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New Review Compares MythTV to Vista MCE

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-other dept.

Television 234

Parkus writes "There's a nice review on AVS forum of MythTV (Ubuntu) and Windows Vista MCE. The author tried both back to back and explains the pluses and minuses of each system after using them for a month. Helpful if you're thinking about setting up your own home theater rig."

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First post.!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19370773)

Oh man, this is making my geek-balls hard!

not mythtv (-1, Redundant)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#19370797)

Its Linux MCE, which includes mythTV.

That aside, this is possibly the coolest thing I've seen coming out of the open source world for several years.

Goatse! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19370901)

Goatse! [goatse.cz]

Re:not mythtv -- Wait, yes it is! (5, Interesting)

Stocktonian (844758) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371335)

Huh?
When I read the article is was very clearly talking about MythTV compared to Vista MCE. I don't think he tried Linux MCE at all.

Linux MCE is a very different animal and MythTV only forms a small part of it. http://linuxmce.com/ [linuxmce.com] It's an amazing piece of software.

---
http://www.linuxlaptops.eu/ [linuxlaptops.eu]

Re:not mythtv -- Wait, yes it is! (1)

jtn (6204) | more than 7 years ago | (#19372689)

Now if they could only ditch the EXTREMELY misleading video with the horrible narration..

Parent is incorrect. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19371919)

No, the guy installed vanilla Ubuntu.

Mods really need to RTFA before they start modding people "informative".

Driver problems in Vista, but not Linux? (2, Insightful)

TheRealAnonymousCowa (1056190) | more than 7 years ago | (#19370817)

FTA

Now, here's MY killer issue with this install... ready? Drivers. Yep, I said drivers as in: problem in Windows despite being rock solid in Linux.
I guess Vista isn't all it's hyped up to be...

Re:Driver problems in Vista, but not Linux? (2, Informative)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371089)

Vista has driver issues that aren't present in XP MCE. Half of my dual-tuning Hauppauge PVR-500 stops working upon installation of Vista, at least until I remove Vista's bundled drivers and install the XP drivers that came with the card instead.

Of course, the major problem introduced by Vista compared to XP MCE for me is that, upon detecting that I'm using component video, Vista assumes I'm using an HDTV and "fixes" the resolution for me during the installation process, making it virtually impossible to complete until I crawl around behind my rig and connect my computer to my television with s-video instead.

Re:Driver problems in Vista, but not Linux? (1)

Stocktonian (844758) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371183)

Vista has driver issues that aren't present in XP MCE. Half of my dual-tuning Hauppauge PVR-500 stops working upon installation of Vista, at least until I remove Vista's bundled drivers and install the XP drivers that came with the card instead.


So what you're saying is that Windows can't compete on driver functionality with Linux anymore?
That gives me a nice warm fuzzy glow inside. ;-)

--- http://www.linuxlaptops.eu/ [linuxlaptops.eu]

Re:Driver problems in Vista, but not Linux? (0, Flamebait)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371117)

I'm surprised he was able to make Vista work at all. The solutions to Windoze driver problems are not something the average GNU/Linux person would know.

This and several M$ key phrases make me suspect the author and think MythTV is better than he describes.

Re:Driver problems in Vista, but not Linux? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371299)

I'm surprised he was able to make Vista work at all. The solutions to Windoze driver problems are not something the average GNU/Linux person would know.
I think you're missing the fact that a lot of GNU/Linux people either are stuck dealing with Windows in their day jobs, and/or started using Linux because they got frustrated with Windoze.

day jobs and switchers. (3, Interesting)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19372015)

a lot of GNU/Linux people either are stuck dealing with Windows in their day jobs

If the author of the article was really familiar with Windoze, he would have known to use XP and third party applications for his media center. If not, he would never have made Vista work. There's a lot about this article that does not add up and I smell a switcher attack [slashdot.org] .

Re:Driver problems in Vista, but not Linux? (1)

Fookin (652988) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371519)

Ok. I'll bite.

I'm surprised he was able to make Vista work at all. The solutions to Windoze driver problems are not something the average GNU/Linux person would know.

Like what? Is clicking "Check for updates" and "Install updates" too difficult for the "average GNU/Linux person"? Have you actually ever used Vista?

Re:Driver problems in Vista, but not Linux? (2, Insightful)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371823)

Have you actually ever used Vista?
He hasn't, and he's quite proud of it.

digital restrictions blow. (-1, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19372139)

Is clicking "Check for updates" and "Install updates" too difficult for the "average GNU/Linux person"?

Sure it is, if the damn SATA drive does not work. The average GNU/Linux person would never get to the screen where they could press that button. From previous broken "updates" the button is a crap shot anyway.

No, I've never used Vista and I hope never to have to. Vista is so broken that it is not installed on any public machines and reasonable places of work have banned it. Only the hardest core fanboys have Vista and keeps it.

This article is looking more and more like an attempt to advertise and sell Vista. No one else is buying it, so M$ has decided to try to push it on Slashdot users. Ha, fat chance. Anyone familiar with AV in the Windoze world has their pet third party applications that work under XP. People who know enough to make MythTV work will be far happier with it than any DRM crippled pile from M$.

MythTV is growing into much more than a PVR and it scares M$ the MAFIAA silly. It's getting video conferencing, games, email and browsing - which all look great on HD TV's. You can plug Amarok onto it and have a really cool video/music juke box. It can store and share all your pictures and media with the world. This is what M$ would like their media center to do and how they intend to stay relevant in the home market while their core products quickly become second rate commodities most people take for granted and can get online at no cost. The Zune squirt is a good indicator of how well their ambitions will work out and a good advertisement for free software. Sooner or later, people are going to demand these things without obnoxious restrictions and the MAFIAA's nasty little "IP" laws are going to go into the trash. The legal and technical barriers M$/MAFIAA erected have no more shut down MythTV than Vista has satisfied customer demands. Free software is doing more to enable HD content than M$ ever will.

Re:Driver problems in Vista, but not Linux? (1)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 7 years ago | (#19372671)

I guess Vista isn't all it's hyped up to be...

Ok, most people realize that the MFRs write the drivers, not MS. And yes Vista specific driver support is lacking in some areas, as moving to the new audio model, video model, network stack, etc can be tricky for native driver support in Vista.

However, I can understand why you would use this as a dig against Vista, but the thing you and others miss, 'just install the freaking XP drivers'. 99% of XP drivers work just fine on Vista, as MS left in legacy hooks for XP drivers that even work entirely different than the Vista model drivers.

Sadly, Vista has more drivers for it than any other OS in history, although they are not all native 'Vista' drivers, but when you add in the Win2K and XP drivers that work just fine, it makes the device support numbers massive.

