Watching TV on Computer – Dilemma

July 22, 2009

After going through the One Computer Initiative I settled on a MacBook as my main computer.  That was three years ago.  This springtime I was thinking that 1) it’s time for an upgrade, and 2) for a challenge I wanted to try something a little different this time.  A couple weeks ago I bought a new laptop that came with Linux pre-installed on it, instead of getting another Mac.

I had been using a video capture box connected to the MacBook as a PVR to watch television. I like this system because it folds the functionality of a TV into my computer – therefore I need one less electronic device sitting on my desk.  Less stuff = better! The plan was to get my old video capture box working with the new computer.  My research before buying indicated that it would work.  I’ve been having trouble because the linux driver for it is not supported anymore.  I found a patched version of the driver on a blogger’s website.  It is installed and I’ve been trying out different settings, but still isn’t working with the MythTV software I plan to use.

At this point I am facing the decision of whether to continue tinkering with it or to buy a new supported PVR encoder box that is sure to work.  That means I’d have two “main” computers, each with their own video capture boxes.  Starting to get uncomfortably complicated!

Once I get everything working on the new computer I can theoretically get rid of the old Mac.  I get attached to computers because of the “history” I have with them.  There are 3 computers here now, and it’ll probably stay that way for a while.

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