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Messages - MasterC

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Feature requests & roadmap / Re: Down with DishNetwork's DVR!
« on: May 16, 2007, 09:53:36 am »
Cool, one of the things I find most interesting about working with Open Source software is the diversity of people you get to meet.  I am not sure that my post sounded like I meant it too, it kind of sounds like I was being harsh.  I meant that to say where are you from, not in any derogatory way.


Feature requests & roadmap / Re: Down with DishNetwork's DVR!
« on: May 15, 2007, 06:38:10 pm »
Instead of buying PVR cards, firewire might be a better choice, specially if you want HDTV now or in the future.

Dish receivers:

Firewire is hit and miss WRT digital cable boxes.  The 169time options are windows centric and from what I have read it seems they may not work with Linux directly.  There are however some options out there that will work, they require physical hardware hacking a specific Dish Network receiver (the HD6000 IIRC?) but there has been some success.


Feature requests & roadmap / Re: Down with DishNetwork's DVR!
« on: May 15, 2007, 06:35:12 pm »
You could always set up a RAID system, that addresses both the speed and the size issues.
Hard Disks have come way down in price, might be worth checking into a hardware based raid sata card or even possibly a NAS server.
There are several non-official discussions on this and they seem to suggest a SATA II standalone disk (on a SATA II controller) is *just as* fast on read and write and doesn't require the extra disk space, configuration or overhead.  And I don't know why but I'm just not as big of a fan of NAS for a MythTV as a lot of other people seem to be.  I can stuff 2TB of disks into a system that is going to always be on anyway, why do I want yet another apliance to always be on?


Feature requests & roadmap / Re: Down with DishNetwork's DVR!
« on: May 15, 2007, 05:35:49 am »
Not sure what part of the planet you are from HugoLP, but in the US a satellite card won't work with our only 2 (small dish) satellite providers.  Not yet anyway, and not in Linux for some time I'm sure.

Sargenthp, you won't have any problems with most modern drives and 4 tuners simultaneously recording.  2 PVR-500s work just fine in standalone MythTV.  Actually I have 4 HD streams recording at the same time, that is probably as close to maximizing disk I/O as you can get without constant recording "blips"; every once in a while during fast moving scenes I do get "blips" when all 4 were recording at the same time.

What you will have problems with is how fast the system fills up :)


Users / Re: Custom resolution
« on: May 15, 2007, 05:18:41 am »
Thanks, i'll do that and maybe try to chmod 444 that file to prevent it from being overwritten ;o)

Maybe better luck with chattr (i or a maybe).


Developers / Re: Voice control suggestions
« on: May 12, 2007, 11:13:39 am »

Love the idea of the Bluetooth headset.  I think it's definitely a step in the right direction.


Developers / Re: Voice control suggestions
« on: May 11, 2007, 02:37:47 am »
I like this idea and have also been entertaining it for a while.  One of the problems that I thought of as well was random discussions.  By calling the machine by name you would reduce that significantly, but I can still see the situation where a movie would call out "Eduardo, halt!" and your machine would shutdown.  I really like the idea of implementing telephony, and to take that a bit further, implement it via Bluetooth.  By using Bluetooth to connect to the system I could similarly "talk" to the system through a Bluetooth enabled phone.  The problem I can't seem to get over is ambient noise.  The telephony, and by extension the Bluetooth would somewhat take care of it, but any other Mic type voice control would probably require some loud shouting to ensure the system could hear your commands clearly enough to execute them.  Alternatively you could place X10 or wireless Mic sets (even wired I suppose) sporadically throughout your house (or at least the rooms in which you may want to control a PC) to help out, but this might make things actually worse.

One other "problem" is response time.  Obviously as the system matures it will be faster, but if it's not minimally fast enough to respond to voice, there won't be enough adoption to entertain continued development.  Once you speak, the expectation is that the computer will respond, but first it has to translate your voice to the command, wait X amount of seconds to determine if the command is finished, and then execute it. 

Overcoming those 2 (well maybe that's 3 :D ) moguls will probably be difficult but I think will help with wide adoption of voice control (not just with LinuxMCE).

