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  • - Saturday, October 24, 2009 - link

    sell:nike shoes$32,ed hardy(items),jean$30,handbag$35,polo shirt$13,shox$34 Reply
  • Edster - Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - link

    If you get stuck setting up mythtv then try this web site :

    [l=PVR Guide - How-to guides for setting up mythtv][/l]
  • sthes - Wednesday, September 15, 2004 - link

    Whatever happened to part two? Anxiously awaiting the review! Reply
  • willy134 - Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - link

    You need to mention the mythweb extension. I log into my computer from work and set up recordings. There are also plugins that allow you to view your recorded shows on a windows machine.

    The web server also has a very nice search feature and lists all the movies playing in your schedule. It's a great way to also find when a show you want to watch is playing again. Much better than looking up the listings on most web sites.
  • serff - Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - link

    Can you guys comment on HDTV support in your follow up feature? I'm very intrested in building a HD DVR for less than $1000 (which is how much all of them are right now.) I'm also intrested in dual tuner solutions as well. Does MythTV support dual tuners? Also, in MythTV, when you go to the guide, can you still see the show you are watching? Like in the corner or something? It would also be cool to know about support for burning shows to DVD as well. Thanks!

  • sasa - Monday, September 06, 2004 - link

    The system in the article is a total overkill if PVR-x50 is used.
    A 677MHz PIII can easily do the job.
    Such system can be bought on ebay for $100, then just add 200GB hd for $100, GF4 for $40, PVR-x50 for $100. Total $340.
    This system will do both front end and backend.
    It is also possible to use very low spec PC for backend (like PII) and xbox as a frontend.

    A Socket 370 PIII is consuming much less power than P4, K7 or K8 which is very important if you want to run Myth 24/7. You don't want to save $10 on tivo monthly bills while paying $20 for electricity bills.

    Very nice distro for Myth is Debian unstable.
    You just add a line into your apt config, run apt-get and it installs all dependencies.
  • sasa - Monday, September 06, 2004 - link

  • JohanV - Monday, September 06, 2004 - link

    On the one side of the comparison: A windows MCE PC (hardware satisfying certain conditions + specialized preinstalled software)

    On the other side: A PC with approximately the same hardware with a general purpose SUSE Linux install, hand-compiled/hand-compiled drivers, databases and what not.

    Not really a straight forward comparison, it's even worse than like comparing a server cpu with a desktop cpu.

    Seems only fair to use handpicked hardware on both machines, and to use specialized OS's in both cases. In other words, use KnoppMyth with hardware that is known to work with KnoppMyth without any headaches.
  • griffy - Monday, September 06, 2004 - link

    Anybody have any personal experience on the Telly MC1200, and how it might compare? I would be interested in a few words in Part II about how this option stacks up, in real terms. (Yes, I've read all the reviews.)
    Thanks for booting up an interesting area on AnandTech.
  • lbt - Monday, September 06, 2004 - link

    Several people have mentioned KnoppMyth - no-one has said why...

    You insert the CD and it installs linux and *everything* you need to run Myth. (It aims to make running Myth 'appliance' like.)

    For those who care it's a Knoppix (aka Debian) based distro.

    Total install time is measured in minutes and you don't need to know linux (well, it's still at the 'not much' stage at the minute ;) )

    Checkout for forums and help.
  • sprockkets - Monday, September 06, 2004 - link

    Don't forget with TiVo can only do what it does and nothing else, unlike your computer which can do much more.

    Here are some of my thoughts on that program:
    Using a LeadTek Win Fast 200XP Deluxe

    Needing to setup an MySQL server just to get it to work right is downright gay. And it seems that the tv listings program was only properly installed ironically due to using apt-get by trying Freevo's installation which automatically downloaded all the necessary dependancies from people who automatically package the program for certain distros. Perhaps this has changed but when I tried doing it I got the "well I'm missing one of a few hundred sub program dependacies."

    Next, using the composite or s-video in was frustrating, the only way I got it to work was to assign on the one of the config pages that s-video was for the same as TV or something. Then, since it only works by always time shifting, using the program to play games is useless due to the lag it introduces.

    Then you can watch the massive files it makes when making video recordings, which them means you must transcode later. I checked off the options to do so but found it never compressed them anyhow. I'm sure it was user error for this and other stuff.

    Running LeadTek's own program for recording is so painfully easy compared to using mythtv or freevo, and does it directly to Divx5/mp3 format as well, on the fly and never skips (only works at low res though but an hour gives you a 700MB file) but of course requires windows. Using motv/xawtv is just as good for tunning, but it's recording sucks (not to mention I had to toy with the tuner setting in my /etc/config stuff to get it to tune right).

    Then if you can use mplayer to tune to the right frequency, read 15k lines of documentation to word the right command with xvid, then doing the same thing with Leadtek's program is great, since the main bottleneck with Leadtek's program is that since it has to encode and decode at the same time to let you see what you are recording, it prevents you from doing a higher res recording. If it allowed you to not see it while recording then it would be perfect.

