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mythtv on my dockstar!

Posted by maclaren 
mythtv on my dockstar!
January 04, 2011 09:38PM
Jeff, thanks for all your had work in helping make the dockstar more useful. I just wanted to let the community know about another application running on it. In my efforts to go greener I moved my mythtv backend onto the dockstar. I don't bother commercial flagging as I mainly record movies from commercial free satellite channels. I have a usb hdpvr and hdhomerun recorders and a usb 1tb hard drive. I had to modify the kernel driver for the hdpvr to work properly on an arm system. All in all it works very well. It did take a long time to compile mythtv though!
Re: mythtv on my dockstar!
January 05, 2011 03:19AM
Awesome :D
How is your RAM & CPU use? When recording, your not transcoding but just recording in the format the usb hdpvr supplies right?

Is it possible to share your modified kernel driver? Run into any other issues with the installation?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/05/2011 03:23AM by Twi.
Re: mythtv on my dockstar!
January 05, 2011 08:33AM
I have 250M in swap, FYI here is the output from top

top - 08:18:39 up 22:24,  4 users,  load average: 0.29, 0.14, 0.04
Tasks:  91 total,   1 running,  90 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s):  0.7%us,  0.3%sy,  0.0%ni, 99.0%id,  0.0%wa,  0.0%hi,  0.0%si,  0.0%st
Mem:    123980k total,    83344k used,    40636k free,     1976k buffers
Swap:  2939888k total,    59964k used,  2879924k free,    59176k cached

PID  USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND           
  16 root      20   0     0    0    0 S  0.3  0.0   4:02.99 kmmcd              
 1198 mysql     20   0  127m 5408 1860 S  0.3  4.4  13:35.36 mysqld             
 6122 james     20   0  2448 1056  840 R  0.3  0.9   0:00.11 top                
30877 root      20   0  334m 3192 2060 S  0.3  2.6   7:11.56 mythbackend        
    1 root      20   0  1624   72   48 S  0.0  0.1   0:02.38 init               
    2 root      20   0     0    0    0 S  0.0  0.0   0:00.00 kthreadd

I don't do any transcoding or commflagging just saving the h.264 stream from the hdpvr or mpeg2 from the hdhomerun.
The patch to the hdpvr driver is in hdpvr-video.c around line 167

usb_fill_bulk_urb(buf->urb, dev->udev,
                                  mem, dev->bulk_in_size,
                                  hdpvr_read_bulk_callback, buf);

                buf->urb->transfer_flags |= URB_NO_TRANSFER_DMA_MAP; //JMM added line to make driver work on arm processor
                buf->status = BUFSTAT_AVAILABLE;
                list_add_tail(&buf->buff_list, &dev->free_buff_list);

Other than that there are quite a lot of dependencies needed, but no worse than compiling on an ix86 box. I am actually running arch linux but have used Jeff's improved uboot and added the rescue partitions too.
I needed to install X so that I could ssh in and run mythtv-setup to configure the backend. I use lighttpd to serve mythweb as is supposed to be faster than apache.
Re: mythtv on my dockstar!
January 05, 2011 02:30PM
I've been successfully running MythTV (0.24) on a Dockstar running Debian for almost a week now. I'm using a second Dockstar as a samba file server to handle the file storage. For Video capture I'm using a HDHomeRun.

I'm also using the built-in Upnp server to serve up the recorded videos to my ps3. I'm able to stream full 1080HD video recordings to my ps3. Again no transcoding or commercial flagging involved here.

I initially had issues getting the dockstar to capture the mpeg-2 ts stream from the HDHomeRun. Turns out my MTU settings on the dockstar somehow got set way too low.

And, I didn't have to compile anything. Just updated sources to include http://debian-multimedia.org/ and used "apt-get install mythtv" to install. In order to access backend for setup I needed to install Xorg, and smbclient to access my shared drive, but that was it, apart from getting the MTU settings right.

My only compliant is that installing Xorg takes up a lot of space on my SD card. and it's only really needed to use mythtv-setup.

Now that I know it all works, I may try to get everything installed on a single dockstar.
Re: mythtv on my dockstar!
January 05, 2011 05:48PM
I didn't install debian but left the plugbox arch linux installed. So for my sins as pacman didn't have a mythtv package I had to compile from source :(. It all works rather nicely if you don't need to commflag or transcode. I picked up my dockstar for about $25 so it was sweet deal.
Re: mythtv on my dockstar!
January 17, 2011 05:17PM
Can you guys make a simple tutorial on how to setup mythtv on the dockstar?

