On using a HTPC in NZ

Succesful trial run of FreeviewHD in MythTV!

, posted: 19-Aug-2008 07:15

I have noted earlier in this blog that Mythtv does not work with FreeviewHD due to lack of audio support. Well thanks to work of Paul Kendall (see his site here) and others it is now possible to use Mythtv as a HTPC delivering FreeviewHD. There are a couple of caveats to that of course; a powerfull CPU is required as there is no hardware H.264 accelration, and you have to be prepared to do a little bit of extra work in setting the machine up (not much different with fiddling with codecs with MP or GBPVR though).

So to test it all out with my machine I downloaded the latest version of Mythbuntu (8.04.1) and installed it onto my external hard drive. There are then a few step I had to go through before I could run myth-backend setup:

1) After restarting from the CD to the hard drive, I added the following line to the bottom of /etc/sources.list (open terminal, type 'sudo nano /etc/sources.list'):         
                      deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/paul-kcbbs/ubuntu hardy main

Then run:
'sudo apt-get update'
'sudo apt-get upgrade'

That will require confirmation and run for a while, after which the machine will be up-to-date with Paul's patches installed.

2) I have a Nova T 500, and according to it's wiki page it requires a cold reboot to be detected. Before this is done though, add the folowing to /etc/modprobe.d/options:

#enable LNA
options dvb-usb-dib0700 force_lna_activation=1
#disable 2nd tuner suspend
options usbcore autosuspend=-1

Now you are ready to run mythbackend setup and configure the tuners, sources etc. Also a guide will need to be setup somehow, I havn't got around to that yet.

With the configuration basically as above, I scanned in the digital channels to test out performance. With my 2.4GHz single core I could watch just TV1 and TV2, it would start skipping on fast moving scenes. TV3 was a no go.

From here, I plan on swap the CPU and graphics card out and put in my 5200+ X2. With a little bit more tweaking to get dual core being helpful (thanks to the mythtvnz list) hopefully I can get all the channels working. If I can do that, and get a guide loaded for all channels on my test setup I will do a reinstal and move everything over to Mythbuntu :)
Uni holidays are next week so this will be on the backburner with a very busy last week, will post again when I test things further.

Other related posts:
New wiki for setting up guide data in NZ
Final MythTV report
It works - 1080i with a 5200X2 in mythtv

Comment by nzsouthernman, on 19-Aug-2008 09:50

Awesome! I'm a MB user too so will be keeping an eye on your success. Well done. (Wish I could get Freeview|HD, but we can't see Sugarloaf where we live..)

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Andrew Richards
New Zealand

My Current Setup

CPU: A64 5200 X2 (2.6GHz) Memory: 2GB Graphics: Onboard 6100 Hard drive: WD 640GB Optical: DVD-ROM Remote: Microsoft MCE USB2 Tuners: Hauppauge Nova T 500 & PVR150 Display: Toshiba 20" LCD Audio: Genius 5.1 bookshelf speakers

OS: Windows Vista Premium SP1 PVR: MediaPortal RC3 Codecs: Built in MPEG1&2 codecs, PowerDVD8 for H.264 EPG: nice.net.nz feed (from satellite feed)

Useful Links

MediaPortal Homepage
NZ Thread in MP Forumns
NZ MediaPortal Wiki page
MythTV Homepage
NZ Mythtv page
Mythbuntu Forumns
EPG Setup Guide