Setting Up the HTPC

The HTPC is here. I ordered mostly the “Coding Horror” hardware with a 750 GB hard drive and IOGear wireless keyboard (model GKM561R). It’s connected to a Panasonic TC-P58S2 58″ plasma TV via HDMI. The wireless keyboard worked with no configuration at all. The HDMI connection did too.

On a USB drive, I loaded the Mythbuntu installation. It booted from the USB drive with no problem. Mythbuntu installed without a hitch and set up networking by itself. Does this sound boring? Don’t worry, there were problems.

The edges of the desktop were cut off and there was no sound from the TV. MythTV has options for setting the TV size. This was as simple as moving two “L” shaped cursors to define the upper-left and lower-right corners of the screen. The only hard part was figuring out what the “select” and “menu” keys were. Those were space or enter and “m”, respectively. But the Ubuntu desktop was tougher.

I searched the web and found a few pages that referred to fixing overscan through X settings. Another mentioned the preferred method is to set this in the TV. After hunting through the Panasonic menus, I found Picture -> Aspect adjustments. Under this is a setting for HD size. This was set to size 1, which is 95% of the HD signal. They say that’s to trim noise. My desktop is not noise. Size 2 is full image. Choosing this fixed the overscan problem. Woo-hoo!

Now off to figure out the missing audio.