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In an ideal world, our MythTV box would have a fanless 9600GT card --> twice the number of shaders as the 9500GT, and faster clock rates too.

This would give enough horsepower to really take advantage of VDPAU extras, like inverse telecine on HD content, and noise-reduction + sharpening for analog OTA content.

As it is, I *do* use those features sometimes, but they also do cause the odd skipped frame here and there. A 9600GT would cure that, and then some.

But.. alas.. I don't think any of the available fanless 9600GT cards would actually fit inside Duke's chassis. So the existing Sparkle 9500GT (1GB,fanless,small) will just have to do. :)

But if fanless is not a high priority, then there are lots of more powerful cards that ought to fit in any case. Should you actually decide to ditch that crappy ;) 8500GT card, I might even offer you a few bucks for it.. if it is fanless. ;)

Cheers
 

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Yep, my 8600GT has a fan, as it audibly reminds me every time I power on the myth-frontend box. :D

I'll have to check inside that box for video card space because I'm pondering something like a GeForce GT220, which offers complete VDPAU-based acceleration for MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 Part 2 (a.k.a MPEG-4 ASP), VC-1/WMV9 and H.264 and can be found for relatively cheap these days.
 

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Instead of going fanless, has anyone considered going water cooled? That should be significantly quieter than fans and keep things much cooler.
 

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Instead of going fanless, has anyone considered going water cooled? That should be significantly quieter than fans and keep things much cooler.
Water cooled is not fanless. You need a big fan at the back to cool the radiator for water cooled systems. That and it's quite expensive. Best kept for gamers in need of more "bling" for their pimped up PCs. :)
The HTPC market needs has brought forth some very good fanless video cards, and some are low profile which is great for those who need them in micro cases.

Marc
 

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Signal meter?

Is there a signal meter in MythTV 0.22? I can't find one in 0.21

Actually, I've only found utils to scan for channels, but none for signal metering. What do you guys use to line up you antenna and tune your reception on Linux/Myth? I can't bring my 32" HDTV up on the roof. It's not very portable. ;)

Marc
 

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There's a signal meter for (most) digital tuners, but I don't see one for analog. I've long since hacked the digital one on my system here, to show an extra decimal point as well as the raw value from the hardware (rather than only the cooked "dB" number from software).

To get the signal monitor, use Edit Keys to assign signalmon to a button on your remote control.

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There's a signal meter for (most) digital tuners, but I don't see one for analog. I've long since hacked the digital one on my system here, to show an extra decimal point as well as the raw value from the hardware (rather than only the cooked "dB" number from software).

To get the signal monitor, use Edit Keys to assign signalmon to a button on your remote control.
I think I could use that hack. I have an HVR-1600. :)
I found signalmon under Edit Keys, TV Playback (0.21). It was assigned Alt-F7. I changed it to another key, but it still doesn't do anything. I must be missing something. I want to use it to line-up my new antenna.

Edit: Ok. I got it working, sort of. Signal is always 0% and S/n at 2.3-2.4 but I have a picture. Must need to be hacked to work on the HVR-1600 or something.

Marc
 

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Yeah, that's "normal" for the cableTV-centric MythTV stuff. :(

Signal-strength always reads zero for the HVR-950Q as well as the HVR-1600 here, with both of those showing SNR instead.

The HDHomerun shows signal-strength, but not SNR.

In my experience, the SNR must be greater than 2.2dB for reliable HVR-950Q reception, and greater than about 2.28dB for the HVR-1600.

:)
 

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mlord said:
I've long since hacked the digital one on my system here, to show an extra decimal point as well as the raw value from the hardware (rather than only the cooked "dB" number from software).
I think I could use that hack.
Here's the hack (source code patch):
Code:
--- old/mythtv/libs/libmythtv/tv_play.cpp       2008-12-31 10:16:04.000000000 -0500
+++ new/mythtv/libs/libmythtv/tv_play.cpp       2008-12-31 17:10:57.000000000 -0500
@@ -5411,8 +5411,10 @@
     QString sigMsg  = allGood ? tr("Lock") : lockMsg;

     QString sigDesc = tr("Signal %1\%").arg(sig,2);
-    if (snr > 0.0f)
-        sigDesc += " | " + tr("S/N %1dB").arg(log10f(snr), 3, 'f', 1);
+    if (snr > 0.0f) {
+        sigDesc += " | " + tr("S/N %1dB").arg(log10f(snr), 4, 'f', 2);
+        sigDesc += tr("(%1)").arg(snr);
+    }
     if (ber != 0xffffffff)
         sigDesc += " | " + tr("BE %1", "Bit Errors").arg(ber, 2);
     if ((pos >= 0) && (pos < 100))
 

