[mythtv-users] Legality of selling MythTV and its Components?

Andrew Cope andrew at evergreencomputing.com
Wed May 3 19:59:27 UTC 2006

Jesse Guardiani wrote:
> I wish a lawyer would speak up on these issues. Currently it looks like 
> a lot of people
> have it partially right, but nobody is declaring themselves a lawyer, so 
> it's all noise in the end.
> Still, this has been a good thread for me. I'm planning to sell mythtv 
> hardware to the mythtv
> community (if you will buy it), and I don't think I'll include an OS 
> with the hardware at this
> point. Perhaps I'll start an open source project to host the OS and link 
> to instructions for
> installing it, or perhaps I'll link to an existing OS project and forget 
> about the software altogether.
> I would LIKE to ship with an OS, either on a CD, or on Flash already, 
> but this thread has
> scared me away from that course of action.
> Either way, my business model will be retail hardware sales ONLY. I 
> don't expect to get
> rich off it. I know it's a relatively poor model. It's just an extension 
> of my hobby and it
> would be nice to support my mythtv hardware addiction by actually making 
> a small profit
> and getting some business experience in the process. I certainly do NOT 
> want to get sued
> though. That would totally defeat the purpose of the venture.
> I hope Brian Woods and a few others who have vehemently opposed the 
> commercialization
> of mythtv won't boycott my products merely because the description 
> mentions that it can be
> used with mythtv. I just want to provide inexpensive, pre-assembled 
> solutions to the community.
> I don't think there is anything illegal about that.

I think you'll do well selling the following:

- a disk-less and fan-less frontend that will look good under the TV.
Connect to a backend for booting, or boot from flash.
With a DVD/CD slot for playing movies/music (optional).

- a big beastie backend with 2 or 3 (or more!) tuner cards, LVM/RAID
disk storage.

Most people already have the hardware for a general purpose backend, but
to get myth into the front room it has to look good enough to get past
the wife/girlfriend.
I won my wife over with a frontend in the living room *and* in the bedroom.

I put my combined be/fe into a ASUS Pundit-R, but the disk/fan and CPU
fan are noisy.  Not too noisy, but enough to notice when the show is
relatively quiet.

My office is right next door to my master bedroom, so I drilled two
holes in the wall: one for the A/V cable and the other for the IR cable.
The result is a totally silent myth front end - it's not even in the room!

Front-ends are difficult as the hardware is specialized, so that should
be enough of a niche to make a business model.

Email:    andrew at evergreencomputing.com
Website:  http://evergreencomputing.com
Phone:    +44 (0)1454 269 087
Fax:      +44 (0)8707 515 596

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