Difference between revisions of "Using MythTV"

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Oh by the way, when you select a Remote Control, think about how easy it is to press the keys when you have beautifully polished/painted long finger nails.
Oh by the way, when you select a Remote Control, think about how easy it is to press the keys when you have beautifully polished/painted long finger nails.
''Reader's note: The above two paragraphs are sexist hooey.  What makes you think I'm less of a geek than my boyfriend?  Don't expect any intelligent women to lounge on the couch watching MythTV with you if you treat them like that.''
== Menu Outlines ==
== Menu Outlines ==

Revision as of 05:19, 27 March 2006

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Using A Myth Box From Day To Day

Ah, yes; the part you've all been waiting for.  :-)

This section identifies all the things you can do with a MythTV unit, and explains how they work and how to control them. Hopefully, it will also identify things which can be done more than one way, and point out the most effective choice (and why you might want to do it another way anyway).

MythTV is, as we've said, a very capable, powerful, and most of all expandable system. The practical effect of this is that as we go along, we will describe things which can only be done with more than the basic configuration, or which work differently if you have more than the basic configuration.

Conventions and notes

Whether your screen will look exactly like the screenshots in this manual will vary depending on the theme you have chosen.

If you want to do screenshots of live TV you must turn off XV video acceleration; you can use the following command to run Mythfrontend.
$ NO_XV=1 mythfrontend
This does software rendering of the video stream, so it is slow. To slightly improve speed, make sure you don't have any deinterlacing turned on.
Editor's note: The images below are using only one of the several available OSDs. Personally, I prefer some of the other, "prettier", OSDs (no offense to the author of that OSD). Also note that some of the behaviors noted in this document will change with the release of 0.19 (mainly the LiveTV section). --TylerDrake
Editor's note: Please keep configuration related items as well as deep technical explanations to a minimum in editing this section. This section of the manual is for end-users; technical topics should be covered in the setup and config sections --Mikec 06:06, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Remote Control Buttons

The remote button icons represent common names for remote control keys. In reality, how these map to physical keyboard keys will depend on how your particular machine was configured. You will need to setup your Remote Control to suit.

You can find a full list of keyboard keys and functions on the keybindings page.

Remote Control Name Keyboard Key Remote Control Name Keyboard Key Remote Control Name Keyboard Key
RemotePause.png Pause p RemoteExit.png Exit ESC RemoteREW.png Rewind Page Up
RemoteLeft.png Left Cursor Left Arrow RemoteVoldown.png Vol Down [ or F10 RemoteFF.png Fast Forward Page Down
RemoteRight.png Right Cursor Right Arrow RemoteVolup.png Vol Up ] or F11 RemoteZoom.png Zoom, Size w
RemoteUp.png Up Cursor Up Arrow RemoteStart.png Start Home or Q RemoteProgup.png Prog +
RemoteDown.png Down Cursor Down Arrow RemoteEnd.png End End or Z RemoteProgdown.png Prog -
RemoteSelect.png Select CR RemoteRecord.png Record CR RemoteMute.png Mute F9
RemoteInfo.pngInfo i RemotePower.png Power User RemoteSlow.png Slow Motion A
RemoteMenu.png Menu m RemoteStop.png Stop User RemoteAVInput.png AV input C
130.png 1 1 230.png 2 2 330.png 3 3
430.png 4 4 530.png 5 5 630.png 6 6
730.png 7 7 830.png 8 8 930.png 9 9
030.png 0 0


MythTV has been designed to be used via the "10ft Interface": you should be able to drive its day to day functions from 10ft away sitting comfortably on your sofa.

In many respects, this is a compromise between functionality and simplicity. This is especially the case given that the average Remote Control only has about 40 to 50 keys (10 of which are numbers). Compare this with MythTV's over 100 keyboard functions.

MythTV users will also cite the much needed WAF or GAF; that is, Wife/Girlfriend Acceptance Factor. The thought of handing her a keyboard to change channels does not bear thinking about! The good news is the 80/20 rule applies. You can do 80% of your day to day things with MythTV on about 20 keys on your remote.

Oh by the way, when you select a Remote Control, think about how easy it is to press the keys when you have beautifully polished/painted long finger nails.

Menu Outlines

You may find it useful while reading the manual to refer to (or even print out) the Menu Maps for the front end and the backend setup program.

MythTV Front Page

You start the MythTV Frontend user interface with the following command.

