Channel icons

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Channel Icon Download System

As of 0.21, MythTV includes a channel icon download system in mythtv-setup which will attempt to automatically download icons for channels in your database from If it cannot find an icon it will present you with a list of options, and the ability to define your own search parameters.

To configure icon downloading in mythtv-setup:

  • run "mythtv-setup"
  • select "Channel Editor"
  • click on "Icon Download"
  • select either "Download all icons.." or "Rescan for missing icons.." or "Download icon for <selected channel>"

Universal Location

Starting with version 0.27, a single location for channel icons is used. It's usually in the .mythtv/channels directory of the user that runs mythbackend. Typically, mythtv. The location is defined in the built-in ChannelIcons Storage Group (it's not necessary to create a ChannelIcons Storage Group. ( Note this is not normally visible in the Storage group Setup menu of mythtv-setup, it is a system storage group and hence remains hidden).

Note that users that set MYTHCONFDIR before starting MythTV programs override the HOME directory of the user running the backend.

Run mythtv-setup as the same user that runs mythbackend and get a new set of channel icons. They'll be stored in the directory above.

A Services API endpoint (<backend>:6544/Guide/GetChannelIcon?ChanId=<chanid>) works with this feature. In fact, mythfrontend, mythweb and WebFrontend all use this to retrieve icons making this the prefect troubleshooting tool. If it doesn't work, no icons will display. [it is possible that some stale cached icons exist, but the endpoint must work for new icons.]

If icons are not displayed when using the above API it is possible to verify if an icon file exists by interrogating the Database directly using the following command. Note this shows all visible channel entries within the Database.

mysql -u mythtv -p mythconverg -e "SELECT channum,chanid,icon FROM channel WHERE visible ORDER BY channum+0;"

(chanid is a generated ID number for the channel that happens when it is scanned into the database)

Symlinks added for prior MythTV versions, duplicate channels directories and any ChannelIcons Storage Groups and their contents can be removed. If linking is used be sure that both user mythtv and the frontend user have write permission on the directory! Some programs/apps create additional versions of the icons with different sizes , e.g. for cbs.jpg, cbs.jpg.0x57.png may be created.

A Note of Caution: Some Myth distributions run mythtv-setup as the frontend user created on installation, where as the backend is frequently run as mythtv, even if the frontend and backend are on same machine. This requires a symlink (ln -s /home/myuser/.mythtv/channels /home/mythtv/.mythtv/channels) or copy files. Once fixed the icons will automatically appear on mythweb and other frontends as describe above.

OSX all-in-one installations should put their icons here: /opt/dvr/var/mythtvuser/.mythtv/channels'.

Pre 0.27 Instructions

By default the icon will be downloaded to the /home/<user>/.mythtv/channels directory. This is not very friendly when you have multiple frontends and wish them all to share the icons. One method to get around this is to use a symlink for this directory that directs to a network located directory that all your frontends have access to, say /var/mythtv/channels for example.

Before downloading the icons, do the following, or similar as per your distribution:

rm ~/.mythtv/channels -rf
sudo mkdir /var/mythtv/channels
sudo chown <user>:<group> /var/mythtv/channels
ln -s /var/mythtv/channels ~/.mythtv/channels

You will want to run

rm ~/.mythtv/channels -rf
ln -s /var/mythtv/channels ~/.mythtv/channels

for all the users that can run MythTV as well.

Channel Icon Sources

One of the best sources of channel icons is . There, you can browse the available icons and choose those appropriate for your system. However, doing so can be a lot of work (requiring many page hits and a lot of time). Once downloaded you should put the resulting JPEG files into .mythtv/channels/ for the user running the front-end. To add them to a channel you will need to run mythtv-setup and go to the channel editor and specify the icon file name for each channel.

This command will download all .png files on a web page and put them in the directory specified by the --directory-prefix parameter:

$ wget --no-directories --recursive --level=1 --directory-prefix=/tmp/ --accept=png ""

As of 9th February 2018 and earlier this service has blocked direct download of icons in mythtv-setup. Although the downloads appear to work and you will find PNGs in /home/<user>/.mythtv/channels/ they will be approx. 300 bytes in size and upon opening with a text editor will show a forbidden message.

Another source of channel icons is which is targeted for icons for the harmony remote. Some of the available icons are more stylized than the official icon (the person running the site is a graphic artist). As with the previous source, finding an appropriate icon can be a lot of work.

International Channel Logos