Selecting a distribution

MythTV is a very simple install in Ubuntu Feisty. Complete instructions are on the Ubuntu wiki.

Prior to Ubuntu, the best guide and distribution was Fedora Myth(TV)ology guide. The downside with this was using the ATrpms source, which provides updates for functionality for many packages, not just security updates, so you were often doing 100Mb of "destabilising" update traffic a month.

Live TV hangs when playing on a TV

This is probably an ivtv DMA issue - see IvTvNotes for a description of a fix

The display is bigger than the screen size when watching on a TV

You can use the Settings | TV | Appearance menu to force set a resolution and an offset, which lets you align the GUI and TV size with your actual TV screen. This can be tedious, but it's probably worth doing.

Remote control

See LircNotes.

Playback only frontend

With a TV in the lounge, now I want to be able to watch the videos from my room. I installed mythtv-frontend on my machine, but received "unable to connect to database" when running mythfrontend or mythtvsetup. A quick edit of /usr/share/mythtv/mysql.txt fixed this one.

Then you need to give your database remote access:

% mysql -u root -p
mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON mythconverg.* TO 'mythtv'@'remotehost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password'

You will probably have to set MasterServerIP to the IP of the backend machine instead of (which you can do from the setup program) and you have to also make sure that the BackendServerIP is set to the IP of the backend - if you do this from the remote machine you may still have problems because it is written to the db along with the host you ran it from. Edit the settings table in the mythconverg database if you need to:

mysql> select * from settings WHERE value = 'BackendServerIP';
| value           | data       | hostname            |
| BackendServerIP | | brian.ellusions.tla |
| BackendServerIP |  | lounge              |
2 rows in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> UPDATE settings SET data='' WHERE value='BackendServerIP' AND hostname='lounge';

This is all in the howto, of course, but I only found it afterwards.

Frontend plays audio but no video

You are having an Xv problem. Another video program, possible one Xine based, has used Xv and hasn't "reset" the stuff that Myth is expecting to be set. Xine doesn't clean up after itself - but is not required to according to the Xv API. Previously it (and most other programs) did, so Myth was written to expect a "clean slate."

This is fixed in the CVS version of MythTv, but in the meantime, you can use xvattr ( apt-get install xvattr if necessary), then xvattr -a XV_AUTOPAINT_COLORKEY -v 1 to fix it.

Thanks to Michael T. Dean on the mythtv-users mailing list for nailing this one!

Frontend doesn't run full screen under GNOME (Fedora Core 2)

FC2 shipped with a broken Qt. The 3.3.3 update fixes this problem. Another great suggestion, and indeed the one I've selected myself, is 'use BlackBox on your MythTv frontend; you don't need GNOME running!' Or, upgrade from your 3 year old software.

Hamilton, NewZealand channels

 Channel   Frequency   XMLTV id (   MHz 
 1   1   45.250 
 2   3   62.250 
 3   10   217.250 
 C4   7   196.250 
 Prime   60   783.250 
 MaoriTV   44   655.250 

Christchurch, NewZealand channels

 Channel   Frequency   XMLTV id 
 1   3   One 
 2   8   2 
 3   6   3 
 C4   11   C4 
 Prime   62   Prime 

NewPlymouth?, NewZealand channels (May also work for Hawkes Bay)

 Channel   Frequency   XMLTV id 
 1   6   One 
 2   8   2 
 3   10   3 
 MaoriTV   53   Maori 
 Prime   61   Prime 
 7 Taranaki   41   None 

Tokoroa?, NewZealand channels, using xmlTVNZ.exe under mono.

 Channel   Frequency   XMLTV id 
 1   1   01 
 2   3   02 
 3   9   03 

Useful link for channel id's covers entire country:

TV Listings

Getting guide information

Tell mythtv-setup to use the DVB grabber, and don't load anything in.

sudo su - mythtv
mkdir bin
cd bin



cd /tmp
rm -f latest.xml.gz latest.xml
gunzip latest.xml.gz
mythfilldatabase --file 1 7 latest.xml


chmod a+x
crontab -e

Edit the file to look something like this, perhaps changing the date so that we don't all hammer it at 5am Sunday and Wednesday:

# 5am Sunday and Wednesday
0 5 * * 0,3     /home/mythtv/bin/

You will now get guide information!

  • Alternatively, if you have access to a Microsoft Windows based web server, try xmlTVNZ. Create a scheduled task that drops an XML file into the web server directory, and follow the instructions for OnTV, replacing the OnTV url with the URL of the file on your server. xmlTVNZ provides excellent listings, making use of genre colours in MythTV's EPG. Unfortunately, this program is not free (open source) software, however there it is freeware.

Note: This has been tested and works under Mono, no need for the windows web server. The xmlTVNZ app is written in c#, so just get mono on your system xmltvnz.exe will work. (or mono xmltvnz.exe). Nice one mono ! (on debian apt-get mono mono-utils)

I want DivX's of my TV shows


Mythbackend wont start from the init script

I have found this problem under ubuntu hoary, apparently the start-stop-daemon runs the backend as myth but doesn't use myth's envioronment settings (not sure if this is what it's meant to do or not). adding HOME=/home/mythtv to the top of the init script appears to solve this problem.

Ubuntu installation

Ubuntu's community wiki has an excellent guide on getting MythTV working in Feisty (and earlier versions too). It can be viewed at /]. To make matters even easier (as if it wasn't already easy enough), the ivtv module and firmware are included in Feisty by default.

Backend won't start

Have you run mythtv-setup? If you haven't, and it doesn't work, you might need to copy /etc/mythtv/mysql.txt to /.mythtv/mysql.txt so you can connect to the database.

Make sure that you have permission for the 'mythtv' user to write to the directory you have told it to store its video files in.

You might also need to have one in /home/mythtv/.mythtv/, or else the backend will automatically try and create one. It will guess 'mythtv' as the username and password for the database, so if you set it to that, it will work without having to do this. It's very broken at the moment.


You need to install mod_rewrite:

a2enmod rewrite

and then you need to edit /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default to include

<Directory /var/www/mythweb>
    FollowSymLinks yes
    AllowOveride all

Restart with /etc/init.d/apache2 force-reload.