[mythtv-users] Some Quick Questions about MythTV

Andrew Close aclose at gmail.com
Tue Oct 25 15:45:55 EDT 2005

Hi Josh,

On 10/25/05, Joshua Lewis <jmlewis at dslextreme.com> wrote:
> I am seriously considering the MythTV as an alternative to having 5
> satellite receivers and DVD players and computers and stuff in my house. I
> want desperately to consolidate my house.
> I questions is three fold.
> One is the MythTV documentation on PDF somewhere or available to download
> so I can read it on my way home on the train?

:)  i don't really know if the MythTv docs are consolidated enough to
print out and read in dead tree form.  although i really haven't
looked.  i get most of my Myth info from this very resource here.  and
when i don't see an active thread regarding the topic i'm researching
i turn to http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/mythtv/

> Two: Can I even do what I am trying to do? The Windows XP Media Center
> allows you to hook up an X-Box or media extender to TV's so you can watch
> your Prerecorded information from a TV not directly hooked to the Media
> Center PC. That is what I want to do with MythTV. Although it looks like
> MythTV can record my DVD's to disk drive where I can't get a confirmed yes
> on that ability for Windows MCPC.

you can do anything/everything with MythTv! ;)
yes, from your description, you can do that with MythTv.

> I would like to load all my families DVD's (If they are all loaded the way
> I want then I don't have to keep baying new DVD's when my kids scratch
> them. I got to get a new Harry Potter this weekend), MP3's and hook up
> like 5 TV tuners to the system so everyone can watch and record TV from
> there own room. Then I can watch Sci-Fi and Westwing until I am blue in
> the face in my bedroom while my wife watches Desperate House Wives and
> America's Next top Model downstairs (ok those two shows have enough
> hotties that I don't mind so much) but you get the picture. I got Barney
> in one room and GI Joe in another and so on and so fourth.

the trick is that aside from your 5 tuners you may still need 5 your 5
satellite tuners depending on the type of signal you get.  if you're
looking at SDTV (analog) you can get away with your feed and a
splitter.  if you're looking at digital then you will most likely need
settop boxes.  HDTV is another animal...
so it depends on what type of signal you are trying to capture and how
it's provided to you.

> Three: I plan to get a truly beefy system to do all of this. I am looking
> into a SARA raid array to prevent data loss and if possible dual core
> system (do they make duel CPU Dual Core motherboards) I want to avoid any
> kind of Encoding in the main processors. So do I need a certain TV Tuner
> to do everything in the tuner and such? Let's pretend money is no object
> (unfortunately it is so this will be an ongoing project) how would you
> design your system. I know a lot of these questions can be answered by the
> documentation but I only have time to read it offline and have not been
> able to find a way to print or view it offline.

surprisingly you don't need a Cray to do what you want to do.  if
you're using the Hauppauge PVR cards or other capture cards that do
the video encoding for you then you really don't need an uber-powerful
backend system.  even with HDTV.  the cards will do most of the work,
depending on the cards you get.  if you want to transcode your
recordings into another format you may want a higher power system. 
you will need a LOT of disk space.  i started ripping my very meager
dvd collection to watch via MythVideo and the 350GB i had just didn't
cut it. :)  even keeping up with SD broadcasts i find i'm running out
of room with 300GB.  but i don't watch Modern Marvels as often as it's
played either.

you can use an xbox as a front end but there are gotcha's that may
come along with it.  there is also the Hauppauge Media-MVP
(http://www.hauppauge.com/pages/products/data_mediamvp.html) that some
ppl are playing with and using for a light weight front end.

so what you want is doable with Myth and not necessarily difficult. 
but you will need to research a bit.  i think most of the responses
you'll get are like mine, lot's of fluff and not a lot of detail. :) 
you'll definitely get more pointed responses with directed questions. 
shotgun questions get shotgun answers. ;)
maybe mention what type of signal you'll be capturing and what you
want to do with it.  watch it and delete it?  back up to dvd? 
transcode for later viewing on your video iPod?
that's the first question that will need to be answered.  then ppl can
help you pick out your hardware.
oh, and where do you live?  US, Europe, Aus, etc.  it's easier to get
advice from someone in your locale.  not that other ppl can't help,
it's just easier to get accurate responses from ppl that have gone
through the setup in your area.

ok, i'm sure i've rambled on much too long about this. :)
good luck!

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