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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Users of the Mythtv PVR's LiveJournal:

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Friday, July 30th, 2010
1:34 am
[syntonic_comma]
Friday July 30 only: SiliconDust HDHomeRun Dual HDTV Tuner $84.99 + $5 shipping
HDHomeRun® Dual ATSC/QAM Digital TV TunerToday's Woot!:

SiliconDust HDHomeRun Network-Based Dual Digital HDTV Tuner $84.99 + $5 shipping.

One day only, July 30, 2010, 00:00-23:59 CDT (or until they sell out). That's what Woot! does.
Saturday, July 10th, 2010
9:31 pm
[evildagmar]
HD-PVR Funnery
I'm not blaming MythTV 0.23 or anything, but since this happened at the same time as upgrading to 0.23 (remotely, no less) I'll give it a mention. If you're using the HD-PVR and start getting audio drift issues, run ffmpeg -i over one of your recordings... Something made mine start recording at 60fps with the upgrade to 0.23 fixes. Being that it took me a few days of going "wtf is making all my recordings fail" to notice that the firewire-connected cable box right next to it was powered off (Thanks, Comcast! I love you too!) I'm pretty sure I didn't change the firmware on it in my sleep or something.

Again, not blaming MythTV since I know it can't (and doesn't) really have anything to do with that stuff... Time to try out whatever firmware is shipping out with the 1.5.7.0 drivers for Windows to see if I can knock it back into shape.

For reference: (after a cold boot, with mythbackend disabled)

joe@mythbox:/tmp$ cat /dev/video0 > tmp
^C^C^C^C
joe@mythbox: ffmpeg -i blah.mpg
FFmpeg version SVN-r23644, Copyright (c) 2000-2010 the FFmpeg developers
built on Jun 18 2010 15:37:28 with gcc 4.1.2
[useless nonsense deleted]
Seems stream 0 codec frame rate differs from container frame rate: 60.00 (60/1) -> 60.00 (60/1)
Input #0, mpegts, from 'blah.mpeg':
Duration: 00:00:00.90, start: 0.387033, bitrate: 5534 kb/s
Program 1
Stream #0.0[0x1011]: Video: h264, yuv420p, 1920x1080 [PAR 1:1 DAR 16:9], 60 fps, 60 tbr, 90k tbn, 60 tbc
Stream #0.1[0x1100]: Audio: aac, 48000 Hz, stereo, s16, 125 kb/s
At least one output file must be specified

See that "60 fps" there? That shouldn't be there.

Update: Simply power-cycling the unit restored it's sanity and a quick test recording made with dd, once checked with ffmpeg, appears to be the normal ~59.97 fps it should be. If the problem resurfaces I'll reflash the unit and see if that maybe kills the bug--assuming I can find a more surefire way of triggering it than "simply waiting a few weeks".

Current Mood: tired
Tuesday, June 1st, 2010
12:56 pm
[syntonic_comma]
recordings partition: ext4, XFS, other?
Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB 64MB cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5&quot; internal hard driveSay you were going to add a large (2TB) 2nd drive to your modest (200GB) MythTV system and use it all for a recordings partition. Any recommendations about which filesystem type to use?

ext4 and XFS seem to have fairly similar performance dealing with large files (ext4 slightly better with writes, XFS slightly better with reads). XFS has been "stable" longer. Martin of flexion.org reports that XFS will give a little more usable space than ext4 (about 33GB out of 2TB, or 15 hours of my SD recording); and over time ext4 develops fragmentation faster than XFS, something that doesn't show up in benchmark tests run on new filesystems. (XFS also provides defrag tools, should they be needed.) I've come across more info about XFS than ext4 for tuning performance for MythTV. I've found more cook-book presentations of how to set up XFS filesystems (probably because ext3 filesystems are the norm and they can be converted to ext4).

XFS can't shrink a partition, but I don't expect I'll be doing that. (I may leave 5GB of the 2TB in a separate partition in case I ever need to install enough OS there to boot from that disk.) I'm running MythBuntu (9.10), and I did need to install a couple of packages for XFS utilities.

