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Preview the New MythTV User Interface 229

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the it-might-be-time dept.
Tombstone-f sent in a cool update on a project that I continue to keep an eye on. MythTV has become a dominant force in the do-it-yourself media-mega-box space, so any improvements to the UI matter significantly. "One of the biggest new features of the next version of MythTV (version .22) will be its new user interface. This new interface will offer many new features to MythTV, including animation, better interactivity, and faster and easier development for themers and developers alike." I think it still has a ways to go to compete with some of the more mainstream PVR boxes in terms of minimalism and good use of whitespace, but hopefully the improvements will get more people into the door.
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Preview the New MythTV User Interface

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  • News? (Score:2, Insightful)

    Really, if every program's minor update gets front page, we'll be here all day reading the damn things. MythTV is lovely program and all but from the article, nothing really earth shattering is new.
    • by entgod (998805)
      Some people (like me) actually like reading about the updates in (open source) software. I don't think it would be a bad idea to include a software section into slashdot. And besides, we already spend all day reading the stuff here, don't we? ;)
    • Re:News? (Score:5, Informative)

      by LordKronos (470910) on Monday November 17, 2008 @11:40AM (#25786393) Homepage

      Actually, this isn't a minor update. It is a significant rewrite of the user interface that has been in the works for years (the ticket for this new UI was opened in June 2005). However, this isn't something that is going to be so significant to the end user directly. A lot of what you'll see come out of this will be subtle. The bigger benefit of this is for developers. Both code developers and theme developers. I have a bit of experience doing both for MythTv, and from what I've seen this is going to be a cool change. It's not news for TV watcher, but I think it is for nerds (or at least some of us).

  • Just dumped MythTV (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Monday November 17, 2008 @11:28AM (#25786213) Journal

    I just dumped Mythbuntu and switched to XBMC Media Center [xbmc.org]. I don't actually have a TV signal, just use the machine for DVDs and recorded movies, music and pictures across the LAN. And for those purposes, I found it so awkward to work with as to be unusable. Particularly the interface for managing your music collection.

    This article seems to focus entirely on the aspects relating to managing TV signals and shows. Is there anything in this new interface that might make me want to switch back?

    • by Jellybob (597204) on Monday November 17, 2008 @11:33AM (#25786285) Journal

      At a glance, I would say no - at the moment it looks more like technical infrastructure for new themes, rather then a full blown new look for the software.

      MythTV really is meant to be for watching and recording TV, there's a clue to that in the name. For what you describe XBMC, especially with some of the newer high resolution themes, is easily a better choice.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ShieldW0lf (601553)
        MythTV really is meant to be for watching and recording TV, there's a clue to that in the name. For what you describe XBMC, especially with some of the newer high resolution themes, is easily a better choice.

        XBMC on Linux had some serious bugs that just got fixed in their most recent release, so it only became the better choice last week. I tried the last release, and every time your mouse drifted across the section for handling weather, XBMC would crash because it failed to wait for the data to come ac
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Rich0 (548339)

      Agreed - it would be nice if foreign media could be seamlessly integrated into the MythTV interface. Mythvideo is very primitive by comparison (the interface used for random avi/ogg/mpg files/etc).

      One issue is that mythtv implemented their own media player, which means that only a few codecs are supported and there are very strict limitations on the video stream. For example, if keyframes aren't spaced completely uniformly the seektable breaks and any attempt to seek causes all kinds of problems. I think

      • by Dan667 (564390)
        You can do this already with any media player you like for Myth Video. I have mine setup to use Xine.

        For recorded shows, the internal player is actually quite good. The killer feature for me is that it skips commercials without any need to press any keys on the remote. It just happens automagically. Since Mythtv recorded them, there is no need to worry about codecs.
      • by Chang (2714) on Monday November 17, 2008 @12:00PM (#25786703)

        Mythvideo can be a frontend to Xine/Mplayer.

        It has _always_ been that way.

        The built-in "Internal" video player is default but it is completely optional. It appeared a couple of releases ago.

