[mythtv] Complete MythTV Newbie Needs Some Clarification
tarek at tarek.2y.net
Tue Jan 21 16:39:48 EST 2003
Most of these issues have been addressed throughout discussions on the list
spanning the past several months.. However, you have hit almost every
single question, so I do believe there is merit in trying to answer this
message for the sake of the future newbies..
>I have some extra hardware lying around that I installed Red Hat 8.0 on and
>have an "ADS Channel Surfer TV+FM" video capture card that I no longer use
>and am ready to see how far I can go with MythTV.
Far. I was shocked. you will be too..
>I have some very basic concepts to understand first though:
>1. Would my Myth box replace my AT&T Digital Cable box or sit in front of it
>and change channels using an IR box/cable?
No. To put it most simply, Myth enslaves your AT&T Digital cable box. You
control myth through a remote control (with lirc), and it in turn controls
your digital cable box.
>2. If I am replacing the Cable box:
>a. How would I tell my capture card to use channels in a range higher than
>the 125(?) it supports? Presumably you can't which would lead me to believe
>I need to get a card that supports 999 channels or I am not in fact
>replacing the box.
>b. I can't get my head round how it could decode Premium Channels and PPVs -
>again I am leaning toward the idea that I am not replacing the box
You should try to follow the Satellite (specifically DTV) threads, as they
deal with these issues at large. Basically, you have your cable box
outputting either in composite, or S-video or whatever. Since your cable
box outputs, your video card actually only needs to receive on one channel
(if in cable mode) or one input (Composite, for example). One warning here
is that you are entering a relatively proprietary area. Those of us with
satellite receivers are having a relatively hard time getting things like
PPV ordering and various local channels working.. In fact, as it stands
right now, I am not aware of PPV ordering working for any of the systems.
If you are unwilling to support your AT&T digital cable dealie yourself,
then you may wish to wait until somebody else does before delving in.
>3. (Cough, deep breath) What are the "generally accepted" system
>requirements for a *completely dedicated* MythTV PVR? I know this has the
>potential to generate a lot of opinions as there are so many possible
>variations of the components so maybe the question needs to be what would
>you NOT consider using? As I said, this is to be a dedicated PVR and I'd
>like to be able to Record and Playback at the same time. Imagine a Tivo or
>Replay TV or Dish Network's Dish Pro 501.
The hardware requirements are very dynamic, in my opinion.. As myth grows,
it gets better at addressing these issues.. However, i think you want to
The HOWTO has this:
Mark Cooper has setup a hardware database at
<http://www.goldfish.org/~mcooper/pvrhw/>. The website will let you browse
what other users have reported as their hardware configuration, and how
happy they are with the results.
>3a. What, other than an extra capture card, would I need to get and do to
>add the ability to watch a live broadcast while recording another? I've
>seen this ability mentioned in previous posts but as I think I will be
>sitting in front of a Digital Box (true?) and it can only send one channel
>at a time this scuttles the whole thing I'd suppose.
You would in fact need two receivers if you want digital. However, many
digital cable services have a variety of channels that don't need the box
(first 60, say), so you should be OK with those.. You would, in that
instance, need nothign more than an extra card, though I could be mistaken,
as I'm not considering the audio aspects..
>4. At what point do better, faster versions of the components not give any
>more return on investment? There may be no point but I want to get my head
>around what affect the components have on encoding and decoding
Well, consider what Myth has to do:
1) Receive signal
2) Encode signal --> data
3) Store Data
4) Retrieve Data
5) Display Data.
So, any one of these can be a bottle neck in terms of quality and/or
general efficacy. Because mythtv offers you options in terms of quality,
size of file, codec, etc, you can always make full use of your equipment..
>5. What kinds of storage are you seeing per GB for TV?
Depends on codecs and such. I do recommend reading for this.. Personally, I
get about a gig an hour.
>Can anyone point me to some sites that would walk me through the basics of
>installing apps, compiling apps, rebuilding kernels, finding device drivers,
>loading drivers and apps automatically at startup, etc etc to get me going
>rather than boring you all with really basic Linux questions?
>(Does anyone know if my capture card is even supported? If not I can get
>another, just thought I'd at least try to use it.)
A google search will be your best bet. This may be a start, though:
>Thanks for any help at all,
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