[vdr] Antwort: Re: OT: VDR for grandparents

Peter Dittmann Peter.Dittmann at pldsnet.com
Wed Oct 29 13:38:51 CET 2008

vdr-bounces at linuxtv.org schrieb am 26.10.2008 16:57:51:

> >> > has anyone on this list any experience in setting up VDR for older
> >> > people like grandparents? It would be nice, if she/he could share
> >> > her/his experience or point me to information on the WWW.
> >>
> >> I have experience with second best thing after grandparents. A
> >> totally clueless user.
> >>
> >> Since I have setup VDR as the backend sitting near the dish, and
> >> added a MediaMVP box next to the TV set, she can use it, record
> >> stuff, delete recording, everything.
> >>
> >> We are using the Hauppauge MediaMVP together with the
> >> vdr-plugin-vompserver on the VDR system.
> >
> > Another vote for MediaMVP and vompserver. The user interface is IMO 
> > to operate than commercial PVRs such as the Humax, and the noisy 
> > can be kept out of the living room.
> While I have  not had experience with this myself, I do know a few
> users who've set up VDR for (grand)parents and wives.  From the
> feedback I've heard, VDR works really well in those scenarios which I
> think says a lot!  ;)

I can second that.
I set up a box for my brothers family almost 3 years ago and it still 
running with the ancient 1.3.24.
The box is actually offline, 250km away and only needed some checks every 
few months at first.
Now it's like a VW beatle: it runs, and runs, and runs ...
He actually dont't care about the system setup, he doesn't even have the 
root password either ;-))

There seems to be some keys to success.
1.Chosing a stable(unfancy) plattform.
 I used an seemingly ancient PIII OEM(Siemens) plattform. 
 These OEM systems are usually rock stable, quite quiet and relativly low 
 With the stable TT-FF premium card there is also a stable plattform.
 Make sure that your system design is good (cooling, I/O attachment).

 Invest some time in the optical design (doesn't need to be fancy eigher) 
for WAF.
 Low WAF creates problems even while everything runs nicely ;-)

2.Limit yourself
 Only add the minimum set of plugins for doing the daily routines.
 Keep things as simple as possible.
 Sort the GUI to have the daily routines on the initial menu.
 Move "special" features into submenus to not bother the user with it.

 Use a stable distribution that is flexible enought for the task.
 I started with c't vdr distribution (Debian !) but hand tuned a lot of 
the distribution components
 for easy use and to fix some issues after some testing.

 Don't bother about "latest" versions. 
 Once the system runs nicely only change what is broken or adding a needed 

3.testing, testing, testing
 Problem is not VDR and it's functions.
 Problem is to make the components working together in everydays tasks.
 You should use the system for the NOB-user by yourself for some time 
before delivery.
 Test the features and test it again after some weeks/months time.

 Crux is mostly the scripts and system setup beside VDR.
 Think about automated clean-up of log files and similar stuff.
 I had quite some fun with MySQL thrashing the HD and forgetting to delete 
the garbage.

 Some scripting beside VDR is also a pain, like vdrconvert and burn 
creating directories.
 In a single HD configuration the temp directories for those may end up in 
the video directory tree.
 But VDR don't like empty directories. So make shure scripts creating them 
also leaves a dummy file in it.
 Otherwise VDR cleans up the directory that burn/vdrconvert need for 
temporary data
 causing spurious fails of those plugins.

regards Peter 

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