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Media Software Hardware

MythTV Allows Multiple Front-Ends On Wide Range of Platforms 254

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the how-long-till-the-big-guys-realize-drm-isn't-the-answer dept.
As the DVR becomes a much more pervasive performer in home theater setups, the level of excellence demanded by the general consumer seems to continue to rise. The open source project MythTV has been in this arena for quite a while, and now offers the ability to have multiple front-ends on your MythTV install on a wide range of different platforms. Able to run on Windows XP, Vista, Xbox, and even an Apple iPod, the new flexibility is sure to interest many consumers (and many competitors).
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MythTV Allows Multiple Front-Ends On Wide Range of Platforms

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  • by GNUChop (1310629) on Friday August 15, 2008 @04:20PM (#24620681)

    Anyone familiar with MythTV knows that it can use multiple front ends. A port to Windows or Mac sounds good because the monopoly makes some hardware difficult to use. It's not such a great idea if you want control of your media [slashdot.org].

    • Basically, with no capability to use a cablecard (much less switched digital video), MythTV is growing increasingly irrelevant in the DVR world. Sure, you could set up a complicated system using additional cable boxes from you cable company with some sort of IR channel switching, but the expense and hassle of that will keep MythTV on the far, far fringe. And if HDMI becomes the standard, MythTV is really screwed (it's able to record off of component outputs, but not HDMI).

      I truly wish MythTV were practica

      • by Anonymous Coward

        except your an idiot...

        cable company is REQUIRED by fcc to give customers cable boxes with firewire out.

        myth tv can control almost all firewire boxes just fine.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          s/your/you're/

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          This is true. I just set up a Mac running the 0.21 backend/frontend via FireWire on a Comcast 6200 box.

          It works very well, except that I have to use the PPC backend for the time being (on Intel).

          I can't tune the 5c channels, but there are only a few that matter that are encumbered.

          I am testing out Plex (osxbmc) with the Myth Frontend extension currently.

          The stability of this setup leaves some things to be desired (especially, coming from a TiVo background), but it is great fun to play with.

        • by kidgenius (704962)
          You might be able to control the box, but right now there is no way to easily record the HD content off of the box. The amount of data is just too great. HD tuner cards in a computer are perfect for capturing HD off of the feed, but now you've lost the ability to actually change/decode channels. That's why I've never gone the MythTV route. Maybe as computers get faster it'll happen, but right now it's not possible.
        • by tomz16 (992375) on Friday August 15, 2008 @05:11PM (#24621401)

          Let's stop the namecalling.

          The firewire boxes are a special order item in my market with a significant lead time (I guess to comply with the FCC). They don't even stock them at the local office, so 99.99999% of customers don't have them. --AND-- from what i've read, the firewire output only works for unencrypted channels in my market (so you can't record any of the premium digital cable channels).

        • by Firehed (942385) on Friday August 15, 2008 @05:12PM (#24621403) Homepage

          your an idiot...

          Fail.

        • by cens0r (655208) on Friday August 15, 2008 @05:42PM (#24621795) Homepage
          The only problem is that the Cable Company is not required to let all of the channels go out unencrypted on the firewire out.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by eudaemon (320983)

            Well Jack Valenti's corpse, maybe. Unfortunately the senator from disney is still in office.

            If I ran for congress, I would never win as my platform would be to roll back copyrights to 15 years and gut the patent system.
            Let people innovate, for crying out loud.

            The entertainment industry has been dragged kicking and screaming from one bucket of money to the next.
            CDs will kill the Music industry! Billions of dollars later...
            VCRS will kill us! Billions of dollars later...
            DVDS will ruin the movie industry! Ma

        • by pridkett (2666)

          cable company is REQUIRED by fcc to give customers cable boxes with firewire out.

          myth tv can control almost all firewire boxes just fine.

