Linux Outlaws 5 - MythTV Special
This week we talk about MythTV, which is a program that enables you to turn any Linux machine into a very sophisticated DVR system. Fab tells the story of his six week long struggle to transform a brand new PC he bought into a MythTV box and gives tips along the way about what to do and what not to do if you want to attempt such a project yourself. But first we start off with some listener feedback and two quick news stories.
Michael writes us (maybe from Germany, maybe not…) and tells us about mintUpdate which should ship with the next version of Linux Mint (presumably 4.0) and solve the updater problem we talked about in the last episode. He also pointed us to APTonCD about which we had talked before and Fab says he’s gonna look into that and report back on a future episode. It certainly looks cool!
The next message is from Charlie aka. Techsyslonghorn, who has a problem with his Dell D630. For some reason he seems to be unable to install any Debian-based form of Linux. His machine always refuses to boot with the error “can’t access tty”. At this point, we have no idea what could cause this. If you have any hints regarding a solution to this or even what would cause this particular error, please shoot us a message using the Contact link at the top of this site.
First off, Fab rants about Apple bricking people’s iPhones with the 1.1.1 software update and the whole discussion that entailed and we decide that Apple pretty much frakked up.
Dan brings us a story about the new Sourceforge project that wants to bring the BBC iPlayer to Linux. Usually, the iPlayer requires Windows XP SP2 and Internet Explorer 6 (!) — so no go on Vista. Bloody morons!
Fab explains what MythTV is and how he got it going on his system (including all the problems he ran into). We also mention the TiVo and talk about DVRs in general; we also mention the X10 home automation protocol.
Hardware Specs for Fab’s machine:
- Dell XPS210 with Intel Viiv Core2 Duo 2GHz, 1GB of RAM
- ATI Radeon X1300 Pro
- Dell 19” widescreen monitor
- Pinnacle PCTV 400e DVB-S receiver (USB2.0)
- X10 MCE Remote Control (RF) with USB receiver dongle
- Ubuntu Feisty (7.04)
- All the audio and video codecs Fab could find
- Apache, MySQL and phpMyAdmin
- MythTV 0.20.2 (with several plugins including MythWeb)
- Firefox 2
A very nice and detailed guide with screenshots of nearly every step to set up MythTV with Ubuntu can be found here. You might also wanna try Mythbuntu which didn’t work for Fab but seems to be a very cool project or the KnoppMyth LiveCD. For a general overview of MythTV’s features go here or read the MythTV wiki to find out more. However, Fab wants to warn everyone that setting up a working MythTV system isn’t trivial and that if you want to attempt such a project, you have to be prepared to be very patient and to spend a lot of time searching on the web for solutions to the problems that will invariably crop up. You also shouldn’t be afraid of compiling your own stuff (which implies being really comfortable on the command line).
Before we wrap it up, Fab also plugs the new Linux Outlaws wallpaper and says that if you have any questions about MythTV, you can write us and he will try to answer them as best he can in one of the next shows.
As promised on the show, Fab has written an in-depth article about his experiences in setting up his mythbox. Read about it here. The article also includes a few nice pictures of the setup.
The theme music for this podcast is a song called “Sudo Modprobe”, it was written by Fab and produced by Dan and Fab. The album art was also created by Fab.