Recently, I’ve been working on converting my old desktop into a MythTV PVR. I’m using the KnoppMyth version of Knoppix Linux that has MythTV bundled with one installation CD so you can install both of them in one action. Or at least that’s the idea in theory.

In practice I have been tinkering with the darn thing for a month and only recently have gotten it to mostly work. The biggest problem I ran into was making my Hauppauge PRV-350 show anything on the TV screen. I’ve been able to make the web interface, photo gallery, and music library to work. I think that the web interface is one of the coolest features of MythTV. You can access your multimedia files (videos, images, mp3s), schedule recordings, and download recorded files all using a browser. I can even access it with my Treo.

However, I’m still having problems with console game emulators (I can list all the games but I can’t play any of them, the joystick won’t work, and it says my MAME roms are corrupt), and my video library won’t play any of my .avi files even though I can see them. I’m still searching through the the MythTV forums trying to figure out how to overcome the last problems. I have seen almost all of these problems addressed in the forums so I think that the end is in sight. I hope it will be worth it once its done.

I was only able to get this far by finding a script that someone wrote to set up the hardware correctly. Once I found that script, it set everything up automatically. I wish I had found it sooner, it would have saved me a month of frustration.

The next step, after fixing the current problems, is getting some new hardware. I’ve got an 80 GB hard drive in it which is supposedly 35 or so hours not bad but you can never have enough disk space. I’d also like to put a DVD burner in it so I can share interesting stuff via sneakernet.