          While it is currently true that the FCC has regulations regarding the availability of firewire controllable cable boxes, the regulations do NOT state that the encryption level must be changed. I used a cable box with firewire for two years in MythTV setup. The only channel I received over firewire that was not available via unencrypted QAM was Universal HD, and I'm prett

      • Please reconsider (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mpapet (761907) on Friday August 15, 2008 @04:39PM (#24620931) Homepage

        MythTV is growing increasingly irrelevant

        You would be wrong about that. The same jail the media conglomerates would like to keep you in confounds all DVR dev's. That's why an IR Blaster is important. It takes care of all that for you. Yeah, there's some compromises to piping in the video from the back of the cable box, but I just want to watch it at a convenient time so a little down-scaling doesn't bother me one bit.

        And if HDMI becomes the standard
        Most of you have only yourselves to blame for this because the vast majority are gladly buying into HDMI. VGA works good, digital-out works best. And guess what? No drm!!

        • by plover (150551) *

          Most of you have only yourselves to blame for this because the vast majority are gladly buying into HDMI. VGA works good, digital-out works best. And guess what? No drm!!

          HDMI [wikipedia.org] is not the problem. HDCP [wikipedia.org] is the problem. HDMI supports HDCP, but by itself it is not a DRM enforcer.

      • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday August 15, 2008 @04:47PM (#24621067)

        Calling MythTV impractical and irrelevant is overly pessimistic. In the digital cable, MythTV isn't very useful; however for those of us who use analog cable (which will be the majority of Americans for a while), MythTV does have some life left. Just like VHS isn't dead as it is being slowly phased out over the next decade. Maybe there will be some progress made in the next few years.

        As for me, I don't plan on getting digital cable anytime soon because I don't plan on getting an HD TV soon. Yeah HD is great but I'm waiting until they settle on a few things. First it was 720p, then 1080i, then 1080p for the sets. The resolutions that are recorded vary between the three and some broadcasts are just upconverted and not recorded in HD at all. For port connections, there was component, then DVI, then HDMI. I'm pretty sure that some people like my parents and grandparents have not plans on getting with the HD revolution either.

        • by cowbutt (21077) on Friday August 15, 2008 @04:56PM (#24621213) Journal

          MythTV also works fine in the non-US parts of the world where DVB-T is pretty much standard for digital terrestrial broadcasts.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by isorox (205688)

            MythTV also works fine in the non-US parts of the world where DVB-T is pretty much standard for digital terrestrial broadcasts.

            Mine worked fine with my sky box too -- RS232 cable to receive what channel the ox is on, and an IR-blaster like box to change it down the second RF input.

            I then tried upgrading the hard drive, and accidentally short-circuited my PSU. Doesn't work now... Mythtv will never win until it's immune from dropping a screwdriver between 12V and 0 rails while the machine's on.

        • by H0p313ss (811249)

          Calling MythTV impractical and irrelevant is overly pessimistic. In the digital cable, MythTV isn't very useful; however for those of us who use analog cable (which will be the majority of Americans for a while), MythTV does have some life left.

          Well I guess the majority of Americans must be increasingly irrelevant... :-)

          Personally I've been using digital cable for six years...

          • Hey I'm not an early adopter like you but I thank you for being a guinea pig and all. :P Truth be told, my viewpoint is for people like my grandma who doesn't own a computer. I can't see her plunking down a few grand for an HD TV as she likes her 19" model just fine.
            • So you're saying MythTV is still useful for people who, like your grandmother, don't own a computer? That does not compute.

        • by Drathos (1092) on Friday August 15, 2008 @06:04PM (#24621979)

          In the digital cable, MythTV isn't very useful; however for those of us who use analog cable (which will be the majority of Americans for a while), MythTV does have some life left.

          So basically you pay the cable company to get the channels you can get over the air? In my area, there's just over two dozen channels left on analog cable - the local networks, a few pbs channels, and a handful channels that nobody cares about (QVC, HSN, a couple of Spanish channels - not the big two of Univision and Telemundo, the local gov't channels, etc.). If I went OTA, I could actually get a few channels I couldn't get from cable (granted, most of those are networks from a different city, but still).

