VIA SP13000

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Installing Myth on SP13000

The SP13000 is a relatively low-power motherboard that can be run fanless when using a case such as a Tranquil T2e heatsink case.

To playback a/v media the system offloads Mpeg2 decoding to the graphics processor using the XvMC architecture in Linux. XvMC was broken in a few generations of linux and is fixed in 2.6.30 kernel and later.


VIA EPIA SP Specifications


Processor - VIA C3™/ VIA Eden™ EBGA processor

Chipset - VIA CN400 North Bridge - VIA VT8237 South Bridge

System Memory - 1 DDR266/333/400 DIMM socket - Up to 1GB memory size

VGA - Integrated VIA UniChrome™Pro AGP graphics with MPEG-2 decoder /MPEG-4 Accelerator

Expansion Slots - 1 PCI Onboard IDE - 2 X UltraDMA 133/100 Connector Onboard Serial ATA - 2 SATA Connectors Onboard LAN - VIA VT6103 10/100 Base-T Ethernet PHY Onboard Audio - VIA VT1617A 6channel AC' 97 codec Onboard TV Out - VIA VT1623 TV Encoder Onboard 1394 - VIA VT6307S IEEE 1394 Firewire

Back Panel I/O - 1 PS2 mouse port - 1 PS2 keyboard port - 1 RJ-45 LAN port - 1 Serial port - 2 USB 2.0 ports - 1 VGA port - 1 PCA port (SPDIF or TV out) - 1 S-video port - 3 Audio jacks: line-out, line-in and mic-in (Horizontal, Smart 5.1 Support)

Onboard I/O Connectors - 3 USB connector for 6additional USB 2.0 ports - 1 1394 connector for 1 1394 port - 1 Serial port connector for a second com port - 1 VIP connector - 1 Front-panel audio connector (Mic-in and Line-out) - 1 CD audio-in connector - 1 FIR connector - 1 CIR connector (Switchable for KB/MS) - 1 LPT port connector - 1 Wake-on-LAN connector - 2 Fan connectors: CPU/Sys FAN - 1 I2C connector - 1 LVDS/TTL module connector (Optional) - 1 +12V power connector - ATX power connector

BIOS - Award BIOS - 4/8Mbit flash memory

System Monitoring & Management - CPU voltage monitoring - Wake-on-LAN, Keyboard Power-on, Timer Power-on - System power management - AC power failure recovery

Form Factor - Mini-ITX (6 layer) - 17 cm x 17 cm



This is a rough installation instructions proven to work to get a MythFrontend running on an SP13000 (and possibly other Via CN400 based boards) with recent Ubuntu and MythTV 0.21

Hope this is of help - I will tidy this post up at some point.



I installed Karmic Xubuntu Alpha6 on a 4gb usb stick (i used a standard Xubuntu Karmic installation and partition layout). Once installed I removed apps that were irrelevant for this systems purpose or administration; openoffice, gimp etc). With using such a small drive be careful on updates as a disk-full is likely stopping you from logging into a GUI (use ssh or shell to remove unwanted/obsolete packages - be sure you know what your removing

remove with:

- sudo dpkg --get-selections - to list the packages installed

and then

apt-get remove, apt-get purge, apt-get autoremove and apt-get autoclean to remove specific packages and the associated files.


install nano sudo apt-get install nano i suggest (but optionally) installing and configuring SSH and VNC servers for administration.

configure xrandr to run on startup to resize to preferred resolution if it is not detected correctly (see resolution setting on XCFE or your GUI environment.

1440x900 was selected as this res was available in the display options of XFCE and has the x to y resolution ratio of 1.6; the same as the monitor connected to the system; the native resolution wasnt selected as the max output of the graphics cards is 1600x1200. There is no point setting it too high for 2 further reasons: 1) Standard Def tv is only 576 pixels high. 2) XvMC only supports upto a certain resolution (I understand)

sudo nano etc/gdm/Init/Default

add at the top of the file: xrandr --output default --mode 1440x900

turn off unwanted services - laptop-mode, ondemand, cups, saned,bluetooth... to remove conservative cpu scaling, printing scanning and other unwanted services - use: sudo rcconf


XFCE OSD for volume causes stuttering; turn off OSD - one of these may work

Go to Settings --> Session and startup Application Autostart tab and

uncheck xfce4-tips OR

remove notify-osd


I had to update the /etc/X11/XvMCConfig file to libXvMCVIAPro.so.1 (for the SP13000 MB). add the myth user into the mythtv group. restartX/reboot


setup network drive mount fstab network drives onto lib/var/mythtv

$ /etc/fstab //192.168.0.2/store /var/lib/mythtv cifs rw,username=guest 0 0


download the debian (deb) packages of MythTV-frontend, mythtv-common, MythVideo, mythmusic and themes for Ubuntu Jaunty if you have a 0.21 backend (not Karmic packages, as Karmic uses Myth 0.22 which wont work with a 0.21 backend) - http://packages.ubuntu.com/jaunty/mythtv

on Alpha6 gdebi (GUI installer for deb packages) wont install the packages (Beta1 seems to be fixed). to bypass gdebi install mythtv-frontend from files using dpkg -i <package>

using the above method install themes (neon-wide and projectgreyhem-OSD themes I prefer) install mythVideo and MythMusic


add codecs/medibuntu sudo wget http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/$(lsb_release -cs).list \

--output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list &&

sudo apt-get -q update && sudo apt-get --yes -q --allow-unauthenticated install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get -q update


sudo apt-get install libdvdcss2 sudo apt-get install win32codecs

OSD Stutters Playback The fading of the OSD caused playback to pause temporarily. To get aroung this, I disabled fading by editing the theme and setting the fade duration to 0. I'm using the ProjectGreyhem-OSD theme, so I edited /usr/share/mythtv/themes/project-greyhem-OSD/osd.xml and changed the following line: <fadeaway>30</fadeaway> to <fadeaway>0</fadeaway>


Tinny Sound I got tinny sound when watching recording in MythTV. This was fixed by setting an option in the sound driver: sudo -s -H echo "options snd_via82xx dxs_support=2" >> /etc/modprobe.d/sound


edit /etc/default/grub - see http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1195275 and http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=2595626

sudo nano /etc/default/grub change GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash" to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash acpi=force"

this forces software control of the power supply among other things.


add the myth user into the mythtv group. restartX/reboot

start and configure myth (use slim playback profile for XvMC acceleration)

change mythvideo player to "Internal" and remove "Default player" checkbox setting for all file types in mythvideo.

The system runs Myth at 1440x900 with BBC2 (high bitrate SD DVB-T uk transmission) playing with Myth using 25-35% cpu.


Further Tweaking: Change GRUB configuration to reduce configuration pause to something less than 10 seconds to improve boot times Setup Autostart of MythFrontend (/usr/bin/mythtv/mythfrontend) by using the "session and startup" settings page for autostart applications change the shutdown and reboot scripts in mythfrontend settings-> general to /usr/share/mythtv/myth-reboot.sh and myth-halt.sh

in users and groups under XCFE settings setup your default user to auto login (deselect 10 second wait for other users to login first if this is a "settopbox".




See Also

Manufacturers Page: Via EN Series Mini-ITX Mainboards