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Hacking MythTV Paperback – August 28, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0470037874 ISBN-10: 0470037873 Edition: 11th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 11 edition (August 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470037873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470037874
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,154,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Want control?

Build your own MythTV PC

You don't do stuff like this to cut corners. You do it because you want what you want—and because it's fun. And a personalized MythTV is so much more than a PVR. You can combine HDTV, DVD, all kinds of music, radio, photos, even a plug-in videophone module. All you need is a little Linux know-how, assorted software components and plug-ins, an adventurous nature, and this book to tell you how it all goes together. Voilà—the entertainment hub ofyour dreams.

Just a few ways to have fun

Learn to do all this and much more!

  1. Choose HD capture cards and sound drivers
  2. Install and configure MythTV
  3. Build your program guides
  4. Use xine to add DVD menu support
  5. Pass raw digital streams to an external decoder
  6. Do cool things with your remote control
  7. Hack your own themes
  8. Export MythTV .nuv recordings to other formats

Companion Web site

Visit www.wiley.com/go/extremetech for links, updates, news about recent developments in MythTV, and resources shared by readers like you.

About the Author

Jarod Wilson has been an avid Linux user since circa 1997, when he was first introduced to Red Hat Linux 4.2 in a UNIX Operating Systems course in college. One spring about three years ago, Jarod was between jobs and discovered the MythTV project, and loved it so much he decided to help try to make it accessible to as many people as possible, and thus was born his MythTV on Fedora HOW-TO, dubbed Fedora Myth(TV)ology, which he still maintains to this day (when time permits). Professionally, every job he’s held since college has incorporated daily use of Linux. Jarod recently left high-performance computing cluster vendor Linux Networx, where he was an on-site field service engineer for a large customer, for a job at the very company from whence his first taste of Linux came. Jarod currently works in Red Hat’s Enterprise Kernel Group as a senior software engineer, focused on kernel testing, but also contributes time and effort to Red Hat’s Fedora Core Linux community distribution.

Ed Tittel’s passion for media was kindled right out of undergraduate school, way back in 1973, when he had the extremely good fortune to be hired as a studio engineer at the Library of Congress. Not only did Bob Carneal and John Howell teach Ed the basics of good audio engineering and careful audition of the resulting sounds, they also taught him the importance of careful design and quality implementation. Since then, Ed has gone through numerous iterations of building a great entertainment center, and has really enjoyed learning how to meld a PC into that mix. Ed’s interest in media PCs began with his last ExtremeTech book on Windows Media Center PCs, but his excitement peaked when he realized that MythTV offered an open-ended, more flexible, and client-server based implementation of the kind of functionality that MCE offers, kicked up several notches. In working on this book, Ed refreshed his knowledge of the first real operating system he ever learned (the second Berkeley Software Distribution, aka 2BSD, circa 1979), and learned to appreciate how far Linux has come and how little UNIX has really changed.

Matt Wright is a longtime home theater PC (HTPC) enthusiast and computer fiend. He’s been working full-time in the industry for nearly five years, and is a regular contributor to (and resident expert at) HTPCnews.com, one of the most popular HTPC online destinations. Matt also contributed two chapters and chunks of several more to Wiley’s Building the Ultimate Home Theater PC (Wiley, 2005) and consults regularly with professional and individual clients on HTPC topics, hardware, and technology.

Justin Korelc, at six years of age, asked his father how he could learn to use a computer. Instead of being given an obvious or easy answer, Justin’s father sat him down at the console, handed him a copy of K&R’s classic The C Programming Language, and gave him a gentle introduction to basic shell input/output. This proved instrumental in Justin’s personal and professional growth, starting with a migration from BSD UNIX to Linux in his teenage years, which eventually led him to write about his experiences.Today, Justin works as a freelance author writing articles and occasional book chapters for a variety of online and traditional publishers. Although his primary focus targets Linux and open-source software, he is also quite knowledgeable in the areas of hardware, network protocols, and a variety of unusual programming concepts, most of which center around security topics.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By J. Lohmeyer on January 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
a more accurate title for this book would be "installing mythtv"

i was ultimately disappointed by this book, as having "hacking" in the title led me to believe this would provide technical insight into the various modules of mythtv.

instead, what is presented is essentially an aggregation of info that is widely available on the net. there is *very little* new insight presented. it is more of a how-to for installing and setting up mythtv on a fedora box- yet again providing little technical details. i expected new insights into setup possibilities and what a lot of the setup options mean and control, not a nearly word-for-word description from the rollover info in mythtv-setup.

as an example (not verbatim, but accurate to the experience):

Use OpenGL for timing: if selected, this option will use opengl for timing.

great. but what does that mean for the average user? what are the pros and cons?

in summary, if you run a FC box and want a hard-printed copy of basic mythtv setup and some additional info about plugins, then buy this book, but if you are looking for new insight or looking to truly "hack" mythtv, save yourself the money and disappointment and start googling.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gary Delaney on January 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
The book is a good guide if you want to get MythTV up and running. It however lacks real detail with respect to the underlying technology. Detail is lacking in areas such as transcoding, optimising the software encoders etc.

The book will suit a user who has not been exposed to MythTV but lacks the depth for the experienced MythTV user.
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32 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Heaton VINE VOICE on October 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
You can get Tivos for only a couple hundred dollars. Many cable companies offer Tivo-like services for only $10-$20 extra a month. Why would you want to undertake building your own PVR(Personal Video Recorder)?

It is not to save money. If you want to save money, your best bet is just to buy a commercial PVR. It is about control! Cable companies are putting additional controls on PVRs. Sporting games can often only be kept for a preset amount of time. Certian channels request the cable operator to only allow you to fast forward at 2X through their commercials. And perhaps most importantly, what you record is locked away in your PVR's internal proprietary video format.

None of these issues exist with Myth TV. Myth TV is open source. It is designed to have the features that its user base wants, not the features that the cable company and station providers want you to have. It can export to a variety of open formats, which allows you to play your recorded movies from any of your home computers using regular software. You can easily move your recorded video to devices such as an iPod, Archos, or other video player. You are in control.

Additionally, there is no subscription fee. You download your channels from an open channel server. You do not need to pay some PVR company a monthly fee.

Unfortunately, installing a Myth TV setup can be somewhat difficult. You have to decide on your hardware. Maybe you don't want a computer tower sitting in your family room. If so you need to decide on some of the newer computer cases that are no bigger than the average DVD player. What type of video capture card do you need? The book walks you through your hardware choices.

Software is another issue.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mike on November 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
I was looking for a book on MythTv for 2 reasons:

- Help my install MythTv fast
- Give my tricks on how hack MythTv

This book is this neither of those things. First, it is not a step-by-step instruction about installing MythTv. Everything is probably in the book, but it is not clearly organized. For instance, chapter 3 shows you how to configure MythTv sound and picture, and chapter 4 shows you how to install Linux. Now, how am I supposed to configure MythTv if I don't have Linux or MythTv installed.

This book is not about hacking either. The last few chapters show you how to improve some of the plugins, but not much. Everything that is in this book is available on-line.

If you want my opinion, download the HOW-TO guide from the MythTv web site, and take it from there. I was new to Linux and MythTv, and I managed to install the whole thing without looking at this book.
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