Gentoo MythTV

13. 10. 08

graph your tv habits

Filed under: handy tools, Main — Tags: , , , — niko86 @ 7:07

if you are a fan of fancy graphs and statistics you will definitely like this.
i love graphs and statistics about aspects of my system.
my preferred tool is cacti.
well, it is not simply a tool, it is a complete framework written in php,perl and mysql.
there are several graphs ready to use and the best thing about it, you could graph almost everything by writing your own data-sources and so on.
if you are not already graphing away i recomment you give it a shot.
since it is possible to easily write your own “plug-ins”, you could as well graph some mythtv stats.
the mythtv database holds information we could use here, the xml output of the backend will come in handy too.
fortunately some genius has already created a little walkthrough and some templates:
looking at his efforts i am sure you can think of many additional items one could graph.
happy graphing!

EPG data for Austria/Germany/Switzerland

Filed under: configuration, handy tools, Main — Tags: , , , — niko86 @ 2:02

if you are searching for good EPG Data for AT/DE/CH with categorys and stuff, you might just have found the answer.
You might think: “Why doesn’t this bloke use nxtvepg..?”, Well, i took a look, but since i found a good grabber and i read that nxtvepg doesn’t provide more than a few days of guide data, i will stick with the grabber.
first i tried tvm2xml from:
it works quite good, is quite fast, but i just can’t get good epg data for some of the channels.
after a while of searching i read about, they are providing good epgdata ready to download in xml format for a little anual fee.
you can grab and use the data with tv_grab_eu_epgdata from the xmltv package which you should download manually from the xmltv project site since the version in the portage tree is quite old.
you can get 16 days of epg data from
it may be possible to get some more, but the grabber seems to be broken since it exits with an error if you specifiy more than 16 days.
if you know another alternative feel free to post a comment.

12. 10. 08

long time no post.. time for an update

Filed under: Main — Tags: , , — niko86 @ 20:20

well, we finally moved to the new house and i got to eventually connect the tuners to a source.
since then i fiddled around with the system.
it really is a big geek’s toy, there are so many things to do, i spent countless hours playing around.
what i can tell you right now is, if you are not sure wether mythtv is “girlfriend-friendly” you will be surprised…
“our” mythtv system has already replaced many information-gathering and multimedia devices.
personally, i mainly use the webinterface to schedule recordings and browse the epg, but as my fiancé proves, you can use all the functions quite comfortable from the mythfrontend.

currently i only encounter some minor problems:
– one of the tuners doesn’t like one specific channel
– it is getting obvious that the 2.8ghz p4 is a little ‘slow’
– the sound of the frontend is a little low, when switchting between input sources on the telly it is necessary to adjust the volume
– some recordings are quite inaccurate, starting several minutes early, stopping several minutes early too, i don’t know wether the epg data is inaccurate or if this a configuration issue.
– commercial flagging on two of the channels doesn’t quite work

12. 09. 08

abit I-N73HD, HDMI, X Server and 1366×768

Filed under: configuration — Tags: , , , — niko86 @ 18:18

well, since i did not try the new mainboard with our TV, i also did not know wether the HDMI Output works and wether it is capable of sending 1366×768 to the TV.
so it was time to try.
The TV is some Samsung 32″ LCD, the native resolution is 1366×768.
this is what i did to make it work:
follow these instructions to make Direct Rendering work: click

add no additional lines to your xorg.conf
switch on your TV, disconnect VGA, connect HDMI output to your TV.
start X.
wait, voila!
it just works out of the box, seems that the samsung TV sends proper EDID Data.
there are no black lines, dead pixels or whatever, it just works perfectly.
i did not configure anything regarding the hdmi output.
the next thing on my list is a splashscreen to show while booting. (so the init scripts do not scare my girlfriend that much 🙂 )

after some testing i am now sure that the graphics part is setup properly, the processor utilization while watching tv or videos does not exceed 2 %, the picture looks good and sharp, there is no flicker or whatsoever, the scaling works (most of the TV Channels are 4:3 in this country…).
it seems that everything just worked “automagically”.
I saw many reports of people having severe trouble with the Abit I-N73HD regarding sound, graphics and network, as well as with the antec fusion regarding IR/VFD/Volume Knob.
So if you need a mainboard with HDMI output or a decent HTPC Case or both, don’t hesitate, it works.
if you need some help leave a comment.

just checked again and noticed that it actually is 1360×768, nevertheless looks fine on the tv 🙂 makes me happy.
here is a screenshot:

tv info osd

tv info osd

which remote control for the antec fusion v2?

