I made a bit more MythTV progress today. DVD playing now works perfectly. I had had three problems: 1. Audio was really quiet. After upgrading mplayer, I decided that this was really an issue with my receiver–it was decoding analog Dolby Surround correctly, but it wasn’t really configured for my speakers. A little bit of fiddling and it’s acceptable, if still a bit quiet. The reference source that I was using for comparisons is really loud–the meter on the receiver is peaking out all the time, while Finding Nemo (my DVD test today) is really just about where it should be. 2. Mplayer was dropping frames while playing DVDs, but DVD rips played just fine. DMA wasn’t enabled on my DVD drive. Once I fixed that, it became perfect. 3. I couldn’t eject DVDs without opening up a shell and umounting /dev/cdrom. I’m not sure what was up here, but something in KnoppMyth was automounting /dev/cdrom every few seconds. I commented out the entry in /etc/fstab, and everything seems okay–I can still play DVDs, but the eject button on the drive works now.

At this point, MythTV is an acceptable DVD player for me. It still isn’t perfect–it takes too many button pushes on the remote to start playing, and the remote buttons aren’t mapped quite right. In other words, it’s still kind of complex, but it works fine once you get through the complexity.

On the other hand, the image is stunning on the projector. I think the jump from NTSC DVD player to VGA DVD player is almost as big as the jump from VHS to NTSC DVD, at least in my setup.