Do you have any ideas on which API you intend on using, or any basic development (research maybe?) in place that an average joe like myself could click on over to take a look at?  I'd be happy to offer my assistance in any capacity I can if the project takes off at all.


Installation issues / Re: MythTV Black Screen with just a Mouse...
« on: May 10, 2007, 08:41:52 am »
Sorry if I'm way off.  I am getting ready to install LinuxMCE tomorrow, but am a MythTV...  power user.  Often times a black screen indicates an improperly setup video capture device in MythTV.  Check that your "tuner" card works by doing something like:
cat /dev/video0 > file.mpg

And then playing back the file.mpg  If there is video (with moving pictures and not just black screen) then the problem isn't with the TV Tuner.  If you have no video, you will want to get that worked out first.  Check dmesg to see if there is any obvious info on why your drivers aren't loading or if there are errors when they try to load (maybe your card just isn't supported).


Installation issues / Re: Networking Issues
« on: May 10, 2007, 08:37:49 am »
Well I am happy to say that I finally got the basic installation to work!

Now its time to get the wireless Linux MCE going and I have a couple of n00b questions about networking:

1. Internet WLAN
Linksys ADSL Router with 4 port switch connected to a Linksys WRT54G WLAN router connected to PC.
DHCP turned OFF.
No major problems here, though some XP machines not taking fixed ip addresses; dhcp no problem.
I also have a Linksys WRE54G range expander with auto configuration.

2. Linux MCE WLAN
At the moment no WLAN hardware, so it's time to go shopping!
Is it enough just to get an Access point or should I get a router?
Any suggestions?

Sorry for the rookie questions.


You already have a wireless router (and range expander) with the WRT54G.  A WAP (wireless access point) would just add more wireless "expansion" to your home.  If you need that, then go for it.  It sounds like you just need a wireless *adapter* though.  That would be something like a USB dongle or a PCI card; not a "blue box" you plug into your wall.  Brands that often work well with Linux (but aren't guaranteed) are TrendNet and Linksys.  If you are thinking of plugging your system into a wireless device (often referred to as a gaming adapter) then that would work just as well (it's basically the same idea as using a USB dongle or PCI card, but it connects to your PC through the Ethernet port).

Good luck.


Installation issues / Re: Networking Issues
« on: May 10, 2007, 08:32:23 am »
To expand a bit (and pulling from a PM I received):

An internet connection comes into your house (using DSL as the example) through your phone line.  You plug that into a modem (that may also be a router) which connects you to your ISP.  The modem/router will typically have a DHCP server built in.  Access your router config (using something like ; or depending on the brand and instructions) and turn off the built in DHCP server.  If you have already done this because you put a separate router on your network (by connecting your modem/router to a new router) then you will simply disable the DHCP function in this new router (similarly to how you did previously).  At that point your new router (ambiguously termed router refers to both wired and wireless routers) that was performing the job of a DHCP server will continue to perform all other functions including serving up the 'net wirelessly.  Often times one of the configuration options are instead to change the device to a DHCP-Forwarder (which in simple terms means to disable the DHCP server in that device).  That choice would be just fine, it just depends on the terminology your router uses; both turning off the DHCP server (Disable DHCP Server) and enabling DHCP-Forwarder are the same thing (similarly glass and cup represent the same thing).

Slightly more advanced network setups might include 2 wireless routers that "wirelessly bridge" a connection.  The same would hold true in this network arrangement.  One of the wireless routers will likely be offering a DHCP server currently.  You would simply disable that server, the wireless bridge will remain intact. 

The terms that seem to be most confusing are relating to routing.  A router is a slightly more sophisticated device that 'routes' packets to their destination.  Often times (and with newer equipment) switches will contain a bit of 'intelligence' that also routes packets to their destination which really helps to confuse and blur the lines of router/switch.  So, a wireless *router* (when referring to home networking) is simply a router with built in wireless capabilities.  A non-wireless router is simply a router with a built in switch (again just talking home networking equipment, industrial stuff may differ, but the idea is the same).  A hybrid router (most often what you buy) is a wired router, a 4-8 port wired switch and wireless access point all in 1 device. 

