June 12, 2008 Archives

Thu Jun 12 12:30:21 CDT 2008

MythTV - Introduction

MythTV is Linux's answer to Tivo. For the cave-dwellers among us, these are Personal Video Recorders. A PVR is basically what VCRs and DVD players want to be when they grow up. If you're familiar with Linux you know that Freedom is the central theme. With your Tivo, you can only do with what the service provider says you can do.

"Mother, may I keep a copy of this show on my backup server?"
"Mother, may I watch this show on my laptop, at my neighbor's house with him?"
"Mother, may I automatically remove the commercials from this before I watch it?"
"Hahahahaha... No."
"Mother, may I convert this show and watch it on my iPod or PSP?"
"I'm pretty sure that's piracy. You'd better buy a copy just for your PSP."

I hope you get my drift.

With MythTV, you can do all this and more. I won't even try to list all of the great features, but a few of my favorite are:
  • Commercial detection
  • Web interface for remote management and viewing
  • Distributed server setup, allowing for multiple recorders and viewing stations
  • Multiple network protocols, so you can connect any machine on your network
  • No subscription fees (Well, most of us pay $20/yr for listings, but there are free options)
  • Myth Game allows you to play roms on your TV. Hey, you bought the games when you were a kid; might as well keep playing them.
  • It's Linux! You can install it on your toaster if you can work out the drivers. I hear that heating elements only produce 5x1 pixel resolution, so you might want to try it on an actual computer.
Now, since I think there are enough reviews of MythTV out there, I feel obligated to provide some technical details. I'll try to make these available soon.

Posted by Nesman | Permanent Link