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My background:

System Administrator - Redhat Linux / Windows for the last 6 years and desktop/helpdesk support for 8 years.

My Current project:

Last night, July 6, 2008, I just order parts for my second Mythtv box. Technically its the first one, because the other one I made was more just to try it out but not really use. I decided to go with for this order, I normally go with but I found most of the parts I needed on newegg so I just ordered them all at the same time from the same place.

Parts list

  • COOLER MASTER Real Power Pro 550 RS-550-ACAA-A1 550W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
  • OCZ Platinum Revision 2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
  • ASUS P5N-D LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
  • MSI N8400GS-TD512 GeForce 8400 GS 512MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 SLI
  • Hauppauge HVR-1250 -- version 1196
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250310AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s x 3 for RAID-5
  • DVDROM 6x EIDE and other fans if needed from my old AMD64 desktop
  • Mythbuntu -- x64 8.04 or 8.10 when it comes out

and away we go....

I'm about to move at the end of the summer closer to work. My plan is to build it and have my best friend's mom and dad use it for a month or two. I've used it before but I want to see what will happen when I put it in front of non-tech people. My friend's dad likes the sound of it and might want me to build him one too if things go well.

I'll be looking forward to recording HD OTA and Clear QAM/Digtal cable...

  • July 6, 2008 - parts ordered - ~$946 ( includes taxes + UPS 3-day shipping )
  • July 8, 2008 - all but the hard drives and case showed up
  • July 11, 2008 - Turns out everything showed up on the 8th - hard drives and case were just miss placed
  • July 12, 2008 - after 2 tries all the hardware is working correctly
    • started building at 11am
    • the computer kept shutting off after a few seconds
    • I disconnected everything and found the CPU needed to be re-seated.
    • 5pm - Installing Mythbuntu 8.04 x64
    • Could not get RAID driver working right
    • Linksys WUSB11 V2.6 802.11b Adapter - not working
    • Dlink DWL-120 802.11b Adapter - not working
    • DVD Playback
      • looks great - Latter 49 and The Fifth Element Super Bit
    • IR remote not setup yet
    • Live TV / TV recording not tested yet
  • July 13, 2008 - yea! HD TV
    • DVD Playback
      • Catwoman goes black and back to the Mythtv menu
    • Live TV / TV recording - works
  • July 14 - now setup with Schedules Direct for a 1 Year Schedules Direct's website

Coming up on a year....

  • Mar 3, 2009 - In a 4 month I will have had this system for about a year.
    • there are a lot of great shows the are in FUll HD and 5.1 surround sound, most seem to be on CBS HD.
    • I'm very happy with it. Yes, Cable card support would rock but I can live without channels I don't even feel the need to watch.
    • With work sometimes I do get behind but I did pick harddrives with enough space for what I need.
    • I do have a few upgrades in the work.
      • the biggest is the get a real Hardware Raid PCIE card ( I'm only using 1 of 3 250Gb harddrives currently )
        • the cheapest real hardware raid card is about $400 to $500 everything uses fakeraid.
      • next is an external-SATA mini-raid array for backups

More to come...

Almost a full year

  • June 12, 2009 - aka the DTV change over date!
    • Comcast is listing now 97 Clear QAM channels
    • a least 3 channels are repeated (fox, abc, dc20 )
    • Thinking about buying a new TV
      • if I do I'm going to build a front end for the new tv
      • and a Gbit switch

Comcast in Maryland

I had the best luck scanning with "US-Cable-STD QAM256"

  • from the command line I found 218 digital channels most are encrypted.
  • From with in Mythtv setup
  • had to rescan after I moved
    • "US-Cable-STD QAM256" - all clearQAM channels I have access to I think
    • "US-Cable-HRC QAM256" - no channels
    • "US-Cable-IRC QAM256" - missing clearQAM channels ( MHZ ones )
      • the digital music channels show up as 115#.... but they are not even useable
    • this weekend comcast changed the must carry channels and I had to remove and re-add them.
  • it's a good idea to do a channel scan every 3 to 4 months
    • comcast does move channels around or add or remove channels


jaakan@jms1000:~$ ssh
jaakan@'s password: 
Linux MYTHTV64 2.6.24-19-generic #1 SMP Fri Jul 11 21:01:46 UTC 2008 x86_64

The programs included with the Ubuntu system are free software;
the exact distribution terms for each program are described in the
individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright.

Ubuntu comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by
applicable law.

