38 thoughts on “MythTV on Ubuntu Intrepid”

  1. Having just done a couple of fresh MythTV installs (one master backend and one slave backend plus associated frontends) under Intrepid, I found no great issues, but sadly no big fixes either!

    I’ve been using the Mythbuntu Control Centre to do the installs, because almost everything is just point & click. You only really need to resort to the command line if you’ve changed the MySQL root password and to fight with MySQL to make it accept connections from anywhere other than localhost.

    Perhaps I was expecting too much, as the Intrepid repository still has the same base version of MythTV as Hardy – just at a more recent patch level. It has not fixed the problem that I have: the tuner in the slave backend was previously always shown as “Unavailable”. Under Intrepid it now appears to be “Not Recording”, but if you try to watch liveTV while both master and slave backends are running, only the slave works.

    Never mind – at least they haven’t broken anything major (except for the new Network Manager applet, but that’s a different subject…)

  2. Hi Martin,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. It just shows how far Myth has come in a few years. From days of effort to a few clicks!

    My main box is still on Hardy (too important to risk an upgrade just yet)…

  3. Hi Gary,

    Thanks a lot for these excellent guides. Far too many MythTV guides (and this is a problem far too general to Linux) are presentation-illiterate and overly geeky. Yours on the other hand are very useful and readable, without being dumbed down. Linux geeks: LEARN from this man!

    One quick question: I know it’s been a while since you built your main box, but just as a rough ballpark figure: how much did you spend? (I’m thinking to build myself a box, but will have to convince the wife!)

    Also, how useful is wireless networking to your setup? Is it fast enough to (e.g) stream DVD-quality vids from the back end to a front end in a bedroom? (I would guess that wifi is not up to HD)



  4. Hi Asa,

    Glad you found the stuff useful!

    To build a box similar to mine with modern components, you’d be talking between £250 and £300. That would get you a dual core CPU and maybe even a 1TB drive. Maybe I can get your wife to speak to mine because she’s a total convert!

    As for wireless, I can watch standard definition over wireless-G on my netbook running mythfontend. Wireless-N may be fast enough for HD, but you’d need a frontend capable of playing it, which either means a very fast CPU or a supported graphics card. Support for mpeg4 acceleration is getting better in Linux, but it takes a bit of hacking at the moment.

  5. Excellent: very useful. And thanks for the quick reply!

    Good point on the HD. We don’t have any HD sources right now (apart from an Xbox 360, but that’s a different story) but I’m thinking in terms of future expansion. e.g. maybe adding a Blu Ray drive to the box and using it as our main DVD player. Do you think that would be feasible, or is that something for the future?

  6. For HD, I’d suggest getting one of the newer ATI Radeon or nVidia cards with HDMI output and an MPEG4 chip. HDMI is already supported and HD is on the way (search for VDPAU).

    As for bootup times, my backend/frontend machine hardly ever reboots, so I can’t say for sure, but it’s pretty quick. It probably boots up and into mythfrontend within 2 minutes. Newer machines would be faster and with some optimisation even faster still. A solid state drive would improve this even more.

  7. Thanks a lot of the excellent guide, I would have been lost without it! The tip about checking the status of your cards before running the setup was spot on – tried it without and the cards weren’t found.

    Built mine for £210 using ScaleoE barebones and SATA harddrive sourced from ebay, p4 3ghz cpu and 1 Gb ram from the computer exchange (cex.co.uk ) very good value and free postage).

    So far I can see everything on a monitor through vga port, However I’m struggling to get TV-out from my setup: No picture post boot, I get mythbuntu splash screen then nothing useful except faint falling rain effect on the screen this is probably built in intel i915 graphics and I’m trying to get output through scart or s-video sockets to a crt tv. All will be sorted using DVI when I get a new TV I guess!

  8. Once again, a great set of guides – thanks a lot. I first discovered your pages a couple of years ago and they’ve been so helpful – I’d never have got Mythtv working back then without your help.

    Interesting to read the first comment from Martin about Intrepid not breaking anything – I tried upgrading my fairly stable Hardy install a few months back but gave up because it trashed my wide-screen resolution for my cheapo LCD TV and despite having a copied xorg.conf from Hardy. I could not get the resolution back for days! The other big thing that broke for me was a change in the way that power management seems to now work in Intrepid. I spent ages getting my machine to power down after recordings and then wake up for the next one so that I wouldn’t have to leave it on permanently (https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MythTV/Install/WhatNext/ACPIWake).

    Anyway, just thought you might be interested in my reasons for not upgrading – if it ain’t broke…..

  9. Hi Alistair,

    The last couple of upgrades haven’t gone well for me either. The Intrepid install broke the nVidia drivers and I needed to unplug my box and take it upstairs and plug a monitor into it and sort out the problem.

