I'm looking for some advice, and throwing out some comments on what I'm doing with, and would like to do with, a mythTV install.
I've been wanting to make the all in one server with at least RAID 5 for quite some time now, ever since hacking the original Xbox and experiencing XBMC. A place to park all those videos and watch them from wherever a client would do it. Enter MythTV.
So, finally- I put together a dual Xeon 2.8 with 4GB and a 2TB RAID5 with two additional 250GB drives, one of the 250's is for Mythbuntu, (/, swap and an additional partition for whatever) the other is just for the DVR recordings. The additional 250's will get RAID1 treatment. The RAID5 is for the main deal, media, music, pictures, etc- organization.
I have currently, a PVR-150 and HVR-1600. so in theory thats three tuners. But it's really two, because Cable QAM is near useless. I could probably get more channels over the air. Even though the silicondust listings show lots more options, there really are not that many as only the local networks + CSPANs are clear QAM.
Cable companies have used digital/QAM as a way to return to charging you for every TV by virtue of not selling converter boxes.
So what I have figured out in the last several days:
LiveTV is not a strong point.
If liveTV is active on a FrontEnd someplace, you can't choose that input/source on another FrontEnd. that means if two people are going to watch TV separately, you need a capture card for each one of them in the BackEnd. (Or PiP sessions).
What happens then, if LiveTV users are using three FrontEnds and a scheduled recording comes up? Does a client get the boot, or does the schedule go missed?
Setting up QAM is just a big pain in the.. it seems like a total crap shoot. I think I just decided to try over-the-air on that connection.
Should I presume that each QAM capture source will need it's own cable converter box/IR blaster setup? (unless it's taking in ATSC over-the-air)
FireWire- Is adding channels via FireWire as much of a hassle as QAM and the HVR-1600?
Is that cable box thats connected via FireWire restricted to that FireWire connection, generally? Or can it be used simultaneously with a TV as a cable converter would be normally?
I realize that question may also be equipment specific, and the FireWire box option my provider offers (Cox, San Diego North) may be the limiting factor, but in general how does it work out?
My idea of the Mythbox is to place the iTunes library on it, iPhoto/Aperture, things like Lynda.com discs, videos downloaded from usenet, etc, on the RAID5. That way content is available wherever I place a front end, (AppleTV, Xbox, etc) and additionally, a webcam pointed toward the west outside.
I've pretty much concluded I should not use LiveTV if for anything other than testing connectivity. Should I then presume that the quality I'm getting on LiveTV viewing is the same quality that will be recorded? It's somewhat.. awful. Although I'm basing this off analog, which has always looked nasty on a computer monitor. I have yet to view a digital broadcast via MythTV. Even following the HVR-1600 wiki page.