If you've been asking yourself this same question, these URLs might be of interest....
ext4
ext4 - Wikipedia
Linux Convert ext3 to ext4 File system
First benchmarks of the ext4 file system | LinuxInsight

XFS
XFS - Wikipedia
XFS Filesystem - MythTV
XFS FAQ - XFS.org
SGI - Developer Central Open Source | XFS
Common threads: Advanced filesystem implementor's guide, Part 9

Considerations/Comparisons
Choosing The Best Linux Filesystem For Your PC - Make Tech Easier (fluffish)
Optimizing Performance - MythTV
Linux File Systems (Why Martin chose XFS)
Comparing boot performance of Ext3, Ext4, and XFS on Ubuntu Jaunty « Ryan’s Blog
Filesystem type / partition layout advice? (2010 mailing-list query)
Best Filesystem Type? | MythTV | Users (2007 mailing-list query)
(And what happens to the rest of the original 200GB, you ask? CD rips, photo gallery, RSS podcasts – the stuff that's choking my meager laptop.)
It's a mostly moot point now. I went with XFS. (I could still possibly switch to something else, by deleting enough recordings to fit back onto the first disk, making a different filesystem, and copying back. But that would take some convincing....) In the process I learned that Mythbuntu's single-partition default install uses ext4. I suspected that, but hadn't stumbled across the commands that would confirm it. (I know how to do this stuff on Solaris without even checking man pages; but even discovering the command names is still an adventure with Linux.)

Looks like I should always have plenty sitting around to watch, as this fills up....

Machine Information

Disk Usage Summary:
  • Total Disk Space:
    • Total Space: 2,086,954 MB
    • Space Used: 352,074 MB
    • Space Free: 1,734,880 MB
    • Space Available After Auto-expire: 1,789,439 MB
      • Space Used by LiveTV: 0 MB
      • Space Used by Deleted Recordings: 0 MB
      • Space Used by Auto-expirable Recordings: 54,559 MB
Disk Usage Details:
  • MythTV Drive #1:
    • Directory: myth1:/var/lib/mythtv/livetv
    • Total Space: 185,081 MB
    • Space Used: 180,844 MB [This still includes the 171GB copied to drive #2, so it will be going away.]
    • Space Free: 4,237 MB
  • MythTV Drive #2:
    • Directory: myth1:/var/lib/mythtv/recordings
    • Total Space: 1,901,872 MB
    • Space Used: 171,229 MB
    • Space Free: 1,730,642 MB

The other project for the day was moving the Myth server into the room with the TV, now that I have the proper cable to connect them. Partitioning (learning how Linux does it) and copying took longer than expected, so maybe tomorrow....
Wednesday, May 5th, 2010
6:08 pm
[syntonic_comma]
I finally installed Myth
Mythbuntu circle logoThis community has been very, very quiet for a long, long time.

Last week I finally got around to installing MythTV. (My old ReplayTV is still working, so there hasn't been any rush.) Mythbuntu 9.10. (I was planning to use KnoppMyth when I first started looking at Myth, and I'd even burned the install CD. But KnoppMyth is becoming LinHES on Arch, and that sounds a bit dicey/unstable for now, while Mythbuntu has matured since then and has good reviews. (And my Linux go-to guy has become a Ubuntu fan.)) As of last night, my system is recording stuff. I got some recordings Monday, but nothing above channel 13. Apparently the PVR-500 needed the tuners configured as "us-cable", not "default" (Thank you, incorrect install suggestions.) I also got hung up on trying to scan with the tuners. (This apparently broke between Mythbuntu 9.04 and 9.10.) The scan isn't necessary with the data from Schedules Direct, but that didn't seem to be working either, without the us-cable bit in the setup.

The video is sometimes choppy. I think it's a configuration/driver issue, since it happens with live TV as well (so the choppiness is in the recording, not the playback) and the system load is low.

