I am a relative Linux novice currently in the process of setting up my first MythTV system. From my experience thus far, I can say that getting MythTV up and running can be a tedious exercise. That being said, building a Myth system is a good way to teach yourself about Linux because you have the motivation to create a very cool setup that offers features and control you may not find in a commercial DVR. This requires quite a bit of time, especially if you are not familiar with Linux, but in the end it can be very rewarding. My suggestion is to really read all the available documentation before you start. Try to understand the relationships between your physical TV reception, tuner card(s), channel lineup, programming information source, and the MythTV database. It will save you time in the long run and make setting everything up that much easier.
I will do my best to document my system and experience here. Hopefully it saves someone else some time.
For my setup I will using a single PC as a combination frontend/backend. I receive TV via Comcast Digital Starter so the only HD channels are the OTA broadcast networks. I will be using the HDHomeRun networked tuner as my capture device. It has dual tuners so I will be able to record two programs at once.
Combination Frontend/Backend Hardware
- Athlon X2 3800
- Asus A8N-SLI Premium
- 1GB RAM
- 250GB WD Hard Drive
- Nvidia GeForce 7600GT
- HDHomeRun TV tuner
- Sony HDTV w/ HDMI input
- DVI to HDMI cable
- Linksys 10/100 router
- Mythbuntu 9.10
- Nvidia Display Driver 185.18.36
- Comcast Digital Cable
For me, the problems began during the Mythbuntu installation process. I thought that part would be easy but the installation repeatedly quit when the progress reached about 40% with an I/O error. Finally, I tried switching from my HP DVD drive to a Lite-On and the installation proceeded error free.
Setup and Configuration
The backend manages the capture devices, channel lineup, and programming guide.
Scanning the cable with the HDHomeRun yields plenty of stations, but how do you map them to useful channels? If Comcast is switching your area over to digital service, you can use the scte65scan tool to read the Virtual Channel Tables that are transmitted in the clear.