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#1 2005-08-31 20:07:57

jerrym
Member
From: Kannapolis, NC
Registered: 2005-07-08
Posts: 60

anyone setup a DVR with linux?

found a package on sourceforge called DVR and wondered if anyone has tried it or has successfully setup a dvr at home with linux. want to get windows xp media center (i cant believe i actually typed those words!) but if there is an open source linux way, then i want to do that

need to know if the dvr package on sourceforge works and what type of video card was used. i know i need a tv tuner card and will probably get a hauppauge, but will that work with linux ir should i get an ati card

thanks for any input and/or advice


He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot.
- - - Groucho Marx

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#2 2005-08-31 21:16:20

agilyben
Member
Registered: 2005-08-22
Posts: 31

Re: anyone setup a DVR with linux?

I haven't tried any DVR in Linux yet, but I definitely want to.  I currently dual boot (Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 / ArchLinux).  I hardly ever boot into Win, unless I want to record something; then I can always watch it in Linux at any time. 

I have to say, Media Center is really cool.  But....I believe MythTV is also supposed to be one of the best implementations for Linux.  Someone had put together a package in the past, but I don't know how well it works as I haven't tried it yet.

The system I'm dual booting is a Qosmio laptop, so I'm not sure if the TV card in it is even supported in MythTV (or any Linux DVR for that matter), but it might be.  I really need to get the time to give it a shot so that I can completely get rid of my Media Center partition.  :-)

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#3 2005-08-31 21:38:55

tomk
Forum Fellow
From: Ireland
Registered: 2004-07-21
Posts: 9,839

Re: anyone setup a DVR with linux?

I've no idea if dvr works, but I do know that whenever I get around to this kind of thing, I will be using MythTV, not dvr. The latest dvr release was over a year and a half ago, while MythTV 0.18.1 came out in May this year. And of course, there's a MythTV package for Arch.

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#4 2005-09-01 06:05:47

Machiavelli
Member
Registered: 2005-08-24
Posts: 92

Re: anyone setup a DVR with linux?

I have a Hercules SmartTV 2 card, and I hadn't even heard of dvr. I use tvtime for watching TV and mencoder for ripping it. Currently, I am getting pretty crappy sound when recording, plus I'm getting enormously large files.

I immediately noticed that this is a pretty tricky piece of the Linux software world. As I use a bt878 chip card, I use the bttv drivers. I also needed the "tuner" driver to be loaded on boot. None of this was done automagically, so I had to insert the following in modprobe.conf:

alias char-major-81-*   bttv
options bttv            card=0x64 tuner=38
options tuner           froce=0, 0x61 ignore=0, 0x60 debug=1

If you want to be able to record audio directly from the TV card you either need a kernel with support for the btaudio module, or (like I), use line-in audio from the TV card audio-out.

And, as you see in the code snip above, you need to specify the exact card type and tuner type from a list of cards here.

So after some days of experimenting, I made it all work. I was even able to script a server page that shows the TV tables and allows you to schedule recordings through cronjobs. Ah, the magic of Linux. wink

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#5 2005-09-01 06:44:52

mdirolf
Member
From: Princeton, NJ
Registered: 2004-05-21
Posts: 69

Re: anyone setup a DVR with linux?

just installed mythtv using the pkgbuilds in the AUR.  so far everything is working pretty well, the install went more smoothly then i had anticipated after reading many mythtv horror stories.  im using the hauppage pvr-150, which is working really well and is considerably cheaper than the other hauppage cards

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#6 2005-09-01 12:29:09

agilyben
Member
Registered: 2005-08-22
Posts: 31

Re: anyone setup a DVR with linux?

mdirolf wrote:

just installed mythtv using the pkgbuilds in the AUR.  so far everything is working pretty well, the install went more smoothly then i had anticipated after reading many mythtv horror stories.  im using the hauppage pvr-150, which is working really well and is considerably cheaper than the other hauppage cards

I have a quick question for you, mdirolf:  I've been thinking of installing MythTV on mine for a while now, but everything I have previously read on it made it look so complicated that I thought it would take more time than I have at the moment, so I've kept putting it off until I had more time to invest in it.  ;-)  Do you happen to have the installation instructions that you followed to get it working so easily?  If I can get this working, I'll be happier than a pig in slop - then I can remove my Win partition for good.  Woohoo!  :-)

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#7 2005-09-01 19:31:59

kleptophobiac
Member
From: Sunnyvale, CA
Registered: 2004-04-25
Posts: 481

Re: anyone setup a DVR with linux?