Having 2 tuners makes a big difference. Scheduling on the ReplayTV always required watching for conflicts (which the RTV doesn't report in advance – no way to see what it's planning to do, and its priority rules are tedious, and don't always seem to be followed). It would be easier if the networks weren't competing for the same eyeballs, putting on multiple shows that interest me at the one time, and nothing at all at other times (when they're competing for different eyeballs). Myth's scheduling is smarter too, shifting programs that will be rebroadcast out of conflicts. The RTV doesn't have those smarts. You could do it yourself, if you were aware of all the broadcast-schedule details, but who is? The RTV also doesn't remember what it's recorded before, to skip recent reruns. (It sometimes doesn't recognize that it's already got something, so you may end up with 2 copies. Or it may bump something to re-record it – which really sucks if it could have been recording something different that you also want.) Between the schedule-look-ahead and the 2nd tuner, I've got only 1 hour/week with 3 shows the household wants recorded (CSI/Grey's Anatomy/Fringe on Thursday nights).

Another thing that's really cool is being able to watch through a web browser with MythWeb. Installing front-end servers on the laptops should be even better, but that will probably take some work. (One laptop is an iBook too old for anything after MacOS 10.3.)

Another thing that's going to be great is being able to copy the files off for long-term storage. Those movies my wife wants to keep in the RTV "forever" (Dirty Dancing, Braveheart, etc) can get copied to her laptop.

I don't have the Myth box hooked up to the real TV yet. It's in another workroom, with a small monitor, and long stretches of Ethernet and coax cables. I'm hoping the picture quality won't be disappointing on a bigger screen.
Compaq Athlon 64 3800+ Media Center PC
Wish list:
(1) more disk space. I'm using a reconditioned Compaq Presario that came with a 200GB disk. I also bought a 750GB SATA disk (1TB wasn't quite on the market at that point), but now that I've finally gotten around to using it, the system doesn't see it. I think it's too late to return it (even though it's unused). Maybe it's a jumper/set-up issue on the disk, so maybe I can get it to work after all. Still, 200GB beats the 60GB in the RTV (although not by as much as it looks, since the Myth's recordings are twice as large).
HDHomeRun® Dual ATSC/QAM Digital TV Tuner(2) a HDHomeRun dual tuner. Something I read when I was buying this hardware 3 years ago said the Hauppauge PVR-500 handles HD and analog. Turns out that was flat-out wrong. (You can't believe everything you read on the web.) I wouldn't have bought it, knowing the digital conversion was coming. But it turns out it's still useable with cable TV. Comcast has stopped providing analog signals for 2 of our 3 local PBS stations, and there's a whole lot of other stations that the digital TV sees and the analog RTV doesn't.
ATI Radeon X600SE 128mb PCI Express Video Card(3) possibly a video card. (The video output from the motherboard probably won't be anything great, although it looks fine on the little monitor that is hooked up for doing the install.) I got an ATI card really cheap (again, years ago), and everything now says that NVIDIA is the way to go; support for ATI hardware just ain't there. Well, at least I didn't spend much money on the ATI.
Saturday, August 25th, 2007
6:29 pm
[syntonic_comma]
Schedules Direct goes "live"!
MythTV logoOnce more, quoting from their website:

Schedules Direct is a non-profit organization that provides raw U.S./Canadian tv listing data to Free and Open Source Applications. Those applications then use the data to provide things like PVR functionality, search tools, and private channel grids.

The cost of the service is currently US$15/3 months with a 7 day trial. We hope to lower the price by the end of the term, so recurring subscriptions are not yet offered.

The data is provided under license by Tribune Media Services. Please respect the license terms.

For more information, Please check out our FAQ and FORUMS.

For news, check out Announcements in our forum, or our Announcement Mailing List.


August 25, 2007

Schedules Direct goes "live"!

Schedules Direct is happy to announce we're ready to take memberships!

We still have a temporary Privacy Policy and Web Terms of Use posted. If you're not comfortable with the current versions, please wait to sign up until they're replaced with the final version. We plan on discussing drafts of the new documents in the forum.

When the new policies take effect, you will be notified via email and will need to sign in to read and accept the updates on the Schedules Direct account status page. If you do not agree to the terms you will be able to cancel and obtain a refund.

There is a known problem with over-the-air channels in Canada. Tribune is working on it. If this is a major issue for you, you may want to wait until this is resolved before signing up. Please check the Announcements forum for updates.