> /usr/bin/mythfrontend

mythfrontend can be run either in full screen mode or inside a window.

Ideally mythfrontend should be autostarted at login. You can use your standard window manager to do this as required. You wil then be presented with the MythTV Front page. Here is one using the Retro Theme.


You can see a collection of Themes available here MythTv Themes.

MythTV Welcome Screen

0.19 introduced the concept of a "welcome screen" so that the frontend could be started with a press of the remote control. This has been introduced for those people that want to use scheduled wakeup and shutdown to record scheduled shows to save on power consumption. Prior to this the Frontend would always start up which in turn meant that the backend would never shutdown when the recording had finished, thus defeating the whole purpose.

The welcome screen will show the status of the backend and wait for you to manually start the frontend with your remote


You may find it helpful to read the Mythwelcome configuration page

Watching Live TV

You may find it helpful to read the Watching Tv page

Changing channels

While watching Live TV you can change channels with RemoteUp.png RemoteDown.png . There is a pause of several seconds while MythTV buffers the new channel. People often find this pause disconcerting as they are typically coming from a normal TV where they are used to "Channel Surfing", though it's fairly common on digital cable TV service, as well. The way to overcome this is to put MythTV into Browse Mode, and this will become the default as of 0.19 for precisely this reason.

Browse Mode is enabled under

TV Settings->Playback->On Screen Display,

check the box "Always use browse mode when changing channels in LiveTV".

Press RemoteUp.png RemoteDown.png to browse the program information on the next/previous program with the OSD. Then when you see the program you want, press RemoteSelect.png and MythTV will jump to that channel. While in Browse mode you can also use RemoteLeft.png RemoteRight.png to see what shows are coming up next, by scrolling the program guide earlier and later in time.

You can also jump directly to a channel by pressing the the number keys. Press 1 and it will jump to the first channel in you channel list, press 12 it will jump to the twelve channel in your channel list etc. You can organise your channel list with the MythTV-Setup program.

Changing Volume

Press RemoteVolup.png/RemoteVoldown.png to increase/decrease the volume.

Press RemoteMute.png to toggle the audio mute


The OSD will show the volume provided you have set MythTV to use its internal volume controls. It is possible to set MythTV to bypass its internal volume controls and send the audio directly to your soundcards SPDIF output. In this case you should program your remote's volume up and volume down keys to control the volume on your AV amplifier.

Changing Aspect Ratio

You can step through the different screen aspect ratios with the RemoteZoom.png key.

4:3 Classic TV Aspect Ratio
16:9 True Anamorphic Widescreen
4:3 Zoom Crop top and bottom to fill Wide Screen TV
16:9 Zoom Crop sides to fill 4:3 TV
16:9 Stretch Resize 4:3 picture to fit a Wide Screen TV

Live TV Capabilities

MythTV offers some of the most sought after features of modern Media Centres.

Pause Live TV

Pausing live TV is great when the phone rings during a show or your little ones need a comfort break during a movie.

By pressing RemotePause.png on your remote the picture will freeze, and MythTV will start to buffer Live TV to the hard drive. The OSD will appear showing seconds behind realtime TV and (in version .18) how much live TV has been buffered as a percentage of total buffer space.

In .18, if you changed channels or exit from watching Live TV then any buffered TV will be lost. 0.19 changes this by treating live TV as a recording and saving it in your media list. The live tv recording is set to auto expire when the hard drive nears being full.


While the picture stream is paused:

Press RemoteRight.png RemoteLeft.png to move forwards / backwards by 1 frame

Press RemotePause.png a second time to unpause live tv, you will now be watching 'behind' live TV. This is sometimes referred to as Chase TV Playback for obvious reasons.

Chase TV Playback

With Chase TV Playback the system can be recording live tv while you are watching the same program behind realtime. It is somtimes referred to as Timeshifting TV.

Press RemoteRight.png RemoteLeft.png to move forwards/backwards in the stream

Press RemoteFF.png RemoteREW.png to jump forward/backwards by the configured number of minutes (default is 10). This is great to skip quickly over commercials

Time Stretch Playback

At the 0.17 release of MythTV the concept of Timestretch playback was introduced. Though, it's really 'time-compression'. This allows the user to adjust the playback speed slightly, but keeps the audio at the same pitch. If you're recording a lot of shows, timestretch lets you get through them faster. So now you can watch a 1 hour show in 40 mins without feeling like you are listening to Alvin and the Chipmunks.