Nice review, but... (1)

Noah69 (1083017) | more than 7 years ago | (#19370819)

I still don't see a reason for switching to Vista. Maybe if you're into that kind of things, but having Windows XP for my special needs and Ubuntu for the basic stuff seems to get the job done for me without spending money.

Smells like atroturf. (1, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371197)

Windows XP for my special needs and Ubuntu for the basic stuff seems to get the job done for me without spending money.

The AV people I know say things like, "I'm never going to Vista," so the use and advocacy of Vista smells. I'm surprised he was able to make Vista work at all, a task that's defeated the local M$ Ambassadors here at LSU and all they wanted was a desktop. Once you get around the driver issues you run straight into digital restrictions like disabled SPDIF outputs for "premium" content which make Vista unusable for hard core AV fans. Perhaps ignoring HD was more a kindness to Vista than it was to MythTV which is reported to work despite legal restrictions and other created evil.

Finally all of the M$ keywords and phrases make this "Sprak" guy sound like a M$ PR drone. "Microsoft-hater", nebulous talk about "correctness" "experience" to claim M$ has a better interface, all of this stinks out loud.

Fake "objectivity" is what I've come to expect from the M$ PR people. The more you "get the facts" from them the more wrong you are.

Re:Smells like atroturf. (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371775)

Meh, I don't understand why people want to run MythTV on their main PC anyway. Get hardware MPEG2 encoders like PVR 250 cards and install it in an old PC with lots of disk space and throw it in the basement. Then you just use a quiet frontend box with a Via EPIA mini-ITX board that supports hardware mpeg2 decoding in the living room. Then you can leave your beast PC running Windows Vista with 15 fans and your quad core 250 watt CPU in your office to play games.

Re:Nice review, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19371949)

Me neither. Here is a video demonstrating LinuxMCE [google.com] . See for yourself which one is better. LinuxMCE is awesome!

Re:Nice review, but... (1)

jtn (6204) | more than 7 years ago | (#19372725)

Stop. This video is both misleading as to features (documented even in the LinuxMCE Wiki!) as well as being hard on a thinking brain from the awful narration. They really need to come up with a presentation that is more professional and truer to the capabilities currently available. It has promise, but there's no need for misleading users who will merely get frustrated and abandon their effort with a negative impression.

Puts on his flame retardant suit (5, Informative)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#19370825)

I've had a MythTV box for a couple of years. It's nice, works well. However, my new Vista Home Ultimate media machine is far easier to use and 'just works'. The ironic caveat, as mentioned in the article, is that MythTV (and it's underlying Linux kernel) have *better* hardware support than Vista! On supported hardware I find the Windows Media Center experience to be far better in general though.

That being said, if I were building a quiet entertainment center PC, I'd go with a Myth box and customize it to my liking. I can do that because I know how. Most consumers do not.

Re:Puts on his flame retardant suit (1)

dpninerSLASH (969464) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371397)

The ironic caveat, as mentioned in the article, is that MythTV (and it's underlying Linux kernel) have *better* hardware support than Vista!

It's only ironic when you consider the entire consumer OS market. For a specialized segment of that market, one on which Microsoft wishes to limit the amount of officially supported hardware, it makes perfect sense.

Re:Puts on his flame retardant suit (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 7 years ago | (#19372551)

*pulls off mask* Nice try, Bill!

That's funny. (1)

leoc (4746) | more than 7 years ago | (#19372645)

I've had a mythtv system for a couple of years as well and for it "just works". Plays DVD's, games, and mp3's and of course all the good PVR functionality. Looking at the uptime, I see its up to 80 days now... my record is 140 days. I bet I could correlate my system outages with wind storms (think power outage).

Digital HDTV (5, Interesting)

tivojafa (564606) | more than 7 years ago | (#19370837)

I use both a MythTV DVR (64-bit Ubuntu) and a MCE DVR (64-bit Vista) at home. The MythTV machine is primary and the Vista machine is secondary.

The automatic commercial skip in MythTV is fantastic!
You watch TV shows and there are no adverts. Simple as that.

The biggest problem is resisting to urge to pick up the remote when the show is leading into an ad break :-)

Both machines can record ATSC HDTV and Digital Cable (QAM) - running a total of 4 digital tuners (2 x HDHomeRun network digital tuners with two tuner each - http://www.silicondust.com/ [silicondust.com] )

Re:Digital HDTV (1, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#19370867)

You are glossing over one major important fact.

ONLY Vista MCE can use a PCI Cablecard adapter giving you ALL digital cable channels to record from as well as ALL HDTV channels.

your MythTV can never Ever tune in and record ALL the HD channels, only a few of the total lineup.

That one little thing you forgot is a major show-stopper for most people, and I really hope someone hacks the cablecard somehow to give us cablecard capability for mythtv.

Re:Digital HDTV (5, Informative)

tivojafa (564606) | more than 7 years ago | (#19370933)

To get cablecard support you need a cablelabs certified PC.

You can't buy a cablecard tuner for a PC - Vista or otherwise. The only PC-based option is to buy a PC that the manufacturer had certified as a complete system (software, hardware, monitor, etc).

The fallback option is to use an analog capture card and to prioritize the digital tuners over the analog capture so you get high-def whenever possible.

Nick

Re:Digital HDTV (1)

Erwos (553607) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371059)

"The fallback option is to use an analog capture card and to prioritize the digital tuners over the analog capture so you get high-def whenever possible."

The analog fallback is going to go away sooner or later - if I had to guess, not long after the analog OTA channels are phased out. The cable companies desperately want to phase out analog channels - they eat much more spectrum than digital channels, and look worse to boot. That's the problem with MythTV, at least in the US: unless something changes, you're going to be stuck with digital OTA broadcasts and unencrypted QAM in the long term.

Of course, Vista's not exactly much better off, either - you can only get CableCards on a PC certified by CableLabs, as you mentioned, so everyone who didn't do that is in exactly the same boat.

I suspect the FCC will actually confront this issue - what they'll do is a much more interesting question. Maybe DCAS will change things. We'll see.

Re:Digital HDTV (1)

tivojafa (564606) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371159)

BTW - You can also use the analog output from a STB to record the encrypted digital channels.

With MythTV you either need an IR blaster or a serial cable (I use a serial cable myself).

Locally we get a few of the premium channels unencrypted so they get recorded on the digital tuners (HDHomeRun).

Re:Digital HDTV (1)

3waygeek (58990) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371565)

If your STB has a digital output (usually FireWire), you may be able to record encrypted digital signals. I've done this with my Moto DCT6200 STB, recording HDNet & Discovery HD programming on a Mac.

