success at last

Well, I finally got MythTV working again. And, once again, it was user error. Once I actually calmed down enough to think about it rationally (versus my previous attempts at just randomly trying configs) then I managed to start seeing what was going wrong.

The first thing I realized was that my original myth setup wasn’t using ALSA. I was using /dev/dsp as my output device, so I was using ALSA’s OSS emulation. So, when I tried watching a movie in mplayer with -ao oss, there was no sound. Exact same thing as was happening in myth — it wasn’t throwing any errors, just no sound.

So then I googled for ‘mythtv spdif’ which took me to a good mythtv guide. Then I quickly saw what had happened. I’m loading ‘alsa’ as a module, and while doing that, I have to tell the module parameters to remap everything that OSS uses to device 2, my SPDIF. Somewhere along the line of upgrading ALSA and my kernel, my original /etc/modules.d/alsa was changed back to a vanilla config file, which didn’t have those extra settings in it. That was the problem the whole time. I’m not entirely sure what overwrote it, either. ‘equery’ tells me that the file is owned by alsa-utils, but re-emerging it didn’t overwrite it. I wonder if it’s when I make the modules from the kernel that it clears it out, or something.

In all fairness, I recant my original rant about mythtv always needing some kind of external third-party config to get it working right. That is true, however, when you’re using complex setups, such as remote controls, audio receivers, and USB TV tuners. I would have had to configure things no matter what the program that used them. I was wrong.

However, I still stand by my opinion that I think it’s stupid that it was complaining about the ALSA parameters. Throw me a bone, here. Just play the stupid thing.

I’m actually glad for all the grief I went through, though. I needed to reinstall myth anyway so that I could get MythVideo back on there. I got both of those accomplished, and the new myth is looking really slick. I like it. The ‘Internal’ player is working now in MythVideo as well, but it doesn’t save the movie position still, which was my biggest hope. That’s not a big deal though, because I finally discovered a hack so that I can write my own wrapper to save position. I’ll have to post that up here another day.

And so, things are finally moving forward. With mythvideo working and a player that I can resume playback, I can finish ripping my DVDs and have everything in one central place. It’s definately all been worth the hassle to be able to watch Transformers any time I want without having to pop in a DVD. 🙂

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