Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Television Media Hardware

A Ready-Made MythTV Set-Top Box in Australia 263

Posted by timothy
from the plug-and-go dept.
Anonymous Coward writes "Australian Personal Computer magazine published a review of a new all-in-one set-top-box based on linux. A quick analysis of the device yields some cheats/hacks that not only allow you to enable the advertisment skipping feature they disabled, but could allow system compromise. The system also runs a GPL version of MythTV - anyone else see any licensing issues?" Only if they don't follow the GPL.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

A Ready-Made MythTV Set-Top Box in Australia

Comments Filter:
  • by pair-a-noyd (594371) on Friday March 26, 2004 @02:38AM (#8677207)
    I am 100% certain they are both smoking from Darl's pipe and paying Darl's fees...

    Damn!
  • I mean admittadly, it's a problem that they don't clearly mention and link to MythTV's webpage or whatever, but if it's an unmodified binary built from source readily available, wouldn't they just need to point to it?
    • It's modified, but the source is available in the iso, possibly also on the system already. There is also a mention on the last page of the manual. Weither legal or not they should place mythtv links more prominetly, IMO.
    • No it isn't. To comply with the GPL the source should be available from the same source as the binary. This is to prevent someone from, say, putting up the sources on a server and choking the bandwidth to 1b/s or offering to mail a CD for $5million "shipping and handling"
      • by Ath (643782) on Friday March 26, 2004 @02:51AM (#8677273)
        That may be what you read into the GPL, but you cannot cite any text to that affect.

        The GPL is pretty general about the issue of how to provide the source code. It primarily reinforces that 1) you have to provide it to those who ask for it and 2) it must be for a reasonable fee only to cover costs.

      • Actually, it doesn't have to be on the same media or from the same physical source.
        b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
        Which offers all kinds of nasty things you
    • IANAL nor a wealth of resource on the GPL

      Can someone more knowlegable about the legal issues of using open source (GPL specifically) briefly summarize what legal requirements one would have to meet if a company did the following and wanted to charge money for their final product
      • Used OSS in a final product (OSS libs, programs for data proceessing, etc)
      • Distrubutes an OSS project for profit? (modified or unmodifed)
      • Created a fork of the CVS for a distributed product?
      • Used core code base but, different GUI
      • Simple, all you have to do (assuming all the original stuff is GPL) is only distribute the derived work under the GPL and hence make the source available to people you distribute binaries to.

        If you don't want to do that but you do want to use GPL code, you have to be very careful about keeping things seperate and not contaminating anything (simply putting them on a cd together doesn't contaminate anything though).

        Does anyone know about the hardware in this device? For example it mentions free to air and

        • If you don't want to do that but you do want to use GPL code, you have to be very careful about keeping things seperate and not contaminating anything (simply putting them on a cd together doesn't contaminate anything though).

          So if I want to distribute a commerical product using GPL code I must seperate the GPL code from the commerical code? Differentiate then at a function based level? Class Level? File Level? Logical Level? Can I re-write functions internal to the GPL project to get the output I need?

          A

          • After these things do I have to release 'my' privately created code along w/ the GPL parts of my code?


            1st, I am not a lawyer (IANAL always looks like it should be pronounced I anal), but if you modify GPL code and sell it, the derivative (your code + their code = derivative) is covered by the GPL and must come with a means of distributing the source.

            However if you rewrite all the GPL code, then you're no longer a derivative. Once again the GPL actually grants rights, and only comes into play when you di
          • by fucksl4shd0t (630000) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:34AM (#8677648) Homepage Journal

            So if I want to distribute a commerical product using GPL code I must seperate the GPL code from the commerical code? Differentiate then at a function based level? Class Level? File Level? Logical Level? Can I re-write functions internal to the GPL project to get the output I need?

            nonononono.

            First, decide if you want your product to be GPL. If not, then you can't use any GPL code at all, on the level you're talking. If you want to include GPL software on your CD, but your actual program is separate and independent of the GPL stuff, no problem. You must provide sources for the GPL product, but not yours.

