david winter

Me TV - EyeTV for Ubuntu?

My search for an open source, Ubuntu alternative for EyeTV on OS X is nearly over. I stumbled across ‘Me TV’ a few days ago–and I’ve left it as long before writing up a post about it so that I could have a good play with it.

Installation

For those using Gutsy, you’ll need to add the Launchpad repository to your Apt sources:

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the following to the bottom of the file:

# Me TV
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/michael-lamothe/ubuntu gutsy main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/michael-lamothe/ubuntu gutsy main

Save the file, and then:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install me-tv

If you’re running Hardy, Me TV is in the Universal repository, so you can just run sudo apt-get install me-tv. Update: After contacting Michael, the developer of Me TV, he’s said that the package in the Hardy Universe repository is out of date. For the time being, you’re better off adding the LaunchPad repository, as above.

Features

Just a reminder of the features that I’m looking for in an application to replace EyeTV:

Out of all of the above, there is only one feature–‘Be able to pause, rewind, and forward to live TV’–that isn’t currently available with Me TV, though I believe it should be possible to implement it in the future with developer support.

Here’s a brief run down of those features:

Watch all Freeview (DVB-T) channels

When you first launch the app, it asks if you would like it to create a channels.conf file, and then scans for the channels it can find.

Scan Prompt
Region Prompt
Channels Found

Once this small step is complete, the main window opens with one of the channels on. You’ll also notice below the EPG. You can switch channels by scrolling up and down the EPG and clicking on the channel name.

Schedule Programs to Record

This is as simple as finding the program in the EPG, clicking on Record and then accepting the recording schedule. You can also set, if you want, Me TV to repeat the schedule, say; daily, weekly, etc.

Recording
Recording Details

Electronic Program Guide - EPG

This can be toggled on or off by right clicking in the window. You can scan through the listings every 3 hours, and switch back to what is currently on.

EPG

Full Screened or Windowed Viewing

Simply double click in the main window. Voila.

TV

Some Suggestions

Me TV is already very user friendly, however, there are a few small things that I think could be altered or added that would make the experience even better:

Some of these are very small, or rather picky suggestions, but none-the-less more user friendly.

Conclusion

Overall, Me TV is an excellent application. Obviosuly a lot of time has gone into developing it. If the feature set remained as it was, I would use it from now on, though I believe there are a few things that would make it an ‘easier’ experience for the user. And the one feature missing that would make it the best ever in Linux, and, hands down, the EyeTV alternative for OS X converts to Ubuntu, would be pause, rewind and forward to live TV.

I’ll be suggesting Me TV to all that I know from now on!

February 10, 2008

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