Jun 23, 2007
The next challenge is to install Mythtv on Ubuntu for PS3 either from source or pre-compiled binaries (which I don't know if they exist). Since the support for the HDHomerun is built into Mythtv that would be all that was needed to have a Mythtv Box. Given that the 80 GB drive is small under Linux you could just plug in a number of USB harddrives to store the HD content
The biggest problem in this setup is that Sony has not granted access to the video card in the PS3 for fears of open source developers making games for the PS3 that would edge Sony out of the game development. I find this funny given all the games that are out there for Linux are pretty basic. So what if I play Tron on the PS3; I don't think that will stop me from buying Madden. This means that the video card works but does not help with rendering. Without a good driver for the video card I have read that HD playback is choppy. This is a problem now but it may be resolved in the future by reverse engineering or Sony relenting. There is a petition to Sony to open up the Video Card Petition. This still does not leave out the PS3 from becoming a Mythtv backend that would be great for turning the HD into Divx or Xvid given the processing power of the Cell. Look at what the Cell processor is doing for research Folding at Home
Jun 20, 2007
Posted from labs.Zap2it.com; Zap2It is the provider of free tv listings used in Mythtv extensively.
For several years we have offered a free TV listings service to hobbyists for their own personal, noncommercial use. In October of 2004 we posted here an open letter saying the future of Zap2it Labs was at risk because of certain growing misuses of the Zap2it Labs data. Unfortunately this misuse has continued and grown. These misuses, combined with other business factors have led to the decision to discontinue Zap2it Labs effective September 1, 2007.
We thank those users who have honored the terms of the agreement, and we suggest you consider the many TV listings options offered by the commercial licensees of TMS TV listings data.
If you would like to discuss how to license TV listings for commercial use, please let us know by e-mail (email@example.com) and include your company name, telephone number and the best time to reach you. We will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.
We anticipate this decision will generate discussion and invite you to respond via the Zap2it Labs forum. We will do our best to respond to relevant questions posted on this forum in a timely manner.
Back in 2004 the Mythtv crowd would scrape xml data from free sources which is slow and inaccurate at times. Zap2It started offering free data service and this was very good! I want to somehow convince them to rethink things. I have submitted a comment in their forums offering a small monetary payment. This would have to be a tenth of what Tivo service offers or something in that range. Digg the article in My Digg Dugg links to raise an internet buzz about the issue so that they will reconsider or offer an alternative.
Jun 15, 2007
The steps were to install Ubuntu from the live disk. I then set up the nvidia video card proprietary drivers. Then I opened up the Synaptic Package Manager and searched for "mythtv". Since I was setting up the frontend and the backend of Mythtv on the same computer, I selected mythtv package and installed. Synaptic first installed all of the prerequisites for Mythtv then installed mythtv. In the process a random password is given to you in a prompt that is the MySQL database password. Make note of this. It also puts this password in the setup for Mythtv. The backend setup is now an icon in the administration tab. You can start this setup and configure the Mythtv backend. The front end icon has been put under applications. This covers the installation which is essentially one step. Later I will go into the setup and configuration of Mythtv in a later article. This assumes you set up a regular desktop with the frontend and backend all on the same computer. See the howto from Ubuntu.
Jun 14, 2007
I now wanted to use Vista Media Center to record the channels. Vista is setup only to work with over-the-air HD so there is a little work to be done mapping the QAM channels to the ATSC channels so you can watch these new channels and get program guide data. Someone has made this an easier task by making a remaping GUI. You can download this here. You can unzip this into the C:\Program Files\Silicon Dust\HDHomerun directory. You then right-click on the QAMmapper.exe and pick run as administrator.
You pick the options of MCE and Full scan and you should see what HD channels you can pick up. I got the five major networks and checked them. Then you can assign virtual channels and physical channels. In order to get the guide to work you have to choose these two channels to be the same as the ATSC channels that Media Center has for you area. You can open an XML filed called ATSCChannels.xml in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\eHome\EPG\prefs and find these virtual and physical channels if you have already scanned for HD channels in your area. Then you save the remap file and go to Documents\QAM Mapper and copy the atscprefs.xml that you just made to the prefs directory above.
Now you can manually setup your channels and scan for digital channels and should find the new QAM channels as if they were ATSC channels. This will then assign guide data to the channels and you should be able to watch and record them.
Jun 13, 2007
The catch comes if you want to put your cable modem behind this distribution amplifier or a digital cable box that does pay-per-view etc. Basically anything that needs communication back through the distribution amplifier needs a special type. This is called a bi-directional distribution amplifier. This allows that communication backwards through or more likely around that signal amplifier. I needed a 1 to 4 port to allow the HDhomerun (2 ports), my cable modem, and one analog tuner to all be plugged in at the same time. This worked well for my and my signal strength went back to a level that was good for all of the devices. I used an distribution amplifier that amplified the outgoing signal 8dB. Now I really need one in the box outside my house to split all of the inputs initially. I have seen some that do a version of power over ethernet with normal coax so I will look for one of these
Jun 12, 2007
I just received in the mail today a dual HD tuner called the HDhomerun from Silicon Dust. Link I use Linux, OS X, and Windows regularly and this solution works in all three environments. This has drivers to let it work with Vista Media Center, XP Media Center, and almost all of the 3rd party media centers like BeyondTV and MythTV. It uses VLC to stream if you are not using media center software to play the video. The box itself streams the HD signal over the network using UDP. This seems to work well in my own experience. Using this stream over wireless probably does not work well. The stream could take up to 20 Mb/s with both tuners going and would not do well streaming over the wireless ethernet. The Draft-N standard may change this though because of the increase in speed and performance. This dual tuner tunes HD from over-the-air and clear QAM (unencrypted digital cable). This may be one of the only ways to get clear QAM to Vista mediacenter. It works so well for me because I am running out of PCI slots on my computers and I have more than one mediacenter that can share this device. I will be posting some results and setup how-to's when I get some time to work on them
Jun 7, 2007
I have two media center computers recently built as well as two Samsung LCD TVs. The Samsung LCD TV's are perfect for this application because they have a good amount of connections as well as a VGA PC input that allows the full 1360x768 resolution be used.
I chose Ubuntu 7.04 for the OS because now this is the easiest way to install Mythtv. I would argue that it was much easier than Knoppmyth. I will post more about this setup in a later article.