[mythtv-users] 3-D UI for Myth, PNP installation, new LinuxMCE

Paul Huber paul2004x at gmail.com
Thu Aug 9 17:53:16 UTC 2007

There's a full walk-through video in HD with a professional voice-over that
starts with a clean PC and shows everything so there are no surprises, and
you know exactly what you'll get.  You can get a quick low-res view on
Google Video:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2176025602905109829&hl=en or
download it in high-def ogg theora & wmv formats on linuxmce.org.   This new
version of LinuxMCE is now integrated with MythTV, and a big improvement;
the "yes it worked as expected" rate in our poll went from 23% for 1.0 to
86% for this one.
Installation is 3 keystrokes and <20 minutes.  For U.S. users with a
compatible pvr card you only put in your name, your room, your data direct
username/password and pick your lineup.  Everything else is done
automatically and you don't need to run myth-setup.  I/R tx/rx (usb uirt,
tira or IRTrans) are fully PNP.  Cable or satellite boxes are automatically
setup, including the i/r, as shown in the video.  Most TV's and stereo's
with serial control are also PNP, and there's a 'direct av' mode to handle
all the inputs so you can watch it in high-def while you record.   It offers
a pxe/network boot, so you can enable network boot on any other pc's in the
house and they automatically boot as MythTV slaves with no configuration.

Both MythTV's UI and LinuxMCE's work in parallel and are synced.  Hit
'guide' and use Myth's EPG, or hit 'media' and use LinuxMCE's alpha-blended
3d-cube flipping guide.   There's 1 click recording that syncs with Myth and
you can navigate 100 channels in about 10 seconds and schedule 10 recordings
on different channels in < 1 minute.  There's an add-on to mythweb to upload
icons for your shows and channels so you can quickly spot them in the 3d
guide as they fly by.  Choose Menu, Recording to view recordings in Myth's
UI, or Media, Video within LinuxMCE's, and it has the same 3d
gyro-controlled visual navigation.  Everything is shown in the new video.

As far as when to use LinuxMCE vs. KnoppMyth vs. others…  KnoppMyth is
hands-down the lightest Myth installation out there.  LinuxMCE isn't trying
to compete there; it's a 4GB DVD installer and is a lot more picky about the
graphics hardware it runs on because it uses 3d open gl extensions, x11
compositing/alpha blending, etc.

Where LinuxMCE adds value is: 1) If you have an nVidia graphics card and
like the alpha-blended opengl UI.  It really is 10x faster to navigate an
EPG.  2) If you want a multi-room setup.  AFAIK it's the only solution to
automatically set up network boot for the whole house so you can add more
myth slaves. 3) If you want to integrate other a/v devices, like
cable/satellite box or tv/av control it's all pretty much automatic; no conf
files, just use the remote.  4) If you want smarthome.  You don't need to
use it, but if you want it, it will control your lights, give you a VOIP
pbx, add home security, etc.

There seems to have been a mis-understanding after the first release.   I
heard that LinuxMCE was 'ripping off' Myth or trying to take credit for it.
Sorry if it came across that way.  LinuxMCE is a desktop + distro, like KDE
is a desktop and KnoppMyth is a distro.  When KDE shows the eye-candy and
the bouncy Firefox icon, they're not trying to suggest they developed
Firefox; they're just showing the cool stuff they added it to it.  And when
KnoppMyth shows Myth, they're not taking credit for Myth, but showing their
distro they that makes Myth easier to install.  The new demo video makes it
clear that the TV component is from MythTV and gives explicit credit.

Lastly, in response to the earlier post that LinuxMCE was a repackage of
Pluto, which was a repackage of Myth + Mister house.   Pluto has no
connection to Misterhouse, and afaik they never even used MythTV since they
had a commercially licensed PVR.  Pluto's Myth integration was
non-functional and almost non-existent.  I did most of the Myth integration.
I dug through their code.  They have around 5 million lines of their own
code; it took me 8 hours just to compile what was in their own svn.  Afaik
that's several times bigger than myth and most all other FOSS projects, so
it can't be called a 'repackage'.   Pluto helped and encouraged me to do
LinuxMCE so it wasn't a 'rip off' either, but rather a port so a Linux user
could get a solution like their Einstein solution for Monster Cable I saw at
CES but for 1/10 the price, and it would be part of a normal Linux desktop
rather than a separate and proprietary distro which is useless to a normal
Linux user.

Bottom line…  I'm trying to build bridges.  MythTV is a critical and central
component of LinuxMCE, and I think LinuxMCE adds a lot of value to MythTV,
and we'd both be better off if there was better communication and
collaboration.  So, I'd encourage Myth's users to check out the new video
and comment if they think this is on the right track and adds value to Myth
and would like to see more integration with Myth or not, and I'll watch the
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