[mythtv-users] MythTV Installer Usability: An Analysis
dsmolka at gmail.com
Fri Nov 4 20:50:20 EST 2005
> I'd argue that a more-correct analogy is, "We know how to design this
> coffee maker so that it will turn off when the carafe is empty, and it
> wouldn't cost any more to produce nor make the device less desireable
> from the user's perspective, but we won't bother to implement it,
> because you're not supposed to be leaving it unattended in the first
> place---even by accident---and so it's your own damned fault."
> Let's please not punish the users. Please?
You're right -- I was a bit snotty in my original reply to this one.
It is most certainly a bug, and a fairly serious one. But it is not a
bug I've run into since I set up my partitions manually. I also should
have explained from the beginning why I think that Watch Live TV is
not the best way to watch live TV, as it were.
> At the time when the hardware got acquired, it wasn't clear to me that
> the situation wrt MPEG-4 playback was stable---can you recommend any
> particular MPEG-4 hardware decoders that work well with Myth? [...]
> My big worry is stability and complexity---I see a lot of traffic
> about nv versus nvidia drivers, the possibility of problems with
> VIA-based motherboards (these are MSI K7N2 Delta-L's, which I
> -believe- are VIA based, and at least 1.5 years old), and with
> whether, e.g., commercial-suppression works well in the face of
> transcoding, etc etc. [...] But if you're
> confident (and if someone has good recommendations for) MPEG-4 capable
> playback hardware, then it's an idea I will definitely consider.
> [Other constraint---any card with an audible fan is out of the
> running. I dunno if these cards typically have fans, but I know
> that a lot of high-end video cards do.]
It's not so much a matter of MPEG-2 vs MPEG-4 -- that's more of an
issue for encoding, and as you've said you have MPEG-2 hardware cards
(PVRs). The point is that the PVR 350 has an MPEG-2 decoder, meaning
that it natively transcodes MPEG-2 to NTSC/PAL for TV-out without
relying on the CPU.
As someone else pointed out, this is only really necessary if you're
really hard up for CPU cycles. The hardware you've quoted is more than
adequate for the task, and you shouldn't need to use the 350's out.
The drawback of the 350 is not its ability to send out a solid signal
from an MPEG-2 source (which it reportedly does very well), but its
ability to send out everything else from your X display to MPEG-4
encoded video to OpenGL visualizations in MythMusic, etc.
An nvidia card solves this problem because it is able to send
everything out of the S-vid port to a standard TV -- if you don't have
an S-vid port on your TV (who does?), you can use an S-vid to RCA
converter and/or pass it through an old VCR. This also means that
you'll have to send the sound out though a different channel, but the
onboard AC97 can handle it. Otherwise, or if you need surround and/or
SPD/IF, there are good cards for $30 or less.
You'll need to install the nvidia driver to get full support
(particularly for Xvmc, but I have no experience with this). The
current version is 7667, I believe. Fortunately, it is a unified
driver so the same one works for pretty much all nvidia cards from gf2
You do not need a new or top-shelf card to get this working. I've had
it running without problem on a gf2 mmx, gf4 and fx5200. All of these
come in heatsink versions -- in fact, I think the fx5200 is the only
one that can also come with a fan. GF4s start around $40 new; I picked
up an fx5200 heatsink model a few months ago for around $55.
> By installing KnoppMyth, I was hoping to (a) sidestep a lot of that
> complexity, and (b) have a large-enough critical mass of users who
> were all running the same code that it was likely that a problem I saw
> would have already been seen by someone else.
This is the same rationale I originally used for trying KnoppMyth. I
eventually got it running through sheer stubborness. Had I gone the
Fedora- or other-distro-route first, I would have found KnoppMyth much
easier to deal with.
As it was -- and this was about 20 months ago -- trying to get
KnoppMyth running was my first real experience with *nix since
MS-DOS-based vt100 emulators for telnet, gopher, pine and whatnot back
in the early/mid '90s. If I weren't so pig-headed I would have given
up. I am very thankful I did not.
Now that I get what KnoppMyth is and what it does, I can really
appreciate what Cecil has put together. Still, I get a bit impatient
when people come to this list with criticisms and complaints about a
staggeringly complex application suite that is still in an alpha
It is refreshing to hear someone who is willing to track down and fix
the bugs that they find. Since I am not a programmer, I can only offer
Best of luck.
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