Macs rule when it comes to this kind of thing -- they come with built-in FireWire, and with a free download of Apple's FireWire SDK, you get an app that will let you record & playback the MPEG2-TS data that the STB streams out its FireWire port.

Re:Digital HDTV (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371719)

The cable companies desperately want to phase out analog channels - they eat much more spectrum than digital channels, and look worse to boot.
Really? What cable company or satellite company are you using? In my experience, they all have awfully high compression that doesn't work for shit with cartoons/anime/CGI (e.g., Jimmy Newtron). It's barely a high enough bitrate for live TV. These companies all seem to be using MPEG-2 video compression, however, so there's a lot of room for improvement by using MPEG-4 ASP or AVC for example, but that would require more expensive STBs and whatnot.

Re:Digital HDTV (1)

Erwos (553607) | more than 7 years ago | (#19372787)

You seemed to have missed the point that with fewer analog channels, they don't need to compress the digital ones as much. In any event, I believe it's a per-market thing - in DC, at least the local digital channels look fantastic.

Re:Digital HDTV (2, Informative)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371173)

In my area, there is *no* reason to fallback to analog, unless you want to see a touch of ghosting or snow. ALL my area TV stations are broadcasting in the digital, even if it might not be HD, at least it's in a fairly clean digital transmission. I live in a ~#50 ranked "metro" area hastily defined by the feds to lump three counties together, but the cities have a lot of rural area between them in this allegedly metro area, so it's not as if I'm in a high density urban region.

Re:Digital HDTV (0)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 7 years ago | (#19372865)

To get cablecard support you need a cablelabs certified PC.

You can't buy a cablecard tuner for a PC - Vista or otherwise. The only PC-based option is to buy a PC that the manufacturer had certified as a complete system (software, hardware, monitor, etc).


Um, no... The only certification is for CableCard 2.0 with two-way interactive content, and even then if the drivers hold up and the local Cable Company allows it, it will work because of the protect process driver system in Vista that was also required for HD,Blu DVD. However CableCard 2.0 UI elements are not in Vista because the two-way UI needs are very different between cable providers, so additional software is needed as Media Center doesn't have native support, but does allow plugins for this software. (It already easier to just use online or IPTV with Media Center and will be the death of Cable because of CableLabs strangle hold on 2.0 if they don't get their act together.)

However, because there is no protected driver model in other OSes, I would be surprised if any other OS will be able to use CableCard anytime soon.

Back to the point...
CableCard 1.0 is licensed for Vista and requires no system certification. So you can just slap a 1.0 card in Vista and it does work.

Re:Digital HDTV (3, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#19372045)

That one little thing you forgot is a major show-stopper for most people, and I really hope someone hacks the cablecard somehow to give us cablecard capability for mythtv.


With the way the market looks to be headed, certified systems that contain cablecard adapters will only be available at the "high-end" (same shit, higher price) of the consumer PC market. It keeps the price high enough that instead of hacking some windows box, you may as well save yourself some money and buy yourself a Tivo.

I do long for the day that I can build a media center PC that can record encrypted HD, but I don't see it happening any time soon. The distribution industry owns our legislature, and younger, technically savvy people don't vote.

Re:Digital HDTV (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371191)

I don't think analog broadcast HDTV is in any more than a niche/legacy broadcast mode anymore, there's no point in saying "Digital HDTV", it's almost always redundant. Besides, even though ATSC is always digital, it's not always HDTV. It is mostly just prime time that is in HD, but at least the PVR just records a bitstream rather than to capture and compress video.

Re:Digital HDTV (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 7 years ago | (#19372593)

I think it's fun to watch the transitions as stations position themselves. We have the aggressive 16:9 HDTV local news, 4:3 HDTV local news -- neither of which broadcast SD. Then we have the SD and HD dual broadcast stations and one truth-in-advertising SD station that just calls their digital transmission local news "DT".

I'm surprised more commercials haven't transitioned over to 16:9. Our weather bunny on the 16:9 station has referenced things off screen before "You people with HD know what I'm talking about". But I would think most commercials could be conceived to accommodate cropping.

dumbest review ever (-1, Flamebait)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 7 years ago | (#19370863)

seriously this is why zealots should not review products. The author starts off by saying i'm a MS hater but is going to try to keep this objective. Then he proceeds to say since mythtv cant do HDTV and Media center can, he is going to hold off on HDTV. WTF that alone makes MythTV totally useless for a huge number of techies. That is a huge minus. Its like saying I am going to compare GUIs in windows and linux. However, since linux cant do color yet, we are just going to compare the monochrome GUI.

You already know what the outcome is given the featureset and yet you continue to review it. He doesnt even mention the complete lack of HDTV as a minus. Even with all that he picks vista at the end.

What is funny though, it that he compares myth tv to media center instead of beyondtv which is by far the best media center application on any platform. Its light, fast and natively supports DivX. It it also incredibly polished and in my own trials had competely blown away every other application (i eventually went out and bought it). Oh yeah, and it supports HDTV.

Re:dumbest review ever (5, Informative)

ERJ (600451) | more than 7 years ago | (#19370909)

He didn't review HDTV because he was overseas not because Mythtv doesn't support it. I have had MythTV recording HDTV for over 1 1/2 years. Support is very good if you have fast hardware.

Re:dumbest review ever (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371069)

What's the problem with HDTV in the US ? I watch HDTV here through my ISP's streams over ADSL2+ and it works fine, both in semi-HD (something like 1500x900) and full-size HD. They use a VLC based system for their streams and I use the same to read them. The encoding is either MPEG2 or MPEG4 depending on the channel.

Re:dumbest review ever (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371737)

Wow, what DSL company is that? Sounds pretty cool.

Re:dumbest review ever (1)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 7 years ago | (#19372511)

Free [adsl.free.fr] , in France. It's a fairly standard package locally (although just the TV bit, not the VLC bit, others tend to use more proprietary tools). They all offer similar packages modelled on whatever Free came up with (they tend to lead the market atm), that is ADSL2+, TV and IP phone with 20 or 30 free countries for about 30 € / month. No capping, static IP, reverse DNS, servers allowed, FTTH coming this year. No IPv6 though.
(details may vary with the ISP but that's fairly typical for ADSL, cable has more restrictions)
 

Re:dumbest review ever (1)

SillySnake (727102) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371697)

I've been looking into building a Myth box. Any suggestions on cards for HD tuners?
I've read that none of the current ones actually accept output from a cable or satellite box after it has done the decoding via DVI, HDMI, VGA, YPbPr / Component? So are you only able to save over the air signals?

