[mythtv-users] Several General Questions

match at ece.utah.edu match at ece.utah.edu
Fri Dec 3 06:27:00 UTC 2004

I commented:

> > If your Mom's not fairly computer literate, then MythTV is not for her.  I don't think
> > MythTV is ready for primetime. It's too easy to put the computer into a state where it
> > doesn't act the way she thinks it should
> > Running a MythTV box (or 2 or 3) is a far cry from punching-up a few buttons on a
> > remote to use a Tivo.
> > --- Flame Suit off---
And Lane responded:

> I really have to disagree with this post.

That's OK. No hard feelings...
> Once Myth is properly set up, it is just as easy to use as a Tivo. It
> is not a far cry from punching a few buttons on a Tivo remote.

Well, no it's not, but that's OK too. Even if you push Linux aside and pretend it's not 
part of the equation, MythTV is more involved than a TiVo. 
> Yes, Myth and the accompanying TV tuner drivers can be a pain to get
> set up and configured. But at least in my experience, once it's
> working it stays working.

Mine didn't... It stopped working in the middle of recording Private Ryan after working 
just fine for 6 months. No reason... screen just went black.

And, remember a little while ago when all of us in the U.S. had to change the way we 
get program scheduling info? What would your Mom do in a case like that if you lived 
in another town and couldn't fix it for her?
> Maybe this is just me, but I think we're doing a disservice to
> ourselves and to the Myth developers by discouraging people from
> setting up Myth for their non-Linux-savvy friends and family.

Fair 'nuff, and I understand your point all to well. But I speak from personal 

I work for a university, and I used to be a real Linux and FreeBSD evangelist. Since 
1989 in fact, before Linux, when you had to enter 386BSD by hand from a magazine 
article... not anymore. The students can pick it up pretty fast, but not the professors. 
They're set in their ways and don't have time to learn another OS. Trying to wean 
them away from Windows to Linux caused me no end of nightmares. The required 
support was enormous, and natually it was my fault. So, I no longer try.

If one of them shows an interest in Linux he'll figure it out, just like we're doing, and 
we should help those who have an interest. But convincing someone to move to 
Linux when they don't have an interest is a mistake. Same as dumping a Linux 
machine on an unsuspecting mother would be a mistake.

I know that my parents could never use MythTV, not even if it had been available 30 
years ago, when they were in their prime. Maybe not even a TiVo... I don't recall 
them ever setting up the VCR to record a show, even. They just want to watch TV, 
and if it breaks thay call a repairman or buy a new one. Why would they want to use 
a computer to watch TV when they can watch a real TV?

After all, what's the goal here? If you want to make your Linux box do something that 
we geeks think is really, really cool, I can't think of anything cooler than MythTV. But 
it won't impress your girlfriend, and if you just want to watch TV and record some 
shows, maybe skip some commercials, it's pretty hard to hose-up a TiVo.


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