[mythtv] MythTV Experiences (resending)

John Clement mythtv-dev@snowman.net
Wed, 2 Oct 2002 15:36:08 -0400


[I am resending this, because my first attempt,
had paragraphs using word wrap and it looks
horrible when viewing on the archive web site]

Thought I'd share my experience and observations
as I just got MythTV up and running a couple
of days ago.  Kudos for how nice packaged it
all looks once everything is working.  This
is really great considering the short time
the project has been in existence.  Everything
is very intuitive and easy to use.

WinTV-radio (bttv) tv card
Matrox Mystique G200 video card
Athlon 1330
Soundblaster 128
756 meg ram
Western Digital 80 Gig (Special Edition with
8 meg cache) hard drive

Redhat 7.2 - with lots of updates rpms
KDE 3.03

Installation issues and hurdles:

The requirement of Freetype1 (tricky if you have
Redhat 7.x) was met by downloading Freetype1
source and compiling it in /usr/local so as not
to conflict with my Freetype2 rpm on which many
installed rpms apps depend.  I did have to
manually edit the source code to point to the
Freetype1 rather than Freetype2.  It seems to
be a common subject in the mailing list and I
wonder if it shouldn't be added to the FAQ.

Between MythTV and xmltv, I had to add a lot
of new Perl modules.  Fortunately the CPAN
Search Site at http://search.cpan.org made
finding and downloading them fairly easy.  
I wish I had made a list of all the modules
I had to add to make it easier for others and
myself for future installs.

As I followed the instructions in the README,
I initially missed the fact that there were
additional steps to follow after the
information regarding special steps for
those upgrading from previous versions.
If I get some time, I may submit an edited
version of README, if that would help.

Running MythTV:

MythFrontend looks great with a very clear
and easily usable menu.  One problem, I
cannot shut it down unless I use the kill
command or have started it inside a terminal
and hit [control]-c.  Hitting the escape
key causes it to disappear briefly, only
to pop-up again.

When I start MythTV from MythFrontend, the
tv picture appears briefly, then
MythFrontend pops up in front of it.  I
have to tab between windows to get the
MythTV screen back.

While MythFrontend appears on top of my
KDE taskbars, MythTV does not.  To get
the full picture, I have to retract the

If only one program has been recorded, that
program's information is not fullyavailable
when seeing the list of program on the
program playback or program delete pages.
The name of the program is on the list, but
there is no picture and no description of
the program.  Evidently the single program
is not selected by default.  The fact the
program's title is not highlighted would
seem to confirm this, despite the fact that
hitting spacebar will work.  The up and
down arrow keys only seem to work when there
is a second program that allows the focus
to shift to another program.

Here is another problem that happens when
only one program has been recorded.   The
problem occurs after playing back the
program and hitting escape to return to
the program list screen.  Instead of the
normal screen, the screen appears without
any details and does not appear to respond
to any keys.  The only way to escape this
screen is by using the kill command on
MythFrontend itself.  Once again, this
problem is not evident when there is more
than one program in the program list.

I have recorded programs with
mpeg2 - libavcodec, but have been unable
to play them in either MPlayer or Xine,
despite the claims by each of them to
support FFMpeg.  Has mpeg2, like rtjpeg,
been modified for MythTV so that it is
unusable elsewhere?

Things to I would like to see:

I like having MythTV's rewind and
fastforward set to 30 seconds to make it
easier to skip commercials, however it
would be nice to also have a 1-5 second
rewind and fastforward in case the 30
second fastforward skips over the first
few seconds of a program after the
commercials.  Having two sets of rewind
and fastforward keys and be able to
give them different values would be
very helpful.

I would like a setting that allows the
users to choose between full-screen
playback and a sizeable window.  This
would provide functionality both for
those who view programs via a television
and those (like myself) who view them
sitting in front of a monitor.

I want to be able to record programs
with MythTV and watch/convert/edit the
resulting video files using other video
players and editors.  Perhaps this is
already possible and I simply have not
spent enough time working with the mpeg2

All in all, I am very pleased with
MythTV.  It makes finding and recording
shows a lot simpler than my old VCR.  On
the downside, I may find myself watching
more TV as my favorite programs will now
be more available to me!  Keep up the
good work.  I eagerly anticipate newer

John Clement