Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Freevo and back again

Last week, I decided that I reaaly should check out mode of the options out there. From the Google:ing I did before buying the PVR hardware, I did see Freevo as the prime alternative to
MythTV. Since the problem I had with MythTV was highly related to the use of an internal player in MythTV, I also thought that I would solve the audio issue by the move, as Freevo uses Mplayer, Xawtv or Tvtime for live viewing.

Installing Freevo was not very difficult. The Freevo plugin management system made it easy to set up components, extending the base setup with aditional functionality. A couple of freatures that I particularilly liked was the ability to detach audio in the music module so that it would keep playing when browsing pictures or setting a recording schedule. This is not possible in MythTV (although I get the impression that it is comming), and the only way to record something without interupting the music is to go to the web interface. Also, you get the title of the music currently playing in the "idle bar", which is very nice.

However, there were a number of issues that eventually caused me to go back to MythTV: the way the gallery plugin works, the range of options in the music playing module, the power of the scheduling application. Also, I frustrated with the notion that I would HAVE to login to the box through ssh every time I would like to change a setting. The MythTV setup program is not great, but it beats console hacking and restarting of Freevo in the case of small corrections. I got tired of this process, and went back to MythTV.

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