Shaky TV Playback in MythTV

I joined the digital TV revolution yesterday with the purchase of a Vizio 37" 1080p HDTV. So far we are quite enjoying it. One issue that is still ongoing is that the TV's remote overlaps with the DVD player's (which we are also using for the MythTV). When you push the Zoom, number or volume keys you get more than you bargained for.

But that issue is ongoing. The one I'm writing this post about has been solved, thanks to a mythtv-users post I came across. The symptoms were that some video, for me it was anything on CBS or ABC but curiously no others, would be really shaky. It was almost like an interlaced shearing effect, but not so regular or consistent. I played with the interlacing options and output drivers to no end. Finally I came across the above thread and discovered the problem: a bug in the nVidia kernel driver. I simply upgraded to the latest version and the problem went away. This is a very good thing.

Otherwise everything about the MythTV setup has worked well in high-def. I just had to add a "1920x1080" mode in xorg.conf and then do the same in MythTV. I later adjusted MythTV to use fullscreen, regardless of the resolution, which is what it should have been in the first place. I was worried that it might take some major tweaking to get widescreen or high-def or who knows what else, so overall I'm very pleased.


HDHomeRun Power Supply

I sadly discovered today that nothing on my MythTV was recording, and even live TV was not viewable. "What gives?" I pondered as I poured through the logs.

# tail -f /var/log/mythtv/mythbackend.log
2010-02-21 22:06:29.747 TVRec(2): Changing from None to WatchingLiveTV
2010-02-21 22:06:29.757 TVRec(2): HW Tuner: 2->2
2010-02-21 22:06:30.768 HDHRChan(xx/1), Error: device not found
2010-02-21 22:06:31.780 HDHRChan(xx/1), Error: device not found
2010-02-21 22:06:31.782 HDHRChan(xx/1): SetChannelByString(6-1), Error: Channel object will not open, can not change channels.
2010-02-21 22:06:31.783 TVRec(2) Error: Failed to set channel to 6-1. Reverting to kState_None

Well, that didn't bode well. I sauntered into the data center (the nook under the stairs without adequate power, lighting or cooling) and found the power light on my HDHomeRun was blinking and worse, so was the light on the power supply. A quick google turned up a known failure with the power adapters on some versions of the HDHomeRun. Guess who was lucky enough to receive one of them?

So this post is just an FYI to anybody else who bought an HDHomeRun. The RMA process is dead simple, just enter your device ID, and they'll send you a replacement for free. But the question is, what are we going to do for 3-7 business days while we wait? Back to live TV again? Oh the humanity!


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