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A relatively standard screen shot of the initial MythTV screen (MythCenter theme).
A demonstration of MythTV on a high definition LCD television with the on-screen display.



The Retro theme for MythTV.
A screenshot of MythWeb, the web based management interface.
A network diagram of a typical complex MythTV implementation in the home.

MythTV is a free and open source Personal Video Recorder (PVR) for the Linux OS. It's easily extended through a diverse range of plugins providing extra capabilities such as DVD playback, photo management and games. MythTV provides high levels of customisability and features far beyond those offered by equivalent Home Theatre PC (HTPC) applications. It utilises a unique client/server architecture allowing for flexible deployment in the home environment. The latest stable release of MythTV is 0.21.

MythTV can

  • Display digital, high definition and analogue television
  • Time-shift Live TV (Pause, Rewind and fast forward)
  • Schedule programme recordings from an integrated Electronic Programme Guide (EPG)
  • Automatically skip commercials
  • Be skinned and extended through the plug-in system.
  • Support multiple combinations of TV tuner adapters


MythTV is easily extended through a variety of plugins. A complete list of official MythTV plugins with a short description of their functionality have been catalogued below.

MythTV Hardware

Hardware support is largely dependent on your expectations of the system.

High definition playback requires more power than standard definition. Advanced features such as transparency, commercial skipping, and transcoding can all take up additional system resources. You will need to consider what the purpose of your system is going to be in order to work out the hardware required.

For that reason, a lot of the information here is a guide only.

For inspiration you can view some of our MythTV OCAU Member Setups, which showcases some of the systems OCAU members have built.

Minimum Requirements

Minimum hardware requirements for watching LiveTV on a single digital tuner without XvMC (Video acceleration)
Standard digital High definition
  • Processor: Intel Pentium III 800Mhz or AMD Athlon 800Mhz
  • Memory: 384MB
  • HDD: 60GB (~20 Hours of recordings + OS)
  • Processor: Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz or AMD Athlon XP 2800+
  • Memory: 384MB
  • HDD: 200GB (~20 Hours of recordings + OS)

Supported TV tuner adapters

Any TV tuner adapter utilising these chipsets should be fully supported by a recent Linux kernel.

  • Conexant 2388x (Recommended)
  • Brooktree878 (Recommended)
  • Philips SAA 7134
  • B2C2 Flexcop II

There are two recommended sources for further information on MythTV hardware:

Recommended Software

MythTV is an application that sits on top of a Linux distribution. Consequently, it's irrelevant which distribution you decide to use in your MythTV configuration. What's important is that you have the required package dependencies, and access to support. Distributions such as Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS and Arch include MythTV in their package repositories which automatically resolve dependencies, simplifying the install process.

When choosing your Linux distribution, the author of this wiki article encourages you to pick a distribution that you're familiar with. Familiarity leads to confidence which is of benefit in a first-time install process. If you don't favour any particular distribution, pick a one that has a wide range of support. As a general rule of thumb, popular distributions are your best bet. They usually offer multiple places for seeking help such as forums, IRC and a mailing list. If you'd like assistance from other OCAU members, you may be interested in the MythTV General Discussion and Support thread on the OCAU forums.

Lastly, there are special, customised distributions that are designed specifically for MythTV. They present considerable advantages for users with little or no Linux experience by including automated installers and support for proprietary drivers. They're often considered "out of the box" solutions.

Linux Distributions

Distributions listed in alphabetical order
Distribution MythTV installation guides Support
Arch Linux
Fedora Linux
Gentoo Linux
Ubuntu Linux

MythTV distributions

Distributions listed in alphabetical order.


  • KnoppMyth is my attempt at making the Linux and MythTV installation as trivial as possible.


  • Mythbuntu is an Ubuntu derivative focused upon setting up a standalone MythTV system similar to KnoppMyth or MythDora. The Mythbuntu distribution fits on a single CD which can also be used as a frontend liveCD.

VDPAU support (adding full GPU based decode to MythTV on Nvidia Geforce 8xxx and later GPUs) can easily be added to Mythbuntu (or a vanilla Ubuntu) using John Avenards patched repositories WARNING: If the Avenard respositories are used no support is given by the Mythtv team as this is considered a code fork.


  • MythDora is a Fedora Core and MythTV "All-In-One" DVD. The DVD will load a preconfigured Fedora Core installation on your computer as well as install and configure MythTV.

Electronic programme guide (EPG)

A screenshot of a relatively standard MythTV EPG.

MythTV uses XMLTV to store and display programme data in the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG). Programme data is populated into the MythTV database through the use of a XMLTV grabber, such as the tv_grab_au script.