During Live TV you can use this feature to play the TV Stream in slow motion, nice for instant reviews of sports events.

Press RemoteSlow.png to toggle the Time Stretch playback.


Press the RemoteRight.png RemoteLeft.png to set the Time Stretch speed.

Electronic Program Guide (EPG)

The Electronic Program Guide will allow you to get more detailed information on what is being broadcast currently as well as scheduled programs that are coming up.

Press RemoteInfo.png and the OSD will show information on what you are currently watching. The OSD will stay up for a default of 3 seconds and then fade out. You can set the duration in

TV settings->Playback Settings->OSD


Press RemoteMenu.png and the On Screen Menu will show.

Use RemoteUp.png/RemoteDown.png to move up and down the menu. Use RemoteSelect.png to Select.


Select the Program Guide and the Full EPG will show.


Use RemoteUp.png RemoteDown.png, RemoteLeft.png RemoteRight.png to move around the EPG

Use RemoteSelect.png to switch to full-screen Livt TV on the channel you selected, or just press RemoteExit.png to go back to watching Live TV on your original channel.

The EPG also allows direct channel jumping by entering a channel number. By default, it is off. You can turn it on in the

TV -> Guide Settings.

When you press a number key MythTV gives you 2.5 seconds to enter additional digits, (These are displayed on screen as you press), after which it will jump to the closest channel it can find that matches the digits you have pressed.

Concurrent Channel Watching

If you have multiple tuner cards you can watch two channels at once using the Picture in Picture (PIP) facility. You can record one programme while you are watching another. Turn on the PIP via the Onscreen Menu by pressing the RemoteMenu.png key while watching Live TV.


Press the RemoteAVInput.pngkey to switch between your various tuner cards.


Recording Live TV

While watching Live TV press the RemoteRecord.png key, MythTV will start recording the show at that point until the show is finished according to the Guide schedule. There will be a few seconds pause followed by a blank screen before MythTV switchs to recording mode.


The Tuner card being used to record from will be locked until the recording has finished or you explicitly cancel the recording. If you have multiple Tuner cards you can now change channels with the RemoteUp.png RemoteDown.png keys. MythTV will continue recording the current show and switch to the next available Tuner card. If there are no more available Tuner cards then the RemoteUp.png RemoteDown.png keys will just jump back and forth in the recording.

Press the RemoteInfo.png key, and the OSD will show the position in the recording.


Use the RemoteLeft.png, RemoteRight.png keys to move backwards and forwards in the recording.

Press the RemoteMenu.png key, and the On Screen Menu for Recordings will show.


You can exit the watching recordings with the RemoteExit.png key.

If you try watching live TV and all the Tuner cards are busy recording, you will get the following screen. RecordingBusyinput.jpg


Scheduled Recordings

You can programme recordings directly from the EPG If you have multiple tuner cards, MythTV will try and resolve schedule conflicts by searching for repeat broadcasts of the same show as well as trying to handle non broadcasts due to changes in schedules. For recording of multiple episodes of a show, MythTV will look at the episode information to identify unique episodes.

You can change Recording priorities in Setup->TV Settings->Recording Priorities

Select the show that you want to record and press the RemoteRecord.png key repeatedly to cycle through the record options. A record icon on the guide will show which option you have selected.

RecordingEPG1.jpg Not Recording
RecordingEPG2.jpg Record only this Programme at this specific time and this station. This is the best way to be sure that a certain showing is recorded. However, if the TV listings change and the show is not broadcast at that time, the show will not be recorded but will be marked as Not Listed to let you know that you should investigate.
RecordingEPG3.jpg Record a title once from any of the times that appear in the TV listings. This is useful for recording a movie or special that has multiple showings because it allows the scheduler to choose one that doesn't conflict. It is not a good choice for recording a single episode of a series because it records the first available showing of the title without regard to the episode information.
RecordingEPG4.jpg Record a show whenever the title is listed on the same channel, weekday and time. Note that if the TV station changes the schedule for a special episode, it would not be recorded. However, you can add a single record for the special episode.
RecordingEPG5.jpg Record a title once per week from any of the times that appear in the TV listings beginning from the time of the showing that was selected when the rule was set. This is useful for news, current events or other programs where the same episode is shown several times each week but the listings may not include descriptive information. This may not be a good choice if there are different episodes shown during the week.
RecordingEPG6.jpg Records a show whenever the title is listed for the time and station on any day of the week. Here again, a show will not be recorded if the time was altered by the station.
RecordingEPG7.jpg Record a title once per day from any of the times that appear in the TV listings beginning from the time of the showing that was selected when the rule was set. This is useful for news, current events or other shows where the same episode is shown several times each day but the listings may not include descriptive information. This may not be a good choice if there are different episodes shown during the day.
RecordingEPG8.jpg Records a show anytime the title is listed on this station. This is perhaps the most common rule to use for most shows.
RecordingEPG9.jpg Record this title on any station at any time. This can be useful if a station has sister stations where shows are rebroadcast allowing the scheduler to record rebroadcasts on the other station when the original airing cannot be recorded.

