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View Full Version : Mythbuntu .22 is a hit!


thor999
12-22-2009, 07:11 PM
For those of you unfamiliar w/ the MythTv project, you really should investigate as it makes for the best possible media player / Tivo type DVR, and w/ an annual guide fee of $20.00! I believe money can be made here, and think it is in every tech's best interest to at least learn some Linux. I have been struggling w/ a working installation for a month now, yes; but well worth it, the final product is nothing short of amazing, and is completely controllable w/ a sleek $35.00 remote. My total build cost is under $500.00 for a 1tb drive, 2 gigs ram, tuner card, AMD 5200 cpu, HDCP ready video card w/ HDMI and DVI out, and very nice HTPC case. Sound expensive? It almost pays for itself the first year compared to rented cable boxes or Tivo w/ fees, and neither of those come close to the capabilities of this powerhouse.
If anyone shows interest here I'll begin posting links, and am subscribing to thread now. Good luck, and if you download the ISO, remember to check media for integrity, anything shy of perfection will make your life miserable! Also, if you are going to purchase new hardware for this project, think QUIET! :)

chrisaroz
12-22-2009, 09:12 PM
How is it better than Windows Media Center? You can get that going for $500 or less with no fees at all.

thor999
12-22-2009, 09:31 PM
Configurable settings, add-ons and plug-ins, overall appearance and performance; there simply is NO comparison, and not to mention the price :D Also I can switch to MAME when the movie gets boring and never touch a keyboard or mouse. Check into it, you'll never want to mess w/ WMC again, trust me. BTW you get a working schedule guide for scheduled recordings, w/ complete listings for free w/ WMC? That's news to me! Here is a youtube demo, very basic and old as well, keep in mind there are many themes and appearances for mythtv! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7s4_u2LAVE
Here is another one comparing the two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGfqrx5dVUI&feature=related Now thats MCE, a little different from mythbuntu, keep in mind...

JosephLeo
12-22-2009, 10:57 PM
Configurable settings, add-ons and plug-ins, overall appearance and performance; there simply is NO comparison, and not to mention the price :D Also I can switch to MAME when the movie gets boring and never touch a keyboard or mouse. Check into it, you'll never want to mess w/ WMC again, trust me. BTW you get a working schedule guide for scheduled recordings, w/ complete listings for free w/ WMC? That's news to me! Here is a youtube demo, very basic and old as well, keep in mind there are many themes and appearances for mythtv! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7s4_u2LAVE
Here is another one comparing the two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGfqrx5dVUI&feature=related Now thats MCE, a little different from mythbuntu, keep in mind...

I've always hated Media Center software- LinuxMCE, MythTV, MythBuntu, Windows MCE, XBMC- all of them are incomplete and don't meet what I would expect. Also- I've always hated the guy in that Linux MCE video- he just sounds too arrogant and lazy to me...something about his voice makes me angry as well and I just can't quite explain it.

My opinion on those four I just mentioned above (I tried about 4 or 5 other ones as well...but they fall under the same opinion)

Windows MCE
Clean interface, but if you're not tech oriented it's hard to use. You can replace the explorer.exe with it though and have MCE boot up without explorer.exe running.

MythTV/Buntu
The second best of them all- but still a little lacking in the features department.

Linux MCE
Most features- but UGLY, UGLY Non-uniform design...impossible to use.

XBMC
The current best in my personal opinion. Perfect balance of design and features although no Blu-Ray- add Blu-Ray and then you have what I want in an MCE...although linux hates Blu-Ray since Linux hates DRM.


So far I think the best MCE's are the ones that are preinstalled in hardware- e.g. Boxee (XBMC Spinoff), Apple TV, etc. XMBC is without a doubt the king of MCE- but sadly we'll never get Blu-Ray on linux :(

thor999
12-22-2009, 11:25 PM
I haven't test it yet, but check this out, BR may be possible: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RestrictedFormats/BluRayAndHDDVD and give Mythbuntu .22 a shot, I had given up on the 2 previous versions myself, to be honest!

