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Peachy. I'm busy for the weekend, though. So how about an open invite for Monday or Tuesday evening, this coming week?

Roger, Greg, anyone else who wants. Just bring your Mythbox + remote control over (no display, no keyboard, no mouse, no antenna, no tower ;)), and we'll fix the remotes and other minor issues.

You guys discuss which evening works best, and let me know on Saturday (email or PM).

Cheers
 

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My own test metrics showed that XFS was better for my MythTV backend than JFS, but really the performance difference was not what I would call noticeable. :)
 

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Definitely XFS here. It self-tunes to the storage array geometry, is better maintained than JFS, is better supported by boot/recovery CDs, and has a very long proven track record for speed and data integrity.

Cheers
 

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Yep, and XFS's delete speed is amazing! :) I always set up the boot partition under either EXT2 or EXT3 then the others under XFS. This time I opted for EXT4 to see what would happen, but after reading the Phoronix article I'm going to back it all up and restore it onto the file system types above.
 

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Discussion Starter #106
I can think of two other options:
  • Use a keyboard (either wired or wireless) until you can get the HVR-1600 remote to work (this is what I am doing currently).
  • Use an alternate remote interface.
I'm using option 1 right now also, but it's on my basement tv and to get the approval to move it upstairs to the main tv will require the use of a remote.

I thought about buying a new remote, but I had 2 concerns. The first is that it pains me to buy a new remote when the one that came with the tuner SHOULD have been able to work. When bought the HVR-1600 I didn't come across anything that suggested I was going to have these issues. Second, I don't know if the software has issues with the remote itself or with the IR receiver in the card. If I get a separate universal remote will it work with the receiver that came with the HVR-1600?
 

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No worries. The remote that came with your HVR-1600 *does* work, just not with the default setup of Mythbuntu.

Roger1818 also uses 32-bit Mythbuntu, same as you, so we'll work out a nice installable package solution here, and then pass it along to you, and to anyone else who needs it (including another buddy of mine).

The approach I use here, for my own PVR-250 remote as well as anyone else's HVR-1600 remotes, is to simply kill off the massively complex LIRC blasphemy, and use the built-in Linux kernel "keyboard" support for the remote controls. Nice and simple, and easy to customize the buttons, repeat rate, etc..

So long as the kernel has, or can be patched for, support of the specific remote, then this solution is an order of magnitude simpler than the usual LIRC abomination.

The 2.6.32 / 2.6.33 kernels support the HVR-1600 remote by default now. But one still needs the userspace script to enable it.

Cheers
 

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MythTV and the HVR-1600: gotchas

Speaking of using the HVR-1600 with MythTV.. the more I use mine, the more bugs I find in MythTV and Linux.

Until recently, I hardly ever used the digital tuner side of the card, since I have four other digital tuners here already. But during the 2010 Winter Olympics, the HVR-1600 digital side was used frequently, to capture HD versions of the hockey games and opening/closing cermonies.

Usually for analog, the PVR-250 card grabs the recordings. But again, during the Olympics, the analog half of the HVR-1600 was also frequently required to handle situations where multiple channels needed to be recorded simultaneously.

All of which led up to the Sunday evening closing ceremonies.. when MythTV picked the HVR-1600 for both the analog and digital recordings of the festivities. This was the first time ever here that MythTV tried to start both an analog and a digital recording at exactly the same time on the same HVR-1600 card.

The kernel cx18 chipset driver crapped out with a single, unhelpful log message...

kernel: cx18-0: Unable to find blank work order form to schedule incoming mailbox command processing

...and neither analog nor digital was recorded successfully. I did arrive home in time to notice this, and scheduled a re-recording from the analog channel for the program rebroadcast later last night.

I'll have to go into the code and find/fix that bug now, I suppose.
The other earlier bugs I know of were these:

  • First analog recording after boot is crap. Solution is to do a dummy read from the card as part of the bootup procedure -- works 100% successfully with that.
  • No sound with some analog recordings. Solution is to configure MythTV Recording Profiles to stick to the driver defaults of 48000 audio sampling rate, and 224kb/sec mpeg Layer-II audio encoding. Still testing, but it has been good since the workaround.
Cheers
 

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Interesting. Are you using the latest cx18 driver, or the one that ships with Mythbuntu? I gather at least the first of the "earlier bugs" has been fixed, but as you say there is an easy work around.
 

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I'm using option 1 right now also, but it's on my basement tv and to get the approval to move it upstairs to the main tv will require the use of a remote.
I hear you. I got an exemption for the Olympics. ;)
I thought about buying a new remote, but I had 2 concerns. The first is that it pains me to buy a new remote when the one that came with the tuner SHOULD have been able to work. When bought the HVR-1600 I didn't come across anything that suggested I was going to have these issues.
I hear you loud and clear on that one. I am in exactly the same boat and hope to get my HVR-1600 remote to work soon.

Second, I don't know if the software has issues with the remote itself or with the IR receiver in the card. If I get a separate universal remote will it work with the receiver that came with the HVR-1600?
As mlord said, it is an issue is with the IR receiver in the card so a universal remote wouldn't help at all. You would need to get a new IR receiver (and remote for it) if you can't get the HVR-1600 remote to work. Hopefully that will not be necessary though.
 

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Discussion Starter #111
Roger1818 also uses 32-bit Mythbuntu, same as you, so we'll work out a nice installable package solution here, and then pass it along to you, and to anyone else who needs it (including another buddy of mine).
That would be excellent. Thanks for helping out, and thanks to Roger1818 for being the guinea pig :)
 

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Interesting. Are you using the latest cx18 driver, or the one that ships with Mythbuntu.
I'm using the cx18 driver that is stock in the 2.6.33 Linux kernel, so it is newer than what Mythbuntu is/will-be shipping with.