            Second, commercial or non-commercial is irrelevant. Forget about it. The only issue is when you charge for the source code, you can't charge more than "reasonable cost of media" or somesuch.

            Third, if you don't want your program to be GPL, but you want to use open source code, make sure you link dynamically to libraries that are LGPL, or another open source license that allows dynamic linking in that fashion.

            Fourth, you have to deal with license compatibility. I think it's possible to link to a GPL library statically, or to incorporate GPL code into yours without GPLing your own code, but you have to release your code under a GPL-compatible license. That area is complicated and I don't completely understand it myself.

            So, in summary, if you want your program to be GPL, you don't have to worry about separating your code from theirs. You only have to make sure you keep all copyright notices intact, and you note what changes you made to the code and place your own copyright notices around your own code. The end result will all be GPL, so you just want to make sure your contributions are noted. This is important in the future because if you don't, and the core developers all agree to change the license, they could change the license on your code without your permission, but they don't know they need your permission because you didn't mark your code properly.

            The GPL doesn't deal with commercial vs non-commercial uses of the software, it only deals with distribution--all distribution.

            If you dynamically link to LGPL libraries, you must provide the source code upon request to those libraries, but you do not have to provide the source code to your program nor do you have to GPL your program. If a GPL library can reasonably be expected to be installed on someone's machine, you don't have to GPL your code, I think. Because it's a system library. So you don't have to GPL your code that uses the WinAPI and winelib to compile, since you can reasonably expect the end-user to have winelib. I think. I could be wrong.

            Remember, I'm not a lawyer, and the answers to all of your questions can be found at the source [gnu.org].

  • A$1,1799 - Ouch (Score:2, Interesting)

    by deniable (76198)
    Call me cheap, but this better do a lot for that much.
    • But that's Australian.. What's the Australian Peso valued at these days?
      • Re:A$1,1799 - Ouch (Score:4, Informative)

        by vranash (594439) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:11AM (#8677357)
        I got 1300 on a currency calculator.. From the looks of the source for this thing it's a via based motherboard (via-rhine chipset) which means it's prolly either whatever via chipset mobo shuttle has out, or an epia based board. Either way, doing some rough calculations, you can put together this whole damn box for like under a grand... In fact Fry's had a media mini-itx case here from somebody (non-shuttle I believe) for like 400 with the pretty little facepanel and dials and crap) Figure in an AMD or Intel cpu at 50-200 bucks depending on how fast you want this thing to be, plus a hard drive (100 bux since their min is 80 gig, and that's being pushy), plus a capture card (Happauge PVR 250 is like 150$ here), and a DVD drive (30-80 depending on brand), plus maybe 90 bucks for a 512 or 180 for 2 sticks of PC3200 DDR.

        400+50+100+150+30+90=820$
        400+200+100+150+80+18 0=1110$

        So even buying everything off the shelf you could probably put together one of these systems for less than that price. Coupled with the fact that they should be mass producing these bastards they should be selling them for sub 700 bucks, and probably 400-500 if they want to be competitive.

        Just my many thousand cents :)

        -- vranash
        • Re:A$1,1799 - Ouch (Score:2, Insightful)

          by darxpryte (108284)
          You're missing a very important part of the equation. I'm not sure if you've ever gone out and set up mythtv on your own but depending on your skillset it's not a walk in the park.

          In other words they're saving most users a hell of a lot of time and stress by providing this all prepackaged and set up.This skips the pain of setting up linux, xwindows, alsa, xine, vid card drivers, dealing with kernel compiles (depending on your distro), lirc config files, xine config files, xine lirc config files, mysql data
        • Mass producing?

          They seem to be very small company, more like "garage" than anything else. There is absolutely frickin' no way there is any mass-producing going on.

