I;ve got a PC connected to my living room tv at home.  (Does that surprise you?) We use the PC as a media center.  It;s currently running XP Pro.  Not a bad setup, but recently i’ve been having problems with XP.. It’ll jump while playing DVD’s, and it’s just not performing like it did when i first installed it.  As happes to most XP installs, it’s probably time to wipe it, and reinstall.  Man.. I hate windows.

Anyway, I took this opportunity to start looking into alternatives.  I know i can get a DVD player for Linux, and for me it’d be great, but i need something that;s user friendly enough that my wife can sit down and watch a movie while i’m at work, or whatever.  I’ve been unable to find a dvd player for linux that lives up to my expectations.  Sure, i can watch a DVD, but the UI is usually a little less than friendly.  While that’s no problem for me, it makes it difficult for anyone else to just use it as a player.  In XP i just have an icon on the desktop for WinDVD and the program’s UI is easy enough for just about anyone to figure out. I’ve tried Ogle on Fedora Core 7, and while it worked, the UI wasnt nice, and it didnt expand to full screen nicely. Xine does a better job of playing, but the UI isnt friendly. 

Enter MythTV.  I’ve read about it before, in fact i read a very long write-up on setting up MythTV as an all in one PVR with network storage.  Excellent!  I dont have the resources at the moment to setup a whole network just for my entertainment, but i DO have one PC, connected to a TV, that needs a nice friendly DVD player.  MythTV does it all!  There’s plugins for all sorts of things, news feeds, game system front ends, and, of course, DVD playback.  Myth was originally designed as a PVR.  With a TV Turner card, you can use Myth to build your own cable box, with a channel guide, timed recordings, the works!  So i’ve set out on the quest of getting Myth configured for DVD playback, and once i have the spare cash, i’m going to get a tuner card for it.  I’ll post more once i’ve actually done this. 🙂

I tried to install Myth on my FC7 install, but it just wasnt cooperating.  It runs, but i’m getting some backend erros, and for some reason displayed fonts dont work?  So i found this modified FC6 distribution called MythDora It takes Fc6, and pre-builds Myth into the install. I just went through an install of it on my Laptop, just to test it out, and it looks damn nice.  We’ll see how it pans out when i get home and install it on my entertainment pc.