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New MythTV Based PVR Available 214

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the everyone-needs-a-rack-mountable-pvr dept.
aotea_Joe writes "OpenMedia is putting together a mad crazy Linux based home media pc. It's DVB-T and HDTV capable, network ready (streaming, control, sharing). Has all the standard PVR features (real time pause, scheduling, listings etc). Plus you own the hardware, get support and get updates/maintenance. Is it too good to be true?"
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New MythTV Based PVR Available

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  • Prices are in NZ Dollars (inc GST) and are subject to change without notice. At this time, orders are only taken within New Zealand. Our standard preferred payment method is by bank transfer. Details will be sent to you at time of order.

    And check out the prices!!

    • Hardly new - D1's [hmc.com.au] been doing this in Australia for 18 months or so.

      Of course, they're pretty coy about it being a mythtv build.

      And the exchange rate is something like 40,000 NZ Sheep Barter Units to the USD, so it's pretty cheap really. If you could get one shipped over, that is. And if you crazy americans would adhere to proper standards, like PAL and DVB-T.

      (ducks and runs for cover)
  • by raffe (28595) *
    Does the mythtv people get anything out of this?
    • Re:money (Score:2, Funny)

      by elrous0 (869638) *
      Does the mythtv people get anything out of this?

      Yeah, a hearty "Thanks for doing our work for free, suckers!"

      -Eric

    • Re:money (Score:3, Insightful)

      by minus_273 (174041)
      why? its like saying does linus get anything from redhat?
    • Re:money (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Cat_Byte (621676) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @09:07AM (#15203957) Journal
      Does the mythtv people get anything out of this?

      No but these people need to look at the zap2it guide information download terms of use. They can't sell something for profit that downloads from their free service.
      • Re:money (Score:3, Insightful)

        by The Asmodeus (18881)
        100% Correct.

        Zap2it has been awesome to let us use their listing feed. But they expressly forbid this kind of for-profit usage. I'm hoping they are using another feed..

        Of course, they might say on their site if it wasn't melted already...
        • Sounds like they should build in a torrent client/server into Myth
          so the users can share the bandwidth load of the schedule.
      • Re:money (Score:5, Informative)

        by itsdapead (734413) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @09:29AM (#15204093)
        Why (in the absence of a non /.ed TFA) do people assume its using Zap2it? I think that is US only anyway. Note they said it supports DVB-T (Thats digital terrestrial TV outside the US). Don't know about NZ but in the UK there is a free 7-day EPG broadcast with the DVB-T signal which MythTV happily grabs. Plus MythTV supports xmltv which can scrape listings from a variety of websites worldwide.
        • Why (in the absence of a non /.ed TFA) do people assume its using Zap2it?

          Um, because MythTV does? And we don't want anything to damage the relationship with TMS/Zap2It?

          • Re:money (Score:2, Funny)

            by robthebob (742982)
            Um, America != World...
          • Zap2IT is for US (and Canada?) only. on DVB-T systems in NZ they'd be using the DVB EIT information, and possibly xmltv if they wanted.

            Using the DVB EIT info would provide plug-and-play zeroconfig so I'm betting they do not use xmltv by default (would require user intervention probably)
        • I'm a NZ mythtv owner/user. There are no good locations (that I know of anyway) for TV listings. All reliable systems currently rely on scraping either Sky (the subscriber channels) or TV1,2,3,4 websites.

          Its pretty ugly, but the scrapers are impressive and do their job well. The pick of the bunch is written by Riven. [riven.co.nz] Its a .Net app that runs in Mono.

          My suspicion is that these guys are using Riven's work, or they have inked a deal with Sky. It is extremely unlikly they have inked a deal with any of the free
          • Also a NZ Mythtv user...

            TVNZ does send free EPG data over DVB-T (only available in Akl IIRC). Unfortunately, it is crap.

            Sky however, sends unencrypted EPG over DVB-S that is of quite high quality. The reason that you cannot get it on your system is that it is copyright by sky so the people with it (anyone with a DVB-S card) cannot share it for long before sky shuts it down. However, any mythtv system with a DVB-S card in it can get sky's EPG data legally.

            Sadly, you cannot decrypt sky using your DVB-S car
        • Yah, sorta... NZ has 14 day EPG via DVB-T thanks to TVNZ. Unfortunately the bozos that run TVNZ cannot generate valid EPG data to save themselves, making the data somewhat useless. Sky (no idea if it is the same company as Sky in the UK) can be picked up via DVB-S which will give you fairly decent unencrypted EPG and unencrypted FTA channels (and lots of encrypted channels).
      • No but these people need to look at the zap2it guide information download terms of use. They can't sell something for profit that downloads from their free service.

        Zap2it is irrelevant because they don't provide listings for New Zealand, where this box is being sold. Aside from that, the box is not being sold with Zap2it's data on it, just the ability to use Zap2it's data. I can't see how Zap2it can refuse service just because someone is using a paid-for device to access their feed.