To access official Ubuntu documentation, please visit:

MythTV status for localhost
Status..........: Sun Jul 20 2008, 10:30 PM
Total Disk Space: Total space is 230,741 MB, with 37,435 MB used (16.2%)
Guide Data......: No guide data!

MYTHTV64 (1) - Recording
MYTHTV64 (2) - Idle

Recording Now:
CSI: NY (WJZ-DT) Ends: 23:00:00

Scheduled Recordings:
2008-07-21 00:05:00 - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (WBALDT)
2008-07-21 09:00:00 - Rachael Ray (WMAR-HD)
2008-07-21 15:05:00 - Are You Being Served? (MPT-HD)
2008-07-21 20:30:00 - How I Met Your Mother (WJZ-DT)
2008-07-21 21:00:00 - Two and a Half Men (WJZ-DT)
2008-07-21 21:31:00 - The New Adventures of Old Christine (WJZ-DT)
2008-07-21 22:00:00 - CSI: Miami (WJZ-DT)

Schedule Conflicts:
Unable to access MythTV Perl API.  Try with --verbose to find out why.

Last login: Sun Jul 20 18:58:31 2008 from
jaakan@MYTHTV64:~$ exit


    • "Error Could not create a symlink to /var/lib/mythtv/videos, the local MythVideo directory for this hostname (pvrbox). Please create a symlink to your MythVideo directory at data/video in order to use the video portions of MythWeb."
      • ssh to the mythbox or open a term on it
      • cd /var/www/mythweb/data/
      • sudo rm ./video
      • sudo ln -s /var/lib/mythtv/videos ./video
      • sudo rm ./video_covers
      • sudo ln -s /var/lib/mythtv/videos ./video_covers
  • Hauppauge HVR-1250 setup
    • this will not show up from a non-updated 8.04 install
    • if you install with 8.04 you need to run all the updates before it will find your card out of the box
    • pick DVB v3 - it will say Samsung ... there are a number of versions of this card not all work out of the box like mine

dmesg | grep 23885
[   12.712482] cx23885 driver version 0.0.2 loaded
[   12.712827] cx23885 0000:07:00.0: PCI INT A -> Link[APC7] -> GSI 16 (level, low) -> IRQ 16
[   12.712871] CORE cx23885[0]: subsystem: 0070:7911, board: Hauppauge WinTV-HVR1250 [card=3,autodetected]
[   12.841676] cx23885[0]: warning: unknown hauppauge model #0
[   12.841677] cx23885[0]: hauppauge eeprom: model=0
[   12.841678] cx23885_dvb_register() allocating 1 frontend(s)
[   12.841682] cx23885[0]: cx23885 based dvb card
[   13.280680] DVB: registering new adapter (cx23885[0])
[   13.281011] cx23885_dev_checkrevision() Hardware revision = 0xa4
[   13.281019] cx23885[0]/0: found at 0000:07:00.0, rev: 3, irq: 16, latency: 0, mmio: 0xfda00000
[   13.281025] cx23885 0000:07:00.0: setting latency timer to 64
[   13.281029] IRQ 16/cx23885[0]: IRQF_DISABLED is not guaranteed on shared IRQs

  • How to fix edited channel listing
    • do the this as root or with sudo ( needs to be done as mythtv user on ubuntu 10.04)
    • #mythfilldatabase --manual --refresh-all

  • Thermaltake Mozart Media Center -- VC4000SNS Silver/ Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Desktop Computer Case
    • the power button just broke. I heard a pop. I was looking at logs from a game that crashed. the vim locked up. I opened htop that locked up. I rebooted and the computer doesn't make it to POST, 5 seconds and it shuts off. I pulled out everything rebuilt it a number of times over 24hours. I gave up and almost when to a computer shop to hunt for parts. I took a guess, grabbed my other desktop and swapped the wire that goes to buttons and it worked.
  • Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 33554432 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 81 bytes) in /usr/share/mythtv/mythweb/modules/tv/includes/recording_schedules.php on line 90
    • sudo vim /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/mythweb.conf
    • change 32M to 64M or even 128M
    • sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

  • AC3 / 5.1 works but 2 channel audio ( flash / wav / mp3 / ogg / etc... ) stops working for no reason
    • "speaker-test -D spdif -c 2" - seems to reset the spdif clock so that the data is back in sync

missing and added channels by comcast

  • it's about that time comcast start changing channels around
    • added
      • MASN HD
      • VS / GOLF ( it's back )
      • Oxygen
      • Bravo
    • missing
      • FOOD Net HD
      • CNN HD
      • CineMAX HD West ( more like 576p )