          These guys are NOT Dell. They are not TiVo either.
  • Christ people (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @02:44AM (#8677237)
    Don't get your panties in a twist every time someone is making money with a method that involves the GPL. Instead of asking the dumbass question "anyone else see any licensing issues?", do some research yourself for fuck's sake.
    • Ah yes, you have fallen victim to modern Slashdot flamebait. We call this ignorance.
    • Instead of asking the dumbass question "anyone else see any licensing issues?", do some research yourself for fuck's sake.

      Well from what I understand that is what the Anonymous Coward sent in, the editor added "Only if they don't follow the GPL." And I think "Anyone else" implies "I see some liscensing issues, how about you guys?" And the editor answered, "Only if they don't follow the GPL do I see liscensing issues." Now if you take out the else, they're asking for us to find out, but if you have it i
      • Re:Christ people (Score:3, Insightful)

        by JWW (79176)
        On the Myth tv users mailing list there are some people who researched this. Their conclusions were that the code is indeed on the box and on the iso disks. Most of the source files still had myth somewhere in the name.

        An interesting note from the mailing list is the realization that if these people make any interesting modifications, it can be rolled back into the main myth project.

    • Re:Christ people (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The only people that are whining about a company selling the GPLed MythTV code (and complying with the GPL, which D1 appears to be doing) are forum/mailing list monkeys that don't understand why someone would give the result of their hard work away for free. One guy even called D1 sleazy for not giving money to the MythTV project.

      The actual MythTV developers, of course, have absolutely no problem with D1's actions and are only saying that they would gladly accept donations from the company.
    • <typical slashdot mod me up statement>
      I'm know I'm gonna be labelled a troll, but I got karma to burn . . .
      </typical slashdot mod me up statment>

      I'm really upset that they are commercializing the GPL. Jeez. But, actually, if they do decide to commercialize the GPL, I hope they use GTK because it's commercial friendly and then don't have to open the source. Which makes me angry 'cause they are not sharing their source with anyone. Why won't they open their source? What do they think thi
  • Atomic (Score:5, Interesting)

    by haRDon (712926) on Friday March 26, 2004 @02:45AM (#8677244)
    Atomic Magazine [atomicmpc.com.au] this month had a cover CD featuring a modified Knoppix distro for MythTV. Haven't checked it out yet, but looks quite interesting.
    • Re:Atomic (Score:5, Interesting)

      by squaretorus (459130) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:14AM (#8677784) Homepage Journal
      This seems like an idea that the UK publishing industry is missing a trick with.

      Publish a rather mediocre low cost of production Linux / OS / general computer magazine but put high quality recent Knoppix etc... on the cover disk to save people downloads / ordering a 3 CD (which you never get round to doing).

      Get a reputation for bundling nice things and I'd subscribe for 30-40 a year with no troubles. GIve me a few well written articles, throw a few quid at some OSS dev teams from time to time and the fluffiness gets even better.

      How many people continued to buy Computer Shopper and the like for the 3 or 4 pages which were actually an interesting read long after the rest of the magazine went to shit??

      Emap - if you steal this idea I'll be quite pleased!
      • Get a reputation for bundling nice things and I'd subscribe for 30-40 a year with no troubles. GIve me a few well written articles, throw a few quid at some OSS dev teams from time to time and the fluffiness gets even better.

        You had noticed that the UK Linux mags are already 6 quid for a slim magazine with one or two (IIRC) coverdiscs, right? Even with the subscriber discount, that's likely to be more than your "30-40 quid", and I can't see anyone doing a Linux mag for much less.

        One other thing; why do
  • by buddydawgofdavis (578164) on Friday March 26, 2004 @02:46AM (#8677247) Journal
    I no longer use my old Series 1 tivo. The hacks are nice, but with something based on a PC, the sky's the limit.

