1. Will a Pluto installation on a new computer be able to access/integrate with my existing Mythtv box (Knoppmyth / Debian)?
If you install Pluto on a new computer (which will by your Core or Hybrid), then it will expose a network boot service for your existing Mythtv box (Knoppmyth). On the remote control (ie Orbiter) you'll be able to choose if you want this existing box (Knoppmyth) it to boot off the hard drive as it currently does, or do a network boot as a media director. Of course, that's not really "accessing/integrating"--more like co-existing--but it's the simplest. And the real advantage of network boot is if you want Windows on the hard drive, since it gives you a Windows PC and a Linux PC that acts like an appliance. If both the network boot and the hard drive boot run Linux/Myth, there's not much point. So to the question... There a million ways to access/integrate depending on what you want to do. However, they all will require some technical skills and a bit of work. A) You could just copy your existing tv shows over from your current Myth box to the Core. On the Pluto core they go in /home/public/data/videos. B) You could also migrate some Myth settings over to the Core, and to the network boot image stored on the Core (it'll be in /usr/pluto/diskless/IP). Once you did that, the hard drive in your existing Myth box would no longer be needed and you could use the hard drive for the PC boot, and then use the network boot when you want a media set top box. C) If you want to keep your existing hard drive installation and 'merge' Pluto, that's okay too. You would still want to setup a Core/Hybrid. And then on your existing Myth box install the pluto-bootscripts package, the pluto-orbiter package (Orbiter is our front end UI), pluto-xine (for the Xine media player), pluto-mythtvplayer (Pluto's Myth interface that talks to your Myth system). There may be some tweaking of the scripts and settings to get it to work, but then you would have both systems working together. D) You could also try to add the Core software to your existing Knoppmyth box. It's tricky, though, because Pluto does a whole lot of stuff and 'touches' a lot of places. And sometimes there are conflicts with packages and other issues. That's why it's easiest, and recommended, to just download the kick-start cd and start clean. Then you get a configuration that is known to work, and it points against our own Debian Sarge mirror which is quite current, but tested to be sure it works.
My recommendation would be to go the Kick-Start CD + network boot route since it's easy, and thjen invest the time to merge Pluto into an existing installation only if it makes sense.
2. Are there any network/component picture that help describe the interactions between components?
Yes, our quick start guide: http://plutohome.com/support/index.php?section=document&docID=11
3. What is the tablet hardware that is pictured running the Orbitor software? www.dtresearch.com
-- It's the DT375.
4. Can I start out with a simple system (existing myth / X10 ) and expand later?
When you complete the installation wizard it asks you what components you want. You just check them off. Later if you want to add more, just go to your Pluto Admin web site and check off the ones you want. They're all installed automatically.
5. When is the 'testing' version due?
I think last week.
We were hoping to have it out this month, however it looks like we're a couple months behind schedule. May perhaps. We're going as fast as we can, but we're not going to release it until we're sure it's really ready.