Mailing List Archive

MythTV Experiences

Thought I'd share my experience and observations as I just got MythTV up and running a couple of days ago. Kudos for how nice packaged it all looks once everything is working. This is really great considering the short time the project has been in existence. Everything is very intuitive and easy to use.

WinTV-radio (bttv) tv card
Matrox Mystique G200 video card
Athlon 1330
Soundblaster 128
756 meg ram
Western Digital 80 Gig (Special Edition with 8 meg cache) hard drive

Redhat 7.2 - with lots of updated rpms
KDE 3.03

Installation issues and hurdles:

The requirement of Freetype1 (tricky if you have Redhat 7.x) was met by downloading Freetype1 source and compiling it in /usr/local so as not to conflict with my Freetype2 rpm on which many installed rpms apps depend. I did have to manually edit the source code to point to the Freetype1 rather than Freetype2. It seems to be a common subject in the mailing list and I wonder if it shouldn't be added to the FAQ.

Between MythTV and xmltv, I had to add a lot of new Perl modules. Fortunately the CPAN Search Site at made finding and downloading them fairly easy. I wish I had made a list of all the modules I had to add to make it easier for others and myself for future installs.

As I followed the instructions in the README, I initially missed the fact that there were additional steps to follow after the information regarding special steps for those upgrading from previous versions. If I get some time, I may submit an edited version of README, if that would help.

Running MythTV:

MythFrontend looks great with a very clear and easily usable menu. One problem, I cannot shut it down unless I use the kill command or have started it inside a terminal and hit [control]-c. Hitting the escape key causes it to disappear briefly, only to pop-up again.

When I start MythTV from MythFrontend, the tv picture appears briefly, then MythFrontend pops up in front of it. I have to tab between windows to get the MythTV screen back.

While MythFrontend appears on top of my KDE taskbars, MythTV does not. To get the full picture, I have to retract the taskbars.

If only one program has been recorded, that program's information is not fully available when seeing the list of program on the program playback or program delete pages. The name of the program is on the list, but there is no picture and no description of the program. Evidently the single program is not selected by default. The fact the program's title is not highlighted would seem to confirm this, despite the fact that hitting spacebar will work. The up and down arrow keys only seem to work when there is a second program that allows the focus to shift to another program.

Here is another problem that happens when only one program has been recorded. The problem occurs after playing back the program and hitting escape to return to the program list screen. Instead of the normal screen, the screen appears without any details and does not appear to respond to any keys. The only way to escape this screen is by using the kill command on MythFrontend itself. Once again, this problem is not evident when there is more than one program in the program list.

I have recorded programs with mpeg2 - libavcodec, but have been unable to play them in either MPlayer or Xine, despite the claims by each of them to support FFMpeg. Has mpeg2, like rtjpeg, been modified for MythTV so that it is unusable elsewhere?

Things to I would like to see:

I like having MythTV's rewind and fastforward set to 30 seconds to make it easier to skip commercials, however it would be nice to also have a 1-5 second rewind and fastforward in case the 30 second fastforward skips over the first few seconds of a program after the commercials. Having two sets of rewind and fastforward keys and be able to give them different values would be very helpful.

I would like a setting that allows the users to choose between full-screen playback and a sizeable window. This would provide functionality both for those who view programs via a television and those (like myself) who view them sitting in front of a monitor and would rather watch in a smaller window.

I want to be able to record programs with MythTV and watch/convert/edit the resulting video files using other video players and editors. Perhaps this is already possible and I simply have not spent enough time working with the mpeg2 files.

All in all, I am very pleased with MythTV. It makes finding and recording shows a lot simpler than my old VCR. On the downside, I may find myself watching more TV as my favorite programs will now be more available to me! Keep up the good work. I eagerly anticipate newer releases.

John Clement