Friday, February 25, 2005

Gmail is beautiful...

Not much has happened in my MythTv box for a while. The most important features just work now.. while the playback volume issue is odd, I really does not see it as a significant feature anymore.
The most important part is that the recording volume is ok, and it seems to be just that... ok.
I've ported the mythtvburn scripts from Knoppmyth to the "properly installed Myth" and it is now possible to select recordings and create a DVD image for burning.. complete with menu navigation and everything! The only remaning thing is to get DVD burning to work with the version of cdrecord and kernel that I have installed. I figure that this has to do with the removal of CD writing from the kernel at 2.6.8.. maybe the patched gentoo kernel does not fix this issue?

I find myself having less and less time for the MythTv box, and since the installation is now in a usable state, maybe it does not matter som much. In the install process, I joined a number of mailing lists that I would like to keep in touch with. Some of these mailing lists are, however, high volume lists that I would like to not have to worry them filling up my account in case I don't pop them very often. I think I will use my newly registered Gmail account for this. The speed and storage is excellent and I can access it from any computer.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Speak up!

I cant figure out why the playback volume is som low in the MythTV module. I can record, transfer the recorded file to another computer and play it there with reasomable volume (not terribly high, but nao alarmingly low..) but when I play it back on the MythTV box, it is barely noticeble, even when I use an external amplifier. When playing video or music, the output is more than OK, even though I had to pull it down a bit to get a decent quality sound - the build in sound chip does not giv good sound quality in the highest setting.

I've made some posts abuot this.. I hope someone will take the time to help me find a solutoin to this problem. My guess is that it is ALSA/OSS related, but I have no idea what to do about it.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Missnamed Blog.. up until now.

It struck me that the Blog I was writing in was sligtly miss-named. So far, finding a gentle Gentoo and MythTV install has not been much of a problem. MythTV installed nicelly and ther are plenty of good guides around. Put together, they cover most aspects of the install process and also give plenty of good advice as to how to best set up the rest of the environment.

The major proble of the install has been getting my tuner to work correctly with the IVTV driver.
Don't get me wrong, the driver works correctly, but I have to say that there should be PAL oriented guides out there. To set up PAL, you sometimes have to first understand non-PAL and then make modifications to that for PAL. Frequent changes in the parameters needed in order to get the various modules to wok with PAL doe not help the end user either.

However, now everything in the TV based frontend works and everyone is happy. I have recorded my first show and the result was fine althought the sound was very low due to a low set recording volume. I should really set up btaudio so that I could grab sound from the tuner instead of the loopback cable to the soundcard.

I said earlier that the Blog might have beeen miss-named. That was then, this is now. Now it is correcly named. Now my main obstacle is the web frontend. I get Internal server error everytime I try.. there must be some permissions missing somewhere.. perhaps the links are wrong? I'll have to check tonight.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


I finally took the time to transfer the pictures I took during the process to Photobucket so tht I may post them here.
Of course, when you go for this kind of project, it is important that you have another computer . Also, since the wireless card was low on the list of priorities, everything had to be done close to the wireless access point, which is in the kitchen. My girlfriend was very pleased with this... :-)

This is what everything looked like when it was all assembled. Mind you, at this stage, not much worked.. not even TV-out. (The mouse has been replaced by a small, black one..)

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


After having tried all possible combinations of kernel module parameters, I have to admit that I had given up. But, then I posted on the ivtv-devel list and got a link to a very simple setup:

I just put
tda9887 pal=B
ivtv ivtv_std=2 tda9887=0

in /etc/modules.autoload/kernel-2.6

alias char-major-81 videodev
alias char-major-81-0 ivtv
alias char-major-61 lirc_i2c

in /etc/modules.d/ivtv
(Have a look at the original post here
Now, I am recording :-)

This is one of these times when you just smile and do not try to understand what just happened....

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Some progress..

You cannot plan everything! Before I got the computer that we were putting MythTV on, I did substantial research on both the PVR-350 card and automatic wakeup for the MB.
The IVTV fora I found gave the impression that TV out would be a problem and nvram-wakeup did not support my motherboard.

Now, I have TV out and automatic wakeup configured, but I cannot get a decent result from the tuner! This is the only remaining issue... I wonder if the developers of ivtv is working on this. I hope so.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Cold boot...?

The card jsut refuses to tune properly. FOr somem reason, I cannot get a better picture than what I got a cuole of days ago. I searched the fora some more and found something related to PVR-150 that said there was a "cold boot"-problem in the driver for that card. Apparently, people had got it to work by starting it in window$ first and then warmbooting it into linux.
It seems that some register is set by the windows driver that are missed by the ivtv driver and the card keeps it's settings when the computer is just rebooted.

Also, I found some posts mentioning that loading a subset of the modules initially, removing them and then loading all drivers (this time including the tuner module) might do the trick.
I'll try that.. booting into windows just in order to set a register seems a bit over the top.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Not sure I like my tuner...

For some time now, I have been trying to get the d.{2}n PVR-350 card to tune to the channels I specified, but all I get is something that resembles a snowy day in the northern part of Sweden. [That is, white dots on a pitch black surface for peaple who have not heard about what lore says about Swedish winter]. I thought that my channels were wrong and have basically tried everything to get it to find a working channel.

Now, I found something in the MythTV Troubleshooting section....
I have a PVR 350 with a Philips FM1216 ME MK3 (idx = 57, type = 38) tuner and no matter what I try, I can only capture snow...

This sounded familiar so I checked, and sure enough, my tuner is type 38. The manual continued:

For some odd reason you have to mention an extra module (tda9887) to the modules.conf file. For example:

options ivtv ivtv_std=2 tda9887=0
add below ivtv msp3400 saa7115 saa7127 tda9887

Wow! Now I can acctually see the channels in mplayer when I tune. The output is that of a mistuned TV (black and white and rolling over the screen), but still.. better than snow!!
Another post said suggested I should play with tda9887=0 / tda9887=1. Worth a try!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Please, keep my settings..

Yesterday, I finallly got the remote to work on the Myth box. Rather, I enabled MythTV to use it! I found that the group change I had set up in devfsd.conf was re-set in an external file included at the bottom of the main file. So, the group was changed to video and then back into root again.. no wonder MythTV could not use the remote.

Now, just a couple of things remains until I've got a working box:
  1. Set up the channels in MythTV. Recording noise is not as much fun.
  2. Get nvram-wakeup to work. The A7V400-MX is mentioned in the CVS sources, so I'm confident this will work. I will probably have to join yet another mailing list..
  3. Figure out how the image import module works. So far, I have been unable to use this module.
  4. Fix some BIOS settings. Right now, BIOS time is GMT+1, which makes everything gathered by XMLTV appear in the tableau a little later than we would need it to be. Also, I have to remove the 00:00:00 time wakeup I included for testing purposes. It works a little too well... :-)
  5. Connect audio to my speakers. Also, I will have to get the mixer in MythTV to work correctly.
I think that is it. Appart from posting a couple of feature requests... :-)