OK, I've tried and failed many times at getting a linux dvr working. We've had Tivo for the last year and like it a lot (OK, we like DVRs, not necessarily Tivo). I really want to make it work, I just have one issue left. My video is choppy. Too choppy to watch. I've read several threads about this and have tried some of the advice offered, but I still haven't gotten it to work. A couple of years ago I actually did have good video (but other issues), so it's pretty irritating that I can't get it now. Here's my setup:
IBM Netvista P4 1.8GHz
160GB IDE HD
I've got everything working except, well... the most important part. I have tried a few things to fix the video, but have been unsuccessful so far.
My first thought was that my video card needed something other than the "open source" drivers. Do the open source drivers typically work just fine? I tried getting the updated driver for my card, but it said that it was built into Ubuntu and no longer needed/offered. So thinking that was the problem I went to a (gave up) Windows XP MCE setup. I didn't like it much, but the video worked perfectly! I decided I wouldn't wimp out that easily (though I've spent way too much time on this already).
So I changed to a better video card. Couldn't get X to work after that, so I just reinstalled. Once everything was good to go I tested again and... same problem! It was also using the open driver, but it looks like I have the option now to use the proprietary one. I tried to install it, but it wouldn't download for some reason. Anyway, I would assume the open driver would be good enough, but correct me if I'm wrong. So I'm ruling out the video card since they both are giving me the same problem.
Here are my other red flags and things to note:
I'm pretty much using the out of the box install. Haven't changed anything yet. Ext3 file system.
I've installed in the "safe video" or whatever mode. Seemed like I had to, not sure if that matters.
System seems to work fine until I watch live TV, then HD immediately starts working hard.
Recorded TV choppy too.
What should my screen resolution be on the TV?
My cable connection isn't that great. My Tivo works good enough. An issue?
Initially I thought it was a slow hard drive, so I used a newer one. Didn't fix anything.
I turned off the IDE acceleration stuff in my BIOS thinking it was causing issues. Didn't fix anything.
I'm using S-VIDEO out to a CRT TV. Is S-VIDEO good enough?
For a CRT TV, do I need to change my video size, bitrate, etc? Am I doing extra work with too high of settings?
DVD playback seemed to be just as bad.
A separate question... Once I get this perfect, how do I image the setup for a quick reinstall? Ghost didn't seem to be able to handle Ext3, etc.