Raspberry Pi Home Automation
Custom Discovery Roof Rack
August, 2012 - Sierra Backpacking
July 22nd, 2012 - Hiking in Santa Barbara
July 15th, 2012 - Valley of Fire
May 5th, 2012 - Afton Canyon
April 28th, 2012 - Devils Playground
Convict Creek Trail
January 2012 - Mustangs
January 3rd, 2012 - Heart Lake
August 7th, 2011 - Kelso Dunes
August 5th, 2011 - Lundy Canyon Hike
August 2011, Mammoth Archery
Birds in the garden
June 4th, 2011 - San Gorgonio
May 29th, 2011 - Sequoia National Forest
April 23rd, 2011 - Living Desert
April 2nd, 2011 - Death Valley
March 8th, 2011 - Mountain Palm Springs
February 13th, 2011 - Iron Smelt
November 13th, 2010 - Mojave
October, 2010 - Mammoth
September, 2010 - Mammoth
September, 2010 - Duck Lake Trail Backpacking
Iron bloom forging
August 28th, 2010 - Mt. San Jacinto
OSM Import: US Designated Wilderness
July 25th, 2010 - Mojave Mustangs
July 17th, 2010 - Mojave Exploration
Bloomery furnace iron smelting
Open Street Map: Mojave Project
June 13th, 2010 - Mojave
June 6th, 2010 - El Cajon Trails
Wolf Mountain Sanctuary
March 28th, 2010 - Salton Sea
March 21st, 2010 - South Main Divide
March 13th, 2010 - Anza Borrego Wildflowers
March 7th, 2010 - CSULB Japanese Garden
February 2010 - Mammoth
Dakota and Asha Celebrate Christmas, 2009
November 21st, 2009 - Mojave Road
November 14th, 2009 - Anza Borrego
Exploring The East Mojave: The Afton Canyon Area
Broken flex plate
Remote Image Serving
Astro/night photography in Inyo National Forest
Wild Mustang Sightings
September 26th, 2009 - Night Photography In Frazier Park
August 15th, 2009 - Catalina dive trip
January 24th, 2009 - Mojave Exploration
July 2008 Mammoth Vacation
President Barack Obama!
April 12th, 2008 - Wildflowers and Landmarks
My Grandfather's Alfa Romeo Spider
March 8th, 2008 - Carrizo Plain
Bridge To Nowhere
October 20th, 2007 - Big Bear Camping
October 22nd, 2007 - Fire
Scottish Highlands, Aug 7th, 2006
Scottish Highlands, Aug 6th, 2006
August 5th, 2007 - Duck Lake Trail
May 26th, 2007 - Kelso Dunes
Culloden Battlefield, Aug 5th, 2006
May 20th, 2006 - Irwindale Renaissance Faire
Edinburgh, Aug 4th, 2006
The Clifs of Moher, Aug 3rd, 2006
The Burren, Aug 2nd, 2006
Bunratty Castle, Aug 1st, 2006
May 5th, 2007 - Mojave
Truck Audio/Data Network
2007 - Master Bath Remodel
The Ring of Kerry, Jul 31st, 2006
Victory in 2006!
Blarney and Killarney, Jul 30th, 2006
Dublin and Cork, Jul 29th, 2006
Dublin, Jul 27th & 28th, 2006
What Can I Do?
April 30th, 2006 - Anza Borrego
New desktop: Intel 805 D
Jan 7th and 14th, 2006 - Hiking
Whiting Ranch Hiking
Digital Photography with Linux
September 5th, 2005 - Living Desert
August 19th, 2005 - Mammoth
Hiking and Photography
July 30th, 2005 - Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary
Death, Fright and Photography
May 14th, 2005 - Red Rock
April 2nd, 2005 - Death Valley
Count Every Vote Act of 2005
Linear Logic ScanGuage
November 6, 2004 - Mojave
Super Tuesday, 2004
Canon A80 Camera
Jul 25, 2004 - Death Valley
May 4th, 2004
Landscaping - My Front Slope
Stump Pullin' Yeeee Haw!
Feb 22nd, 2004
Feb 16th, 2004
PostgreSQL Logfile Analysis
Mountains? Desert? Jan 30th, 2004
Jan 28th, 2004
Ceiling Cargo Basket
Front Bumper Version 2
Land Rover Valve Jobs
The Matrix: Revolutions
Greg Davis CDL Linkage
Mom's Turkey Gravy
Julian Pie Company
The KB1DIG 2-meter Halo Antenna
Gardening is hard!
Aug 13th, 2003
SQL and Perl
Jul 9th, 2003
Jun 17th, 2003
Some People's Comments
Dakota is a silly dog
The Matrix: Reloaded
Chris' Stage Bottle Harness
April 23rd, 2003
DVD Burning Under Linux
My Satellite Phone
My Near-Death Experience
Laser Cannon Revival
Front Bumper, Version 2
KPC 3 Plus and HTX-252
Moving, moving moving...
New new house
In Truck Dr. Pepper
My Favorite Toilet
Late Thoughts: Dr. Pepper Cooler
265/75-R16 Tires on a DII
George W. Bush
Horses Sep 14 2002
Sawdust Bellydancing 2002
August 17th Yukon Dives
My Custom Front Bumper
Bracketless, Renamable Links
Jul 28 2002 Day Trip
Jedi Group, my T1 and money
A Bumperless Discovery!
