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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I built an HTPC with Mythbuntu over a year ago, but never got it working because I couldn't get my tuner working (Silicon Dust claimed it was low signal, and we had our full digital changeover in June when I was on vacation, but can't try it again since something happened to the power unit, and they are sending me a new one). I recently loaded Mythbuntu 9.04 on it and it looks good.


1. Assuming I ever get this thing fully working, I'd like to stream TV over my network to my main Ubuntu PC (4 core Q6600) in my bedroom office. Do I have to load Mybuntu front end on my Ubuntu PC to watch TV? Mythbuntu seems to take over the PC and I'm not sure I can get it to run like a regular application and task switch among other tasks (Open Office, programming, browsing, etc.).


2. Can CDs be played live without ripping? I only see options to play DVDs live. So I ripped a CD and played it (actually seemed like it was playing live rather than from hard disk as the CD/DVD player spun the whole time. However I can't get any sound out of my receiver. I connected the sound with a regular RCA cable between the SP/DIF output and my digital coax input on my receiver. I tried toggling between CD (digital and analog), DVD (digital and analog) and TV input sources on my receiver. Hmm, it's set up for 2 channel speakers - maybe I have to toggle the Dolby Digital setting - but I'm not sure what'll happen since I only have 2 speakers.


3. I've been considering buying a 5.1 HT speaker setup for my bedroom office. People (not in this forum) have suggested buying an HT receiver with HDMI. Do I need HDMI since I'll be using my Ubuntu (or Mythbuntu app) PC mainly for watching TV (and maybe an occasional DVD) and listening to CDs? Since my video sources will all be from the PC (via network for TV), I don't see any reason to send the video to the receiver. I'm thinking I could buy an older HT receiver without HDMI. My roughtly 10 year old receiver in the living room is only 5.1 DD, so I figured that would be sufficient for the setup there (the TV is DVI only so I use HDMI to DVI converter to get video from the HTPC to TV).
 

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1. No, you can just load mythfrontend from the ubuntu repo or the vdpau one from jean if you have vdpau-capable vid card.


2. Yes. Make sure the spdif channel is un-muted in alsamixer.


3. I use this in my br/office with optical spdif -- looks and sounds great -- worth every penny. If you don't have anything that uses hdmi then you don't need it.
 

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To address the point of task switching in a little more detail, here's what I do. I didn't install Mythbuntu. I just did a regular Debain installation (you can install the distro of your choice) with the Gnome desktop environment. Then I added MythTV (frontend on one computer, backend on another).


I run MythTV on its own virtual desktop. When I want to do other things with the computer, I just switch to another desktop with Ctrl+Alt+Right arrow (or left arrow). I use Gnome, but I believe this works with KDE as well. I have no idea about Xfce.


-- Kevin
 

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And you can always run it in window mode along with your other apps, or even in full screen mode and Alt-Tab between apps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by mythmaster /forum/post/16925666


1. No, you can just load mythfrontend from the ubuntu repo or the vdpau one from jean if you have vdpau-capable vid card.


2. Yes. Make sure the spdif channel is un-muted in alsamixer.


3. I use this in my br/office with optical spdif -- looks and sounds great -- worth every penny. If you don't have anything that uses hdmi then you don't need it.

1. Yes, going through the setup options, I noticed that you can check the box to run Myth front end in a window. So I can Alt-Tab between it (or better yet, hook up a second monitor just for watching TV).


2. Hmm, have to look for alsamixer, but I think I figured out my sound problems. Had to fiddle with my receiver settings in a different order to get sound from a CD. Then I tried a DVD, and it sounded like digital static and I had to change the setting from ALSA:default to SPDIF, and suddenly the Dolby Pro Logic and multiple channel icons lit up on my receiver. Interestingly enough, I can only set Myth to send Stereo, not 5.1, and PCM, but the receiver detects and decodes either Dolby Digital or Dolby Surround as selected on the DVD setup menu. DD is better sounding and I was able to verify that it truly was DD mixed to 2 channels with the DVD THX audio test pattern that goes from LF to center to RF to RS to RB to LB to LS to subwoofer. So now all I need is my new HDHomerun power supply to try and tune HDTV. I've gone from a 1.5 year old $500 doorstop to at least a media center in 1 weekend! So now I don't need to buy a DVD player for my bedroom office and can toss out the POS non-progressive-scan crap Comcast HSN "free" DVD player in my living room...


I'm just using a cheap $15 wireless keyboard and mouse and only know that the arrow keys work to select forward or backward scenes or chapters on the DVD as well as Esc to quit. Do you guys know how to display an on-screen menu of the chapter/scene numbers and what other keys have functionality? I don't have LIRC setup, yet.


3. That Logictech system has decent reviews and costs as little as the used KEF 2005.2 5.1 speaker system I was considering buying for my bedroom office.
 

