[mythtv-users] Questions on a mostly working install, and some suggestions

Jay R. Ashworth jra at baylink.com
Sun Aug 8 13:16:56 EDT 2004

I'm almost done; I can smell it.

Regular readers will recall that I'm building my sister a superhonker
PVR using Myth, and what will eventually probably be 4 PVR-250s.  It's
up and running, mostly, now, with one 250rev1; we've just ordered a
second, though that one is a rev2.  

My sister, who is hard to impress, particularly in her domain, is
impressed, even for the few remaining problems we're having.  So all
kudos to Isaac and the Myth development crowd and the ivtv guys, most
especially Chris Kennedy, who must have had itching powder put in his
bed for all the scratching he's been doing this month.

I'm actually planning a magazine article on the project, and one of my
observations will be that most of the people who reportedly want to
tear their hair out from doing this have those problems because they
don't start from scratch and pick parts that will do the job; my
journey so far has been remarkably trouble free.

[ Config: Suse9.1pro, Linux potato 2.6.5-7.95-default #1 Thu Jul 1
15:23:45 UTC 2004 i686 athlon i386 GNU/Linux, Xfree, remarkably
running properly with the ATI 3.90 driver for 4.3.0, Myth 0.15.1 from
tarball, ivtv 0.1.10pre2-ck100z, MSI 6712 mobo with KT400A chipset,
Radeon 9200SE based card with S-Video out in AGP8x ]

[ I'm carboning this to the ivtv list mostly in case the IOCTL problem
really is the driver; anyone replying is invited to split the
addresses. ]

So, at this point, I have a couple of questions that don't seem to be
covered by the docs, though if your answer actually *is* RTFM, I'll be
pleased for a pointer to where I missed. :-)

1)	The most important blocker at the moment is a two parter:
	When we do a manual record on the current program, it works
	fine, right up until the end.  When it drops out of record, at
	which point I would *expect* it to eithers just go back to the
	menu from which "Watch TV" is called, or perhaps just stay on
	channel and say "Recording complete", the backend semi-locks up
	and we get

	VIDOCGMBUF:: Invalid argument

	in the backend log.

	Now, it's possible that this is due to 

2)	The fact that I have inadvertantly defined 2 non-existent V4L
	capture cards in card setup, which there does not appear to be
	any way to kill off.  If necessary, I'm capable of digging in
	the sources to find the proper table, and groveling in the
	mysql client to delete them, but I'd appreciate any hints that
	might save me the 4 hours; and of course, I'd suggest that
	either a) a delete option get added to that setup menu or b)
	the one that's already there get documented somewhere.  :-)

3)	When you choose Watch TV, what *is* supposed to happen if there
	is either no available tuner to use, or if you have multiple
	tuners?  I was hoping for something like a menu showing running
	recordings, and allowing you to pick one to either watch from
	the start or join in progress, or (if a free tuner is
	available) to choose Live TV.  Perhaps I'll find this is
	already what happens when we install the second card; if it's
	not, it would be what I'd suggest.
 A subsidiary suggestion, if anyone's interested, would be for there to
 be a "watch everything" mode, with optional zoom-in/out, for watching
 and optionally taping breaking news: you could get all three networks
 and CNN (or, if you were silly enough to build that many front ends,
 ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, HNN, FNC and Weather Channel in a 9-way
 split; press a digit to zoom and focus audio; press 0 to go back to the
 split). (Don't want much, do I?) (Yeah, I might find a way to try and
 code it, if no one beats me to it.)

 On re-reading that, I realize that I wasn't entirely clear: the more
 important part of that thought was "being able to watch all
 in-progress recordings, and zoom in to one when it looks interesting";
 being able to do it to live TV is optional (though it would likely be

4)	Is there some other way to see the recording schedule besides
	"Conflict Resolution"?  If not, it might be useful to relabel
	that item "View Schedule/Resolve Conflicts".

5)	I've experimented with the GUI resizing options, to try and get
	the UI elements inset to where I can see them, but without much
	luck; resize seems to work for me, but the offsets do not.

	I'd like to suggest that perhaps a better approach for that
	would be to permit the user to set the *bounding box* for the
	elements contained in the setup forms; leave the gui panel
	reaching the edges of the buffer and just inset the active
	area to compensate for whatever overscan adjustments users make
	to make the image area just overfill the screen they're using.

	As a second approximation, make those adjustments interactive.

	As a third approximation, make the adjustment interact with
	something like xvidtune, to allow the user to actually set the
	overscan internally as well, if the TV out cards actually
	permit that (I've been getting by without a mouse on the
	console so far, so I don't know whethe this will actually
	affect my Radeon 9200SE, in addition to which xvidtune is a pain
	to run on TVout since it's small and not resizeable.

6)	Amongst the other plug-inny things that people have developed
	for Myth, has anyone done a CD+G decoder for playing karaoke
	discs... or does one of the external players that can be called
	by MythVideo already do that and I'd missed it?

This is, I realize, a long list, and no, I'm not foolish enough to
expect anyone to even reply to the whole thing, much less to do all
that work -- if it is still work.  But anyone who wants to comment on
any part of it will be soundly thanked, and the recipient of much
virtual beer of their preferred brand.

And for whatever else it's worth, while I'm not necessarily the best
person to make conde contributions to Myth, I'd be more than pleased to
contribute to improving it's documentation profile; hopefully this
message will suggest to someone somewhere that my contributions thereto
would be likely to be comprehensible, rather than compost.

-- jra
Jay R. Ashworth                                                jra at baylink.com
Designer                          Baylink                             RFC 2100
Ashworth & Associates        The Things I Think                        '87 e24
St Petersburg FL USA      http://baylink.pitas.com             +1 727 647 1274

	"You know: I'm a fan of photosynthesis as much as the next guy,
	but if God merely wanted us to smell the flowers, he wouldn't 
	have invented a 3GHz microprocessor and a 3D graphics board."
					-- Luke Girardi

More information about the mythtv-users mailing list