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Home Theater PC Upgrade

Monday, January 2nd, 2006

One of the projects I worked on over Christmas break was revamping my home theater PC (HTPC). If you aren't familiar with the concept of a HTPC, it is basically a computer that performs all (and more) of the functions of a home theater. These include playing movies, music, TV and games.

I reformatted the disk and installed an updated version of Linux (Fedora Core 4). Then I followed Jarod Wilson's HowTo to set up MythTV and all the required software. After that everything was working except the TV functionality. When I would try to watch tv I would get a black screen and mythfrontend would stop responding. Eventually I found a few site with different things to try and got it working! I can schedule recordings, watch the recordings and do all the cool stuff like pausing and rewinding live tv.

You may be asking yourself why I didn't just go and buy a Tivo and add it to my current home theater? Because I'm a nerd and like to do things the hard way sometimes. I didn't have to pay much for the parts; the only part I didn't have was a good tv tuner which was like $150. I can add an HDTV tuner if I get an high-def television in the future, dump my recordings directly to dvd, play my library of mp3's through my stereo, play any movie downloaded from the internet on the tv and just about anything else you can think of.

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