Re:dumbest review ever (1)

mjb (8536) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371937)

Check out the HDHomeRun. http://www.silicondust.com/ [silicondust.com]

It's not a card, it's an external box, that has two tuners and sits on your network. The beauty is, no worries about drivers, kernels, etc.
It can tune OTA and unencrypted QAM. That means, unencrypted cable. Can't do anything w/ satellite.

-Mark

I'm not sure I trust the author either. (3, Funny)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371081)

The author, who you call a "zealot" says this about himself:

I'll be honest about my bias, I've been involved with Linux for about 14 years and love it! I held an officer position at a US LUG and have made my Linux machine my main home system (with a little OS X on my G5 for diversity). In addition, as are some Linux users, I'm usually a Microsoft-hater but am forced to use Windows and associated bloatware at work so I try to see the best in it- sigh.

This sounds, to me, like half the astroturf here on Slashdot. No self respecting free software advocate would call themselves a "Microsoft-hater" or a "zealot". These are terms M$ has made up to defend their non free software, digital restrictions, licensing and other obnoxious practices. Anyone who values freedom is labled this way by non free software companies. Dislike of these practices does not make a person blind. His objectivity is suspect to say the least.

You say:

Then he proceeds to say since mythtv cant do HDTV and Media center can, he is going to hold off on HDTV. WTF that alone makes MythTV totally useless for a huge number of techies.

You might mention the reason for that:

I've temporarily held off on HDTV tuners as I'm on special assignment in Europe, with no access to signal.

Oh, huge minus there. There are cards that work.

You might also mention that most free software minuses are legally created fictions. It's still against the law to distribute a full free media system in the US. Your company risks a raid if they do so much as tell you where to get things, so it's a good thing Mark Shuttleworth is from South Africa.

All and all, I'm not sure if this message from new member "Sprak" is what it says it is or if it's just another PR ass wiper from the Redmond lie machine. Besides "Microsoft-hater" he uses a lot of other M$ keywords, "[M$] do hire some smart and talented people", "Vista install was pretty painless with some nice eyecandy and a generally more "serious" look than XP", "there is a feeling of connectedness in the software" and so on and so forth. You can spot these things from a mile away. They all sound the same because they all come with the same marching orders and talking points. Only someone intimately familiar with Windoze workarounds can make Vista work the way he did or would have the M$ brainwash language so ingrained into their thoughts. Such a person would not have time know free software, much less be a LUG officer.

Re:I'm not sure I trust the author either. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19371213)

The article seemed pretty unbiased to me. Yet again, Microsoft have produced a superior product which people actually WANT, and can USE. Why, exactly would someone spend hours setting up (or failing to set up) MythTV when Vista can do everything MythTV can? All you're doing is slagging off the author and not addressing some of his very reasonable points.

Re:I'm not sure I trust the author either. (1)

rhendershot (46429) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371619)

yep. those are some pretty good examples too.

mod GP up!

Not such a reasonable Author. (1, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371965)

The more I think about it, the more the article looks like an ad for Vista. One of many M$ PR drones posting as AC insultingly froths:

All you're doing is slagging off the author and not addressing some of his very reasonable points.

I did not see many reasonable points in Vista's favor. Mostly the author dips to M$ talking points about "correctness" "experience" and other nebulous observations. There was no number of click count for common tasks, mention of digital restrictions or other ease of use issues that people really care about.

Why, exactly would someone spend hours setting up (or failing to set up) MythTV when Vista can do everything MythTV can?

Here the author almost got things right. Vista gave him more hardware trouble than MythTV did. Getting Vista to work at all is difficult for all but the most hardened fanboys who know all the details of driver downloading, register hacking, etc. That he used Vista at all is fishy, because most AV people will tell you to sick with XP and excellent third party software available on that platform. HD is almost certain to tip the balance further in Myth's favor because it too has been working for a while and you can still get hardware that is not limited by broadcast flags. Try that on anything from M$.

Yet again, Microsoft have produced a superior product which people actually WANT, and can USE.

People don't want DRM and the very purpose of digital restrictions is to keep people from doing what they want, even if the shit worked out of the box.

Re:Not such a reasonable Author. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19372891)

I did not see many reasonable points in Vista's favor. Mostly the author dips to M$ talking points about "correctness" "experience" and other nebulous observations. There was no number of click count for common tasks, mention of digital restrictions or other ease of use issues that people really care about.

FTA:
Despite concerns above, there is a feeling of "connectedness" in the software driven by some of these applets and connections to online content. This even includes a nice "Sports" area with special TV listings, upcoming game info, game in progress info, player info, etc., all courtesy of our friends at Fox News. Yes, MTV, VH1, and even XM Radio all make appearances throughout the big menu system. Some options, of course, will require a credit card number to use.

Watching TV is rock solid, as is the simple but very nice program guide. An additional "neato" is the transparent overlay (with "vignette" effect) of menus over live TV, which must be using at least 50 Commodore 64s worth of processing power and memory (and maybe much, much more)! Channel changing is quick and the OSD, while simple, is clear and nicely designed.

Overall, Vista Media Center has a big win in terms of look and "experience factor" of interface, but then that's unfortunately still to be expected when comparing Linux to Microsoft.

Those all look like good points to me.

Here the author almost got things right. Vista gave him more hardware trouble than MythTV did. Getting Vista to work at all is difficult for all but the most hardened fanboys who know all the details of driver downloading, register hacking, etc.

"Got things right" = said something in favor of Linux?

I assure you, within another 6 months all the hardware vendors will have full support for Vista and yet again it'll be the best OS in terms of hardware support. Just because the author was lucky enough not to spend two weeks recompiling his kernel to get a piece of hardware to run on Linux, it doesn't mean that's always the case.

HD is almost certain to tip the balance further in Myth's favor because it too has been working for a while and you can still get hardware that is not limited by broadcast flags.

As soon as the perfectly reasonable anti-piracy restrictions come into force, Linux won't be good for watching any HD content at all.

Re:I'm not sure I trust the author either. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19371791)

No self respecting free software advocate would call themselves a "Microsoft-hater" or a "zealot".
Thank you for giving me the best laugh of the day. I mean, you're the one who can't do anything *but* mention how much you hate Microsoft and Windows. I'm going to keep this link as a little treasure, and every time you spew hatred about Microsoft, Windows and non-free software in general I'm going to post it.

