MythTV — Part I — Struggle Begins

My battle with MythTV installation and configuration.

In light of my newfound cable service, I decided to put one of my spare Dell boxes to work in doing a home-grown TiVo. So a few days ago, I ordered a Hauppauge WinTV-PVR 150 capture card to give it a shot. It’s a relatively new card with decent performance for the price (after a 10% off coupon — roughly $85).

I spent most of the weekend tinkering with Mythtv running on Fedora (Core 3). I got most of the information from Jarod Wilson’s site (excellent documentation). But last night at 3AM, I finally gave in to Mythtv and called it a defeat (for now).

There are a few problems concerning my set up; one of them being that Fedora Core 3 is not particularly happy about the onboard Crystal sound card (it worked in Core 2 though). Topping that off, WinTV-PVR 150 seems a bit too new to get a stable driver. I spent a lot of time just getting the module to load into the Kernel during my first install. It turned out that the latest Linux Kernel doesn’t like the module. I had to roll back to the older 2.6.11-1.27FC3smp to get the damn thing to just load.

Then there’s the problem with the IR transmitter and receiver. Apparently lirc 0.7.0 doesn’t support PVR 150. Though I’d installed the new lirc 0.7.1 (which supposedly does support PVR 150), the receiver still did not produce any output despite hours of Googling and trying out new settings.

Frustrated, I finally completely erased the setup and started fresh again on Sunday. But this time, something happened to the partitions which Kernel 2.6.11-1.27FC3smp didn’t like and freaks out at boot. Does it have anything to do with the fact that I installed VMWare 4.5.2 (thanks, Kyung!) prior to the reboot? Speaking of VMWare, it runs beautifully smooth under Fedora Core 3 with Windows 2000 on it. Very very nice.

In the coming few days, I might give it a shot again. Last night just right after I gave up, I found a clip from Systm that demonstrated a clean install using KnoppMyth — a ONE disc install wonder. The only problem, again, is that its lirc driver is still at 0.7.0 and won’t like my PVR 150 card. But on KnoppMyth’s discussion forum, someone posted a patch that’s claimed to have made it work. Hopefully it’ll finally work so I can finall grow fat and old on Simpsons episodes.

Stupid MythTV… Stupid PVR 150 card… Stupid Fedora Core 3 and its new Kernel…