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Revision as of 03:56, 15 April 2007 by Agg (Talk | contribs)

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.

MythTV is a free and open source Personal Video Recorder (PVR) for the Linux OS. It's easily extended through a diverse 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 0.20.

MythTV can

  • Display digital, high definition and analogue television
  • Time-shift LiveTV (Pause, Rewind and fast forward)
  • Schedule programme recordings from an integrated Electronic Programme Guide (EPG)
  • Automatically skip commercials
  • Change the appearance of the display
  • Support multiple combinations of TV tuner adapters
  • Be extended through plugins

MythTV can not

  • Wash your undies
  • Clone your cat
  • Help with the development of a flux capacitor
  • Be described as anything less than brilliant


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.

  • MythArchive (Create DVDs of your recordings)
  • MythBrowser (Built in web browser)
  • MythDVD (DVD/VCD playback and ripping capability)
  • MythFlix (A netflix implementation for MythTV)
  • MythGallery (Photo management and presentation)
  • MythGame (Play games on your television)
  • MythMusic (Music library management and playback)
  • MythNews (Read RSS feeds on your television)
  • MythPhone (Receive and make phone calls)
  • MythVideo (Playback for a variety of video formats)
  • MythWeather (Display weather information)
  • MythWeb (Web based management and video/audio streaming)

Supported and recommended hardware

The Linux kernel and MythTV support a large variety of hardware configurations. Historically, MythTV was developed for use with analogue television. Fortunately, support for Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) was eventually included, providing MythTV with the capability to receive digital and high definition television.

When selecting hardware for use in your MythTV computer, it's important to establish the purpose of the project. That is, do you intend to play high definition television, or standard digital? This will ultimately determine the minimum hardware requirements for your MythTV computer. Obviously, high definition playback will require a more powerful computer than that of standard digital.

Lastly, you should check to ensure that your desired hardware is compatible with Linux and MythTV. To help with this process, the following supported devices have been listed. If in doubt, consult Google or the OCAU MythTV General Discussion and Support thread.

Minimum hardware requirements

It's important to understand that this topic is largely subjective. Individuals have different expectations and experiences that ultimately affect their perception of "minimum requirements". Therefore, the author of this section encourages you to use this information as a guide only.

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)

If you're interested to see what other OCAU members are using in their MythTV configurations, take a look here.

Supported TV tuner adapters

The following list of TV tuner chipsets and adapters are by no means a representation of ALL supported devices. It's merely a list of devices that have been confirmed to function correctly by OCAU members. For a more comprehensive list of supported tuners, visit the LinuxTV wiki.

Commonly support chipsets

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

Digital tuners

A list of confirmed digital tuners in alphabetical order. Tuners with "Card type autodetected" are recommended.
Adapter Picture(s)
Compro VideoMate DVB-T200A
  • Chipset: Philips SAA 7134
  • Kernel modules: saa7134 (Card=71), saa7134-dvb

Special instructions

  1. Grab the CVS for video4Linux and linux-dvb, instructions can be found at
  2. Goto the video4linux directory and run scripts/
  3. Edit the Make.config file and make sure saa7134-dvb = n is changed to saa7134-dvb = m (builds the dvb part as a module)
  4. Run make && make install
  5. Then modprobe saa7134 oss=1 card=71
  6. Then modprobe saa7134-dvb and you should be good to go
  7. For the DVB-T200, you will also need firmware. Please check the Documentation/dvb directory in the kernel source how to obtain and install it
Digitalnow DNTV Live! DVB-T
  • Chipset: Conexant 2388x
  • Kernel modules: cx88-dvb (Card type autodetected)
DVICO (Ultraview) Fusion HDTV DVB-T Plus
  • Chipset: Conexant 2388x
  • Kernel module: cx88-dvb (Card type autodetected)
VisionPlus DVB-T (1) VisionPlus DVB-T (2)
DVICO (Ultraview) Fusion HDTV DVB-T Lite
  • Chipset: Brooktree878
  • Kernel module: dvb-bt8xx
DViCO (Ultraview) Fusion HDTV DVB-T Lite card
Technisat Airstar 2 DVB-T
  • Chipset: B2C2 Flexcop II
  • Kernel modules: b2c2_flexcop_pci, b2c2_flexcop (Cart type autodetected)
Twinhan DVB-T
  • Chipset: Brooktree878
  • Kernel module: dvb-bt8xx (Card type autodetected)
Twinhan DVB-T card
VisionPlus DVB-T (Twinhan clone)
  • Chipset: Brooktree878
  • Kernel module: dvb-bt8xx (Card type autodetected)
DVICO (Ultraview) Fusion HDTV DVB-T Plus (1) DVICO (Ultraview) Fusion HDTV DVB-T Plus (2)
  • Chipset: Conexant 2388x
  • Kernel module: cx88-dvb

