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Mythical or not?
Yes! Do it!
85%
 85%  [ 18 ]
Nah, get the DVB-box instead
14%
 14%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 21

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Evangelion
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Location: Helsinki, Finland

PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 7:15 am    Post subject: Should I set up MythTV? Reply with quote

I started to wonder that should I set up a MythTV-system. Some background of my current setup:

32" widescreen television
DVD-player
Speakers & amp
Ummmm.... that's about it

I have been planning to buy equipment that would let me watch digital broadcasts (DVB?) as well. Top-of-the-line models offer HD's (usually about 40-80GB) and timeshifting. Those models cost about 400-500 euros.

The questions I have are these:

Does MythTV conflict in any way with the regural DVD-player?

What about those digital broadcasts? Can I make MythTV work with them?

What about the usability? With DVD/DVB I could simply use a remote, and that's it. What about MythTV?

What other benefits would I get from MythTV?

Comments are gladly accepted :).
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Kai Hvatum
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Joined: 04 Feb 2004
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Location: Traveling around the US

PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2004 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My father has an HDTV Tivo and I have a Myth TV box so I can offer some prespective.

HDTV Tivo
+ Works out of box with directTV (In the US)
+ Perfect Programming Guide
+ Extremely Stable
+ No setup
- No transfer of Data off of the Tivo
- No displaying of home Divx files on Tivo
- Cost (Monthly and Unit price)

Myth TV
+ Watch Movies/Music over the network
+ Cost (Can be set up for $400), no monthly fees
+ You can transfer Movies OFF the Comp and send them to friends etc...
+ Interface looks really cool, everyone will ask "Ooooh, where can I buy one?) :D
- Setup takes awhile to figure out
- Might not work with your setup (No programming guide etc.)
- Crashes once in a awhile

Yes, you can get a remote that works pretty well with myth TV. I've got a Philips remote that works over IR.

The only reason it would confict with your DVD player would be if you're lacking inputs on your TV or whatever. In that case just get composite video switcher. I'm assuming your current 32" is a recent plasma screen so that shouldn't be a problem.[/b]
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Lasitus
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I voted yes, but that really depends on your experience. I have had a replay tv and replaced it with MS Media Center. It runs quite well, but lacks some things that I kindof want. Myth also has some features you can't find anywhere in a purchased DVR. For these reasons, I am working on a switch to Myth.

Things with already made PVRs
MCE records in a dvr-ms format that you can't really do anything with.
Tivo doesn't have a means to get to the recordings without hacking.
You can't upgrade your HD space (without hacking)
What you have is limited to that box

Pluses and minuses of MythTv
+MythTv allows distributed networking (eg a server anywhere with tuners and HDs)
+You can get a smaller, maybe fanless solution for your living room and have insane expanability on your server. So you can have many tuners with a lot of HD space, perhaps RAIDed.
+MythTv has many addon modules like weather and a game emulator and so on... see their web site
+You can edit the comercials out and save transcode to save HD space
+The development on MythTv is active, so you will get updates and new features
-Requires quite a bit of Linux experience to set up
-Could not work with certain hardware

Quote:
Does MythTV conflict in any way with the regural DVD-player?

No, like they other guy said, not if you have enough inputs.

Quote:
What about those digital broadcasts? Can I make MythTV work with them?

Yes, by digital, I assume you mean cable. If you have digital cable, you can go from your cable box to your computer and use an ir blaster to let the computer change the channels on the cable box. There are also other boxes that take a direct serial connection to change channels.

Quote:
What about the usability? With DVD/DVB I could simply use a remote, and that's it. What about MythTV?

It is very useable. Once it is started and working, it is much like other DVRs that you control with a remote. (or keyboard or mouse)

I am currently trying to get the MCE remote to work with Myth before I switch. This is the one last thing that I can't seem to get working. This is a good example of certain hardware not working, but I can't really expect too much ease for a MS remote control made just for MCE. Once it is working, however, you can use a remote just like any other DVR to control. You also may have tuner issues, so buy a tuner with care. (one that has linux support)

I would say, take a spare computer and mess with it for a while. Give it a good two weeks. If you can't get it to work and get exasperated, then maybe you should get a premade PVR. If you go the premade PVR route, MCE is quite nice, though in the typical Microsoft fashion, it gets slower over time and eventually unstable.
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Quantumstate
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hei, my real nick is Quantum, and have been active in the sat underground for many years, so will try and help.

By DVB I guess you mean satellite? There's a German project called DrDVB (by Dr. Overflow), which replaces the embedded OS from a standard high-quality Nokia sat box. This enables all kinds of cool features, like creative use of the SCART, recording via SCSI, etc.

The drawback with most recording systems is that either you are imprisoned to recording broadcast only, or you are imprisoned by not being able to save feeds to local disk. A couple of months ago, I began a project to create a PCI card that would take high-def analog in (component or RGB), scale/deinterlace and compress it in hardware to DiVX, and store it to disk. This would work with MythTV no matter what your source device is, and would be immune to the broadcast flag.

But I discovered that there is yet NO DEDICATED CHIP powerful enough to do this in real-time, for say, a PVR. The only candidates are the TI DM642, Philips PN?1500, and Xilinx Vertex4 FPGA. Each one of these is not powerful enough, and if ganged would have problems knitting together the compressed HD stream properly. Plus the DiVX core for the Vertex4, alone, is $120k. So it could never be economic with the expected numbers.

There is the LSI DoMiNo technology, but that also costs north of $100k to begin development. Not even worth it if they do all the work!

The last option is an Athlon 3GHz as compression co-processor, but at that point I just shelved it.

There are some rinky-dink HD recording hardware solutions over on avsforum, but being in Helsinki they wouldn't work as are custom-built in American boxen.


Last edited by Quantumstate on Sat Oct 16, 2004 1:27 pm; edited 2 times in total
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lagrima
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i voted yes, and as far as cons....when they said "it takes a while to set up" they arent kidding, im still in that part of it lol
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den_RDC
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

setup Freevo - much better :) (ofcourse, that has nothing to do with the fact that i sometimes do programming for that project ;) )
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