Re:dumbest review ever (1)

itlurksbeneath (952654) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371215)

Then he proceeds to say since mythtv cant do HDTV and Media center can, he is going to hold off on HDTV.
Did you read the same post I did? The author states that he held off of HDTV because he didn't have any HDTV signals where he was, not that Myth won't do HDTV. It does HDTV nicely, in fact. Interesting that the next post after the article stated something about the front end crashing the backend. I've had my Myth box up for about 60 days now (last downtime was a power outage) and neither the front or backend has crashed at all.

Re:dumbest review ever (1)

Arkaic (784460) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371643)

I can see that you didn't read very carefully in regards to HDTV: "I've temporarily held off on HDTV tuners as I'm on special assignment in Europe, with no access to signal." In the summary he even states that he is going to stick with Vista over MythTV for now.

Slow news day (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19370871)

I can't believe such a half-assed review is worthy of a link on /.

Re:Slow news day (1)

kabz (770151) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371551)

Yes, damn it, as soon as I get back from church, I'll post my own half-assed review!@!@!!

No Credibility (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19370927)

I can't beleive this review, I have nothing wrong with what he said objectively, but for god's sake, he just lets his obvious bias, quote "Steve Jobs gets his head out of his hole and decides to reshape the marketplace with a truly good PVR/Media Center/Super-Evolved Life Device (tm)."

He ends the review by just deciding to say all praise steve, the technological messiah, he will purge us of these heathan devices and bath us in his warm white iglow of technological perfection. At best apple TV is an overhyped reincarnation of some good technology pased on others, and more to the point why is he mentioning steve jobs in a review of two products completely unrelated to him!

Re:No Credibility (4, Interesting)

russotto (537200) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371285)

Who else is going to do it? Microsoft isn't going to make a truly good PVR, because their corporate philosophy interferes; they'd want to control it, not let you do so. The open source community may come up with 80-90% of it (and I'd argue already has), but there are some things which it can't do. Produce a _device_, for one thing, a piece of hardware that is quiet, boots (or wakes from standby; standby with Linux and the V4L/DVB drivers is still not reliable IME) in seconds, can be turned on via remote, etc. Compatibility with premium content is another. Apple is in a position to provide both; we know they can build nice, small, quiet hardware. We know they can negotiate with content producers and not compromise EVERYTHING. So it's not going to be Microsoft, it's not going to be the open source community. That leaves no one, Apple, or some unknown third party. Apple seems like the best bet.

I suppose there's the electronics manufacturers -- e.g. Sony (too tied to locking everything down), Phillips, Toshiba, LG, Samsung, a boatload of Chinese companies... aside from Sony (which has no chance) I think they're long shots.

No effect on credibility. (3, Insightful)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371391)

Afraid to log in are you?

What he said is that we'll have to put up with MCE and MythTV UNTIL Steve Jobs decides to include DVR functionality into Apple TV. And he's RIGHT. The only person on PLANET EARTH who seems to understand what people want from their consumer electronics is Steven Jobs, CEO and co-founder of Apple Incorporated.

And his obvious bias? What are you stupid? The man is a pro-Linux person. He's worked with organizations dedicated to Linux. If he's biased its towards LINUX not Apple. So care to explain your ANTI-Apple bias?

Re:No Credibility (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19371657)

I have an English teacher that would love to bath you in an iglow.

It's bright in the iglow.

No Different to Any Other Review Really (4, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19370967)

I can't see what's different about this review to others, really:

Finally, the extras were quite nice. DVD importer looks like it could work well, but it's illegal I think to backup DVDs even for personal use, right?
You've been involved with Linux for fourteen years and you're not familiar with this? Quite frankly, so what? Anything that you do with any kind of media these days can be deemed illegal. Why are you even considering MythTV or even Vista MCE if you think this is illegal, because this is the main reason you want a PVR system - to mindlessly pick what to watch and watch it without fumbling with discs?

The solution would have required me to learn the tv_cat tool well enough to concatenate the two sets of listings and set up a cron script to do this every night. A very simple technical challenge, by my standards but I gave up after my very first try. Despite the straightforward nature of any program with "cat" in it's name, I hit an error on my first try, put the keyboard down, and thought to myself... "Wow, I've done lots of configuration on this system and it's now feeling a bit like work. Maybe I should try MCE for a while- this pictures look nice!"
Yes, we know, MythTV configuration sucks, especially if you're changing anything after initial set up. Anything else?

My first problem came after the requisite "Windows Update" as one of the updates had crashed my system. I finally narrowed it down to the SATA drivers for the NForce4 (I think), disabled them, moved to a basemented IDE drive out of laziness, re-installed and was OK. As a Bonus, the IDE drive ran much quieter than the previous SATA!
Yes, installing a plethora of drivers on a Windows system after you've sat there endlessly waiting for it to install sucks. It sucks even harder when one of those drivers decides to not work, or you find that you have to install them in a certain order. Then an automatic update screws things. Linux scores there.

Only one of two tuners is recognized. I've tried all the standard tricks and latest driver releases, with no success yet. Even my long distance call to Hauppauge was fruitless and I suspect that I'll be waiting for some system update or new driver release before I can watch one show while recording another. Or maybe I will fix it before then, but certainly not without a little googling, FAQ searching, or phone queueing.
So you still have to fanny about with your system even when you've spent 198 euros on a piece of software that should just recognise everything and take the head scratching out of the equation that you had to do with MythTV? I think we have a winner there to be honest, because at least with MythTV there's going to be something somewhere that will enable you to get it working - however awful that is. Hauppage and Microsoft won't fix it because it will probably be down to a combination of drivers and MCE software, and anyway, they simply won't give a toss about you or your problem until you're stumping up cash for the next version.

That's probably the single biggest reason why no one wants Windows on their TV. Microsoft just don't get how much more critical a TV is to people than a computer.

LinuxMCE (2, Interesting)

ultramkancool (827732) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371021)

I thought mythtv would have been replaced with LinuxMCE by now, very nice tool, check out the videos. Far more powerful then Windows MCE, no DRM shit, focused on your media instead of giant MS logos.

MythTV is better, IMO (4, Insightful)

rustalot42684 (1055008) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371113)

1: No DRM
2: Not made by Microsoft (just kidding, although that is a factor for some people)
3: No DRM

Yeah, it might be a bit harder to set up. That's obviously a downside. On the other hand, you can rip all your DVD, no problem, without Windoze being mean. His complaints about rippng DVDs being illegal are invalid because:

a) If you're watching them on Linux, (in US) you're already breaking the law.
b) I bought the DVD at my local Best Buy, and I'm not giving it to other people, so I'll do what I want with it.

Yes, Point b) might not be exactly legal, but you see where I'm coming from. Also: MythTV has seperate front- and back- ends, so you can stream media to other parts of the house.