    Currently, I'm using SageTV [www.sage.tv] It's a PC based DVR software package. With it, I can currently;

    - Record two standard def stations, and a high def station at the same time while watching a fourth video of any type. (Obviously, this requires having two tuners and an HDTV tuner.)
    - Record standard TV to MPEG-2, MPEG-1, or just about any other format. This makes it easier to make VCDs, DVDs, or just play the program back on a standard PC.
    - Playback using Dscalar to deinterlace the video.
    - Play DVDs
    - Play DivX
    - Record shows as favorites (just like season passes) or let SageTV record things based on my past viewing habits (much like tivo's suggestions only I don't have to bother with thumbs up and down buttons)
    - Do all of the above with an integrated schedule, which is free. No need to pay a monthly fee.
    - Play and manage my MP3 library (I think you can do ogg, ape, etc. with some tweaks to the config)
    - Stream video and audio to another PC over my LAN.

    I'm sure I'm missing much more. This thing does way more than any tivo, even a hacked tivo, and it's constantly being expanded. It surpasses TiVo and ReplyTV in every way. I've even found it to be more flexible than MythTV and Showstopper (though they do have a few benefits in some areas.)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:19AM (#8677389)
      The only thing you mentioned that mythtv can't do is record things you might like based on viewing habits.
      Plus mythtv gives you an integrated weather viewer, photo gallery, caller id display, web browser, Multiple frontend and backend setups (Hello having the backend in the basement doing all the recording and nice little epia based wireless boxes upstairs doing the frontend stuff). Hell, once the mfd stuff is done (music will probably be in the next release with video and tv to follow) you won't even have to configure anything. Just plop a new box down on the lan and it'll automagically get access to the backend and livetv, etc.

      also, your cost is 0, where sagetv costs 50 or 60 bucks.
      Hell, you can even get knoppmyth, which makes installation a twenty minute breeze (that's a complete linux install).

      Call me when sagetv catches up.
    • Nice link... looks like they support only hardware encoding tuner cards, rather then software ones.

      The conexant 878 doesn't seem to be supported under SageTV... but according to the mailing list one user is using the a card with the conexant 878 chipset with myth TV http://www.mythtv.org/pipermail/mythtv-users/2003- June/005778.html

      Otherwise SageTV looks interesting enough to try.. I'd try it my self but I'm stuck with a kworld mpeg2 tuner card.

    • SageTV doesn't work with my ATI AIW!

      WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH

      Does anyone know good PVR software that has a season pass that will work with ATI All in wonder?

      I have tried Myth, Sage, GOttv....nothing seems to work well.

      Yo Grark
  • I'm no lawyer but... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @02:49AM (#8677261)
    according to the GPL...I thought they only had to provide source to paying customers at their request. No one ever said they had to offer it up for free...
    • I actually did not agree with this, until I thought about it for a bit. I think youre correct, but your paying customers can distribute the software under the GPL as well and then they will be required to distribute the source as well, and so on.
    • by Ada_Rules (260218) on Friday March 26, 2004 @07:57AM (#8678372) Homepage Journal
      according to the GPL...I thought they only had to provide source to paying customers at their request. No one ever said they had to offer it up for free...

      You are somewhat close but if you don't know what you are taling about and are not willing to READ the GPL, stop posting "I thoughts". They can EITHER

      1) Provide the source with the binaries to everyone they give the binary to ("customers") and not place restrictions on who they give it to.

      or

      2) They can provide a written offer to those that they give the binary to to get access to the source for a "reasonable" copying fee. This is where the third party stuff starts coming in because now third parties can use this written offer to request and get the source from the vendor

      The relevant section of the GPL says

      3. You may copy and distribute the Program (or a work based on it, under Section 2) in object code or executable form under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above provided that you also do
      one of the following:
      a) Accompany it with the complete corresponding machine-readable source code, which must be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
      b) Accompany it with a written offer, valid for at least three years, to give any third party, for a charge no more than your cost of physically performing source distribution, a complete machine-readable copy of the corresponding source code, to be distributed under the terms of Sections 1 and 2 above on a medium customarily used for software interchange; or,
      c) Accompany it with the information you received as to the offer to distribute corresponding source code. (This alternative is allowed only for noncommercial distribution and only if you received the program in object code or executable form with such an offer, in accord with Subsection b above.)
  • I've been waiting for someone to ship a box based on MythTV. But these guys are definately on the low end of the food chain. I'd hope that companies shipping MythTV-based boxes would have enough integrity/brains to contribute to the project, though, rather than just take the software sell a product based on it. I'd also hope that someone would have the brains to make a more optimized system (custom motherboard and plastics, etc.) rather than ship a generic shuttle case. I guess that this does save some effo
    • by Rukapul (547373) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:19AM (#8677386)
      Company representatives and developers are in contact with the MythTV developers and participate in the MythTV mailinglists.

