Watch TV

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Revision as of 06:34, 11 March 2007 by Malban (talk | contribs) (copied in Watch Live TV section of Daily Use chapter)

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When you select Watch TV from the front page, MythTV will automatically go to the default channel when you setup the mythbackend. You can also have it go directly to to programme guide.

Basic Usage

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 number keys. Press 1 and it will jump to the first channel in your channel list, press 12 it will jump to the twelfth 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 (default is 5 seconds)

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

If you are coming to MythTV from using a Video Recorder, you might want to enable the "sticky" keys option. This keeps the fast forward or rewind on even after you release the key. Subsequent presses of RemoteLeft.png or RemoteRight.png will increase the speed of the rewind or playback. When you reach the point you want to watch, press RemoteSelect.png to resume normal playback.

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. 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 RemoteLeft.png RemoteRight.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.

Since Mythtv 0.20 you can go directly to the Program Guide, by pressing Guide.png

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 Live 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.

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