          Just like VHS isn't dead as it is being slowly phased out over the next decade.

          Have you been living in a cave for the last couple of years? New releases are not put out on VHS anymore. Most studios stopped completely in 2006 after a phase-out and almost all the rest have stopped since. The only thing left for VHS is home recording and films that are now completely out of print (no new VHS being produced and not released on DVD).

          Personally, I'm not getting into the HD craze for the foreseeable future, either, but I'm also not stuck in the 90s.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by PCM2 (4486)

          First it was 720p, then 1080i, then 1080p for the sets.

          And given that the highest broadcast resolution is 1080i, and has been specified as such for at least a decade, do you expect this trend to continue?

          For port connections, there was component, then DVI, then HDMI.

          It's not as if they took away the older ones when they added the new ones.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Minwee (522556)

            It's not as if they took away the older ones when they added the new ones.

            You're right. It's not as if there was some kind of mystical "High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection" system added which would screw up the picture quality if it detected that you hadn't paid enough money for your HDTV. That would be ridiculous.

        • I am literally about to go out and buy my MythBuntu hardware, I plan to start my build this weekend. I won't be using HDTV for some time, but the parent poster is correct.

          MythTV is more useful for analogue TV.

          However, that does not mean that MythTV is useless. Hauppague has come out with a new device that works with Myth that is nearly impossible to block.

          From MythTV wiki:

          http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/Hauppauge_HD-PVR

      • Broadcast TV (Score:3, Interesting)

        by XanC (644172)

        Why pay for TV? With the switch to digital, over-the-air TV is now probably higher quality than cable. Combine MythTV with one or two of these [pchdtv.com] and you're all set.

        • Most of the good TV shows are not on free tv.

      • by phatmonkey (873256) on Friday August 15, 2008 @04:51PM (#24621141) Homepage

        Sure for the states it might be becoming irrelevant, but over here in the UK, DRM is not a problem. Freeview/freesat has everything I'd ever want to watch, and by definition, it's free to use on whatever platform you wish!

        I have a few TV cards in our home server, streaming to a silent little Apple TV running mythfrontend. It works a treat!

      • by jbr439 (214107) on Friday August 15, 2008 @04:58PM (#24621233)

        MythTV supports firewire access to cable boxes. MythTV can do both capture and channel changing via firewire. I currently have a MythTV box hooked up to a Motorola DCT-6200, and this allows me to record HD (as well as SD) channels. Having said that, some Cable companies will encrypt "premium" channels making this solution useless for those channels. However, for my needs at least, MythTV+firewire+DCT-6200 works fine. Throw in OTA HD channels (which in my location look significantly better than their cable versions due to compression in the latter) and life is good for my simple needs.

        • by Limecron (206141)

          This was similar to my setup a few years back before I moved to the sticks and had to switch to satellite TV.

          An interesting thing that I discovered was that the On-Demand movie channels were broadcast in the clear on the QAM channels. (I also had a Dvico Fusion HDTV which could pull in the QAM channels, but it didn't work too well in Myth at the time.) The amusing part was the movie would stop and go backwards when the person watching it would pause it and rewind, etc.

      • by pembo13 (770295)
        Can cable companies really force you to use tv?
      • You know what?

        You are ABSOLUTELY right. So, what are you going to do about it?

        Down to "brass tacks". Let's take a cable company. Say Rogers.

        - 60ish analog channels. Work fine with MythTV
        - Hundreds of SD (standard def) digital channels -- ALL ENCRYPTED. Even the ones that ALSO appear in analog.
        - Some HD -- but see above point.

        Rogers wants to push digital, but with THEIR converter. In fact, its the Rogers converter or the highway (as it were). To use this with MythTV, we need a converter per recording channel

      • It's not growing irrelevant in my world. Pretty much all the TV I watch is either recorded on my MythTV PVR or is something I purchased or rented on DVD.

