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[Comments] (2) : For years I've been wanting to build a PVR and get rid of our Tivo. Partly because I like hacking things and it's really hard to hack the Tivo. Partly because over time our compliance with the Tivo lifestyle has declined precipitously, as we get more of our recorded entertainment from prepackaged and online sources, and less from Spontaneous Dissemination. But Linux PVR distributions are several years behind Linux in general, in terms of ease-of-use and hardware support, and I didn't relish the idea of going through a 1999-style install and configuration process.

Sumana got me off the metaphorical couch (and onto the actual couch) with this DevChix article which defined a hardware build that appealed to me. I used Mythbuntu instead of Mythdora, and the process was around 2002-2003: allegedly pushbutton but actually with a lot of configuration needed afterwards to get everything working. I'll post later about the problems I ran into, for reference by future web searchers.

Now it works! We've got music and games and non-lame web scheduling and everything in the living room. Eventually I plan to rip all our DVDs and put them into a huge RAID array, but not until the price of such RAID arrays comes down a little bit. What I am saying is, if you've been putting this kind of project off, now's a good time to try it.

Eh, might as well talk about the problems here. First problem was the remote control. I bought a Hauppage DVR-150 card and it came with a remote, but it's not a Hauppage remote and claiming it's a Hauppage remote in setup will yield you only anguish. It's a Windows Media Center Edition 98 or whatever remote. I don't really like this remote and I plan to program the Tivo remote instead, though that might interfere with my other plan to sell the Tivo on Craigslist for $50.

Second problem was that the computer kept turning off when we watched full-screen video. Installation of sensor software indicated that the CPU was overheating. The case I bought (which is much bigger than I expected) has two fans, each controlled individually by a switch that dangles from a wire inside the case. They were both set to Low. I set them to High and no more overheating.

Those were the two big problems. There was also some driver stuff I don't remember to get sound working.

PS: Sumana asks why I chose Mythbuntu over Mythdora. This is a good question since Mythdora apparently is more user-friendly. The answer is that I wanted to continue my streak of never using RPMs again the rest of my life.


Posted by Nick Moffitt at Fri Jul 04 2008 03:45

Technically speaking, RAID 10 and RAID 50 are "RAID Arrays", you redundant acronym nazis, you!

Posted by Evan at Fri Jul 04 2008 11:10

"I didn't relish the idea of going through a 1999-style install and configuration process"

ie Leonard did *not* want to party like its 1999.

(apologies to Prince)

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