Music Choice

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Software-update-available.png This page is up-to-date as of MythTV version 30, the current release is 32.0

Music choice is a service supported by many cable providers. 50 channels of music are provided, in 50 categories. For details see Music plays through the TV speakers and a slide show on the TV screen gives the artist name, song title and other information.

As of v0.28-76 dated Oct 22 2016, music choice channels can be watched and recorded on MythTV using Ceton or HD Homerun Prime.

Music choice channels from Comcast are mpeg2 video which internally identifies as 30 fps but actually sends frames with intervals 5.939, 0.033, 0.033, repeat, ... This amounts to 3 frames at 30fps every 6 seconds. These frames are never identified as key frames, although they are full frames.

Settings (MythTV V30)

There is a mythfrontend setting that should be set for optimum performance of Music Choice channels.

mythfrontend -> Setup -> Video -> Playback -> General Playback -> Enable Music Choice should be set. This will ensure timely display of the slide show and continuous audio playback.

mythfrontend uses a number of things in the stream to identify a Music Choice program. If it should misidentify a normal video as Music Choice, the playback will be unsatisfactory. If that happens, disable this setting.


  • Since Music Choice use will be a small percentage of the use of MythTV, the existing playback framework is used. As a result of the unusual form of the music choice stream, some things do not work correctly.
  • Only basic features of MythTV work with Music Choice streams. This is intended for "Live TV" watching, for those of us who have turned in our cable boxes and are using cable card exclusively.
  • Tuning of Music Choice channels takes much longer than for TV channels. It generally takes at least 7 seconds to tune one of these channels. To avoid messages about excessive time to get a signal, update the tuning timeout in the card setup to at least 8000.
  • Once a channel is tuned it takes a long time for the playback to start, as it waits for a frame and sufficient data. This can take an additional 30 seconds.
  • Once audio playback starts it can take some time before you see the slide show. This depends on the video playback profile. Some playback profiles drop the first frame. For normal video that is unimportant, but for music choice that can mean looking at a blank screen.
  • Music choice playback fails if using a VAAPI playback profile. VAAPI playback does not support change of resolution, even on TV shows, and this causes Music Choice to fail. To avoid this problem customize a playback profile that uses another Decoder and Video Renderer for standard definition programs. VAAPI2 (MythTV V30) playback works fine with Music Choice.
  • The OSD in Music choice is very slow. This is because it waits for the next frame, which can be up to 6 seconds later. To help with this, pause before doing anything that requires the OSD. While playback is paused, the OSD will be very responsive.
  • Fast forward, rewind and skip do not work correctly in Music Choice. The progress bar displays incorrect values.
  • Pause and resume work fine in Music Choice.
  • You can record and playback the music choice channel. There are no programs as such. Schedules Direct provides a program listing which splits the day into 4 hour "programs" with the name and description of the channel for each "program".