Author Topic: Help and advice for Aussie setup?  (Read 1319 times)

wilsonj

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Help and advice for Aussie setup?
« on: November 10, 2008, 10:51:37 am »
Hi All,

First post!

I've had a HTPC in some form for about 8 years. About 4 years ago I started using BeyondTV, and have been very happy with it. But it doesn't support DVB-T. I have been waiting for the homerun T version, so I could finally have digital. But alas, it seems the snapstream guys are not going in the direction I would have liked. And any media centre options now don't look like happening.

Over the last few months I have also played around with Vista MCE. Pretty much unimpressed with it. Actually I hate it generally.

Soooooo, now I read about linuxMCE, and watched the videos. You have my attention!!  ;)

But to say I have no experience with Linux is an understatement.

I have started to read everything I can, but before I potentially waste my time, can some of you more experienced users give me some advice please?

What I want.

!. I want to be able to watch my movies, blu-ray, DVD,images and xvids in two separate rooms, at 1920x1080, preferably with HDMI. Not necessarily at the same time though.

2. Be able to listen to music on either of these two TVs also.

3. Able to control some lighting in the house. Fairly simple on/off dim with PLCBUS.

4. Be able to use my programmable prontos to control each PC separately.

5. Capture DTV and Austar (satellite) and have a program guide for both.

6. Be able to watch live TV on both TVs at the same time.

OK, onto the hardware I have and don't have.

1. Hauppauge PVR150

2. USB UIRT x2

3. WD 500gb drives x 2

Items I intend to buy

1. Hauppauge Nova T500 x2

2. AMD 4850e cpu

3. 2 gig ram

Things I need help selecting!

1. Motherboard with at least 3 pci slots.

2. PCIex network card

3. Two extenders, preferably small and quiet, if not silent. Fiire invisible?  Must of course be able to do all the above.


Oh another question.

Which download do I get???  The AMD64 or i386??  I read that the usbuirt doesn't work with the i386 install. So does that mean I have to use the amd64 version? Or should I be using that anyway??  Bit lost on this one.

Cheers

Jamie


wilsonj

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Re: Help and advice for Aussie setup?
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2008, 11:23:52 am »
Forgot to mention that I have an nvidia 7600gs and ATI HD2400pro that I could use. But then not sure thats really needed on the core machine thats not being used for video itself.

Other item I forgot to mention was the DVD player. But I intend on using the LG H20 Blu-ray/HD DVD drive.

colinjones

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Re: Help and advice for Aussie setup?
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2008, 10:00:20 pm »
Jamie

In your initial list of 6 requirements - all of these are possible, but you should note that BluRay at this stage is very limited due to the AACS encryption stuff. Essentially the only support we currently have is LMCE will rip the disk to its harddrive and then play it from there. No menus just content.

The hardware you listed as having sounds fine. Hardware you intend to buy is fine, too. The network card doesn't have to be PCIe (PCIx is something different) PCI is fine too. Forget ATI, go with nVidia as it is far better supported - choose something in the 6200-7300 range, even the 7300GT is overkill. Be aware that more recent cards will require you to manually install the latest nVidia drivers to work (easy, but an extra step).

"Extenders" is the Vista MCE terminology (and unwelcome here :) ) They are called Media Directors or MDs. I would stick with i386 at the moment as there is little call for 64 bit. You are correct, in the 2.6.22 kernel there was a small bug (single line of code missing) that means the USBIRT devices do not work fully. You can find on the Wiki or forums the simple fix to correct this. I would note that things like the nVidia drivers and USBIRT bug will be corrected as part of the 0810 release (no date on this yet) as it will include the 2.6.27 kernel which doesn't have that bug, and they usually roll in the latest nVidia drivers.

Can't really advise you on mobo as these change too frequently. Go to the wiki hardware page and research "known good" boards' availability. Or read user sigs for their config, or the user configs section of the wiki. Essentially, you need a mobo that is supported for Linux, you want to look at the video chipset, audio chip, NIC chip mostly and ensure they are supported with Linux and have drivers (just search the forums with the chip code to see if others have confirmed they work).

Note that the core machine can certainly be used in hybrid mode as one of your MDs which is what most people do. If you intend to have a very large setup with lots of MDs, perhaps having it dedicated is a good idea.

DTV meaning Free to Air DVB-T television presumably, has an EPG transmitted with it. The issue you will need to deal with is, you need to make a decision as whether to use VDR or MythTV. For DVB-T (Australian free to air) VDR is definitely the better choice and provides EPG automatically with no setup. However, VDR will not let you capture your Austar analogue service, you will need MythTV for that, and although Myth will also to DVB-T it doesn't currently support the EPG. If you go that way then you will have to do some considerable setup and scrape the EPGs for these services from an XML provider like oztivo.

Shodanho

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Re: Help and advice for Aussie setup?
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2008, 10:52:23 pm »
Quote
DTV meaning Free to Air DVB-T television presumably, has an EPG transmitted with it. The issue you will need to deal with is, you need to make a decision as whether to use VDR or MythTV. For DVB-T (Australian free to air) VDR is definitely the better choice and provides EPG automatically with no setup. However, VDR will not let you capture your Austar analogue service, you will need MythTV for that, and although Myth will also to DVB-T it doesn't currently support the EPG. If you go that way then you will have to do some considerable setup and scrape the EPGs for these services from an XML provider like oztivo.

I have MythTV running on my Hybrid, DVB-T with EPG working.  I had to set it manually but it works.  Australian Digital TV sends the EPG with the signal now.  Some of the channels ie the multiples of the same channels dont have data, but if you look at another version of the same channel it will have it.

I am only using one Tuner at the moment.  A Lifeview DVB-T Hybrid LR306N which was not recognised in the initial install but sets up in Myth. http://www.lifeview.com.tw/html/products/internal_tv/flydvbt_hybrid.htm.

wilsonj

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Re: Help and advice for Aussie setup?
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2008, 12:28:38 am »
Hi colinjones, thanks for your reply. Since I posted I looked further into the blu-ray issue. I see there are problems that probably won't get solved soon. Not really an issue I guess. I have a dedicated projector HTPC with PDVD. I just thought it would be nice to take advantage of BD if possible.

I'm used to getting xml guide data. Been doing it for years with beyondTV. Not that I like doing it though!  I rather the over air guide that is available. (I'm lazy)

As far as mobos go. I have an 8200 gigabyte that is compatible, but only has two PCIs. I guess I can get by on 1 Nova-t500 and pvr150. But I then have to get a pcix networkcard, which don't come cheap, relatively speaking.

OK, so the i386 is the way to go. Thanks. I also found the fix for the usbuirt too, thanks.

Sorry for the use of the word "extender"  :-[  I have been set straight now!  ;D

Shodanho, thanks for your input. Good to know it now works with mythTV. Do you know if you can clone guide data to channels?  BTW  I am a shodanho too!

Has anyone got an austar epg working right?

Cheers
Jamie

indulis

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Re: Help and advice for Aussie setup?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2008, 04:57:13 pm »
Try Shepherd as your EPG.  Don't know if Austar is included but it is a v good grabber- it consolidated the info from multiple sources so even if one goes on the blink (or changes) the info flows from elsewhere.

http://svn.whuffy.com/index.fcgi/wiki/Installation