[CentOS] MythTV on Centos 4

Scot L. Harris webid at cfl.rr.com
Mon Sep 26 19:45:17 UTC 2005

On Mon, 2005-09-26 at 14:51, Kirk Bocek wrote:
> Scot L. Harris wrote:

> > Been using the TV out on the PVR-350.  Have been using this primarily
> > for recording TV and playing it back.  The output is spectacular.  I can
> > not tell the difference between the original broadcast show and the
> > mythtv recording. (except that is skips over most commercials
> > automatically of course. )
> My PVR-350 is coming. Are you able to run the Myth frontend on the PVR-350? I see 
> various notes about putting DVD output and such on the 350 but what about the cosole 
> output?

Yes, Jarod's guide has some good info for getting X to run out the
PVR-350.  I run the master backend on my main TV with just the
connection to the TV.  As part of that setup you create a new initrd
file so it switches all output to the PVR-350 early on in the boot up.

When I upgraded from .17 to .18.1 I did hookup a mouse and keyboard. 
But normal operation is via the remote control or via mythweb.  You
still have the ability to ssh into the system and you can always use
vncserver on the box.  BTW: I found the upgrade process to be very easy
just yum install the new mythtv-suite  and it takes care of all the
other packages for you.  Very nicely done.

I have not worked with the DVD much yet.  On my todo list. :)  I have
read where it should be possible to run xine out the PVR-350 but it is
not clear to me if the quality is going to be acceptable.  Until then I
use the old Apex DVD player.

My initial attempt at using the DVD was a problem as I had difficulty
getting DMA enabled for the DVD drive.  I think I have that resolved now
but have not retried using a DVD on that system.  The slave backend that
I turned up last week has not been tested with a DVD yet.  Possibly by
next week I will get to that testing.

>   > If/when you get to the point of setting up a slave backend let me know,
> > there were a couple of gotcha's that I had to work through to get that
> > working as expected.  
> When MythTV talks about the 'back end' is that simply the MySQL database or is there 
> some other software involved?

There are three main parts to a mythtv system, the mysql database,
mythbackend, and mythfrontend.  You need ONE mysql database, it can be
on any system you want but is typically on the first mythbackend system
you setup.  The mythbackend process runs on any system you have capture
cards in.  The master backend is the one with the mysql database.  

Any system you want to watch recordings on you will run mythfrontend.  

In most cases the first box will run all three.  

The slave backends will run a mythbackend process and can run a
mythfrontend process if you are using them to view recordings.

I eventually want to setup diskless frontend systems that boot from the
network and only run the mythfrontend process.

> > Depending on the type of inputs you will be recording you will want to
> > have at least two capture cards if not three or four.  This makes
> > conflicts less likely to occur.  
> Why two? I was planning on just one PVR-350 to begin with and maybe adding a second 
> later. Do you know anything about the version with two tuners? I think it's the 550.

You want at least two so you can record two shows at once or watch live
TV through the mythtv box and record a show at the same time.  You don't
have to have a capture card available to watch recordings.

I found that two capture cards resolved all but a few conflicts.  Three
gets that down to almost none and four seems to clear all conflicts so
far.  But then I have only had four capture cards going less than a

Once you get the box setup you will find that you stop watching live tv
that much if at all.  Virtually everything I watch is recorded any
more.  (just love that commercial skip capability)

Start with one capture card to get it working.  Then you can easily add
a second card.  I installed a PVR-250 in the first box as a second
card.  Takes just a minute or two to add it.   You just run mythtv-setup
again and add the card and video source.  The system then starts using

If you plan to use different video out such as through regular video
card then the PVR-350 is probably not the card you want.  The only other
thing it provides is the remote control and IR receiver.  

I tried a PVR-500 card in the second box.  I currently have it pulled
out and have a PVR-350 and PVR-250 in that box as well.  I had trouble
getting the drivers to work correctly with the PVR-500.  Have been
trying to figure out if it is a hardware problem or a driver problem. 
At some point I need to try it again with the 0.3.8 ivtv drivers. 
Currently running 0.3.7k drivers from ATRPMS.  I would have left the
card in the system however I found that the third PCI slot on this ECS
motherboard has a capacitor that sticks up to far for the card to seat
properly in that third slot.  I might get all the cards in the system if
I move the PVR-350 down to that slot since it does not have the red
audio connector on the bottom edge of the card.  Again this is something
I plan to try but won't get to it until next week or the week after.

I over built the first mythtv box.  Hindsight I would build a tower
system with the TB of disk and run several capture cards and mythbackend
on that system.  Would tuck that one back in the office.  I would then
build diskless frontend systems for each TV.  An additional backend
system might be needed to get four capture cards running.  But if the
PVR-500 can work I would use a couple of those.  

At some point I need to look at a hotswap raid system but that is way
down the road.  :)

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