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I have an analogue TV card and will soon be upgrading to a DVB version (probably this one ) and have been scouring the interweb looking for a suitable OS ...
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  1. #1
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    Linux media centre - what are my chances?


    I have an analogue TV card and will soon be upgrading to a DVB version (probably this one ) and have been scouring the interweb looking for a suitable OS / program to turn my spare PC into a home media centre.

    I have tried to set up mythtv and freevo, but found them beyond my capabilities.

    Geexbox can't seem to show my any TV pictures for some reason, I get a blue screen with no helpful way of tuning it.

    SageTV doesn't seem much use, unless I want to reinstall a seperate distro on my machine.

    Does anyone have any user friendly suggestions?

    Please please please don't tell me I have to use Windows!

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer Zelmo's Avatar
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    What distro are you using for the media box? If you can get packages for MythTV, I'd suggest having a go at that again. Besides their main documentation (which is pretty thorough), there are also entries for your specific card in the Myth wiki, from which you can get even more specific directions for getting it up and running. And once it's working, it's a very nice program.
    Stand up and be counted as a Linux user!

  3. #3
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    Sorry, forgot to mention it's running SuSE 10.2.

    I installed MythTV using YaST (installed sources: packman, OSS and non-OSS).

    At first if I tried to run mythtv (frontend, backend or setup) I just got a screen asking me my preferred language (which it forgets from last time) then 2 pages of database questions. I found out that this could be because I hadn't set up mySQL.

    I then started following --> these instructions <-- until I got to the instruction:

    Code:
    > mysql -u root -p < /usr/share/mythtv/database/mc.sql
    where I had to use the location /usr/share/doc/packages/mythtv/database/mc.sql, since that's where my installation put it (which shouldn't make a difference, or should it?). All went well at this point and also during “mythtv-setup”, except at the end of the setup it suggested I should run “mythfilldatabase” which failed with error message:

    Code:
    Connecting to backend server: 127.0.0.1:6543 (try 1 of 5)
    Connection timed out.
    You should probably modify the Master Server settings in the setup program and set the proper IP address.
    After a little web scouring I found that this was probably because I hadn't started the backend, which I then did with “mythbackend”. At this point I see this

    Code:
    media-suse:/home/guest # mythbackend
    2007-01-04 20:25:22.409 Using runtime prefix = /usr
    2007-01-04 20:25:22.426 New DB connection, total: 1
    2007-01-04 20:25:22.431 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: localhost
    2007-01-04 20:25:22.434 Current Schema Version: 1160
    Starting up as the master server.
    2007-01-04 20:25:22.440 New DB connection, total: 2
    2007-01-04 20:25:22.441 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: localhost
    2007-01-04 20:25:22.443 EITHelper: localtime offset 0:00:00
    2007-01-04 20:25:22.449 New DB connection, total: 3
    2007-01-04 20:25:22.450 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: localhost
    2007-01-04 20:25:22.479 New DB scheduler connection
    2007-01-04 20:25:22.479 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: localhost
    2007-01-04 20:25:22.481 Main::Starting HttpServer
    2007-01-04 20:25:22.521 Main::Registering HttpStatus Extension
    2007-01-04 20:25:22.549 mythbackend version: 0.20.20060828-3 www.mythtv.org
    2007-01-04 20:25:22.549 Enabled verbose msgs:  important general
    2007-01-04 20:25:22.587 AutoExpire: Found 1 recorders w/max rate of 72 MiB/min
    2007-01-04 20:25:22.588 AutoExpire: Required Free Space: 1.1 GB w/freq: 10 min
    2007-01-04 20:25:24.532 Reschedule requested for id -1.
    2007-01-04 20:25:24.553 Scheduled 0 items in 0.0 = 0.01 match + 0.01 place
    2007-01-04 20:25:24.556 Seem to be woken up by USER
    Nothing happens after this, and at the time of copying that text was 21:07 – 42 mins after it first displayed that last line. The hard-drive light flashes meaningfully the whole time, like it's working on something, but isn't that a long time to be apparently doing not much?

    This is the furthest I have achieved. Any further advice much appreciated.