I'm glad the installation went easily for you! I tried to make the packages as easy to use as possible, taking care of the rc.d entries, etc... I've also written a wiki article on how to set up basic myth functionality. One of these days, I'll write some more articles on more advanced configuration.

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#8 2005-09-01 19:56:39

agilyben
Member
Registered: 2005-08-22
Posts: 31

Re: anyone setup a DVR with linux?

I found the Quickstart in AUR.  Now I just have to give it a shot.  :-)

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#9 2005-09-01 20:06:59

phrakture
Arch Overlord
From: behind you
Registered: 2003-10-29
Posts: 7,879
Website

Re: anyone setup a DVR with linux?

mdirolf wrote:

just installed mythtv using the pkgbuilds in the AUR.  so far everything is working pretty well, the install went more smoothly then i had anticipated after reading many mythtv horror stories.  im using the hauppage pvr-150, which is working really well and is considerably cheaper than the other hauppage cards

The 150 is cheap becuse it has no hardware decoder - it's all done in software.  I personally like the 250 myself, because it takes the processor strain down and allows you to use cheaper (and therefore quieter) processors.

If you're really planning on building a set-top box, I'd suggest:
· Two Hauppauge PVR-250s - so you can record one channel and watch live TV on another (i.e. rewind, pause, fast forward live TV as you watch) - it pays off.
· A motherboard that supports a Pentium M (yes, they do exist)
· A geforce MX 4000 series - onboard TV out, good card, no fan
· The slowest DVD/ROM you can find - the slower the better.  It only takes a 1X to play a video DVD, but a 16X is going to spin up and sound like ass when you're watching Braveheart.
· The largest disks you can imagine.  1 hour of raw TV is huge.
· A seperate RF remote system - this is the complicated part and you can always use a wireless keyboard, but the RF remote is really cool

Now for the record, I have never done this, but I setup and messed with myth a bit.  I *planned* a set-top box for a long time, then I got Dish Network and their 100 hour DVR was 5 cents more a month... so my pipe-dream died.... it'd still be cool though, but I can't implement alot of it  on the Dish Network lines....

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#10 2005-09-01 20:40:45

kleptophobiac
Member
From: Sunnyvale, CA
Registered: 2004-04-25
Posts: 481

Re: anyone setup a DVR with linux?

Incorrect! The 150 is just as hardware based as the 250. bttv driven cards are software decoded.

Also, if you use mythtv, I'd put all the heavy lifting in a backend box in the basement, and a nice quiet frontend in the living room. The next guide I write will be on network booting arch to eliminate hard drives.

Modern socket 478 boards support the pentium-M through a 479->478 adapter board which can be had for a reasonably cheap.

Finally, most optical drives can be artificially slowed down... it's hard to find 2x dvd-rom's anymore. I know there's nero drivespeed, I can only assume there's something similar under linux. I don't bother because I archive all my DVD's to xvid, and therefore want the highest transfer rate I can get. These procedure isn't done on my myth system anyway, so it doesn't matter.

Definitely look into large hard drives. My TV recordings are about 250GB and my archived movies are around 230GB.

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#11 2005-09-01 20:58:04

freakyc
Member
Registered: 2004-03-28
Posts: 89

Re: anyone setup a DVR with linux?

I think most modern DVD drives slow themselves down in hardware.  At least I don't remember hearing my latest two drives while watching DVDs on them.  Definetly not on the one I'm double checking with now.

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#12 2005-09-01 21:30:28

phrakture
Arch Overlord
From: behind you
Registered: 2003-10-29
Posts: 7,879
Website

Re: anyone setup a DVR with linux?

kleptophobiac wrote:

Incorrect! The 150 is just as hardware based as the 250. bttv driven cards are software decoded.

