Progress with Plextor

I’ve now got the tuner and audio features working too – here’s a sample.

At this point I still need to do some code cleanup, then I can go proceed with the real task of getting this code integrated into the MythTV recording functionality. That’ll probably take quite some time though – I think.

There are some AVSync issues and I’m not too sure how serious they’re going to be in the MythTV code. Right now my test app just reads from the USB pipes as fast as possible placing the data into the AVI file. This has no syncing between the streams since the pipes operate independantly. It may be that MythTV has code for syncing between the two streams (they’re independant with the Linux drivers too), or this may need to be addressed.

Posted under mythtv

This post was written by awk on May 26, 2006

Plextor TV402U

The Plextor TV402U is a USB video capture & compression device. It accepts composite, S-Video and ‘antenna’ signals and then converts and compresses those signals to either MPEG1, MPEG2 or MPEG4 video. It comes with Mac (or Window) software to talk to it from an app called EyeTV.

However what I really want is to be able to capture video using MythTV. MythTV supports this device on Linux and although more and more of Myth pieces are working on Mac OS X capture from analog sources is not one of them.

First milestone on the goal to MythTV capture on Mac OS X is to get my own code capturing from the device. The support in EyeTV is quite ‘embedded’ but there is an open source set of Linux drivers for the Plextor (and other similar devices).


I’ve finally managed to capture video from the Plextor TV402U device using my own ‘port’ of the Linux driver code. Here’s a sample capture. There’s no audio yet, and I don’t know if the tuner support works (though I suspect it’s probably ok) but this is a good first step. I’ll get the other features working and then work out how to ‘shoehorn’ this code into Myth.

Myth uses the Video 4 Linux APIs and my port so far attempts to preserve as much of those API’s as possible so hopefully this can be done without too much ‘hacking’ of either sets of code. However it’s important to note that this is not a port of the Video 4 Linux code to Mac OS. My code has a very similar API but it’s ‘hardcoded’ to the Plextor (and perhaps other GO7007 based) devices. It might serve as a model for other ports though.

Posted under mythtv

This post was written by awk on May 18, 2006

House Inspection

We put an offer on a house at 46 Fells Road Winchester. Today was inspection day. The house is only 16 years old so we weren’t really expecting any problems, and luckily only a couple of things came up :

There is some small amounts of water (rot) damage to some of the trim on the outside of the house, and one window.

There appears to be some sort of small leak in the roof of the family room. The most likely explanation is that there is a leak somewhere around the vents on the ridge line of the roof. Since it’s been raining here very hard for some days now this probably is about as bad as it’s going to get.

The really good news is that the basement was completely dry, which after all the rain is a good thing, and more than can be said for the basement in the house where I’m staying. Since I sleep in the basement there inch or so of water around my bed is not a good thing !

The rest of the house looked great and in fine condition. So we’ll go forward and sign the purchase and sales agreement tomorrow (Monday) and close in mid-June.

There are some more photos on my flicker page.

Posted under House Hunting

This post was written by awk on May 14, 2006

Houshunting again

It’s been quite a while since my last entry, but in that time we’ve managed to sell our house in San Rafael (for a modest discount from what we were asking – but we’re happy). So now we really need to find a house here in the Boston area. We’ve refined our location choices quite a bit and are now pretty set on either Concord or Winchester. There’s one property in Concord which is pretty much our top choice for that area, so I went out today (and last weekend) to look at homes for sale in Winchester. Here’s a run down of my ‘findings’.

26 Cabot St A well maintained older house, and in a great neighbourhood on a nice quiet street. Unfortunately some years ago (I would estimate 20-30 at least) the owners sold half their lot and a second house was built. That effectively removed the rear garden of this house and makes in unattractive for us.

4 Grove St A really nice old victorian house, with a surprisingly good interior layout and a nice yard. It’s one detraction is that it’s close to a rather busy junction and street. It’s also listed as having only 2550 sq. ft interior – although it felt larger.

1 Fernway We looked at a slightly more expensive house further ‘up the hill’ from this property last week – so this was a ‘comparison’ oppurtunity. This house however really doesn’t match up to the other property, it’s much closer to the main road and has a much smaller yard. Although the other house at 29 Mccall Road is more expensive it probably offers better value.

21 Blossom Hill Road This is a cape that has been quite well renovated both inside and out. However they’ve done little to fix the basic problems with the cape design – not enough space upstairs. There’s no master bathroom upstairs, just one shared bathroom with a second bedroom. The other two bedrooms are on the ground floor level.

4 Ravine Road At a little over 1.5 million this house is out of our budget but we had some time to kill between houses so we took a look anyway. But… eeeekkk ! What a dreadfully poorly designed house, whilst some parts are really spacious the bedrooms were tiny for such a large house. The indoor ‘spa pool’ seemed almost to be on top of the kitchen ! My suggestion to my realtor was to find out who the architect was and stay a long way away from anything they had designed !

14 Ardley Road This was a great house, and although a little expensive for the square footage in comparison to some it’s a great location and a really nice house ! The problems ? Well… the sellers are returning to Australia and want a late summer close – I’m not sure if we want to wait that long. Also the selling realtor is intimating that there’s a lot of interest and I’m not sure if we want to get involved in a bidding war.

Michele’s coming out on Tuesday so we’ll look at some of these houses, and perhaps some others then and see where we’re heading.

Posted under House Hunting

This post was written by awk on May 7, 2006