Common recording scenarios

Note: This is intended to be a use-case or best practices section for seting up different types of recordings.

New episode each week. Single showing per week.

This will be the most common recording type. Channel record.

New episode each week. Multiple showings per week.

Locate the timeslot that is the first airing of the new episode for the week. Setup as a find weekly.

New episode each (week?) day. Single showing per day.

Channel record.

New episode each (week?) day. Multiple showings per day.

Locate the timeslot that is the first airing of the new episode for the day. Setup as a find daily.

Any showing of a single episode.


How MythTV Records

Ringbuffer and Recordings

Prior to the 0.19 release MythTV treated timeshifting ie chase play and recording a programme differently. There was a Ringbuffer that handled the timeshifting element, whereas Recordings were saved into their own file. This had some negative side effects.

1. If you were watching a live show and 15 minutes into it you decided that you wanted to record it, pressing the record key only recorded the show at that point. You lost 15 mins worth even though those 15mins were in the ringbuffer.

2. Changing channels was unecessarily slow because the system had to mess around with the ringbuffer each time.

With 0.19 Timeshifting and recording are one and the same. Now if you press the record button 10 mins into the show, all MythTV does is make a change in the database to indicate that this is a Recording and by magic it appears in your recordings collection.

Live TV recordings that have not been transisitioned appear in the Default Recordings group.

Expirations of Recordings

If your machines starts to run low in disc space it will start to expire (delete) recordings to make room. The default behaviour is to delete oldest shows first, and is checked every 10 mins. You can mark Recordings as permanent in the Recording Browser. Select the recording you want and press RemoteInfo.png and select "Dont Auto Expire".

You can change the default beviour in TV settings->General settings-> Global Auto Expire Settings

Commercial Flagging

MythTV recordings are automatically flagged for commercials, ie there are markers put in the database that tell the system where it believes commercials start and end. This allows you to jump over commercials when playing back recordings. You can also use this information to delete the commercials when you export the recordings.

You can change the default beviour in TV settings->General settings->Job Queue

Watching Recordings

MythTV by default holds all its recordings the /mount/store directory

You can browse these recordings in Main Screen-> Media Library-> Watch Recordings from Mythfrontend


Play Recording Groups

You can play a collection of recordings for example all episodes of a particular series.

The recordings are organised into Recording Groups on the left of the screen. The Group "All Programmes" contains all recordings. Use the RemoteUp.png RemoteDown.png keys to select the recording group. Press the RemoteSelect.png key to play that group of recordings

Play Individual Recordings

Indivdual recordings from each recording group are on the right of the screen. Use the RemoteRight.png RemoteLeft.png keys to move between the Recording Groups and recordings. Once you are in the recordings pane, use the RemoteUp.png RemoteDown.png keys to move between recordings. Press the RemoteSelect.png key to play that recording.

Recording Playlists

MythTV allows you to create Playlists of Recordings. You can select complete Recording Groups to add to the Playlist, or individual Recordings. This is useful if you need to keep the kids entertained for more than a few hours.

Adding Recording Groups to the Playlist

Press RemoteMenu.png to bring up the Recording List Menu


Select "Add this Category/Group to Playlist" with RemoteSelect.png

press RemoteExit.png to go back to the recordings browser.

Adding Individual recordings to the Playlist

Press RemoteInfo.png to bring up the Recording Information popup


Select "Add to Playlist" with RemoteSelect.png

press RemoteExit.png to go back to the recordings browser.

Playing recordings in the Playlist

You can see what Recordings are in the recording Playlist by selecting the "All Programmes" group. Selected Recordings are highlighted in yellow.