Re:MythTV is better, IMO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19371297)

His complaints about rippng DVDs being illegal are invalid because:
a) If you're watching them on Linux, (in US) you're already breaking the law.
b) I bought the DVD at my local Best Buy, and I'm not giving it to other people, so I'll do what I want with it.


So, to summarize, you say that his point about it being illegal is not valid because it is illegal. That's bulletproof slashdot logic for you there.

Re:MythTV is better, IMO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19372607)

No, the point is that just using Myth to watch DVDs is already illegal in the US, so if you're concerned about that then Vista MCE is your only option anyway. But if you apply your brain and think about what is right instead of what is legal, then the issue becomes moot.

Re:MythTV is better, IMO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19371983)

> a) If you're watching them on Linux, (in US) you're already breaking the law.

If you're in the US, American or alien, you have far bigger problems than this at the present moment.

Windows MCE and DRM (2, Insightful)

xswl0931 (562013) | more than 7 years ago | (#19372839)

You do know that DRM for Windows MCE only applies to CableCard which Linux can't even support, right? If you don't use CableCard, there is no DRM and there are 3rd party add-ons for Windows MCE that allow you to strip commercials.

Is there any choice at all? (4, Insightful)

Cyclops (1852) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371125)

Let's see... with Microsoft you do get:
  • DRM,
  • spyware (not the common hidden kind, Microsoft written spyware)
  • fewer formats supported
. You also can't
  • use it for any purpose,
  • make custom changes,
  • copy it for your friends who liked it very much and would like to get a copy,
  • publish a modified version that, you know... removes said spyware and DRM, which everyone would like to but Microsoft and content providers don't want you to remove from Windows Media Center
Now... at the cost of maybe a little harder to use or set up, with MythTV or even Freevo which I like better than MythTV, you don't get DRM or spyware, you can play as many file formats as you want, and you have all the freedom you could ever need. Is there *any* choice at all? O Rlly?

Re:Is there any choice at all? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371371)

That looks like a false dichotomy to me. I don't think either of those two systems is desirable, and there are plenty of other options. I think you understate the difficulty in installing and setting up MythTV. I am using EyeTV and its setup was, without hyperbole, a hundred times faster and a hundred times easier than my experience trying to set up MythTV.

Re:Is there any choice at all? (1)

Windowser (191974) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371487)

I think you understate the difficulty in installing and setting up MythTV

Try the easy way : https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MythTV_Feisty [ubuntu.com]
In my experience, it is easier than installing any version of Windows

Re:Is there any choice at all? (1)

rhendershot (46429) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371557)

if you're employed by elgato, say so

"The EyeTV 250 is Elgato's follow-up to its successful EyeTV 200 (4 mice) product. Like the 200 model, it is an analog TV tuner with a built-in MPEG encoder (digital cable or satellite subscribers need to go through their converter box)."

This is another hardware solution. not something you install to your computer. AFAICT.

http://www.macworld.com/2006/12/reviews/eyetv250/i ndex.php [macworld.com]

Re:Is there any choice at all? (1)

Ramble (940291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371835)

I can see you've never used MCE before. I'm both a Windows and Linux enthusiast, but because of the Tv situation (and my X-Fi) I'm not using Gentoo (my preferred distro).

So, with MS you get DRM? Let me check. A Doctor Who episode recorded just the other week, hmm, no DRM. But what I do get is a crystal clear no hassle PAL quality picture. Far better than what I could get off so called spyware and DRM free torrents.

Ahh, yes, the spyware. I'd love to hear some examples of this, because the worst MS does is grab TV listings from the internet automatically, which MythTV and every God damn PVR does.

Fewer formats? Right, ever heard of ffdshow? Media Center uses Directshow filters, meaning pretty much every codec on Earth is supported. Just before reading Slashdot I was watching an XVid encoded episode of Bullshit! in WMC.

Also, you can't copy the software, that'd be against the EULA. But you're damn wrong about the content, I usually burn to disk or upload to certain questionable sites (once) some Tv that I recorded using WMC. And you can modify the WMC software if you want, just don't expect to get the source.

The basic difference (5, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371185)

I have used both, and what I`ve found to be the real difference between Windows MCE and MythTV (and really all the FOSS HTPC types) is tha MCE is simple, straight forward, and just works but is very inflexible (as said in the article, it's hard to even modify the menu, try doing something like having an extra button on you're remote control change the screen font) whereas MythTV requires a little tinkering to get running, but is very flexible. I think this is really what it comes down to with most Windows VS. FOSS situations. Windows apps tend to work well and are more intuitive, whereas FOSS apps tend to require a little tweaking, but provide more opportunity for customization. So in short, if you're someone (like me) who likes to have everything just right and doesn't mind messing around for a few days in config files, go with MythTV. If on the other hand you're someone who doesn't mind the canned generic MCE look and feel, and wants something thats just going to work, go with MCE.

TV Tuners (4, Insightful)

QBasicer (781745) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371187)

I would have rather seen a comparison between different TV tuners. The article pretty much concluded to what I would have thought: Linux is pretty solid, but a challenege for somebody not techical savvy, and windows quick and simple to set up, with a few glitches in hardware/UI.

DVD backup illegality? (2, Interesting)

Colz Grigor (126123) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371223)

FTA:
"DVD importer looks like it could work well, but it's illegal I think to backup DVDs even for personal use, right?"

When assumptions like this are made, even with slight question, it's clear that the author is misinformed and the MPAA has won.

For the record, at least in the United States, it's not illegal to create backups of any of your owned media, DVDs included. Doing so is protected as Fair Use of the copyright of which you have purchased a license. Selling or otherwise distributing your backup copies is not protected, however, and backups must be destroyed or transferred when the ownership of the original media license is transferred.

Of course, Fair Use goes out the window if you sign an agreement stating that you will obey certain provisions that work against Fair Use. But you'd never agree to such terms, right?

Right?

::Colz Grigor

Re:DVD backup illegality? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19371425)

For the record, at least in the United States, it's not illegal to create backups of any of your owned media, DVDs included. Doing so is protected as Fair Use of the copyright of which you have purchased a license.

Your argument would be correct with the minor exception of that pesky DMCA. Currently in the US, backing up a DVD that you've purchased involves bypassing a digital encryption algorithm, which is explicitly prohibited by the DMCA. This renders the rest of your argument moot. Repeatedly seeing these same incorrect things spouted over and over and over again as gospel around here is really making me want to go to law school for copyright law. It's clear that many of you have no interest in actually understanding the law and what is and isn't legal. How do you expect to actually bring about the necessary changes when you can't be bothered to understand the underlying problems?

