Posted by: patdavila | November 9, 2009

Mythbuntu 9.10 (MythTV 0.22) installation

In my previous post I mentioned accidentally upgrading my MythTV system to Myth 0.22 via the Avenard repos. I had some serious issues that pushed me to decide to do a clean install on both MythTV boxes I have. I moved any recordings I hadn’t had a chance to watch to my MythVideo folder on my server and backed up my database. The Mythbuntu site recommends the following:

1) Get your MythTV database password with the following command:
cat /etc/mythtv/mysql.txt | grep DBPassword

2) Backup your database with the following command (it will prompt for the password from step 1:
mysqldump -u mythtv -p mythconverg mythtvbackup.sql

3) Copy mythtvbackup.sql and all other files you want to keep to another drive

4) Install Mythbuntu 9.10

5) Copy all the backed up files onto the computer:
mysql -u mythtv -p mythconverg < mythtvbackup.sql

This would allow me to restore all my recording schedules once my system was all setup cleanly. Perfect. Part of my new setup would be removing my Hauppuage PVR-150 capture card as my main recording device. I’ve had a Hauppauge PVR-1212 waiting in the wings for some time now. This device lets you record from any HD outputing STB (set top box) via component connections and is supported out of the box with the 2.6.31 Linux kernel. Ubuntu 9.10 is one of the first mainstream Linux distributions shipping with this kernel. So the plan was to migrate the main Mythbox down to the mancave and move the small form factor Zotac Ion box up to the family room. I hooked up the main Myth box to my HDTV down in the family, inserted the 64 bit install CD and started the machine. I see the boot splash then the screen goes black. LinHES lets you install from the couch with only a remote without issue. I then disconnect my system and hook it up to an LCD monitor via DVI. That seems to work ok and I’m presented with the option to either install directly or go into “Live CD” mode. I choose the former and the installer starts up and goes about it’s business. Around 98% completion the install just stops and drops back into the live desktop. What just happened? Did it complete successfully, did it fail? I restart my system after removing the installation media. The system starts to bootup and gets to a terminal login and the screen is flickering wildly every 2 seconds. I try logging in but I’m unable to. I restart the installation process again this time choosing “Live” mode. From the desktop I click on the “install Mythbuntu” icon. The installer runs all the way through this time indicating 100% completion. All is good. I first configure my QAM based HDHomerun tuners. I create a separate Schedules Direct lineup just for the QAM channels and assign them numbers in the lower 800’s range. My cable company recently killed it’s analog feeds and re-ordered all the channels. As a result the cable company is going from around 30 HD channels to over 100 literally overnight. Unfortunately I can still only access 6 HD channels (OTA networks) via QAM. I’m o.k. with that as long as I can get everything else via the PVR-1212. Setting up QAM capture devices is still tedious but not terribly complicated once you’ve done it previously. Next up was setting up the PVR-1212. Just select it as a supported capture device in ‘mythtv-setup’. You have the option of doing basic stereo audio or doing 5.1 capture via an optical audio connection from your STB. I kept it simple and just went with stereo. I next selected my new reorganized cable line-up from Schedules Direct. Prior to doing the actual install it’s good idea to review what channels you’ll actually get from your provider. In the Schedules Direct website you can omit individual channels. This will save you bandwidth and storage space on your system. Why pull down guide information every night for channels you don’t get? You will need a channel changer script of some kind for your STB. During my initial setup I just entered /bin/true as a dummy entry (as per the wiki). I have an HD cable box so I opted to use a firewire channel changer for the very first time. Up to this point I have always used IR blasters. Most people like the Mythchanger firewire script. I downloaded and compiled the script. From the commandline I was able to change channels by issuing the following commands:
/usr/bin/mythchanger -f 6 -c 1169

I used the -f 6 flag for my specific cable box (Motorola DCX3200) as instructed by the script’s README file. -c 1169 is the channel I wanted to change to do. Everything seemed cool so I went back into ‘mythtv-setup’ and replaced
/usr/bin/mythchanger -f 6 -c

I then setup a bunch of recordings using my PVR-1212. The MythChanger script seems to do the job just fine. Before watching anything you need to make sure VDPAU is setup correctly. Go in the media settings and select tv playback. Makre sure VDPAU is selected. I selected “VDPAU Normal” and then tried the different de-interlacers listed. On both my main box (Nvidia 8600GT) and my Zotac Ion (Nvidia 9400M) the ‘Bob 2X’ de-interlacer delivered the goods. Playback was ultra smooth on any format (mpeg2, h264) and resolution (480, 720, 1080) I threw at it! No stutters, hiccups or audio sync issues whatsoever. This post is getting long so I’ll talk about my thoughts about what’s new in Mythbuntu 9.10 and MythTV 0.22 in upcoming posts.


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