[TriLUG] Myth TV - need some pointers
djerman at pobox.com
Fri Sep 21 12:06:36 EDT 2007
On 9/21/07, Greg Brown <gwbrown1 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hey everybody. I'd like to build a Myth TV box, two actually. I'd like to
> have one box at home in Raleigh and one on the outer banks. Here's the
> catch - I'd like the box in Raleigh to be able to send contact to the OBX
> box via some kind of encrypted tunnel or so I can watch shows recorded here
> out there. And vice-versa. I imagine this is possible with Myth but I'd
> like to the definitive answer if anyone knows.
I just got mine up and running in test mode last weekend. The bedroom
deployment should be this evening or tomorrow, so apply appropriate
grains of salt.
Of course it's possible to ship files to the beach, but bandwidth will
be an issue. You'll probably want to archive and transport programs
on DVD or a hard disk, as files range from about 1 GB/hr for standard
tv to about 7 GB/hr for HD. Try stuffing that through your 30k/s
upload :) If you've got a better ISP than me, you could use rsync or
something, but the standard Myth protocol assumes streaming on demand
over fast networks.
> Other Myth questions:
> 1. What distro is "best"? Debian? Redhat? By best I'm looking for the one
> that "just works". The Myth box will likely be a dedicated machine (perhaps
> a ssh and squid host as well, but that's about it). Thoughts?
I did Gentoo 'cause I'm just crazy that way. I'd actually recommend a
binary distro if you don't need to recompile. I put together an AMD
64x2 box so I didn't want to be running x86 binaries. Not that it
makes much difference.
> 2. I read somewhere that the TV listings were going away and this was going
> to affect Myth boxes. Has this been addressed?
Yup, see http://www.schedulesdirect.org - currently $15 for 6 months -
not free but a lot cheaper than tivo, and a lot quicker than typing
> 3. What kind of hardware am I looking at? Being a dedicated machine I'd
> like something that looks like it belongs next to a television. A fat disk
> is a must, but I have no need to burn content so an included DVD burner
> isn't necessary (besides I could hook one up via USB I suppose). However if
> the thing already comes with a DVD burner that's cool.
Minimal requirements are on the MythTv site. I planned ahead for HD
display and got an AMD BE-2350 and an Asus M2NPV-VM motherboard (with
nvidia 6150 integrated) and a gigabyte of RAM (overkill? maybe, but
not too expensive). That should let me decode 1080p, just, and the
processor is rated at 45W so it should need less cooling than the
4100+X2 I was looking at before. The onboard video supports TV out
and xvmc, and the retail box comes with the TV interface module (but
not the SPDIF interface module).
You can d0 very well with a much lesser rig if you just want standard
def, but I figured since I needed to buy the parts anyways I'd go
ahead and plan ahead.
According to what I could find Maxtor makes the quietest 500G drives,
so I got two of those (SATA-2 to go with the motherboard controller).
And I did want DVD/CD/RW/ETC so I bought a cheapish combo drive. It's
mostly for input and archiving rather than live playing so I didn't
worry about noise there - that may bite me later.
Add a Hauppauge 500 tuner card to tune 2 standard def channels at once
and a pcHDTV-5500 for digital TV. I haven't been able to make digital
work, so I picked up a second Hauppauge for now - either I left out a
driver, there's truly no signal here (ota or time warner, both
failed), or the card needs to go back, but I want my Mythtv in service
and fixing digital reception looks like work. I'll play with my old
white-box PC until I figure it out, then put it in the next mythtv
I bought a Silverstone case because it was relatively inexpensive at
$99, and didn't have a front display, just a power and hd LED. (I
have enough night-lights) You can spend a lot more if you want a
segmented LED display or a touchscreen... or you can pick up a second
hand case and spray paint it black, all a matter of style. This one
came with 3 fans and no powersupply, so having room to choose quiet
components was another plus.
I was happy with the Zalman power supply I bought (truly silent) but
the stock case fans have got to go - I have some arriving from
quietpc.com sometime today. That with the fancontrol daemon from the
lm_sensors package should solve my noise issues. So far the stock AMD
cpu cooler is tolerable, but we'll see if it sticks out once the case
fans are dealt with.
> Any other info you can provide is great, Thx.
I also got the Microsoft mce remote control for the USB IR sensor,
'cause it was cheap (and I may still use the controller) and a USB
wireless dongle since I haven't wired the network over to the
entertainment center yet. When I get a second Mythtv running I'll
have to get dusty and wire it - USB2 won't stream video fast enough
for me. Until then I expect it to be self-contained and I'll just
burn what I want to move, or put it on a USB key.
That and some appropriate coax and RCA plug-to-the-tv cables from
Radio Shack should be all that's needed, unless I forgot something.
Oh, and if your Mythtv rig happens not to support TV-out, I happen to
have a down-sampling device that will let you put 640x480 RGB out to
NTSC. New in box - one of my lessons learned on this build :).
More information about the TriLUG