[mythtv-users] Does MythTV Obviate a DVD Player?

Stephen Tait tait at digitallaw.co.uk
Fri Sep 3 07:12:08 EDT 2004

At 08:18 03/09/2004, you wrote:
>Michael T. Dean wrote, On 9/2/2004 3:00 PM:
>>I personally like my Myth box better than a stand-alone DVD player 
>>because I can apply filters to the output (i.e. xine's chain reaction) to 
>>improve (or, at least, adjust to my taste) picture quality.  I'm using an 
>>old 6x DVD-ROM I bought in 1999, and it works like a charm...
>The only reason I haven't gotten rid of my DVD player yet is that I'm not 
>sure what the best route to get 5.1 digital out sound working.  Any 
>suggested setups?  Right now I'm using using standard analog 2ch sound 
>from my onboard VT8233...  Works fine for TV and cable recordings, but 
>doesn't cut it for DVDs.  Any tips or documentation anyone can point me to?

Get yourself a decent Linux-supported soundcard (anything based on the 
emu10k1 chipset will work fine - I have two Audigy cards, I've heard good 
things about the M-Audio soundcards too) with an SPDIF output. Depending on 
your 5.1 amp, you'll need either an optical (TOSlink, less common) or a 
co-ax output. Then have a good ol' muck about with ALSA to enable the 5.1 
output via SPDIF passthrough, and bob's your dad's brother. Xine and 
mPlayer and the rest also have fairly easily discoverable to either downmix 
to mono/stereo, or output in 5.1. I've actually got a 5.1 speaker setup 
connected to my workstation (direct connection via all those damned 
jackplugs rather than SPDIF passthrough), although I've not tried to get it 
working in Linux yet, but I can't imagine it's that much of a hassle.

Back OT, Myth has completely replaced every DVD player in the house. 
Quality was never much of an issue (a PS2 and a cheap chinese job which did 
MPEG4 as well), but Xine comfortably blows their pants off. I've never had 
Xine crap out on me yet (touch wood), and everyone loves the ability to 
skip those annoying bits at the front and timeshift the DVD by ripping to 
HD. Not to mention seamless access to my rather vast collection of DVD rips 
on my file server. 

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