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  5. #4
    Linux Engineer Zelmo's Avatar
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    Once the server reports that it seems to be woken up by USER, it's up and running. You can hit CTRL-c to get your command prompt back (don't worry, it won't kill the server). Then you can go on with the setup program, or whatever the next step is in the install manual.
    Stand up and be counted as a Linux user!

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    Right! It seems I'm not far off then.

    I have my system set up so that mysql and ntp start automatically on bootup. Then I open a console and do "mysql -u root -p < /usr/share/doc/packages/mythtv/database/mc.sql", followed by "mythbackend" and then "mythtv-setup". The settings in mythtv-setup are the same as I left them last time, however when I run "mythfilldatabase" it seems not to work (it can't contact the backend). Code:

    Code:
    media-suse:/home/guest # mysql -u root -p  < /usr/share/doc/packages/mythtv/database/mc.sql
    Enter password:
    media-suse:/home/guest # mythbackend
    2007-01-05 18:30:59.156 Using runtime prefix = /usr
    2007-01-05 18:30:59.258 New DB connection, total: 1
    2007-01-05 18:30:59.263 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: localhost
    2007-01-05 18:30:59.326 Current Schema Version: 1160
    Starting up as the master server.
    2007-01-05 18:30:59.363 New DB connection, total: 2
    2007-01-05 18:30:59.363 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: localhost
    2007-01-05 18:30:59.370 EITHelper: localtime offset 0:00:00
    2007-01-05 18:30:59.377 New DB connection, total: 3
    2007-01-05 18:30:59.378 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: localhost
    2007-01-05 18:30:59.432 New DB scheduler connection
    2007-01-05 18:30:59.433 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: localhost
    2007-01-05 18:30:59.435 Main::Starting HttpServer
    2007-01-05 18:30:59.443 Main::Registering HttpStatus Extension
    2007-01-05 18:30:59.489 mythbackend version: 0.20.20060828-3 www.mythtv.org
    2007-01-05 18:30:59.489 Enabled verbose msgs:  important general
    2007-01-05 18:30:59.490 AutoExpire: Found 1 recorders w/max rate of 72 MiB/min
    2007-01-05 18:30:59.494 AutoExpire: Required Free Space: 1.1 GB w/freq: 10 min
    2007-01-05 18:31:01.472 Reschedule requested for id -1.
    2007-01-05 18:31:01.524 Scheduled 0 items in 0.1 = 0.03 match + 0.03 place
    2007-01-05 18:31:01.526 Seem to be woken up by USER
    
