[mythtv-users] UK based system

Alex Butcher mythlist at assursys.co.uk
Tue Jul 7 09:34:59 UTC 2009

On Mon, 6 Jul 2009, Jason Ward wrote:

> I've been looking around for someone in the UK that makes and sells Myth
> systems, I've found one, but unfortunatly not somone I feel able to trust.
> So it looks like I will need to do it myself.
> What I want is back end system with 2 dual tuners for DVB-T (Freeview) and
> either a dual tuner or two tuners for HD Satellite (Freesat).

I've been using Hauppauge Nova-T and the dual-tuner Nova-T-500 variant for a
few years now with an FC8-based Myth FE/BE. I fancy the Nova-T-500 has
slightly more robust reception.

I don't have a satellite receiver, and I'm only recording SD Freeview.

> I then want two silent or near silent front end systems.
> I've read the hardware requirements wiki page, and looked at various cards
> avaialble to me.  I was hoping for an upto date shopping list, this as you
> probably all know, not the case.
> I think I've got the Freeview/DVB-T cards I need as Hauppague WinTV NovaT
> digital PCI TV card however I can't find a HD Satellite card, do any
> exist?  Or am I trying to reach for the impossible?
> What I'm also not sure about is how much processing power I will need, I
> was thinking Gigabyte GA-M720-US3 socket AM2+ motherboard with AMD Phenom
> 9950 Quad Core Socket AM2+ Processor with 8GB Ram.  But I quite honestly
> don't know if I'm over doing it, under doing it, or getting it about
> right.  The only thing that will run on this system with be the Myth
> backend.

My MythTV system started out as two Nova-Ts in a Celeron 1.7GHz based
system. It now has a Nova-T and a Nova-T-500 (i.e. three physical DVB-T
tuners) which I use multirec to double to six virtual tuners. It's now a P4
2.53GHz, but that was only because I wanted to speed up DVD archiving, and
give a bit of headroom since it's also my firewall, internal DNS, DHCP
server and local Fedora package mirror cache.

> What do people think I shoud be looking at for the front end devices? 
> Again they will be single use, i.e.  to play back running the Myth front
> end.  What I want is guidance on the minimum spec I would need so as to
> know I'm going to have a good experience playing HD content.

If you're planning on playing back HD material, I'd concentrate on getting
an nVidia 9-series GPU in order to use VDPAU.

> I also have some questions, I've played with a MythTV system I purchased
> from supplier I won't be using again, but I have had a number of problems,
> I wanted to know if they were perculiar to what I purchased or wether they
> are part of how Myth behaves.  When recording radio broadcasts transmitted
> over Freeview Myth doesnt seem to realise its audio only, is there a way
> to fix this?  I've also found that my Myth system just stops recording
> from time to time, there is diskspace to hold the recordings and they are
> marked in the database as having been recorded...  they just are not
> there, I am presuming that Myth doesnt do that for everyone, but I'd like
> that confirmed.

I've seen missed recordings before. I've put it down to:

- the channel layout having changed, and MythTV needing a retune (or rescan
   of existing multiplexes, at least)
- variable DVB-T reception
- programmes scheduling using the Radio Times data have different metadata
   when updated from EIT, resulting in MythTV thinking the original programme
   is not being broadcast.

Sometimes the frontend reckons a programme is still recording hours after
it's finished, but this appears to be bogus, and cleared by stopping and
restarting the backend.

Recording and playing back Radio programmes works for me. The radio
functionality was included in a 0.21, IIRC.

> Finally, is there a way to configure in some fairly high level way (i.e.
> without writing code in whatever language MythTV is written in, but
> perhaps writing in some fairly high level scripting language) to have
> MythTV log into a website, allow me to browse the video's on that website
> and then download an play them?

There are MythStream plugins for Youtube. There's also an additional package
for BBC iPlayer, but I'm not sure if we're allowed to talk about it here. I
haven't used it, anyway.

> Jason Ward
> Cheif Technology Officer
> 3DT Limited

Best Regards,

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