MythTV vs. Vista MCE: First Impressions (Looong!) - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 48 Old 06-04-2007, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by wnewell View Post

But, if you don't have cable and use free OTA ATSC HDTV, there's no better option than building your own system. I've never liked the idea of pay TV, and I've never had it in ny 60+ years. I know a lot of people that get get cable/sat just because they are too lazy or too stupid to mount a decent antenna. NTSC has always had interference problems of some sort and limits you to SDTV (here in US), But ATSC is cyrstal clear and provides the best HDTV signal you will get. I've never recommended MythTV for someone with cable or sat. There's just cheaper easier options from the providers, especially with HD. But if you find paying $100 a month for HDTV from those providers rediculous as I do, and you want multiple recordings as I do (3 or more), then a home built is the only way to go. And if you want to do it as cheap as possible, then Linux is the only way to go. And I've got both HDTV's and regualr TV's and ATSC MythTV works great with all of them.


Well that's a good point, and didn't really occur to me because I basically never watch network TV other than PBS. Most everything I watch, be it SD or HD, is only available on cable. MythTV was a good alternative to a SD DVR for basic cable, but not an option for pay HD channels. On the other hand I can see how in your case MythTV actually makes more sense than any other option.
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post #32 of 48 Old 06-04-2007, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by wnewell View Post

But, if you don't have cable and use free OTA ATSC HDTV, there's no better option than building your own system. I've never liked the idea of pay TV, and I've never had it in ny 60+ years. I know a lot of people that get get cable/sat just because they are too lazy or too stupid to mount a decent antenna. NTSC has always had interference problems of some sort and limits you to SDTV (here in US), But ATSC is cyrstal clear and provides the best HDTV signal you will get. I've never recommended MythTV for someone with cable or sat. There's just cheaper easier options from the providers, especially with HD. But if you find paying $100 a month for HDTV from those providers rediculous as I do, and you want multiple recordings as I do (3 or more), then a home built is the only way to go. And if you want to do it as cheap as possible, then Linux is the only way to go. And I've got both HDTV's and regualr TV's and ATSC MythTV works great with all of them.

"Too lazy or too stupid" is trollware. The original post pointed out that the NFL package was the main reason for DirecTv. Try to stay within the bounds of good manners, please.
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post #33 of 48 Old 06-04-2007, 08:05 PM
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For a self proclaimed Microsoft hater that was a pretty fair review. It's been quite a while since I visited AVS Forum, and your post reminded me why I should hang out here more often. Good stuff. If you have any questions about Windows Media Center, or need assistance don't hesitate to ask.

Charlie Owen
Program Manager
Microsoft
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post #34 of 48 Old 06-05-2007, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by gmallen View Post

"Too lazy or too stupid" is trollware. The original post pointed out that the NFL package was the main reason for DirecTv. Try to stay within the bounds of good manners, please.

Echoing the comment, It's not about stupidity or lazyness, it's about content and ease of use for me. I'm locked until the NFL has another round with the cable folks.

I've got a oversized channelmaster antenna on the roof dialed in to Sutro Tower in SF, and get a great picture from it - watched the Superbowl that way very happily. I have a HD tuner card and FTA Twinhan card in my HTPC and it works well for what it works with.

Daily viewing though, multiple networked Tivos offer a consistant ,easy to use interface across multiple TV's in the house - which makes for a much improved occupant rating on the ease of use. Sure, the old HD DirecTivo can work with the antenna, but the SD DirecTivo's sadly do not have this capability.
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post #35 of 48 Old 06-05-2007, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by bgkorn View Post

Having spent too much of my weekend recovering from a failed hard drive in an expanded DirecTV Tivo (with the loss of recorded programming) I got to thinking about MythTV and other alternatives. Great to read the writeup, but I'm stymied as I do not get my signal over the air or through cable. (The decision is pretty much driven by the NFL package)

Anything on the horizon with regard to DirecTV tuner cards that could be leveraged by Myth or other software? Failing that, I seem to be stuck in a world of patching old DirecTV Tivo's until I lose programming support for them.