    Bottom line:
    Mythtv:Has the Linux theme of being very configurable, works, looks great, free, and can use multiple computers and network them for remote watching. But getting all the deps to install, and running all the backend and crap makes it clumsy and frustrating at times.
    Freevo: Works with python and works if you can. Using apt get makes an easy install. Uses mplayer to record so setting it to encode on the fly is great and for small files sizes that don't need transcoding later.
    Xawtv: Using in SuSE 9.1 is easy and built in for BTTV cards, but recording sucks.
    Windows/Leaktek software: Like anything else Windows, easy. Only flaw is the low res divx encoding (and Microsoft's constant bs tricks into making the mp3 codec on the system work only at 22khz and low bitrates to make it look crappy).
    Mythtv prepackaged with Knoppix: Have downloaded it but haven't tried it.

    Oh, and for the #1, I know all about TV out issues with Linux and getting it to work. But unlike previous versions of Linux, I found that SuSE 9.1 can easily switch from S-Video to normal video out on my SS40G system, using the built in SiS300 graphics and it's built in video out chip. I set the resolution easily with the Control Center in KDE.
  • NogginBoink - Sunday, September 05, 2004 - link


    While you're correct on the upfront costs, MythTV has a longterm advantage. You can upgrade your hard drive at will. And, as I suspect we'll read in the second installment, MythTV supports unlimited tuners, AND HDTV tuners.

    The HD part is what's motivating me to put together my first-ever Linux box.
  • KristopherKubicki - Sunday, September 05, 2004 - link

    trikster2: We actually do the final testing (Part II) with MCE versus knoppmyth. I just wanted to show the though process in the meantime

  • KristopherKubicki - Sunday, September 05, 2004 - link

    NogginBoink: Yes.

  • Danj2K - Sunday, September 05, 2004 - link

    Something this article doesn't mention is that users outside the US and Canada can't use the Zap2it option and instead are required to use XMLTV. This is worth mentioning since XMLTV does not appear to automatically tune in channels, it just downloads schedule data for them - which makes sense, because in the UK (for example) the frequency of the various channels is dependent on where in the country you are and which transmitter you are receiving them from. When I tried to build a MythTV box that was as far as I got, since I was unable to find out how to tune it in. Reply
  • Quink - Sunday, September 05, 2004 - link

    You don't use mythtv to save money. You use it because you like to tinker, like a challenge or anything along those lines.
    Secondly making use of valuable tools like #mythtv-users cuts down a lot on time.
    Also, why would you not use a SFF or mATX system? Who in their right mind would spend $600+ and not make size a focus too.
    Plus, from experience, its easier to go with a via mobo, NOT kt400 of any type, preferablly a kt333. ATI 9200 or thereabouts works a lot easier to IMHO. Do that, have some general linux knowledge, and get things done very quickly.
  • trikster2 - Sunday, September 05, 2004 - link

    It's been said 10 times above, but I can't help it, I have to say it again: Shame, shame on you for not using knoppmyth!!!!!

    Also your linux box should be $100 cheaper:

    The case you picked is available from silverstontek under the name GD98.

    It's available at and sundialmicro for $29

    To make all things equal you should have used the Hauppauge WinTV PVR-250MCE in both computers. It is available at fo r $99.

    It's very common for people to throw together HTPC's out of spare parts. It would be cool to compare both machines with low end CPU's, like a 1 gig duron.......

  • mcdrama - Sunday, September 05, 2004 - link

    I have been using KnoppMyth ( ) for almost a year now and would never buy a TiVo now. ;)

    My box is an AthlonXP 1.6GHz, 768MB PC2700 DDR, 120GB IDE hard drive, Hauppauge PVR-250, Netgear USB 802.11b adapter, all inside a Shuttle XPC box that sits next to my TV. ;) I built my system for $450, after BIOS update, no problems with watching a recording at the same time as recording a TV show.
    If you build one of these boxes, just make sure to NOT get a VIA based chipset. The VIA south bridge chipsets have a PCI?/IDE? bug which causes recordings to stop recording when you try to watch a different recording.
    Upgrading the BIOS, and upgrading the RAM from 256MB to 768MB seems to have fixed this problem with my Shuttle XPC SK41G. has XPC barebones from $148 up to $300+, check for other parts prices.
  • Snuffaluffaguss - Sunday, September 05, 2004 - link

    "Considering the cost of a TiVo, service runs anywhere from $100 to $600 per year depending on what DVR and subscription you buy."

    That is pretty false info. An 40 hour tivo is 199 -a 100 dollar rebate, so $99 and the lifetime subscription is $299. So its its only 500 pre rebate, 400 after rebate for LIFE, not year. An 80 hour would be $100 bucks more. Its really not that much cheaper.
  • NogginBoink - Sunday, September 05, 2004 - link

    I'm confused.

    The sempron is a 32-bit chip, right?

    DFI's website says that the K8M800-MLVF motherboard is an AMD-64 motherboard.