        In my world, digital cable has yet to become relevant. I suppose I could pay the cable company to let me rent two boxes and then finagle with an IR link so the PVR could change the channels on one of them, but really, I don't even have time to watch all the TV I record on basic cable. I suppose if I had the option to slap a CableCard reader in my MythTV

      • by labnet (457441)

        This is one place where vista works well, in the home. (At work we have NO vista machines)
        In the year we have used Vista MCE, the all important WAF has been very high, and the system overall very stable and responsive, only requiring an accasional USB tuner reboot.
        I considered Myth, but mountain looked steep, and my time available for home brew about nil.
        The install was almost painless,and in OZ (where the is no TiVO culture) we get free guides thanks to volunteers.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by drdaz (994457)

        I suspect the issues and devices (cablecard etc.) you're describing are US-specific. It's not becoming irrelevant in the rest of the world (at least not for any of the reasons you mention).

        I'm using MythTV with 2 DVB-C cards and decoding pay channels without trouble. I'm currently using a softcam setup with a pay card (Irdeto 2 encrypted signal), but have used official Irdeto 2 and Viaccess CAM modules with success.

        I've been using MythTV for the past 4-5 years, and am generally very happy with the product a

      • Basically, with no capability to use a cablecard (much less switched digital video), MythTV is growing increasingly irrelevant in the DVR world.

        Is it now? I find that my 2-tuner system works just wonderfully on the analog signal I get from the cable company. HDTV still has quite a long ways to go before it supplants regular ol' NTSC video on the local cable providers' offerings, and there are plenty of us out there that still don't think it's worth the premium being charged.
    • by TypoNAM (695420) on Friday August 15, 2008 @04:35PM (#24620873)

      MythTV doesn't enforce any DRM of any kind like the broadcast flag. Anybody familiar with MythTV knows that....

  • It ain't news. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Seakip18 (1106315) on Friday August 15, 2008 @04:28PM (#24620795) Journal

    As a proud MythTV user, this has been pretty common knowledge. Nothing in the article is new.

    What make me really excited is if I could use my XBox360 as a generic frontend with it. If it could function as MythTV frontend + netflix player, it'd be perfect. It's doubtful since Microsoft has already spent so much time just getting it to play well(read not requiring WMV encoding) with an PC or SMBFS network share, which is still doable but no recorded programs or other goodies MythTV does so well.

    If any MythTV Dev's are reading this, thank you so much for the hard work!

    • by pha7boy (1242512)
      I don't know, but at least the summary does not read like a news story, but reads like a news release from MythTV. Which begs the question, is it a news story, or is it advertisement?
      • by Seakip18 (1106315)

        Tru' dat.

        I'm fine with chirping about my favorite distro, but this is not news and maybe vaguely stuff that matters. Seeing this release made me think they were getting ready to push a awesome browser player. Not simply repeating what any mythTV user already knows.

    • SMBFS network share? Are you sure about that? I know you can stream to the xbox360 VIA windows media center or something like TVersity, but I don't think these use SMB shares. They seem to use some sort of media share service that includes ID3 info and strips out all file structure.
      • by Seakip18 (1106315)

        I know you can do it via a XP machine not running MCE. I remember mounting file shares last fall with it, only to be annoyed at the need for WMV conversion, which meant turning to the Media Center edition running on a virtual machine with Xbox360 converter running. The fall update removed the need for the WMV conversion, but I had moved onto MythTV by then.

        Correct me if I am wrong though, which is very possible.

      • by LarsG (31008)

        That would likely be UPnP AV/DLNA. It is a set of standards to make media servers and media display devices work together automagically. Come to think of it, I wish MythTV would focus more on proper support for this instead of doing custom front-ends.

        Media transport is done over http or rtp.

    • Well, the article announces an application named something like 'Mythtvplayer' that you can install and it will save you those minutes you would have spent configuring an actual mythtv frontend. Not a good trade off I think, since the player app won't let you manage your recordings.

      I think it takes maybe 5 minutes to set up a second myth frontend, so I'm not sure why someone took the time to write this.

