Wednesday, May 23, 2007

MythTV, so far it's just a myth

Well, over the last few days I have been playing with my MythTV box. And it's been interesting, to say the least. Just when I think I have it running, something gets screwed up and I have to start all over again. If I were more knowledgeable with linux, I may be able to fix it without starting over, but since I can't fix it, I start over.

I have a P4 2.5 ghz machine with 512 megs of ram, plenty of hard drive space, a Hauppauge PVR150 card, and an Nvidia Geforce MMX 440 graphics card. The graphics card has a video out, which is nice for easily hooking up to a TV.

A lot of the problems are just mistakes on my part. I installed lirc for the remote control and forget to include a certain word on the command line for installation. It then becomes partly installed, enough for me to think it is installed, but not really. I solved that problem without restarting, but then when I turned it off (graceful shutdown) and moved it to where I thought it would be, it gave me an "unable to start mysql" error when I turned it back on. I searched all over trying to figure that one out, and ended up restarting from that one.

So, the installation went a bit quicker this time and got everything up and running, but forgot to tell the tuner card that I have cable so it was only seeing and looking for the first 13 channels. I changed the setting to us-cable and instead of restarting the machine, I restarted MythTV. It goes to a black screen and nothing else. Acting pretty much like it was dead. So, I turned it off (not a graceful shutdown) and turned it back on. NOW it is giving me a X-server error. It was getting late, so I turned it off and will try to find a fix for it tonight.

I think I'm going to like it once it's up and running. But it makes me nervous about counting on it. I can't have little oddities screwing the system up so easily. I have been using the howto from Ubuntu's site here. It is really well done, and shows exactly what you need to do every step of the way. The way they do it is different than the other howto's I've seen. The biggest difference is that they have you install a command line only version of Ubuntu. It then installs Gnome later in the process. I can understand the reasoning behind doing it this way, but I have to wonder if this is the reason why it hasn't acted very stable for me. So, I think (unless I can figure out how to fix the current problem) I'm going to try the howto from this site. It is using the latest version of Ubuntu, and the full graphical version, as well. I have seen this site referred to by other sites, so it seems to be the one to go with.

I did, however, try it from that site at first. But I really didn't know what I was doing at the time, so I tried the other site as it gave more details about what to do. Now that I know a little more about what I'm doing, I'll give it a try.

More details to come!