[mythtv-users] My experience with MythTV annoyances

Steven Adeff adeffs.mythtv at gmail.com
Sun Jun 11 15:56:13 UTC 2006

On 6/11/06, Yeechang Lee <ylee at pobox.com> wrote:
> * The FireWire issue. The first message in my "My experience with
>   . . ." series was on this topic. Since then I've switched over to
>   the daisy-chained, all point-to-point setup for multiple boxes the
>   Wiki describes with, unfortunately, no change to the status quo. I
>   still have to run the script mentioned in that message (modified
>   slightly so that both boxes now get n_p2p_connections set to 1) once
>   (sometimes four times, sometimes seven, etc.) after a reboot of the
>   MythTV box in order for the FireWire connection on one of my two
>   cable boxes to work. Fortunately, also mentioned previously, in my
>   experience once I can jumpstart said connection, it remain 100%
>   reliable as long as the MythTV box isn't rebooted. Because this
>   issue only affilicts one box and not the other I believe this is an
>   issue endemic to only certain batches of DCT-64xx boxes and not
>   others.

I don't know why your mythbox is randomly rebooting, but the rest of
the firewire stuff isn't Myth's fault, more so the fault of the linux
firewire driver (linux1394.org), bring the issue up with them, they
may be able to help solve your issues.

> * Occasionally, when my box reboots, the Fedora booting process halts
>   at the "Initializing hardware . . . audio" portion. A reboot here
>   has always taken care of the problem. I presume this is due to some
>   weird issue with the Intel HDA built into the motherboard.

Again, not really a Myth issue, I've got two machines running myth and
never experience random reboots, and they always boot up without issue
when I shut them down for changing hardware/etc.

> * When watching Letterman, Leno, and Conan (US late-night talk
>   shows)--all broadcast in high definition--and the shows show a clip
>   of a movie the guest being interviewed is promoting, the clip is
>   usually in 4:3 standard definition. When the clip starts, the sound
>   and video get out of sync, and this continues after the clip ends
>   and we return to the host and guest. Pausing and unpausing fixes
>   this issue, but otherwise it's quite mystifying because most
>   commercials are still in 4:3 SD and I've *never* seen a commercial
>   cause sound and video to go out of sync.

I've never seen this issue, are you running SVN or fixes?

> * I use a 2TB Infrant ReadyNAS 600 to store my recordings. Infrant's
>   decision to use ext3--which blocks all writes during deletes and is
>   very slow at doing them--as the filesystem instead of something like
>   xfs or jfs means that I will lose about 30-60 seconds of whatever
>   I'm recording if I delete a recording of about 7.5GB or greater in
>   size. (This is with the patch to ThreadedFileWriter.cpp I've
>   previously described [I currently use 64-12-256]; without it any
>   deletes greater than a few hundred *mega*bytes would result in
>   missing recording chunks.) The solution is to simply wait until the
>   box isn't recording anything, which is slightly inconvenient and
>   also doesn't help in auto-expiration situations.

Again, not a Myth issue, there is a reason ext3 isn't one of the
recommended file systems.

> . . . That's it. Really. If these issues got resolved, I'd happily
> give my setup those remaining five WAF points, plus a whole bunch of

sigh, given the fact that none of your issues are really due to Myth,
but poor choices,  and poor firewire driver support for your setup, I
don't know if any of this is constructive for Myth users.

> bonus points for being able to do things that Series 1 TiVo
> couldn't. As it stands today, MythTV already delivers to me 100% of
> what I want it to do--record and play back two cable and one
> over-the-air feeds, all in high definition--all wrapped in a
> highly-attractive and reliable remote control-driven user-interface
> package. Put it another way, without these four issues, I'd have *no*
> hesitation whatsoever in letting a hypothetical non technically-minded
> wife loose on the setup, and even thse four issues require
> relatively-little handholding.
> Don't get me wrong. There are a dozen little issues (such as, say,
> stuttering video/audio when OSD is displayed when using XvMC, or my

Are you using an FX5200? I'll agree, XvMC support is pretty poor, but
for those unwilling to spend the $300US to upgrade to a CPU with
enough power it works well.

> inability, in downtown San Francisco, to get my HD5000 ATSC card and
> indoor antenna to pull in more than two network-affiliate channels),

Get a better antenna, or position it in a better location, or use QAM.

> but I can work around them easily (don't use XvMC) or they are
> relatively-minor inconveniences (the two cable boxes get me the
> missing channels). Yes, it took weeks to get to this stage, but the
> process was quite asymptotic; I'd say the box was 80% there a few days
> into the process.

yea, weeks, try months for some =D but thats why its a hobby.

> There are several things I haven't done. I don't:
> * Try to force HD video out of underpowered boxes. (Yes, I'm pointing
>   at you, there in the corner.)
> * Try to force HD video out of unsupported video cards. Again, I'm
>   pointing at you.

For <$50 you can get an FX5200, why bother?

> * Fiddle with standard-definition capture cards.

these are the best supported, being that basically everyone uses one.

> * Use LIRC.

with properly supprted hardware should not be an issue.

> Not doing these things unquestionably simplified the setup process by,
> well, a *lot*.

I found HD was the hardest, my Silverstone's IR and VFD were a breeze
to setup, and my PVR150 works wonderfully.

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