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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, not much of an AV geek here, just generally one. I've been using a media streamer to watch movies from a server in my basement until I upgraded to HD, and now the media streamer doesn't work cause it was old.


So I started researching and found MythTV. Currently I pay for 3 dvr's in the house. Yes cause were all spoiled. @60$ a month is quite pricey. So I'm looking to fix that. So my understanding with mythtv is I can install mythbuntu, configure, and go. That's what I want to do. However I have 1 general question, and then hardware questions. If anyone's feeling up to it. I tried looking through the forms and reading, but I think its all causing more initial confusion than understanding



General Question. Once I setup this Mythbox or MythTVbox, I'm under the impression that I will no longer need a DVR, or Setop box, as MythTV will handle all of the program filtering and so on, for me. Is this accurate? If so would I only need 1, if I can atleast cut it back to that, I could cut back to 1 HD Settop, which owuld come standard with the service at no extra cost.


Hardware Questions:


Question 1. Capture Card. I've been looking at a few of them, and I guess I'm stuck because of the question above. I was looking at a few of the Haup's and a few of the Aver's but I'm not sure which one to get. Most of the Aver's I see do not have Coax hookup at all and are pure HDMI, so I'm under the impression that using this capture card would mean I would need a HD Set top box. So I'm looking to spend in the ball park of 100 bucks for this, hopefully no more.


Question 2: Goes towards the devices to hook up to the TV's. All I see are wired ones, are their any wireless ones? And if so are they significantly slower / more expensive? Either way, any suggestions on good ones? Obviously I'd like one that looks kinda of nice, but again I'd like to stay well under 100$ a piece for this as I need 3 of them. Or maybe just 2, not sure if TV #1 needs one or if it can hook up directly off of the main Mythtv Box?


Oh and to add, I am not using this system to watch TV on the computer although that's a nice bonus, I am using it to eliminate as many set top boxes and all DVR's.


--- Current hardware / Computer information ----

I have 3 machines to choose from when building this Mythtv box.


Option 1: Dell Optiplex GX150 (slowest machine), 1/2 gig of ram, 1 gig processor, yadda yadda. It's currently what I am using to run the replacement Movie Media Center.


Option 2: Dell Vostro 200. A step up. 2 gigs ram, 2 gig processor. yadda yadda.


Option 3: Home Flavor. AMD Athlon X2 3800, 2 gigs of high powered ram, this is my gaming machine, however I don't game anymore, so it can be recommissioned since it's only purpose is streaming movies to a projector.


Yes there all older machines but I think either the Dell or the Home built would be fine ot use. They both run Ubuntu just fine, I have tested both to the extreme. Although Ubuntu itself doesn't like my 42" tv as a screen, it does some weird scrolling thing. And it doesn't like my surround sound in the basement. But that aside, any advice on the above?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thoridyn /forum/post/19614678


General Question. Once I setup this Mythbox or MythTVbox, I'm under the impression that I will no longer need a DVR, or Setop box, as MythTV will handle all of the program filtering and so on, for me. Is this accurate? If so would I only need 1, if I can atleast cut it back to that, I could cut back to 1 HD Settop, which owuld come standard with the service at no extra cost.

You will most likely still need an HD set-top box (STB), but not a DVR model. Just a plain HD box. MythTV will then use it to tune into a channel and record from it.

Quote:
Hardware Questions:


Question 1. Capture Card. I've been looking at a few of them, and I guess I'm stuck because of the question above. I was looking at a few of the Haup's and a few of the Aver's but I'm not sure which one to get. Most of the Aver's I see do not have Coax hookup at all and are pure HDMI, so I'm under the impression that using this capture card would mean I would need a HD Set top box. So I'm looking to spend in the ball park of 100 bucks for this, hopefully no more.

To capture HD from a cable box, pretty much your only option is a Hauppauge HD-PVR. You might be able to record with Firewire from your STB instead, which would be cheaper. But most channels will probably be encrypted via Firewire.

