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My MythTV system

I have a distributed system set up with a single master backend, and several frontends communicating over 100Mb ethernet, currently using MythTV 0.20.2.


  • Homebuilt machine
  • Fedora Core 4
  • Athlon XP 1800+ CPU
  • 1 gig memory
  • 40 gig IDE drive for booting, most filesystems (including the mysql DB)
  • 4x 250 gig SATA drives combined with software RAID5 (md driver). This is then turned into a VG for LVM, and used as one big filesystem for recordings.
  • 2x Hauppauge PVR-250 cards for analog recording, capturing the s-video output from a pair of Uverse set-top-boxes
  • HDHomeRun recording ATSC from an antenna in my attic

Living Room Frontend

  • Homebuilt machine
  • Fedora Core 4
  • Athlon 64 3800+
  • 1 gig memory
  • Diskless - netboots from another machine on my network which holds its root-nfs filesystem
  • NVidia 6200 video card
  • Silverstone 10M case
  • Using the remote control that came with the case.
  • Connected to an older tube TV via s-video

New Bedroom Frontend

  • AppleTV
    • 1 GHz Pentium-M CPU
    • 256 meg memory
    • 40 gig hard drive
    • NVidia Go 7300 video
  • Ubuntu 7.1
  • Using an old Series 2 Tivo remote
  • External DVD drive connected via USB
  • Connected to an HD CRT television with component cables

This actually plays HD video just fine, both mpeg2 (from my HDHR recordings) and xvid (transcoded using nuvexport).

Old Bedroom Frontend

  • Old, recycled Gateway machine
  • Fedora Core 4
  • Athlon 900 MHz
  • 512 meg memory
  • 40 gig drive
  • NVidia 5200 video card
  • Some generic case
  • Uses a homebuilt LIRC receiver and the remote from a Series 1 Tivo

This machine plays SD video just fine, and _almost_ plays HD with XvMC turned on. It was just recently retired.

Other Frontends

I also have some other machines that run mythfrontend, but aren't dedicated frontends. There's a PPC and Intel Mac. Another couple of homebuilt PCs, one 650 MHz Athlon, and an athlon XP 2800+.


  • Homebuilt PC with a tower case
  • Fedora Core 4
  • Athlon 1500MHz
  • 512 meg memory
  • 40 gig IDE drive for booting and primary filesystems
  • 4x 300 gig SATA drives combined with software RAID5 (md driver). This is then turned into a VG for LVM and sliced into several filesystems for music, videos, home dirs, etc.

This machine isn't directly part of the mythtv system, but it does serve out the music and video filesystems used by mythmusic and mythvideo, and the root nfs filesystem for the living room frontend.

Getting the AppleTV working

Some notes I took while getting the AppleTV working. has most of the info you need.

  • The binary for mb_boot_tv you can download from there didn't work for me. I downloaded their source and compiled on my own Intel mac, and that one worked.
  • I installed Ubuntu 7.1 by hooking the drive up to another PC and using the normal installation process. The only non-standard thing I did was to tell it not to install a boot loader.
  • After loading up Ubuntu, I used their precompiled kernel to get started, but the sound didn't work.
  • Compiled 2.6.23 kernel with these patches: to get the sound to work, but there are still a few quirks.
    • Don't turn on the tickless option (I think it's called CONFIG_NO_HZ). It makes the machine _really_ slow.
    • Interaction with the network can be slow - ifconfig reports lots of errors and overruns.
    • When running top, there seems to be a lot of %wa time.