      The source is in the ISO. Some people identified some minor issues of non-compliance but the company already made clear that they wanted to comply fully and also want to contribute some things to the project.

      If all these GPL fanatics would do some research before crying out loud...
  • For God's sake (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nailer (69468) on Friday March 26, 2004 @02:54AM (#8677291)
    The system also runs a GPL version of MythTV - anyone else see any licensing issues?

    Commercial does not mean proprietary. Selling commercial products using Open Source is great - it often helps pay OSS programmers rent.

    Why on earth do the Slashbots immediately assume anyone selling OSS is a) violating the GPL and b) evil ?
    • Re:For God's sake (Score:2, Interesting)

      by TheTray (750213)
      In response to a) they are being very shady about mentioning that it is mythtv. As for b) again I see shades of gray. I have been following this for a while now as I am on the mythtv users mailing list. They may or may not be contributing at all thus no OSS programmer getting paid. They may be in the legal clear with a one liner at the end of the manual but to me they should be more upfront and if possible(ie not if their chapter 11) donate to mythtv for the betterment of the project.
      • Re:For God's sake (Score:5, Informative)

        by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:30AM (#8677430) Journal
        They do not have to mention the MythTv name. The GPL doesn't require it.
        • Re:For God's sake (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mdielmann (514750)
          This is also my beef with the GNU/Linux vs. Linux debate. Nothing in the GPL (that I've heard of) requires that I mention any name, let alone GNU. If I want to make a dstro of Linux and call it AssHat OS, there's nothing in the license to stop me.

          Ths result? I call the distro whatever the creator calls it. It's their choice, after all.
      • I got in to this last summer. I was looking at building a very similar product to what the Australian company has (IMO the market is much too saturated at this point unless they are hoping to sell two or three models and quit) based on MythTV. I actually had a large set of patches to the MythTV project to make it work better with a remote, put a GUI on some of the command-line steps, etc. Before marketing I posted to the mythtv mailing list and let everyone know, and the lead developer of the project seemed
        • Hrm,

          I dunno there are some groups that make money off of me.

          I donate money when I need a bug fixed pronto.

          Sure, its not too terribly often, but I usually stack bug's and work arounds in the forums and then send a small cash donation via paypal (Note, I don't like paypal, but too many people use it)

          Money gets those dev's my attention for a wee bit.

          I'll be in trouble when someone makes bugs to extort me for cash.
    • And I don't know if 'Only if they don't follow the GPL.' was added later or not, but it looks like the editor knew it wasn't necessarily an issue too. Not to bang on you (or anyone in particular) but what I'm getting a little tired of is all the knee jerk 'your just having a knee jerk' comments lately. Its like on Slashdot it used to be cool to be a Linux zealot, but now its more in fashion to be an anti-Linux-zealot zealot. Its making my head spin. ;-)
    • Re:For God's sake (Score:4, Informative)

      by FireFury03 (653718) <slashdot&nexusuk,org> on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:15AM (#8677590) Homepage
      The whole licencing thing for this product has been discussed at length on the Myth-Users list (have a look at the whole thread [gossamer-threads.com]). Most of the developers are reasonably happy with the state of affairs with the exception that most commented it'd be nice if they made more of a mention of MythTV in their documentation and publicity.

