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...
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