Hybrid tuners

A list of confirmed hybrid tuners in alphabetical order
Adapter Picture(s)
Compro VideoMate DVB-T300
  • Chipset: Philips SAA 7134
  • Kernel module: saa7134 (Card=70), saa7134-dvb

Special Instructions:

  1. Grab the CVS for video4Linux and linux-dvb, instructions can be found at
  2. Go to the video4linux directory and run scripts/
  3. Edit the Make.config file and make sure saa7134-dvb = n is changed to saa7134-dvb = m (builds the dvb part as a module)
  4. Run make && make install
  5. Then modprobe saa7134 oss=1 card=70
  6. Then modprobe saa7134-dvb and you should be good to go.

Unsupported tuners

A list of confirmed unsupported tuners in alphabetical order
Adapter Details
DViCO FusionHDTV DVB-T Dual Digital 4 A relatively new device, it utilises the Zarlink ZL10353 chipset. Unlike its predecessors, this chipset is currently unsupported. Fortunately, driver development is active. Until a mature driver has been produced, it's recommended to stick with an adapter based on either bt878 or cx2388x.

Supported remote controls

MythTV supports any input device that can be configured with the Linux OS. This allows for a large selection of potential remote controls, wireless keyboards and any other input device you can conceive. People commonly associate remote controls with their televisions and HTPC's. As a result, this section provides information on supported Linux Infra-red Control (LIRC) devices. For a complete list of supported devices, you may like to look here.

A list of confirmed remote controls
Remote Control Picture(s)
Microsoft Windows MCE IR remote control (Version 2) MythTV-Photo-MCEUSB21.jpg MythTV-Photo-MCEUSB22.jpg
DViCO FusionHDTV IR Remote + USB Receiver Dvico remote.jpg

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 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.

MythDora (Recommended)

  • 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.

Australian XMLTV grabbers

Shepherd (Recommended)

Shepherd provides reliable, high-quality guide data for Australian free-to-air TV and Pay TV channels by employing a flock of independent grabbers and data sources. In addition, Shepherd provides HDTV programme data, as well as the capability to automatically configure TV network icons. It's the de facto choice of OCAU MythTV users, and recommended by the author of this wiki article.


IceTV is a commercial entity that provides pre-compiled programme data for subscribers. Subscription can be purchased for approximately $13/month.


OzTivo is a community maintained television guide that provides pre-compiled programme data in the XMLTV and TiVo slice formats. The Guide relies on a community of users to create and upload guide data to the Guide's database. The database is then hand-edited via a web interface to correct any mistakes.

ltd73 (tv_grab_au)

Prior to Shepherd, Ltd73's tv_grab_au script provides verbose and accurate programme data from the Yahoo7 web site. This script is now deprecated, and Australian MythTV users are encouraged to use it's successor, Shepherd.

Australian television network icons

MythTV provides users with the ability to define icons for individual TV channels. You're able to set these automatically with software such as Shepherd, or manually by configuring icons via mythtv-setup. There are numerous free-to-air icon schemes available from a variety sources. Some OCAU members have created useful TV network icon resources.

MythTV supports amongst other formats, JPEG and transparent PNG images. Unfortunately, it does not support SVG.

Getting icons

The Network Seven HD icon from the t8 scheme.

