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Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:29 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI


Post by Teej » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:34 pm

Started typing this in an email to Panther about scheduling our practice time and why it might take me a bit of extra time/planning to set up my phantom for the next few weeks/months...but thought some of you might be interested in the setup as well.

I don't subscribe to local cable or satellite and don't like Tivo's subscription fees, so for the past 10+ years I have run a DIY DVR solution. In its current form, it can record 2 high-def programs and 2 standard def while playing back a high def. I've been using a software solution called BeyondTV that's still available for sale, but the company seems to have abandoned it - no updates in like 2-3 years I think - they put all their time into a different market segment now.

The hardware that this system is running on is my old AMD box that I built when F4AF came out, and it's dying. The CPU & chipset fans are giving out, and I can't see spending any money to replace them because I've been waiting for it to die - I can't put that board to "sleep" to save power - it won't come back up.

The machine that replaced that as my desktop/gaming machine was a core 2 duo that I used daily until I built my current i7 rig. That C2D has been nothing but my phantom machine since then. I've started putzing with that machine to build a replacement DVR using a linux based "MythTV" as the back end (processing and recording scheduler) with XBMC as a front end (browser/viewer). Thus, right now I have to swap drives to boot it up as a phantom server. Could I have bulit a "dual boot" configuration? Of course. Didn't want to...yet. Eventually I'm going to have to decide whether I'm going to convert that (also aging) motherboard to my video box...or replace my i7 desktop with something newer and use this as my DVR box. Kinda watching where my finances go as well as the next gen processors...

MythTV has always been a DVR solution. XBMC draws its name from its roots as the "Xbox Media Center", but now runs on just about everything and (as of the latest release earlier this year) is capable of acting as a PVR front end as well.

The nice thing about the MythTV / XBMC solution (technically it could all be done with just MythTV, but XMBC is a much better interface and handles playback better) is that while BeyondTV ran only on Windows, and if you wanted a second machine to be able to control/view content, you had to buy an additional piece/license per (Windows) machine... MythTV / XMBC are free, and I can set up XBMC on Macbook...a raspberry pi (although those don't do well with 1080p)...heck, even my wife's iPad and probably our phones as well.
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