My Myth (MythTV) scripts

Because we have DirecTV with the RCA satellite receiver, there is one key script for managing the most important item with the set top box: changing the channel.

From the site, I pulled down the following SetTopBox script script, and it worked beautifully.

However, one thing didn’t work with the standard “./ setup_channel” command: the on screen display would stay up (yuck). The script is supposed to do all of the necessary things when you use the setup_channel option, but it didn’t seem to for me. Since MythTV executes the command with the last argument as the channel number, I threw together a simple wrapper script (Change Channel) for MythTV to use.

Finally, since the script works so well, I wrote a quick init script to turn on and off the set top box when the system is turned on or off. It works rather well, and, really, we don’t need the set top box on when the Myth system is off, do we? 🙂

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, 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.

Cricket and RRD files 0003

I came across a sporadic problem with Cricket when adding a new item to monitor. I set everything up happily, and then went to the cricket page after I was sure some data had been gathered.

To my surprise, I was greeted with “Current values not available: RRD file version 0003 not supported on this arch“. Ugh.

I hunted around and found an obscure post which basically said to edit cricket-1.0.5/lib/RRD/ and insert the following line at line 126:

$self->{‘liveHead3’} = “L L”;

Once I did that, everything worked just fine.