Re:DVD backup illegality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19372465)

Repeatedly seeing these same incorrect things spouted over and over and over again as gospel around here is really making me want to go to law school for copyright law.

After you get there, report back on the validity of laws that haven't withstood judicial scrutiny and may never face it as it is not in the interest of the people who bought the law. kthanx

Re:DVD backup illegality? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19371461)

Who cares about "legal"? It will always be lawful.

Re:DVD backup illegality? (1)

burnin1965 (535071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371647)

it's not illegal to create backups of any of your owned media, DVDs included. Doing so is protected as Fair Use of the copyright of which you have purchased a license

I would add that even if they do enact laws to make it illegal, i.e. the DMCA, it does not mean that you should not do it. Sometimes it is necessary for people to engage in civil disobedience [wikipedia.org] by breaking such laws. When the movie industry uses DRM to control the use of content you purchased/licensed and tries to force you and your children to watch obnoxious industry propaganda that equates stealing a car to copying data from a disk you should be compelled to copy the wanted media from the disk to your own home media server and strip the worthless DRM and propaganda.

Re:DVD backup illegality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19371735)

Absolutely correct. I'm the AC up there ^^^ pointing out to Colz Grigor the error in his argument. However, while I fully understand and acknowledge that ripping a DVD is illegal, that doesn't stop me from doing it myself.

Re:DVD backup illegality? (1)

Workaphobia (931620) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371689)

Nothing means anything in writing. You can get anyone in the country to sign anything you like and agree to whatever terms you choose. If congress legislates against it you just add a term saying you waive that right.

Take for example how there's a constitutional right to privacy that protects against random sobriety testing, but in the state of New York you give your implied consent to such testing by driving. Law/right? Great, now try to exercise it, we dare you.

Re:DVD backup illegality? (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371799)

I also believe the big issue with DeCSS is that it's infringement to distribute means of bypassing copy protection. Just as how it is copyright infringement to upload the data, the problem is distribution. A good way to bypass this is to download libdvdcss [videolan.org] on your own, then compile it, and nobody has distributed the actual tool to break CSS. The basic idea behind the outcome of the DeCSS case (even though I don't believe it finished with an actual verdict) was that distributing the code was covered by free speech (hence the songs, poems, pictures, etc., with the DeCSS code in it), so by distributing only the source code to libdvdcss, they should be in the clear (even though they aren't in the US).

I don't believe it is disallowed by the DMCA to break copy protection on your own for fair use, but telling others how to seems to be kinda illegal in some way. IANAL of course.

Re:DVD backup illegality? (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 7 years ago | (#19372473)

The basic idea behind the outcome of the DeCSS case (even though I don't believe it finished with an actual verdict) was that distributing the code was covered by free speech (hence the songs, poems, pictures, etc., with the DeCSS code in it), so by distributing only the source code to libdvdcss, they should be in the clear (even though they aren't in the US).


I believe in the MPAA vs 2600 case, the judge basically avoided the whole fair use issue by saying people could use other formats (ie VHS) to excercise fair use, so it doesn't matter that the DMCA conflicts with it. This completely ignores the fact that once all media is encumbered with DRM you won't be able to legally bypass CSS to make an excerpt for a review, for example, but Judge Kaplan was nonplussed by this.

I don't think he accepted the defense argument that DeCSS had significant non-infringing uses (watching DVDs on Linux systems) and ruled that linking to it violated the DMCA. He upheld the MPAA's injunction and 2600 was forced to remove the "links." Of course, they simply printed them in non-clickable text, thumbing their noses at the MPAA without further violating the injunction. If they had refused to remove the links, I'm pretty sure they would have paid a big penalty.

(IANAL, and it's been a while since I read the decision. I apologize in advance if I'm out to lunch on any of this).

6 of one, half dozen of the other (1)

davmoo (63521) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371289)

I've tried both MythTv and Windows MCE. And quite frankly, at least for the near future, I think they are both a pain in the ass to use when compared to my TiVo or Dish Network DVR.

Vista Media Center Horizontal Menus (2, Informative)

TummyX (84871) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371307)

He complains about the new menu system in Vista Media Center which uses horizontal scrolling. This is not the first time I've heard this and I agree it does seem to be quite wasteful on a 4:3 display but on a 16:9 plasma/LCD (which people building HTPCs should seriously consider), it's fantastic. The same can be said about the vista wall of music [microsoft.com] interface which is an easy and visually impressive way to navigate music and movies if you have a 16:9 display.

MCE is probably the best product microsoft has written. It has a pretty interface reminiscent of something apple would design and it suprisingle stable. It does it it's designed for and it does it well.

Re:Vista Media Center Horizontal Menus (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371813)

That's fantastic if you have an HDTV... the vast majority of people don't however. I have no plans to purchase an HDTV within the next 10 years unless my TV craps out since it is only a 9 year old CRT... it should conceivably last at least 20 years.

What's The Point? (1)

Azghoul (25786) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371543)

Okay, so maybe this is asking for trouble, but I read stuff like this and my first impulse is to ask "what's the point?"

I can understand wanting to download stuff to a local computer and use it. No big deal there. I can understand modifying my DirecTivo to let me pull stuff down and save it for later.

But really... why do I want to save it for later? Why do I need to buy a gigantic HD and store hundreds of DVDs? (Really, why ever bother buying a damn DVD at all?)

I want to do a MythTV box, I really do. If nothing else, I'd love to put a server in my basement and use terminals elsewhere to get at it (or wireless laptops).

But in the end, I'd rather just go outside and play in the garden, or go canoeing, or do a little woodworking, or staying on the machine, go argue with people in my favorite forums.

I just don't see the need to DO a central media server. Is that wrong? :)

Re:What's The Point? (1)

rhendershot (46429) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371725)

it isn't the 'saving for later' but the 'watching later' that's the need. I've found a lot of late-nite shows (food channel, travel, discovery, etc.) on in the early AM hours that I'd never watch live. I record them so I can watch when *I* am ready to watch, not when the broadcast is ready.

Then there's sports. Besides being able to review a certain play while watching live, MythTV, et. al. give you the ability to keep an especially great play for later to show to friends.

And maybe those spanish lessons could be reviewed sometime later. or maybe you'd like your kids to watch them.

You don't have to centralize a media server. I captured on my main linux box for a year before I finally moved it into an old discarded machine.

Oh, yeah, and it's *nice* to not have to sit through commercials... ;)

Re:What's The Point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19371917)

You live in/near Buffalo, right? What do you do for the 7 months that you can't go canoing, gardening, our anything else because of western NY winters?

