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I figured my downfalls and triumphs would be better here than me creating a website on my MythTV experiences.

My Stuff

I currently have two MythTV system. One is my normal system, and one is my test system. The normal one is connected to my HD Sony Wega TV, via a DVI-D to HDMI cable, and to my receiver. It's the show case of the living room. The test system is my normal computer where I can mess with MythTV and not worry about screwing stuff up.

Normal System

  • AMD Athlon 64 4000+ San Diego 2.4GHz Socket 939 Processor Model ADA4000BNBOX
  • ASUS A8N-VM CSM Socket 939 NVIDIA GeForce 6150 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
  • Corsair XMS 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR 400 (PC 3200) TWINX1024-3200C2PT
  • Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
  • Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000KS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
  • Hauppauge WinTV PVR 350 PCI Interface Video Recorder, TV/FM Tuner Card
  • Sony DVD-ROM DDU1632, ATAPI CD/DVD-ROM drive
  • Linux Gentoo 2006.1 (no multilib)
  • Gyration Wireless Keyboard and Mouse

AMD Athlon 64 4000+ San Diego 2.4GHz Socket 939 Processor Model ADA4000BNBOX

I like AMD and I like 64bit machines. MythTV works prefect in 64bits. The only problems are the game emulators. Because I made the mistake of building my system to be pure 64bit, no 32bit application can run. Some game emulators, Stella and MAME, work fine. However other will not even compile to be 64bit and you can't run the 32bit binary.
So I have to go back and recompile the system to use the multilib library or pure 32bit (which would be a waste of the processor).

ASUS A8N-VM CSM Socket 939 NVIDIA GeForce 6150 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

If I had to start over again, I would not purchase this motherboard. It's a feature rich board. For example, it has a built in 5.1 surroundsound card, DVI-D output, NVidia Geforce 6150 video card, S/PDIF output, RGB output, etc. However they neglect to tell you it doesn't come with a S/PDIF and RGB backplane, you have to buy them separately from ASUS. The DSDT in the BIOS is broken, so the network connection is flaky. The XvMC for the Geforce 6150 was unsupported. The ALSA sound drivers didn't work properly for the soundcard and would produce a high pitch sound. Also don't confuse RGB output with component output, they are not the same.
A lot of the problems have been fixed.
  • The latest BIOS fixed the DSDT problem.This fixes the network problem. You can also use a custom DSDT if you are using BIOS 720 and less.
  • The latest NVidia drivers support XvMC for the Geforce 6150
  • S/PDIF and RGB connector can be order via ASUS RMA department.
I'm not sure about the ALSA soundcard drivers. In order to use the ALSA drivers in the past required you to comment out some code in the driver. I'm not sure if this made it into the official ALSA code or if they have a work around. I'll find out soon.
One thing I did notice. The soundcard quality is not the greatest. At quiet, mid to high range, the sounds are "tinny." I get this with Ogg Vorbis files with a VBR and a mid-bitrate of 160. So the file quality is better than your normal sound file.

Hauppauge WinTV PVR 350 PCI Interface Video Recorder, TV/FM Tuner Card

Love this card. Have not had one problem with it. Works very well with MythTV. It uses the IVTV driver. The kernel version that you run will determine which version of the IVTV drvier you can use.

Test System

  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ Toledo 2.2GHz Socket 939 Processor Model ADA4400CDBOX
  • ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 SLI ATX AMD Motherboard
  • 2 x Corsair XMS 512MB 184-Pin DDR 400 (PC 3200) CMX512-3200C2
  • SAMSUNG SpinPoint P Series HD160JJ 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
  • pcHDTV 3000 HD Tuner Card
  • Sony Beige IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model DDU1613
  • nVidia Corporation G70 [GeForce 7600 GS]
  • Linux Gentoo 2006.1

Outstanding Tasks

  • Connect my soundcard and my receiver together using fiber. My first attempt didn't work.
  • Get 32bit game emulators to work under my 64bit environment. This is going to require me to rebuild certain files to support "multilib" using a Live CD.. What a pain.

Starting Mythfrontend

I've tried two ways to start the mythfrontend/mythwelcome automatically after the system starts. I use Gentoo so your mileage may differ under another distribution.

The first was creating an init.d script to start it. However this had a problem. It would start it up, but I the keyboard would be dead. So this one would work if I wanted to use the keyboard.

The second was using XDM to start the frontend. The first step was setting up root's .xinitrc.

mythtv ~ # cat .xinitrc
# move the mouse cursor out of the way
/root/movepointer &

# start the frontend

I then setup my DISPLAYMANAGER to be mythtvstart.

mythtv ~ # cat /etc/conf.d/xdm

Next I had to create mythtvstart in /usr/bin. Remember the "&" on the end of startx or your system will not compelete booting.

mythtv ~ # cat /usr/bin/mythtvstart
startx &

The last step was to modify /etc/init.d/xdm. You have to tell Gentoo rc-script voodoo that it should start XDM after mythbackend ( and mysql ... which may be moot ) in the depends() section. Just tack "mythbackend mysql" on to the end of "after ...". Then "rc-update add xdm default" and reboot.

Hopefully it will start of X and the frontend will appear ... and the keyboard will work.


  • Don't partition the root (/) partition too small. Since "/tmp" in there, if the filesystem fills up, mythtv will stop working. Plus it will leave you no room to upgrade your system.
  • If you are running the frontend, backend, and MySQL on the same machine, make sure to turn off the "bin-log" in your MySQL "my.cnf." This is used for MySQL replication and just create massive log file. It's a sure way to fill up your hardrive.
  • Go with 32bit or "multilib." If you go with a straight 64bit environment, you won't be able to compile or run pre-compiler versions of game emulators. A lot of the game emulators use 32bit assemble, or pre-compiler obejct files, so compiling them in a 64bit evironment can be tricky.
  • On newer versions X windows ( 4.1 I think), in order to use XvMC, you need to specifiy which library to use. This can be done by creating a file called "XvMCConfig" in the "/etc/X11" directory. In this file you just place the name of library to use. For me it was ""
  • Evil mouse cursor in the middle the video player? This application will move the mouse cursor out of the way.
  • As of April 2004, the FCC requires cable boxes to have working firewire ports. You can use the firewire to stream video, on certain cable boxes, to MythTV. However this is per request of the customer. Normally, by default, the ports are disabled. You have to call your cable company to enable the port. For me, they have to send a person out to enable it. If they play dumb, bring up the FCC ruling.