[mythtv-users] MythTV vs Tivo (Australia)

sonofzev at iinet.net.au sonofzev at iinet.net.au
Tue Dec 22 00:53:28 UTC 2009

On Mon Dec 21 16:59 , Brian Wood  sent:

>On Monday 21 December 2009 04:50:06 pm Bruce Nordstrand wrote:
>> I have been bugging my Dad about getting a MythTV box and he has 
>> baulked. It doesnšt matter how many times I show him ours, hešs not
>> convinced. However, he now has it in his mind to get a Tivo down here in
>> Australia. I know nothing about these things so was wondering if anyone
>> could give me pros and cons of Myth vs Tivo? I would much rather he had 
>> Myth box, spending $600.00 on a Tivo would give him a reasonable Myth
>> machine with the right bits.....
>A complete list of why Myth is better then Tivo would probably overload this 
>list server, but:
>Commercial flagging/skipping

(Tivo will only allow fast forward)
>Files are stores as unencrypted video in open formats.
>Ability to use as many tuners or capture devices.
Although doing anything more than a dual tuner is going end up greater than the
cost of a TIVO

>Many plugins available that provide functions not available with Tivo 

Mythweb, if your dad is comfortable using a browser this is a very easy way to
manage recordings e.t.c..

No subscription cost required. 

However, TIVO has subscription download content available.. (This may become
useful in Australia where the AFACT vs iinet case looks like it will go in
AFACT's favour (read MPAA for the Americans on the list) combined with the Great
Firewall of Conroy which is looking very likely at the moment too )
>But, having said that, Myth is not for everyone, some people are happier 
>with a commercial product, especially if they are not comfortable with 

Read my note below about programming the remote. Putting it in a box like an
Antec NSK2480 making it appear like a standard AV component device will also
remove some of the fear factor. 
>Unless you happen to live where you can give rapid service to your Dad in 
>the event he has problems, or just questions, I'd be careful about turning a 
>non-techie loose with a Myth system.

You could always open up the SSH port on his router and NAT it across to the myth
box, even allowing remote X via SSH can help too (I do this on my headless MBE so
I can still run mythtv-setup without worrying about firing up the X-server or
having a mouse,keyboard and display attached to the MBE). I would recommend that
you setup a very non privileged user to login over the web as... with only the
ability to run, myth apps, su and maybe shepherd (although EIT will be less pain
for you in supporting this box) 

>If you are able and willing to provide the support required, go for it.
>My 80-year-old Mom is now very comfortable with Linux and Myth, but it took 
>a long time to get to that point.

My girlfriend took no time at all.. As long as the remote is programmed up well
and no keyboard mouse interaction is required on the box itself then the
P(arent)AF should be high. Combining all devices with a well programmed Logitech
Harmony (tm) or similar device will also go along way (although maybe blow out
the $600.00 price again). 

All that in mind, this is probably going to take you some time to setup for him
so that he doesn't have to do anything... So the total cost is greater than the
sum of its parts or even dollars spent. 

The decision to build and support is up to you... 

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