[mythtv-users] snd_bt87x, kernel version, & lirc replacement - lessons learned

William Powers wepprop at sbcglobal.net
Thu Dec 22 21:34:08 EST 2005

Because my daughter, who is off at college, complained bitterly about 
having to constantly swap VHS tapes to record her shows at school, as 
compared to "Mything" them at home, I threw together a Myth box for her 
out of spare parts.  In the process, I found out a few things that might 
be useful to someone else in the future, so I'm posting them here for 
archival purposes.

The only usable capture card I had was an old ATI TV Wonder, which has 
an MSP3400 chip.  In the past I had successfully used that particular 
card with btaudio on RH9 and with snd_bt87x on FC2.  This time, I could 
not get DMA audio to work with any recent distro.  I tried FC4, Ubuntu 
5.10, and FC3 with a dist-upgrade.  No joy for any of them.  I was about 
to go back to RH9 and btaudio, but I tried installing FC3 again without 
a dist-upgrade and that worked.  So, in short, I was not able to get 
snd_bt87x to work with any kernel newer than 2.6.9 or so.  The symptoms 
were simple:  No /dev/dsp device was created, nor was the capture card 
recorded in /proc/asound/.  But everything is now working fine with the 
default kernel installed by FC3.

Second, I managed to save myself the headache of finding an IR receiver 
for lirc.  Once upon a time I bought, but never used, a Chicony KB-9820 
IR keyboard.  Using that, along with a Philips six device Universal 
Digital DVD Learning Remote (PHDVD6ZL, $20 at Fry's) gave me a usable 
remote control at a tiny fraction of the effort that was required to get 
lirc working on my original Myth box.  I can't say if that particular 
keyboard is still available anywhere, but it does work well.

Other than that, I finally discovered a use for Windows Internet 
Connection Sharing, as her Internet connection is with Airimba wireless 
who only allow a single connection per account.  That was solved with 
two old NIC's, an ethernet crossover cable, W2K ICS, and a bash script 
that retries mythfilldatabase until the connection is available.

Of course, daughters being what they are, she was distressed to find out 
that "her Myth" can only record one program at a time (unlike the home 
box).  Maybe I can pick up another TV Wonder off Ebay...

Hopefully, having this note in the archive will help if someone 
encounters any of the same problems.

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