off about MythTV and FreeVo... (1)

true_majik (588374) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937238)

what turns me off about MythTV and FreeVo is that it seems like not just anybody can build a box for this specific purpose. a few years ago i was looking into getting a PVR and MythTV andFreeVo were two opitons. because of all the work that seemed to be required to get all the hardware/software working, i decided to get a manufatured standalone unit....i ended up with ReplayTV.

i like my decision i upgraded the HD of my first unit within the first week of buying i. i paid the lifetime subscription free soon after which by now has paid off when compared to paying per month. however, i have a second unit that i've been paying 6.95/mo (discount from the regular 12.95 for single unit owers b/c i have multiple units) for a few months now. i've been lazy about picking up the phone to get the lifetime subscription (if it were 12.95/mo i would have gotten the lifetime sooner). now, i can't seem to justify paying for lifetime of $299 when i can a SageTV [freytechnologies.com] with a dual tuner and remote for my PC...at less than that. This product seems to be (i haven't tried it myself yet) a cleaner setup than MythTV or FreeVo. SageTV also offers its service with no subscription required....so yeah that's the conflict i have now.

compared to FIOS and BOOL (1)

kupojsin (681728) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937279)

Im wondering how this will compare to fios once its rolled out here? And whether or not there will be any port blockage, caps. I tend to take speed claims with a grain of salt. Im even on Business Class optonline and they also institute caps and port blocks on 25 and 80

Re:compared to FIOS and BOOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12937408)

what the fuck are you talking about?

El Fuego

SPON(GE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12937296)

our chances Lagged behind, survival prospects area. It is the log on Then the or mi5lead the best. Individuals includes where you [amazingkreskin.com] example, if you

So let me get this straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12937305)

At this point, we have an article about what the guy bought down at frys, and deatiling his ability to shove two pci cards into slots.... impressive

bad connections (1)

VforVendetta00 (895939) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937393)

Parts are now cheap enough that it is no longer ridiculous to build a PC specifically to handle TV for you, much like the VCR in Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency... Just don't connect your electronic monk to it!

Maybe a stupid question (1)

Stone316 (629009) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937492)

How do you integrate MythTV with your cable or satelite provider? Anything above a certain channel I need to use their setup box...

Re:Maybe a stupid question (1)

enrico_suave (179651) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937735)

" How do you integrate MythTV with your cable or satelite provider? Anything above a certain channel I need to use their setup box...
"

The same exact way you would if you bought a standalone series 2 Tivo... You route the digital cable box's (or satellite box) video/audio outputs into the PC PVR's tuner/encoder card's video/audio input and setup an IR blaster which will allow MythTV et al to change the channel on your cable box (just like your existing cable remote control) at the appropriate times to record "E's Wild On!" or what have you ... =P

Note: this is obviously not a good option if you want HD content via cable/satellite but for regular Standard Definition "digital cable" and satellite works fine.

e.

But don't try to get cable on that thing (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 9 years ago | (#12937598)

There's one little snag for those of us who would like to get more than the broadcast channels on our PVR boxen. "5C" copy prevention [dtcp.com] (so called because five companies worked on it) prevents your untrusted device from communicating over firewire (IEEE-1394) to receive your cable company's digital signal. Each 5C-compliant firewire device must negotiate with the devices they communicate with to ensure that they are operating in a trusted fashion (meaning that the signal that one device sends another must comply with the 5C flag that is specified by the TV network, indicating whether the signal can be copied or not). Compliance is mandated by causing an upstream device not to transmit to noncompliant downstream devices.

The end result is that what the broadcast flag failed to achieve over-the-air is currently a fact of life in the cable arena, due to the puny content distributors pressuring the gigantic electronics manufacturers for some form of DRM, without legislation and without public comment. If you want to record digital media from your cable company at the resolution you receive it at, without going through the "analog hole" to get to it, you'll have to use the cable company's PVR. There's no way that you can trust your cable company not to cave in to the content providers - they can easily make it impossible to do things like watch a show more than once or to skip commercials, essentially rendering the PVR concept pointless.

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