I am trying and get bunch of weird errors... ;(

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
or been moved out of Incoming.
The following information may help to resolve the situation:

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
mythtv : Depends: mythtv-backend (>= 0.23.1-0.0lenny2) but it is not going to be installed
E: Broken packages

Dont know where to go, or what to do
Re: mythtv on my dockstar!
January 18, 2011 11:10AM
Make sure your /etc/apt/sources.list is updated to include debain.multimedia.org

I used:

deb http://www.debian-multimedia.org squeeze main non-free
apt-get update
apt-get install mythtv

Since I'm using a separate front end to access the back-end, you'll need to reconfigure mysql to allow other machines to access. There may be better ways to do this, but for me what worked was editing the /etc/mysql/my.cnf file and commenting out:

bind-address =

then restarting mysql

Before you can run mythtv-setup you need to install something like xorg so your remote frontend can setup via mythtv-setup. If there's a better (smaller) solution than xorg, I'm open for ideas.

I've done this install three or four times now, I think I've finally got it down :)

FYI I'm running the latest .24 version of MythTV. I'm currently experimenting with MythWeb but to get it to work I had to get the MythWev packages from sid, not squeeze. But it appears to play nice with the MythTV from squeeze.

Also, FYI the tuner I'm using is an HDHomeRun. No compiling necessary with this. But if you're using a USB tuner you might have to (but I'm the wrong guy to give advice here)

Good luck!
Re: mythtv on my dockstar!
January 19, 2011 02:30AM
I'm using MythWeb package por squeeze withouth any problem.

I only needed to do the following symlink:

sudo ln -s /usr/share/mythtv/mythweb/modules /usr/share/mythtv/mythweb/modules_path

J. Carlos
Re: mythtv on my dockstar!
January 19, 2011 10:20AM
hello mr numpty here!
basically I filled up a 1gb stick trying to install this - tried to remove using 'apt-get remove mythtv' but errors with
'Failed to connect to database: Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost' (using password: YES) at -e line 5, <> line 1.'
Any advice on how to have a 'clean out' and start again???? (now upgraded to a 16gb stick :-) )
EDIT - I think I sorted it with apt-get remove --purge mythtv-database
Just need to figure out this xorg stuff now, lol

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/19/2011 10:44AM by punter.
Re: mythtv on my dockstar!
February 13, 2011 07:45PM
I am working on a similar system, but I finally gave up on Myth and went with Freevo. The repository Myth doesn't support the HDPVR (it's not selectable as a source) and all my attempts at compiling it failed to work. While I could get it to compile it would segfault when trying to run.

I did however get the HDPVR driver to compile along with the patches (thank's maclaren) and minidlna compiled, so as soon as I get time to get liirc working properly this will be a finished project. I did want to contribute a bit back to the thread which is the fairly easy way around doing the massive xorg install.

Just install tightvncserver according to Petergunns post here http://forum.doozan.com/read.php?2,1827,2090#msg-2090 you don't even need to install Iceweasel or Midori unless you plan on using the desktop remotely, this is just to get a working version of X going. Then fire up whatever version of Linux you have available on your desktop / laptop even if it's just a live CD start the terminal gain root with su then and type ssh -l root -X or whatever your Dockstar's IP is and as soon as you start Freevo or Myth it will open a window on your remote machine and you'll be able to configure it in all it's very slow graphical glory. I installed my "desktop" with just the terminal, since I probably won't need a remoted web browser but it may come in handy to install some program that won't run without graphics. The only oddity I ran into with this was testing some of the "users" that programs added for me like "freevo" which weren't given a shell. So attempting to login as that user would get me an immediate disconnect.

Hopefully some of this will help others and if nothing else show that Freevo will also work on a Dockstar. It's TVguide is a bit slow on it's built in webserver, but it does make selecting what to record very simple.
Re: mythtv on my dockstar!
March 06, 2011 01:54PM
I too have moved my Mythtv Backend to run on on of these devices, in my case a pink Pogoplug (which is one reason why it's out of site!).

Installation was extremely easy.

I am using PCI tuners in a slave backend - next job is to rebuild that box, and move the storage to the Pogoplug, and then to get everything working with WakeonLan to reduce power usage -hoping to recup the cost of the pogoplug and drive enclosures in 12 to 18 months.

Also going to be using the plug as a torrent server, and a home automation server using a Telldus Tellstick, and the HomeAutomation web application.

Thanks to Jeff for the excellent instructions and software.

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