[mythtv] MythTV Experiences (resending)

Isaac Richards mythtv-dev@snowman.net
Wed, 2 Oct 2002 21:15:19 -0400

On Wednesday 02 October 2002 03:36 pm, John Clement wrote:
> Issac,
> [I am resending this, because my first attempt,
> had paragraphs using word wrap and it looks
> horrible when viewing on the archive web site]

Heh.  You can use a longer line length than 50 characters =)

> 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.
> Hardware:
> 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
> Software:
> 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.

Hopefully should be unnecessary soon.

> 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.

Sure, have a go at improving the docs.

> 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.

It's not meant to be exited -- in CVS, the main menu won't even disappear 
anymore when you hit escape on it.

> 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.

Fixed in CVS.

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

Hrm.  What do you mean by taskbar?  It covers my kde panel fine.

> 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'll check into this.

> 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?

Well, when you select a different video compression method, it only changes 
how it compresses the video part of the file.  The overall format mythtv 
produces doesn't change, regardless of if you're using mpeg4 or rtjpeg.  
MPlayer or Xine's nuppelvideo readers could be modified to read this format 
fairly easily, if someone wanted to do that.

> 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.

The previous two would be extremely easy for someone with even just a tiny bit 
of programming experience to do (hint, hint)..   =)

> 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
> files.

Someone just needs to write a converter for the file format.  It's not 
something particularly interesting to me, so I won't be doing it.  However, 
I'm planning on having some rudimentary editing abilities in the 0.7 
release..  2 releases away, but, it'll happen..  It'll at least be able to 
edit out commercials.

> 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
> releases.