Setting up MythTV: More fun than pulling out your own fingernails (but not by much)

For over a year now, I’ve been planning to build myself a MythTV box. With the whole DirecTivo thing going on (DirecTv is supposedly planning on dropping the Tivo with their own POS), I figured it was time to get on to something open (like the rest of the systems in my house).

I’ve been watching the whole MythTV arena for a while now.. watching it in the aspect of planning my attack (on getting a system up and running). I decided at the beginning of the week to give it all a try.

I have an AMD64 system (memory, motherboard, case, processor, hard drive, DVDROM drive) sitting idle, so I took it, loaded up FC5_x64 on it, and began following the Fedora Myth(TV)ology How-To page. Everything went rather smoothly, actually, and all was good in the world. Of course, the key component I was missing was a TV-tuner/capture card.

During the MythTV setup, the system would seemingly hang on me. Not all of the time, but most of the time. I would lose all cursor and mouse capabilities, and it just seemed completely locked. A hard reboot of the system brought things back.

On buy.com, I picked up the Hauppauge PVR-150 since that is one of the most popular cards to use under Linux. I bought it on a Monday at around 4pm, and got the thing on Tuesday around 6pm! I popped the card in, and started testing it. It didn’t take me long before the card was working, and, again, all was good.

I started tackling the MythTV setup again, and the lock-ups were more frequent. On a whim, I tried logging in to the system with my laptop, and, to my surprise, I was able to log in. It looked as if X was hung as it was taking up 99% of the cpu. Killing it off brought things back.

There was a brief moment of about 20 minutes where I had everything but the remote working. I uttered a big “woo-hoo!” But, as I continued testing, I started getting more and more lock-ups. I ran another yum update, and, to my surprise, Myth 0.20 had been released. Everything updated happily.

From there on out, it was all down hill. The problems with X locking up persisted, and, after some research, it looks like it is a problem with the linux version of the nvidia display driver and X. Ugh.

So, I decided to reload the machine from scratch. That’s been a nightmare unto itself since the FC5_x64 updates are taking FOREVER to download (the downside of YUM is that it doesn’t pick a mirror local to you.. I was getting mirrors in New Zeland, Japan, Germany.). I abandoned that, and decided to populate my own rsync’ed copy of the updates tree before going back to the install of this machine.

Additionally, I decided to try out the FC5 i386 tree vs the FC5 x64 tree since some of what I have read suggests that there might be problems related to the x64 bit versions of things. Eh.. we’ll see.

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