Brad's comments on the world of technology...

My experiment with Mythtv

I love my tivo. I've added a big disk to it. But I want to see more of my "personal media" on the tv (pictures, movies, etc) so I decided to make a Mythtv box.

I made a nice new pc in a "stereo cabinet like" box. I used a motherboard with built in HDMI output (very nice) and a 64 bit AMD cpu. I got all this from Mwave.


And of course I stuffed a dvd cdrom drive and a huge SATA disk drive.

Using a motherboard with HDMI out was key, becauase I just bought a big lcd hdtv.

When it arrived installed Ubuntu using this page:


I bought a Tivo remote control because everyone in my house knows how to use one. I got it from WeaKnees. I love the stuff they sell.

I then found I had an "IR problem". I solved it with a USBUIRT device, which I also love. Get the one with the 56k detector. It "just worked".

Interesting bits:

- I found a tivo control file which described the tivo remote. And then I had to hack the mapping file quite a bit to get it to be the way I wanted.

- Support for the nvidia chipset was not in the kernel. I used an install package from Nvidia which was scary. But it did provide a nice X windows based config tool which turned out to be handy.

(X windows looks *really* nice on my hdtv. It makes me thing my next monitor for my office will be a 40" lcd hdtv. why not? huge screen!)

- DVD's did not "just play" by default. Instead I got odd /dev/hdc i/o errors. I asked a friend (thanks Bill!) and installed a few missing DVD decode packages. apt-get to the rescue. It then worked fine. I thought for a 1/2 day I had a bad cd-rom drive.


After many apt-gets and much twiddling I now have a nice Mythtv box which responds to a tivo remote. I can view my video and pictures and watch Jim Lehrer on the big screen (my record list is only PBS and F1 on Speed :-)

I may still get a HD Tivo, but the MythTv is a very nice adjunct and allows me to do things in a nice linuxy way with my home media. I plan to try firewire next and if that works ok I may skip the tivo hd...

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