    • by Abcd1234 (188840)

      Is there anything in this new interface that might make me want to switch back?

      Why would you want to? MythTV isn't *supposed* to be a simple media player. It's primary goal is specifically to be a PVR. The rest of the features are implemented as plugins because they aren't part of the project's core mission.

      So stick with XBMC. It does exactly what you need, and does it better than Myth... and it probably always will. There's nothing wrong with that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by djtachyon (975314)
      And I switched to the open-source MediaPortal [team-mediaportal.com] for Windows and haven't looked back since.

      Slap it on an old XP machine in a decent media center ATX case [nmediapc.com], and you have a great media pc. No hassles with linux makes, XP media center BS, or compatibility. Throw in a blowout on an Logitech media center remote package [google.com] with the Setpoint Uberoptions driver [mstar.net] to open up all the button options, and you are set. Just share all your media folders on your home network for any other media you want to show.
      • by smoker2 (750216)
        I used MediaPortal for a while on XP but all my media files are on a linux box. I have drive Z: mapped to the linux server and I can always access the files from explorer. However, MediaPortal almost always fails to read the network drive. When it works it's great, but if it doesn't it's worthless (for me). I have since removed it from the system, and gone back to using my clunky system of a firefox live bookmark pointing to playlists, which are then played using VLC, and that always works. It is all contro
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by eudaemon (320983)

      As a dyed in the wool nerd, I've been using MythTV for a while now. But its .21 user interface (prior to
      update in the slashdot story) leaves a lot to be desired even for TV watching. Try cancelling a scheduled
      recording sometime and getting the damn tuner back, for instance. It certainly has MCE beat to hell and back
      with its separation of front and back ends. Yeah you can do with MCE it on an xbox. So what. I don't own an xbox.
      Or a windows machine for that matter right now, lol. So MythTV has Windows beat

      • by Abcd1234 (188840)

        Try cancelling a scheduled recording sometime and getting the damn tuner back, for instance.

        You mean, where you go to the Upcoming Recordings, hit enter (IIRC), select "Add an exception" or whatever the menu option was called, and select "Don't record this showing"?

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          No. He's probably talking about LiveTV. This is something that is always stated as a LOW development priority.

          If you want a separate tuner, you probably should have one and not fight with your PVR (even if it's a Tivo).

    • by Stiletto (12066) on Monday November 17, 2008 @01:09PM (#25787709)

      Do what I do: Use both!

      XBMC can act as a front-end to MythTV. Recent builds have very good MythTV support. Just add a video source called myth://whatever and browse away. It doesn't support all of the MythTV frontend's advanced features, but basic browse/playback works fine.

      I have a machine in the closet running the MythTV backend, and my XBMC in the living room for playback. I never have to touch the (IMHO) horrible MythTV GUI interface, except to configure the backend*

      *Side note: The fact that you NEED the MythTV gui (running on X) to configure the backend is an awfully lame design decision on MythTV's part. Whatever happened to editing text files or a simple command-line based configurator?

    • by jerkychew (80913)

      You're confusing products a bit. The two pieces of Myth that handle non-tv media, MythMusic [mythtv.org] and MythDVD [mythtv.org]. These are both plug-ins to Myth and while they do tend to ship with most Myth setups, they are not part of the core MythTV product. I agree with you that they both suck - The UIs and overall management of media are just terrible - But don't poo-poo MythTV because of them. In essence it's like saying Firefox sucks because your Yahoo toolbar has a bad interface.

      XBMC is awesome but it's not a replacement fo

  • I'm not sure this will really 'get people in the door' so to speak. Most people looking to build media box probably already had MythTV in mind. In order for a product like this to be mainstream, it needs to be integrated for the customer out of the box. Unfortunately the media mafiaa would come at any manufacturer selling Mythboxes with all guns blazing. So until they're taken down or at least safely muzzled, proprietary DVR devices will likely be all most people know.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      After my parents saw my Mythbuntu box with a 'professional' theme, they were interested. But, there are just a few issues and such when things like running out of hard drive space or log files that aren't limited in size grow and end up bringing down the system until someone troubleshoots it and fixes it.

