MiniMyth on an AppleTV

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ledhed
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MiniMyth on an AppleTV

Post by ledhed »

I've looked into the hardware specs on the AppleTV and it seems that MiniMyth should run fine on it. The only problem would be getting the AppleTV to Net boot. After a little research, it looks like you can do something similar to Etherboot on an AppleTV via hacking the HDD or using a USB stick. Anyone here given this a go yet?

-LedHed
Pablo
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Post by Pablo »

I do not know of anyone on this forum having done so. However, I saw a message on the mythtv-users mailing list asking about it a couple weeks ago.

My biggest concern would be AppleTV's 256MB of RAM. Even with the 64MB of dedicated video RAM, the 256MB of general RAM would be tight. I suppose that were you to NFS mount the root file system and a swap partition, then it might work.
MiniMyth running on an Acer ApireRevo 3610 and a Zotac ZBOX-ID80-U. Find out more at my MythTV page.
ledhed
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Post by ledhed »

It just looks appealing, $230 for a sleek frontend with Component & HDMI output. It would be nice to only have 1 cable running to the TV. :)

I have run my frontends with 256MB RAM, but not with MiniMyth. How big is the RAM Disk?

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Pablo
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Post by Pablo »

The image is ~60MB, but could be reduced to ~40MB depending on what plug-ins you want.

Are you running with 256MB on a system that is doing HD and does not have a swap partition? I have found that at HD resolutions with no swap partition, you need somewhat more than 512MB.
MiniMyth running on an Acer ApireRevo 3610 and a Zotac ZBOX-ID80-U. Find out more at my MythTV page.
ledhed
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Post by ledhed »

I don't think the AppleTV hardware is capable of handling HD (not with MythTV). Apple does state that it can do 720p but the CPU is only a 1GHz Pentium M 723, so I doubt it will handle much in the way of decoding power.
But for $230, it would make a nice sleek Frontend. It already has a remote and IR sensor, so there really is little moding to be done.

Maybe I'll get one and see what I can do with it. Though after the RAM Disk 192MB of RAM isn't much to play with.

-LedHed
otwin
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Post by otwin »

ledhed wrote:I don't think the AppleTV hardware is capable of handling HD (not with MythTV). Apple does state that it can do 720p but the CPU is only a 1GHz Pentium M 723, so I doubt it will handle much in the way of decoding power.
From what I've read here it is capable of playing 1080i with Xvmc, so mpeg2. But h.264 is probably not possible as the cpu will have to do the decoding.
But for $230, it would make a nice sleek Frontend. It already has a remote and IR sensor, so there really is little moding to be done.
Here in Europe it costs 299€ (the dollar is not *that* weak...), but luckily I'll get one from the US next month. I think it's a bargain (at the US price) for a full featured and quiet SD frontend. My Epia setup with its case was much more expensive and it's pretty much on its limits. The only problem I see is the remote, but MS MCE remotes are cheap. Although I would love to put minimyth on the AppleTV, I reckon it will be easier to just use a classic linux distro. But I will definitely try minimyth and see how far I get.

There is only one bad thing about minimyth; I completely forgot how to set up a proper frontend (lirc, codecs, alsa...) ;-). Thanks Pablo.
ledhed
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Post by ledhed »

I would have to agree, MiniMyth has spoiled me too.

otwin, here are a few links that may help you in netbooting an AppleTV.

http://www.mythic-beasts.com/resources/ ... b_boot_tv/
http://wiki.awkwardtv.org/wiki/Patchstick

Good luck and let me know how it goes.

-LedHed
m_theredhead
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MiniMyth on an AppleTV

Post by m_theredhead »

Hello,

I hadn't seen an update to this thread so I thought I would bring it up again.

Has anyone give this a try yet?

I am interested in an AppleTV, but only as a myth frontend, and then only running minimyth. I don't really want to support a distribution just for myth. I like the plug and go manner of using minimyth.

Does it make any difference if you boot from NFS? Would that help the memory usage at all?
bcromwell
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Post by bcromwell »

If doing NFS or Iscsi you should be able to run a remote swap file, that might help run HD. NFS swapping would be limited mainly by the available network bandwidth.
telsin
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Post by telsin »

I got ahold of an AppleTV with a dead hard drive for cheep, so I'm playing with to see what I can get it to do. I'm using atv-bootloader at the moment (http://code.google.com/p/atv-bootloader/), with the NFS kernel on a USB flash drive, and the NFS kernel setup. I can get it to boot the kernel, but so far it's failing after launching init. Havn't had too much time to play with it though, so I havn't gotten any farther.

Tests that people have run seem to indicate that it can play back 720p using xv, and 1080i using XvMC... It's got a Nvidia 7300 Go in it, so it should be decent if I can figure out what it's not doing right now :)

I'll let you know if I get anywhere...
Pablo
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Post by Pablo »

If you are able to boot any form of Linux, then the output of

Code: Select all

lspci -mn
and

Code: Select all

lsusb
could prove useful.

Also, rather than booting the MiniMyth kernel, you might consider booting gPXE instead.

Booting Minimyth with a local kernel and a remote root file system is not something that I have ever tested. It is possible that MiniMyth's limited init functionality may not support it. When I get a chance, I will look at the init scripts.

Anyway, since gPXE is an enhanced PXE boot loader, it will allow you to boot following the normal MiniMyth boot sequence. This should reduce the chance of running into any init script limitations.
MiniMyth running on an Acer ApireRevo 3610 and a Zotac ZBOX-ID80-U. Find out more at my MythTV page.
telsin
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Post by telsin »

Yeah, it looks like minimyth's INIT is hanging because it has issues with the dynamically linked init and the pivot root those scripts do. Not sure there's a good way around that with the atv-boot method, but the mythic-beasts version may do better, as it looks like it tries a more traditional netboot (it might be gPXE, can't tell yet if they used etherboot or gPXE code for their netboot).

The atv-bootloader may do ok with the RAM version, so I'll probably give that a try just as a proof of concept. I don't think it will leave enough RAM to do much after loading the RAM disk, though.

I'll post the ls* info when I get it that far. From what I've read in various places, it looks like there's going be a little X86.conf command to keep the 7300go from using turbomemory and stealing 64M of system RAM, and probably some stuff for the IR remote needed. Otherwise it looks like it should run pretty much out of the box, more or less...
mx-5
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Post by mx-5 »

Read about people using Apple TV as a MythTV frontend, and I immediately came here to see if people have this running with Minimyth. Being a MiniMyth user, it'd be great to netboot rather than maintain another distro installation.

Has anyone made any progress with this on MiniMyth?
telsin
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Post by telsin »

Unfortunately, I have not been able to get it to boot. I haven't had the opportunity to work on for a while though. I've got another one, and a new display with HDMI in, so as soon as I scrounge up a HDMI cable, I'll be giving it another go...
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