Check the support channels of your application for the status and difficulty of using Schedules Direct with a non-upgraded version of your application - they may have a workaround you may use for the time being. We expect you'll be able to get about 14 days of data from Zap2IT labs through 8/31.

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007
7:46 pm
[syntonic_comma]
Schedules Direct will not be free
MythTV logoQuoting from their website:

August 9, 2007

Schedules Direct Announces Initial Pricing

The answer to everyone's top question is.... $15 / 3 months non-recurring.

Sorry... until we have some idea as to the subscriber count we need to make sure we can pay the bills. We expect pricing to drop by the end of the initial term. Our goal is $20/year.

An announce mailing list has been set up. Click HERE. Look for a forum or user mailing list soon.
Friday, July 27th, 2007
3:22 pm
[syntonic_comma]
"Schedules Direct" to replace Zap2it listings
MythTV logoQuoting from their website:

July 12, 2007

Greetings from the newly-formed team at Easy TV Data,

This organization was formed by members of various software projects in response to the announcement from Zap2it Labs that they will be discontinuing the free TV listings service that they have been providing to the non-commercial free and open source communities for the last 3+ years.

We know that many of you are waiting on the edge of your seats to find out what's going on behind the scenes here, and we're just as excited to tell you, but we can't give you many details while we are still involved in negotiations. We can, however, let you know that we are actively working on a solution that will provide what we hope will be a smooth transition away from Zap2it Labs by the September 1 deadline. We will release more details as soon as we are able to do so, so please keep an eye on http://schedulesdirect.org/ for updates.

July 20, 2007

Easy TV Data renamed to Schedules Direct,

Due to some concern over trademark infringement, we have decided to change our name to Schedules Direct, which does not appear to conflict with any existing trademarks in the TV/Media space.
Thursday, June 21st, 2007
11:11 pm
[mcbloom]
Sunday, January 21st, 2007
8:33 pm
[mcbloom]
R5E50 kicks ass
Just upgraded to knoppmyth R5E50 and I have to say the web based remote control, enhanced dvd burning capability, guide viewer for us small tv challenged, and finally mythvideo that sorts by directory in the gallery view blows my mind.

I also picked up an backup-350 apc ups and attached it via apcupsd, which gives my box a 1 minute heads up on power failures. The unit is worth ever penny of the $60 I paid for it at futureshop.

My mplayer playback is way lower under R5E50, even under nfs back to my freebsd nas and it comes preconfigured with ntpd, democracy and heaps of new toys.
Friday, September 22nd, 2006
1:50 pm
[mcbloom]
getting bitchy with ext3
Hi,

My mythbox gets knocked around a bit, married to a scorpio grey's anatomy addict. I've had it reboot maybe 10 times in a month and consistently, Its failing to come back to life, giving me errors about not being able to locate the superblocks on various partitions on various disks.

I'm more of a freebsd/ufs guy than an ext3 fan, does anyone have any suggestions about filesystems that are a bit more robust for the systems and other data volumes ? I'm getting tired of restoring my config and recorded material from my nas.

thx.
Tuesday, September 12th, 2006
12:43 pm
[cjensen]
MythTV 0.20 Released
See the release notes at the MythTV wiki for the gory details.

If you already downloaded on early Monday morning, you should maybe redo that again because a bug was briefly in the mix.

Monday, September 4th, 2006
9:51 pm
[kafkatx]
So after a long weekend of racking my brain & getting frustrated... I have beat a pcHDTV5500 into submission and got it running in my mythbox.  

Hardware specs:
ASUS M2N-E motherboard
AMD64 3500+
1 gb DDR2 667 RAM
NVidia 6600gt
pcHDTV tuner
PVR500 (2 tuners)
Linksys wireless card
(1 PCIe firewire - still on order, since I'm out of PCI slots & will be upgrading cable to HD box soon)
500gb Maxtor SATAII drive

Software specs:
Kubuntu Edgy
2.6.18-rc6 kernel
Ndiswrapper - v1.23
ivtv - 0.8 from svn
v4l-dvb from kernel -- v4l-dvb from svn absolutely didn't work, but ivtv made me download and compile it
NVidia binary driver 1.0-8774
lirc - svn latest version
MythTV 0.20 from svn - with XvMC, DVB, firewire compile options enabled

