Irregularly stuttering MythTV

My MythTV setup had been stuttering at very irregular intervals. It was very strange. I would watch a recorded show and at any time the screen would freeze and the debugging output would fall into a "prebuffering pause" loop and then after a few seconds fall back to mythfrontend. Just on a hunch I checked the main linux logs at /var/log/messages and found that my new 1.5 Terrabyte sata hard drive was being reset while the skipping happened. I changed the power cable and the ports of the hard drive, having read, that my trusty GigaByte motherboard hat issues with some ports. Nothing changed. I thought about sending the harddrive back, but then found a forum that had hundreds of posts describing similar problems under Windows XP. Some claimed that a new firmware by Seagate fixed the problem. I downloaded the CD-ROM image and after a reboot it was done. No more skipping.

The debugging output was as follows:

Dec 16 20:38:15 elkin kernel: [852826.062527]          res 40/00:00:00:00:00/00:00:00:00:00/00 Emask 0x4 (timeout)
Dec 16 20:38:20 elkin kernel: [852831.093086] ata5: port is slow to respond, please be patient (Status 0xd0)
Dec 16 20:38:25 elkin kernel: [852836.067813] ata5: device not ready (errno=-16), forcing hardreset
Dec 16 20:38:25 elkin kernel: [852836.067818] ata5: soft resetting link
Dec 16 20:38:26 elkin kernel: [852836.319820] ata5.00: configured for UDMA/133
Dec 16 20:38:26 elkin kernel: [852836.319831] ata5: EH complete
Dec 16 20:38:26 elkin kernel: [852836.320232] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdc] 2930275055 512-byte hardware sectors (1500301 MB)
Dec 16 20:38:26 elkin kernel: [852836.340362] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdc] Write Protect is off
Dec 16 20:38:26 elkin kernel: [852836.357920] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdc] Write cache: enabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA

Just in case you have similar issues with your drive, mine is called ST31500341AS. The required firmware file is called, search for it on google, as it is not officialy available from Seagate.

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