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MythTV Notes

This page contains some random notes on my installation of MythTV. Isaac Richards started the MythTv project because "Basically, I want the mythical convergence box that's been talked about for a few years now". Alas, it's not there yet. Installing MythTV is recommended only for geeks and if you don't enjoy battling with computer software buy a Tivo. I used Mythbuntu which is a Ubuntu and MythTV "All-In-One" installer.

The following items are notes that may be useful and that I have not found elsewhere.

Recording a TV program on your friend's MythTV set

Find the right page on your friend's MythTV set.

A friend or relative has invited you to use their MythTV set to record programs for yourself. In addition to this web page of instructions they will have provided you with the internet address of their MythtTV set. Omit any of the characters ", < and > then type the internet address exactly as they gave it to you into the address bar of your browser. It is likely that they have also provided you with a user name and password that you will need to type into the corresponding fields if a window requesting them appears. If you do not see a program guide like the one shown below then click on the TV set icon to the right of the MythTV logo or the "Listings" menu item below that.
listing

Find the program you want to record

The page shows the the TV programs that are on or will be on soon. To record programs that are not on the screen you can use the Jump To: box at the top right to locate the program if you know when it is on. You can also use the search box at the top of the page to find the program you are looking for but you should be aware that it is just a text search of the program title and description. If your friend's TV guide shows the program as "Law & Order" then a search for "Law and Order" won't find it and a search for "Law" will find all the programs that include "law" in their description.

Tell MythTV to record your program

Once you can see the program you want to record double click your mouse on the program title. If the list headed "Schedule Options:" has anything else but "Don't record this program" selected, as shown below, contact your friend to say you want the program. Otherwise, click on "Record only this showing" and press the "Update Recording Settings" button. The Schedule Options may be at the bottom of the page rather than the right hand side as illustrated.
record program

Arrange to receive the program from your friend

Send your friend an email to say that you want to see the program and that you have told MythTV to record it. Your friend will choose how you receive it depending on the speed and other limits of both of your Internet connections.

Installing Shepherd under Mythbuntu

The current recommendation is to run the Great Australian TV Guide, Shepherd, as a cron job and I have no idea why I insisted on ignoring that advice. If you, too, want to let MythTV run Shepherd and you are running a recent Mythbuntu read on.

In order to follow the instructions below you will need to log into the account that you gave yourself when you installed Mythbuntu. If you have the front end running you can press Ctrl/Escape to bring up the desktop menu then select Terminal from the Accessories Menu.

If you have arrived at this page because you received the message "mythfilldatabase ran, but did not insert any new data into the Guide" and mythfilldatabase runs correctly when you run it from your own account then you should remove Shepherd from your account before installing it under the mythtv account. If this is your first install of Shepherd skip the following paragraph.

To delete the current installation under your user name:
$ cd
$ rm -rf .shepherd
$ rm -f shepherd
$ sudo rm -f /usr/bin/tv_grab_au

To install Shepherd under user mythtv:
$ sudo -i
enter your password
# su - mythtv
Install Shepherd as described in the Shepherd Installation Guide. You need to complete the steps described under "the old method" but in order to create the symbolic link you must to be the user root, not mythtv, so:
exit
ln -s ~mythtv/.shepherd/shepherd /usr/bin/tv_grab_au

My thanks to Paul Andreassen who stepped me through this procedure.

Enabling the S-Video input on a DVICO DVB-T Plus or Winfast DTV1000 T

Both these tuner cards are recognised by MythDora as DVB-T inputs and if you are reading this you probably have already used MythTV setup to locate your card and set it up for antenna input. If not, do it now and come back when you have finished.

The next task is to get your card recognised as an analogue input. Add a new capture card and select the "Analogue V4L capture card" as the card type. If this fails you will need to add a kernel module. As root run the command line
modprobe -v cx8800
and try again. This command won't survive a reboot so insert the following lines into /etc/rc.local
# Analogue 4L capture card support for DVB-T cards
/sbin/modprobe cx8800

Now you can follow the instructions for S-Video/Composite Input on the MythTV Wiki

Using Microsoft Access to access your MythTV database

I have added this information to the MythTV Wiki.

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