    • Re:money (Score:3, Informative)

      Does[sic] the mythtv people get anything out of this?

      Yes, sort of. They get any changes or bugfixes this company makes to the code. Basically, they get free labor. Since MythTV is an open project the license is designed to benefit the users, not the developers (except in that the developers are users, which is why they are developing it).

    • Re:money (Score:2, Informative)

      by openmedia_nz (970987)
      Yes. We are already contributing patches and tweaks back via the Knoppmyth community. Our support team monitors the Knoppmyth Forum and the MythTV mailing list. We are fully comitted to OpenSource and any major changes/patches/tweaks will be made publically available. In order to support a diverse range of customers we need to fully test all patches before rolling them out. Any issues/problems are reported back, if possible with a fix. Hence the whole community benefits.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @09:07AM (#15203951)
    OpenMedia is putting together a mad crazy Linux based home media pc.

    Is it the mad crazy super duper bomb diggity, for shizzle?

  • Has all the standard PVR features (real time pause, scheduling, listings etc). Plus you own the hardware, get support and get updates/maintenance. Is it too good to be true?

    Some say that the fact that people might believe that MythTV is too good to be true is a myth. But I am not sure, so we are sending some scientists to test it. We can then find out if it indeed exists, observe its behaviour, and how it is supported by its environment. Stay tuned for the real-time results.
  • by edwardpickman (965122) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @09:12AM (#15203978)
    They are using one as a server while they watch a movie?
  • by nblender (741424) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @09:26AM (#15204069)
    I have a mythbackend and 2 frontends. I'm building a new backend for my DVB card. Ignoring installation issues and everything, if a pre-built box were to just show up, it would still be a little too arcane for the general public to use. I see my parents as "general public". My dad has a laptop and knows how to use various MS productivity things... The myth recording profiles, and schedules, and so forth, are poorly designed so an average run of the mill person has no idea what any of it means. MythTV is still a product by geeks for geeks. For example,

    In the mythweb page "recorded_programs", how is a non-geek supposed to know what "has commflag: Yes" means? "has cutlist: No". How bout "recgroup"?

    Don't get me wrong. I mythtv. In fact, I never watch livetv anymore and don't think I've seen a commercial in over a year. My wife has an xbox on 'her TV' as a mythfrontend to the backend. It's relatively wife-friendly. But it's not ready for the 'out of the box' market yet.

    • How are you running an xbox as a MythTV frontend? I have an xbox modded with an upgraded HD. After doing a little searching there appears to be a build of MPlayer (that has support for the .nuv files from MythTV) compiled for native running on the xbox. I have looked at xbox-linux.org and I did not see an installer I could add as a menu item to my EvoX dashboard.

      Thanks,
      the_crowbar
    • if a pre-built box were to just show up, it would still be a little too arcane for the general public to use. I see my parents as "general public"... But it's not ready for the 'out of the box' market yet.

      I disagree. I know plenty of people who are tech-savvy enough and willing to learn their way around somewhat arcane configuration options, but not able or not willing to install their own MythTV system from scratch.

      There is a part of the "market" that can and will build their own, and a part of the m

  • by Brix Braxton (676594) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @09:30AM (#15204099) Homepage
    As much as I love homebrew PVR's (I use several along with my Tivo) I can't help but think that for most people - the better value would be to just buy a Tivo and a lifetime subscription (and if they no longer offer that, then three years of service). If you want to copy MPEG files over, use Tivo to Go or get a ReplayTV. PC's are sloppy compared to these options.
    • For $5/month, I can't see changing my DirectTivo. I don't watch much TV, so even though I have a pc hooked up in the living room, buying a tv card & installing Myth seems like too much effort. I just slapped a larger drive in the DirectTivo & it does everything I want. It's funny, my kids aren't going to remember a time where tv couldn't be paused!
    • I'd love a Tivo but you can't get Tivo in New Zealand. The only alternative is the proprietary mySky product from Sky TV New Zealand. This has far less features, and total vendor lockin. Also with mySky you never own the product, yout just pay NZ$600 for the right to lease it. With myPVR you own the HW from day one. If you continue with your support contract we will provide patches, fixes and upgrade advise.
      • I live in NZ, ergo am a potential customer. However I'm obviously a bit ignorant. Could you possibly explain what the difference/benefit is of your product over something like the NZD$700 HDD recorder sold by DSE [dse.co.nz]? Is it that it's built on FOSS, or that the DSE hardware is DRMed somehow, that your product has a better or more intuitive GUI, or what? From looking at the specs of the two products, I get the impression that the main advantages of your one seem to be (1) bigger HDD (2) dual layer DVD writer (3)
    • Tivo would be a better option for many people, but it's no available in NZ or any many other countries. And there are other benefits to MythTV - Tivo can't import videos or music, right?
  • They must be good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Junta (36770) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @09:35AM (#15204121)
    I've only gotten my HD mythtv setup to 'crazy', acheiving 'mad crazy' is a huge step in the right direction.

