Tag Archives: android

How My Mythbuntu (MythTV) Media Center Beta Has Worked Out (Halfway There)

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About my Home Entertainment System Attempt…

Initial Needs:

First of all, I had the following goals in mind from before:

  • Have ultimate control over TV
  • Recording live TV
  • Watching Live TV from any computer
  • Watch recordings anywhere
  • Be a media distribution platform
    • Share music or downloaded TV anywhere,
    • Distribute music from one PC to a variety of places, and more importantly, acting as a ‘repeater’ music tower.  Like, an Apple Airplay server.
    • Perform as a torrent downloading server

    About what I used / had to work with:

    • MythBuntu (MythTV)
    • Schedules Direct
  • My old HTC Evo 4G with MythDroid (as a remote control/remote streamer)
    • VLC on MythBuntu (for MythDroid)
  • uTorrent
  • ShoutCast (yet untested..)
  • My Motorola DCT3416 (I believe)
  • A Bluetooth Dongle
    • A Wii-Mote
  • Various Game Server software
    • Minecraft
    • TF2 /srcds was installed, but not configured.

     

    What I Learned:

    Ultimate Takeaways:

    1. Without a perfect/unique remote (MythDroid),
    2. without MythDroid being responsive and 100% good,
    3. And without the ability to detect two or more tuners in one device,

    …This is great, but not ideal.

    My biggest problems were the following:

    1. My users don’t want to take the time to figure out how to ‘do this’ and how to ‘do that’.
      A remote with 100 buttons is way too many.
      A remote with too few buttons is not enough.
      MythDroid is PERFECT, and revolutionary– but it doesn’t fail gracefully enough, and requires you or me to have an Android device in the first place.
    2. Being able to watch ONLY ONE THING at a time is a MAJOR disadvantage.
      Unless your MythTV/Ubuntu installation will detect two tuners inside one cable box, you may need to rent two cable boxes and hook them up at the same location!
    1. Why would you need to rent two AND hook them up at the same place?  MythBuntu can connect to remote “back ends’ and give them duties, or pull recordings from them.
    2. But, if your computer is set up with WiFi, you’ll need two computers and possibly buffering patience while the show streams from one PC to another.

  • Firewire is dead, but you’ll need it anyways.  So far, there’s only a mandate requiring cable companies to keep a FIREWIRE port in use…
    Finding a cable box that works with USB may be a holy grail.  One that sends BOTH tuners via USB may also be a fantasy..
  • Perhaps it’s easier to use TiVo Premiere.  
    - TiVo works with your cable provider,
    - has apps like NetFlix and Pandora– the former not working easily in Linux.  (It’d be nice if NetFlix had a native client inside the Chrome browser, though.)
    Downside?
    $600 to buy it directly from TiVo (or $240 for the first year), or $20 on top of your monthly cable bill.
    - No Web interface
    - No Recording Streaming via the Flash Web App

    - No Direct Recorded Show Streaming .. (if MythDroid gets that figured out)
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    Sprint Hero plan VS Droid Eris

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    I took a look at the Sprint Hero, and finally got one.

    Problems:

    • It has its slow moments.  Sometimes, I type so fast that the keyboard can’t keep up, even when the phone is doing nothing.
    • Some applications you download can stay on constantly, draining the battery, even if you aren’t using them.  (EG: See the UStream application.  Great in theory, bad in practice?)
    • It has its slow moments more frequently than you’d desire.  Sometimes, I hit the phone-hangup button to stop the sleep display on the phone, and I have to wait at least half a second for it to show up.  This can be a problem when it doesn’t show up for seconds, and then you hit the same button just to make sure it’s working.  If you dot hat, when the phone DOES come back, the display will light up–and then immediately disappear because you DID hit the ‘turn off display’ button twice.

    I think it’s worth my investment, however, and I’ll let you know how pleased I am by the end of the… ack. Two year contract :p

    $80 per month is affordable, however.  I’ve had this for at least a week, and have only used 24 minutes out of 450… Either I don’t call landlines enough, or I picked an amazing plan for my phone.

    Be back later– I plan to make an intellectual post on How to discipline yourself, what habits to create to get yourself discipline, and what has inspired this need for it with me.