Sure you don't see the point, but some people do. What I want to know is why do you feel the need to express that you don't see the point...I honestly don't care what point you see or not. But for some reason you feel the need to call it pointless.

Re:What's The Point? (1)

LehiNephi (695428) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371921)

You may have no need for a media server at your house, but for heaven's sake, man, this is Slashdot. This is a place where people have racks of computers in their houses, where people go through withdrawal after five minutes away from the screen, where life without a computer would be considered cruel and unusual punishment.

You're right that for most people, "what's the point?" is a very valid question. But we're a bunch of geeks here, and the idea of turning on the TV and using the remote to start watching a movie of your choice turns us on. Especially if we don't have to get up from the sofa to do it. Especially if we don't have to pay all the evil big companies (MS, MPAA, Cable Co, etc) in order to do it. Especially if it gives us an excuse to have one more computer in the house.

How about a good hardware review? (1)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371715)

Such as, capture cards/encoders that support CableCard or CableCard2? That's one of two reasons why I havn't put together a media center yet; because I'm afraid that I'll lose analogue and have only digital right after I purchase a TV tuner card that doesn't have CC(2) support yet.

The FOSS solution wins everytime (2, Interesting)

OmegaBlac (752432) | more than 7 years ago | (#19371795)

As long as proprietary/closed software from companies (ie. Microsoft) who have a long known history in restricting consumer's rights, but will bend over backward to please their own special customers (the content makers), I'll choose FOSS (MythTV) everytime without hesitation.

Windows Media Center Restricts Cable TV [slashdot.org]

my mythtv experience (4, Informative)

Phaid (938) | more than 7 years ago | (#19372053)

I used a MythTV machine for a while, before I had HDTV. I set up whatever release of KnoppMyth was the latest in the spring of 2005 on an Asus Pundit with a Hauppauge PVR350 board. Setting up KnoppMyth was far from a plug and play experience; I had to update almost everything to make it work, and had to go hunt down patches to things like LIRC to get it working with the rest of the system. The choice of which video-out to use was a study in compromises: I could either use the Asus' built-in ATI S-Video out, which had no video acceleration and thus suffered from visible speed issues during playback; or I could use the PVR350 output, which had excellent TV playback, but had a terrible navigation and recording interface since the framebuffer X server could only render video fullscreen. I wound up choosing the PVR350 out, since I preferred to schedule recordings using the web server interface. Once I got it fully running, the system was pretty nice. The basic menu interface looked good and was intuitive, and the picture quality from the PVR350 over S-Video was outstanding. I really liked being able to connect to its web server to schedule shows, because the scheduler interface was awful when viewed on the TV. On the whole, when it worked, it was brilliant, but it definitely had its fair share of bugs -- the two worst being that it would occasionally just produce a black screen when you rewound a show to the beginning, which you could usually revover from, and the wifi (a usb dongle) would sometimes just up and stop working due to a buggy driver, requiring a reboot to get connectivity again. But on the whole it was pretty nice, the TV interface was OK but the selling point for me was the excellent web interface. Once I got HDTV in December of 05, the MythTV box really wasn't an option any more. Since then I've had HD digital cable from two different providers (Comcast and Optimum) both with the Scientific Atlanta SA8300HD DVR (though Comcast and Optimum load different firmware onto the DVR). Frankly, there's no comparison between the commercial DVR and MythTV. The commercial system does everything faster (powering up, changing channels) and never, ever crashes. Sure, I can't transfer movies to my laptop or whatever, but I guess that just isn't something I feel the need to do. I took the PVR350 out of the Pundit, upgraded it to Slackware, and keep it in my entertainment center as a MAME box. Bottom line, if you have a 4:3 CRT TV and basic cable, MythTV is probably fine. If you have a nice widescreen TV and digital cable, MythTV just can't do the things you need, and you can get a DVR from your cable company for so cheap even MythTV can't compete (since after all you still need hardware to run the thing).

Re:my mythtv experience (1)

Phaid (938) | more than 7 years ago | (#19372085)

Hrm I guess I should have picked "Plain Old Text", huh. That's what I get for not posting here for like a year.

How does LinuxMCE compare to Knoppmyth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19372077)

I'm currently using Knoppmyth for my setup, and while I got it to work fine (after a long time of fussing with it, which I think is fairly normal for linux and mythtv). How does LinuxMCE compare to it? I'm not worried about installation, just wondering about if it does/doesn't do things that Knoppmyth does. I see from the LinuxMCE website that it seems to use a pretty different UI from Knoppmyth, and being built on a standard Ubuntu install gives me hope (rather than the custom-assembled debian that Knopp currently does, which you basically can't update or it breaks everything).

Anyone have a good handle on this one?

GOOGLE VIDEO of LinuxMCE vs VistaMCE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19372087)

OK, so the guy compared out of the box Ubuntu and MythTV against Vista MCE. What he should have compared is LinuxMCE vs VistaMCE. Here is a Google video [google.com] that compares LinuxMCE to VistaMCE.

Re:GOOGLE VIDEO of LinuxMCE vs VistaMCE! (1)

jtn (6204) | more than 7 years ago | (#19372821)

I wish people would stop posting this video. It features AWFUL narration, is obviously biased, and is frankly misleading. LinuxMCE has much promise but this video isn't helping the cause at all.

dvbstream for me. (1)

Tarquin Sidebottom (239733) | more than 7 years ago | (#19372293)

After investing in a Hauppauge card, I tried using MythTV. While I understand why the interface is as it is, as it's primarily designed for use via a remote, I have to say I found the experience infuriating. Driving it with a keyboard & mouse, nothing ever did what I expected it to, or worse, frequently doing the opposite. Overall, I found window's Team Media portal a much more pleasurable experience.

Except the reliability of the hardware under windows is fairly woeful, TMP outputs in the annoying MS-DVR format, and (for me) TMP's terrible sync issues.

So now I use dvbstream, mplayer and a few perl scripts I knocked together. It all just works. I've happily traded the ability to channel hop, and the fancy EPGs, for a recording reliability of near 100%.

sex with a Gn4a (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19372591)

Fact: *BSD IS A OS I )do, Because

Question about the install process... (0, Offtopic)

Toby_Tyke (797359) | more than 7 years ago | (#19372679)

The reviewer states that the Vista install took a long time because, since he had bought the upgrade version, he had to install XP first.

I know for a fact that upgrade versions of eariler windows iterations did not require you to install an older version first. You could boot from the upgrade disc and install the OS, but you would be ask to insert the older versions disc at some point during the install process, just to verify you actually owned it. Is this no longer possible in Vista?
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