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Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: 100101010011 <-- right about here
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 06-29-2005 05:36


So since I went back to school at nights to work on a Master's degree I wanted to make sure I caught my shows. So I had the TiVO option but decided to suck it up and try building a MythTV box. All told it took about a weekend to get working and I can't be happier. For those that don't know MythTV is an open source Linux based PVR solution. All told I spent about $600 on the box. Athlon 2200, 512MB of RAM 200GB Serial ATA HD and a PVR-350 TV card and a ($35 dollar NVidia 3400MX card with S-video out). I spent an extra $75 -100 on the case just to get something that looks pretty good in my living room and is a bit quieter. The only way I probably could have done this is with This HOWTO I got pretty much all the same hardware as listed and installed on Fedora as well so the filesystem was the same.

All in all it works like a champ the one downside is that it's not great for watching TV off of because it actually encodes to disk and then reads before showing so it's not as good for that. However what I do is just set it to "WatchTV" and then switch from the S-video to my cable input on my TV. If for some reason theres something I want to rewind to I just switch back to S-video and then watch it. While this is possible I don't use the feature much. The other downside is that I have to use my cable box tuner for both the MythTV recording and my regular watching so I can't record and watch at the same time. I should be able to work around this however if I get a second box. ( I work for a subsidiary of my cable co. though so my cable and an extra box is free). All that said however and I love this system.

Upsides? I can play Mame Roms, Mp3s view pictures and even browse the web while watching TV.

Check it out in action.





My Beast

And the Best Part?
Giants Baseball and the asylum at once!

.:[ Never resist a perfect moment ]:.

Tyberius Prime
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Germany
Insane since: Sep 2001

posted posted 06-29-2005 08:38

Baseball! I envy you. You baseball watching #%). ;-)

(I guess I'll eventually end up renting a place in GA just to have the braves streamed to where ever I am...)

Looks like a neat little gadget. Gratz on getting it to work.

so long,

->Tyberius Prime

Maniac (V) Mad Librarian

From: the space between us
Insane since: Sep 2002

posted posted 06-29-2005 10:24

this is very cool, heh
just one question: wouldnt it have been easier to do this the other way round? you know, buying a video card for your computer....

Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: :morF
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 06-29-2005 15:06

probably mas, but that precludes the possibility of having it as a dedicated recording box and stuff out in your lounge.

That's some damn nice work there bit. After my Proxy/Firewall/DNS/DHCP/NAT Server that i'm building that's my next project!

Justice 4 Pat Richard

White Hawk
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: zero divided.
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 06-29-2005 18:03

I like that.

I used a cheap TV tuner card and various (lumpy) bits of software to turn my PC into a crude TiVo-like system, with full-screen output to my television (meaning that I truly could watch TV and browse at the same time from the same box without PiP-ing or windowing it). Unfortunately, cheap tuner/encoder cards provide ultra-low performance, and I suffered the same problems with tuner<encode>hard-drive<decode>display delays.

It would be nice to build a dedicated media box, but if I had that sort of money, I'd be building a new PC to replace my current one, which is rapidly approaching the point beyond which it is no longer practical to keep upgrading (needs better motherboard, bigger PSU, faster RAM, new generation of video card, etc).

I realised also that I rarely (if ever) record the soul-destroying rubbish on British TV anyway, so I have since ripped out the tuner (among other things) to keep power-consumption and operating temperatures down. I'm back to (not) using the trusty-old VHS recorder again.

(Edited by White Hawk on 06-29-2005 18:13)

Maniac (V) Inmate

Insane since: May 2001

posted posted 06-30-2005 04:20

Tyberius Prime said:

(I guess I'll eventually end up renting a place in GA just to have the braves streamed to where ever I am...)

i knew you were cool!!

that is great bit! I want one of those



Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Yes
Insane since: Feb 2001

posted posted 06-30-2005 17:03

I got one of these two running off of gentoo. I love it too, but I wish the TV view wasn't so jittery and finicky. Welcome to the mythclub BD!

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