Note: Once you exit the watch recordings page. Your Playlist will be lost.

While you are in the Recording Browser press RemoteInfo.png and select "Recording Options". You can now choose to play the Playlist sequentially or in shuffle mode.


Managing Recordings

Upcoming recordings

The MythTV master backend is responsible for managing the schedule for all TV tuner cards on the master and any slave. Its job is to search the TV listing for the shows you have requested and assign recordings to the TV tuner cards. If none of the shows that you've chosen overlap, it simply records all of the shows. However, if there are shows where the beginning and end times overlap, the scheduler follows rules that you've specified or makes logical decisions about what would be best if you haven't express your preference.

If you have a lot of recordings scheduled, you can check to see what they are, as well as resolve any conflicts that the system can't handle, with the upcoming recordings browser. Main Screen->Manage Recordings>Upcoming Recordings.


There are two 'views' available.

1.Press "1" to include all of the items that match record rules even if they do not need to be recorded.

2.Press "2" to focus on just the things that will record and items that may need your attention.

Conflicts Reminder

This tells you if there are any conflicts that would prevent one or more shows from being recorded.

Highlight Colour

The items in the list are colored in the record color for things that will record, white for things that may need attention, gray for those that do not need to record and yellow when there is a time conflict. Items at the top of the list may also be highlighted in red indicating that the recording is in progress.

Tuner Number and Status Code

Numbers indicate which card number has been assigned to record the show. Letters are used to indicate the reason that something will not be recorded. You can see what the letter means in the "Record Mode" Below.

Record Mode

This is a short status message for the highlighted item that indicates the type of record rule that was matched, the "total priority" for this showing and a one or two word explanation of the status code.

Press RemoteSelect.png to see more information about the Recording and to make changes to its status.


Editing Recordings

The Editor allows you to remove any commercials that the may not have been detected by the system during recording. You might also want to remove the lead in prior to a show or the overrun at the end of a show. The process of editing is often referred to as creating a Cut List. This is because MythTV does not actually cut the Recording. Instead it creates a collection of in and out points in the database that is associated with that recording.

To Edit a Recording press RemoteMenu.png to bring up the On Screen Menu. Select Edit Recording.


The Timeline Editor will now appear


You can now move along the time line with RemoteLeft.png RemoteRight.png by the amount indicated at the bottom right of the screen Default is 1 Sec

Use RemoteUp.png RemoteDown.png change the amount to move. This varies between 0.5 Secs to 10Mins. You also have the option of 1 frame at a time, 1 keyframe at a time and finally a cutpoint at a time (jumps from cutpoint to cutpoint).

To insert a cutpoint press RemoteSelect.png. The Cutpoint menu will appear


Use RemoteSelect.png to choose between Delete before this point of after this point. Just add the cutpoints that you need. The system will remember these the next time that you bring the recording up. Red areas along the Timeline will be deleted (Skipped). Green areas will be played.

If you now transcode this recording the system will take the Cutlist and produce an edited Recording ready to be exported.

Transcoding Recordings

The transcoder re-encodes files from one MythTV format to another. There are two reasons to transcode

1. Allow users to create MPEG-4 streams to save space.

2. Physically cut the commercials or video segments from the recordings

Note this is not used for creating MPEGs for burning to DVD as you will get audio video sync issues, especially with DVB recordings. You need to use MythBurn for this or manually with Project X and DVD Author.

Use the Recordings Profiles to change how the system transcodes your recordings

mythfrontend->setup->recording Profiles->Transcoding recording profile.

now select either RTjpeg or MPEG-4 (selecting any of the hardware encoders will result in the transcoder not working). set the other parameters as you'd like. For best performance, you should match the audio to the 'Default' profile. If you plan to only use the manual transcoder, you can choose to set the video to be the same as the default profile too (as long as it is MPEG-4 or RTjpeg)

The transcoder can be used in two ways:

1.Automatically re-encode every file once it has completed recording

2. After marking commercials, the transcoder can be run manually to delete the commercials from the file (thus further saving space)

The two methods are independent. The first is an automatic process that can be enabled/disabled through the setup program; the second is a manual method which must be invoked on each recording individually.

You can transcode a recording that has already been transcoded, for example to cut a further section with no loss in quality provided you are going from and to the same format.