Setup:
Comcast cablebox controlled by serial cable from computer, hooked into analog inputs of pcHDTV5500
coax cable inputs to both pcHDTV5500 and PVR500
composite out from video card to SD TV (HD LCD arrives later this week and will be DVI connection).
SPDIF coax out to 7.1 receiver/speakers

I started upgrading this box to prepare for the new TV that's coming, and that's when I ran into problems.  The hardware upgrades all went smoothly until I put in the 5500.  I had problem after problem in getting the drivers to compile and run on Kubuntu Dapper.  I upgraded to Edgy and tried to use the stock kernel, compiling and installing the v4l-dvb modules--no dice.  Then I finally got the 5500 working but the mythbackend crashed every time I changed the input from ATSC to analog on the card.  I compiled and installed the 2.6.18-rc6 kernel, then tried installing ivtv (since the 2.6.18 branch has working v4l-dvb).  ivtv made me download and compile the latest v4l-dvb--and much to my chagrin, I installed it.  Once the latest v4l-dvb was installed, the ivtv modules kept giving me errors and wouldn't load.  In desperation I purged the 2.6.18-rc6 kernel from the machine and reinstalled it.  I only installed the ivtv modules I had compiled (not the v4l-dvb ones) and lo and behold, it worked.  Now I have 4 inputs to the machine--so far it appears to be happy that way.  Just a few things to resolve and then I'll be very happily using my mythbox again--without geeking on it.


To-dos & troubleshooting:
1) troubleshoot picture quality of 5500 composite analog input
2) fix lirc to work with the IR of the 5500
3) figure out if it's possible to use both the coax passthrough AND the jack out on sound
4) figure out how to resolve "tearing" on XvMC accelerated playbackEDIT:  Selected OpenGL sync in TV Playback settings and tearing gone in all screens
5) research something like hdparm for SATA to tune disks & sleep them
6) pin-down intermittent mythtv sound issues (i.e. on restart, sometimes there is no from mythtv, but all other KDE apps are ok) EDIT: Disabled KDE sound daemon (artsd) and everything ok


Current Mood: accomplished
Sunday, August 27th, 2006
2:33 am
[dnaspydir]
since this is the only mythtv community on lj, i guess it would be a good place to say Knoppmyth R5 D1 has been released. looks like there have been some nice updates, and bug fixes.
Wednesday, July 26th, 2006
9:30 pm
[syntonic_comma]
still just getting started....
Thanks for the guidance in response to my previous post. mcbloom's pointer to the Knoppmyth forum Tier-1 list was one of the things I'd really been looking for. I've still got a lot more reading to do before I try to pick any hardware. (Installing the software may be the easiest part of all this. ) The Dragon hardware specs are an interesting reference too.

It looks like I should also be thinking about HDTV. I live in the Washington, DC area and (I've just learned from my reading that) all but one of the local stations are already broadcasting in digital. Maybe I should get a digital-capable tuner, since it would already be useable, and analog broadcasts are supposed to stop in a few years. I've been happy enough with analog TV, and I resisted Comcast's overtures for digital cable because I didn't want to deal with an IR blaster to a set-top box with the ReplayTV (nor did I want to pay more, and I didn't care for more channels because I already watch too much TV ). Even though it should be easy to change tuners later, it might make more sense to go for digital now.
Monday, July 24th, 2006
6:19 pm
[syntonic_comma]
just getting started
My 5-yr-old ReplayTV is too unreliable, and it's always lacked some functionality I want.  (Sometimes things so simple that it's absurd that they're missing, like a playlist for saving to tape.)  I've been reading about MythTV all weekend, and I'm cyber-salivating.  (What really pushed me way over the edge was the prospect of using our laptops as frontends over 802.11g – killer app!)

