My over-the-air Television library and how you can build your own

Amanda and I finally cut the cord about two years ago, after having spent quite a bit of time developing a replacement for Cable television. We started to realize that many of the shows we watched were on broadcast television, and others we could wait for on DVD or watch legally online. Since cutting the cord we’ve never had any regrets and it’s because we always have something on the server to watch.

My setup uses one server running MythTV to record shows from an antenna I built. Those shows are transcoded and stored on a networked folder to be played back by various front end hardware running XBMC. After the break I’ll share all the hardware and software details that make this happen.

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Dual Hauppauge 1250 tuner cards on Ubuntu 10.04

Fall TV is about to start and since I often work during prime time we enjoy time shifting our over-the-air television shows. With this in mind I’ve picked up a second Hauppauge 1250 ATSC tuner card. I popped it in and fired up mythtv-setup but uh-oh, the second card was nowhere to be found.

Looks like this problem has been encountered before.┬áSo I grabbed the latest v4l-dvb code and tried it out. Don’t forget to change the FIREDTV value in v4l-dvb/v4l/.config from ‘m’ to ‘n’ before executing the make command.

Naturally make errored out because you must run into several errors when compiling anything (it’s the GNU law you know). So I found this thread and applied the suggested patch.

That seemed to break the bottleneck and I continued on with the sudo make install command and a reboot.

Now I have both cards mapped as adapter0 and adapter1 in /dev/dvb. I used mythtv-setup to add the other card and map it to antenna. I haven’t tried recording two shows at once, but conflicts on the schedule are now set to record so we’ll see.

USB IR Receiver

USB IR Receiver Assembled

USB IR Receiver Assembled

I have a mythtv box and it has pretty much changed the way I watch TV. Now I’m no longer tied down to the schedule set forth by the different channels. This is especially nice since I work at night and would not otherwise be home for prime time TV.

One of the biggest hurdles for the mythTV community seems to be providing an IR receiver so that you can use your remote control with it. I had been using a serial ir receiver but decided to try building my own USB receiver. This is based on the work by Dick Streefland found here: http://www.xs4all.nl/~dicks/avr/usbtiny/

I used his firmware but changed up the hardward just a bit. First off, the TSOP1738 is now obsolete so I had to find a replacement part for that. I also tweaked the setup used for the USB interface based on the schematics for the USBtinyISP by Ladyada.

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