My ongoing experiences with Ubuntu, and later Mythbuntu, as a media center with MythTV. I'm also using the system for a virtual machine server, a mediawiki server and a general all around home infrastructure base.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Installing Mythbuntu 10.04 from scratch (part one).

As I mentioned in my previous post, I decided to install Mythbuntu to use with my Hauppauge WinTV HVR-1600 (model 01199) tuner card. I started by installing Mythbuntu 10.04 from the CD and I followed the Happauge HVR-1600 directions from the MythTV website. Note that I am only configuring the ATSC digital over-the-air tuner and not the analog tuner.

First I went through the standard install screens (language, time zone, keyboard layout, etc.). For partitioning, I used a 80GB partition for the root partition, created a 19GB swap partition and a 50GB /home partition.

For installation type, I chose "Primary Backend w/Frontend."

For services I left the defaults: SSH and Samba.

I enabled a Remote Control and chose "Haupauge TV-Card" as I didn't see HVR-1600 and that seemed most logical. I left "Enable Dynamic Button Mappings" checked and "Generate Frontend Restart Mapping" unchecked.

For Graphics Driver I chose "NVDIA Graphics" since I have an NVIDIA card and have been through this before. I left TV-Out disabled.

After about 10 minutes of installation, a screen came up to configure the Backend and I launched MythT Setup:

  • Under "General" I changed nothing.
  • Under "Capture Cards" I created a new capture card of type "DVB DTV capture card (v3.x)". Under Recording options I set the max recordings to 1. (This all per the MythTV web page at the start of this post.)
  • Under "Video Sources" I added a new video source of type "Transmitted guide only (EIT)". Don't forget to give it a name or it will be a blank line on the video sources list which will confuse you into thinking it wasn't added.
  • Under "Input Connections" I selected the DVB capture device and set the video source to the video source I just just added in the previous step. Then I selected "Scan for Channels" which found roughly a dozen ATSC channels I inserted, plus two MPEG channels I inserted.
  • Under the "Channel Editor" I saw what looked like a reasonable list of over-the-air channels for my area. I didn't do anything under this option.
When I exited MythTV Setup I was prompted to run mythfilldatabase, which I did. It didn't have any apparent effect.

That completed installation, CD ejected and system rebooted.

Hmmm, as the system went down for the reboot I got a bunch of "end_request: I/O error, dev sr0, sector " errors and the system hung. So I power cycled it.

When the system came up I got a dialog box about Ubuntu running in low-graphics mode with a "Failed to initialize NVIDIA graphics device" error. 

I selected "Reconfigure graphics" and then "Create new configuration for the hardware". That seemed to generate a new configuration and I restarted X. MythTV came up fine.

I tried watching TV at this point and tuning seemed to be working, but I didn't appear to be getting audio...

Before I tackled the audio problem, I decided to do some basic system administration. I exited MythTV and fired up a terminal (under Applications/Accessories).

From there I did a update of the system (took about 10 minutes) followed by a reboot:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo reboot

When the system came up I got the same "running in low-graphics mode" dialog box. I did the same "Reconfigure graphics" and restart of X as last time. Another problem on the stack...

I checked and tuning still working fine (and still no audio).

My next step was to configure the system with a static IP address. I followed the same directions I have before, but when I ran "/etc/init.d/networking restart" I got a "SIOCDELRT: No such process" error. Wow, this was becoming a painful install.

Ah, I found these directions and doing a "ifup eth0" did indeed restart the interface with a static IP address. I then rebooted the system to make sure the configuration persisted and it did.

OK, now I could install my SSH public key and, ahhh, easy access from my laptop. Much better.

Looking into low-graphics mode problem... I noticed I had no /etc/X11/xorg.conf file, but I did have a /, so I copied it to /etc/X11/xorg.conf and rebooted. Now the system didn't complain about being in a low resolution mode, but my monitor did complain about "non optimal mode" and my keyboard didn't seem to work. So I moved it aside and rebooted again. This time the system came up without any warnings about low-graphics mode. Weird. I rebooted again just to make sure and it worked. OK, don't understand it, but problem considered solved for the moment.

Looking into lack of audio... ah, I actually do have audio, it's just really soft. I have to crank the volume and I can hear it. Even if I turned the volume up to 100% (using F11) it was still really soft.

Hmm, I'm also noticing my video is somewhat jittery, like I experienced before when I wasn't using the NVIDIA drivers.

Well, that's enough for this post. I'll pick it up in my next post...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Back in the saddle again with Mythbuntu and HDTV OTA...

Well, after deciding I didn't need MythTV any more, I've changed my mind. Mainly because we dropped cable tv and are now relying on over the air (OTA) HDTV, so my old Series 1 Tivo, with only an analog tuner, doesn't do me a lot of good any more.

So, I bought a Hauppauge HVR-1600 (model 1099) with the idea of running MythTV again, this time tuning in OTA HDTV. I've going to install Mythbuntu 10.04 from scratch and go from there.

Stay tuned...