    Can you put a 32 bit Sempron in a socket for a 64-bit chip?
  • NullSpin - Saturday, September 04, 2004 - link

    I can't tell you how long I have been waiting for this article. I have been waiting to buy components for almost a year but did not want to wade into this project with no idea of what hardware was reccomended. I'm also really interested in seeing the process of adding an nfs server into the mix for additional storage.
    Maybe you could price out a 'quiet' system and the various form factors for htpc's.
    Can't wait for part deux.
  • sisyphus - Friday, September 03, 2004 - link

    I have just one thing to say about MythTV:

    Save yourself some time and grief!

    Use KnoppMyth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Nnyan - Friday, September 03, 2004 - link

    Just had another thought, how does MythTV compare to other applications like Freevo? Reply
  • griffy - Friday, September 03, 2004 - link

    Great job, thanks.
    In your next article, could you let us know a little more why you chose the hardware you did, and maybe what you think the minimum might be?
  • archcommus87 - Friday, September 03, 2004 - link

    Wow, goes to show me that there are still topics out there I know NOTHING about. Most of this article was over my head. Is that because I'm not familiar with Linux or something else?

    Just the whole part about getting the card setup, the commands to run, the Myth database, etc. WHOOSH.
  • Resh - Friday, September 03, 2004 - link

    Thanks for replying Kris, but your reply makes me cry. My Hitachi doesn't have a DVI or VGA-in so unless I can get the TV-out on the vid card to work under Linux, I'm dead in the water.

    If anyone has seen any good directions on making Suse, Fedora, or Mandrake work with the TV-out on currently available nVidia card or Radeon 8500, please let me know! llama at rogers dot com

    Kris, if you can cover this in the next, or a third, I'd have your children (although my wife might object). ;-)

  • Nnyan - Friday, September 03, 2004 - link

    Cool article. My only complaint is that I would have liked to have read which distros DID work well with MythTV and perphaps the PVR-250. Perphaps in part 2?

    Thanks to skeptic for the mention of KnoppMyth distro.
  • JoeNiner - Friday, September 03, 2004 - link

    Please please please include a KnoppMyth install in a follow up! Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Friday, September 03, 2004 - link

    Resh: We only used a PVR-250, so there is no passthrough. We just hooked the DVI out on our GeForce card up to the TV :)

  • meksta - Friday, September 03, 2004 - link

    mythTV is perhaps the most versatile piece of software I have come across. You can build a system for cheaper if you want. I am running myth on a XP2500+ cpu and Chaintech 7nif2 mobo (built-in s-video out). I also run two el-cheapo tv tuner cards for some simultaneous recordings.

    With a PVR250, that does hardware encoding, you really don't need a kick ass cpu at all.

    I agree it takes a while to set up. But once I had it up and's been happily stable since.
  • shiftomnimega - Friday, September 03, 2004 - link

    Looking forward to part 2. Reply
  • Brazen - Friday, September 03, 2004 - link

    No win32 distribution for MythTV :( Reply
  • skeptic - Friday, September 03, 2004 - link

    Try the Knoppmyth distribution. IMHO it is the best and easiest to use. Total install time for me was around 20 minutes and I had previously unsuccessfully fumbled around with mythtv on red hat.

    My setup uses the Huappauge PVR 350 card which has a whole set of issues when attempting to get the tv-out on the card to work, but man the quality was actually better than on my TIVO. One month after I had it working I called up TIVO and cancelled - it felt so good. I have been running knoppmyth for over 6 months now and its fantastic.
  • reboos - Friday, September 03, 2004 - link

    Thank you for the article. Reply
  • Aquila76 - Friday, September 03, 2004 - link

    From Page 2: "Originally, we had scheduled to run all of our testes with the Hauppage WinTV Go card"

    Let me know how your testes run after that! ;>)

    Seriously though, great article. Interesting that there's only a $60 savings (up front) for the Linux PVR over the WinMCE box. Tells you the cost of WinMCE is actually pretty cheap! If only they'd make it available for purchase, but they probably won't because of DMCA or something.
  • Kishkumen - Friday, September 03, 2004 - link

    Nice article. I've been a fan of MythTV for quite some time and have enjoyed experimenting with it. The biggest detriment to my full time usage has been a lack of viable Linux HDTV drivers for my particular card based upon the Teralogic TL880 chipset. However, I look forward to becoming more involved with it as more HDTV capture cards with good Linux support become available. Reply
  • Adul - Friday, September 03, 2004 - link

    Kris, nice article. I am glad you wrote it. Now I want to build my own :D Reply
  • Resh - Friday, September 03, 2004 - link

    It's late. I was about to go to bed when I saw this article. I leapt with glee! After a quick skim, I can't say that I saw any discussion of how SuSE dealt with the TV-Out. Did it work? Were you using TV-out during this whole process. Some explanation in this area would be great, either as an update, or as the opening to Part II.

    Looking foward to reading it, and the follow-up, in detail.

    I love AT! :)

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