Hacking MythTV

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Hacking MythTV

Authors J. Wilson and Ed Tittel

When I first heard the title of the book "Hacking MythTV" I had a picture in my head of of a book that uncovered the hidden secrets of MythTV, something that would be useful after going through all the install and setup. Not so, the time to get this book is as soon as you have made the decision to build a MythTV media center. You could build a system from information gathered off the web, you'll find excellent user forums and guides for installing MythTV on Gentoo, Fedora and Ubuntu. You will also find fairly good support in the SuSE and Debian communities or could just install KnoppMyth and really save some time. There are others available but I am only mentioning the ones that I have experience with. Let me explain how "Hacking MythTV" differs from these methods.

In nearly all cases what I have found with the guides on the web is that they are setup like an assembly manual that comes with a kids new toy; follow step 1, 2, 3... and have lots of fun when done. But what if something goes wrong and you have no idea why you were doing 1, 2 or 3, other than that's what you were told to do. That is where this book sets itself apart from the other methods that I have worked with, you will find a lot of useful information included with the steps that will allow you to make some decisions specific to your own hardware or needs. Also if you do run into problems you may find it easier to resolve since you now have a better understanding of how each step of the install/setup process works.

Hacking MythTV will begin by describing what MythTV is all about and how it differs from alternatives; DVRs, PVRs, HTPCs and so on. You'll find some excellent tips on selecting hardware, not only Linux friendly hardware but also components that won't be a nuisance (sight or sound) in your family room. You will pick an install method, after being offered some options. Then on with the install and setup, again with very thorough details of frontends, backends, plugins... And then on to what I was expecting to find; some advanced tips and hacks. And if you do run into some problems you will find there is a troubleshooting section at the end of the book.

In my opinion if you have MythTV you need this book.

Review by Steve Severson