Moving a MythTV Master backend

This proved to be a whole lot easier than I thought. It required backing up the mythconverg MySQL database on the old system and restoring it on the new one.

   ~ /usr/share/mythtv/
   ~ /usr/share/mythtv/ --filename mythconverg-VERSION-TIMESTAMP.sql.gz

A further step was needed to update the hostname of existing recordings to the new host.

   mysql> update 'recorded' set hostname='peeves' where hostname<>'peeves'

This machine became the frontend at the same time. The i3 GPU support was included in the xf86-video-intel driver from version 2.10. I ended up using 2.11 which had just become available and added the following entry to /etc/portage/package.keywords.

   =x11-drivers/xf86-video-intel-2.11.0 ~x86

posted by James Gemmell on Sun, 29 Aug 2010 at 12:13 | permalink | tags: , ,

Building a new Gentoo MythTV backend

After a few of years of fairly intensive use I am migrating a MythTV backend from a rather creaky and increasingly unstable Pentium 4 to a shiny new Core i3 530 based box. I was quite impressed with Phoronix's Linux benchmarks of the CPU. The performance of the integrated GPU will help too since this box is destined to run an HD frontend at some point.

It's been a while since I last set up a Gentoo box from scratch and thought I'd give the Gentoo Quick Install a go rather than the LiveCD. The i3's Hyper-Threading support meant that the boot was graced with a 4 penguin salute and I was pleasantly surprised by the performance.

When partitioning the 1TB drive I settled on the following layout, setting aside /dev/sda5 as a future amd64 root partition.

   /dev/sda1	/boot		256MB	ext2
   /dev/sda2	swap		2GB	swap
   /dev/sda3	/		100GB	ext3
   /dev/sda5	[amd64]		100GB	ext3
   /dev/sda6	/mnt/mythtv	729GB	xfs

I diverged from the install guide in a few places. When the gentoo-sources kernel download threatened to take more than a couple of hours I performed the mirror-select step early and portage pulled it from a local mirror. I prefer using genkernel and, setting MAKEOPTS="-j5", this and the emerge world steps took next to no time.

The backend is now up and recording and the next step is to promote it to master backend status and get the frontend working.

posted by James Gemmell on Tue, 20 Apr 2010 at 09:17 | permalink | tags: , ,

Intel XVideo problems following Mythbuntu 9.10 upgrade

Following an upgrade to Mythbuntu 9.10, one of my MythTV frontends failed play back video smoothly and without stuttering. The frontend is a rather old Pentium IIIM/i830M based Asus laptop but it played SD resolution video quite acceptably before the upgrade.

The mythfrontend.log revealed that the problem was that the driver no longer possessed the XVideo extension capability.

   VideoOutputXv Error: Could not find suitable XVideo surface.
   VideoOutputXv: Falling back to X11 video output over a network socket.
         *** May be very slow ***

No kidding. After much Googling of the Ubuntu forums I found a link to the solution in the Ubuntu 9.10 release notes. The trick is to disable kernel-mode-setting (KMS) using the nomodeset kernel boot option.

posted by James Gemmell on Sat, 02 Jan 2010 at 13:54 | permalink | tags: , ,

Upgrading Gentoo MythTV to 0.22

I recently upgraded a frontend to Mythbuntu 9.10 and got MythTV 0.22 as part of the deal. Rather than leap through the fiery hoops required to revert it back to 0.21 I decided to take the plunge and upgrade my other Gentoo-based MythTV backend and frontends to 0.22.

This was trouble free as upgrades go but I did encounter the UTF8/latin1 database encoding problem which requires a backup and restore of the MythTV database after changing the default encoding to latin1. Changing the MySQL server configuration is easy to do on Gentoo as all that is required is to rebuild MySQL with the latin1 USE flag.

My package.keywords now looks as follows;

   >=media-tv/mythtv-0.22 ~x86
   >=media-plugins/mythcontrols-0.22 ~x86
   >=media-plugins/mythgallery-0.22 ~x86
   >=media-plugins/mythmusic-0.22 ~x86
   >=media-plugins/mythvideo-0.22 ~x86
   >=www-apps/mythweb-0.22 ~x86
   >=dev-python/imdbpy-3.8 ~x86
   >=x11-themes/mythtv-themes-0.22 ~x86
   >=x11-themes/mythtv-themes-extra-0.22 ~x86

and my package.use has;

   dev-db/mysql latin1

posted by James Gemmell on Mon, 28 Dec 2009 at 10:36 | permalink | tags: , ,

DTV1000S Linux driver now working

Top of my todo list for some time now has been to get my Leadtek WinFast DTV1000S DVB-T capture card to pay its way on a Gentoo MythTV backend instead of gathering dust on the shelf.

Video4Linux (V4L) drivers exist for the individual DTV1000S components listed below as they have also been used in other DVB cards.

What was lacking was the support for the card. I made an unsuccessful attempt at putting it together at the beginning of the year. Now Michael Krufky has done all the heavy lifting and committed his changes.

The easiest way to incorporate these into the 2.6.30-r8 kernel was to follow the V4L build instructions. Revision 13263 has all the necessary changes.

hg clone
cd v4l-dvb
sudo make install

I've not tested the IR capabilities of the DTV1000S as I'm using an AverTV DVB-T 777 for that purpose.

I used Steven Toth's instructions to get the TDA10048 firmware drivers from and followed the readme.txt. Hat tip to Terry for his Leadtek product page.

posted by James Gemmell on Sun, 29 Nov 2009 at 10:17 | permalink | tags: , ,

Purging MySQL binary logs

The 60GB root partition of my MythTV server has been gradually filling up and finally reached capacity over the weekend. The culprit turned out to be the MySQL binary logs which have never been purged since I set server up in early 2007. Weighing in at 26GB it was time for them to go.

All that was needed is a flush and reset to purge the logs.

mysql> flush logs;
mysql> reset master;

posted by James Gemmell on Wed, 04 Nov 2009 at 21:33 | permalink | tags: ,

Linux DVB resources

This is a list of sites I found useful while setting up a Debian Linux system for use as a Video Disk Recorder and router for satellite broadband.

posted by James Gemmell on Fri, 02 May 2003 at 17:29 | permalink | tags: ,