MythTV – Aborted. Back to Windows.

James Young · January 28, 2012

Well, I gave MythTV a good go, but in the end I had to ditch it.  I had endless problems getting my USB tuners to come back up reliably after sleep, and I also had some strange crashes and other issues.

For reasons that anyone with a wife and small children will understand, it's a high-severity incident of the worst degree when your media center keels over for some reason in the middle of the day just before nap time.  So, back to Windows.
Anyway, I had a few adventures with that - my first Windows install corrupted itself and died after a week, which wound out being because of some bad RAM installed in the HTPC box.  Removed that and rebuilt it again, and it appears OK.  What's notable is that I had that RAM installed when I was running Fedora, which makes me think that perhaps all the problems I was having with MythTV were actually the bad RAM all along...
Currently, I'm running with MediaPortal instead of Windows 7 Media Center, on Windows 7 32-bit.  I've also done some cleverness with Shepherd so that I'm able to use the Shepherd EPG on Windows (details to follow).
Installation and setup is pretty straightforward for Windows running a Media Center.  I'll give more detail in following posts, but what you'll need is this;
  • Windows 7 32-bit (64-bit will work too, but it's a bit more complicated with codec setup)
  • Shark007's codec pack (contains all the codecs you'll need)
  • UltraVNC (for remote management)
  • Microsoft Hotfix KB977178 (fixes problems with large hard drives vanishing on resume from sleep)
After installation, set the following registry keys;

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\LargeSystemCache = 1 

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\LanmanServer\Parameters\Size = 3

This prevents issues with nonpaged pool exhaustion on Windows 7 when running a media center.  You may also want to look at TweakPrefetch, but SuperFetch is a lot less obtrusive on Win7 compared to Vista, so your mileage may vary.
Anyway, I'll write up a brief comparison of four different media center types shortly.  It's a shame to have gotten rid of MythTV since it provided a lot of great features, but I couldn't have my tuners randomly not coming back up when resuming from sleep.

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