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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:54 pm 
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Now I know the insta-response will be, No, of course not, there will always be Linux users and Myth enthusiasts. MythTV rocks. Knoppmyth rocks. Linux rocks. Vista sucks so bad. Besides, Myth backend server stuff -- no one beats that.

True. However, let's look at people. What made MythTV truly emergent? That is was free? Yup. Solid and packed with features? Yup. Worked on any old PC? Pretty much, within reason. An alternative to what? Nuthin'. That's hard to beat.

That was then.

We've seen many a promising open source Linux project turn esoteric hobby when (even expensive) propriety home-user packages came on stage. Final Cut Pro and Premiere trumped Avid by introducing NLE to the home user.... and so who uses Cinelerra today? I mean, for real? And for what?

Myth TV -- besides being *exclusively* full-featured and free -- just plain worked on slow machines thanks to the solidity and *low overhead* of Linux. It worked on your computer. A strong MythTV-like platform did not really exist for Macs or PCs, thus MythTV was the only good option for users willing to get just a little dirty. The other strong DVR systems were propriety pay / subscriber boxes like TIVO. In fact, just TIVO, period.

Then a couple of years went by.

Now, very recently to be sure, TV tuners are becoming standard pre-configured fare on consumer PC's, spurred in strong part by Microsoft's O.S. Media Player / TV PVR integration. This is quite new and popular. With the purchase of a new cheap Dell, for instance, you can have out-of-the-box free and full DVR functionality at no (visible -- and that's key) extra cost.

Though a lesser point, this doesn't help things: OpenGL / DirectX Linux equivalents are struggling at the same time that ATSC (digital high def television) quickly replaces analog these mere months, meaning that solid Linux solutions actually require MORE computing power than Windows machines for matching performance. For instance, if you have a Linux box that is even two years old, it may not be able to play OTA HDTV (unless, perhaps, you have the not-ready-for-primetime VDPAU working for you without complication). That, my friends, is a big change in terms of MythTV's original promise. Linus Turvalds made 'nix work on the everyman's kit car, the VW Bug of boxes, and became legend for it. Today -- as opposed to just last year -- to drive with Myth you must purchase an Acura. (An Acura off the lot happens to come pre-installed with Vista and Media Player 10.) Geez, sorry, enough with the awkward metaphors. :)

Look, I'm not saying that Media Player is in any way better than Myth -- obviously it's not -- any more than Premiere is (well, was) better than Cinelerra. We all know Vista sucks. I'm just looking at history. and well, human behavior here. I don't see how Myth can remain popular when it is no longer a) the exclusive answer b) the easier answer c) the clear features winner even against TIVO and now Media Player. It WILL remain relevant for a spate in terms of Linux preference / geekdom. But such a world, sans exclusive meeting of needs, is insular and always shrinks to legacy status over a few years time. Always.

Another hit. The emerging Mac/Windows solutions have by their very foundations easy-as-desktop integration with all internet client functionality. The once sensible appliance model may not be the most compatible with trends. In fact, in efforts to hamper open source, television networks now are streaming in protected codecs, meaning that web tv viewing on a Linux platform falls somewhere between cumbersome and impossible. (The most popular Myth appliance project still doesn't come with Firefox -- Firefox requires extra setup. Even so, Firefox on Linux does not conveniently handle the likes of tv network webcasting. Mythweb can't do YouTube or Hulu, and MythTV plugins don't do YouTube well, or Hulu at all.)

I think taking a look around should motivate some evaluation of the near-term shape and goals of MythTV and the appliance projects. I want to see Myth still be dominant twenty-four months from now, but don't see how that can be the way things are going. It's time for a little new thought, not just momentum. My .02.

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Knoppmyth R6 Preview auto - Dell Dimension 2400 2.4 GHz - 1.2gb ram - Sparkle GeForce 8400GS (was MX4000 128MB) PCI TV-out - HDHomeRun dual ATSC over gigabit. It's not Greek to me, just Linux


Last edited by worldpoop on Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:17 pm 
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Location: Kitsap Peninsula, Wa., United States
I have only had a Linux based PVR but have helped two others with their Windoze media platforms.

I think the other platform is great for easy? out of the box operation however, it very soon gets long in the teeth due to incorrectly enforced DRM and the sledge hammer approaches used by free tv attempting to enforce something they are not entitled to anyway.

That said, at least one of those users I have helped has now come back as well as a host of others, that look at the features I have with my vw bug linux based approach and are going hey I want that too. The trouble is even something as insanely simple as sharing a legally free captured file, is nye onto impossible with the "commercial" products out there.

You literally have to ensure that everyone along the way from origination to your capture point have held their tongue correctly and knew how to apply content protection and then your platform didn't interpret it wrong to make it happen.

While in the Linux world it is just a share away.

anyway just my .02...


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 5:43 pm 
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Well, that's a promising take, from the standpoint that DMR is still floundering trying to make both producers and consumers happy... thus making Myth much simpler. Hopefully Linux doesn't get DMR'd out of the loop down the line though -- some scary "Big Brother" (to borrow from your nick) prospects out there. But that part I guess is a political issue as much as technological.

bigbro wrote:
The trouble is even something as insanely simple as sharing a legally free captured file, is nye onto impossible with the "commercial" products out there.