To enable automatic transcoding, do the following: start the setup program under the host-specific settings: set the Transcoder Auto-run checkbox, or in newer versions of the program, you may select automatic transcoding from any of the recording profiles you have set up.

Everything should now be setup properly. If you elected to use the Auto-Run feature, the transcoder will automatically launch after each recording is complete. The transcoder thread runs at a low priority, so it should not impact any critical tasks or other recordings.

If you want to manually transcode a program, simply press RemoteMenu.png while watching a recording and select Transcode (you should have already finished marking all commercials and creating your Cut List with the Recording editor).


If you change your mind press RemoteMenu.png and select Stop Transcoding.

Once the transcode is complete, mythbackend will replace the old file with the new as soon as it is no longer in use.

Archiving Recordings

At some point you will want to archive your TV recordings for safe keeping. There are however some complications with this, due to the way Digital TV content is held on your hardrive. MythTV stores its recordings in the "/mnt/video" directory by default. You will find files in here with a .nuv file extension and a long complicated name based on the recording schedule. These files are in NuppelVideo format.They are effectively MPEG-2 files with special markings to help digital TV cope with any dropped information during broadcast. To archive these files to DVD they will need to be converted into normal MPEG-2 files that are compliant with the DVD standard.

The process to archive these to DVD involves the use of several external tools as MythTV does not yet have a DVD burning option. The steps are as follows:

  • 1 Split the DVB (NuppelVideo) file into separate Video and Audio files using [ProjectX]
  • 2 Create a DVD MPEG-2 file using mplex (mjpeg tools)
  • 3 Create a DVD Disc ISO image using DVD Author
  • 4 Burn the DVD using K3B

For SUSE users a detailed guide is here [[1]]

There are also prebuilt scripts to do all of the above automagically called MythBurn [[2]]

Split DVB File with ProjectX

Project X takes a collection of DVB stream files and concatenates them into one big project. You can trim the files here also. It will then create synchronisation marks between the audio and video. You can use the default settings.

Create DVD MPEG-2 stream

We now can convert the above output video(m2v) and audio stream (mp2) generated by projectX to a DVD compatible stream. We use the mplex command, which is part of mjpegtools. You will then have a .mpg file with combined audio and video all nicely synchronised.

>mplex -f 8 -o 1.mpg 1.m2v 1.mp2

Create a DVD Image with KDE DVDAuthor

KDE DVD Author [KDE_DVDAuthor]will allow you to create very nice DVD's complete with animated menus. You do not need to compile it. Just download and click on the installer.kmdr icon and KDE will install it. KDE DVDAuthor is a KDE Kommander application.

KDE DVD\Author requires the following packages DVD Author, ffmpeg, lsdvd, normalize

Just follow the steps in the wizard, adding in the video , audio and images files that it asks for. It wil then generate a DVD ISO image once it completes.


Burn DVD image using K3B

K3B includes a wizard to burn DVD ISO images. You will find it under the Tools pull down. Tools-> Burn DVD ISO image. Just load up the ISO image from step 3. and you are done.

Exporting Recordings

MythTV recordings can be exported into multiple different formats such as iPod or PSP compatible MPEG4 files, DivX and Xvid files, or files to burn to VCD, SVCD or DVD with the use of an external program such as nuvexport, which can be downloaded from https://svn.forevermore.net/nuvexport/.

Nuvexport is a command line program that can be used to create a copy of your recording in the following formats: XviD, SVCD, VCD, DVCD, DVD, DivX, ASF, MP3, PSP, iPod, and MPEG2 (though the iPod and PSP export options are currently unavailable). It does not alter the original file in any way, just gives you a new one in a folder of your choosing.

When run, it will use information from the MythTV database to give you a list of all your recordings to choose from, and allow various options such as resizing the video, cutting out sections marked with MythTV's edit cut list, altering the bitrate, and various other things. A work in progress manual for nuvexport can be found at http://www.inaudible.co.uk/nuvexport.

There is also a specialized script that allows you to transcode your files and subscribe to them on your iPod available at http://myth2ipod.com/. This utility doesn't use nuvexport, rather it's specifically tailored for use with the iPod.

