State of the MythTV / XBMC linux

The good news. Boobtube, the linux box under the TV, is running smoothly. It’s in a stereo cabinet so I was worried about heat buildup. I successfully backported the sensors and kernel from Ubuntu Gutsy, so I can tell you that right this minute the machine is at 48 degrees C, which is kind of warm, but it’s been transcoding videos all day long. Other times it’s running about 35 degrees C at idle. MythTV works well.

The bad news. XBMC is making slow progress but is not usable daily. Low-res videos that were upsampled beautifully on the xbox look chunky. The remote, which is perhaps the most popular remote for linux/MythTV, yields double keypresses when used in XBMC. I did hack the source code and recompile it to fix the problem once, but what’s needed is a settings file to control this behavior. Since I have just one ethernet jack behind the TV, I have to choose between the xbox and the linux box.

The problems with XBMC linux make me appreciate the polish on the xbox much more. It just worked the way you’d expect 99% of the time. I’m sure the linux one will get there too but their progress, though initially fast, is showing that polish takes time.


Remote Control

Could you please tell me what brand/model remote control you are using.


The hardware is described

The hardware is described in these two blog postings. It’s a MS Media Center Extender remote.

hardware list