PcTek9
12-27-2009, 09:48 PM
Thank you so much for that great information Thor999. Another cool feature of linux is that it generally runs faster than windows on the same hardware, which can make browsing files much more pleasurable.

Thor999 if you are interested in htpc design, I found that xoxide.com has great htpc cases (a huge selection) and while you are there check out all the cool multi-function panels. Some of the MFP's have remotes and can control an htpc.

I bought a zalman htpc case with it's own remote and a touch screen on the box. It's quite an interesting project. The case was around $599 but it is extremely well made. ;)

Also look at the soundgraph stuff xoxide.com has in stock. Thanks again for the great info on myth.

thor999
12-27-2009, 10:41 PM
Yeah it's working nicely for me, except for I am trying to install on a Zotac 9300 ITX wifi mobo, and the damn thing keeps disabling the machine mac address upon reboot, which I believe is the cause of install hanging on NTP server, but hopefully a call to Zotac tech support will remedy that.

BryanLee
12-28-2009, 03:40 AM
Pretty interesting...I may look into doing something like that. I dont have any sort of DVR setup at the moment and I miss it.

thor999
12-28-2009, 08:23 AM
Just try to ensure that all the hardware you purchase has Linux support, otherwise it can be a long road! You should take a look at the PcHDTV 5500 tuner card, it would appear to be the best choice for a Linux HTPC right now, and I'm getting more channels w/ that on a supposedly cable internet only line than I did when I had a cable package and receiver! Avoid Hauppauge, I'm having nothing but problems w/ them. Honestly, it is not easy to set up, I have been working on it for months but it is also my first foray into Linux. The final product is nothing short of amazing, all my movies in one location, each w/ box art and all the IMDB details. BTW PCTek you are more than welcome! Happy hunting, and don't be afraid to ask for help in this thread, I will give all I can.

thor999
12-28-2009, 12:59 PM
Just so no one gets a bad taste in their mouth (like I have right now) please remove all USB devices prior to install, and use only PS/2 mouse and keyboard, and thank me. If still no successful install, try an alternate install disc. P.S., I installed ubuntu 9.04 then used Synaptic to install Mythtv, and it looks completely different than my previous (successful) install of Mythbuntu on another machine...

thor999
12-28-2009, 01:12 PM
Hey, is this the case you bought? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811235011&nm_mc=OTC-Froogle&cm_mmc=OTC-Froogle-_-Cases+%28+HTPC/Media+Center+Cases%29-_-Zalman+Tech+Co.++Ltd-_-11235011

rurbaniak
12-28-2009, 03:33 PM
I've always hated Media Center software- LinuxMCE, MythTV, MythBuntu, Windows MCE, XBMC- all of them are incomplete and don't meet what I would expect. Also- I've always hated the guy in that Linux MCE video- he just sounds too arrogant and lazy to me...something about his voice makes me angry as well and I just can't quite explain it.

My opinion on those four I just mentioned above (I tried about 4 or 5 other ones as well...but they fall under the same opinion)

Windows MCE
Clean interface, but if you're not tech oriented it's hard to use. You can replace the explorer.exe with it though and have MCE boot up without explorer.exe running.

MythTV/Buntu
The second best of them all- but still a little lacking in the features department.

Linux MCE
Most features- but UGLY, UGLY Non-uniform design...impossible to use.

XBMC
The current best in my personal opinion. Perfect balance of design and features although no Blu-Ray- add Blu-Ray and then you have what I want in an MCE...although linux hates Blu-Ray since Linux hates DRM.


So far I think the best MCE's are the ones that are preinstalled in hardware- e.g. Boxee (XBMC Spinoff), Apple TV, etc. XMBC is without a doubt the king of MCE- but sadly we'll never get Blu-Ray on linux :(

I haven't found one that beats Beyond TV. (http://www.snapstream.com/products/beyondtv/) I've been using them since 2002, and by far the best I've used. Obviously it's not Open Source, but definitely worth it.

