[Gllug] Is linux a good bet for HTPC

Andrew Davies amd_uk at lineone.net
Fri May 6 03:19:47 UTC 2011

On 05/05/2011 23:53, Chris Bell wrote:
> On Thu 05 May, damion.yates at gmail.com wrote:
>> Mine also sounded like a boeing 747 taking off when it warmed up!
>> The newer devices use less power and are pretty much completely silent.
>> The old advantage of being able to run OtherOS (like a Linux dist) was
>> taken away.  Definitely get a new one if you like the idea.
>> Damion
>     All the set-top Freeview boxes I have seen crash frequently, requiring
> power disconnection for a few minutes, and too often a complete initial
> setup to follow, even more of a pain if it contains a hard disc which also
> crashes. Are MythTV and recent boxes better? I suspect part of the problem
> is reduced transmitter power until analogue is switched off.

I have a BT Vision box and, despite the name, it's been pretty much rock 
solid. It's needed a hard reset about 10 times in c. 18 months but I 
think that this was almost always down to BT trying to update the 
firmware. Humax have a very good reputation for Freeview boxes so they 
might be worth a go for a consumer box. As I've already said, you could 
get a fast PIII or an early P4 and a PCI Freeview card to try MythTV out 
on if you're interested and haven't got a spare machine already (there's 
a Compaq P3 733 currently on ebay for £30 delivered, and a Nova-T 
Freeview card for £17, both used obviously).

My MythTV installation has a slight issue in that it has a dedicated TV 
aerial that feeds it and it's currently sitting 2 feet away from the 
machine on top of a filing cabinet. As you can probably guess, this 
isn't the best situation for receiving a high quality signal and 
sometimes the recording will fail with an error code that seems to 
indicate that it's missed an initialization step due to a weak signal.

I have a nettop turning up soon that I plan to swap in for the BT Vision 
box. I already have a few Hauppauge USB tuners so it'll allow me and 
others in the house to have much more control over recording TV and also 
being able to stream those recordings to any networked computer in the 
house. I can then turn my old MythTV box into a test machine that I can 
try out some non-standard MythTV options that I've been reluctant to do 
with the risk of losing my Freeview recorder for any length of time.

I think I've doubled my post count to this list with my MythTV spam, so 
you can probably tell where my main interests lie with Linux.
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