The same thing applies to every one of those devices.  If you have multiple devices, you should have already disabled 1 or more DHCP servers anyway; and if you haven't, do it :)  In a really lame diagram, here is what it might look like:

--->DSL Modem/router (DHCP disabled)---->Wireless Router---->wireless devices
                                                                  ------->wired devices
                                                                  ------->other wireless or wired routers (with DHCP disabled)

That second device that everything is connected to; that *should* be the only device in your network running a DHCP server (and if it's not, get your network setup so it is).  Once you are ready to install LinuxMCE, disable that single DHCP server that was performing the DHCP functions for the entire house.  Then, when you install LinuxMCE on your core machine (that is probably wired to one of your routers, preferably your main router via a gigabit connection) it will begin performing the DHCP server functions.



Installation issues / Re: Smoothwall integration?
« on: May 10, 2007, 08:09:42 am »
Awesome reply, helped out a ton!

Thank you.  I think I'll be able to work out any MythTV stuff, I am quite comfortable in that area.


Installation issues / Re: Networking Issues
« on: May 09, 2007, 10:38:55 pm »
Your wireless network has nothing to do with a DHCP server or router.  Wireless connectivity != wireless router.  Your wireless router (I assume) can (typically, any I've encountered) be switched into Access Point (WAP) mode.  This turns off the routing functions of the device and turns it into a wireless "relay" of the network.  So, the wireless devices still connect to it, and in turn receive things like private IP addresses from your DHCP server (that will be built into your LinuxMCE device).  Using DD-WRT as an example (because I have it and it's easy to reference :D ) you can use the device as a DHCP-forwarder (the terminology DD-WRT uses) instead of a DHCP server.



Installation issues / Smoothwall integration?
« on: May 09, 2007, 10:34:29 pm »

I've been eyeballing LinuxMCE for a little while and Pluto for even longer.  Once I saw the video on google video (actually I saw it another website but it's easiest to find on google) I really decided to start looking into what it takes to do it.  I'm pretty confident I have got enough of the right hardware to get started, but I have a few preliminary questions:

1.  I run a stupidly confusing network.  It would be far too difficult for me to modify my wired connections and basically it just involves a lot of questionably placed switches (not routers or hubs).  To my point...  I am wondering if LinuxMCE has an easy to configure/use/modify firewall in it?  Right now I have a really nice small Smoothwall box as my router/firewall/DHCP/TFTP system and am wondering if LinuxMCE will be a drop in replacement for that (mostly wondering if it has an easy to work with firewall) or if I'll be shutting off *some* services but not all and running the 2 devices side-by-side?

2.  I have a pretty decent MythTV arrangement.  A single master backend and several frontends one of which is netbooting.  Will I be able to move the single master backend to a slave backend to keep all the recording data intact and not have my recordings turn into their filenames?  Will the netbooted frontend just *work* once I install MCE (assuming I just disable my Smoothwall setup all together?)?  Basically, will I lose any of my existing MythTV functionality?  I'm hoping for all gravy and no lumps.  ;D

3.  I have just a little bit of confusion on connectivity.  I have enough Bluetooth adapters for all of my systems.  Does this mean I can forego any IR or Serial arrangements?  I see that a specialized (somewhat expensive) switch that includes IR and Serial ports is suggested (something like GS-110 comes to mind but I can't quickly find the wiki page that talks about it).  If I go all Bluetooth (just for control, I have wired ethernet for connectivity) does that mean I can ignore any IR info?  I do have a projector as one of my displays and it has a serial connector on it (which I assume means I can have my LinuxMCE system in that room control it) but for now I am not interested in that (awesome) feature.  Is that about the extent of why I would want the rather expensive serial/IR/switch device?  If I don't include it now, will it be painfully difficult to integrate later? 

4.  Light control.  Looks very awesome!  High "wow" factor, but low usability factor, for me personally.  So I'm wondering, (subectively of course) if it's worth it.  How difficult is it to get it working, what are some of the costs I might expect, and do any lights work (is it a plug replacement or a bulb replacement or what...)?  I briefly have read about Zwave but nothing difinitive really seems to be available to the average joe consumer with a lot of time, a little bit of extra money, and a desire to learn.

That is all I can think of for now but I am sure I have more things since I thought I'd be asking 5 questions total and I only have 4 :D

Thanks for any info!


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