The Raspberry Pi is cheap and can be a decent frontend for a MythTV backend.
The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. The SoC is a Broadcom BCM2835. This contains an ARM1176JZFS, with floating point, running at 700Mhz, and a Videocore 4 GPU. The GPU is capable of BluRay quality playback, using H.264 at 40MBits/s. It has a fast 3D core accessed using the supplied OpenGL ES2.0 and OpenVG libraries.
How to make it work
Installing a complete MythTV frontend from scratch can be a difficult task and might result in slow performance. What will work is to use XBMC/Kodi as frontend for MythTV backend. A lot of work has been done to make XBMC/Kodi perform well on Raspberry Pi.
The steps you have to do are:
- Install MythTV backend (0.27+) on a separate computer on your LAN.
- Make sure you set a PIN for the API or set it to 0000
- Install OpenElec version of XBMC to your Raspberry Pi.
- Find (scroll down the list) and download the image file
- Write the image to the SD card using say dd in Linux
- On first boot Openelec will resize partitions
- Run through the first run wizard to set host name etc
- Connect your Raspberry Pi to your LAN and your TV.
- Turn on the MythTV backend, Raspberry Pi and TV.
- From within the XBMC/Kodi menu set up the PVR client to point to your MythTV backend.
Normal video playback runs smoothly. Menu navigation and TV program can be a bit laggy. One trick to increase Raspberry PI performance is to overclock the CPU/GPU. On the PI 2 this is unnecessary.
This is a good guide to enabling the PVR (MythTV) front end: kodi.wiki/view/MythTV_PVR#Connecting_Kodi_to_MythTV. Note that you must set a PIN on the backend or set it to 0000. If you don't use 0000 you will need to use the PIN to connect to the backend. The PIN is set in the General section of mythtv-setup.
Finding the plugin can be a bit challenging. On Openelec it is already installed but listed in the "disabled" plugins until you enable it.
You can purchase an MPEG2 hardware decoder license. Depending on your tuner this may help your recordings play. I have been able to play 1080p live TV from a DVBS2 connected backend on a PI 2 model B running current Openelec out of the box with no additional licenses or over clocking (Gerdesj (talk) 21:55, 30 August 2015 (UTC))
Future efforts: Native Mythtv Frontend
There are efforts to have a working native mythtvfrontend for Raspberry Pi2. You can following the discussion on the mailing list, search for raspberry.