MythTV on Android



Introduction

There are now a number of ways you can integrate your Android smartphone or tablet with MythTV.

DLNA (UPnP)

The easiest way to access the content on your MythTV box from your smartphone is using DLNA. Most phones have DLNA built in and can act as controllers and renderers for content stored on your MythTV server. The recordings are streamed in full quality, and because nothing needs to be transcoded it's a very quick and convenient method. I suggest you try this first because if your WiFi and phone are up to it, it's by far the best method to access your content. You can even use your phone as a controller to send the content to another DLNA enabled device, such as a TV. See here for a more detailled description of how to use DLNA with Linux:

MythTV Go

MythTV Go on Google Play

This is a great app for playing your MythTV recordings on your android device. You'll be able to stream your content in high quality to anywhere in the house and, with a little trickery, across the internet.

There are other ways of accessing the content on your backend, but the clever thing here is that the app manages the transcoding of the file, allowing you to choose the the quality of the stream and automatically optimising it for viewing on a small screen. It is also extremely easy to set up and will automatically detect any mythbackend machines on the network.

MythTV Go does not play the stream directly, but offloads it to a media player installed on your device. You may find that some players, such as the HTC one on my phone, will not play the stream. The developer recommends the free BS Player, which you can download from Google Play. Once I installed that, MythTV Go presented me with a menu to select the desired player and it played the stream perfectly, even allowing me to pause and navigate through the recording.

The app uses the new services API introduced in MythTV 0.25, so you will need the latest version of Myth to take advantage of these features. You can view and manage transcodings using the new MythBackend web interface at http://localhost:6544 (change localhost to the IP address of your backend server).

For information on playing streams over the internet, see this tutorial:

MythMote

MythMote on Google Play

MythMote does exactly what it says on the tin; it acts as a remote cotnrol for your existing MythTV frontend. The setup is pretty easy, you just give it the IP address of your frontend. You're then presented with an interface which works just like a standard remote control.

In practice it works pretty well, but I had a few issues with it. The main on being that a touchscreen just doesn't feel as nice to use as the buttons on a traditional remote. Also, if you're watching a show, you don't really want your phone sat next to you eating up its battery with the screen on, which means you need to turn it on and unlock it each time you want to use the remote. Also, if there is more than one of you in the house, and especially if you have kids, having other people's grubby fingers on your fancy smartphone isn't ideal! Having said that, it was a life saver to get me by when a recent upgrade borked my lirc config!

So, for me it's not a substitute for the "real thing", but it works well so give it a try and you may feel differently.

MythDroid

MythDroid is a fully featured Myth Frontend controller for Android. It boasts a gesture-based remote control interface and allows full control of MythTV, including playback of recordings, video and music. It also gives access to the programme guide for scheduling recordings.

MythDroid doesn't actually run a mythfrontend itself, but controls an existing frontend, so you must have a frontend running for MythDroid to work with.

Installation is pretty straightforward, firstly enable the 'Enable frontend network control' option in each frontend's general settings.

For MythDroid streaming to work, you need to install some MythDroid software called MDD and also VLC on your backend. VLC transcodes the recordings on-the-fly, so you will need a reasonable powerful backend for this to work. Also install MDD on your frontend.

On your Android phone, download the latest MythDroid APK and install using anb (from the Android SDK).

See the following installation guide on the MythDroid website for more information:


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