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From commandline, you can use mythfrontend with the geometry option: e.g.
Code:
Code:
mythfrontend -geometry 640x480
I don't think it puts it in a window, but you should be able to Alt-Tab away pretty easily.


What program are you using for dvd playback? If you are using myth's internal player then you can use the "m" to get to the menu myth menu system and then to the DVD's menu system. there is probably a shortcut, but I don't watch many dvds...


Overall, the following page will help you with default keyboard mappings (which you can change). You can also see these in mythweb or if you install mythcontrols you will have an edit keys menu in mythtfrontend.

http://www.mythtv.org/docs/mythtv-HOWTO-11.html
 

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2. alsamixer is run from a terminal, but if you're getting audio through spdif now, then it's un-muted. You can still check:
Code:
Code:
alsamixer
Arrow keys move around and change volume, and "m" mutes and un-mutes whatever channel is selected. "Esc" exits.


Also, the only way I was able to get proper spdif output from mythtv (it's been several months, though) was to set the audio output to /dev/dsp and check the DD and DTS pass-through boxes. Might be worth a shot.


3. Keep in mind that this is an amp+speakers.
It also has inputs for other devices such as mp3 player, game console, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had checked DD pass-through, but not DTS since my receiver is only DD. I'm not sure if it is really getting DD PCM data since it wouldn't work with stereo setting and not 5.1. It did know to light up all the 5.1 icons on the receiver when I selected DD from the DVD menu and only lit up 2.1 icons with Dolby Surround. Hopefully it is not taking 2 channel data and re-processing to DD or DS, but I could hear the difference between the two (even with only 2 channel full-range speakers). I should select DTS from my DVD to see what happens.


I also toggled between ALSA Mixer and /dev/mixer?, but it didn't seem to make a difference.


That HOW-TO guide only seems to list key mappings for TV and not DVD, but I haven't had time to look through it thoroughly.


I just got my HDHR replacement power cord delivered to work and hope to spend some time tonight scanning channels. Fingers crossed for HDTV reception...


My gym replaced a few of it's old TVs with 16x9 LCDs and last night they were finally hooked up, but the pictures are crap - looks like fuzzy static analog in wide-screen. The old TVs were hooked up to satellite. I sure hope they aren't up-converting or down-converting analog for such crappy pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I played some CDs yesterday and it kept skipping (dropping out for a 2-3 seconds) every few minutes. I don't remember this happening last weekend. I was thinking it was the hard drive (Hitachi Deskstar 1GB) which I could hear thumping regularly when I first installed it, probably because I tightened it too tightly to the rubber isolation mounts, but I loosed it soon after and the thumping went away and I watched the disk light and it wasn't lighting up whenever the CD sound dropped out. Anybody else experience this or know what is causing it? It's extremely annoying and makes the CD playing unusable.


I also got it to scan channels with my HDHomerun, but I was only able to tune in a handful of useless religious, etc. channels, not even one network channel. One of the former WB channels (now Fox owned), WGN DT comes in at 100%, yet won't lock. Other channels up to 69% strength won't lock. My Philips MANT510 indoor amplified VHF/UHF antenna hooked up to the 2nd floor alcove above the living room is still oriented to last summer when I had hooked up an STB for the downtown (8 mi NW) low strength signals. I'm going to try reorienting due west (20 mi) where the new tower above the foothills is now at full strength broadcasting most of the channels.
 

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I had similar problems before upgrading to the latest version of alsa... now I am able to specify alsa devices in mythtv and get 5.1 sound


Quote:
Originally Posted by mythmaster /forum/post/16937211


2. alsamixer is run from a terminal, but if you're getting audio through spdif now, then it's un-muted. You can still check:
Code:
Code:
alsamixer
Arrow keys move around and change volume, and "m" mutes and un-mutes whatever channel is selected. "Esc" exits.


Also, the only way I was able to get proper spdif output from mythtv (it's been several months, though) was to set the audio output to /dev/dsp and check the DD and DTS pass-through boxes. Might be worth a shot.


3. Keep in mind that this is an amp+speakers.
It also has inputs for other devices such as mp3 player, game console, etc.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTimeShifter /forum/post/16941860


That HOW-TO guide only seems to list key mappings for TV and not DVD, but I haven't had time to look through it thoroughly.

If you are using the internal player, they aren't much different. You just have more choices when you bring up the menu (you'll have an option to go to the dvd root menu and a chapter selection menu).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Anybody experience the dropout problem playing CDs?


