[Cialug] May Meeting Notes

timwilson011 at mchsi.com timwilson011 at mchsi.com
Fri Jun 3 23:18:23 CDT 2005

Here are the meeting notes for May 2005.  Thanks Theron for giving me additional

Meeting Notes 05/18/2005

MythTV presentation by Theron Conrey

The Hardware:
Case – The case in this project is a Silverstone SST-LC02.  It can be purchased
from New Egg at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811163006
for $150 + S&H.  This case has a bay for a CD/DVD Drive/Burner.  Editor’s note:
 While looking for information on this case, I found other Silverstone cases
that might also be suitable for a media center:

Motherboard – A CHAINTECH 7NIF4 Socket A (Socket 462).  It is an NVIDIA nForce2
IGP chipset, Micro ATX form factor.  This too can be purchased from New Egg at
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813152051 for $72 + S&H.
Presenter’s Note: This motherboard does not allow over-clocking.  An ideal
solution would be to get a board that does, and an AMD Athlon XP-M 2200+ (35W)
266MHz FSB Barton Processor. 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103440.  They over-clock
well, and when not over-clocked, the heat produced is much less (better for
smaller cases, quieter, etc.).  The XP-M Barton processors ship under-clocked. 
If you put this processor in this board, you’ve got to be able to adjust the
voltage to get the correct clock speeds.

Processor – Athlon XP 2800+ 333MHz FSB.  Probably doesn’t need to be this
powerful, unless you are running both the MythTV front-end and back-end on the
same box.

Video Capture/Tuner Card – The Retail Box version of the Hauppauge PVR-250.  It
has S-Video In, Composite In, and RF In.  Infrared remote included.  See
http://www.hauppauge.com/Pages/products/data_pvr250.html for more info.

Memory – 512MB DDR
Hard Drive – Western Digital 160GB

Video - It is extremely important to have a very well supported video card for
video out.  Nvidia seems to be really good.  NV18 GeForce4 MX – nForce GPU has
video out that is supported.  You must use the Nvidia accelerated driver for Linux.

Video from the Capture card and video from the SVGA port can be run simultaneously.

This box is using Debian as the Linux distro.

NTP is pretty important for MythTV to keep your clock at the correct time. 
Otherwise, recordings could start too early or too late.

The biggest problem was getting the IVTV drivers running.  Hauppauge cards can
be difficult to get running.  Grab the latest CVS of the IVTV drivers.  Instead
of doing make install, put into a Debian package and install it.  See

Once you get snow on the display, then you can start installing MythTV.

MythTV – http://www.mythtv.org 
Start by running mythbackend.  Then run mythfilldatabase to get the listings
from http://www.zap2it.com (requires a survey to allow downloading of listings).

MythTV uses MySql as the database.

To start the interface, run mythfrontend.

You can add in the DVD module.  It allows you to rip a DVD.

There are a bunch of modules that can be retrieved via apt-get on Debian.

There are other menus to get to change the default MythTV menu.

Fast-forwarding can cause pixelation.

You can program recordings remotely via the web.

Other related information:
KnopMyth installs a lot of stuff by default.

Hardware encoder cards are suggested so you can record a program and watch a
recording at the same time.

It is recommended to use XFS as the file system.  Theron is using ReiserFS.

You can get a Hauppauge PVR-250MCE for about $85.  A PVR-500 is $200 from
Hauppauge.  You can probably get it for about $170.

Mythfrontend can be run on X-Box, Windows, Linux, Mac, and others.

Running the front-end on a separate box will allow you to put a less powerful
machine in your entertainment center, and running the backend somewhere else,
where it requires more power (and makes more noise).  Programs are sent over the
network.  HighDef programs do not stream well over anything other than Gigabit

There are people using EPIA motherboards, with an MPEG-4 encoder for HighDef.

What about 64-Bit processors?  There have been threads, but not sure if there
would be any benefit.

There is a good write-up by Jared Wilson on installing MythTV on Fedora.  Add
MythTV to the yum.conf and it will install it.  See http://wilsonet.com/mythtv/ 

Broadcast flag has been temporarily struck down.  However, congress can pass a
law to implement it for the FCC.

Related info from last month’s notes:
Hauppauge cards are supported by most modern distributions.
See http://www.hauppauge.com for more details.
The Hauppauge PVR-150 is newer and cheaper than the PVR-250.  The PVR-350 has an
MPEG-2 hardware encoder and decoder, where the 250 and 150 decode in software. 
The PVR-150 and 350 have a hardware Video CD encoder, the 250 does not.
PVR Cards are best for slower machines, but any TV tuner card will work with
MythTV, as long as there are Linux drivers for the card.  Without a PVR card (or
equivalent), you would probably need 1GHz or more.
MythTV Features:
Basic video editing
PIP support with more than one tuner
Rip and play music in MP3, OggVorbis, and other formats.
Picture Viewer
There is a front-end to play MAME, NES, SNES, and other games.
Weather module
For more, see http://www.mythtv.org/modules.php?name=MythFeatures 

Check out http://www.afterdawn.com for transcoding information.

Other tidbits:
NeoOffice for Mac.  Basically OpenOffice, but replaced C with Java.

Tim W.

More information about the Cialug mailing list