[mythtv-users] APC article (was: Commercial releases of MythTV?)

Scott LeBrun slebrun at scopus.vic.edu.au
Mon Mar 22 18:17:47 EST 2004

Hi guys.

Ok, finally here's the full story. Maybe we can put this to rest now.
:-)  The upshot of all this is that Development 1 now seems to be an
active participant of the mailing list and maybe the project itself
sometime in the future.


The original article published in Australian Personal Computer:

My letter to the editor:

Dear Editor,

I enjoyed reading your article published in APC April 2004 about the
Development 1 Home Media Centre. The feature list of this device is
truly outstanding but quickly became all too familiar.

As Matthew mentioned in the article, the biggest drawcard of the HMC
its operating system and interface. This is not exclusive to
1. The software used was not in fact developed by Development 1 at
It is an open-source project called MythTV - http://www.mythtv.org  
software is free to download and tutorials on installing it on a
multitude of hardware is freely available.  The community support is
also friendly and helpful.

The feature wishlist Matthew wanted including commercial cutting,
digital TV, multiple TV tuners, DVD burning etc, are all available in
one form or another in the project itself. The system even supports
several systems in a client/server arrangement - even using good ol'
Xboxes as clients!

As a follower of the MythTV project, I'm disappointed that neither
the article nor Development 1's website mentions MythTV at all. The
only reference is a single line on page 26 of  the HMC user manual,
under GNU GPL licence.

On a good note, the hardware itself looks nice and the manufacturer
deserves credit in this instance. The product is well suited to anyone
who baulks at the idea of building their own linux system, but if
you're handy with a screwdriver and have a linux distro disk handy
- MythTV is only a mouse click away and considerably cheaper.

Scott Le Brun 

The reply from the author of the article:

Hi Scott;
Thanks for the feedback.
Funnily enough, I actually wrote a workshop article last year on how to
get myth TV up and running on your own linux box, so I'm quite familiar
with it. We cut that paragraph out of the HMC review because of space
limitations, but it is indeed built on MythTV. The reason it got cut is
because it's not that important to most users (and Myth TV was added to
by Development 1's in-house engineers).
I don't know if I agree about your claim of it being that much cheaper
to roll your own version, though. 
You could definitely build your own version of the HMC, but by the time
you've put the parts together, installed the OS and packages and hacked
the remote control to get it all working, you'd be just as well off to
drop the cash on the HMC. There'd be around $1000 worth of hardware
there (if you used a Shuttle box or similar), and around 10-15 hours of
dev time for an experienced Linux user. Just about every professional
Linux user I know factors in their time at around $50 per hour, so
you're already looking at around $1500-$1700 and you still won't end up
with an EPG when you're done.

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