There are four OCAU-centric locations that you can get TV network icons.

  • Australian TV Network Logos
    Has a number of TV network icon schemes (mostly scalable versions of the schemes below.) Also has a master SVG template for editing your own icons.
  • Shepherd
    Automated channel icon schemes.
  • MythTV
    Dedges's cartoonish blue and grey icons.
  • FrogBoy's icon set
    A tar archive with FrogBoy's icon scheme.

Configuring icons via mythtv-setup

  1. Run mythtv-setup, from either a terminal window or a run dialog.
  2. Go to 5. Channel Editor.
  3. Select the channel you wish to add an icon to.
    Note, you will need to press enter after you select the channel name. Double clicking seems to have been disabled for some reason.
  4. Enter the path to a supported graphic file in the Icon: field.

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.

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

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

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

Complimentary information

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

OCAU forum threads

OCAU member configurations and setups

The following table compromises of MythTV configurations by various OCAU members. It provides [potential] MythTV users with an opportunity to view what configurations other OCAU members are utilising. In addition, it may help to determine what hardware is necessary for either standard digital or high definition content. For fun, OCAU members may include pictures of their setups. If you're an OCAU member and would like to include your configuration in this table, click here for more information.

OCAU member configurations (Alphabetical)
Configuration HDTV
OS/Distribution Picture(s)
  • AMD A64 3200+ S939
  • 2GB DDR
  • Sparkle nVidia 7900GT 256MB
  • 1x DVico DVB-Lite HDTV Tuner (brooktree878 chipset) + IR remote
  • 2x 320GB Seagate 16MB Sata2 NCQ HDDs
  • Thermaltake Tenor Silver Desktop case
  • 76cm LG TV (Tube)
Yes sidux Chaos (2007-01) Cleary mythtv-setup sml.jpg
  • AMD Athlon 64 3600+ X2
  • 512MB DDR2
  • nVidia 7300GS
  • 4x 320GB SATA HDD in software RAID 5
  • 1x 80GB HDD for OS
  • 16x Pioneer DVD-RW optical drive
  • Silverstone LC17 enclosure
  • NEC 40" HDTV LCD Display (1336x768)
Yes Ubuntu 6.10 Dedge-MythTV-configuration1.jpg Dedge-MythTV-configuration2.jpg
  • Master BE/FE combo
    • Athlon Venice 3500+
    • Shuttle SN95G
    • 1GB DDR
    • nVidia GeForce FX6200TC (passive)
    • 700G LVM (Samsung quietness)
    • 32" AWA 720p LCD (1366x760)
    • Digital now USB Twin Tuners
  • Slave BE/FE combo
    • (in bedroom (needs quietness - PSU = only fan))
    • Athlon 2100+ (underclocked) / Abit NF7S
    • Silverstone LC17M
    • 512M DDR
    • nVidia GeForce FX 5200 passive
    • 48cm CRT LG TV (bleh - replace with LCD one day)
    • Kworld Xpert DVB-T100 PCI Digital TV Tuner (cx88_dvb)
    • 0G HD - remote boot/NFS
  • Gigabit Wired Network
Yes/Yes (with XvMC) FC6/FC6 Stik79-mythtv-lounge.jpg Stik79-mythtv-bedroom.jpg
  • Intel Pentium 4 2.26Ghz
  • 1.5GB DDR
  • nVidia GeForce FX 5700
  • Dual screen desktop PC with one screen devoted to MythTV.
Yes Ubuntu 6.10 Techtoucian-MythTV-configuration1.jpg

How to contribute

OCAU members are encouraged to include their configurations in this wiki article. Please include your hardware specifications, television display, HDTV capability (I.e. are you able to smoothly display high definition content?), OS/Distribution; and any relevant pictures. In an attempt to reduce clutter, please limit your entry to a maximum of two pictures with respective thumbnails. If you're unsure where to start, copy an existing entry. Note: Please keep entries in alphabetical order by OCAU username.

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.

  • update kernel modules required for dvico fusionhdtv remote (cleary)

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 "OCAU member configurations and setups" section of this wiki.

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