      I think visually, using a theme like Pear-TV (but replacing the pear with a mythbuntu/mythTV logo) would be all the improvement they need to make with the user experience in normal operation. It works jus

      • My point wasn't really that MythTV couldn't be made an attractive alternative to consumers, but that it couldn't make it into the mainstream. I'm guessing your parents would not be building said Mythbox if they decided to go that route but would have you do it. Thats fine on a 1-1 scale like that, but when you try to actually form a business configuiring PVR boxes using MythTV as your platform you won't just be running into Linux's open source adoption problem. But also with the various **aa groups that
    • by Abcd1234 (188840)

      Unfortunately the media mafiaa would come at any manufacturer selling Mythboxes with all guns blazing.

      You mean like these [monolithmc.com], or guys [mythic.tv], or maybe these [magicitx.com], or guys [interact-tv.com]?

      • Actually yes, that is what I mean. Unfortunately they still need to get over the first hurdle, which is grabbing a share of the market. They'll face the **aa's after they go toe to toe with TiVo.
    • I'm not sure this will really 'get people in the door' so to speak.

      Maybe the "people" referred to here are not consumers but companies that should have a vested interest in producing at the very least minimally functioning drivers. (Hello, AverMedia where is that linux driver for the M780? Hello? Hello?)

      Until these companies get in the door, Microsoft wins this space by default. Also, making it simple enought to use is paramount. We are still dealing with people who never knew how to change their VCR to st

  • MythTV needs a lot more than an interface makeover. For a start, DVB-T channel searching and setting up an EPG is a joke. WTF do you need to run a server just to get a sodding programme guide?

    The whole thing is such a PITA to set up and keep going without something or other packing up (usually the programme guide) that it makes it worthwhile paying £60 for Windows MCE just to save your sanity.

    • MythTV needs a lot more than an interface makeover. For a start, DVB-T channel searching and setting up an EPG is a joke. WTF do you need to run a server just to get a sodding programme guide?

      To clarify you don't need a server (hardware) but you need to run a daemon that is a server process. I've been able to get it working on a PIII 800MHz desktop. The structure of MythTV is the classic server/client relationship. The UI to the user is the client (mythfrontend) and the background process is mythbackend

  • I was just about to order a TiVo for the wife who is always missing the few TV shows she actually enjoys. I figured it was worth the subscription to make her life a bit brighter... I wrote MythTV off as a hacker's Tivo but I'll take a longer look and see if I can give it a go.

    Just for the sake of sanity and not having to support it - I may go with the Tivo anyway.

    • by InsaneProcessor (869563) on Monday November 17, 2008 @11:43AM (#25786429)
      It is a hacker's TIVO. I have tried it and had nothing but difficulty in getting things the way I wanted it. I spent hours...not to mention that ATI drivers in linux just suck.

      I ended up with XP and SageTV. That product took a total of 20 minutes to install and configure (including my huge media library) and not hours to get nothing like mythtv.
      • by Big Boss (7354) on Monday November 17, 2008 @11:53AM (#25786607)

        I used Mythbuntu to install my current setup. It was as easy as anything else has been in Windows. Boot from CD, answer some questions, let it copy files and reboot. Then tell it that it's OK to install the binary NVidia driver and that all worked fine. I did have to tweak the XOrg.conf a little, but I understand that the new release of XOrg doesn't even require the conf file now. And my changes were more to make the TV output a little more how I like it than anything else, it worked fine out of the box. Then I told Myth what my tuner device was (HDHomeRun) and it found it and did a channel scan. Then I gave it my login info to Schedules Direct and it was up and running. Probably about an hours work from CD boot to working Myth install.

        Note that I did pick my hardware for Linux and Myth compatibility. I knew that's what I was going to be using the hardware for, so I chose accordingly. It's still a hacker's TiVo, but I hacked my TiVo boxes, and Myth was easier than that.

