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Revision as of 19:20, 31 March 2007 by Dswimboy (talk | contribs) (myth2ipod)

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MythTV is awesome for my roommates and I. We love the commercial skip! While I always hoped to experiment with MythTV, my roommates endorsed the idea in November 2006. My experiment has become quite a practical establishment in our house.

My Setup

Combined Frontend/Backend.


  • Cheap Mini-ITX black case from Directron
  • VIA EPIA 5000 Mini-ITX motherboard
  • 512MB SDRAM
  • 160GB Western Digital 7200rpm Hard Drive
  • Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-350 Tuner Card


  • Debian Etch
  • Kernel v2.6.18-3-486
  • v7.1.1
  • IceWM window manager v1.2
  • ivtv drivers v0.8.2, firmware v1.18.21.22168
  • lirc version v0.8.0
  • MythTV v0.20.20060828-3

What's working for me

What's not


I tried quite a few distros before figuring out how to upgrade Debian to Etch. Here's what I can remember that conflicted with my setup, mainly the EPIA motherboard. See the Operating system page for more distros and information.

  • KnoppMyth
  • MiniMyth
  • MythDora

I think I tried some more, but ran into some other probelms.

  • Fedora: trouble burning and then installing. I might have been lazy.
  • AMICUS: I looked into, can't remember why i didn't use it.
  • PlutoHome: I think it conflicted with EPIA. Also might have been a little heavy for my 500Mhz processor.

On-Screen Program Guide

The On-Screen Electronic Program Guide stopped working for me at some point. The focus seemed to be screwed up. To get Myth working again, I had two options: restart or telnet. the telnet option required a

killall mythfrontend
ivtvfbctl /dev/fb0 --globalalpha off --localalpha off
mythfrontend &

I haven't spent much time diagnosing the problem though. when watching LiveTV I use comcast's digital cable EPG. I use MythWeb to schedule my recordings. Any suggestions are certainly welcome, though!


I used many resources to help me with the installation. I pieced the story together myself, without following one set of directions and having it work. here's what I used, in no particular order.

  • This Wiki!
  • MythTV Installation Guide for Debian helpful for some Debian specific stuff, but not as good as I was expecting.
  • Another Debian Guide once again useful for Debian specific. the guide is down. email me if you want a is outdated.
  • Jarod's Guide great for WinTV-PVR info and other mythtv concerns. biggest difference is using apt instead of yum.

The PVR-350 is awesome for this puny system. Before I had tested the hardware mpeg-2 decoder, I tried playing a recorded mpeg-2. the video was very, very, very choppy and slow. I was a little worried that I may have spent money on a useless machine. The reviews on the hardware decoder lived up to everything the should have, though. I am able to record a show, commercial flag two shows, and watch a recording without noticing anything.

Switching to IceWM was a big help on cutting down login time.

MythWeb is pretty darn slow. Searching and TV listings especially.

I'd Love to see MythWeb transcode files after recording

I don't have any updates/modifications planned.

Useful config info


Important xorg.conf excerpts for PVR-350 and TV-Out

Device BusID is in hexadecimal.

Section "Device"
	Identifier "Hauppauge PVR 350 iTVC15 Framebuffer"
	Driver "ivtvdev"
	Option  "ivtv" "/dev/fb0"
	Option  "fbdev" "/dev/fb0"
	BusID  "PCI:0:20:0"
	Screen 0

Section "Screen"
        Identifier "TV"
        Device "Hauppauge PVR 350 iTVC15 Framebuffer"
        Monitor "NTSC Monitor"
        DefaultDepth 24
        DefaultFbbpp 32
        Subsection "Display"
                Depth 24
                FbBpp 32
                Modes "720x480"

Section "Monitor"
        Identifier "NTSC Monitor"
        HorizSync 30-68
        VertRefresh 50-120
        DisplaySize 183 122
        Mode "720x480"
                # D: 34.563 MHz, H: 37.244 kHz, V: 73.897 Hz
                DotClock 34.564
                HTimings 720 752 840 928
                VTimings 480 484 488 504
                Flags   "-HSync" "-VSync"

(Re)-Start Myth Frontend

startmythfrontend script to restart MythTV via irexec.


# (Re-)starts mythfrontend
# This script gets executed when the "Go" button on the remote is pressed
# Torsten Schenkel, edited by Matt Burke

# Reset the alpha values for ivtv-fb so we can see the X desktop (not always done automatically)
ivtvfbctl /dev/fb0 --globalalpha off --localalpha off

# Kill and start mythfrontend
killall mythfrontend

# Restart mythfrontend
echo "`date` RESTART" >> /home/burkemw/mythfrontend.log
export DISPLAY=:0.0
mythfrontend >> /home/burkemw/mythfrontend.log &


the .lircrc file (buttons as per the DVICO remote, which I think are now standard in the lirc distribution)

## irexec
	prog = irexec
	button = GO
	config = sudo -u mythtv /home/burkemw/bin/startmythfrontend &


I was getting a floating point exception from ffmpeg. the Nuvexport - Bug Fix details the fix i used.