The setup

Here are a couple of pictures of the machine and setup.


The Verax components were ordered from Verax Fans, a distributor in the US. Cris Freiwald was very helpful to me.


The system runs on Debian unstable. It would not work without the efforts of many people and projects.

The main system that records and plays videos is by MythTV. The drivers for the Hauppauge cards are written by the Ivtv project. Those drivers still have some issues, but work well for being reverse engineered.

I use Matt Zimmerman's debian package repository.

Even though these people will never read my web site, I want to give my thanks for all their efforts.


Putting one of these boxes together is not for the faint of heart, especially under Debian. Fortunately, Liven was very patient while I took over the living room. For a while I had the entire system with a computer monitor on the living room table.

The first place you should look is at the main MythTV documents. I read them several times before I even bought my hardware. As you will see, my system is a bit overkill in performance. But if it didn't work out, I was going to make it my desktop system, so I thought might as well make it a nice system. :-)

Another nice guide is Dennis Lou's Debian and a blank hard drive guide. If you are using Hauppauge receivers, skip the whole section about using xawtv to test the recievers. Xawtv doesn't work with MPEG-2 encoding receivers.

Although I used Debian, Jarod's site is an excellent resource for various settings.

Although it wasn't directly helpful, the Linux HTPC HOWTO provides a nice overview.