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Messages - wierdbeard65

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Users / Myth / Pluto / LinuxMCE choice - advice needed
« on: May 06, 2007, 07:17:04 pm »

First up, apologies if you monitor the various forums closely and are upset by the cross-posting, but I'm in a real quandry and am trying to guage as wider audeince as possible  :D

Right, I am based in the UK and, at the moment, I have a home network (cat5e wired as well as a wireless access point for the laptops) with 3 desktop machines and two laptops connecting to a Linux server for firewall and file / print services. (Linux From Scratch 6.0) My home entertainment consists (at the moment) of 1 TV in the living room connected to a Sky digibox and then portables in the bedrooms with no "off air" feed used for watching videos and the kids PS2s. I have a reasonable amount of Linux experience, but by no means would consider myself to be a guru!

I stumbled across Myth about a year ago and have been keeping an eye on it. A posting there lead me to Pluto which in turn brought me to LinuxMCE. I'm now trying to decide how to proceed in dipping my toe into the water with this!

I have literally hundreds of questions and would ideally like to actually see one (or all three!) options working, so if you live in the Midlands of the UK and wouldn't mind giving me a demo (I live on the Leicestershire / Northamptonshire border) thet would be great ;-)

Anyway, Ultimately, I want to have a box in the basement which will probably replacve the current Linux server. As well as doing the whole file / print thing, and provide internet access, I want it to act as a Pluto / LinuxMCE core / MythBackend. Around the house, I'd like to have network booting fanless ITX based systems connected to the various televisions. In the kitchen, I'd like to install an LCD panel with a touchscreen to watch on and I have plans for a waterproof display I've seen for the bathroom!

Ok, my server machine / core will obviously be on all the time, however I'm a bit of a scrooge and want to get as much "bang for my buck" (as they say in the US) as I can. Am I better getting a meaty machine, or having a moderate spec and the having some extra machines with WOL to use to do the actual capturing? What about the whole hardware / software encoding issue? I hope to use the multiplex streaming when it becomes available to allow me to get as many channels as possible with as few LNBs and capture cards as I can get away with. What about disks? I'd rather not have a whole bank of disks powered up all the time if there is a system which allows them to be powered down when not in use. I understand that there is a Myth add-in which allows you to set up a "wish list" of films and programmes. Will this work with the EPGs available in the UK? How much detail does the EPG in the UK have? 5 of my "customers" are children, so they will want to build up libraries of everything from "Bob the Builder" and "Pingu" (2 year old) to "Spongebob Squarepants" (9 year old) whilst I want to end up with every eposode of "The New Yankee Workshop". WAF is very important to me, not least because I have to get the cost of all this through the financial committee (AKA my wife!).

The final question is, I guess, the biggy. Which should I go for? Ultimately, I want the integration of Pluto / LinuxMCE, but from what I'm seeing that is a road frought with hazzards. Would I be better sticking with Myth only for now? Or is even Myth still a little shakey? I really can't afford to throw money at hardware unless I know I've got a reasonable chance of ending up with a working system which is useable by all the family.

Thanks for reading this and I'm looking forward to reading everyone's thoughts.


I too am in the UK and am a little behind you with the purchasing of equipment (as well as understanding of some of the terminology around HD - WTF is 1080p etc stuff about???) so I'm watching your thread with interest.

Anyway, I have been kicking around both the LinuxMCE and the Pluto forums for a while, keeping an eye on what's happening and trying to learn as much as I can before I waste any time and / or money installing this in the wrong way.

Looking at your spec. and comparing with what I've read, I think you should bin the HDDs for the players (Media Directors). The idea is that these use PXE to network boot from the core. Not only will this save money, but it will also mean they run cooler and quiter. This also saves on a lot of setting up, since they become "plug and play".

For my directors in "non-main" areas (bedrooms, kitchen etc) where they are likely to be linked via a composite video lead to a small 14" portable or via VGA to a cheap(ish) LCD TV, I've been looking at the mini-ITX form factor. A lot of these have TV out on board, are designed to run quietly (many systems based on these use a laptop-style external PSU so have no fan) and are much smaller than a normal PC. I have yet to start the ball rolling deciding on exact spec. yet, though, as I don't have the finances in place yet to make a start!!!

Good luck with this and please keep posting progress. I'm particularly interested in UK-Specific issues. (I can't seem to find  DVB-S card, will the EPG work properly? (One of the myth systems allows you to have a "wish list" that will record certain films / shows if they EVER come on, dunno if it works in the UK though) etc etc.)


Users / Re: Samba woes.
« on: April 15, 2007, 09:30:22 am »
I think you are looking for
Code: [Select]
ls -lor, if you want hidden files as well (those beginning with a ".")
Code: [Select]
ls -alHTH

Users / Re: Using Wubi Windows Installer for Ubuntu.
« on: April 10, 2007, 10:25:35 pm »

I did a defrag and all the Wubi files couldn't be dealt with. So I deleted EVERYTHING to do with Wubi and defragged again. Reinstalled Wubi and Bingo! It works!

