MythDora, MythTV and Schedules Direct
As many of you know Zap2it has stopped providing free scheduling infomation for MythTV users. The solution that the developers of MythTV came up with was to help start a company called Schedules Direct (http://www.schedulesdirect.com) to provide the data. According to the Schedules Direct website:
Schedules Direct is a non-profit organization that provides raw U.S./Canadian TV listing data to Free and Open Source Applications. Those applications then use the data to provide things like PVR functionality, search tools, and private channel grids.
This is a paid service that is $20/year right now. It has a 7-day trial so that you can be sure that it will work with your setup.
I used MythDora (http://www.g-ding.tv) to setup my most recent MythTV install. I have been using MythTV for 3+ years and have found MythDora the easiest to get from nothing to watching TV in the shortest amount of time. Before MythDora I was using CentOS with a custom install of Myth and the associated goodies. MythDora is based on Fedora Core so it was an easy transition. I have also tried LinuxMCE due to a recent demo of it at a BillingsLUG meeting. LinuxMCE is nice but it requires quite a bit of hardware research and planning in order to get working. Also it will work with a standard definition TV but a HDTV is almost a requirement to complete the setup or at least a computer monitor hooked up next to the TV to be able to read the prompts.
The current version of MythDora is 4.0. It comes on a DVD or a set of CDs. The install is very straight forward, put the disk in answer a couple of questions and let it do its thing. Once you get it installed you will need to update the MythTV parts to be able to use Schedules Direct. To do that simply get to a root terminal (ssh is great for this) and issue:
# yum upgrade \*myth\*.
WARNING: do not just do a yum upgrade. The reason for this is that the packages put into MythDora have gone through fairly extensive testing to ensure that they work together well. A yum upgrade may introduce some instability to the system and has the potential to completely screw up the system.
Overall MythDora is the quickest way for me to get a working system going that has everything that I want or need on it. It is also a good jumping off point to start using the SVN branch of MythTV. The SVN branch can be compiled fairly easy on MythDora to get those bleeding edge features that you know you might want someday :)