HoloDeck01 comes online, complete with remote access

Well, my first PVR is complete and functional.  The problems with MythTV that I described in my last post on this turned out to be a very serious case PEBKAC (which, for those of you who aren’t in the tech support business is an acronym that stands for “Problem exists between keyboard and chair.”), a reminder to everyone that even techies make silly mistakes every once in awhile.  Suffice to say, once I actually RTFM, or in this case, read the online support for my capture card in relation to MythTV, and made the simple choice of the RIGHT driver in MythTVSetup, all went so much better from that perspective.

In fact, I’m embarrassed to say that both of the major problems I’ve been trying to solve have turned out to be a case of RTFM.  I just now got my remote control working properly with MythTV after several days of pouring through various online resources trying to work out the problem.  In the end, I forgot the cardinal rule of Linux … ignore any brand name information on the box, and use the names output in your system logs to search for information.  I spent days fruitlessly following dead ends from various searches like “PVR-150 remote no output irw” since the hardware I bought had PVR-150 on the box.  However, looking through my dmesg output, I was actually seeing SMK as the name of the USB ir controller I plugged in.  When I finally decided to search on that today, as well as the mceusb kernel module (rather than the i2c module that I thought needed for Hauppauge stuff), I quickly found the solutions I was looking for (special thanks to Doug Dalton and his April 2006 archive for getting me sorted finally).

I still need to mess around a bit with my settings to fine tune things, but all the basic work is done … my Fedora Core 6 Linux box is now a fully functional MythTV “Media Centre” machine.  I still need to fine-tune my recording specs … I’ve recently recorded some Star Trek just to test things, and a one hour episode seems to be coming in at about 2.3gb in size which strikes me as a little large.  I know that there’s a place to play around with the codecs and compression in the MythTVSetup and I’ll need to go in there and experiment a bit.  I also need to see how the feed from my RCA inputs is quality-wise vs the coax input … I’m not sure if its the card itself, the coax input, or the speed of my system, but watching TV in full screen mode through the computer is reduced a fair bit in quality from the direct feed from my cable box.  However, those minor issues aside, its nice to see a fully functional PVR on my Open Source Linux system.


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