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Boston Linux Meeting Wed, July 15, 2009 Another Look at MythTV and MythDora

On Thu, Jul 09, 2009 at 10:53:29PM -0400, Bill Horne wrote:
> I'd like to hear some background info on MythTV:

More of my anecdotes, because I'm unlikely to make the meeting.

>   1. Cost vs. a commercial DTV unit.

Cost isn't a good reason to get into this. If you value your
time at a professional rate, a TiVo HD with lifetime service
is much cheaper.

The hardware demands aren't horrendous, though. If I were
re-buying my system today, I would get:

- AMD Athlon 6000 dual core, or whatever was similar in price
  and performance
- 2 GB RAM
- an NVidia 9400 video card
- reuse a small disk for system and database
- and a DVD burner
- 2-4 1TB disks for storage
- HDHomeRun (2 antenna/cable tuners and an IR port)
- and if I had a cable or satellite source that didn't allow
  FireWire on the channels I wanted, an HD-PVR.

All told that hardware will cost about what the TiVo will.

>   2. Advantages over a store-bought unit.

Control. You are in charge. Don't like how something acts or
looks? Change it. If you can record it in the first place, you
can transcode it, commercial-flag it, edit it, burn it to a DVD,
copy it to another machine, put it on a memory card or a USB
stick or whatever. Want multiple front-ends playing from the
same store of recordings? Change the interface because that one
thing annoys you? Go right ahead.

Basically, it's the same arguments as Linux vs Windows. 

>   3. Learning curve.

>From a user's perspective, or the sysadmin's?

My 6 year-old son can (and all too frequently does) navigate the
menu structure, select episodes to play, pause them, play them,
adjust the volume, decide it's not what he wants, and pick
something else. There's a reason he doesn't know the password to
the screensaver...

My wife, who is a Mac user, routinely adds rules for recordings,
deletes programs, and so forth and so forth.

So from a user's perspective, I would have to say that the
learning curve is shallow but long -- you can learn the basics
easily, and there's always something more to learn that isn't
too difficult to figure out.

Exclusive of upgrades, I generally spend a few minutes a week
administering the system.

Initial configuration is more serious, but is essentially a
weekend task for an experienced Linux sysadmin.


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