      • by Dan667 (564390) on Monday November 17, 2008 @12:03PM (#25786757)
        For anyone considering SageTV, it has it's own problems and gotchas. Having to pay for it would really piss me off.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Remloc (1165839)
        I built my 1st Myth system by hand without one of the new "nice" installers. Using apt-get and Jarod's guide. I got 95% of functionality working in one evening on the first try. Then proceeded pulling my hair out for 3 months to get the $@%ing remote to work. Totally existing P3/450. Only new hardware was the PVR-350.
        Getting it working should be simple. Making it "wife friendly," maybe not so much.
      • by Abcd1234 (188840)

        It is a hacker's TIVO. I have tried it and had nothing but difficulty in getting things the way I wanted it. I spent hours...not to mention that ATI drivers in linux just suck.

        Which illustrates a vital lesson when building anything based on Linux: FFS, do your god damned research! Every MythTV FAQ out there tells you to stick with NVIDIA, as the Linux support is far superior. The fact you didn't do this basic diligence is your own damned fault.

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          I would like to offer a ME TOO.

          Sure, it can suck if you've already got some ATI video
          card (why though, even in Windows). However, most of the
          interesting stuff in MythTV is not stuff you are going to
          typically just have lying around already.

          You're going to have to buy a capture device and perhaps
          a separate remote. So do a little basic checking and see
          what's recommended. Nevermind about it merely "just
          working". How about trying to figure out what "works well".

          Linux works very well on the best low profile compu

    • by rmcd (53236) *

      I use Myth under Debian for OTA recording (we don't have cable). It's been running for about two years and it has been great but it was *not* easy to set up (I viewed it as a hobbyist project and boy did it fit the bill :-) I'm sure it would be easier now with one of the prepackaged distributions, but here is my recommendation:

      If you enjoy tinkering and you want to see how a DVR can be put together under Linux, give Myth a try. If you are even close to on the fence, go with Tivo. If you have cable, encrypti

      • by Abcd1234 (188840)

        If you have cable, encryption could be a hurdle to using Myth, make sure you explore that first.

        Yeah, but unless you can get CableCARD working, the same thing is true for TiVo. In either case, you may end up with an analog capture from DSTB + IR blaster-based solution (which, BTW, is the setup I use with Myth, and it works just fine).

    • by Abcd1234 (188840)

      wrote MythTV off as a hacker's Tivo but I'll take a longer look and see if I can give it a go.

      That's exactly what it is. :) That said, while it's not as polished as some of it's competitors, it does it's job quite well, IMHO, is perfectly usable, and in my judgment, is far more flexible than any other solution out there.

    • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday November 17, 2008 @12:41PM (#25787271)
      You should look into the Live CD versions to test out if you want to proceed. Many people are happy enough with them. KnoppMyth [mysettopbox.tv], MythDora [mythdora.com], Mythbuntu [mythbuntu.org].
  • My MythTV box had this intermittent problem where it would overheat. Finally tracked it down recently--it only happened when the program guide page was left open, and the animated content preview (showing you a thumbnail preview of the program) was running. Turned that feature off and problem went away. So there's a case where some silly eye-candy was actually causing the system to have dramatically lower reliability, as the CPU and hard drive would have both been under dramatically lower load had it nev

    • First off, if your system can't run at full load without being unstable, then you have a hardware issue that needs to be looked at.

      With regard to animations, they do have a valid purpose as far as usability. Often in programs, when you click a button and something in the UI changes, you can't tell exactly what it was that changed. You can see that something switched, but you aren't really sure what. With animations, you see the change before it has actually occurred, and your attention is focusing directly

      • by greg1104 (461138)

        I didn't say it was unstable, just that it would run much hotter than it should. All the fans were running around the clock sometimes, and I was looking into whether I needed even more of them in the larger enclosure because it was cooking the rest of the stuff in the cabinet. That never led to a crash, only the inevitable reduced system life that results from extra heat.

