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Revision as of 13:43, 8 October 2008 by Wormholio (talk | contribs) (Configuring video card to clone VGA to TV)

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This is a home-built machine with:

  • Hardware
    • Hauppauge PVR-150
    • Antec Overture Media Center case, Piano Black (fairly quiet)
    • AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Manchester 2.2GHz Socket 939 67W Single-Core Processor
    • MSI K8N Neo4-F 939 NVIDIA nForce4 ATX AMD Motherboard
    • ASUS EN7100GS512/TD/128M GeForce 7100GS 512MB (128MB onboard) 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 Video Card
    • X-Gene 01027 Black 86 Normal Keys USB RF Wireless Mini Keyboard with Optical Trackball Mouse
    • TP-Link TL-WN550G 802.11g/b wifi card (Atheros chipset)
  • Software
    • Fedora 8, using KDE (rather than Gnome)
    • MythTV 0.22 from SVN

Fedora 8

Database connection: I followed the directions on the page Installing_MythTV_SVN_on_Fedora with little difficulty and was able to get mythtv to build and install. (I did tweak the mythweb instructions slightly, to make it the only thing installed on the web server, and as a result to make it install without need of extra configuration). I used qmake-qt4 in place of just qmake, as instructed.

But when it got time to run mythweb-setup I had a problem. At startup I got a menu page asking me for database host, username, password, port, etc, but even though these were correct, it continued to tell me that it could not connect to the database, even though I verified that I could connect to the database "by hand" with those parameters. The error output in the shell window included:

QSqlDatabase warning: QMYSQL3 driver not loaded
QSqlDatabase: available drivers: QSQLLITE 
Unable to connect to database!
No error type from QSqlError?  Strange...
couldn't open db

Searching the web gave some hints about the problem, but no firm answer. But it lead me to figure out the solution: I needed the qt4-mysql package:

# yum install qt4-mysql

and then mythtv-setup worked just fine.

Hauppauge PVR-150

The mythtv-setup program could not connect to the video card, with dmesg giving

ivtv0: Unable to open firmware v4l-cx2341x-enc.fw (must be 376836 bytes)
ivtv0: Did you put the firmware in the hotplug firmware directory?

The firmware can be obtained from the IVTV wiki here, along with instructions on how to deploy it. The hotplug firmware directory for Fedora 8 is /lib/firmware

  • Hardware status: an easy way to see the status of the hardware after reboot is
$ dmesg | grep tv


When running mythtv-setup I noticed that some of the text of messages was not showing on the screen. But it didn't seem like a big problem -- I could still get around.

But after going through all 5 steps, it kept warning me that I had not set up Storage Groups. Did I want to go back and fix the problem? Yes, I did, but there was no 6th step for setting Storage Groups.

It turns out that the 6th step was there, just not being shown. When I scrolled down past step 5 and hit Enter I was able to go through step 6 and define Storage Groups.

Video Configuration

When I first ran mythfrontend it bombed with a problem with the X server. I was able to fix this by installing the nVidia drivers

#  yum install nvidia-graphics

After that I was able to use mythfrontend to watch live TV (sans sound -- see below). But this was on the VGA monitor I had attached, not TV-out.

It turns out the video card only produces output on the composite video output at certain resolutions. On top of that, the card needed to be configured to "clone" the output from VGA to composite video. Both of these things are the default behaviour for the VESA driver, but the VESA driver won't work for video playback.

I solved this by running

# nvidia-settings

This launches a graphical tool for configuring the card. I went to the X-Server display settings, turned on "TwinView", and set the position of the TV display to "Clones". Then "save X configuration" and told it to merge with my previous settings. This resulted in modifications to xorg.conf file, including this Screen section:

Section "Screen"
   Identifier     "Screen0"
   Device         "Videocard0"
   Monitor        "Monitor0"
   DefaultDepth    24
   Option         "TwinView" "1"
   Option         "TwinViewXineramaInfoOrder" "CRT-0"
   Option         "metamodes" "CRT: 1024x768 +0+0, TV: nvidia-auto-select +0+0; CRT: 800x600 +0+0, TV: nvidia-auto-select +0+0; CRT: 640x480 +0+0, TV: nvidia-auto-select +0+0"
   SubSection     "Display"
       Depth       24

Whew, I'm glad I didn't have to figure out all that on my own.


Initially, when the machine booted sound did not work, not even the basic sound test. I could get it to work by reloading the drivers from the Sound Card Detection control. It looked like the OSS modules were being loaded instead of ALSA, but in fact I think that's just the OSS module for ALSA.

But getting sound to work in KDE still did not help sound in MythTV. Setting the audio device to ALSA:default didn't work.

I know that sound should be recorded because the PVR-150 encodes to MPEG-2, which includes the audio channel(s).

I finally got sound playback to work by setting the audio output device in MythTV to /dev/dsp, which goes directly to the output device.

Just testing sound by trying to play a sound file would fail:

*** PULSEAUDIO: Unable to connect: Connection refused
aplay: main:564: audio open error: Connection refused

I wasn't using pulseaudio, as far as I knew. I was able to fix this by removing the ALSA plugin (and KDE control):

# rpm -e alsa-plugins-pulseaudio kde-settings-pulseaudio

After this I ran alsamixer, which had the Line level at zero. I raised it to 100%. I then found that audio worked with ALSA:default, but not the volume and mute controls. With /dev/dsp the mute and volume up/down controls work, so I'm sticking with that.


MythArchive is a plug-in which allows one to burn recorded programs to DVD. When I tried this, after wending my way through the menus and launching the burn, it hung at the log viewer, with no messages displayed. The solution, as documented here, was to install the MySQL-python and python-imaging packages:

yum install MySQL-python python-imaging

After that, I was able to get log output when trying to burn, but I kept running up against dependencies. Each time I got an error it was because some tool was not installed, so I had to find out which Fedora package contains that tool and install that package. Here is the result:

application Fedora package
jpeg2yuv mjpegtools
spumux dvdauthor
tcrequant transcode
growisofs dvd+rw-tools

Additional Notes

  • Database Initialization: one observation also about the initialization of the database. Running the file mythtv/database/mc.sql through MySQL only sets up the mythtv database user and user permissions, it does not create the database tables or populate them. That is done later, by mythtv-setup
  • PVR-150 Firmware: the video capture card firmware is not loaded once and stored in ROM, it has to be loaded each time the computer is booted.