      The company in question have also said that they will be contributing back (some of) their code shortly.
  • by justMichael (606509) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:09AM (#8677348) Homepage
    When are they going to realize that if I am going to buy something meant to go into my home theater, it needs to fit in. That means is should be ~19" x 2-5" not some silly ass cube, it looks like a bookshelf unit.
  • GPL Compliance (Score:5, Informative)

    by Crossfire (15197) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:10AM (#8677352) Homepage
    I heard about this a bit early - I did some digging around on their website.

    The openly admit it runs MythTV (once you find the comments), and that the source code is available ON the device itself...

    Technically speaking, I think that actually qualifies for compliance.
    • Re:GPL Compliance (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jameth (664111) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:38AM (#8677459)
      Not only is it compliance, it's a damn good way around it. Even if they go under, if you have a right to the source, you DO have the source. If not, it's your own damn fault.
  • by ouzel (655571) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:10AM (#8677353)
    There was a large thread [gossamer-threads.com] about this recently on the mythtv user's forum.
  • Fascinating (Score:3, Funny)

    by flopsy mopsalon (635863) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:16AM (#8677378)
    From the highlights page [d1.com.au]:
    incorporating cutting edge magnetic storage technology, the HMC digitally encodes live television
    I find this fascinating. It seems the future of digital media storage involves actually using magnets to encode data. I definitely need to read up on how this new technology works.
  • by oddbudman (599695) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:18AM (#8677385) Journal
    Its amusing how many of your cry about how Linux is still lacking desktop penetration, yet you are quick to run anybody down using it to make a product for PROFIT (Perish the thought!). Lay down your purism, pour your haterade down the drain and sit back and enjoy the fact that hardly anybody will buy that overpriced box.. Would you all rather it was running windows? I would! I wish it was running on window ME with 32 megs of ram for the power Tivo user. Yeh baby. Some nice pointed out specs on the site crediting those who have paved their way (ie Redhat etc) might be good though.
  • Question: (Score:5, Funny)

    by errxn (108621) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:30AM (#8677428) Homepage Journal
    What happens if you try to watch Mythbusters on MythTV? Something like matter-antimatter annihilation?
  • by ajayrockrock (110281) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:49AM (#8677505) Homepage
    Andrew Jamieson who works for the company in question posted [gossamer-threads.com] to the mythtv list today and they have the full intention of being GPL compilent (if they're not already!).

    According to the email, the developer sent a message to Issac (lead developer for Myth) and I'm assuming that they're going to be working together to make Myth a better product.

    Don't listen to the 'tards, this is good for Mythtv.

    --Ajay
    • by PerryMason (535019) on Friday March 26, 2004 @04:47AM (#8677678)
      OK, so they are planning to be GPL compliant.

      Next question. Where are they scraping the tv guide data from? Currently the only tvgrab_au that I know of is scraping from yahoo without any permission to do so. What happens when yahoo realise this and do something about preventing it?

      Suddenly you've got a PVR box that cost AU$2,000 with no guide data to program from. I presume that the market for these things is someone who can't setup their own MythTV box and so couldn't hookup a new tvgrab_au. Do they send out a whole new distro, do they setup the box to give themselves remote access so they can go and fix the things? Either way, its going to be a nightmare supporting them, especially if you sell a bunch of the boxes. (Not to mention the fun of defending yourself against consumers who don't having a working PVR (they were sold a PVR, not a computer) and against the Australian content providers who are on the verge of bringing out their own PVR hardware and who really aren't too keen on copyright breaches (well thats the grounds by which they'll crush the company by keeping them in litigation for the next 10 years)

      I was honestly considering building and selling home-brew MythTV boxes like these (here in Australia) but MythTV is just too unstable/changing to put it in the hands of the complete novice. I envisage one or more of the following things happening;
      1) They sell a few of them and the spend countless hours (and dollars) supporting them and then go bankrupt slowly.
      2) Sell a stack of them and go bankrupt quickly when they can't support their userbase.
      3) Get tied up in litigation and go bankrupt slowly.
      • by FireFury03 (653718) <slashdot&nexusuk,org> on Friday March 26, 2004 @08:10AM (#8678418) Homepage
        They've already said [gossamer-threads.com] on the mythtv-users list that they're providing their own listings service for Australia and will be allowing any MythTV users to use it.
      • Currently the only tvgrab_au that I know of is scraping from yahoo without any permission to do so. What happens when yahoo (sic) realise this and do something about preventing it?