    • I actually use my 360 as my frontend. And, no I didn't hack my system. I don't have time to find the exact link, but I believe I've written how to do it on my sblog http://jtexp.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

  • by pembo13 (770295) on Friday August 15, 2008 @04:29PM (#24620811) Homepage
    To the MythTV dev team. Thanks for the sweet product. It wasn't a 1 click install-setup, but it was well worth the time. MythTV makes watching tv bearable, sometimes useful. (especially now that Science channel is on basic cable)
    • I've been using MythTV for about 3 years via the nearly 1-click install of knoppmyth [mysettopbox.tv]. Fantastic. With just two tuners and basic cable we have more than enough commercial-free tv to watch.

  • XBMC + MythTV (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <[enderandrew] [at] [gmail.com]> on Friday August 15, 2008 @04:31PM (#24620829) Homepage Journal

    You can get a used XBox for $100. Put in a cheap hard drive. Purchase a mod chip on the cheap, or do a soft mod. Install XBMC and MythTV, and then suddenly you've got a pretty sweet setup on the cheap. I love it.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      What does a MythTV front end get you that XBMC doesn't already do?

      • Control over DVR recordings. You basically use XBMC as your media player, app launcher, etc. XBMC can tie into MythTV as well.

    • by AusIV (950840)
      XBMC + MythTV could play my NuppleVideo files, but I couldn't scan forward or back through them very reliably. This meant watching commercials, even though MythTV had already found them for me. There was also no way to mark commercials for deletion as I was watching a show, nor run jobs when playback finished.

      Ultimately I spent about $150 on building a cheap PC and media case (not much more than an XBox + Mod Chip, though I used some parts I had lying around), installed Xubuntu on it, and got a better all

  • by bradgoodman (964302) on Friday August 15, 2008 @04:48PM (#24621083) Homepage
    I had a Tivo - and have since moved to Windows Media Center,then to Tivo, then to a Comcast HD-PVR box, then to the Comacst HD-PVR box running Tivo firmware.

    My recommendation? Tivo. Hands down! It doesn't have all the features and flexibility as the other units, but it's fast and responsive - from a usability perspective. And I can even download my shows to my PC.

    Windows MCE was pretty nice - but after about a month, my filesystem got corruped, and I lost everything - including the 300 CDs I had ripped (manually) to the unit! The UI was a little slow.

    Then came Myth. A royal pain to get running. The features and flexibility were very nice. The worst thing about it however was the music portion of it. (MythMusic). That was horible beyond believe - especialy in-contrast to the Windows MCE, which was very very nice. MythTV's UI was kind of slow and klunky as well. I do not miss it.

    Then came the Comcast HD PVR. That was too great - limited functionality and channel guides were a pain. No music, no download capability. We only went through 2 or 3 of these boxes (due to dying) during our month we owned them - when we found out Tivo firmware was available.

    The Comcast HD-DVR with Tivo firmware was the worst. We went through about 3 trips to the Comcast office, dead units, 3 or 4 technician house-calls. Lost show, etc. They eventually came out with a version of firmware which at least stablized the box. It's not too bad now - but a bit clunky - not as fast and responsive. The firmware is still kind of screwed-up - gives you the wrong sounds when clicking through things - shows disappear sometimes - a few unit freezes, etc. No music - at least not our - just the crappy Comcast music channels. Oh yea, and whatever you do - don't hit the "on-demand" button - 'cause that'll just ruin your whole evening.

    So for the few things we watch in HD, we use the Comcast HD-PVR with Tivo - reluctantly.

    For everything else - all the reruns, and bulk of stuff we record - and music - It's all still the Tivo Series-2. It works. It's fast. It's reliable. It's responsive. It does what I want it to when I hit a button. We've never lost a show. We're on our original unit after many many years. It's simple and streightforward. I don't want to do "development" at night - I just want to press a button and watch TV. Tivo does that, and well.

    The only realy upside to MythTV was that it was free...but not anymore!