In Australia, there are several XMLTV grabbers which provide varying levels of programme data. The legality of some grabbers are disputed.

For information about setting up your program guide, check out our MythTV Electronic Program Guide page, or check out the Shepherd guide data script.


Tips, tricks and common problem fixes

Tips and tricks

For a comprehensive list of MythTV tips and tricks, you may like to visit the Myth(TV)ology web site for additional information.

Setting up a frontend on a laptop with a broken or removed screen

If you are trying to set up a frontend using a laptop with a broken or removed screen (LVDS panel) then this information may help you: MythTV frontend on laptop with broken or removed panel

Setting up audio over HDMI with GT210/220

If you want to use audio over HDMI with a GT210 or GT220, follow these steps: Audio over HDMI with a GT210/220

Common problem fixes

No sound on Channel Seven or SBS

Symptoms: No sound occurs on channel Seven or SBS (In Australia, they have ac3 audio streams) when they are tuned to from another channel (i.e. You are watching channel nine, and change to channel Seven). There is however sound if you choose channel Seven, exit live TV mode and then re-enter live TV.

Fix: It appears there can be weird problems like this when using PS format to watch TV. It can be fixed by:

  1. Exit mythfrontend and mythbackend
  2. Enter mythtv-setup
  3. Go to card options
  4. Select your DVB card
  5. Go to 'Advanced Settings'
  6. Select 'Recording Options'
  7. Check the box that says 'Record in TS format instead of PS'
  8. Exit mythtv-setup, and restart mythbackend and mythfrontend

Garbled / very quiet sound regardless of channel

Symptoms: No sound, very hissy sound, garbled sound but very quiet

Fix: set up the tv card to record in stereo rather than 5.1 audio.

No display when watching LiveTV

Symptoms: When trying to watch LiveTV the screen is blank and no input is accepted, after a few moments will drop back to main menu.


  1. Stop mythbackend
  2. Run mythtv-setup
  3. Select Option 4. Input Connections
  4. Add a starting channel (ie. 7)
  5. Close myth-setup, restart mythbackend and test

Full scan does not pick up channel 9

Symptoms: None of the channel 9 transport streams are tuned in after doing a full channel scan.


  1. Stop mythbackend
  2. Run mythtv-setup
  3. Select Option 5. Channel Editor
  4. Then go to Transport Editor
  5. Select (New Transport)
  6. Setup using the following settings
  7. Standard=DVB, Freq.=191625000, Bandwidth=7MHz, Inversion=Auto, Modulation=QAM-64, LP Coderate=None, HP Coderate=3/4, Trans.Mode=8K, Guard Int.=1/16, Hierarchy=None
  8. Do a full rescan of channels and channel 9 should be present
  9. Close myth-setup, restart mythbackend and test

Channel 9 and GO! No Longer Record

After the new channel GO! 99 was launched, something hinky happened to the channel. If your Go! and Nine recordings appear to record, but don't actually write to the hard disk, you will need to run mythtv-setup and re-scan them.

Support and additional information

The purpose of this wiki article is to provide OCAU and Australian MythTV users with relevant and up-to-date information on MythTV. OCAU members are encouraged to contribute to this article wherever possible. In the event that you notice incorrect or outdated information that you're unable to rectify by yourself, please feel free to contact either Dedge or Techtoucian. For MythTV general discussion and support, please visit this thread.

Informative and helpful links

Some useful links have been compiled into a list below. If in doubt, Google is a fantastic resource of information.

Official documentation

Complementary information

  • Linux TV - Television with Linux
  • LIRC - Linux infra-red remote control information

OCAU forum threads

See Also

We've recently re-arranged the article because there was too much content on the one page. There are links to the other OCAU MythTV pages in the relevant sections above, but if you missed them, here they are for quick reference:

ToDo (Please contribute!)

This is a small list items that are either unfinished, or require implementation. If you're unable to contribute but would like to, please contact either Dedge or Techtoucian.

Seeking additional information on specific topics

As it currently stands, information in this wiki article has been compiled by Dedge, Techtoucian and the previous wiki article. If you're successfully using a TV tuner or remote control that is not currently listed, please add it.

We're seeking additional resources for the following sections. Please ensure they're current.

Images requested for TV tuners

Several TV tuners listed in this wiki article do not have respective images. We're unable to use images from other web sites due to copyright law. Therefore, if you have a TV tuner listed in this wiki article without an image, please take a photo, upload it, and add it to this wiki article.

OCAU member configurations requested

Please add your MythTV configuration to the MythTV OCAU Member Setups section of this wiki.

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