    media-suse:/home/guest # mythtv-setup
    2007-01-05 18:32:26.142 Using runtime prefix = /usr
    2007-01-05 18:32:26.179 DPMS is active.
    2007-01-05 18:32:26.195 New DB connection, total: 1
    2007-01-05 18:32:26.200 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: localhost
    2007-01-05 18:32:26.201 Total desktop dim: 1024x768, with 1 screen[s].
    2007-01-05 18:32:26.204 Using screen 0, 1024x768 at 0,0
    2007-01-05 18:32:26.226 Current Schema Version: 1160
    2007-01-05 18:32:26.237 Total desktop dim: 1024x768, with 1 screen[s].
    2007-01-05 18:32:26.239 Using screen 0, 1024x768 at 0,0
    2007-01-05 18:32:26.240 Switching to square mode (G.A.N.T.)
    2007-01-05 18:32:26.278 Using the Qt painter
    mythtv: could not open config file /root/.mythtv/lircrc
    mythtv: No such file or directory
    Failed to read lirc config /root/.mythtv/lircrc for mythtv
    2007-01-05 18:32:26.536 Joystick disabled.
    2007-01-05 18:32:27.018 Loading from: /usr/share/mythtv/themes/G.A.N.T./base.xml
    2007-01-05 18:32:27.084 Loading from: /usr/share/mythtv/themes/default/base.xml
    2007-01-05 18:33:08.988 New DB connection, total: 2
    2007-01-05 18:33:08.989 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: localhost
    2007-01-05 18:33:08.990 New DB connection, total: 3
    2007-01-05 18:33:08.991 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: localhost
    2007-01-05 18:33:09.012 New DB connection, total: 4
    2007-01-05 18:33:09.013 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: localhost
    2007-01-05 18:33:09.014 New DB connection, total: 5
    2007-01-05 18:33:09.014 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: localhost
    media-suse:/home/guest # mythfilldatabase
    2007-01-05 18:33:25.985 Using runtime prefix = /usr
    2007-01-05 18:33:25.998 New DB connection, total: 1
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.004 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: localhost
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.010 New DB connection, total: 2
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.011 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: localhost
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.011 Updating source #1 (UK Analogue Broadcast) with grabber /bin/true
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.012 Source configured with no grabber. Nothing to do.
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.013 New DB connection, total: 3
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.014 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: localhost
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.048 New DB connection, total: 4
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.049 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: localhost
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.050 New DB connection, total: 5
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.051 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: localhost
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.052 Data fetching complete.
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.053 Adjusting program database end times.
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.053     0 replacements made
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.053 Marking generic episodes.
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.054     Found 0
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.054 Marking repeats.
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.055     Found 0
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.055 Unmarking new episode rebroadcast repeats.
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.055     Found 0
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.056 Marking episode first showings.
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.056     Found 0
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.056 Marking episode last showings.
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.057     Found 0
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.057
    ===============================================================
    | Attempting to contact the master backend for rescheduling.  |
    | If the master is not running, rescheduling will happen when |
    | the master backend is restarted.                            |
    ===============================================================
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.060 Connecting to backend server: 127.0.0.1:6543 (try 1 of 5)
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.061 Connection timed out.
                            You probably should modify the Master Server
                            settings in the setup program and set the
                            proper IP address.
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.061 Error rescheduling id -1 in ScheduledRecording::signalChange
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.062 Connecting to backend server: 127.0.0.1:6543 (try 1 of 5)
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.062 Connection timed out.
                            You probably should modify the Master Server
                            settings in the setup program and set the
                            proper IP address.
    2007-01-05 18:33:26.063 mythfilldatabase run complete.
    media-suse:/home/guest #
    Also, if I run either mythtv frontend or mythtv setup from the kmenu, I just get the same old setup screen asking me hostnames and database names, then get dumped back out. How do I actually get to watch TV etc?

  7. #6
    Linux Newbie burntfuse's Avatar
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    If you don't want to go through the trouble of setting up MythTV on another distro yourself, there's KnoppMyth, which is a really lightweight distro with MythTV preinstalled to make it easy to run.
    I have sold my soul to the penguin

  8. #7
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    I have tried KnoppMyth version R5E50, but it fails to boot up, with message:

    "Can't find KNOPPIX filesystem, sorry.
    Dropping you to a (very limted) shell.
    Press reset button to quit."

    I haven't spent anymore time on it since.

  9. #8
    Linux Newbie burntfuse's Avatar
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    Time for a bug report then?
    I have sold my soul to the penguin

  10. #9
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    Quite possibly. Apologies for my ignorance but I have never done a bug report before. How should I go about it?

  11. #10
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    In the meantime, back to my current situation:

    I start my media-box, open a console and do the following:

    Code:
    media-suse:/home/guest # mysql -u root -p  < /usr/share/doc/packages/mythtv/database/mc.sql
    Enter password:
    media-suse:/home/guest # mythbackend
    2007-01-07 14:02:31.698 Using runtime prefix = /usr
    2007-01-07 14:02:31.776 New DB connection, total: 1
    2007-01-07 14:02:31.793 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: 127.0.0.1
    2007-01-07 14:02:31.853 Current Schema Version: 1160
    Starting up as the master server.
    2007-01-07 14:02:31.889 New DB connection, total: 2
    2007-01-07 14:02:31.890 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: 127.0.0.1
    2007-01-07 14:02:31.896 EITHelper: localtime offset 0:00:00
    2007-01-07 14:02:31.908 New DB connection, total: 3
    2007-01-07 14:02:31.909 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: 127.0.0.1
    2007-01-07 14:02:31.958 New DB scheduler connection
    2007-01-07 14:02:31.959 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: 127.0.0.1
    2007-01-07 14:02:31.961 Main::Starting HttpServer
    2007-01-07 14:02:31.965 Main::Registering HttpStatus Extension
    2007-01-07 14:02:32.015 mythbackend version: 0.20.20060828-3 www.mythtv.org
    2007-01-07 14:02:32.015 Enabled verbose msgs:  important general
    2007-01-07 14:02:32.016 AutoExpire: Found 1 recorders w/max rate of 72 MiB/min
    2007-01-07 14:02:32.019 AutoExpire: Required Free Space: 2.1 GB w/freq: 10 min
    2007-01-07 14:02:33.991 Reschedule requested for id -1.
    2007-01-07 14:02:34.033 Scheduled 0 items in 0.0 = 0.02 match + 0.03 place
    2007-01-07 14:02:34.035 Seem to be woken up by USER
    