PcTek9
12-29-2009, 05:48 AM
Hi Thor999, that case is very similiar to that one. I think Zalman has many different models (just crawl through xoxide, i know they don't carry the exact one I got any more) but anyway... They are very nice. They have a remote control, touch screen on the case, the lid flips down in front for access to the photo cards from the cameras. etc.

thor999
06-19-2010, 08:20 AM
Okay sorry to revive an ancient thread, but for those of you that tried and gave up on Mythtv, try it once again: do a fresh install of Ubuntu 10.04, then ONLY install mythtv via Synaptic; Mythbuntu and other distros have failed me, I can only get 100% success with this method. Try that and let me know if you run into problems. Thus far, I have most of the plug-ins working, suspend/shutdown and wake for recording, and can run MAME and sdlmess from myth frontend (remote works!) The latest ver has built-in support for the Silicon Dust HD Homerun, from reading the many posts to get where I am I can recommend that item w/ confidence, so anyone buying hardware to test you should get that instead of a PCI tuner. Heads up: they currently don't support cable cards, but will after Christmas. Good luck!

kwisher
06-19-2010, 03:56 PM
For an easier HTPC and MythTV setup, try Linux Mint-9. You can achieve the same results as Ubuntu/MythTV but with much less work because of all the included codecs that Mint includes out-of-the-box.

thor999
06-20-2010, 09:51 AM
Thanks, I'll try that for my next install. I do believe all codecs are installed via Myth Control Center, and the rest should be covered with $sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras?

MHCG
06-20-2010, 11:43 PM
I have tried all of the major media center programs. Of all of them Windows Media Center seems to be the cleanest, most integrated and most trouble free. Paired with a Windows Home Server, I can't imagine ever going back to any other system, including Mythbuntu.

I have two hdhomerun tunters that I use with my Acer Aspire REVO R3610 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883103235&nm_mc=OTC-Froogle&cm_mmc=OTC-Froogle-_-Desktop+PC-_-Acer+America-_-83103235)which comes with Win 7 Home Premium. It has everything I need already and there are no annual guide subscription costs. I really can't imagine why anybody would use anything else.

thor999
06-21-2010, 08:15 AM
1) It's free
2) It's faster
3) It's not Windows
4) WAY more functionality than Windows Media Center (take a look at the plug-ins)
5) It's not Windows
:)
I actually had way more issues getting a Hauppage tuner card to work w/ MCE than w/ Linux... but hey, if you want Bill to get all the money that's your prerogative, to each his own.

red12049
06-21-2010, 09:34 AM
1) It's free
2) It's faster
3) It's not Windows
4) WAY more functionality than Windows Media Center (take a look at the plug-ins)
5) It's not Windows
:)
I actually had way more issues getting a Hauppage tuner card to work w/ MCE than w/ Linux... but hey, if you want Bill to get all the money that's your prerogative, to each his own.

So you are at least six months in now and still experimenting. That's exactly what I want to sell to my customers (a moneymaking opportunity), just because it's "not Windows." How long has MCE been out and working pretty well?

You're welcome to experiment to your heart's content. But a "moneymaking opportunity"?

Rick

thor999
06-21-2010, 09:49 AM
So, would you care to post your experiences with it then? Maybe you had a problem installing it, I know I did; I would be more than happy to help. I think there is tremendous potential for this software, especially with the new HD Homeruns coming out this Christmas, I think many would be interested in trimming the hardware rental portion of their cable bill. FWIW I have had working installs since my first post, but problems configuring all the plug-ins and add-ons, until now, the new Mythtv Control Center configures just about everything automatically, way easier!

DrumThumper
06-21-2010, 09:11 PM
There's one other distro I've been playing around with -- Element. I believe it's still on the Ubuntu 9 platform though. Very slick overall feel.

