[mythtv] Complete MythTV Newbie Needs Some Clarification Please

Alex Davidson alexd at synergycsi.com
Tue Jan 21 14:15:41 EST 2003

I'm a computer techie by trade but my job keeps me in the realm of MS
products so although I have briefly experimented with FreeBSD I have never
messed with Linux.

I have some extra hardware lying around that I installed Red Hat 8.0 on and
have an "ADS Channel Surfer TV+FM" video capture card that I no longer use
and am ready to see how far I can go with MythTV.

I have some very basic concepts to understand first though:
1. Would my Myth box replace my AT&T Digital Cable box or sit in front of it
and change channels using an IR box/cable?
2. If I am replacing the Cable box:
a. How would I tell my capture card to use channels in a range higher than
the 125(?) it supports?  Presumably you can't which would lead me to believe
I need to get a card that supports 999 channels or I am not in fact
replacing the box.
b. I can't get my head round how it could decode Premium Channels and PPVs -
again I am leaning toward the idea that I am not replacing the box
3. (Cough, deep breath) What are the "generally accepted" system
requirements for a *completely dedicated* MythTV PVR?  I know this has the
potential to generate a lot of opinions as there are so many possible
variations of the components so maybe the question needs to be what would
you NOT consider using?  As I said, this is to be a dedicated PVR and I'd
like to be able to Record and Playback at the same time.  Imagine a Tivo or
Replay TV or Dish Network's Dish Pro 501.
3a. What, other than an extra capture card, would I need to get and do to
add the ability to watch a live broadcast while recording another?  I've
seen this ability mentioned in previous posts but as I think I will be
sitting in front of a Digital Box (true?) and it can only send one channel
at a time this scuttles the whole thing I'd suppose.
4. At what point do better, faster versions of the components not give any
more return on investment?  There may be no point but I want to get my head
around what affect the components have on encoding and decoding
5. What kinds of storage are you seeing per GB for TV?

Can anyone point me to some sites that would walk me through the basics of
installing apps, compiling apps, rebuilding kernels, finding device drivers,
loading drivers and apps automatically at startup, etc etc to get me going
rather than boring you all with really basic Linux questions?

(Does anyone know if my capture card is even supported?  If not I can get
another, just thought I'd at least try to use it.)

Thanks for any help at all,

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