    media-suse:/home/guest # mythfrontend
    2007-01-07 14:02:40.828 Using runtime prefix = /usr
    2007-01-07 14:02:40.890 DPMS is active.
    2007-01-07 14:02:40.907 New DB connection, total: 1
    2007-01-07 14:02:40.912 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: 127.0.0.1
    2007-01-07 14:02:40.914 Total desktop dim: 1024x768, with 1 screen[s].
    2007-01-07 14:02:40.916 Using screen 0, 1024x768 at 0,0
    2007-01-07 14:02:40.938 Current Schema Version: 1160
    2007-01-07 14:02:40.939 mythfrontend version: 0.20.20060828-3 www.mythtv.org
    2007-01-07 14:02:40.939 Enabled verbose msgs:  important general
    2007-01-07 14:02:41.448 Total desktop dim: 1024x768, with 1 screen[s].
    2007-01-07 14:02:41.449 Using screen 0, 1024x768 at 0,0
    2007-01-07 14:02:41.451 Switching to square mode (G.A.N.T.)
    2007-01-07 14:02:41.470 Using the Qt painter
    mythtv: could not open config file /root/.mythtv/lircrc
    mythtv: No such file or directory
    Failed to read lirc config /root/.mythtv/lircrc for mythtv
    2007-01-07 14:02:41.762 Joystick disabled.
    2007-01-07 14:02:42.247 Loading from: /usr/share/mythtv/themes/G.A.N.T./base.xml
    2007-01-07 14:02:42.300 Loading from: /usr/share/mythtv/themes/default/base.xml
    2007-01-07 14:02:42.382 Registering Internal as a media playback plugin.
    2007-01-07 14:02:42.467 Registering MythDVD DVD Media Handler as a media handler ext()
    2007-01-07 14:02:42.468 Registering MythDVD VCD Media Handler as a media handler ext()
    2007-01-07 14:02:42.524 Registering MythGallery Media Handler 1/2 as a media handler ext()
    2007-01-07 14:02:42.525 Registering MythGallery Media Handler 2/2 as a media handler ext(gif,jpg,png)
    Failed to run 'cdrecord --scanbus'
    Failed to run 'cdrecord --scanbus'
    Failed to run 'cdrecord --scanbus'
    2007-01-07 14:02:47.321 Registering MythMusic Media Handler 1/2 as a media handler ext()
    2007-01-07 14:02:47.322 Registering MythMusic Media Handler 2/2 as a media handler ext(ogg,mp3,aac,flac)
    Failed to find network interface eth0
    SIP listening on IP Address :5060 NAT address
    SIP: Cannot register; proxy, username or password not set
    Destroying SipFsm object
    2007-01-07 14:03:05.656 New DB connection, total: 2
    2007-01-07 14:03:05.658 Connected to database 'mythconverg' at host: 127.0.0.1
    2007-01-07 14:03:05.677 Connecting to backend server: 127.0.0.1:6543 (try 1 of 5)
    2007-01-07 14:03:05.677 Connection timed out.
                            You probably should modify the Master Server
                            settings in the setup program and set the
                            proper IP address.
    2007-01-07 14:04:55.272 TV: Attempting to change from None to None
    2007-01-07 14:04:56.775 Connecting to backend server: 127.0.0.1:6543 (try 1 of 5)
    2007-01-07 14:04:56.776 Connection timed out.
                            You probably should modify the Master Server
                            settings in the setup program and set the
                            proper IP address.
    media-suse:/home/guest #
    When I select "watch tv" I get the popup "Could not connect to the master backend server -- is it running? Is the IP address set for it in the setup program correct?"

    If I change any of the details in the setup program I don't even get that far, I don't even get to the screen to allow me to select "watch tv".

    Any suggestions?

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