I've been busy shopping for, listening to, and researching other areas on AVS Forum for a 2.1 system for my office bedroom for the past couple of weeks, so haven't done any more troubleshooting. The HTPC has been sitting in hibernations since then. The night before last, I hooked up the digital output from my cheap-ass non-progressive DVD player that Comcast gave me for signing up for digital cable a few years ago and yesterday hooked up a new sub to my living room system, but couldn't get any sound from the digital out, so I fired up the HTPC to make sure I had plugged it into the correct RCA on my receiver (I'm sharing an LR RCA cable to swap between the 2 players since there is only 1 coax digital input on my old receiver (to be replaced by a new one with 2 coax inputs on Monday). However, it boots and displays the Mythbuntu splash screen, then goes blank. I rebooted and hit Escape to the bootloader and tried 3 different recovery items as well as one or two of the regular Mythbuntu items, but always the same blank screen after the splash screen. I ran the fsck and rebuild/recover packages and ran Memtest overnight, but still get the blank screen. What should I do? The only thing I know to do now is to reinstall from CD...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro /forum/post/17044938


Anyone know if the 785G chipset is supported, or the hauppage 950Q usb tv tuner?

The 785G is not well suited for a HTPC (not even with Windows) as it doesn't support 5.1/7.1 audio over HDMI (it only supports 2 channel audio over HDMI).


With Linux it's even less useful as you won't get any hardware assisted video decoding with the 785G.


Nvidia 8 or 9 series is the best way to go for a Linux HTPC, see here for a good selection of Linux HTPC boards.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTimeShifter /forum/post/17043900


Anybody experience the dropout problem playing CDs?


I've been busy shopping for, listening to, and researching other areas on AVS Forum for a 2.1 system for my office bedroom for the past couple of weeks, so haven't done any more troubleshooting. The HTPC has been sitting in hibernations since then. The night before last, I hooked up the digital output from my cheap-ass non-progressive DVD player that Comcast gave me for signing up for digital cable a few years ago and yesterday hooked up a new sub to my living room system, but couldn't get any sound from the digital out, so I fired up the HTPC to make sure I had plugged it into the correct RCA on my receiver (I'm sharing an LR RCA cable to swap between the 2 players since there is only 1 coax digital input on my old receiver (to be replaced by a new one with 2 coax inputs on Monday). However, it boots and displays the Mythbuntu splash screen, then goes blank. I rebooted and hit Escape to the bootloader and tried 3 different recovery items as well as one or two of the regular Mythbuntu items, but always the same blank screen after the splash screen. I ran the fsck and rebuild/recover packages and ran Memtest overnight, but still get the blank screen. What should I do? The only thing I know to do now is to reinstall from CD...

That sounds like a graphics driver problem. If it's an nvidia card, try booting to root shell from the grub menu and reinstalling the nvidia driver. They just updated stable, so maybe try downloading and installing that one.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tux99 /forum/post/17048324


See newer article here:
http://www.anandtech.com/weblog/showpost.aspx?i=629

For most users, this will not matter, as two-channel LPCM is available along with 5.1 S/PDIF audio outputs through the HDMI port. However


If I understand it dolby digital 5.1 and DTS work through HDMI, but not 7.1. Am I not understanding it right. Regardless, you can get it through the optical audio output, but its not as slick a set up, you have two wires instead of one. My receiver has the optical connection and no hdmi, so its the way I have to go anyways.
 

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I haven't really messed around with HD audio yet. Do Blue ray disks and HD broadcasts still support the S/PDIF 5.1 or have they dumped support to go with LPCM 7.1 I think I've learned that I have not kept up with audio formats in the post dvd audio age.


I currently watch HDTV and DVD's with stereo sound as its awkward to set up surround sound in the family room. The stereo speakers were $500 plus OHM speakers from the 1980's though and sound far better then 90% of home theater speakers I have heard, but obviously no surround sound. Plus with stereo it seems like movies add too much bass to human voice, that seems to get cleaned up with 5.1 audio. Most home theater speakers that I have heard sound like poop when playing music. I think to match the sound you would need 5 or 7 good tower speakers $250 plus each(sorry those little satellites don't cut it) and a high end power sub $500 plus. So 7.1 would be very painful on the savings account. I have seen some in wall speakers from polk audio that look promising, but haven't listened to them.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro /forum/post/17048919


I haven't really messed around with HD audio yet. Do Blue ray disks and HD broadcasts still support the S/PDIF 5.1 or have they dumped support to go with LPCM 7.1

Typically, the newer ones such as "Watchmen: Director's Cut" will use DTS HD MA with a DTS core, so if your amp decodes DTS it will play the DTS core in 5.1. They usually come with AC3 tracks, as well (DD).


They've been pretty good about not pissing everyone off by breaking compatibility.


I know what you mean about speakers. My Z-5500's have a "Pro-Logic II Music" mode that sounds pretty damn awesome, but they can't compare to home-built speaker systems. A friend of mine is a musician / audiophile that builds his own speaker cabinets, and WOW! I've never heard anything more clean and crisp! Even on MP3's they sound just incredible.


Back to HDMI, you are correct that 7.1 LPCM isn't supported in linux yet. Be careful before buying, though, because some of them only support 2 channel LPCM through HDMI.
 
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