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Mon, 17 Jan 2005

HDTV Experience

Got the HD-3000 card in the mail a few days ago. Took me an evening to get it and everything set up on my linux box. Turns out my box is a little slow for HD decoding (it’s a AMD1.5ghz) but I did get MythTV up and running and watched some of the signal for a bit. Since I was messing around with TV cards, I apt-get install‘ed EffecTV which turned out to be a really fun program.

MythTV is worthy. It’s well architected, split into two parts (mythtv-backend, mythtv-frontend) which can even be run on two different servers (ie: the honking “grabber-box” and a svelte “by the TV box”). X-Boxes are common to use as front-ends over a network to the central capture box, and because it’s all open source it’s very flexible with what you can do (multiple frontends per one backend, web-scheduled recording, burn DVD’s, VCD’s, scp the video files, etc). If you’ve got more time than money, it’s definitely the way to go.

Figure ~$500+ for a decent box (~$300 for a shuttle small-form factor PC, $50 for a regular capture card, ~$200 for an HDTV card, $100-200 for a hard-drive). Programming / Guide information is available from the kind people at Zap2it for the opensource community. Eventually it would turn to a pay service ($5-15 / month? … content is king!), but for the time being it’s available for free. You can also repurpose any old hardware you have lying around. I’ve got an older 60gb IDE drive, the two capture cards, would really just need the containing box and processor (most of the small form-factor PC’s already have built-in video and TV-out).

Unfortunately I’m a little short on time and money right now so most of this will have to wait until after wedding, furniture purchases, etc.

21:49 CST | category / entries
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