Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Configuring MythTV

So, I finally have MythTv in a mostly working state under Fedore Core 5 (Linux). I haven't tried to get it to display on a TV yet, mostly because that requires moving either the TV or the computer. But I do I have my ATI HDTV Wonder card recording HDTV, I can watch live TV most of the time (if the signal is good, if the signal is bad I get segfaults), I can watch DVDs, and I can rip DVDs (ones of my family of course).

Setup (just the relevant parts):
Motherboard: MSI K8NGM2
Capture Card: ATI HDTV Wonder
Remote: ATI Remote Wonder
Video: NVidia GForce (integrated)
Audio: NVidia NForce (integrated)
OS: Fedora Core 5 x64
Media Center: MythTv

MSI K8NGM2 - seems to work OK. I've had some weird problems with sound. For some reason Fedora detects the capture card as the audio chip sometimes. I haven't quite figured out why. I recommend flashing the bios (do so at your own risk) before installing Fedora since apparently this might fix the problem. I did flash my bios and after going into the bios settings twice, it seemed to work. But then I haven't really rebooted since I got the sound working again. (Linux is nice that way). (Updated 8//20/06 - bios flash did not solve the problem.) (Updated 9/3/2006: installing the newest version of alsa seems to have helped)

ATI HDTV Wonder - works fine under mythtv. Picture is great (assuming decent signal strength). I've seen some complaints about the enclosed antenna. It works fine for me if I point it the right way, but my house gets UHF channels pretty well anyway. Worked "out of the box" with the Fedora drivers. In mythTV, set it up as a DVB device. The analogue tuner apparently doesn't work under Linux. (As a note, ATSC is the digital standard in the US.)

ATI Remote Wonder (5000023600)- worked right away with LIRC. It's a RF remote, so I can sit in the couch in the basement and change channels with the computer in the next room. Finding the right lircd.conf and lircrc files was a bit of a pain since I didn't want to sit there and push every single button. I finally found one and hacked together a few lines for Xine.

Video - My husband was nice enough to install the NVidia linux drivers for me.

MythTv - Getting MythTv to work was a bit of a pain, mostly because I had my capture card set up as the wrong type of card. Once I set it up as a DVB, everything worked great. On the MythTV page, gives a bunch of stuff to compile into the kernel. I didn't do anything like that, it just worked. I followed Jared's guide to setting up MythTv on Fedora Core 4. It's mostly the same for fedora core 5. One note: when you set up your zap2it account, make sure you only check channels you want. Deleting unwanted channels out of mythtv is a pain and I have yet to attempt it. Instead I have a nice paper list of what channels do and do not work. Of course, I couldn't do that when I set it up since none of my other TVs can pick up HDTV, so I had no idea what channels I could get. Today I got my first reward from having mythTv set up since I could let my daughter watch her favorite PBS show when she wanted to without her complaining it was blurry and me having to go adjust the rabbit ears.

Xine - (media player) I don't remember this being hard to set up at all, other than getting the correct codes for my remote. I use this instead of mplayer since it can handle dvd menus.

Wine - got wine (acts like windows) working pretty quickly. Actually a lot easier than I expected. One of my windows programs wouldn't work with it, but not a big deal. I've heard some directX programs have issues with wine and this apparently was on of those programs.

FireFox - I installed the 32-bit version of Firefox so I could run Flash. Here's how or here

So basically, it's taken me about a week and a half to get this point (including time to build the system and install Fedora Core 5). I really didn't know much about linux when I started either although now I know more than I ever wanted to :)

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