My experience is with Sun/Solaris and MacOSX, Amigas back a ways, and various other assorted platforms that paid the bills but weren't so entertaining.  Not much Linux, but I expect my Unix skills to transfer.  (Yes, I realize many many little things will be in different places.)  And blissfully little MSWindows experience.  My problem is I'm not familiar with the hardware either, and I'm not finding any good collections of information.  I keep finding pointers to the PVR Hardware Database, but I can't see much useful there.  A lot of the links don't seem to work, and I'm wondering whether the site has some browser bias.  (I'm using Firefox, and I had the same problems with Netscape.  Please don't tell me I need to find a machine with IE on it.)  I can't view the database there.  I can't even view the FAQ there!  (I can see the lists of top tuners and top gfx cards, but I need to know about motherboards, cases, hard disks, DVDs, etc too.)

I'm going to be buying/building a new system, since I don't have any commodity-PC hardware at home.  I don't have any Linux distro preferences (dabbled with SuSe once), and the KnoppMyth approach seems fine to me.  If anyone can point me to another collection of hardware recommendations and/or good/bad experiences, I would be grateful.
Tuesday, March 7th, 2006
12:58 pm
[herbie]
Realtime commercial flagging?
I know both from my own memory and from various versions' release notes that this is possible, but I cannot for the life of me find an option to enable flagging of commercials in mythtv at the same time as the program is being recorded.

I just upgraded to 0.19, but I'm pretty sure it existed in older versions, so if anybody can point me towards a setting to get realtime flagging to happen automagically, I will be ever so grateful.
Wednesday, March 1st, 2006
4:23 pm
[appin]
Noob ?s about MythTV with F2A Satellite
Anybody used the Hauppauge Win TV Nexus-S for receiving "free to air" satellite with MythTV?
How is it working for you?
What about the twinhan card? Is it worth paying twice the price for the Hauppage hardware MPEG2?

I'm looking at building a box from scratch, my experience is GUI level Fedora Core 3, and using a Pantec free-to-air reciever.
I've just put Knoppmyth on a spare box, but the only tuner card I have at hand is an ATI, which I don't think works under Linux.

Looks like most of you here are using the Haup-350, should I just use that and IRman with my existing Pantec instead of getting a DVB-s card?

Anyone want to point me in the right direction (ie: a good forum) for getting nagra2 files?

Experience and Advice is most appreciated before I blow my budget on something that won't work!
Thanks!
Monday, February 27th, 2006
1:00 pm
[benclark]
Via EPIA running MythTV
A while back I bought a Via EPIA M10000 (1 GHz mini-ITX C3-2 processor) with the intent of creating a Debian-powered Myth box. I have a PVR-250 for the hardware encoding, and it seems to do a decent job of playing video natively.

I am faced with a dilemma, however. The M10k needs a fan to cool the processor, and the fan is ridiculously loud (for my ears, at least). I can downgrade the processor to a 600 MHz (fanless) version, or swap the case for a fanless one with a built-in heat pipe. Do any of you have experience with running Myth on the 600 MHz C3? How about fanless mini-ITX cases? Are the heatpipes difficult to install?
Tuesday, November 29th, 2005
4:02 pm
[walkingbear]
MythTV Upgrade
Greetings fellow Mythers.. Finally upgraded from R4a6 to R5a22 this weekend. What a difference. I took the opportunity to add more storage and order a new tuner card as well.

Current specs:

Athlon XP2200
256MB PC3200 RDRAM
160GB WD HD (OS, Cache, Video, Movies, Games)
300GB WD HD (TV Recording, OS Backup)
Hauppauge 350 Tuner
Nvidia GeForce Ti4800 dual head w/S-video out (card has VIVO capability but only video out is being used)

To be added this week: Hauppauge 500 dual tuner card. January will see Gigabit ether added to the mix as well.

Gods, I'm glad I'm not stuck with a tivo. ;)
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005
2:33 pm
[amcurtis1]
I just ordered the parts for my first mythTV box and found this group so I joined.

I was trying to be cheap but I have...
Intel D865PERL motherboard with a 2.93ghz celeron
512 MB ram
128MB geforce FX5200 with svideo/composit out
160GB SATA hdd
and a hauppauge pvr-500MCE tuner.

Any suggestons on a linux distro? I was debating between Gentoo and Ubuntu.

I have a few weeks of school left before I can think about finding time to play with this but I want to do it right when I get around to it.

Thanks,

Drew
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