  • by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday November 17, 2008 @11:47AM (#25786507) Homepage
    I'm only worried about whether it's easy to install. When I was looking for making a PVR a couple years ago, I tried with Myth. I really did. I tried for days reading through the docs, trying to configure MySQL and set up databases. Trying to get my TV Tuner to work correctly. In the end, I downloaded a trial of SageTV and had everything up and running in 20 minutes. Haven't looked back since. Best $80 I ever spent. I use open source when possible, but not when it's that much more work than the alternative.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lumpy (12016)

      If you went windows, then why not mediaportal?

      http://www.team-mediaportal.com/ [team-mediaportal.com]

      I switched from SageTV to it because it kicked SageTV's butt hard.

      Now I Use linux plus XBMC. Myth is awesom at Recording. it's is crap at music and media.

    • by Yosho (135835)

      Try Mythbuntu [mythbuntu.org]. I've installed it on three systems now and it's very easy to get working. I have never had to actually touch MySQL, let alone manually create a database, and the only time I've had to look in the MythTV docs was when I wanted to reconfigure a few buttons on my remote.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by moasat (1275424)
      MythTV itself is easy to install. I think the problem most people have is getting their hardware to work under Linux. I have the most problems with ALSA but it is getting better. Once your hardware works, Myth is a breeze to install.
      • I found it not to be the case; I think I'll wait till 8.10 stabilises and give it another go.
    • To answer your question. Yes. My brother has been running Myth under various distros for years and I've heard of the work that used to go into it.

      I built a mythbox out of spare parts just a few weeks ago using Mythbuntu 8.04. All of the installation was automatic. I had to do some configuration, mostly choosing the correct video driver, V4L driver, and pointing at the right sound card, but basic functionality was that easy.
      Some of the younger plugins(Mytharchive. mythweb) took a little bit of config too.

    • by TrevorB (57780)

      For the past two years I've been working with MythTV on Slackware... one backend and three frontends. I loved the result, but it was an absolute struggle. Multiple packages to install and configure. Little tweaks here and there. Recently I tried to upgrade mplayer to the latest SVN and ended up trashing my system.

      I'vee been toying with the idea for a few months, but finally bit the bullet and instelled MythBuntu on my HTPC. And it's an absolute dream to install. I was up and running and watching MythTV

  • I took a serious look at MythTV a few years ago to try to replace my ReplayTV and avoid going TiVo. The biggest problem to me was I did not want a noisy, large PC in my living room. I want the quiet, console-sized form factor of a TiVo. I searched around the internet and never became satisfied with any of the options I found, especially when the quieter they got the higher-priced they got--when the price started approaching $1K, I bailed and resigned myself to getting the HD TiVo I now have.

    But I now have

    • by Dan667 (564390)
      I bought the D.Vine 5 HTPC Case by Ahanix and like it.
    • by rmcd (53236) *

      I got the Antec NSK2400. It's nice looking (as such things go ;-) and designed for silent operation. I bought a big passive heatsink for the CPU which I topped with a low speed fan. It all fit in the case, but just barely. The system is not completely silent but it's quieter than my home theater receiver, which has a fan. I found SilentPCReview [silentpcreview.com] invaluable. Good luck!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Albanach (527650)

      It's worth remembering you only need a client in the living room.

      I'd imagine you quickly end up with hundreds of GB of video, so you want some kind of RAID to protect from drive failure. That means multiple disks which tends to mean bigger box, more heat more fans and more noise.

      Personally I'm using xbmc not having much need to record live TV. I run it on an eeebox that I picked up for $300. It's tiny. It draws 20 watts, is practically silent, runs 24x7 and can play up to 720P. It has DVI out so can be hook

  • Let me know when they support CableCard and then I'll be interested. I shouldn't need to do IR blasting or capturing through Firewire. It's great that there's a new interface, but if you can't record the shows you want in HD, it's pointless.

    • Let me know when they support CableCard ...

      Probably never. As I understand it, CableCard isn't available to third-party video card vendors - just TV and cable box makers. In addition, I believe CableCard will be going away and the future will utilize embedded VMs with control information downloaded from the Cable COs.