My Custom Rear Bumper
Vanessa's 24th Birthday
Jun 30th Dive to Long Beach Canyon
PHP/PostgreSQL String Quoting
Tonsillectomy, Uvulaectomy and Turbinite Reduction
240 Watt CO2 Laser Cannon
The Tulsa Rib Company
The quality of hard disks these days
Email notification of articles
Email notification of comments
erikburrows.com source code
Renisance Faire Jun 9, 2002
Computers hate me, and it is mutual.
Star Wars Sucks!
Horses, Jun 1, 2002
Land Rover Mileage
Insomnia, Robin goes evil.
100 Watt Diode Laser Test Firing 1
2001: A Space Odyssey
TDI Deco Class
Horses, Apr 30, 2002
My Truck Batteries
The Zope Bible
100 Watt Diode Laser
The New www.erikburrows.com
Hunter the Kitty
Matts Desert Pics
|MythTV -   2005/06/02||Viewed 409 times this month, last update: 2008/12/09|
I have wanted the capability to record video to compressed computer files for years. I have come close, with a TV capture card and ffmpeg, but not quite. The quality was poor, and it maxxed out my CPU, making my workstation unusable for work.
Fearing the upcoming HDTV broadcast flag, I recently bought a pcHDTV card, which captures HDTV signals, and decodes the MPEG video stream within. Capturing video from a device that generates a MPEG stream is very easy, since it's just a copy operation for the computer, storing the data to disk, rather than trying to compress each of the 30 image frames per second. Well, since only CBS is broadcast in HDTV where I live, the card isn't terribly useful yet.
But owning the card piqued my interest, so I researched the state of hardware compression cards for Linux, and found that the Hauppauge PVR-150/250/350 cards are fully supported, and inexpensive. I was able to find a PVR-150 card at CompUSA in Mission Viejo for just over $100. I also found out that the Motorola DCT2000 digital cable decoder box I get from Cox Communications is also supported by Linux, in that control of channel changing can be accomplished with a small program (that comes with MythTV, in contrib/dct-channel) that talks to the DCT2000's serial control port via a standard DB9 serial cable.
That was all it took. I installed MythTV, and configured the PVR-150 and channel changing program for my cable box in about one hour. With very little effort, I now had a fully capable PVR in my Linux desktop. A $100 200GB drive later I had oodles of recording space. (100 hours of normal TV at high quality!) All that, coupled with my DVD burner means I can keep any show I want forever.
It takes some getting used to, given that I'm very used to the Tivo interface, but it works very well, and even has several features a Tivo box does not, my favorite of which is: It's client-server. This means that the server program sits in the background recording shows while you use your computer for other things. When you want to watch a show, you startup the client, and go. And it gets even better: You can have multiple clients! So you can connect to the server on your desktop from your laptop in bed, or on the couch. MythTV also supports both the PCR-150 and pcHDTV cards at the same time, and as many other cards as you can shove into your computer. With hardware compression cards, you could record a dozen shows at once! I still love my Tivo, and it's interface is more friendly, but the Tivo I own now will be the last one I ever buy, and it's days as the primary box in the living room are numbered. One last thing, for you doubters out there: MythTV has automatic commercial skipping, and it really works!
Update: 2008/12/09: High Definition!
As was suggested in the comments by Will, and due to some reading and experimenting I did, I went out and picked up Cox's HD cable box, the one with a firewire output port. Following this howto, it freaking works! Fantastic HD picture, and MythTV supports it directly. Man I love MythTV!
Matt Bell (2005-06-02): I'm using Snapstream's beyond TV on mine and love it. I also just got Comcast's HD DVR. It is a tough compromise to make though since the UI is dreadful and the hardware is slow and buggy. Given the options though, it does work and seeing shows in HD is totally worth the hassle of using the lousy platform since it can record 2 HD shows at a time and comcast has quite a few HD channels in my area.
They are showing all of the IMAX films on the inhd channels lately
Steve Kehlet (2005-06-03): Erik, that's awesome! I want to try it! If you find a nice, cheap PC and--especially--a decent remote control for remote Myth frontends, please post about it. I'm with Matt though, HDTV is a big hang up for me here... I want Myth + HDTV. I'm looking at defecting from Tivo and trying the Cox HDTV + PVR offering.
Erik (2005-06-03): When I went by the Cox office to pick up the second cable box for MythTV, I grabbed the pamphlet on the HDTV tuner they were offering. (Not the DVR) It is the Motorola DCT5100. It has three output modes, RCA, s-video and component. It should be possible to use a HD tuner card to use these outputs, although I think mine, the pcHDTV card only decodes HD signals from RF. However, the DCT5100 does have (wait for it...) a Firewire output port. I can't find anyone using it, but with the right social engineering at Cox, it could be made useful.
Will (2005-06-03): There are posts on macosx hints about using the firewire port to hook up to your mac to pull HDTV off of those boxes. Might be able to adapt that for linux.. its basically a standard DV stream.
Erik (2005-06-03): It's worth a shot!