From Myth to Sage

Jul 11 2008

Anyone who has been around this site for a while probably knows that I openly support Linux.  The fact that I learn best by tinkering makes this OS a natural fit for me.  Program doesn't work as advertised?  Bust out the code and see what damage can be done.  What's the worst that could happen??  Fortunately, this wild abandon is tempered by a wife that would just like to watch this weeks episode of Grey's Anatomy without any unscripted drama occurring in the process.  Yes, WAF ultimately wins out over cavalier "fix fests" in my home.

So, you can imagine the look of horror I received when I mentioned that I was thinking of disrupting this HTPC paradise.  Why you ask?  For one, MythTV is great and all, but there are some things which need fixed that I don't see happening any time soon.  Heresy from a Linux proponent?  No.  I'm a realist.  For all it's strengths, Linux does have one fatal flaw - video drivers.  It's quite silly that it is not possible to have video decoding acceleration in Linux without jumping through hoops and experiencing stability issues.  The end result is a HTPC client that requires an overpowered CPU.  In my book, that is an inefficient brute force means to solve a problem.  I love the client/server HTPC topology, so I'm not about to give that up, so what is a Linux lover to do?  Switch to SageTV of course.

My plan is to continue to use Linux to do what it does best.  It will function as the media server for the home complete with various drives and storage partitions all mixed together.  The clients, however, will change.  The hope is to outfit the main TV with a SageTV HD extender while the family room TV is driven by a PC running Windows.  This configuration provides the stability of an extender on the main TV with the flexibility of a PC in the family room for the occasional big screen gaming session.  Of course, all of this is supported by a rock solid Linux server hosting the content.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I plan to follow up on the progress of the SageTV conversion along with any stumbling blocks or tips if others follow my tracks in the future.  Gone down this path before?  Give me a shout in the forums.

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