Wednesday, March 22, 2006

MythTV/Media

Well, the free digital video recorder software, MythTV has a reputation for being difficult to set up, and in my opinion it's justified! But with a bit of perl script modification, some changes to the MySQL database and other jiggery-pokery it now works. And I must say it's great! Just the fact that the kids can watch their obligatory half hour of Danish kids TV at any time starting at 6pm rather than having to see it at exactly 6pm each day is worth the price in itself. We already time shifted Bowling for Columbine which DR found fit to send at some ungodly hour, so we're giddy with the possibilities of new technology.

Clicking on the on-screen TV guide to record a programme is so much simpler than the old find-a-blank-tape-and-make-sure-the-video-is-powered-at-the-right-time-and-program-with-the-remote palaver, it's a pleasure to use. And watching the start of a programme while the end of it is recording is great too.

So I'm loving it, but I'm not exactly recommending it. The MVPMC software isn't quite done yet, though the developers seem active. LiveTV isn't working for me (but I can watch things I am recording while they record) and there are some problems with getting the aspect ratio right, so we now suffer from the fat head syndrome despite the fact that our TV is not a wide screen. On the plus side, playback is smooth, the MediaMVP is silent and low power (< 10W when running, and we just switch it off when it's not in use) and image quality is fine. Call me easily satisfied, but I'm happy!

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