I'm not sure if this has been noted within the thread yet, but Vista Media Center will be getting native DIRECTV at a later date.

Chris
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post #36 of 48 Old 06-05-2007, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisL01 View Post

I'm not sure if this has been noted within the thread yet, but Vista Media Center will be getting native DIRECTV at a later date.

Chris

what, what, WHAT?!?! Well, dang.

here is a story 'bout that.

That might be good reason to look into Vista in the future. Good thing I made backups of Vista before I wiped it!
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post #37 of 48 Old 06-05-2007, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmallen View Post

"Too lazy or too stupid" is trollware. The original post pointed out that the NFL package was the main reason for DirecTv. Try to stay within the bounds of good manners, please.

I said "I know a lot of people". That does not include everyone or every case. You're welcome for the english lesson.
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post #38 of 48 Old 06-17-2007, 05:21 PM
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First off, I must say this is a great writeup! its been tough to find people that have been using Media Center, because i've been having trouble. I've run into some things that people should probably know about, and hope some people read them here;

Vista's Media Center runs great, out of the box. however, you need to be careful of what you install, because some software conflicts with VMC. (including, but not limited to, Sony Vegas, Adobe Acrobat 8, etc.) i have found this out the hard way, through my own testing. most functions of VMC will work fine with these programs installed, but not the TV tuner portion of the program. if you plan on using the TV in VMC, don't use the listed programs, it won't work


Just a heads-up!


Max
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post #39 of 48 Old 06-18-2007, 10:54 PM
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Ok I have to admit I am a bit one sided on the PVR issue, for one I wanted something that would let me move recorded shows off of the unit and edit them, compress them and store, and access them from more than the TV hooked to the Unit. I have an OLD P3 600MHz, 384MB RAM, a 80 GIG EIDE HD, and a 320 GIG USB HD. So I bought a Hauppauge PVR-350 for suprising less than a TIVO, and after a few nights and a weekend of installing and Configuring, I have a nice setup for recording, Watching TV, and MythVideo works great to re-play anything off my USB I deemed worth Preserving just by changing the file name and moving it there. Everything works from the remote on my couch.

Trying Run a Bloatware PVR on the Same machine would be just stupid, but Linux plays well, even Watching a Recorded show, while recording one CPU never gets above, 85-90%, If I had a few more cycles I'd turn on Commercial flagging but until then this does more than any TIVO unit, and far less expensive than just the WindoseMediaCenter $oftware.
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post #40 of 48 Old 09-30-2007, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by MadMax08 View Post

Vista's Media Center runs great, out of the box. however, you need to be careful of what you install, because some software conflicts with VMC. (including, but not limited to, Sony Vegas, Adobe Acrobat 8, etc.) i have found this out the hard way, through my own testing. most functions of VMC will work fine with these programs installed, but not the TV tuner portion of the program. if you plan on using the TV in VMC, don't use the listed programs, it won't work.

mh?
Even with the update 8.1? I have a tuner card but I haven't configured in VMC yet but its own software seems to run fine.
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post #41 of 48 Old 12-05-2007, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by wnewell View Post

But, if you don't have cable and use free OTA ATSC HDTV, there's no better option than building your own system. ...

Myhd works pretty well if that is the route you are taking.

--G
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post #42 of 48 Old 12-05-2007, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by cesman View Post

Have you posted details on the KnoppMyth forum? You can help other by posting your script and who knows, perhaps it will be included in a future release.
....Might I ask why you think you'd be happier w/ Ubuntu+Myth over

Well...I'm not the one to whom you addressed the question, but I can help here.

I tried KnoppMyth last year, had the usual startup difficulties, and tried to post to the KnoppMyth forums for help, but there is actually no place to post. The moderator insists you follow his rather obscure rules as to what goes where, and should you misplace your post he simply deletes it, as opposed to taking the more user-friendly tact of placing it in the "proper' place and pointing you to the re-post. In short, the KnoppMyth forum is not helpful if you are a newbie trying to crack the secret KnoppMyth handshake codes.