Ah, I looked it up - I was talking about the 350 - the 350 is the best one, with a full MPEG2 hardware decoder.


kleptophobiac wrote:

Finally, most optical drives can be artificially slowed down... it's hard to find 2x dvd-rom's anymore. I know there's nero drivespeed, I can only assume there's something similar under linux. I don't bother because I archive all my DVD's to xvid, and therefore want the highest transfer rate I can get. These procedure isn't done on my myth system anyway, so it doesn't matter.

Right, my recommendation was twofold - first, when reading a DVD it's going to be slowed down while reading (it should).  That's not what I was talking about - what I mean is that when you boot the thing, or at any other time when the system wants to access the disc (besides reading raw via mplayer, if there's a disc in it, it's going to sound like a helicopter.  The second reason was sheer cost.  The slower you go, the cheaper it will be.

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#13 2005-09-02 10:05:03

kleptophobiac
Member
From: Sunnyvale, CA
Registered: 2004-04-25
Posts: 481

Re: anyone setup a DVR with linux?

haha, indeed. Nobody likes helicopter engines in their media computers!

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#14 2005-09-02 15:21:37

mdirolf
Member
From: Princeton, NJ
Registered: 2004-05-21
Posts: 69

Re: anyone setup a DVR with linux?

kleptophobiac, thanks for the good work... i didnt really use too much of the wiki so i can't say how useful it is , i just followed the mythtv install guide but instead of compiling used your packages.  There was only one or two problems i had getting the packages to build, and when i can remember what i had to change in the pkgbuilds i will let everybody know.

the 150 is fully hardware, and im actually using the mce which includes an fm radio tuner but no remote and is dirt cheap.  the thing is the hardware encoder is the same as what you get with the 250 and that is all i really need it for big_smile.  I wired some SNES controllers to the parallel port to act as a remote and be kind of cool and retro. 

My box is being used as both a backend and a frontend.  I am also using two screens so that i can work on the monitor while the tv is being used.  Therefore i can't say about how much power is required otherwise because my setup had to be overpowered to begin with.

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#15 2005-09-02 15:31:19

kleptophobiac
Member
From: Sunnyvale, CA
Registered: 2004-04-25
Posts: 481

Re: anyone setup a DVR with linux?

Indeed, if there's something broken in the PKGBUILDs, I would love to know.

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#16 2005-09-04 02:33:07

jerrym
Member
From: Kannapolis, NC
Registered: 2005-07-08
Posts: 60

Re: anyone setup a DVR with linux?

wow, thanks for all the replies. i hope to be able to put some of this into practice soon (need to get tv tuner card and larger hard drive)

thanks again and dont let me stop this discussion!  big_smile


He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot.
- - - Groucho Marx

Registered Linux User #319935
Registered Linux Machine #204881

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#17 2005-09-08 13:58:54

smoon
Member
Registered: 2005-08-22
Posts: 468
Website

Re: anyone setup a DVR with linux?

I suggest you also have a look at VDR which is very popular, at least in germany. It originally requires a DVB-Card but there are plugins to make it work with analog TV tuner cards as well. Besides these plugins there are many more for almost everything one can imagine: http://www.linuxtv.org/vdrwiki/index.php/Plugins.
I built a dedicated box for it a year ago (just switched the distribution on it from SMGL to Arch a few days ago wink) which runs very well.

Unfortunately most webpages with information about VDR and/or its plugins are in german language, but here are a few english ones that I'm aware of:
http://www.linuxtv.org/vdrwiki/index.php/Main_Page
http://www.linuxpipeline.com/showArticl … =162100520
http://www.vdrportal.de/board/board.php?boardid=79
http://www.edafe.org/vdr/

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#18 2005-09-08 17:21:10

jerrym
Member
From: Kannapolis, NC
Registered: 2005-07-08
Posts: 60

Re: anyone setup a DVR with linux?

thanks!


He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot.
- - - Groucho Marx

Registered Linux User #319935
Registered Linux Machine #204881

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