    Seriously though, not that hard. I have a box that does ATSC and mythtv and displays via DVI to HDMI cable to my TV. (AirStar HD5000 tuner, onboard GeFore 6150 for DVI video). It could do unencrypted QAM channels if I wasn't too much a cheapskate to buy cable.

    I would be impressed if they had something that took CableCard or something for encrypted QAM channels on cable.
    • It could do unencrypted QAM channels if I wasn't too much a cheapskate to buy cable.

      Even if you weren't a cheapskate, don't even bother. There are almost no unencrypted QAM channels on cable. On my cable system (Cox) the only unencrypted channel is one the local WeatherChannel Weather Scan channel thing. A homemade DVR, be it MCE or MythTV, is really pointless from HDTV perspective except for OTA, and what's on that? The FCC has really screwed us over here.

      If somebody has any way to get DVR functionalit
  • The site seems to be slashdotted for some reason :-0, but I managed to grab this bit:

    Additional Dual Tuner Model Now Available

    Wednesday, 19 April 2006

    Due to customer demand an additional standard configuration of myPVR has been released.

    It appears by far that customers want their "Personal Video Recorders" to have dual tuners. Hence we are please to announce the availability of an additional dual tuner model with the smaller 250GB Hard Drive.

    For the average user this HTPC can handle between 100 and

  • Myth Project (Score:3, Informative)

    by u16084 (832406) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @10:28AM (#15204462)
    I believe this was making its round couple weeks ago, so skip the crying over dupes..


    Pluto - Combines Security, Home Automation, Telecom (and other things) into a single package. Uses bluetooth roaming to follow your audio around your house.. OpenSource, and it also utilizes Myth. I thought Its a neat project.

    Link - http://plutohome.com/ [plutohome.com]
  • The problem with solutions that are not integrated into the cable/satellite box with current technology is that they have to use IR (infrared) controller to change channels. This misses sometimes, making you miss some of your shows. For this reason, I would rather have an inferior interface with a higher reliability, integrated into the unit. This is why I use DirecTV, because they integrate TiVo into their box, and it's like $5/month for the service. It's worth it for the fact that I never miss a sched
    • My MythTV box changes channels on my cable box using the same serial connection that TiVo uses. It works perfectly every time. If your serial connection isn't enabled, call your cable provider and tell them you've got a TiVo.
      • Wow, that's news! Last I checked, the serial port on my cable box did nothing, and TiVo was not able to access it. But if I can drive it via a reliable external mechanism, I'd love to use an open, flexible computer-based solution to program my TV.
  • Out of interest, what do people on Slashdot do for PVR's in the UK?

    If you have Sky, it seems like you're locked into using Sky+ - which admitidally is rather nice and has possibily the next best UI to Tivo (but is still way ahead of everything else out there). However I don't want to pay £15/month for half the channels I want and then an extra £10/month for the subscription to the + service.

    For Freeview, you seem to be left with Humax, DigiFusion or Toppy - all of which are substantially low

    • What do you mean by "DIY Freeview" ?

      If you want freeview going through a pc (the DIY part) then get a freeview pci card or usb box and plug it in. You can use Myth on Linux, or various solutions on Windows XP such MS Media centre, Media Portal [team-mediaportal.com], (I was going to add Meedio [meedio.com], but it seems they've been bought out by Yahoo [meedio.com]), Snapstreams "Beyond TV". [snapstream.com]

      If you're on linux, then you could use the Hardware compatibility list at LinuxQuestions [linuxquestions.org] to help in choosing a card.

      There is a nice selection of DVB-T cards available

  • MythTV + Bittorrent (Score:3, Informative)

    by iamnotaclown (169747) on Wednesday April 26, 2006 @12:32PM (#15205564)
    I, too, built a crazy-but-not-quite-mad-crazy mythTV box using Shuttle kit and a Hauppauge PVR 250. For a few months I happily scheduled recordings of my favourite shows.

    Until I discovered TvTorrents.com [tvtorrents.com]. Why bother going through all the trouble of recording, waiting for the backend to flag the commercials and transcode to Xvid when I can just subscribe to a RSS feed using Azureus and have the final product appear automatically (almost... you have to manually rescan for them to show up in the list of videos).

    In my opinion, this is the future of TV, whether the networks want it or not.

  • Unless you just want to tinker with things, just get a TiVo and have something that works. Sure, it's closed, proprietary, evil capitalist pig dog BUT...

    If you use a TiVo for a year the component cost of a given custom PVR will drop by the amount you put into the TiVo. You can then decide to stick with TiVo or switch to a custom PVR. Lather, rinse, repeat.

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