    • by j79zlr (930600)
      MythTV in and of itself is still free. You do have to pay for listing now though through Schedules Direct. A whopping $20 a year. Not a $1.67 a month, sweet jesus monkey balls, what capitalist pigs!
    • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday August 15, 2008 @05:01PM (#24621273)
      I have never used MCE nor Tivo but I have used the cable companies DVR and now I have MythTV. To be honest, it isn't easy enough yet for everyone to install but it is getting easier. If you are looking for a all-in-one setup, it is a lot easier than before with projects like MythDora [mythdora.com] and KnoppMyth [mysettopbox.tv]. Why I picked MythTV over a simple DVR was the fact that I have wanted a network, and I currently have 4 clients and one server with ability to record 4 shows simultaneously. I didn't look at MCE because I didn't think it had this capability. Has there been any progress in this area?
    • by jfinke (68409)
      Well, MythTV is certainly free. However, there is a nominal charge for the listings, which I think is like $20 for the year? That was pretty much out of their hands, and I think that they found the best possible solution for it. It also affected more programs than just MythTV.
    • My recommendation? Tivo. Hands down! It doesn't have all the features and flexibility as the other units, but it's fast and responsive - from a usability perspective. And I can even download my shows to my PC.

      The problem with Tivo is that they control the box, you don't.

      When THEY want to remove functionality (e.g. 30 second instant skip) THEY just do so.

      When THEY decide you can't record this particular program THEY simply prevent you from recording it.

      When THEY decide that you can't keep a record

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bradgoodman (964302)
        I have never had TiVo refuse to record a program, or delete one without my consent.

        But by the same token - I don't decide when my grass gets cut - or how low - my landscapers do.

        I don't decide what cleanser my toilet gets cleaned with, my cleaning people do

        When any of these become unsatisfactory, I'll get rid of them for something else.

        MythTV may be good for some people - but I was tired of sitting down on the couch in front of the TV after a long day of work, to debug why something wasn't working r

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ColaMan (37550)

          I get a call about if from my Wife, and have to SSH in from work to re-launch the Myth front-end? It was really cool that I could do this - but quite unfortunate that I had to.

          I hooked into the ACPI power button routines to kill/restart the X server when mythtv hung up. The backend was it's own process outside of X, so it continued to run fine when this was done.

          So, all non-technical wife-types had to do when mythTV hung was to press the power button and it would take care of itself. But to be fair, by the

          • by keytoe (91531)

            You can also tie a shell script to a button on the remote for this. I named that key the Wife Acceptance Key (it's the Start button on our PlayStation 2 remote that I repurposed for my Myth box).

            That said, I agree with the GPP on Myth eventually becoming too finicky for something I used every day. Everything was great until an update hosed the ATI drivers - which required buying a new video card. Which required rebuilding the whole setup. Which wasn't what I'd call 'fun'. Then we upgraded to a new LCD and H

        • by BLKMGK (34057)

          I can pretty much echo this myself. I have a TIVO S3 with dual cablecards and despite noises about how "hard" this is to setup mine worked fine - and was the first one the tech had ever done! Prior to that I had several hacked DTIVO that I really enjoyed using until I wanted to move to HD.

          I did try Myth with an HDHomerun but never quite got it working. I'd still like to in order to have a few more tuners available to record but it's not a huge deal for me right now since the TIVO is working out so well.

          What

    • by UnrefinedLayman (185512) on Friday August 15, 2008 @06:06PM (#24621989)
      I agree with you for most of this, but Tivo loses to Windows Media Center with me for one reason: if you want to do anything with the Tivo while watching a program, you have to stop watching the program to do it. Windows Media Center ALWAYS keeps the video running and displayed, and is viewable no matter what part of the application you're using. But with Tivo... want to see what programs you have recorded? Stop watching what you're watching first. Want to see what will record next? Ditto. Want to schedule another recording? Ditto. Want to browse a remote computer for videos to watch? Ditto. Want to switch back to what you were watching before you did any of these things? A jarring two second delay.

