Hopefully, everyone likes the new look and feel of my site, now officially dubbed "Fedora Myth(TV)ology". The design is derived from this site design posted on oswd.org. Not all the links actually go somewhere useful at the moment, but it is my intention to flesh them all out when I have the time. Feedback, suggestions and contributions are happily accepted (maybe I should get that feedback link working, eh?).

Why this site exists-

Quite some time ago, (in the spring of 2003, I think), I set out to build myself a PVR atop a Linux system. My initial thought was that I'd go with Freevo, which I'd heard a fair amount about. About that same time, I came across a thread on one of the Red Hat mailing lists pertaining to the various PVR solutions available on Linux. The other prime contenders with Freevo were GeexBox and MythTV. Freevo had been around for a while at this point, while GeexBox and MythTV were a bit younger. The thread indicated that a fair number of former Freevo users were jumping ship to MythTV, so I decided to look into MythTV some more. After some extensive reading, I figured I'd start down the MythTV path. I picked up a PVR-250 from a local shop the next day.

Now, keep in mind that I'm no newcomer to the Linux arena -- as evidence, note that I'm a Red Hat Certified Engineer (click here to verify). Even further evidence: as of March 2006, I actually work for Red Hat :). Anyhow, following the purchase of my PVR-250, I spent a good 30 hours or so just getting to the point where I had a rudimentary MythTV system up and running. I took copious notes throughout the entire process, since I was building my initial system on some spare hardware, with the intention of putting together a system that looked good with the rest of my A/V stuff.

I should add that things were a bit more hairy back then. We're talking pre-0.8 cvs source required to do anything useful with a PVR-250, so no MythTV rpms and no ivtv rpms yet. Now, I might have had an easier time had I actually asked the MythTV mailing list for help, but I'm very stubborn, so I was bound and determined to do it all on my own. And I did. =)

I compiled my notes into a plain-text document, and mentioned that I'd documented everything I went through on the mythtv-users mailing list. Another list member, Mark Cooper, offered to post my notes up on his web site, PVRHW, and thus version 1.0 of my MythTV on Red Hat Linux HOWTO was born. Boy was it riddled with problems, but nonetheless, a decent start. People started using it (including me), contributing enhancements, corrections, etc., and gradually, it came to be pretty darned accurate.

Eventually, I converted the document to html, to improve the presentation and readability. With the migration from Red hat Linux 9 to Fedora Core, I moved the document from PVRHW to my own web server (hosting graciously donated to me by OnNow.net, check them out if you have any hosting needs), primarily to have a bit more control over the document (I'm not a huge fan of a wiki for maintaining such a lengthy document). Now, I'm doing everything I can in php with server-side includes, in order to maintain one content source that can be viewed as a single document, in chapters, or in a plain-text printer-friendly way (all coming soon, I swear :-).

I've been maintaining this document for the better part of a year and a half now, covering umpteen gazillion revisions now, trying to keep up with the rapid change, add more information, expand hardware coverage, and so on. It isn't an easy task, but this is one of the ways I contribute back to the project, since I'm no programmer. The other major way I try to contribute is by answering anything and everything I can on the mythtv-users mailing list, as well as the many direct emails I get. I hope you enjoy your journey!

How can you help?

Write some code
The project can always use some additional programmers to extend functionality, squash bugs, enhance stability, and so on. Check out the mythtv-dev mailing list. You can go here to join.
Answer questions
Join the mythtv-users mailing list and answer other user's questions. The searchable mailing list archive can be found here.
Submit corrections, suggestions, etc.
I have trouble keeping up with all the changing components involved in making a MythTV system. I can't do a fresh bare-metal install every time something changes (though I have done quite a few). Let me know if there is a major change that should be documented here, or a feature you'd like to see covered.
Make a monetary contribution
I have a PayPal account to which I graciously accept any and all contributions. Thus far, contributions are what purchased my PVR-350 and one for Axel Thimm, the maintainer of ATrpms and the MythTV rpms for Fedora, because so much of my guide relies heavily on his packaging work, as well as a few other miscellaneous hardware bits used in my own MythTV setup. Further contributions are being saved up for the next cool hardware purchse, whatever that may be... These contributions help me expand the scope of this document, as well as show my wife that I'm not just wasting my time continuing to work on it. Just click on the little PayPal button to make a contribution. :-)