Quote:
Question 2: Goes towards the devices to hook up to the TV's. All I see are wired ones, are their any wireless ones? And if so are they significantly slower / more expensive? Either way, any suggestions on good ones? Obviously I'd like one that looks kinda of nice, but again I'd like to stay well under 100$ a piece for this as I need 3 of them. Or maybe just 2, not sure if TV #1 needs one or if it can hook up directly off of the main Mythtv Box?


Oh and to add, I am not using this system to watch TV on the computer although that's a nice bonus, I am using it to eliminate as many set top boxes and all DVR's.

You'll want a computer that does the actual recording and storage of the videos (called a backend in MythTV terminology). And then you'll need one computer attached to each TV to do the playback from the backend (called a frontend in MythTV terminology).


For the backend you can use pretty much any old computer you have laying around, although faster is better for commercial flagging. You'll want lots of hard drive space, of course.


For frontends, you can also recycle old computers, but they need a modern nVidia video card for video playback. I'd actually recommend going with new computers, like a small form factor Acer Aspire Revo. They are downright tiny, smaller (probably much smaller) than the cable box from the cable company. Frontends don't need hardly any disk space, just enough for the OS. You can even boot from a flash drive or from the network, and skip the hard drive altogether.


Now this all probably sounds pretty expensive. And you would be right, it is. Just because the software is free does not mean MythTV is a "cheap" solution. But once you have all the hardware in place, and the software properly configured, MythTV is a luxury DVR, with features not found on any other DVR.


Hope this helps!

-- Kevin
 

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To add,


Your backend computer can also be a frontend. It does not have to be dedicated to backend duty. If you are trying to keep costs down, you could use your backend machine as one of the frontends for your TVs.


If you are planning to keep your current TV service (Cable? Satellite?) then the HD-PVR card is probably the best way to go. Keep in mind though that you will need a cable box and one HD-PVR card for EACH encrypted channel you will want to be able to tune to simultaneously (either for recording a show or watching live). That can get expensive quickly. If you want to just use Over the Air (OTA) broadcasts or unencrypted (Clear QAM cable) channels, you'll have much more freedom (but much fewer channels than what you get with pay services). With this setup, you can use a much wider range of tuner cards.


Matt
 

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Quote:
HDHomeRun® PRIME - three tuner CableCARD HDHomeRun® for Windows 7!

Say goodbye to the cable box watch and record premium cable TV channels on any Windows 7 computer on your home network!

Good luck getting that to work with MythTV. While I would love to see it happen, I doubt very seriously it will.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtleggjp /forum/post/19616704


Good luck getting that to work with MythTV. While I would love to see it happen, I doubt very seriously it will.

Actually, the SiliconDust devs use Mythtv as a test platform. They have already given the code to the Mythtv-devs and it will be included. You will be able to use it no problem but will be at the mercy of the cable company as to what copy flag is set on the stream.
 

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So in other words, you might get a few more channels out of it, but only the ones with the copy freely flag? I'd assume that the HDHomeRun would not let content with more restrictive copy flags out unless it had some sort of encryption. MythTV would then have to encrypt all recordings on such channels in order to be part of the acceptable recipients, and that is what I can't see happening. Not because the MythTV devs don't want to do it, but because such a thing is likely not possible with an open source program like MythTV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The video I watched with this guy setting up his own mythtv box he used an AverMedia MTVHDDRR ( link to follow ) as the capture device, and then transmitted to each tv, via network to a hauppaug ( link to follow )


Do you disagree with this method? Or is there something about it that won't work well?


Space not a problem I have over 5 terabyte of space. And calculating the items listed here above I'd be looking at around 400$ to set up all the TV's. which comes out to like 34 bucks a month for the first year then free after that. Vs 3 DVR's @ 20$ a piece..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok I can't post links but here the info copied from Tiger Direct :p


Hauppauge 1340 MediaMVP-HD Digital Media Player - Stream up to 1080p, HDMI Out, USB, Ethernet, NTSC, PAL, Remote Control


and


AverMedia MTVHDDVRR AVerTV PCIe HD Video Capture Card - HDMI
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtleggjp /forum/post/19619721


So in other words, you might get a few more channels out of it, but only the ones with the copy freely flag? I'd assume that the HDHomeRun would not let content with more restrictive copy flags out unless it had some sort of encryption. MythTV would then have to encrypt all recordings on such channels in order to be part of the acceptable recipients, and that is what I can't see happening. Not because the MythTV devs don't want to do it, but because such a thing is likely not possible with an open source program like MythTV.