So, it would seem that a defrag before installation is a REALLY good idea!

I hope that helps somebody!

Users / Re: Using Wubi Windows Installer for Ubuntu.
« on: April 09, 2007, 11:20:32 am »
Humm, well I don't have a 2nd partition - unless I use a USB stick, but I could try a defrag.

Users / Re: Using Wubi Windows Installer for Ubuntu.
« on: April 09, 2007, 12:35:58 am »
Is D:\ FAT32 or NTFS?

Users / Re: Using Wubi Windows Installer for Ubuntu.
« on: April 07, 2007, 10:59:34 pm »

ubuntu-7.04-beta-alternate-i386.iso is what got downloaded by wubi-7.04-beta-v2. Doesn't seem to like NTFS!  :(

Users / Re: Multiple Sources from Multiple Locations
« on: April 03, 2007, 10:48:51 pm »
Errr, thanks :-S

I'm going to have to look up some of that on Google for a translation! <lol>

I don't follow your comment about quad lnb (as normal). In the uk, single lnb is the norm. I will (obviously) have to upgrade eventually, but I don't know how many are needed (in fact a darned good tutorial on the way it all works would be VERY helpful!)

Some time ago, there was some discussion over on the Myth forums about grabbing ALL the channels on a single transponder with a single lnb feed / card simultaneously. Has anyone managed to do this yet? ALso, has anyone got a satellite smart-card reader that works with Myth / Pluto / LMCE? I'd really prefer to have a card in my core to having a receiver connected to a capture card (especially if I end up with multiple satellite feeds) Ideally, I'd like to share a card between the feeds, but I suspect that this would not be within the terms of my contract with Sky TV!!

Users / Re: Using Wubi Windows Installer for Ubuntu.
« on: April 03, 2007, 10:42:23 pm »
Boy is it a relief to know it isn't just me!


Users / Re: Using Wubi Windows Installer for Ubuntu.
« on: April 03, 2007, 11:33:07 am »
I tried this out, but couldn't get it to boot Linux. There is an error saying it can't find /wubi/linux (it is there!)

I've searched the Wubi site, but to no avail. My only thought is that my machine has NTFS installed. Could that be the cause?

Users / Re: Multiple Sources from Multiple Locations
« on: April 03, 2007, 11:27:56 am »

I'm curious to know where you sourced your DVB-S cards?

I am in the uk and it seems that more or less the only stuff I can find is DVB-T and often USB as well!!

I have no aerial at the moment, just an (old) cable feed and a satellite feed. I want to go LMCE (or pluto, haven't decided which yet) but the initial setup cost is looking prohibative at the moment!

Users / Re: Can linux mce do all this?
« on: April 01, 2007, 11:39:52 am »
I am aware that if you are going for an all-singing-all-dancing config, you need 2 ethernet cards for the firewall, however the answers to the questions posed seemed (to some) to suggest that 2 were needed for simple web browsing etc. This isn't the case.

Users / Re: Can linux mce do all this?
« on: March 31, 2007, 05:14:54 pm »
I don't think he meant you needed 2 cards!

"Ethernet Card" is simply the answer to the first two questions.......

Users / Why the split?
« on: March 17, 2007, 09:48:07 pm »

Ok, for quite some time, I've been getting into Linux and also thinking that some sort of networked PVR would be cool, particularly commercially (I was the IT manager for a school and was looking at the possibilities for delivering video to classrooms.) Then I discovered MythTV. WOW I thought, gotta get that. Just as I was researching it, Pluto appeared on the radar. WowWow, but without seeing a "proper" demo I wasn't sure how much time and effort to put in. Suddenly, I stumble across LinuxMCE with a DEMO VIDEO!!!! WowWowWow!!!!

So, I start to have some questions (please bear with me!) as to what the "best" system would be as well as some others.

  • First up, why the fork from Pluto? What differences are there / will there be?
  • Is LinuxMCE at the moment the same as Pluto (i.e. dedicated Core or Hybrid option) or is it more like a souped up Myth?
  • I'm in the UK. Does all the downloading of program guides work here as well?
  • I currently have a (defunct NTL) cable feed and a satellite (sky) feed. I have no aerial. What cards should I get if I want minimal impact on the family. (Ideally, I'd like, for the time being, to leave the sat box alone. So I'm thinking DVB-S and / or DVB-C cards, but where from? How many LNBs do I need? etc etc.
  • The video says a syste, can be assembled for as little as $400. What spec are we talking about here?
  • Although the mobiles are cool, I like the gyro-mice better. I'm thinking of a mini-ITX based system for my media directors / MythFrontEnds. Are these up to the job? (I'm considering on-board TV-out and diskless pxe booting. This should be low powered and fairly cheap, but could I have the cool UI? I'm ythinking of the kids rooms, etc.
  • For locations like the kitchen, I'm thinking touch-screens rather than mice. Anyone done this / have advice to offer?
Long list, I know, but I have very little money to throw at the system, so don't want to wast any (or any time, for that matter!)


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