  • by geminidomino (614729) * on Monday November 17, 2008 @12:28PM (#25787115) Journal

    MythTV is honestly a joke. (N.B. I've been running a mythtv box for 3 years)

    For TV/PVR functionality, it's great. Want to watch a DVD or, gods forbid, a video file? Prepare for an exercise in pain.

    Want to use some of the features it boasts (integrated emulators, image slideshow, etc...)? Suffer, worm!

    Want to use an EXTREMELY COMMON remote(MCE)? Prepare to spend the better part of the evening manually remapping the buttons with vim. (I still have instances where I can't navigate DVD menus because of some weirdness on what is considered "up" and "down")

    And if you DARE to want to record off of a non-tuned interface (RCA, e.g.) well, it will eat your face and lock you in the closet with a shoggoth.

    But unfortunately, for TV, it is the best out there. :P

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      > For TV/PVR functionality, it's great. Want to watch a DVD or, gods forbid, a video file? Prepare for an exercise in pain.

      What pain? Just drop it somewhere Myth knows to look.

      If you have a more "complicated" setup. You will need to tell Myth to scan your collection again to pick up the new movie.

      > evening manually remapping the buttons with vim.

      If you insist on using vi, that's your own problem

      • > For TV/PVR functionality, it's great. Want to watch a DVD or, gods forbid, a video file? Prepare for an exercise in pain.

        What pain? Just drop it somewhere Myth knows to look.

        If you have a more "complicated" setup. You will need to tell Myth to scan your collection again to pick up the new movie.

        Unless it's in a less common format. For example, anime fansubs are often found in Matroska (mkv) containers with subtitles and even multiple audio tracks built in. Back to remapping...

        There's more to watching a video than just copying it onto the system. And I've never been able to just put it on the system and watch it without doing the rescan. All my videos are in /myth/video.

        Not to mention the lack of NAS media server support.

        > evening manually remapping the buttons with vim.

        If you insist on using vi, that's your own problem and BDSM fetish.

        I use the same remote on all my machines so that everything is interchangeable and
        that no one gets confused going from room to room with the remotes. You don't have
        to go out of your way to make things hard for yourself.

        "vim" is a nice example of this.

        Way to miss the point (I'll assume you did that and you're not intentionally o

        • by Abcd1234 (188840)

          Unless it's in a less common format. For example, anime fansubs are often found in Matroska (mkv) containers with subtitles and even multiple audio tracks built in. Back to remapping...

          Yeah, I actually don't use the internal player for video. mplayer does a far better job. And I use Xine for DVD playback, which works quite well.

          There's more to watching a video than just copying it onto the system. And I've never been able to just put it on the system and watch it without doing the rescan.

          In 0.21, just tel

          • Unless it's in a less common format. For example, anime fansubs are often found in Matroska (mkv) containers with subtitles and even multiple audio tracks built in. Back to remapping...

            Yeah, I actually don't use the internal player for video. mplayer does a far better job. And I use Xine for DVD playback, which works quite well.

            As do I. But the buttons still need to be remapped.

            There's more to watching a video than just copying it onto the system. And I've never been able to just put it on the system and watch it without doing the rescan.

            In 0.21, just tell Myth to browse the filesystem (it's part of the MythVideo config). That's how I have the List mode set up and it works great. Coupled with Azureus and some scripting magic to automatically played downloaded content in the correct locations, and I have a system that's incredibly convenient. I just add torrents through the web interface, wait a bit, and the content shows up in Myth when it's ready.

            That sounds very cool. I don't s'pose you kept notes on how you set it up?

            No, I mean like Composite (fka "RCA"). To get that to work is such an amazing kluge it makes my head hurt to just remember doing it. And it didn't even work well.

            Buh? At least with Hauppauge, IIRC, it was just a matter of plugging in the composite cable, along with the audio cables, and configuring the card to capture from the composite interface. Granted, it's been a while since I did that, so I could be misremembering.