        We call that a partnership. The company should proactively seek Yahoo! permission for the scrape. They would tell Yahoo! that the TV guide derived from a Yahoo! scrape would also have the Yahoo! logo in the lower-right corner. This gives Yahoo! free advertising which should assuage their anger in the 'unauthorized' scrape.

  • Ok at first I was like "cool, sounds neat" then I saw the pricing and then I did my worst Shaggy impression "ZOIKS Scooby that fucker is expensive" (ok I did say worst).

    While I applaud most any corporate/public/front page getting use of open source stuff, I just can't see anyone buying this - I mean yowza, talk about expensive.

    Or does the Aussie dollar trade like 3 to 1 for US dollars (ok I'm a typical American and don't know what other money is "worth" but I thought Aussie dollars were in the ballpark of
  • Seems like they would have to be running modified source, because 0.13 had commercial skipping as a menu option.

    A little more disturbing is that they serve their own TV listings - the possibilities for ad injection abound.

  • That's 1,300 US dollars. Lets just say that it isn't ever going to be a competitor to Tivo.

    • by NailedSaviour (765586) on Friday March 26, 2004 @05:27AM (#8677851)
      "That's 1,300 US dollars. Lets just say that it isn't ever going to be a competitor to Tivo."

      Which, unfortunately, doesn't really address the issue as TiVo (or any other DVR) is not available in Australia. Even Microsofts' WME is not available here yet. Personally I reckon there is a market for this device and as soon as I manage to collect enough lunch money to order one I am going to.

  • It's a shame it looks to be analog only. Especially with the amount of Widescreen Digital and High definition content being broadcast in areas of Australia.
    • Especially with the amount of Widescreen Digital and High definition content being broadcast in areas of Australia.

      Not the areas I'm in - I'll see it in 2008, most likely :-(
  • Considering.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by the_argent (28326) on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:10AM (#8678020) Homepage
    That the creator of Myth TV is currently out of work, [mythtv.org] I would like to see some type of money go to him from this.
  • I'd buy this *if*... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by slim (1652) <john@nOspam.hartnup.net> on Friday March 26, 2004 @07:01AM (#8678204) Homepage
    I keep starting speccing up a mini-itx based PVR, but I always give up because the cost racks up, and that combined with the configuration effort makes sticking with TiVo seem very attractive.

    Before I bought one of these I would need:
    1. Some assurance that the system will be whisper quiet (a friend recently put a new drive in his TiVo, and even the noise from that is now irritating)
    2. A case the same width as my other A/V gear
    3. A case-mounted alphanumeric display, so I can navigate MP3s without turning on the TV
    4. The option of at least 2 DVB receivers


    1 and 3 are the ones I'm not confident I'd be able to cheaply and easily do on a homebrew box.
    • by radish (98371)
      Easy - I'm in the process of speccing this up myself - note it's not going to be cheap. If cost is a real issue and you can forgoe some of the cool features to save $$$ - buy a tivo.

      So case wise - it has to look exactly like a hifi component. Check out Ahanix, they make some amazingly sexy aluminium cases - 19" wide, various heights, with hifi style power buttons, barrel feet, centre mounted optical drives, etc. Personally I'm going for the dvine5 which looks just like a full size DVD player, including a t
  • by spectecjr (31235) on Friday March 26, 2004 @07:22AM (#8678266) Homepage
    Given that Grid-layouts of TV times are patented, and the TV scheduling data which xmltv (the MythTV backend screen scraper) obtains for MythTV are copyrighted by Tribune, and it's therefore most likely illegal to use that data in this manner... ... well, just how long is MythTV going to last?

    There's a reason you have to buy a subscription for a TiVo or a ReplayTV - because that guide data costs money, and the guide display patent royalties need to be paid.

