I just realized I hadn’t written about one of the more unusual aspects to my MythTV setup. I had mentioned in the original setup post that I had a second TV hooked up to the system. Originally, I had a Comcast DVR hooked up to Panasonic plasma TV in the family room (and the audio hooked up to the home theater receiver). Last fall, I got an LG LCD TV for the bedroom, mounted it on the wall, and ran an HDMI wire (50′ Insten) through the walls from the family room to the back of the bedroom TV. That way, whatever was in the family room would be visible in the bedroom. I used an HDMI splitter (ViewHD) to take the one HDMI feed from the cable box and split it to two TVs. I was a little worried about the cable box not allowing the signal because there were two EDIDs visible – or none, depending on how the splitter works. But it worked just fine with both TVs showing the Comcast signal as though they were each the only one.
When I set up the MythTV, I wanted to be able to watch that in the family room or living room too. So I got an HDMI switcher (again, ViewHD) and more short HDMI cables (more ViewHD) and hooked up the Comcast DVR and MythTV to the HDMI inputs on the switcher, the output of the switcher to the input of the splitter, and the two outputs of the splitter to the two TVs. It seems complicated typing it here, but it really isn’t that bad. And again, it really was as easy as just plugging the cables in. The switch even comes with a remote control that lets you directly select the input. I used the learning function on my remote to load those commands in and then dropped the commands into the JP1 program from the remote and set up the remote’s macros to automatically switch the HDMI switch when choosing the function to watch. I even got a wireless keyboard with a built in trackball (a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JJM7S0″ target=”external”>Adesso) so that I could use the keyboard in the bedroom to control MythTV.
Then, one night, I wanted to start watching a program on MythTV from the bedroom and discovered that the bedroom LG TV was displaying “No signal” even though the Panasonic was showing the MythTV UI. It was then that I discovered that the LG TV dropped the Linux computer’s signal when there was no audio on the stream! Apparently, any time I had used the MythTV from the bedroom before was when I had started watching something in the family room and moved to the bedroom. Now with a wireless keyboard, the problem became clear because I was able to attempt to start watching remotely and discovered I couldn’t. How strange.
I tried all kinds of different NVidia drivers – old new, everything. Too old and then nothing worked. But everything else had no impact on the audio working or not. Eventually, I found somebody else with the same issue I had and it was an LG TV too. So I called LG and scheduled a repair of my TV hoping that the repair guy would have a firmware update for my TV. Unfortunately, that was a waste of an afternoon since there was no update. I posted to NVNews and was very pleased to see a few people chime in with the same issue and even get some attention from people who work at NVidia who may look into changing the driver.
Trying different NVidia drivers did come with a price – my Mythbuntu install no longer said that it was using the standard NVidia driver and the driver install needed to be done with the X server off (/etc/init.d/gdm stop) which meant a remote login was the best way to do the install. MythTV was working as well as it had before any changes, but I did worry that it might mean more problems later. (Foreshadowing!)