            I don't know if it's my PVR-150 card or what, but when I try to set it up that way, it detects no tuner and ignores the "change source" command. In order to make it work, I actually had to create a second instance of my card and create the input on that. Of course, that broke other things...

            Moreso when I have to repeat it on upgrades.

            Huh? Myth upgrades the DB. My upgrade from 0.20 -> 0.21 literally involved backing the DB, building the new version, and then firing up the backend. Everything on the backend worked OOTB (the frontend had to be tweaked to get the playback profiles set up correctly for my VIA frontend).

            That one is probably more a matter of knoppmyth than MythTV itself, admittedly. It tends to clo

            • by Abcd1234 (188840)

              That sounds very cool. I don't s'pose you kept notes on how you set it up?

              Well, the Myth config is trivial. In MythVideo, there's an option to set directory browse mode on for the various view types.

              As for the torrent support, I set up Azureus with the Command Runner plugin , which executes a Perl script I've extensively hacked up to automatically handle video and audio content and process it appropriately. Azureus then runs headless on my backend, and I interact with it via the HTML WebUI plugin.

              I can ce

              • Very cool. I can hack out the script to do that, the key was the Command Runner plugin.

                I'll work on that over holiday break. Thanks!

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          > Unless it's in a less common format. For example, anime fansubs

          I don't even have to say anything about this one [chuckle].

          > Way to miss the point

          Nope. Holding up the single most user hostile editor on the
          planet as an example of what MythTV gets you is an obvious
          sign of someone intent on blowing their foot off by any means
          n

          • Nope. Holding up the single most user hostile editor on the

            planet as an example of what MythTV gets you is an obvious

            sign of someone intent on blowing their foot off by any means

            necessary.

            I never said the problem was with the text editor. It's with the PROCESS.

            > you're still remapping an extremely common remote because the stock setups are ridiculously flawed,

            This is not a "MythTV" problem or even a "Linux" problem.

            This is a "demanding whiney user" problem.

            Where did I "demand" anything? I pointed out shortcomings in the system. This isn't a "whiny demanding user" problem on my end, it's a "who needs easy to use" attitude on yours.

            > No, I mean like Composite (fka "RCA"). To get that to work is such an amazing kluge it makes my head
            > hurt to just remember doing it. And it didn't even work well.

            All I did was plug cables into it and tell MythTV to use it.

            I tried that. See my other post. After a certain version upgrade, a "bug" was fixed that broke this function, according to my googling.

            > I know what I'm doing, and I still find all of this to be a PITA. Moreso when I have to repeat it on
            > upgrades. For anything other than watching TV, it is not user friendly at all.

            This would be more of you going out of your way to make the problem more difficult than it needs to be.

            "experts" are the bane of many professions.

            Then suggest an easier way. Chortling because YOU don't need the functionality (wrt matroska files) and making dickish comments

    • by langelgjm (860756)

      It's not a joke. I've never had a problem watching video files. You've got a point with DVDs; the default mappings for remote control buttons in xine are idiotic, and in distributions like KnoppMyth, this should probably be reported as a bug and fixed. But really, edit the configuration file one time, and it's done. If it's done properly, you shouldn't have problems navigating DVD menus ever again. (Also be sure to save the config file, in case you ever accidentally overwrite it.)

      Oh, and as another poster s

      • Oh, and as another poster said, don't use vi if if it's such a pain. I never use it. And if you don't want to have to ever edit text configuration files by hand to get something working, well, MythTV probably isn't the right choice.

        No, I like vi. but it's not just a matter of editing the file. You're constantly vgrepping to cross reference the lirc mappings with the xine mappings, mythtv mappings, mplayer mappings, whatever is being used in your system. It's somewhat irritating.

        Not to mention the parts that just plain don't work. I put up some images to play with the slideshow function, go into that menu, open the image and wham... instant freeze-up.