Playing DVDs

As of 0.19 there are two ways to play DVD Discs on your Myth Box

  • 1. Use an external player such as Xine or Mplayer. Xine offers DVD Menu support, but you will need to do some work to map your keys on your remote control so that they match those for MythTV to make sure that there is no confusion what keys do what. As this is an external player you also need to make sure that the audio options are set up within xine and MPlayer as needed.
  • 2. Use the new internal DVD player which is now included in the 0.19 release. You can enable this by entering "internal" for the player command within your DVD player settings. The downside with this is that there is no DVD Menu support at the moement. The upside is that the system will bypass all of the clag such as anti-pirate and FBI warnings and go straight to the main movie.


With Xine you have full DVD menu support. You may find it useful to read the Configuring Xine page

Importing DVDs

You might find it useful to have a look at the Ripping Guide to set up your system.

The MythTV DVD Plugin offers the capability to Rip your DVD's to the hard drive and then compress the movie from its normal 5-9GB file size to 700MB-2GB depending on the final quality that you want. When transcoding the system will use the settings defined in the frontend configuration. The default is to use XVID CODEC.

Select the Import option on the Myth Frontpage->Optical Disks->Import DVD

Use the RemoteLeft.png RemoteRight.png to select the Title to rip. Use the RemoteUp.png RemoteDown.png to move between the lines.

Press the "Space" key to select the options on each line.

press the 030.pngkey to start the RIP.


Rip/Transcode Options

Select Select this Video file for transcoding. A DVD will typically include multiple video files, eg trailers, directors commentary etc.
Name The title of the DVD RIP
Quality Options available are dependant on the DVD inserted
  • Perfect : Available for all Discs. Makes an exact copy of the MPEG file
  • Excellent : 4:3 and 16:9 non-letterboxed Only. Transcode the MPEG file at a high bitrate. Resultant files size is approx 2GB
  • Good : All Other . Transcode the MPEG file at average bitrate. Resultant file size is approx 800MB
Audio Track Select which of the Audio tracks available on the DVD you want encoded with the video
AC3 Audio Encode the AC3 Dolby digital surround audio track
Subtitles Encode the Subtitiles with the video
View Preview the Movie during Transcode


Import takes several steps

  • Copy the VOB video and suido files to a temporary file (apprx 30Min). For "Pefect" it stops here.
  • First Pass Transcode of the Video and audio files (approx 1hour per hour of movie)
  • second Pass Transcode to reduce the file size even further (approx 1 hour per hour of movie )

If you have specified the quality to be "good", it will call transcode to do the .vob -> .avi with xvid or divx.

The transcode time will depend on the speed of your processor (numbers given using AMD XP2800)

Once Transcode has finished you should find the new compressed movie in your Videos directory, which is visible via the Myth Video manger.

Main Screen->Utilities /Setup -> Video Manager

Managing Videos

The Default location for MythTV to hold all your Videos is at /share/Movies/DVD

The Defult location for MythTV to hold all your DVD cover art (Movie Posters) is at ~/.mythtv/MythVideo

Once you have either ripped DVDs or copied video files to the Video directory you will want to add both movie information as well as DVD cover art. You can do this via the Video Manager.

Main Screen->Utilities /Setup -> Video Manager


Press Myth TV will now go the the Internet Movie database and retrieve information on your movie as well as matching Album Cover art. It does this by matching the name of the Movie. If does not find an exact match it will offer you a list of options. In the Event that it is not able to find any match at all, then you can enter the information manually.to bring up the OSM. Select "Search IMDB".


Myth TV will now go the the Internet Movie database and retrieve information on your movie as well as matching Album Cover art. It does this by matching the name of the Movie. If does not find an exact match it will offer you a list of options. In the Event that it is not able to find any match at all, then you can enter the information manually.

Once it has finished it will return back to the browser and show you all of the detailed information


Press RemoteSelect.png to get detailed information as well as to make changes


press RemoteSelect.png at the Cover Art Option to check the Cover art


Playing Videos

You may find it helpful to read the MythVideo page

you can browse your video collection using

Myth Mainpage->Media Library->Watch Videos

press RemoteSelect.png

The default view is the Folder View


Changing the view mode

press RemoteMenu.png to bring up the On Screen Menu


Video Browse View


video List View


press RemoteSelect.png to select the Video you want to watch. The system will then present you with detailed information on that Video


press RemoteSelect.png to play the Video

Managing Media


MythTV Gallery Module allows you to view all your photos as well as short movies from your digital camera. Myth Gallery will show your photos as they are orgnised in your file system. Myth will generate thumbnails of both folders as well as individual photos.