What it will do is read the cable companies channel mapping and handle the cable companies channel shuffling for you. In that sense it is better for cable than the existing HDHomeRun where one must regularly manually rescan and then edit the channel map to correct for the continuous channel shuffling that the cable company does.


So your choices are:

Clear QAM tuner (HDHomeRun or other USB or PCIe tuner).


HDHomeRun Prime, cable card ready, equivalent of 3 cable boxs + firewire, except that unlike the firewire connection, it is likely to actually work.


And cable box + HDPVR. The only solution that actually allows recording of copy never content (until the component outputs are disabled/degraded, then you would have to add a HDMI to component adapter of questionable legality). Expensive and only handles one channel at a time.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thoridyn /forum/post/19621454


Ok I can't post links but here the info copied from Tiger Direct :p


Hauppauge 1340 MediaMVP-HD Digital Media Player - Stream up to 1080p, HDMI Out, USB, Ethernet, NTSC, PAL, Remote Control

That would work for playback, through UPnP, but it doesn't give you the full power of a MythTV frontend. You wouldn't get commercial autoskip, timestretch, view program listings, schedule recordings, etc., etc.


I think your best bet is an Acer Aspire Revo 1600, available on ebay for about $200, although you'll want to add more memory to them, they need 2GB for MythTV, and most of the ones on ebay only have 1GB. No problem, they take standard laptop memory sticks.


You can install a myth frontend on a computer you already have, just to try things out before buying more computers.

Quote:
AverMedia MTVHDDVRR AVerTV PCIe HD Video Capture Card - HDMI

No good for MythTV. No Linux drivers. Also, even if it did have Linux drivers, it doesn't have a hardware encoder, meaning you'll need a very beefy CPU on the backend to encode the captured video to MPEG2 or h.264.


The Hauppauge HD-PVR 1212 is a much better choice of capture device. I have two of them myself, they work well with MythTV on Linux.
 

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Hi I've been reading a lot of the forums and ended up here. I've just ordered

the parts to build a starter mythbuntu box. I'm going to use it as a backend/ front end box for now to get to know it and see if it's what I'm looking for.

I've got these components coming in the next few days:

Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H mobo

AMD Athlon X2 7850 Black 2.8 Dual-Core processor

4GB Corsair DDR2 ram

WD 1001 FALS Black 1tb sata HD

A guy on the Linux forum is helping me spec the parts but he doesn't use a capture card so doesn't know what to recommend for one.

I think I'd like something with multiple tuners and capable of at least some HD capture

I'm thinking of using OTA, I have TWC w/1HD-DVR now, I've just picked up a PS-3 for a Blue ray/Netflix for me and a game machine for the kids (family Xmas present).

Can anyone help me out with some recomendations.

If all goes well ultimately I'd like set up about 3-4 front ends after I get to know Mythbuntu.

Also what should I look for in the way of a remote. I read somewhere about an inexpensive universal that was recommended but can't remember where I saw it.

Thanks Jeff
 

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For OTA, the HDHomeRun works quite well, and is well supported.


If you want an internal tuner card, pick one from here: http://linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/ATSC_Devices


A good, inexpensive single tuner is the Hauppauge HVR-1250. I have one myself, works quite well. A dual tuner that would work is the DViCO FusionHDTV7 Dual Express. But two HVR-1250's would actually be cheaper.


As for a remote, the best supported IR receivers in Linux are the MCE-compatible USB receivers. Newegg and Amazon have a few that come with a remote for under $30. Later you can replace the remote with something nicer like a Logitech Harmony, and keep using the same IR receiver.


Hope this helps!

-- Kevin
 
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