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Jerome's MythTV World

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Hardware
· Hauppauge PVR-500
·MCE Remote
· Arris DCX-3200M P3
· Hauppauge HD-PVR
· Motorola DCT-700




 
      
Cheap! That was my design target. For my first foray into digital TV I wasn't going to invest heavily. Plus, I started with a pretty simple setup: analog Standard Definition (SD) over cable, on a screen that's "big enough" for me. You can do waaaay more with MythTV than I do, and it's built for it! Here's what I use, and what I remember paying for it.

Computer

  • Intel Core i3 9100F 3.6GHz with 8G or RAM.

  • Nvidia GeForce GT 710 to let me use VDPAU for playback, letting my CPU do other things like commercial flagging.

  • 2 Seagate Constellation ES.3 1TB drives for lots of storage and distributed disk load.

This may be the last board to let me use my Hauppauge PVR-500 PCI card since appreantly PCI is becoming extinct.

  2020 rebuild
Second machine
Intel Core2 Duo E4500 2.2G with 4G RAM. nVidia GeForce GT-520.

The day after Christmas 2019, as I was preparing for a few days of College Football bowls and the last weekend of the regular NFL season, 3 capacitors on the motherboard let out their magic smoke and that was the end of that board.

  ex work desktop
Original machine
eMachines from an EOL clearinghouse with AMD Sempron 3100+, 256M RAM, 80G disk, onboard nVidia 6100 video and 17" IBM CRT monitor with built-in speakers. I added another 256M RAM soon after, and 300G drive.
  $360
Video Capture
Hauppauge PVR-500, a dual-tuner card I got in "MCE kit" form so I would get a remote control and other accessories.
TV Tuners
Motorola DCT-700 digital SD STB that I've kept boxed since the beginning of the analog-digital switch in July 2013 and finally pulled out and hooked up when analog went away completely in December 2015. It uses one of the two PVR-500 tuners over composite, with the kit's IR blaster for channel-changing.

Arris DCX-3200M P3 (aka Motorola DCX-3200M) digital SD/HD STB. I'm currently using Firewire for channel-changing and recording. While the former is very robust, the latter is tantalizingly not quite satisfying - I can't get a couple channels I really want, and some others are unstable. Apparently I'm lucky to have Firewire capture at all, but I'm likely going to have to use a Hauppauge HD-PVR to capture component video from the box, which is supposed to be more reliable.

  free from
my cable
provider
Display 1
Samsung SyncMaster F2380M (23"), the multimedia variant of the F2380, with a white bezel, HDMI input (though I use DVI), built-in speakers, and headphone jack. Rather unusual, from my attempts to provide a link. This page and this page are one of very few with anything in English. That could explain why I got a deal on it as a floor display model.
  $280 I think
Display 2
BenQ GW2265 (21.5") for my dining area, connected with a 25-foot HDMI cable.
  $110
Software
Operating System: Fedora 7 initially, then Fedora 9, then Fedora 22. Now Fedora 24 onthe way to 30 through incremental upgrades.

Desktop: The Fluxbox Window Manager, a very bare-bones system with only a custom root-window menu.

MythTV: Initially 0.20 then 0.21, 0.27.6. Now 0.29.1 from the RPM Fusion repository.

  Free!
Audio
Analog from my onboard soundcard split 1 leg to Display 1 and 1 leg to a SONY STR-DE197 stereo receiver. HDMI from my video card to Display 2, with a pair of powered computer speakers off the headphone jack for better sound.
Schedule Services
Schedules Direct gives me 2 weeks of downloadable listings, and it's essential for automating recordings - no need for the TV Guide! From what I've seen of EPG in commercial PVRs, immensely preferable and worth every penny.
  US$25/year
Content Provider
Shaw Cablesystems, Tiers 1, 2, and 3, all digital now. I get about 110 channels, about 30 in HD.
  $25/month
Extras
A network connection to my Gigabit LAN. A UPS to provide smooth power and ride out power drops.

In a decade I have gone from a piece of coax out of the wall into the back of a computer to 2 digital boxes with all their wires and chances for failure. I suppose that's progress.

 

Welcome   The main page for Jerome's MythTV World.
What's a DVR/PVR?   What a DVR/PVR is and why you might want one.
What is MythTV?   Explains what MythTV is about.
Why MythTV?   Why I chose MythTV.
Could MythTV be for me?   How MythTV could (not) be for you.
My MythTV   Describes my MythTV setup.
How I Use MythTV   How I use MythTV to enjoy TV again!
Some MythTV Tools   Tools I've modified or made for my own MythTV use.

ERH/IPFI ------------------------------  This page is part of Jerome's MythTV World  ------------------------------ 2020-January-25