Many new digital cameras can now take high quality movies typically in MPEG 4 format as well as photos. Mythgallery can show these as well, provided that you have the video player setting set up to play that media type. Make sure that you do not have spaces in your directory names or picture names ie "2005 Winter Olympics" should be "2005_Winter_Olympics" or Mythgallery video player will not be able to find the file (this has been fixed in 0.19)

Its a good idea to organise the top level screen as a a collection of folders only. You can have subfolders within folders also. You select the folder you want by using the RemoteUp.png RemoteDown.png RemoteRight.png RemoteLeft.png


Press RemoteSelect.png to view photos within the desired directory.You will then see the individual photos themselves.

Press RemoteSelect.png to view just that photo.

Press RemoteInfo.png to get information on that photo.


While viewing photos you can use the RemoteUp.png RemoteDown.png to jump forwards and backwards between photos.

Press RemoteExit.png to exit photo viewing.

Press RemoteMenu.png to highlight the On Screen Menu.


You can now only use the RemoteRight.png RemoteLeft.png tp move around the pictures. The RemoteUp.png RemoteDown.png will move up and down the On Screen Menu.

Select the Settings Option to bring uo the Myth Gallery Settings screen


Here you can change the slide show transition parameters. Check the use Open GL transitions and you can now choose some of the funky transitions available.

Here is the Cube Transisiton in action


  • importing
  • Playing short movies


Information Center

Browsing the Web

you might find it useful to look at the MythBrowser

Advanced Features

Job Queues

Advanced Search

Myth Command line interface through TCP Socket (0.19)

If you telnet to the port, you are prompted with the following:

MythFrontend Network Control Type 'help' for usage information

There are 4 main commands implemented currently: jump, key, play, and query. Typing 'help <COMMAND>' gives you help on that specific command.

The jump command supports jumping to the following supported jumppoints within Myth:

Channel Recording Priorities

Live TV

Main Menu

Manage Recordings / Fix Conflicts

Manual Record Scheduling





Play DVD

Play music

Previously Recorded

Program Finder

Program Guide

Program Recording Priorities

Rip CD

Select music playlists

Status Screen

TV Recording Deletion

TV Recording Playback

Video Browser

Video Gallery

Video Listings

Video Manager

The key command allows simulating the following keystrokes:


The play command supports the following subcommands, most of which are valid only during playback except for the 'play program' subcommand which is valid from the Watch Recordings and Delete Recordings screens:

play channel up - Change channel Up

play channel down - Change channel Down

play channel NUMBER - Change to a specific channel number

play program CHANID yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ss

- Play program with chanid & starttime

play program CHANID yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ss resume

- Resume program with chanid & starttime

play seek beginning - Seek to the beginning of the recording

play seek forward - Skip forward in the video

play seek backward - Skip backwards in the video

play seek HH:MM:SS - Seek to a specific position

play speed pause - Pause playback

play speed normal - Playback at normal speed

play speed 1x - Playback at normal speed

play speed -1x - Playback at normal speed in reverse

play speed 1/16x - Playback at 1/16x speed

play speed 1/8x - Playback at 1/8x speed

play speed 1/4x - Playback at 1/4x speed

play speed 1/2x - Playback at 1/2x speed

play speed 2x - Playback at 2x speed

play speed 4x - Playback at 4x speed

play speed 8x - Playback at 8x speed

play speed 16x - Playback at 16x speed

play stop - Stop playback

The query command currently only supports one subcommand which is used to query the current 'location' within Myth. The 'query location' command returns things like the following:






etc. for screens

and things like this:

Playback LiveTV 35:03 of 35:21 1x 31

Playback Recorded 0:00:23 of 1:02:21 1x 1031 2005-10-17T22:00:00

when playing a recording or LiveTV.

So, with the current implemention, you can telnet to a port, instruct mythfrontend to change to the Watch Recordings screen (jump playbackbox),and start playing a recording (play program 1031 2005-10-17T22:00:00).

Then during playback, you can pause, change speeds, seek around, and stop playback. You can query the current screen and jump to other locations including the main menu.

I think it might be nice to extend this functionality in the future to allow things like querying the list of recorded programs, deleting recordings, and other commands that would make managing a myth system remotely easier. It also might be possible to allow simple 'http' commands to allow controlling this via a web browser. A 'query recordings html' version of a 'query recordings' command could return html code to draw a page with links something like


/me makes a note to save this email for the eventual commit log. :) Chris

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