Building an HD-PVR -- pcHDTV and MythTV
MythTV provides an amazingly full-featured home media center on Free Software. I'm using it with the pcHDTV card to build a PVR for over-the-air digital television, the much-hyped HDTV.
Unfortunately, the HDTV transition brings restrictions to broadcast television -- the FCC-mandated broadcast flag will make it unlawful to sell fully capable tuner cards, ones that can't be told to stop high-quality digital outputs at the broadcaster's command. Fortunately, the rule doesn't take effect until July 2005, so buy your HD tuner card now, while you still can (existing devices will continue to work). This machine, by contrast to what will be available commercially next year, has high-definition DVI, S/PDIF, unencumbered firewire and Ethernet outputs, a DVD burner, and fully open-source user-modifiable software.
- artistinfo-v2 (sql update, perl script, and patch against Mythmusic svn 12759): Use "W" to pull up an artist's Wikipedia entry while listening to music. Add artist information from Wikipedia to the Mythmusic database and basic display screen.
- multitrack patch (against Mythmusic svn 12716): rip multiple consecutive tracks to a single file.
- MythMusic Patch for classical collections. I've mapped the fields Artist->Composer, Album->Work, Title->Performers; the patch updates this information in the Myth menus.
- My Lola X-10 Remote configuration files for LIRC
- LIRC only CVS has support for this remote as of May 04
- lircd.conf (on Debian systems, /etc/lirc/lircd.conf)
- lircrc /home/mythtv/.mythtv/lircrc
- XF86Config-4 configuration file for XFree86, nVidia FX5200, TwinView (/etc/X11/XF86Config-4)
My System Specs:
EFF System Specs:
- Tuner Cards
- pcHDTV HD-3000
- Hauppauge WinTV card
- Motherboard: ASUS P4P800-E (on-board sound, gigabit Ethernet, USB2, Firewire, S/PDIF out)
- Graphics: nVidia GeForce FX 5200 (eVGA GFX 5200, fanless)
- Processor: Intel Pentium 4, 3.0GHz
- Memory: 512 MB PC-3200 DDR RAM
- Storage: 200 GB SATA (WD), 250 GB SATA, 200 GB IDE (Seagate)
- Removable media: Liteon DVD R/W SHOW-1633SB 16XDVD+R/8XDVD-R Dual Layer
- Case: CoolerMaster Centurion
- Screens: Standard definition TV, connected via S-Video-Composite; occasional monitor on VGA or DVI (XF86Config-4 for TwinView)
- X-10 Lola Remote (see config above)
- IR-Blaster, built from these instructions
- Tuner Cards:
- Case: Antec Sonata (quiet)
- Motherboard: ASUS P4C800-E (on-board sound, gigabit Ethernet, USB2, Firewire, S/PDIF out)
- Processor: Intel Pentium 4 3.0 GHz with HT
- Graphics: nVidia GeForce FX 5200 (Gainward Pro/660 TV/DVI) works better for HDTV than previous attempts with ATI
- Memory: 512 MB PC-3200 DDR RAM
- Storage: root 10 GB IDE, storage 160 GB SATA (note SATA support is only available in recent kernels, and is not present in many installer binaries); HD broadcasts take about 6 GB/hour of storage space.
- Optical media: CD R/W, DVD R/W
- Screen: Sharp Aquos 30" LCD (XF86Config
- MythTV, built from CVS, Thanks Isaac and all the Myth developers!!
- Debian GNU/Linux unstable, 2.6.9 and 2.6.10 kernels (install bootstrapped from mini ISO)
- or KnoppMyth. KnoppMyth preview release R5A9 (linked here) supports the HD-3000 out of the box, and installs in less than half an hour. Thanks Cecil and Dale!
- pcHDTV patches: HD-3000 drivers
- NVIDIA 6106 drivers (binary only, but finally give stutter-free HDTV)
##Gatos ATI drivers -- the Gatos drivers eliminated most of the stutter present with the fglrx driver