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Water cooled is not fanless. You need a big fan at the back to cool the radiator for water cooled systems.
Not necessarily. You can get fanless water coolers that use a large heat-sink outside the case as a radiator. Although you can get fanless video cards and large heat-sinks for your CPU, without fans (or a water cooler) the problem is there is nothing to get that heat outside of the case quickly (it will slowly convect out the ventilation holes) so heat will build up, reducing the effectiveness of the heat-sinks.
 

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Stampeder, please give us all an update on your MythTV-0.22 experiences to date. I imagine I'm not the only one curious about how things are working out there!

Cheers
 

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Its a bit complicated right now due to some personal time contraints, but I was running 2 pcHDTV PCI ATSC cards with 2 H150 NTSC analogue cards and 2 950Q USB ATSC devices. I've pulled out the 2 pcHDTV cards for now to better assess the 950Qs, but I'm finding that the pcHDTV cards (Generation 5 chipset) lock onto the signal more quickly and require less signal strength than the 950Qs (Generation 6). I would have expected the opposite so I have more testing to do. In the real world this means that ATSC Live TV on the mythfrontend box seems to be hit and miss as a result. This was never a problem with the pcHDTV cards so I'll be putting them back in. OTOH all test recordings made with the 950Qs have been excellent.

So, its not really about the MythTV 0.22 software, its about my own hardware testing. I'm quite pleased with 0.22 actually.
 

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The generation of the decoder chipset is only one piece of the puzzle. Tuner sensitivity is another. The higher generation chipsets will handle various types of interference (including multipath) better. For weak signals, the tuner sensitivity becomes more important. Maybe the pcHDTV has a better tuner than the 950Q.

You could always use both the pcHDTV cards and the 950Qs and configure the backend to use the pcHDTV cards for live TV and your weak broadcasts and the 950Q for recording the stronger stations.
 

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roger1818, yep, MythTV allows you to prioritize the input devices and that's what I've done in the past. I think you are correct about tuner sensitivity, but I'm in a great location for the Mt. Seymour stations so to me it is very odd that the 950Qs are not performing as well as the pcHDTV cards. :)

mlord, I haven't gone on the pcHDTV forums in quite awhile (product hasn't changed in about 3 years) but I'll take a look in there for NF data and maybe email Jack Kelliher for that info if need be.
 

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In an ideal world, our MythTV box would have a fanless 9600GT card --> twice the number of shaders as the 9500GT, and faster clock rates too.
Well, it now has a fanless GT240 card, with triple the number of shaders as the 9500GT. Noticeable difference, too.

Back to MythTV-0.22.

I *really* want to upgrade, to stay current and get the latest fixes and the like. Especially now that mythtv-0.21-fixes is no longer being maintained.

So I've built mythtv-0.22-fixes from svn, and have added a few of my patches to it to get things working here.

The tuners, database, antenna switches, VFD display program, remote control, etc.. are all now working with 0.22 (yay!), and stability seems good enough.

But I still cannot stand (any of) the 0.22 themes, and nor the destroyed functionality that was once on the left/right arrow keys. This is just too b0rked for words.

Compared with other stuff in this space, it's probably normal; par for the course. But compared with mythtv-0.21, this really bites.

Specifically, I need to fix these things before the GUI is useable here:
  • The theme menus show only 3-4 items on the screen, as if I'm using a 1960's 12" B&W TV or something. I'm not! A modern big-screen LCD can show a lot more detail than that, and it does do so with mythtv-0.21 and the G.A.N.T. theme. I simply cannot tolerate having to scroll when the total menu has only 5-6 items on it.
  • The Program Guide suffers from a similar stupidity. All of the themes put 3 channels x 4-5 timeslots on the screen. My mythtv-0.21 install shows 13 channels x 7 timeslots, and even that feels like an unnecessary limitation.
  • The left/right arrow keys work in mythfrontend to enter/exit menu levels, and then suddenly stop working like that when one enters MythUI, where they have no function at all on most screens. Absolute rubbish, and the singlemost common complaint on 0.22. And met by the usual arrogant deaf ears.
  • The scheduling algorithm is messed up. On 0.21, I have specific "Vancouver 2010" programming selected on various nights. On 0.22, MythTV chose to "record a later broadcast", causing us to nearly miss out on the hockey games. I'm still not sure why, but we reverted back to 0.21 as soon as that was noticed.
That's my shortlist. And it's pretty short, but those are fairly MAJOR items which kinda blow the WAF sky high.