But all of the tuner-card drivers are developed out of tree, in their own, closed eco-system. So the truly latest drivers have yet to be pushed out into a standard kernel. They can be obtained from an svn (or git now?) repository, if one wants to go really bleeding edge.

This also means they are much buggier than average for kernel stuff, because they don't get the same scrutiny as mainline kernel stuff does.

I don't know if they've really fixed the "first recording" bug or not, and don't really care now that I've got a good and reliable workaround in my system.

Cheers
 

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That would be excellent. Thanks for helping out, and thanks to Roger1818 for being the guinea pig :)
Heh.. I think I'll end up using both of you as guinea pigs for this.. :)

Since Roger is particularly tied up right now with a newish family member, we're having difficulty getting together. So I am going to borrow my other buddy's HVR-1600 + remote, and just get it going here by myself.

Then I'll see if you two can actually make use of what I hack together, or not. If it breaks Roger's system, he'll finally have to get a night off and bring the box over here for surgery. ;)

Cheers
 

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Getting the HVR-1600 remote control to work in Mythbuntu-9.10

Roger and I finally got together last evening, and enabled the Hauppauge remote control of the HVR-1600, on his Mythbuntu 9.10 system.

Not easy.

The idea here, was to get a working ir-kbd-i2c driver installed. I have a patch to make it work with the 2.6.30, kernel, and it works "out of the box" with 2.6.32 and higher. But Mythbuntu-9.10 uses the in-between 2.6.31 kernel, which cannot be easily fixed.

First, we tried the "simple" solution of installing a 2.6.32 kernel, but the syslog was instantly flooded by some ext4 error messages. Not wanting to risk filesystem corruption, we scrapped 2.6.32, and reverted back to the 2.6.31 Mythbuntu kernel again.

Next attempt was to download the latest snapshot of the entire [tuner] drivers subsystem from the v4l-dvb site, which includes a working ir-kbd-i2c driver with my fixes already in place.

Installing the snapshot drivers is normally simple: unpack the archive, do make and then make install, and reboot. But there were several build errors -- Mythbuntu's fault, not the drivers -- and we had to hand edit the config files to work around those.

Once we got it to build, the make install and reboot worked just fine. We then ran my enable_hauppauge_remote.sh script, and had a working remote control.

To make the fix "persistent", we added a call to that script into the /etc/init/mythtv-backend.conf "upstart" file (not the similar file in /etc/init.d/).

Unfortunately, Mythbuntu-9.10 also uses the new and confusing GRUB2 bootloader, rather than the hitherto Linux standard GRUB loader. In the time available to us, we were unable to figure out how to add a static boot stanza for the current kernel version to GRUB2. Well, we could add one, but it always got put at the end of the list rather than the top (default) position. Really useful, that (not!).

So this means that Roger has to be careful not to apply any automatic Mythbuntu kernel upgrades, because those will then become the default boot kernels, replacing our hacked driver stack. Things would still work, just not the remote control.

In theory, one could just rebuild the replacement driver stack again after any upgrade, but since Mythbuntu has broken the build for it, that's not trivial.

Ugh.

I expect this all to just go away with the upcoming Mythbuntu-10.4 release (April 2010), which is based on the 2.6.32 Linux kernel, with a working ir-kbd-i2c driver included by default. The enable_hauppauge_remote.sh script will still be needed, but that's a simple thing to tack on.

Cheers
 

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First of all I would like to thank Mark for his patience with me rescheduling this meeting a couple times and his time and expertise getting this to work! I am not sure if I would have had the time or patience to get it working on my own.

But there were several build errors -- Mythbuntu's fault, not the drivers -- and we had to hand edit the config files to work around those.
To bad we didn't document which config files needed to be edited and which lines need to be disabled to make it easier for others to follow in our footsteps.

Once we got it to build, the make install and reboot worked just fine. We then ran my enable_hauppauge_remote.sh script, and had a working remote control.
One thing though, we weren't able to get the auto-repeat to work well. I may try and play with this some more sometime to see if I can get it working better.

I expect this all to just go away with the upcoming Mythbuntu-10.4 release (April 2010), which is based on the 2.6.32 Linux kernel, with a working ir-kbd-i2c driver included by default. The enable_hauppauge_remote.sh script will still be needed, but that's a simple thing to tack on.
Lets hope my hard drive lasts until then. ;) Once Mythbuntu-10.4 is available, I hope to upgrade my hard drive or maybe even my entire system.
 

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Oh, in case anyone is wondering what ir-kbd-i2c stands for:

InfraRed-KeyBoarD over Inter IntegratedCircuit (I*I*C, or I-squared C, or I2C) bus (aka. 2-wire).
 

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32-bit, but the procedure is identical for 64-bit. Greg, we should get together (next week) and tune up your machine, too!
 

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I finally got a moment to plug everything back in at home last night and I am now experiencing the no audio bug on live TV and new recordings with the analog tuner as described in post #108. Programs I had recorded previously work fine. I tried the fix that Mark suggested in that post and it didn't work for me (the MythTV wiki for the HVR-1600 says it doesn't always work). I haven't restarted the PC since I made that change though (only so much you can do while holding a baby) so I am not sure if that will help or not.
 

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Thanks for the updates on MythTV with the HVR-1600. Last week I began what must be my third attempt over the years to get Myth running. I hadn't even gotten to configuring my HVR-1600 yet but it sounds like there is still work to be done so I'll wait a couple months for the dust to settle on 10.4. My hope this time around was to get better Clear QAM support than I'm getting with my Windows set up among other things.
 
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