        As for it not being the right choice... the most important functionality for me is th

  • XBMC (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FunkyELF (609131) on Monday November 17, 2008 @12:29PM (#25787117)
    I am a long time XBMC user. I used it pre-fork when it was called XBMP (xbox media player). I am also a MythTV user.
    I would love to see MythTV completely drop the entire frontend and have MythTV be only for backend recording. If you want that old crappy mythfrontend stuff around make it a separate project altogether and let users choose between mythfrontend or XBMC.
    One thing I hate about myth's front end is the use of a DB for music or videos. Why can't you browse a NFS share, samba mount, or just a local directory live? You wanna build a DB so you can sort by artist, genre or whatever...fine. Do that, but let me just browse my files.
    Seriously...drop the crap, write a good plugin for XBMC and be done with it.

    Not trying to knock MythTV. It rocks as a recorder and has an awesome web interface...but thats about it. Playback is pretty lousy. XBMC is an awesome at everything it does.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by spagetti_code (773137)
      You know you can do that now right? Both mythbuntu and knoppmyth support backend-only installs.
  • Do your research (Score:5, Interesting)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday November 17, 2008 @01:13PM (#25787769)
    Before trying MythTV, do your research. Many of the complaints so far are from people who had trouble getting to work tried to do too much. Here are some guidelines:
    1. Do some research on hardware [mythtv.org]
    2. DO NOT USE ATi cards.
      Some people have gotten them to work but support for ATi on Linux is lacking. Before anyone complains about the huge cost of getting a new card, you can get a cheap nVidia (FX5 or higher) for as little as $30.
    3. Try it out using a Live CD
      Don't wipe out your system just yet wondering if it will work. Use a live CD and see if it work at all. If it doesn't, you can eject the disc and reboot without any harm to your system. Currently, MythDora [mythdora.com], Mythbuntu [mythbuntu.org], and KnoppMyth [mysettopbox.tv] are the top versions
    4. Understand what you want, what you need.
      For basic DVR functionality installing one the previous versions mentioned above is easy enough for most people. To get all the features, you might have to invest in some hardware. To get a networked system, you're going have to know more about Linux. For digital OTA HD TV, you need a digital OTA tuner and a video card with at least DVI out. If you are staying on analog cable and TV, you can get it running on very cheap hardware. Right now using a digital cable tuner is not fully supported as these boxes don't always have API documentation.
  • I have a MythTV in my basement. I've occasionally patched minor bugs in MythTV. I've even written a semi-popular iPhone remote control for MythTV. But the thing about this kind of do it yourself project is the amazing amount of time it wastes.

    Think about it. If MythTV has (completely bogus numbers to follow) 100,000 users--and being MythTV users they are technically skillful--and it takes them an average of a 40 hour work week of tweaking to dial things in, then that is 4 Million hours which could be spe

  • by kimvette (919543) on Monday November 17, 2008 @04:57PM (#25791571) Homepage Journal

    Uh, sorry, the problem isn't the GUI. The problem is the extremely painful installation and configuration process.

    Until there are easier methods to get tuners configured, finding the right firmware files (oh, sure, go grab the OEM Windows installer, extract a binary blob, place it somewhere under /usr/local, edit /etc/config/foo$, run insmod, watch it fail, retry with a different driver version, etc.), and then configure the dbms by hand, etc. it won't gain much acceptance. Add in major lag between remote clicks and seeing the response on screen (rendering cable guides somewhere painful and useless because the Myth display lags behind somewhere between 500ms and 750ms on a PVR-150 card) and you've got a recipe for failure.

    I have a lot of patience in dealing with hardware configuration, but Myth is just too painful to spend any time on.

    Improve the installation/configuration process. Include a proper compatibility list - and keep it updated.

    Also where are component or HDMI input options? HDCP/DRM be damned, we need a high-def PVR option. Screw Tivo or cableco DVRs where the recordings are tied to that EXACT box. If the box dies, so does access to recordings on an external HDD.

    That's not to say the new GUI isn't nice, nor to underplay the importance of GUI design. It's just that the GUI is not Myth's problem in gaining mass acceptance.

When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder. -- James H. Boren

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