Rob
06-21-2010, 11:55 PM
Some interesting info here, thanks Thor999. I'm tempted to revisit... *looks at the unfinished mame cabinet, the parafin oil PC fishtank, the wifi hotspot...* Uhh, maybe next year? ;)

red12049
06-22-2010, 03:49 AM
So, would you care to post your experiences with it then? Maybe you had a problem installing it, I know I did; I would be more than happy to help. I think there is tremendous potential for this software, especially with the new HD Homeruns coming out this Christmas, I think many would be interested in trimming the hardware rental portion of their cable bill. FWIW I have had working installs since my first post, but problems configuring all the plug-ins and add-ons, until now, the new Mythtv Control Center configures just about everything automatically, way easier!

It's not a matter of me....it's my typical customer. Think about the cable/satellite experience. It's installed, it works. If something breaks, a guy comes out with a new thingamajig, installs it, and everything works again. It all works from one remote. Simple. Easy.

Computer based MCE's haven't gotten there yet. Closest box I've seen so far is the ASUS EEEPC. But then you have to hang too much stuff off it, and it gets complex again. Too much stuff that can break, and so on.

If you don't believe me, set one up for a typical customer, let him/her play with it for a week, and then get their honest opinion.

Rick

vdub12
06-25-2010, 04:56 PM
I haven't found one that beats Beyond TV. (http://www.snapstream.com/products/beyondtv/) I've been using them since 2002, and by far the best I've used. Obviously it's not Open Source, but definitely worth it.

My first experience in media center machines was with snapstream and I have to admit that the software sucked. At the time I thought it was great but compared to whats available now. :confused:

I have been using MCE 2005 for about 5 years. The system does run great but its limitations are very high. Microsoft crippled MCE so you are forced to buy xbox's for each room of the house of you want media elsewhere. I have a program on my MCE that re encodes there DVRMS file format back to MPG. That helps by allowing me to watch content from different workstations but it doubles the disk space required for recoded TV. However its not enough to make me happy with the system. Soon I am going to build a myth back end in my office and then build small light front ends in the other rooms of my house.

Many people here are right though. I built a myth box for my parents a while back and all they did was complain about it. I just gave then a notebook that I got in trade that had windows 7 ultimate on it and they use MCE all the time and love it. Myth is better, way better. However, I don't think I would load it on a customers computer. MCE would have it made if they would just allow you to have a front end back end system like myth.

thor999
06-30-2010, 09:54 AM
Update: audio can really truly suck w/ Ubuntu, I am finding out the hard way... apparently, pulse audio is apparent in every ubuntu release, yet mythtv doesn't support it, only alsa. I went down the rabbit hole of trying to port all sound from Myth to my SPDIF, and ran into serious issues. A word to the wise, for those experimenting: log every change you make, every one! And after every few go back and recheck all your functions. Tedious as hell, yes, but will save you from a total reinstall. Also, if you have a spare sound card, it will be alot easier to configure audio than w/ an onboard sound card.
As far as the MAME goes, was really looking forward to a sweet experience but all of my roms are not being detected, anyone w/ any knowledge as far as 10.04 goes? I believe I have to recompile them all for sdlmame cuurent version, but have no idea how... Also, anyoe here w/ experience compiling sdlmess? Being able to use a Wiimote really brings this build to a new level, in that the Classic Controller can really bring those old emus to life, even 3D0 and Dreamcast; for those interested many roms can be found at the torrent hosting site http://www.pleasuredome.org.uk/ actually, complete sets to be exact. Don't worry mods all roms found on that site are legal for download. I actually have a Super High Impact Football cabinet I am currently renovating for a MAME project, and would like to master SDLmess for it as well.

PcTek9
07-01-2010, 01:49 AM
Thor999, i've made several of these. :)

REALLY take a look at the stuff xoxide carries, especially the htpc cases.

Just go & do.

thor999
07-01-2010, 10:23 AM
Please post your hardware and method of install, I would like a known working configuration to experiment with. I've got a few new mobos on the way to play with, hopefully the drivers are up to date... Any ideas for TINY monitors? I would like to be able to peruse my legally obtained mp-3's w/out turning on my 65". All over the xoxide, but some of their stock is, well, obscure and doesn't really work well, so be careful.