    Having said that, I’ve upgraded my box since Edgy and I’ll continue to do so. It pays to keep up-to-date, especially with something like Myth where things are changing all the time. I think a little pain every 6 months is worth it.

  10. Hi Garry

    Thanks for the excellent guides for mythtv – I’ve used them on many occasions since Ubuntu 7.04 to get things up and running!

    I’m having a problem with the DVB-S setup – I’ve managed to get everything working (scanning etc, playback in kaffeine), but I can’t for the life of me get the channels.conf file imported into mythtv. I’m wondering if you could publish a copy of your channels.conf so I can check the format (I’ve noticed some of them have almost solely numeric values and some have constant names).

    When I try to import in mythtv, the scan page shows for a fraction of a second, then I get the “Finish” button and a blank channel list – no idea what’s going on….

    Any ideas on this would be appreciated as a fairly extensive google searching hasn’t revealed much in the way of answers.



    P.S. Once this is done, I’m on to the shed! Yours looks great!

  11. Nice on Garry – spot on! I’m using an old Sky dish with single LNB so the LNB setting is right, and that sorted it to the point where I can do channel scans. That’s in progress at the moment and I’m going to think positive and hope the rest works!!

    For your information, if you don’t set the DiSEqC setting then when you do Next on the scan for channels (after adding the channels.conf path) the Scan Progress windows shows up for such a short time it’s almost not seen, and you end up with an empty channel list.

    Thanks again for your help.


  12. Oh well, so much for thinking positive!

    The scan went OK, but in the frontend I get a black screen when I switch from tuner0 (DVB-T) to tuner1 (DVB-S).

    I thought it might be a problem with both the tuners being there at once, so I removed the DVB-T tuner and rescanned the channels for DVB-S.

    Now in the frontend when I click Watch TV I get a momentary flash of black then back to the menu…

    Don’t suppose you’ve got any ideas on this one? I’ve tried a fair amount of playing around so far but to no avail…


  13. Hi Rich,

    Sorry about the DiSEqC thing, I’ve added it to the guide.

    As for your playback issues, run the frontend from the command line and see what errors you get. Also, check the logs in /var/log/mythtv.

    Hope it helps!

  14. Hi Garry

    It turns out that it’s something to do with the mix of channels from the DVB-T and DVB-S card. I delete all cards etc and channels from the backend and set up with JUST the DVB-S card and imported the channels from there and it works fine now.

    Sometimes theres quite a delay after changing channel, and I often get a problem with “Error displaying video” when I tune to an unsupported channel (e.g. scrambled) which needs me to delete the channel from the backend list, but other than that all the display etc is working fine.

    I haven’t yet got the EPG data for channel 5 – and it’s been 2 days! Not sure about that one – might need to look into it a bit further.

    A big thanks again for all your help on the site and here.



  15. Hi,

    Thanks for an excellent guide! Would it be possible for you to add another subsection to your guide for users who want to specify a root MySQL password, or who already have MySQL installed with a root password. From my googling it seems this is the no #1 point where people get stuck.

  16. Hi Gary,

    Well, my wife is now convinced and the MythTV box build is set to go ahead after this month’s payday! I’ve done some research, gone few a few drafts, and right now, the following is what I intend to buy. All parts will be new, apart from my HD TV:

    * Antec NSK2480-UK V2 Media Centre Case with 380W PSU
    * Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-US2H motherboard (onboard sound and ATI graphics)
    * AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ AM2 Dual Core
    * 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F1 SATA hard drive
    * 2GB generic RAM
    * Hauppauge WinTV Nova-TD 500 Dual digital DVB-T PCI TV Tuner card
    * Pioneer DVR-216DBK DVD writer (should be flashable to RPC1 — region free)
    * DLink DWA-547 Draft N Wireless PCI Adapter (the only draft N PCI wireless card I could find with Linux drivers)
    * Logitech EX110 Cordless Keyboard&Mouse

    I plan to install Ubuntu and MythTV.

    If you, or anyone else reading this has any feedback on the above, I would greatly appreciate it!



  17. Hi Asa,

    The motherboard looks like a very good choice. The Radeon 3200 should allow you to play HD stuff, at least once the drivers are up to scratch. Otherwise, the PCI-Express slot will allow a different graphics card. Looks future proof enough to me.


  18. Thanks mate.

    Do you know much about VDPAU and the whole GPU offset thing? Someone on the MythTV Talk boards has just advised me to go for an NVIDIA-based board instead to take advantage of VDPAU. What do you think of it?

    From what I read, the conventional wisdom a few years ago used to be to only consider NVIDIA GPUs with Linux systems, but by now AIT/AMD drivers have pretty much caught up. (also ATI has XvBA right?)