I'll work on fixing them, and post patches etc.. as they get ticked off my list. Sometime in the next year.

Cheers
 

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Well, I managed to get a bare bones HTPC going in time for the Olympics. It is pretty featureless at the moment, but it at least allows us to pause live TV when the baby is crying.

Well, it now has a fanless GT240 card, with triple the number of shaders as the 9500GT. Noticeable difference, too.
Wow! Must be nice. I gave up (for now) on fixing the stuttering problem I was having when watching HD broadcasts and am only using the analog tuner in my HVR-1600, which for the Olympics isn't a problem since CTV is only analog here in Ottawa.

The tuners, database, antenna switches, VFD display program, remote control, etc.. are all now working with 0.22 (yay!)
Are you using your HVR-1600's remote control interface? I have been having troubles getting mine to work. It doesn't even seem to see the device.

But I still cannot stand (any of) the 0.22 themes,
Have you tried to create your own theme?

  • The left/right arrow keys work in mythfrontend to enter/exit menu levels, and then suddenly stop working like that when one enters MythUI, where they have no function at all on most screens. Absolute rubbish, and the singlemost common complaint on 0.22. And met by the usual arrogant deaf ears.
I guess since I never used 0.21 I don't know what I am missing. ;) Is this something that you might be able to fix by creating your own theme, or is it buried in the code?

  • The scheduling algorithm is messed up. On 0.21, I have specific "Vancouver 2010" programming selected on various nights. On 0.22, MythTV chose to "record a later broadcast", causing us to nearly miss out on the hockey games. I'm still not sure why, but we reverted back to 0.21 as soon as that was noticed.
That doesn't sound good at all. I assume you told it to "record in this timeslot." This doesn't affect me for now though, since I haven't had a chance to drag a network drop into my living room so I can't use guide data and have to do manual records instead. I hope to get that fixed soon though.

I did notice its conflict resolution in the case of a tie is intermittent as to which program it will record. It would be nice if it would display a warning on the main menu or something when there is an unresolved conflict.
 

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A few other things I thought of. Once again, I can't compare to 0.21, but some things I did notice with 0.22:

  • The manual record feature only lets you record up to 360 minutes. This might be a file size limitation however.
  • Also with manual record, I would like to be able to specify the end time instead of duration (or at least show me the end time while setting the duration).
  • Once a manual recording is set, it won't let you change (or override on a specific day) the channel, start time or duration (or at least I haven't figured out how to do so).
  • The right and left arrows are used to change values, but when it reaches the maximum/minimum value, the key suddenly changes function to go to the next/previous field. This is a pain when holding the key down to quickly get to the maximum value as if you aren't careful you will start destrying all the other values you have set.
  • It probably wouldn't be used very often, but it would be nice if the OSD would show recording time of day. That way if you want to jump to what was recorded at specific time of day, you can do so without having to remember what time you started to record the program (if I started to record at 1:00pm and I am 1:35 into the program and I want to watch an event that starts at 5:00pm, I need to jump ahead 2:25). This is probably just a matter of adding a code to the OSD XML file.
Despite these limitations, I certainly love Mythtv and am looking forward to getting it to work closer to its potential! One thing I do like about Open Source is if I get a chance, I can fix these issues myself instead of having to rely on someone else to fix them for me.
 

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Yeah, the things that are broken the worst (arrow keys) are buried deep in the code. I'll fix them myself, though, eventually. No point in whining over them if I don't intend to do something about it all. ;)

If you want to get your HVR-1600 remote control to work perfectly, then just bring your box + remote (nothing else) over here for an hour. I know all about what needs to be done, and even have a mostly automated setup script to fix it.

I use a PVR-250 remote control on the box here, with pretty much the exact same setup.

Good to hear that manual-record works -- it has *never* worked for me.

Cheers
 

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Thanks for the offer to help. I may take you up on your offer after the Olympics are over (things are busy and the Myth box is in almost constant use).

I tired to apply your "fix hauppauge remote" patch last fall, but I couldn't get it to work. I then tried to build the latest cx18 driver and totally killed it and ended up re-installing Mythtv from scratch.

Getting the remote to work is probably the biggest thing from a WAF perspective.
 
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