  • I only really play a few games but here they are
  • and yes I play them while shows are going recorded
  • if you install games via the repository they will/should show up in MythTV's menus under games after a scan for new games is run.

end of summer reinstall

  • after a year and and update from Mythbuntu 8.10 to 9.04 and a F'up I did a few days ago it's time for a clean install
    • I backed all my media almost 160GB
    • tryed out the Mythbuntu 9.10 Alpha
      • if you have my Motherboard your harddrives data will get nuked on the first boot after install
    • got a clean ISO of Mythbuntu 9.04 from via BitTorrent
    • I also got a DVI cable
      • video has to be set to 1280x720 my TV will take and input of 1280x1024 but it will not look right
    • I'm currently adding back the channels and picking what to record
    • php fix
      • Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 134217728 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 24 bytes) in /usr/share/mythtv/mythweb/modules/tv/includes/objects/Program.php on line 291
      • /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini
      • memory_limit = 16M to memory_limit = 64M


Part 2 of missing and added channels by comcast

me vs comcast + fcc vs comcast

  • 2 Most carry channels got encrypted by comcast
    • WETA HD ( + it's sub channels ) PBS for DC
    • WUSA HD ( + it's sub channels ) CBS for DC

I called Comcast more than once. I said the problem was on their end. The people on the phone I dealt with did their jobs. They had the internal people look in to it, there was an issue in my area but nt my issue, and They sent a tech.

who said I should not be getting the "Must carry" Channels without a box.

I was trying to help comcast but the tech and his boss lied to me and didn't know about the FCC 07-170 statue.

So I Filed a Complaint with the FCC and they called me. I rescanned this weekend and magically guess what showed up..

xmas eve update

  • I got a new TV and a new Video card
    • Sony XBR9 32inch
    • NV GT220 ( HDMI HD audio )
    • and updated to Mythtv 9.10
      • Scanning with my TV - I found 183 channel + 60 still analog
      • Scanning with my HTPC - I found 192 channel all Digital


  • I just added a SATA harddrive and mounted to the recordings folder
    • 500Gb
    • EXT4
    • recording loading times have dropped alot.
    • I still have not setup raid. I could but it would be NVraid (aka fakeraid).
      • I want to buy a Hardware based raid controller for that but I need to buy a new case and rebuild the HTPC for more space
      • I need a case with a power button that will not brake like the current one has.
  • I just updated to Mythbuntu 10.04 x64
    • it's faster over all
    • added 4Gb more ram, 6Gb total


  • I finally got it working
add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-audio-dev/ppa

install linux-alsa-driver-modules-2.6.xx-xx( matches your kernel )

vim /etc/modprobe.d/sound.conf

-- add the following for NV GT220

options snd-hda-intel enable_msi=0 probe_mask=0xffff,0xfff2

-- save and reboot

aplay -D plughw:1,3 /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Noise.wav
speaker-test -Dhdmi:NVidia_1 -c6

My box went T...z Up

Motherboard and CPU are toast!

  • Clean install of Mythubuntu 10.04 x64 via USBflash
  • new cpu : Intel Core 2 Duo E7500
  • Motherboard: Intel DG43GT
  • HDMI Video/Audio works out of the box!
  • 2Gb+1Gb DDR2 ram
  • using the on-board X4500 video (G43)
  • /boot/ ext3
  • swap 2048Mb
  • / ext4
  • I'm going to put NV GT220 in the new computer soon and getting a UMC-1 Audio-Video Processor
  • Ironily, I'm better off using the Intel for now until the drivers get better

Change Default PCM device ( ubuntu / alsa ) to HDMI

jaakan@MYTH64:~$ aplay -L
    Discard all samples (playback) or generate zero samples (capture)
    HDA Intel, ALC888 Analog
    Front speakers
    HDA Intel, ALC888 Analog
    4.0 Surround output to Front and Rear speakers
    HDA Intel, ALC888 Analog
    4.1 Surround output to Front, Rear and Subwoofer speakers
    HDA Intel, ALC888 Analog
    5.0 Surround output to Front, Center and Rear speakers
    HDA Intel, ALC888 Analog
    5.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Rear and Subwoofer speakers
    HDA Intel, ALC888 Analog
    7.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Side, Rear and Woofer speakers
    HDA Intel, ALC888 Digital
    IEC958 (S/PDIF) Digital Audio Output
    HDMI Audio Output
jaakan@MYTH64:~$ vim .asoundrc 
   I added ONLY this - "pcm.!default hdmi:Intel"
jaakan@MYTH64:~$ cat .asoundrc
  pcm.!default hdmi:Intel

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