This year I'm going to try Ubuntu+Myth, mostly because the moderators of the Ubuntu forums try to be helpful.
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post #43 of 48 Old 12-06-2007, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisL01 View Post

I'm not sure if this has been noted within the thread yet, but Vista Media Center will be getting native DIRECTV at a later date.

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Originally Posted by DireWolf08 View Post

what, what, WHAT?!?! Well, dang.

here is a story 'bout that.

This story is datelined: January 05, 2006 - 09:40PM CT

That is nearly two years ago! So where is this wonderful DrekTV compatibility? Just more Microsoft FUD?

The Grocers' Apostrophe, an AVS Forum tradition.
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post #44 of 48 Old 12-06-2007, 11:46 AM
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How exactly could an undelivered product be fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD)? At least call it something that makes sense, like Vaperware.

Anyway, yes it is still coming. And no time frame has been publicly announced.

Chris
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post #45 of 48 Old 12-06-2007, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by georgepds View Post

Myhd works pretty well if that is the route you are taking.

--G

So it's free and supports unlimited tuners and systems across the network as one system? I've got 6 HDTV tuners now across 3 machines, and to each user it all appears as one system. The main reason I use MythTV.
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post #46 of 48 Old 12-06-2007, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisL01 View Post

How exactly could an undelivered product be fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD)? At least call it something that makes sense, like Vaperware.

Anyway, yes it is still coming. And no time frame has been publicly announced.

Vaporware announcements are one element of FUD: uncertainty. ie., "I won't buy product X because M$ is coming out with something better."

Two years out, and still no time frame for product. Maybe it will ship alongside Duke Nukem Forever!

The Grocers' Apostrophe, an AVS Forum tradition.
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post #47 of 48 Old 01-23-2008, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Phaid View Post

Once I got HDTV in December of 05, the MythTV box really wasn't an option any more. Since then I've had HD digital cable from two different providers (Comcast and Optimum) both with the Scientific Atlanta SA8300HD DVR (though Comcast and Optimum load different firmware onto the DVR). Frankly, there's no comparison between the commercial DVR and MythTV. The commercial system does everything faster (powering up, changing channels) and never, ever crashes.

The other advantage the cable co. DVRs have is the simple quantity of hardware they ship with, that would cost a fortune to replicate in a FOSS system: the SA 8300HD, for example, has 4 tuners (2 NTSC, 2 QAM) 2 of which can be used simultaneously (to record one program while watching another live one, or record two programs while watching a third prerecorded one) and four outputs (composite, S-video, HDMI, and component), two of which may be used simultaneously to output different programs.

Bottom line, if you have a 4:3 CRT TV and basic cable, MythTV is probably a cost-effective solution, and certainly more flexible than any commercial solution out there. If you have a nice widescreen TV and digital cable with HD channels, MythTV just can't compete with the stuff the cable company offers, and even if you have the time and money to build an equivalent system the result won't be as good.

My story:

I bought a widescreen HDTV CRT (without built-in HD tuner) in the summer of 2003 to replace an old dying analog TV. I time-shift the majority of my TV viewing. As a result, any HD tuner I would consider buying had to have PVR capability. I'd been subscribing to analog cable because I was initially told by my HOA that rooftop antennas were not allowed (I know better after joining and reading AVSForum and learning about the FCC laws). Our situation in Denver is such that we didn't have full power HD broadcasts, but will hopefully by this summer, so I held off buying an ATSC tuner and watched line-doubled analog cable for the last few years. I hate paying monthly fees for stuff like cable, so Tivo Series 3, even at the cheapest pre-pay subscription of $100/year was not so appetizing. I figured Tivo S3 at $600 + $300 (3 year) upfront subscription fee adds up to roughly $900 over 3 years. The recently introduced HD-Tivo at only $300 is cheaper, but only 20 hours recording storage is ridiculous. This summer, Comcast offered a special deals on HD cable, like free HD-PVR and free 2nd room install, so I bit and ordered it with their HD-PVR, however, instead of just paying $7-9/month for basic HD channels, they forced me to upgrade to their premium HD package with all their HD channels in order to get the HD-PVR. I got a 6-month discount on my cable internet as well. But all my discounts have expired and I'm currently paying $75/month more for HD-PVR and HD channels. So that's $900 a year. The only HD-PVR Comcast offers in my area is a Motorola (DCT3416) which is a dual tuner and stores about 30 hours of HD content). I've noticed some limitations such as it freezes up and reboots when I try to switch between watching 2 recordings and a live channel. I quickly filled up the 30 hour capacity after only a few months and had to keep deleting unwatched programs to record new programs. An hour of HD uses up 7% of the drive. For the typical 3 1/2 hour college football game, that is amost 25% of the drive space I have to have free. On a weekend that I need to record both a college and NFL game without being able to watch and delete one before recording the other, I needed to have almost 1/2 the hard drive free space! MythTV is free, but you have to pay $20/year for Schedules Direct program guide. I've priced out hardware for a dual tuner HD HTPC at $850 (that includes networking hardware like a router and UTP cable, ATSC antenna, DVI cable, and 500GB drive which should be good for 70 hours less the OS and Myth software). I am spec'ing my HTPC for both MythTV and VistaMCE rather than a "wnewell cheapie" because it needs to be a front/back end Myth box in a MicroATX media case that will be as close to a silent PC as possible in my A/V rack under the TV, going for Core2Duo because of heat and power savings and 2 GB RAM. I plan on running MythTV, but want the option to maybe set up a dual boot for VistaMCE if that suits my needs better (Blu-Ray or HD-DVD, although I'll be using it for TV viewing 90%+). The Myth option is cheaper than cable HD-PVR after the 1st year, while the Tivo option is cheaper than Myth for the first 3 years. HD-Tivo ($300) plus 3 year-subscription ($300) plus a 500GB drive (either replacing the internal or future eSATA - $100) is cheaper than my Myth box until after 5 years. I'm looking to keep the system at least 10 years, if not forever, so Myth is most cost effective over the long haul. The other benefit of Myth is ATSC, which is better resolution than compressed QAM cable. Supposedly cable-card will be available with Tivo, but I feel that the cable companies are very reluctant. I want my Myth system to be reliable, so am leaning towards Mythdora since Mythbuntu and Knopmyth are both based on unstable Debian. Is Myth more reliable than VistaMCE? I'd hate to loose a recording because it crashed while recording in progress. Another bonus of Myth is that I can stream a program to a computer in my bedroom office (if it's a Linux box running Myth front end, or maybe the new Myth front end for Windows on a Vista box) when I want to catch some live TV (like the news) while working on a computer without having to run downstairs to the living room.
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post #48 of 48 Old 01-30-2008, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm the original poster. Was in the neighborhood and wanted to give you all an update...

It's now months later and, believe it or not, I've moved back to MythTV. This time, I've had great fun discovering the true joys of the frontend / backend architecture- now my daughter can watch all of her favorite shows on her Mac mini while Mom & Dad watch the "big TV." I've set up a 3 TB RAID 5 array (3.8 including the "redundant" space) for all of my family's media... It has lots of nice blinking lights and it's still nowhere near full. I'm mere inches away from my own personal HTPC Nirvana.

I've also learned that it's not so hard to get Team Fortress 2 playing well under Linux. This has added to the overall fun factor. I even edited the Myth menu XML files so that I can start my Orange Box games with the remote. Sweet!

You may be interested to know, though, that the thing that got me to start thinking about "switching" to Myth (again) was the fact that I was never able to get the 2nd tuner on my Hauppauge recognized under Vista. It's truly the little things that count.

Let's see what happens, but I think I'm "long" on MythTV this time.

---

"This flip-flop is endorsed by Mitt for President 2008"
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