You literally have to ensure that everyone along the way from origination to your capture point have held their tongue correctly and knew how to apply content protection and then your platform didn't interpret it wrong to make it happen.


I don't have Vista of my own, and never used the new Media Player PVR stuff. Could you give an example of this pitfall you cite?

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Knoppmyth R6 Preview auto - Dell Dimension 2400 2.4 GHz - 1.2gb ram - Sparkle GeForce 8400GS (was MX4000 128MB) PCI TV-out - HDHomeRun dual ATSC over gigabit. It's not Greek to me, just Linux


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:07 pm 
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Location: Kitsap Peninsula, Wa., United States
I was given two references.

Both were kids programs captured OTA off of PBS. They were saved on the Windoze media platform and would play back there onto the family bigscreeen fine.

They also attempted to play these programs to another machine in the "playroom" all software on both machines was COTS. The items would not play and after some wrangling with vlc on the playroom machine could get playback but it was stuttering.

Took a similar content captured off my Mythbox and d/l'd it over the internet to his main box. connected the playroom pc to that file and it played within WMP and vlc just fine. So definitely not a network issue. It was some form of protection being enforced on the media platform he was using to capture the original software.

That has been consistent with what I have seen on that type of platform you referenced. It is great for one pc as an htpc ,but don't try to share it elsewhere. That breaks the rules in the interpretation of that o/s.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:51 am
Posts: 173
Location: Uniontown, PA
I look at the situation in this manner:

Control vs. Convenience

Windows is just fine for the niche of folks that will 'pay' to have something work, but they don't have much 'control' over how it works. I call these folks the 'techno-lemmings.' They want what everyone else says they have, and it works great; except when it doesn't work, but they'll pay more to make it work. As long as they can afford it, they'll continue along. If they get discouraged because of the lack of 'control' of what they're doing, they may end up looking for alternatives.

There's always an ongoing cost to Windows. Upgrades, planned obsolescence, hardware, etc. To keep up you MUST pay again, and again, for new Windows software. If you have enough money to throw around, Windows can hold your hand and solve every problem out there. ;)

That's where Linux shines. Linux is for folks that want 'control' over their technology. They usually understand the inner workings, or they're destined and determined to figure it out. The 'techno-contol freak.' Linux folk also desire to keep software costs to a minimum. I won't say free...you have to support those projects/applications that you like and use.

Linux has the same upgrade costs, but it's tied to adding features for NEW hardware. Software costs are usually negligible.

MythTV will not die, and the Windows platform can not kill it. Yes, Legal/DRM issues may cause it to stumble, but it will continue along because a large group of folks want it to, including EVERY KnoppMyth/LinHES user. Just look at the work folks are doing to make hulu content work.

Again, Linux (and MythTV) isn't out there to take over the world. It wasn't developed that way. Windows is developed to take over, but I don't buy it. That means Windows CAN'T take over. I'm preventing it from doing so. I do use Windows on a couple systems, but I do not own Vista, and never plan on purchasing it or any successor to it.

Back to MythTV: It works for me. WHY would I look at any Windows solution? If the masses think Windows is the answer...well, that's their opinion, and I will not become an evangelist to make them change. (This just demonstrates that I'm preaching to the choir.)

Why did WE (the users on this board) make the decision to use MythTV? The answer is probably above. More CONTROL.

Remember: There is ongoing work to port MythTV to Windows. Will it help sell more Windows? No. Windows is already sold on the PC before MythTV was installed.

I can't wait to see R6 when it goes Gold! :) More power to Cecil, and the development gang!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:00 pm 
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I have to regretfully say that I use Windoze XP media center for my home media machine. The only problem I ran into was the drm'd content, my work around was to buy a couple of the little boxes that strip drm from the video feed, after that no drm problems.

3 years ago I used Knoppmyth, but I found I had to constantly help my wife use it. Graphics card problems etc.

After reading the interview regarding v6, I am looking forward to giving it a shot.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:26 am 
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I don't think Cinerella was ever meant to be used on the "desktop".

R6 can be installed w/ a remote. Can that be said of Windows, Mac or any other Linux distro? James is going fantasy work w/ MythVantage.

If Linux would work on lesser hardware X years ago, why would it not work today? If you want HD, get a VDPAU capable video card. While it may not be perfect, it works very well.

I see better performance w/ LinHES on the same hardware that was running R5.5.

Based on what you've stated, I don't see how Microsoft is going to kill Linux/MythTV. So what if TV tuners come preinstalled?

I'd have to say MythTV is s niche market. I know it cost me more to build a system than to buy a Tivo, however if I cannot do w/ a Tivo all that I wanted to do. I cannot do w/ windows (actually I don't use it but if I did..) all that I would want to do.

KnoppMyth/LinHES will continue to be developed and improved. If you want to ensure the survival of MythTV and Linux then, you need to spread the word.


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