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    I have been building/tinkering with a HTPC in my house for a few months now. My initial goal was to get a really nice mythTV setup in the house, but I have come to realize how young mythTV and linux drivers are (when it comes to HDTV that is... many of the regular tuners work much better since you can actually do decoding on the card and the hardware issues are much more familiar to developers).

    After trying a few different mythTV setups on various OSes, I ran with mythTV on a xubuntu install for a while. I eventually punted, installed windows XP, and tried out the new open source contender for windows, Media Portal. I believe this project is from the same guy who started the XBMC (Xbox Media Center) project, which I absolutely love.

    I tried Media Portal for a while, but it only detected one of my tuners (I am using a Kworld ATSC 110 and an Avermedia a180 - both HDTV tuners). Also, after watching TV playback for a while, it would freeze. The advantages of having windows drivers was obvious though: the performance was much better and CPU usage much lower. I wish it would have worked better.

    My next thought was to buy an OEM copy of Windows Media Center Edition. I have heard good things about it and it would be nice to have this integrate seamlessly with other computers in the house, especially once Vista rolls around. But, then something changed my short-term plans... the Saints are playing in the NFC championship!!! The friggin' Saints!!! I needed something ready so I can watch the game on my big screen, and since Media Portal had the lockup issues, that was out of the question. The game will be played on Fox, which is one of the channels that the mythTV setup played well, so I decided to go back to the mythTV setup temporarily so I could watch the game.

    I decided to try KnoppMyth for the second time. I had tried it once in the past and it was a nightmare for me. Of course, at that time, I knew nothing about the driver support for my tuners and nothing about mythTV. This time around, things were different. I managed to get things working pretty well and now some of my previous mythTV issues are gone as well!!! Maybe I will stick with mythTV a little longer.

    To get things working in KnoppMyth (I am using the R5E50 release), I did have to do some work. First off, my first tuner was getting detected as a "V-Stream Studio TV Terminator"!!!

    dmesg output:

    saa7133[0]: subsystem: 1461:1044, board: V-Stream Studio TV Terminator [card=65,insmod option]

    After quite a bit of digging, I noticed that one of the init scripts, /etc/init.d/KnoppMyth-tv, was calling a script way down at the bottom called "/usr/local/bin/". Looking at that script, I saw:

    lspci | grep SAA7133/SAA7135 > /tmp/tvterm
    if [ ! -s /tmp/tvterm ]; then
    echo -e "\033[1mSetting up Studio TV Terminator.\033[0m"
    rmmod saa7134 &> /dev/null
    modprobe saa7134 card=65

    Well, duh! The script greps lspci output for 7133/7135 chipsets and then assumes it is a Studio TV Terminator card!! At least I guess you could say the script is appropriately named though, as it did terminate my tv experience. :)

    To fix, I simply commented out the call to tvterm in the KnoppMyth-tv init script. Then, I set up an init script to call "modprobe saa7134-dvb". I did some other stuff in there that is probably unnecessary, but here it is (I put it in /etc/init.d, then ran update-rc.d to include it as an init script):

    #! /bin/sh

    echo "In my saa7134 installer script ..."

    echo "Loading module saa7134 ..."
    modprobe saa7134

    echo "Running depmod -a"
    depmod -a

    echo "Loading module saa7134-dvb ..."
    modprobe saa7134-dvb

    Next, I had to get my xorg.conf set up for my projector. I got the modeline setting for my InFocus SP-4805 projector off the web, but after putting it in, I was getting the wrong screensize even though the projector was reporting an 854x480 resolution. Finally, I fixed it by removing 800x600 as an option in the screen section. Now, my "Monitor" and "Screen" sections in my xorg.conf look like this:

    Section "Monitor"
            Identifier   "SDM-M51D"
            Option      "VendorName" "Infocus SP4805"
            Option      "ModelName" "Generic Autodetecting Monitor"
            Option      "NoDDC" "1"
            Option      "IgnoreEDID" "true"
            Option      "UseEdidFreqs" "false"
            Option      "DPMS" "false"
            HorizSync   25 - 80.0
            VertRefresh 50.0 - 85.0
            Modeline    "848x480" 37.293 848 936 984 1104 480 508 509 563 +hsync +vsync

    Section "Screen"
        Identifier    "Default Screen"
        Device        "Generic Video Card"
        Monitor        "SDM-M51D"
        DefaultDepth    24
        SubSection "Display"
            Depth        1
            Modes        "848x480" "720x400" "640x480"
        SubSection "Display"
            Depth        4
            Modes        "848x480" "720x400" "640x480"
        SubSection "Display"
            Depth        8
            Modes        "848x480" "720x400" "640x480"
        SubSection "Display"
            Depth        15
            Modes        "848x480" "720x400" "640x480"
        SubSection "Display"
            Depth        16
            Modes        "848x480" "720x400" "640x480"
        SubSection "Display"
            Depth        24
            Modes        "848x480" "720x400" "640x480"
            #Modes        "720x400" "640x480"

    After that, things are working pretty well. I believe I am all set up for the big Saints game at least. I still have a problem with my clock setting. I cannot understand why after all these years it is still as hard and complicated as it is to set the darned time on a linux box.

    If anyone is having any problems with their KWorld ATSC 110 or the AverMedia a180, let me know and I can see if I can help. Also, if anyone has gotten their Kworld remote to work, please pass the info along. I hear there is a kernel patch floating around to enable support for it, but I am hesitant to try patching the kernel right now since things are working.

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    At February 1, 2007 4:41 PM , Blogger Matt said...

    Which card worked and which card didn't work with mediaportal?

    At February 1, 2007 9:15 PM , Blogger Frankie said...

    Hmm... I don't remember any more. It's been a while.

    At February 15, 2007 10:37 PM , Blogger Paul said...

    Thanx for the Knoppmyth tips on A180 setup. When I setup the tuner card it shows up as /dev/video0, but it shows up as; Card type: Analog V4L capture card, Probed info: AVermedia AVerTVHD MCE A180 [saa7134]. But it only has composite1 and S-Video as possible Default inputs. I get the same results for Card type: pcHDTV DTV capture card (w/V4L drivers).

    For the DVB 0 setup I see under the Card type: DVB DTV capture card (v3.x), Frontend ID: Could not open card #0 Sobtype: Device or resource busy. This is after the first time I try to watch live TV on the card and get sound and a blue screen, or try to record. Before I try to actually use the tuner I get a Frontend ID of; Nextwave NXT200X VSB/QAM, frontend Subtype: ATSC

    XP Athlon 3000+
    nVidia chipset board
    ATI Radeon 9200
    1 GB DDR RAM 400 MHz
    250 GB harddrive EIDE
    Hauppauge PVR-500 analog
    AVermedia A180 MCE OEM
    Knoppmyth ver. RE50
    Vizio NX32L LCD TV using VGA (damned HDCP) at 1024x768@75Hz

    The Nextwave NXT200X is screwing up the first time I try to use it for recording or Live TV.

    Is this even the right driver?

    Please help.


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