    I can't see MythTV surviving too long if Tribune start complaining - or TiVo or ReplayTV decide to push Tribune to complain about the use of the guide data for free.

    Just a thought...
    • Many MythTV users have asked the listings providers to provide a pay service to get the listings in a sensible format instead of site scraping - the listings providers just don't want to know about it.

      XMLTV is also a rapidly developing project - as the listings providers change the format of their websites, xmltv changes to scrape them.

      You seem to have forgotten that there is noone for the listings providers to complain to - they can't complain to the Myth or XMLTV developers (they haven't done anything w
      • Many MythTV users have asked the listings providers to provide a pay service to get the listings in a sensible format instead of site scraping - the listings providers just don't want to know about it.

        They are working on it: Zap2it Labs [zap2it.com]. I don't know if MythTV can currently import the data, but from what I've heard the quality of the information they provide over the normal screen-scraping process is much better so they're working on updating mythfilldatabase to support it. I would imagine this would g

        • They are working on it: Zap2it Labs.

          Yep, I've seen the discussions about that - doesn't help those of us in the UK though. :(
          I contacted the RadioTimes (where the current UK grabber gets the listings) - they provide a subscription listings-on-your-pda service, but say they are not interested in providing the listings in XML format (I wonder what format the PDA listings come in, although I suspect they're not as detailed). The RadioTimes listings are far from exceptional quality though - lack of descripti
  • by drewhearle (753120) on Friday March 26, 2004 @07:51AM (#8678357) Homepage Journal
    Since MythTV is still in heavy development (currently version 0.14), how are they planning to keep users up to date? I use MythTV on a dedicated box at home, and while it's reasonably solid, every now and then Myth segfaults dropping me to a console or KDE desktop. The average PVR user isn't going to like that.

    Maybe there's a "watchdog" on the Myth system that reboots the system if Myth dies. The user won't want to wait for the system to reboot every time that they fast forward too quickly (happens on mine) or 'activate' some other bug.

    Take the MediaMVP [hauppauge.com] by Hauppauge. It's a Linux-based device designed for use by the "average user". How do they keep it up to date? Well, very little OS or software is on the unit itself. It netboots off a server you run on one of your PCs. The server (Windows app) checks for updates from Hauppauge's site, and when it gets one, it just loads it to the MediaMVP the next time it boots.

    Obviously, you wouldn't want to require every user to have a LAN connection to an always-on home computer for net booting (or would you?). Besides, the whole Linux/Myth suite (remember, we need X too) would be a pretty hefty network transfer. With a "closed" device like this one, it'll be hard for users to install bugfixes, patch security holes, etc. etc. without being experienced in Linux (think power user instead of grandma).
    I think the Home Media Center/re is going to need some sort of update method for both Myth and Linux. One little annoying bug would drive me crazy if there was nothing I could do about it.

  • by biglig2 (89374)
    So what you're saying, timothy, if I understand you correctly, is that they will only have licensing issues with a piece of GPL software if they don't follow the terms in the GPL license?

  • Missing the point?! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sandbenders (301132) on Friday March 26, 2004 @11:34AM (#8679844) Homepage
    I think a lot of people are missing the point with this..... For Linux fans, even part-timers like myself, EVERY PRODUCT like this is a victory. This is a cool product, a cool idea, and a nice tip-o-the hat to the MythTV team- someone thinks their product is ready for prime time.

    I know licensing is important, but it seems to me that we need to support first and ask questions later. Every company that publishes a viable linux-based app or hardware device pushes us closer to true choice in the OS market. I'm not suggesting that we be blind about it, but when I read the comments for this article, the first dozen are arguments about licensing, which is kinda sad. Not one well-moderated comment in support of the product. Are we all on the same team here, or what? I think we need to get better at sticking together.

I tell them to turn to the study of mathematics, for it is only there that they might escape the lusts of the flesh. -- Thomas Mann, "The Magic Mountain"

Working...