Monday, January 31, 2005

MythTV up and everyting is on the screen

Finally, MythTV starts up automatically in the framebuffer and with a size that allows the user to acctually see all the contents on the screen. The grey Hauppauge remote works somewhat, but I definitely will have to find a better setup. The thing that does not work is movement up and down in the options. Kind of important.

So far I have configured and tried the Weather module and Music. Both of them were extremelly easy to configure.. I could even find the town I live in in the Weather menu.
Im currently importing my first CD into the system. Could not be simpler.....

One should really read the instructions once in a while..

I got at tip that the problems I'm having with the screen being larger than the physical TV screen is acctually something that you should be able to fix quite easilly in the MythTV settings.
Chaning the overscan in the display section in MythTV seems like a good solution for this situation.

Sometimes it might be a good idea to have a look at the documentation... :-)

This morgin, I tried to show my girlfriend the status of the MythTV project (since it worked perfectly the day before). I started the machine and the screen was a mess. There must be something wrong with the framebuffer loading. It seems a bit silly that MythTV is auto-loaded when I start KDM manually through ssh, but not when I get it to run as a part of the boot sequence. Maybe the console is trying to use the same framebuffer? I'll have to debug this when I get home.

BTW, i have taken some pictures of the progress of the box.. will be posted as soon as I get them on photobucket.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

In the middle of an emerge, I cannot help thinking that I should warn whoever finds this blog (and remind myself) that you really should plan your emerge sessions in advance.
I'm following the instructions in
Pleas pay attention to the fact that the innocent line
emerge evilwm kdebase mythtv mythvideo mythdvd mythbrowser mythgallery mythmusic mythnews mythweather

does take a while (like most QT-related builds do..). Doing it during night is much less irritating. Still.. it means that the rest of the family can acctually use the TV.
Now, the Hauppauge remote works in the console (using irw). The problem was that the lirc_i2c module was not loaded properly and the device created was /dev/lirc/0, not /dev/lircd... strange, but it works. [I wonder what /dev/lircd does...]

A note about the hadware of the project:
  • Motherboard is an A7V400-MX from ASUS. Great mATX board with integrated sound , LAN and VGA. Havent tried the VGA out in X, but the LAN worked out of the box with the via_rhine module and for sound I used the via82xx ALSA module. I never got the kernel ALSA to work though... enabled ALSA in the kernel and emerge:ed alsa-driver from protage with ALSA_CARDS="via82xx" in the make.conf.
  • The processor is a Sempron 2.4 GHz. Updating the BIOS to name it properly was trickier than I imagined..
  • For TV in, TV out and remote, I will be using the hardware on the PVR-350. Nice card, once you get it to work.. :-)
  • Network cables is not something that I like. The thought was that I would use a Netgear WG311T wireless card (revision 1). This is supported with the madwifi driver, but I have not been able to get WEP to work. If someone knows how to get this, I would very much like to know. I had to inset a line into the 'start' portion of the init script in order to set the ESSID..
    /usr/sbin/iwconfig ath0 mode Managed nickname PVR channel 6 essid X

Now, it seems that, appart from WEP, the only thing remaining is configuring MythTV

Some light....

Finally, I managed to get the ivtv-fb to work and get a gdm display on it. It seems that the only way to get the ivtv framebufer to output a correct picture in PAL mode is to use the patched version made by Chris Kennedy. Get it from here . Silly me for not finding this wabpage sooner (

Now, the challange is to get the remote to work. There are a lot of config files around for the remote that comes with the PVR-350 card, but so far I have not been able to get a signal.... everything loads ok though.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

On my way...

Last night I tried to install the new Gentoo box. Acctually, I started the whole process on wednesday,but sometimes things do not go you way.

Everythin in it is new and the thought was that the new processor, motherboard and RAM would go into my girlfriends computer. Turns out that Window$ does not like you changing IDE controller alot so my girlfriend was forced to choose between a total reinstall of the OS or keep the computer like it was... she chose the latter. (I don't think she trusted my computer skills enough). :-)

I tried to install from stage 2, but there was a strange error with db during bootstrap, so I proceeded with the stage 3 install. So far, I have had 2 major challanges:

1) The new motherboard (A7V400-MX) needed a BIOS upgrade in order to properly recognize the Sempron processor. The problem is that I do not have a floppy drive anymore. "Who needs them in this modern world?", right... well I can tell you .. the people trying to upgrade their BIOSes.. I managed to borrow an USB drive from work, found an old Windows 98 crash disk and inserted the new image on that. This used to be a simple thing... now I cannot even format a boot diskette in windows 2000.. What can I say.. I've been taken by the penguins...

2) Sound. The MB had an internal 6.1 sound card on it that people had been able to use in Linux. The via82xx ALSA driver loaded ok, the card was unmuted and all mixers were at 100% -- but no sound. After a couple of hours I now play music on a headless desktop computer. [Note to self: I the manual says that the externa audio connector should be connected, do that or use the supplied (and default) jumpers. It helps.]

Friday, January 28, 2005

The beginning...

In this blog, I will try to document my experiences with installing and using Gentoo linux with MythTV. I hope that it will be able to help other users of these softwares out there (in case I succeed..)