homemade PVR questions
tanis at gaspode.franken.de
Sat Mar 25 21:15:42 UTC 2006
Nicolas Blais wrote:
> On Saturday 25 March 2006 15:41, Joe Auty wrote:
>> On Mar 25, 2006, at 3:33 PM, Nicolas Blais wrote:
>>> On Saturday 25 March 2006 15:07, Joe Auty wrote:
>>>> I'm just getting ready to setup a PVR for myself on my FreeBSD
>>>> machine, but I thought I would run by my plans with you guys first
>>>> just to ensure that this will work.
>>>> I have a satellite signal (Bell ExpressVu), it comes with a set-top
>>>> box that inputs and outputs a coax signal. I'm looking at the
>>>> Hauppauge WinTV PVR-250 and using the driver for this provided in the
>>>> ports tree with MythTV.
>>>> Really, all I need this for is recording TV shows just like we used
>>>> to use a VCR for. If I can schedule, record, save to a directory,
>>>> I'll pick up this Hauppauge card.
>>>> Are there minimal requirements for the video and sound cards, or is
>>>> all of this handled by the Hauppauge card? Any experiences doing
>>>> something similar to what I'm doing? Any general advice?
>>> Hi, what you wish to attempt is possible, here's my experience:
>>> I have a WinTV card and I can record with transcode (also possible
>>> mencoder) but the problem is that whenever bktr (the wintv driver)
>>> is opened
>>> for read, the TV audio that is fed from my WinTV to my sound card thru
>>> the "line in" port is heard.
>>> That means that I can record a show (audio/video) correctly, but at
>>> the cost
>>> of hearing the audio while it is recording. Obviously annoying
>>> unless I turn
>>> off my speakers, and I haven't found a way around (playing with
>>> mixer to turn
>>> down the volume obviously turns down the recorded volume too).
>>> Playing with the WinTV in FreeBSD is tricky, but usually one can
>>> fiddle around
>>> to make it work. Post your experiences in the FreeBSD-Multimedia
>>> list if you
>>> ever attempt your project.
>> Well, I won't be using this setup to do any live recording at all,
>> just recording stuff overnight on a machine that I usually just
>> access over SSH. Sounds like your issue won't be an issue for me =)
>> Do I need to have a minimal sound/video card configuration for this
>> to work, or is everything handled on the card already? Would you
>> recommend using transcode, mencoder, or MythTV to schedule recordings
>> like I plan to do?
> There isn't really a minimum sound/video configuration. Also, if you're only
> recording the output of the wintv and not displaying it, the video card won't
> even care you're recording a show. Your sound card usually must have a
> line-in port (or internal line-in).
> Like I said, I use transcode or mencoder, but never tried MythTV. I schedule
> my recording using the 'at' command (see 'man at') and let cron do its stuff.
> Note that the 'atrun' command which is run by cron, is set to check jobs
> every 5 minutes, see /etc/crontab to change this. I wouldn't suggest getting
> below 5 minutes as this could slowdown your system, but instead start and end
> your recording job 5 minutes earlier and later.
> Hope this is of use to you,
the original poster mentioned the PVR250 card, which is a card for
hardware MPEG2 encoding, meaning it outputs MPEG2 not uncompressed data
(like the Brooktree based cards). This means there is no need for a
soundcard in the machine, as the audio is in the MPEG stream and does
not have to be looped back into a sound card. It does also put very
little load on the recording machine, unlike doing video compression in
I am happily using a PVR350 (same chipset as the PVR250 plus MPEG
decoding) for recording television. The kernel module can be installed
using the multimedia/pvr250 port.
As for scheduled recording, I am currently also using "at" calling a
self-written program setting the correct channel and recording for a
given duration. There might as well be something in the ports for doing
this, but I never looked it up.
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