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Topics - mikester

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Users / Migrating from MythTV to LMCE
« on: June 24, 2008, 09:35:27 pm »
I played around with LMCE a few months ago, but didn't get far because I wasn't sure what I wanted, and I was very new to MythTV and Linux.  Now I am more comfortable, and I have a Mythbuntu 8.04 setup with a dedicated backend and 3 frontends about 90% complete.  All I need to do is run some network cabling to 2 of the rooms and figure out the modeline settings for the various TVs I'm connecting to (all are old and only have analog inputs :( ).

But now I have the LMCE bug again, and since 0710 is out of Beta, and I feel like I have a better grasp of what I want to accomplish, I'm ready to give it another go.

My main question is, will I lose any of the capabilities I have with Mythbuntu by moving to LMCE, or will I definitely be able to do everything I could do with MythTV and more?

Specifically, I want to make sure I can:

- PVR functions for up to 4 simultaneous streams (I have an HDHomerun and a PVR500 in the core)
- Ability to view live tv or recorded programs from any MD
- Ability to play other media - videos/dvds/photos/music (should be a given)
- Play slideshows from my own photos, not just flicker images

From my previous evaluation, I think this is all possible, but wanted to make sure.  For some reason I was thinking you had to have a local capture card on the MD to watch live TV, but I'm hoping that's not the case because that would probably be a deal breaker.

Users / Do MD's have to be diskless?
« on: June 24, 2008, 07:34:42 pm »
I played around with LMCE a few months ago and didn't get far, but I think part of the problem was my inexperience with Myth and Linux in general.  Now I'm really close to having a Mythbuntu 8.04 setup running, and I find myself missing some of the features LMCE would offer.

So I want to try out LMCE again, but one thing I found working with Mythbuntu was that diskless frontends were a major PITA.  I ended up buying 80GB SATA drives ($37 each :D ) for each frontend, and it was much easier to work with that setup.

I'll initially try the diskless method, but if I run into problems, is it possible to install LMCE to a harddrive on a MD, like I did with Myth?

Developers / Are Java geeks welcome here?
« on: March 22, 2008, 10:20:37 pm »
First of all, I love the concept of LinuxMCE, and props to all of you who have been putting in so much work to get this project off the ground.  There's still a long way to go, but I think this idea is worth pushing forward.  In fact, I've been envisioning writing my own HTPC software for the last 6 months because I haven't been happy with anything out there.  Then I found LMCE and guess what - there's about an 80% overlap between your vision and mine.  So count me in for helping out with this project after I get my system up and running (currently in progress).

There is just one small detail.  Even though I've been a professional developer for almost 20 years, it has been about 8 years since I used C/C++ regularly (although that is all I used the previous 12 years).  In fact, I loathe the idea of having to use C again, and the few times I have to use it at my job, it makes me wish I was getting a root canal instead. (just kidding  ;) ).  I am a Java developer through and through, and specifically I have a lot of experience with Eclipse plugins, RCP applications, and the SWT toolkit.  Before you C guys roll your eyes and start throwing out all the same old arguments - I defy you to look at a good SWT application and tell the difference between a native Windows/OSx/GTK application.  It's that good, both in performance and host OS integration.

OK, so that being said, I really want to be able to help out with this project, and if push came to shove I would probably be willing to dust off my C++ skills for short and specific tasks.  But I feel I have a lot to offer with my Java/RCP/SWT skills, particularly in the 2 areas where I see that LMCE needs the most help - media management and UI customization.  Now maybe work is already underway in these areas, and I certainly don't want to step on anyone's toes, but if not, I would love to look into either rewriting the GUI editor (forgot the name, but I know everyone complains about it) or adding a nice media library frontend with IMDB and TVDB integration, etc.  I promise you I could write nice apps using Java that would make even the Windoze MCE people drool.

I just wanted to get some feedback on this idea before I get my hopes up.

Users / Dedicated core with RAID5 or Hybrid core with NAS?
« on: March 17, 2008, 04:25:02 pm »
My current setup is Windows MCE with an UnRaid NAS server holding all my media.  While planning the expansion of our HTPC into other rooms, I came across LMCE and I am intrigued, so we are going to give it a go.  I'm trying to do all this with as much existing hardware as possible, at least until we prove it will work for us.

With that in mind, I'm trying to figure out the best way to utilize our existing HTPC computers with LMCE.  It looks like I have basically 2 options, so I would like to get feedback on which would be better:

Option 1 - Convert my Unraid server into a dedicated core, and set up a huge local RAID 5 array for all the storage.  Then use the existing HTPC as our first MD.  This has the advantage of only running 1 machine 24/7, and having all the storage locally (not sure if it makes much difference vs. using a NAS).  But I lose the storage flexibility that UnRaid gives me (i.e. I know how to expand an array in Linux, but it's not nearly as painless as in Unraid).

Option 2 - Keep the Unraid server as-is, and turn our existing HTPC into a hybrid core/MD for the first room.  The HTPC machine is an AMD 3700+ w/ 1 GB running on an NVidia 6150 chipset, using the integrated graphics.  I also have an X2 3800+ I could swap in from another machine, if having dual-core in a hybrid core would be more useful than a single faster proc.

I guess I just thought of a third option - a hybrid core WITH RAID 5, then I could use the exiting HTPC in a second room.  I guess in that case I would definitely want the dual core processor, but I'm still not sure if that would be too much for 1 machine to handle?

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