      I rip on Microsoft as much as the next person, but the people who made Windows Media Center did a really stand-up job and deserve credit for getting right the things Tivo fucks up (and continues to fuck up, years later).
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Friday August 15, 2008 @04:54PM (#24621191)

    I'd like to put together a small format PC for this sort of thing. Alas, I can't use a cheap tower, it needs to be one of those small form factors that can fit in an entertainment center. I'd like to spend as little as possible but it seems like I could easily price myself into the $500 range putting one of these together. Any good guides out there?

    • Subject says it all.

      The 800 Mhz Nehemiah CPU runs fanless and can render 1080i with the assistance of the CN400 hardware MPEG2 decoder. VT1625 analog output provides YPbPr component outputs, though the VGA output is just fine (no HDMI).

      In the Silverstone LC08 case, I also have a slim-line dual-layer DVDROM and 500 GB hard drive. The ethernet port connects to an 5 antenna 802.11n bridge which is coupled to an 8 antenna 802.11 router. I get about 100 Mb/s over that MIMO link to a server that can stream 1080i

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MojoStan (776183)

      Any good guides out there?

      Good HTPC guides usually aren't updated as often as the "general" system guides (bugdet, midrange, high end) and they usually aren't "cheap," but they can have useful info about what hardware to consider.

      Since the HTPC guides aren't very cheap or up-to-date, I also recommend Tech Report's and Ar

  • So in other words, this works as a Windows Media Extender app, just with a different name because we all hate Windows. XBox and PS3 could care less what is actually serving the media. I use TVersity [tversity.com] myself. The concept of reencoding your videos using FlashVideo or some other video format to allow viewing from a webbrowser (on the iPhone, Wii, etc), is also nothing new.

    However, I have no clue who was first, TVersity, MythTV, Nero, or Microsoft, but they all do pretty much the same thing. I just had a bit bet

    • by gravis777 (123605)

      BTW, I know that Myth is a DVR program - I was refering to the ability to watch the material from another device

  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Friday August 15, 2008 @05:09PM (#24621367)

    a guide that fills the screen unlike the comcrap guild that looks stuck in SD with ads on each page.
    Free HDMI cable
    OPTICAL and COAXIAL audio
    E-sata
    RF and IR remote
    E-net
    DIRECTV on Demand
    usb for the OTA tuner add on.
    on line Recording with out having to run a sever.
    and the GUI looks a lot like the TIVO comcast gui that comcast shows off on there web page.

    I have the box in a cabinet under the TV and the remote works fine.

    • by gravis777 (123605)

      Dish Network lets me hook up an External USB drive. In fact, I can use multiple drives on this, just not at the same time, but I can hotswap (just not while the drive is in use, that would be stupid).

      I have a 300 gig that I am keeping most of the Olympics on (from OTA, I got an outside Antenna that I pull my local HDs with), then a 750 gig that I store all my movies off of HBO on, then I use the internal drive to record Anthony Bordain (sp) and Robot Chicken.

      • What kind of box that Dish gave you lets you hook an external USB storage device to it? I ask simply because I haven't ever gotten cable, and get all my content off the 'net (Hulu, Netflix Watch It Now + Roku Box, or TPB).
        • by gravis777 (123605)

          VIP 622.

          Its a $40 one time activation fee to activate the USB ports.

          However, the HDs are formatted in ext3, and then they encode DRM into the TS streams, so it can only be used with that one box.

          BTW, with Windows Media Extender devices and software (such as Nero and TVersity), you can watch all your downloaded shows on your XBox or PS3. I have the remote for the PS3, so its way more convienant than simply hooking up the TV to the comptuer and trying to mess with a wireless keyboard / mouse from across the r

          • I too have a PS3, and would love to watch Hulu.com on it (alas, the flash in the PS3 browser is crippled). I'd also love for some software to run on my PC that grabbed TV shows via RSS, bittorrent'd them, and pushed them to my PS3.

            Thanks for the info. I appreciate it.

            • Here's a solution, run bittorrent on the PS3 itself, save to external hard drive. Watch in GameOS.

