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MythTV is up and running

May 18th, 2004

It only took $200 and a “couple” (hahahaha) hours of free time to set up, but it’s now working. I have a working MythTV setup in my humble Scarberia abode.

On the backend server I have Gentoo Linux running (still a 2.4 kernel, I’m a wuss). It has a Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-250 MPEG2 encoder card in a rather old ( 500MHz Celeron, 192MB RAM ) Compaq Presario. It was a little bit of a battle getting everything setup on the backend. The ivtv kernel module (to get the PVR-250 to work under Linux ) was a bit troublesome, as was a DRI module for the onboard Intel video chips (yes I do know it’s a headless server, but I wanted it to be done properly dammit!).

Once the backend was setup, I moved onto some frontend clients. The first one I was able to get working was my XBOX. I put in a mod chip a year and a half ago, and other than “backing up” a couple of games, I really hadn’t put it to much use. Then I saw that you could run Linux on the XBOX. Originally I saw this as a “I’m a geek, and I’ll do it just because I can” sort of thing. I went with GentooX, which is a well done Gentoo port to the XBOX. After a simple “emerge mythfrontend” I was ready to go on the XBOX. I started it up, and the video was so so. It was a little laggy and jittery. A quick search on the GentooX forums turned up this thread that talked about the xvattr program that lets you play with some setting on the nvidea card, and as Emeril says: BAM! It was all working.

As I type this, I’m still trying to get mythfrontend compiled under Gentoo Linux PPC on my PowerBook. The only problem with this is that there are some x86 specific segments of code spread throughout the mythtv source, some assembly here, and platform specific include files there. I found some patches on the mythtv developers mailing list, I’ve tried them one at a time, with no luck. Everything compiled fine, but linking it all together at the end failed with some unresolved symbols. So I’m trying to patch it one file at a time and see if any of my newfound linux hackery can get me anywhere. Haha, ya right.

Anyways, it’s quite the neat setup. There is even a web based client that I have running to set up recordings and all that. And watching live tv, on the xbox, running linux… come on, that has to count for some geek points. =)

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