As promised, more updates. I have a birthday thing I'm doing today (not mine), so I haven't been able to fully complete it, but I've updated the howto article on DVD writing. More to come soon.
This webpage attempts to document my experiences with MythTV and a Hauppage PVR-500 dual tuner, tuner mpeg encoder tv card, and setting it up in New Zealand for a PAL TV system. This information should be relevant for PVR-150 owners too (The PVR-500 is essentialy two 150's slapped on one PCI card).
If you have one of these cards and are looking for info on setting it up, read the Setup Info page first, then read the log below to catch up on any changes and hints on solving some problems, and finally read the MythTV PVR-500 NZ HOWTO as well.
I recently gave a brief intro talk to the Auckland LUG meeting. This has prompted me to update this site a bit.. So I'm trying to update the information at the moment. More on this late-breaking news story as it happens :)
Oh, one thing. ontv and mr.geek.nz's EPG data has gone from the planet now. Apparenty hairy.geek.nz had data for awhile, but his has gone now too. All that is left is www.reven.co.nz's xmlTVNZ script. This runs on C#, so is portable to linux, but obviously requires Mono. This is a bit more to set up than usual. I will put a tutorial on this soon. (Just as soon as I figure out a good way of doing it).
I've been asked for help by a few people in getting their own PVR-150 or 500 cards working, so I've put together a quick Troubleshooting page in the MythTV howto. If you'd like some help getting your system working, then this page may help.
If you can think of anything else that I should put on that page, let me know :)
I may have a clue. After rebooting I found that through MythTV one tuner was still faulty, but after manually setting up the tuner (use my chchan script) both tuners seemed to come right.
I will do some further testing tommorow.
Once again I'm plauged by the second tuner not working after a reboot. I've tried rebooting multiple times, but the second tuner just won't come right. If anyone else has experience this and has a solution, please let me know.
For now, I'm trying shutting down the box for a couple of hours to see if that solves the problem.
I think I've fixed the TV scheduling problems, by using mr.geek.nz's EPG data. This seems to work better, but I'll know in a few days if the problem has been solved.
I've now got another problem I'm still working on, I have no audio on the 2nd tuner. I doubt this is a heat issue as the system is kept very cool. I will try a reboot soon to see if it fixes it. The audio problem is either driver or card related.
Appologies are in order to users using Internet Explorer, first I feel sorry for you, but second I'm sorry I didn't test this website with IE before hand, I just had a look at it today in IE, and saw how bad it looked. Should be all fixed now.
Over the last few days, there has been a major problem with the TV schedule part of my MythTV box. The system shows every night TV2 has a 5 hour program that starts at 2030 hours. I'm not sure if this problem is caused by MythTV or by the xml tv data. I've had a brief look at the XML TV data and it seems fine, so I suspect some kind of MythTV/importing problem.
This is probably a good time to say that I'm strongly considering writing my own DVR program. If anyone has any opinions on other Linux based DVRs, let me know, as from what I have found, none of them are that great.
My own DVR program would be written in C# (because I've been playing with the language and it seems to be good at rapid prototyping). If anyone is interested in assisting with the development, send me an email.
Hmmm, I powered down the system for a few hours today, and now I've lost the use of tuner0. Tuner0 shows black/static instead of a picture. Not sure exactly why, investigating further, but this proves that I haven't quiet ironed out the bugs.
Update. A soft reboot (shutdown -r now) "fixed" the problem. Its possibile this is cause by something faulty in the initialisation of the card, either in the order of the modules insert, or in the actual ivtv driver.
I will experiment with shutting down the system later, but for now, good TV is about to start.
Hey, guess what, you have to turn the thing on for it to record things :). I'm experimenting with the auto power on feature, to allow the system to turn itself off, then power on when there's a show about to start.
Also, check the howto section, there is a new bit about DVD writting, it isn't quite finished yet, but I'll have a complete step-by-step guide to burning an episode on DVD shortly.
Welp, I just missed recording The Simpsons last night, the MythTV system refused. Guess Why?
