[rescue] WTB: Cisco C3524 and C3512

Geoffrey S. Mendelson gsm at mendelson.com
Tue Aug 8 09:51:33 CDT 2006

On Tue, Aug 08, 2006 at 10:20:44AM -0400, nate at portents.com wrote:
> > (Though what I still want in a DVR is a button to not just skip the
> > commercials, but instantly and permanently edit them out.)
> Build yourself a MythTV box and you can:

Good luck. My experience with MythTV makes Windows "media center edition"
look awfully good. 

It's detailed in my blog, but the summary of it is;

1. It's almost impossible to install and "get it right". The best version
   I've seen is KnoppMyth, a Knoppix MythTv blend. However DON'T update it.

2. Myth TV uses OSS (the old sound system) to record. It uses ALSA 
   (advanced linux sound architechture) to play if you have it.
   OSS emulation for TV cards died in the later Kernels, for example

3. It's difficult to use. My wife still can not figure out how to play
   a DVD, and it's impossible for her to play a DVD ROM or network avi file.
   I have no trouble with either YMMV. Our $75 disposable DVD player
   did both.

4. It needs a fast CPU. A 1.7gHz P4 will not record TV in mp4, only MP2.
   The problem is that NOTHING decodes their MP2 files except MythTV.
   You cannot stream them or convert them unless you use their transcoder
   (which requires access to a mythtv database).

5. The TV guide function may or may not work for you. It does not work
   for Israel.

6. Setting up a remote control is difficult. The remote that came with
   my TV card is next to useless (it poorly emulates a mouse under linux).
   I had to find one of the last available Packard Bell remotes in the
   country (Israel) and it works sort of. Every so often MythTV forgets
   how to understand some commands, both under LIRC (remote control)
   and a real keyboard.

   You have to set up LIRC twice. Once for MythTV (undocumented) and
   once for XMMS. I still have not gotten it working properly.

7. Playing DVDs is anoying. It either uses XMMS, which has minor problems,
   once you set it up properly, or the new embeded DVD player. The embeded
   one does not let you choose things via the menu, it only plays the movie
   and has other problems (what do you want for a first release).

   You also have to eject the DVD when done. Pushing the botton does nothing.

8. The user interface is confusing and annoying. It needs to have less on 
   the main menu and a play dvd button.

9. The play music interface is designed to play an audio CD. If you have a
   large MP3 library, like I have, it gets lost and you have to index
   the whole thing and go through it track by track to get the one you want.

   There are two other options, one needs a keyboard or some very hard to
   figure out (I could not) LIRC control file options (not documented) and
   the other is just slow and anoying. but it works. The problem with both
   is that they only play one song at a time.

10. There is no support for encrypted TV streams. For example there is
    a standard and Apple supports card "readers" so that you can hook a
    terrestial DVB or Satellite stream up to it and watch and record encrypted
    video on your Macintosh. I have no idea if there is Windows support
    for them, but there is definately no support for them under Linux.

    I YES, which uses the boxes made by NDS, which are used in the U.S.
    by one satellite network (please tell me which one) and Sky Satellite
    in the U.K.

    All I can do is get s-video out into a TV card and change channels with
    LIRC, an I/R led unit on a serial port and a perl program I wrote.

    You still have to enter all the channels you want, I made a list, and
    I'll do it RSN (real soon now). 

> http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/Removing_Commercials

I don't watch enough commercial TV to care. Most of the networks here 
don't embed commercials, they are at the end.

> "Name the user job 'Commercial Removal'. You can now remove commercials by
> highlighting the recording in the recording list, hitting the right arrow,
> selecting "Job Options", and then selecting 'Begin Commercial Removal'.
> You may also set up your recordings to automatically run this script after
> a recording finishes."

Unless you have a dual core 3.8gHz P4, you won't be able to watch or 
record TV while it does it.

On the other hand, if you are in the U.S., have hardware and a program
source it supports, use it only for TV, have a fast cpu, etc, it works
ok. You can even stick it in a rack and control it with a web interface
and if your final files are MP4, stream them or watch them over NFS or
Samba with mplayer.


Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Jerusalem, Israel gsm at mendelson.com  N3OWJ/4X1GM
IL Voice: (07)-7424-1667  Fax ONLY: 972-2-648-1443 U.S. Voice: 1-215-821-1838 
Visit my 'blog at http://geoffstechno.livejournal.com/

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