Filed under: Main, shopping — Tags: , , , — niko86 @ 17:17

the frontend is ready to serve its purpose, but i am missing a working remote.
i tried an x10 remote which obviously did not work because it sends RF and the imon Receiver is only capable of receiving IR signals…
i also tried different remotes shipped with the hauppauge pvr cards and another cheap universal remote.
i read that every windows media center remote should work, however i do not want to buy stuff if i am not sure, so i wrote to antec support.
i will post the answer.

07. 09. 08

antec fusion v2 volume knob and lirc

Filed under: configuration — Tags: , , , , , , , — niko86 @ 20:20

different subject same story, there are no exact instructions on how to make the volume knob work with lirc, so i will do a quick howto on that too.

for me there was nothing special about getting the knob to work.
i just installed lirc as described in the post below, after that i played around with irrecord and that’s it.
(fyi: irrecord creates a [remote] section for the lirc config)
if you want to do this yourself use this command:
#irrecord -d=/dev/lirc
follow the instructions.

antec fusion v2 imon vfd + lirc/LCDd howto

Filed under: configuration — Tags: , , , , , , — niko86 @ 20:20

since there are no exact instructions on how to get the vfd to work with LCDd/lirc i will write a quick HowTo.

if you know the thread on about how to get it to work it might be helpful, but the instructions there are not all you need to know.

first you need lirc and LCDd.
use these vars in your make.conf:
LIRC_DEVICES="imon imon_knob imon_lcd imon_pad"

add this line to your /etc/portage/package.use file
app-misc/lcdproc lirc usb

now just emerge lirc and lcdproc.


final parts arrived

Filed under: configuration, Main, shopping — Tags: , , — niko86 @ 20:20

Since the last part of the HTPC Solution arrived yesterday, i am installing the mythtv frontend on it right now.

ok, so whats the last part(s)?
after some google searches i decided to go for this:

-ABIT I-N73HD mainboard, geforce 7100 onboard graphics, nforce630i chipset, hdmi output.
i read that several people had problems getting this board to work under linux and i have to admit, there is no problem, after configuring the kernel it worked right out of the box without any hassle.

-e2200 c2d processor, not that powerful, but cheap and cool.

-arctic cooling freezer 7 lp, for the case i bought it had to be a small cooler, this one is not very small in fact, but its height is optimal for the case.

-2.5″ notebook drive, not that fast, but it is cooler, more quiet and of course smaller than a 3.5″ one.

-2gb of RAM, actually i got 4gb, but after ordering 4x1gb i noticed that there are only 2 ram slots on the mainboard, so now i got 2gb spare…

-Antec Fusion V2, looks nice, perfect cooling solution (got two fans on the side which are sucking the hot air directly from the cpu cooler), vfd display, builtin IR receiver, volume knob.

fusion v2

fusion v2


29. 08. 08

cooling the c3 in a small htpc case

Filed under: Main — Tags: , , — niko86 @ 19:19

as mentioned in an earlier post the c3 becomes very hot.
i bought the enzotech cnb-r1 mentioned before (click)
running with a fan it is a little bit better, but while testing with stress (a test tool, app-benchmarks/stress) the c3 reached about 85 °C which is the maximum temperature referring to the data-sheet.
so i stuck another 40mm fan between the northbridge and the cpu cooler to blow the hot air from the cpu cooler to the hard disk where the “exhaust” fans are located.
this did not “solve” the problem but now i can close the case and the CPU temperature stays below 80°C.
if the system is in idle (also while watching videos or tv), the temperature immediately drops to 40°C and stays there.
It is strange indeed, the Temperature of the CPU only goes up significantly if the load is higher than 3.00, below that there is no problem, so for the every-day-use of the frontend it will be good enough.

xine, why not?

Filed under: configuration — Tags: , , — niko86 @ 19:19

after fiddling around with mplayer and the openchrome overlay i did not get mplayer with xvmc to work.
i don’t think openchrome causes the problems, everytime i tried to play a video with -vo xvmc mplayer told me that this video_out device is not compatible with the codec.
I don’t know what this means or why mplayer says that and it did not matter what codec the video was encoded with, so i gave it up.
somewhere i read about xine so i emerged it with the xvmc USE Flag, quickly went over the setup of xine.
(just execute `xine` while in x session, right click -> settings)
configured mythfrontend to use xine -f for mythvideo (-f = start in fullscreen)
that’s it, no magic happens here, just the xorg-server from openchrome overlay, the driver from openchrome overlay and xine.
it works out of the box, has lirc support, nice osd and i can play back videos with ~60% CPU Utilization.
what do you want more, compared with the fiddling with mplayer this took me 20 minutes (inlcuding the compiling of xine-lib, xine and oxine) and simply worked.
I am sure that there is a simple way to get xvmc to work with mplayer, but i just did not figure it out.

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