[rescue] WTB: Cisco C3524 and C3512
synack at csh.rit.edu
Tue Aug 8 21:37:10 CDT 2006
> I did not spend a lot of time on it, but I think that the commercial
> remover looks for totaly black frames or something like it. I think
> are used by automated equipment for stuffing commercials in
> satellite feeds.
MythTV actually has a number of algorithms available for flagging
commercials. The default is to flag Blank Frames and I've found that
this works pretty well. It misses maybe one commercial within three
hours of recording.
> I've not seen it in MythTV, but if I remember correctly it's a two
> process. The first flags the commercials, the second cuts them out,
> I think you can do manual flagging.
MythTV does allow you to manually flag/cut the commercials, but I
prefer to use the 'Begin Commercial Flagging at Start of recording'
option. On a 2.4 GHz P4 it can flag commercials at 27 fps. This means
that the flag job is done just minutes after the recording is
finished. You don't have to wait for the commercial flagging to stop
before you start watching the recording.
I also skip the commercial cutting process entirely. If you're
watching the video in mythfrontend, it'll load the cutpoints from the
database and just skip through the commercials rather than editing
the file. On occasion, I export a video to DVD and in this case, I
will run the cut process.
> If you record the files as MP4 as opposed to their fast but totally
> incompatable MPEG2 format, you can copy them with mencoder into AVI.
> It's pretty fast, it just copies the stream without rencoding it.
I use a Hauppauge PVR-150 card that has an onboard MPEG2 encoder that
outputs standard MPEG files. By telling MythTV to just store these
files directly, I get standard format files that I can stream using
VLC. The files tend to be a little big (about 1.1 GB per half hour)
but it hasn't been an issue since I put a 250 GB drive in. I could
probably get the file sizes down by experimenting with lower
bitrates, but I just haven't had a need for smaller files.
> The user interface is confusing and annoying. It needs to have less
> on the main menu and a play dvd button.
You might want to take a look at rewriting the menus to suit your
needs. They are defined in relatively simple XML files. 
> 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.
I completely agree with you here. MythTV's DVD functionality is
terrible. The best solution I've seen is to run a hacked Xbox with
XBMC as a mythfrontend for watching TV, and use XBMC's native DVD and
Network media functionality for everything else.
Overall, my experience with MythTV has been fairly positive. I think
there's a serious need for some good hardware detection and
installation scripts as this is where most of the headaches
associated with MythTV come from. I've been watching MythTV
development in subversion for a while and there are better menu
systems on the way in 0.20. All of the menus will be drawn with
OpenGL, and they will be organized in a much more sane fashion. I've
also seen some discussion about eliminating the 'wizard' type
configuration screens and using flat config files with a web
As far as getting MythTV up and running, I've found that it's easiest
to install it on top of Gentoo.  You will still need to do a bit
of legwork figuring out what kind of hardware you have, and rebuild
the kernel with the right modules, but it's not terrible if you've
got a good handle on how a Linux system is put together. As always,
keep in mind that Google is your friend.
More information about the rescue