Reminder about MythTV Meeting

Shane Hathaway shane at hathawaymix.org
Wed Feb 15 22:46:02 MST 2006


Erin Sharmahd wrote:
> On Thursday (Feb 16), we'll show off some of the features of MythTV
> and let it show you why you want it. We'll discuss its capabilities
> and limitations and explain how it works and how it's designed. We'll
> also cover recommended and optional hardware requirements. It will be
> a great meeting for non-technical but easily-impressed friends.

It turns out I won't be able to make it due to a scheduling conflict.

But I wanted to report that I just successfully installed an ATI HDTV 
Wonder in my MythTV box.  The off-the-air reception is better than I 
imagined!  I don't subscribe to cable, so I've been hobbling along with 
a PVR-250 connected to an indoor antenna.  The new card, connected to 
the antenna that came with the HDTV Wonder, provides beautiful 
reception, just in time for the Olympics.

The drivers for the card are included in Linux 2.6.15; Kirk Lapray 
deserves credit for this, I presume--thanks!  My system has an Athlon 64 
3200+.  It performs well on the "SD" (standard definition?) channels, 
even though my video card is only a GeForce4 MX 4000.  However, my box 
struggles to display high definition channels, so I might decide to 
upgrade the video card.

I found good instructions here:

http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/ATI_HDTV_Wonder

Those instructions were easy to follow, but once I was finished, MythTV 
still wouldn't tune to digital channels.  I went in circles for a long 
time until I realized that even though zap2it provides the channel list 
for MythTV, I still have to tell MythTV to scan the full spectrum so it 
can discover the frequencies for those channels.  Apparently, digital TV 
has new layers of indirection, and that seems to be the main reason it's 
harder to set up than analog TV.  But the improved reception is worth 
it, IMHO.

I was surprised to learn there are actually more digital channels in the 
valley than analog channels.  KBYU alone broadcasts 5 digital channels.

I bought the card (with antenna and remote included) for a little over 
$100.  It was out of stock everywhere--I suspect it's a really hot item 
now that it works in Linux.

I haven't succeeded in making the remote work.  The Remote Wonder Plus 
is an RF remote that transmits to a USB gadget called an "X10 Wireless 
Technology, Inc. X10 Receiver".  But my keyboard works fine, so I'll 
take my time to figure out the remote.

Another incidental nugget I learned: ivtv version 0.4, the driver for 
PVR-[123]50 cards, is not going to be compatible with Linux 2.6.16. 
(Symptom: the tuner type detection sequence fails, so you can't change 
channels.)  The author of ivtv says that version 0.6, not yet released, 
will be required for Linux 2.6.16.

Shane



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