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I recently replaced my home PC, which left me with a spare PC I could reuse to build a MythTV backend. For playback I planned on using my PlayStation 3 via it's Media Server (DLNA) interface. My only cost was two ATI HDTV Wonders from eBay. I used Mythbuntu because it is current and the LiveCD would boot on my old PC. The following is a summary of my experiences getting the system up and running.

Although I'm sure installing Mythbuntu is far easier and less error prone than building it all myself, that doesn't mean it is trivial or trouble free. (Though some of my problems were self-inflicted.) It definitely helps to have some *ix sysadmin experience. Part of it may be Mythbuntu (i.e. having to manually update the hosts file and setting the timezone to something the frontend is happy with) but part of it is Linux and MythTV.

I can understand the drivers for my ATI HDTV Wonder capture cards aren't included with the distro because they are proprietary. However, the install instructions aren't trivial, nor is the install automated in any way.

Some of the backend configuration can only be done using the frontend interface, which was annoying because I didn't plan on having a frontend. Fortunately, it is possible to run the front end from the install CD. (I also recently installed an OSX build of the front end on my wife's MacBook.)

The channel set up process is frustrating 'cause the tuner card has to be able to receive the channel. Not good for marginal channels or rotors. And even if you know the physical & virtual channel info, there are a couple of parameters which are only available from the transport stream. There's also the well known issue with Schedules Direct not listing all of the channels I can and do receive. (The workaround is to use a different postal code.)

The main advantage of using the PS3 instead of a frontend, is the PS3 is connected to my HDTV. However, there are limitations using the PS3 for playback.

1. Live TV only works with recordings already in progress, and seems to have other quirks (like not refreshing the list of recordings).
2. Occasional intermittent "data corrupt" on fast forward / reverse / bad signal. (Although returning to the same spot doesn't cause the same problem.)
3. Sometimes long delays changing from fast forward to play. (Ran into this watching some of the multihour Olympic recordings.)
4. Doesn't remember where I was if I exit from playback.

As I use it more, I may figure out ways to avoid or reduce these limitations.

So far things are working great. I schedule & delete programs via MythWeb and watch them using the PS3. It's been great being able to watch the Olympics using it.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I discovered last night that if I press the square button it will bring up a "scene" selection, which will make it much easier to return to the middle of a program.
 

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For "remember where I was if I exit from playback", mythtv has the concept of a "bookmark", which is normally mapped to the "enter" key on the remote control.

Pressing it during playback saves one's position, or unsaves it if pressed again.

Later, when selecting the recording for resuming playback, one can use the RightArrow key (all versions up to 0.21), or the "Menu" button (unpatched Myth 0.22 onward) to select whether to resume playback from the bookmark or from the beginning.

Cheers
 

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mlord: that only works if you are using a MythTV frontend. The OP is using a PS3. I tried using a PS3 with my MythTV setup, but it was WAY too painful. I'm much happier with my ION based nettop.
 

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Some of the backend configuration can only be done using the frontend interface, which was annoying because I didn't plan on having a frontend.
Not sure which configuration options you are talking about, but MythWeb lets you change many of them (and do a bunch of other cool stuff). You could run it from a web browser on your backend (or any other computer).
 

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Not sure which configuration options you are talking about, but MythWeb lets you change many of them (and do a bunch of other cool stuff). You could run it from a web browser on your backend (or any other computer).
Yep, MythWeb lets you configure a lot of items, but not quite everything. (There are also some slight differences in how mythweb words various recording options versus the FE.) I don't recall which settings required the FE, I think some of them were under the TV Settings.

Again, these are my experiences base upon my setup target (MBE, playback via UPnP, mythweb for scheduling, little/no FE). So far I'd call it a success.
 

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Apparently the mythtv-setup (backend) stuff is being revamped into a web interface for some upcoming future release, possibly 0.24. It'll be great when that happens.
 
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