I'm out of disk space. 160gb used up in, what, 3 weeks? Thats pretty impressive. Either way, this has now prompted me to look at writting episodes to DVD. Obviously i'm having to go through each one and remove the ads first. Its a very slow process, as although MythTV gets some, I've obvserved the following things:
TV broadcasting stations haven't heard of an atomic clock. Every station has a slightly different idea of when the hour begins, and that idea changes over the course of a day. Eg TV3 in the morning may start their top of the hour show at 07:59:32, then later in the day, the programs start at 15:01:10.
I've had to configure MythTV to record 2mins before and 2mins after the scheduled time. This itself leads to more problems. The biggest one being, if there are two programs back-to-back, MythTV starts recording the 2nd program after the 1st has finished, this means that usually the first 30 seconds of the next program is at the end of the previous program.
This is rather frustrating, and one of the "features" I will implement if I ever develop an alternative to MythTV is that when there are two programs back-to-back, it starts recording the 2nd program while the first is finishing.
As I said above, MythTV's ad detecting isn't all that great, but its not always MythTV's fault.
TV3 often change how they transition between program to ads, sometimes a splash screen, sometimes a black screen, sometimes both. Sometimes they deliberatly put a black screen in amoungst the ads. This means the auto ad detecting has trouble.
Either way, I'm trying to write stuff to DVD, which is proving, um, fun. Kinda.
Oh, note to those attempting the same, you need to configure MythTV for transcoding with a PVR500, Under recording profiles, under transcoding, under From MPEG2, change the width and height, and codec to MPEG-4. Otherwise, when you attempt a transcode, it seems to always fail.
I have written a MythTV HOWTO for setting up MythTV on a Hauppauge PVR-500 tuner card for New Zealand TV. Its relevant for users of other cards and users from other countries, but focuses on the PVR-500 tuner and New Zealand TV channels.
Users with other tuner cards will need to figure out the section on setting up the tuner themselves.
I haven't quite worked out why tuner0 dropped the ball, but for the last few days MythTV has being going ok. I haven't had a chance to test if the nvidia module has any effect on the problem.
On a side note, i've finally got identical Philips 107s monitors for my dual head system. It looks good.
Oh and, Photos are up
The system has developed another problem. Now tuner0 is producing an invalid signal. tuner1 is fine, but all attempts to use tuner0 (even manually using mplayer) fail. I've tried restarting the system, etc, but still problems.
(Addendum: I think its nvidia starting before the ivtv drivers. Will test later)
I have resolved the heat problem in two ways:
One; I've put in a slot mounted cooling fan (it sits next to the tuner card, and sucks air past it).
Two; I've moved the system into another cabinet. This cabinet has a lower roof, but the rear is open, so air seems to flow. When its really cranking, the air out the back is mildly warm.
I've also put in a funky blue light which kind-of shows through.
Note to self, don't put the box in the cabinet again. It overheated so bad the case itself was getting too hot to touch. Oops.
On another note, i've posted my kernel log of the ivtv initializing for those who are interested.
Heat does seem to be a problem, after running it for a few days, tuner0 appears to only show a black screen (even playing directly with mplayer /dev/video0). After powering down the system for an hour, both tuners are working again.
I've also figured out the least load settings for recording, see the Working Setup settings below.
I'm still having problems with playback. I've noticed when using MythTV to playback any recording, the system load goes up a bit too much. The statistics from top show averages of Idle 40%, Running 10%, System %10, Wait 40%. The problem value for me is Wait 40%.
After moving the system into the living room and hiding it under the TV in the cabinet, I've noted there is now a significant cooling problem. The motherboard alters the CPU fan speed depending on the heat, and its running quite hot now. lmsensors reports upwards of 36C.
I've finally got LiveTV working in MythTV again. I'm not 100% sure what caused the problem, it may have been settings in the MythFrontend Setup->TV Settings->Recording Settings.
Contact me: email@example.com with any updates or suggestions, or maybe questions if they are intelligent ones.