  19. When AMD bought ATi they open sourced the drivers, which means that eventually ATi should be the best bet. At the moment nVidia is probably ahead with their VDPAU stuff.

    So, it’s swings and roundabouts.

    As long as you get a board with a PCI express slot then you have the option to stick a £20 graphics card in there, so the choice you make now isn’t binding.

    Having said that, if VDPAU is the way to go at present then maybe you should follow the guy’s advice and get a board with a built-in nVidia card instead.

  20. Generally I found your instructions on what to do very clear and helpful, and can only echo one previous poster who pointed out that in general Linux geeks need to learn to communicate in plain language. However, you don’t say what to do if something goes wrong. I have had a problem in getting MPlayer working when testing the stream – I can see in the terminal box where I’ve set up the streaming that everything is going fine, but when I enter the command to initiate MPlayer, I get a ‘command not found’ message as per below:

    padi@padi-desktop:~$ dvbstream -o -p 600 601 -qan 16 -cr 3_4 | mplayer-
    dvbstream v0.6 – (C) Dave Chapman 2001-2004
    Released under the GPL.
    Latest version available from http://www.linuxstb.org/
    dvbstream will stop after -1 seconds (71582788 minutes)
    Output to stdout
    Streaming 3 streams
    bash: mplayer-: command not found

    Any help on this would be much appreciated.

  21. Hi Padi,

    There’s a space between the mplayer and the -

    dvbstream -o -p 600 601 -qan 16 -cr 3_4 | mplayer -

    It tells mplayer to read from standard input.

  22. I’ve decided to go for a board with an NVIDIA GPU afterall, the ASUS M3N78-VM: http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=ovqEgLFRjnSClhSV

    Another issue has come up in discussion on the MythTV talk boards
    ( http://www.mythtvtalk.com/forum/hardware/11233-building-mythtv-box-uk-what-do-you-think-hardware-2.html )

    is that the Nova-T 500 is no longer available in the UK, only the Nova-TD 500 which it seems does not work: http://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/Hauppauge_WinTV-NOVA-T-500#WinTV-NOVA-TD-500

    Any other recommendations for dual DVB tuner cards that work in Linux?

  23. Wait: reading it again more closely, there seems to conflicting accounts on that Linuxtv.org wiki. That last entry (so far) ends with the following: “In summary, if you buy a new T-500, it will almost certainly be a new TD-500, not one of the Diversity troublemakers, and it is supported. ”

    Hm…. I might just risk it and try it out. Especially as I can’t seem to find an alternative *dual* DVB-T card that definitely works under Linux…

  24. Hi, I have just installed Mythbuntu 9.04 x64, and the Novat500 remote did not work at all, and tuning was giving lots of errors.
    I found that reverting to the older firmware (version 1.10) cured it.
    Not sure if this is an issue on 32 bit as well, hope it helps someone!

  25. I’m finally following up! (sorry to post on this old thread when it’s not about Intrepid, but thought I would keep all my comments on the same page)

    Well, I bought the parts, built the box and installed Jaunty and MythTV and it all worked very well. I and the wife are very pleased, thanks for the guide! I’m currently writing up my experiences and will post a link when finished.

    This was the first time I’ve used Ubuntu (been a Debian guy till now) and I have to say I am impressed. Apart from having the correct resolution (and the remote — see below) everything worked right out of the box. The main thing I had to struggle with was the overscan issues on my LCD TV (an issue with the NVIDIA drivers rather than Ubuntu per say really). That was a pain, but I finally got a usable resolution in the end.

    The last big obstacle is the remote. I can’t get it to work, even after reverting to the 1.10 firmware (I’m running the AMD 64 edition of Ubuntu). Apart from the remote, the TD-500 works fine — and it did so right out of the box (and it even mentions “diversity” features on the box but has the DIB chipset). I followed wyliecoyoteuk’s guide on the Ubuntu forums


    … to no avail, unfortunately (thanks for the trying though!).

    Any ideas on the remote? It’s not a LIRC problem, as the IR receiver is not being picked up by the kernel at all: it’s missing from dmesg logs.

    It’s annoying as the lack of remote is the last big obstacle in the way. If I can get it working, it will be a totally slick DVR experience!

  26. Hi Asa,

    I don’t have a Nova-T 500 anymore and it seems like the wyliecoyoteuk guy on Ubuntu forums knows what he’s talking about. Have you tried explaining your problem to him?

  27. This sort of info ought to be valued by everybody – it is some thing which i believe we can all draw upon. I very much like the theme you are using here which I think is wordpress is not it? I have been looking around for some thing simular but have yet to discover some thing appropriate for my website. I looked at the link in your footer and can attempt and download a copy of it for myself – thanks.

  28. It’s perfect time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you some interesting things or advice. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

+ 1 = nine

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>