Tuesday, May 24, 2005

It Works!

From yesterday, in order of completion:

Dependency #5

Still haven't finshed hacking tv_grab_uk_bleb but put it to use anyhow. mythfilldatabase now runs twice at 4.15am out of crontab. Once to populate the TV channel info from Radio Times and again to import Radio channels using bleb/xmltv's XML file.

Dependency #2

It was time to get my NTL box to play ball (or at least switch channels when requested).

I set about building a homebrew serial IR Blaster. The components I'd scraped together included a discontinued IR LED of unknown specification, an ancient albeit unused diode and a 2k2 resistor I'd desoldered from a project over 15yrs ago. Frankly, I wasn't expecting it to work.

lircd needed some persuasion and reconfiguration but after I'd hacked that I was amazed to find that the blaster actually worked! On the first test!

I didn't like the contributed channel changer scripts as they all used multiple irsend commands with pauses. Not wanting to wait 5s for each channel change, I wrote a new one that sent the channel digits using a single irsend command. So-far, this has worked 100% during testing and manages to change channel within 1 second (add another couple seconds for the encode/decode ring buffer).

Dependency #1

I opted to change the screen size within the Appearance setting of mythfrontend. This was a quick+dirty hack and didn't produce consistent results with different TV aspect modes. I'd have it looking perfect under 4:3 and then changing to 16:9 or Panasonic's intelligent 'Just' mode would lose the edges again. It's now fine in 'Just' and bad in other modes. However, as 'Just' handles 4:3 stretching and anamorphic 16:9 fairly well, I left it there. Need to come back and look at this again in phase #2 of the project.

Dependency #4

Played around with the capture options some more but still don't know what to use. I won't really be able to judge this properly until I've got a clean svideo feed to capture. I have LiveTV at 720x576, Default at slightly lower and Low Quality at 480x480...

It Works!

I didn't satisfy the 3rd dependency but nonetheless, I now have a working MythTV system. Spent several hours getting used to the remote, scheduling and watching recordings and fiddling with various settings.

Although there's still a long way to go, I've reached the end of phase #1. MythTV is online and operational!


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