[mythtv-users] Time for the big upgrade. Need some advice!

Nowhere nowhere at cox.net
Sat Oct 11 22:38:57 UTC 2008

Thanks Brett,

I should have mentioned that if I stay with my integrated HTPC box I 
have fill all TWO of the PCI slots with the tuners.  I was looking at 
and CommandIR but was thinking it was over kill especially since it 
would be $100. But then again, I still haven't found some USB blasters 
or something. I don't have enough enough serial or PCI slots at this 
time either.


Are there any other USB solutions?


Brett Kosinski wrote:
>> Hardware:
>> I need two IR blasters: I currently run analog cable with two PVR150's.
>> Just upgraded (mostly by force) to digital cable and now I have a cable
>> box. When I get it working I will get a second. My PVRs didn't come with
>> the blasters. I see wikis and such talking about Microsoft media center
>> remotes but I don't see much for sale. What should I get (see software
>> below)...
> Well, my setup uses a pair of serial port IR blasters that I bought
> from the guy who runs irblaster.info.  The downside is this requires a
> serial port expansion card... 'course, assuming you have a spare PCI
> slot available (I planned ahead and bought a board with a lot of
> slots), a 2-port card is something like $20.
> The only other gotcha, here, is that lirc requires some hackery.  Last
> I'd looked into this (admittedly two years ago), a given instance of
> the lirc blaster driver module could only handle a single serial port,
> and since the kernel doesn't let you load two modules with the same
> name with different settings, one finds oneself in a conundrum.  The
> answer is to compile out a regular serial lirc module, then hack the
> code to rename the module, then compile it again.  Fortunately the web
> is replete with recipes for accomplishing this.
> Other than those intricacies, it works great.  I have two Motorola
> DCT-2524's driven by serial port blasters, and they never miss a tune.
>> Total Media Server: My system is a self contained set top HTPC type of
>> system with an AMD1800+ CPU and 380GB of disk. I have music on my laptop
>> hard drive, a desktop system, a ton on an external drive, my wife has
>> music on her laptop, ipod and external drive. I want to consolidate all
>> this.  I'm going to get a 1TB drive and need to decide if I should go
>> with a seperate backend server. I don't want to buy another PC so I may
>> try to piece one together from parts I have.
> Do it if you can (and can afford the electricity of running a separate
> piece of hardware (and don't mind maintaining another box)).
> Consolidating everything into a single backend server has some very
> nice advantages... you can pick a nice, large, possibly ugly, but
> well-ventilated case, which is good for hard disk lifetime, not to
> mention for expandability.  It lets you put all that noisy, bulky
> hardware somewhere where it won't be seen or heard.  And, as you point
> out, it keeps everything in one place where it's easily accessible.
> That said, it does create a single point of failure.  If you can
> afford it, I'd buy two terabyte drives and set up a RAID-1 mirror
> ('course, that doesn't obviate the need for backups, as a PEBKAC can
> still screw you, but it does significantly reduce the chances of
> catastrophic disk failure destroying all your data).  Even better, set
> up the mirror, and then throw the md device into an LVM volume group,
> and splice off storage from there.  Then you can tack on additional
> mirrors if you want to expand storage (this is the way my server is
> set up... it's basically glorified RAID 10, but lvm provides some
> management advantages).
> Of course, this all depends on how easy it will be to wire everything
> together.  After all, a consolidated backend isn't nearly as nice if
> you're forced to stick it right beside the TV.  In my house, I dropped
> cable from the livingroom to the basement, and so my backend sits down
> there where it's nice and cool while my frontend is under the TV.  And
> for the rest of the house, for now, I'm piggybacking on the
> pre-existing cat5e.
>> Software:
>> Mythdora or Mythbuntu?
>> I run Ubuntu everywhere else in the house and laptops. I have run Fedora
>> for the MythBox for many years. Which is more 1 clickish install for the
>> IR blasters? Which one is more likely to upgrade without major
>> problems?  I don't have a ton of time available for the install this time.
> Well, I can say this much:  I used Fedora for my FE and BE, and I
> *seriously* regret it.  In my experience, Ubuntu has been *far* easier
> to upgrade and maintain (my own laptop has gone from Feisty -> Gutsy
> -> Hardy without incident).  And these days, with Fedora having so
> many problems with their servers thanks to that security compromise a
> month or so back, I *really* regret it.
> Consequently, if I were to do it all over again, I'd go with Ubuntu,
> no question about it.
> But, as always, these things often come down to personal preference...
> myself, I've always been a big Debian fan, and Ubuntu has really won
> me over in the last six months, while Fedora continues to be a pain in
> my personal backside.  Others I've spoken to say the exact opposite.
> So, as always, YMMV.
> As an aside, regarding the blasters... odds are, they'll be a pain no
> matter what distro you go with. :)
>> Who's using a myth server as a media server serving/storing music for a
>> group/family of iPod users? What packages are you using to maintain the
>> library (folder locations, duplicates, tagging, album covers etc)?
> No one here owns iPods.  That said, we do stream our music to work,
> and use Ampache for that purpose.  As for management, that's more or
> less a manual process for me, with the help of some scripts I've
> hacked up here and there.
> Brett.
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