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Building a PVR with Linux on EPIA M10000

A silent and not too ugly piece of equipment that can fit and be used in the living-room for watching movies (downloaded and DVD) and TV and listen to music. It should also be possible to record TV to disk, on demand and using a timer. Maneuverable using a remote.

This project has been put on hold due to high work-load and other things. The info is from and work was made in 2003.


I ordered a TV-tuner card from Dustin on 2003-07-31 (SEK 595) that arrived on August 4. I'll start experimenting with that on a plain Linux computer first.

I put the TV-card in a P3 600Mhz machine with 128MB ram at work, and installed a fresh Redhat Linux 9 on it. 'modprove bttv' loaded the correct drivers at once, and 'xawtv' could show the local swedish TV channels after a while. Freevo did too after a little persuading and understanding that 'europe-west' needs to be set for the 'chanlist' setting.

$ /sbin/lspci | grep Bt878
01:08.0 Multimedia video controller: Brooktree Corporation Bt878 Video Capture (rev 11)
01:08.1 Multimedia controller: Brooktree Corporation Bt878 Audio Capture (rev 11)

Driver logging in /var/log/messages.

$ cat /proc/video/dev/video0
name            : BT878(Hauppauge (bt878))
hardware        : 0x1
TV tuner

TV-tuner card: Hauppauge WinTV Nicam Stereo PCI card because it has a chip set (Brooktree Corporation Bt878) supported by Linux drivers, it is cheap and has a remote control that seems to be supported by Linux.

Motherboard and CPU

VIA EPIA M10000 1GHZ C3, Mini-ITX.

There's an effort going on to reverse engineer the CLE266 MPEG library needed to use the built-in MPEG circuit of the motherboard.

Via's own page: Linux on the M-series.


(Casetronic 2699R), fanless and neat. External power. PCI riser card included.

Width: 292mm / Height: 63.5mm / Depth: 273 mm


256 MB low-profile DIMM


Teac DVD-ROM 8x/24x Slimline IDE

Hard disk

Seagate Barracuda 160GB 7200RPM ATA100


Requires an external "access point".