[vdr] Switching from MythTV to VDR

Andre Newman vdr at dinkum.org.uk
Wed Oct 14 16:04:25 CEST 2009


I'm looking for some pointers on VDR coming from a MythTV history. I'm  
happy with most of the MythTV features but not the stability or the  
playback image quality, I've been using MythTV as my only TV recorder  
for some years.
I got around the image quality issues by using a PS3 for playback and  
have monit restarting mythtv-backend or mysql for me when it falls over.

I have a vdr 1.7.8 on Ubuntu system running to try out, a long term  
vdr user German friend helped me get started with vdr as I found lots  
of things only really discussed or documented in German, I got past  
that and learned a little German, I now seem to be able to find most  
things but not all....
These are my questions and my friend does not know and cannot find me  
solutions, googling hasn't given me any answers and I've been reading  
this list for some time too.

I don't have a full featured card, I tried to buy one at first but  
they don't seem to exist any more, I have a HVR4000 in my test PC, oh  
and I'm not really very interested in SDTV or analog TV, only HDTV. I  
am in the UK but have a system looking at 28E, 19E and 13E as well as  
local DVBT. The PC has an Nvidia 9400gt so VDPAU is possible, I have  
tried it through MythTV and standalone mplayer but I'm not very  
impressed with the image quality, I'll stick with the PS3 for now.

Good stuff is mature DVBS2 support, bomb proof stability, sky and  
freesat epg, sc, vdr-admin, static network protocol, live streaming.

In general I find that if vdr has a feature, it works really well.

My problems, not many but they are stoppers.

No ITVHD, I tried the fixed pid and turn off updates workaround but it  
didn't work for me, not so important as I suspect red button ITVHD  
will be history in a couple of months, not like I'd be missing many  
programmes anyway!

no uPnP
Ok have fixed this by running mediatomb pointed at the media  
directory, performance is great (better than MythTV's built in uPnP)  
but vdr's naming convention and file splitting makes this a mess. I  
was pointed to the max file size setting but this is only 2GB as a max  
or is it 4GB, either way even a 1 hour HDTV show on a low bitrate  
channel has several files.
I get a very very long list of files all called 00001 00002 etc. to  
navigate through! Ok there's useful switches to make the directories  
more meaningful but that means a lot of digging through the file  
structure from the PS3 menu, not ideal.

Timers, I'm used to MythTV's record programme "XXX" on any channel at  
any time flexibility which follows programme reschedules, new series  
starting without me knowing, all kinds of good stuff that I now take  
for granted. vdr seems to set the timer for a channel and a time like  
an ordinary PVR or VCR with EPG. If there's a plugin that takes this  
up a level I'm struggling to find it in English or German, please  
point me in the right direction.

As an example I tried to record 3 minute wonder on CH4HD, it's a  
filler programme so on at all kinds of times, got the first one then  
who knows what that was on at the same time from then on.

I really like the simplicity and robustness of vdr compared to the  
sprawling disjointed MythTV, I'm hoping I've missed a few tricks along  
the way or the things that cause me hassle are simple enough for me to  
patch, if pushed in the right direction.

Any advice greatly appreciated.


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