Author Topic: Myth / Pluto / LinuxMCE choice - advice needed  (Read 2018 times)

wierdbeard65

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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.
Paul
If you have the time to help, please see where I have got to at: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Wierdbeard65

Hugolp

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Re: Myth / Pluto / LinuxMCE choice - advice needed
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2007, 01:50:48 am »
You are asking for a final decision, and you are the only one who can take it.

I can solve you a doubt though. Mythtv back-end wont network boot your other computer. Youll have to boot a computer with its own hard drive or maybe a cd distribution with mythtv front end working (I think that exists) and start the mythtv front end. Both pluto and linuxmce will let you netboot the media players. You have to keep in mind that you cant compare mythtv with pluto/linuxmce. They are different things. Actually, both, pluto and linuxmce use Mythtv for live tv.

Youll have to decide if you just stay with what Mythtv has to offer (its a great program with a great comunity and good suport) or you want to take one step more and use something like Pluto and Linuxmce. Choosing between pluto and linuxmce right now, if I can be honest, its a matter of who do you trust more, because linuxmce just fork from pluto and there arent a lot of diferences by now. I would choose linuxmce over pluto because of the support you can get. I see that as an obvious choice, but it depends on you really.

Hugo

wierdbeard65

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Re: Myth / Pluto / LinuxMCE choice - advice needed
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2007, 10:16:26 am »
Thank you for the thoughts. I apprecite what you say about network booting the front ends, although I'm sure I've seen a plugin on the wiki somewhere and even if not, I'm not scared to hack about to get that working!

I'm aware that Pluto & LinuxMCE  use Myth, thet's how I discovered them. My concern is, I guess, that there seems to be a HUGE number of postings both here and on the Pluto forums that suggest that it's all very unstable at the moment. Ultimately, I'm sure I will go with one or the other (I'll keep an eye on both!) but I am trying to survey the opinions of those more experienced than me with all this on the relative stability of the systems.

Paul
Paul
If you have the time to help, please see where I have got to at: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Wierdbeard65

cckrobinson

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Re: Myth / Pluto / LinuxMCE choice - advice needed
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2007, 04:51:26 pm »
My recommendation is to stick with Myth until the TV integration issues get worked out with LinuxMCE (Hopefully in the next release).  TV viewing seems to be broken for 95% of us.
MythTV does a good job of recording your shows but it has a couple of limitations in my opinion:

1. Live TV viewing is painful.  Myth was designed as a timeshifting application.  It simply doesn't work very well for watching live TV.  It takes way too long to change channels even with fast hardware.
2. The user interface isn't wonderful.  The Pluto/LinuxMCE UI is much better and more media centric.