  • by SCHecklerX (229973) <thecaptain@captaincodo.net> on Friday August 15, 2008 @05:32PM (#24621683) Homepage

    How well does myth now deal with HD on cable providers, like comcast?

    Rather than fight the system, and spend the money on tuners, backend hardware, etc, I just got comcast's HDDVR. It works well enough (the only way I can even attempt to watch the few shows I'm interested in viewing on my schedule .. otherwise the cost of cable isn't worth it).

    I have my house wired with audio/video/cat5 jacks in each room. So, I really don't need to spend the money on front end systems in each of those rooms. IR receiver to IR transmitter over cat 5 to control the DVR. S-video out on the DVR downsamples to a regular TV (I'm not about to buy a bunch of flat panels while my old sets work just fine in the basement, bedroom, etc), so I can watch DVR stuff anywhere in the house, even stuff recorded on high-def channels.

    The disadvantage with my setup is every room in the house can only watch one thing at a time (from the dvr...cable is fine, of course). Which is fine for me. But...if I wanted to I could connect video or cat5 to any number of sources in the future via the patch panels in the basement.

    Cost was wiring (which I wanted to do for whole house audio for my soundbridge anyway), and a $50 distribution amp from radio shack. And I got to use all of my old equipment and not have to buy or build anything for a media server or multiple front ends (which have the requirement of being *silent*).

    It'd be nice to have a system where I could save and organize things indefinitely, but really, I have other ways of doing some of that and it just doesn't seem like the effort to me, when the scientific atlanta box is "good enough" IOW, the consumer appliances have somewhat caught up, with the advantage of supporting HDTV and Digital channels with no effort and no tricks with IR and stuff.

    • by cens0r (655208)
      It doesn't. The only way to get Myth to work with Comcast is have two cable boxes and let mythTV control them with IR blasters (or the serial port). Then record the output. This works find for SD, but you're not going to be recording HD over component. You can record some of the channels over firewire, but Comcast can encrypt everything but the basic channels. The Comcast DVR is really the best solution. It's not a particularly great solution, and the HD Tivo might be slightly better, but more expensi
  • DVD Jukebox (Score:2, Informative)

    by Mondo1287 (622491)

    What MythTV, or rather MythDVD does really well is function as a DVD Jukebox. There is nothing else out there right now for backing up your DVDs that is as painless as Myth, unless you want to spend thousands on the Kalidescope system. You pop your DVD in, import it as either a 1:1 iso, a perfect copy of the main title, or a compressed (xvid) copy. It will even pull the cover art and metadata from IMDB for you. I'd highly recommend Mythbunutu for those heading down this road.

    • by BLKMGK (34057)

      Take a look at XBMC for Linux. It's not quite as simple as what you have described but with a little work it provides a TERRIFIC interface for DVD collections. Will handle music, pictures, and downloaded video too.

  • I have two Tivos, one with life time service, one with out. I don't want to pay Tivo the monthly fee to use the non life time service Tivo, it would be nice to be able to load something else on to it and put it to use.
  • I ran MythTV for 4 years, and had all kinds of problems getting perfect HD display on my TVs (old 1080i tube, new 1080P panel). I switched to SageTV specifically for their HD media extender. Unlike media extenders for MythTV, the SageTV media extender runs the standard SageTV gui, and extensions. This means I can have a silent, low power box (~10W) which does perfect HD playback in my family room, rather than a PC, and I can move the PC into the closet where my toddler can't mess with it. Since the HD E

  • Ubuntu runs on PS3 [psubuntu.com], and there's now an accelerated video driver running on its SPU DSPs [psubuntu.com]. I play HD (1080p) videos on my 50" HDMI DLP TV all the time, and they look fantastic.

    But the driver is in beta. X itself needs the drivers to be improved, so video can play back in desktop windows, etc.

    But with just a little more tweaking, the PS3 would be a fantastic MythTV frontend. $400 or less for 1080p, Blu-Ray, 5.1 optical audio out, Bluetooth/WiFi...

    It's FOSS. If you help the project, you might just put PS3/Linux

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