Learn how build, setup, and configure MythTV.
~~ What is MythTV?
MythTV is an Open Source suite of programs that allow you to build the mythical home media convergence box on your own. Basically you can see it as a free Tivo or Replay TV.
MythTV has a number of capabilities. The television portion allows you to do the following:
We will be covering MythTV setup, what components are necessary to build MythTV. The nice thing is linux is the core operating system for MythTV. So on SuSE, knoppix, or fedora you can install MythTV.
~~ Helpful URLs.
~~ Guides, How To, Tips, Tricks, etc info URLs.
~~ Capture Card Helpful URLs.
~~ Misc URLs.
~~ Misc Info.
MythTV certificate code: ZIYN-DQZO-SBUT. If you live outside the US or Canada, instead of using Zap2it, you need a copy of XMLTV. XMLTV is a program that, as of this writing, can grab TV listings for Austria, Britain, Denmark, Ireland, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain and Sweden from local Web sites. It then turns the listings into a format that MythTV is happy with.
~~ Building Steps.
-- Hard Disk Space: Encoded video takes up a lot of hard disk space. The exact amount depends on the encoding scheme, the size of the raw images and the frames per second, but typical values for MythTV range from 700 megabytes/hour for MPEG-4, 2 GB/hour for MPEG-2 and RTjpeg and 7 GB/hour for ATSC HDTV.
-- Memory: A MythTV host that is both a backend and a frontend and using software encoding with a single capture card should run adequately in 256MB of RAM. Additional RAM above 256MB will not necessarily increase performance, but may be useful if you are running multiple encoders.
-- CPU: Selection of CPU type and speed is one of the trickiest elements of hardware selection, mainly because there are so many tradeoffs which can be made. For example, if you have plenty of CPU, you can use higher bitrates or capture sizes, etc.
MythTV has two modes of operation. First, it can function as a software video encoder, which means that it uses a fairly generic "dumb" video capture card to get frames of video, encodes them using the CPU on your motherboard and writes them to disk. High-end video capture cards and devices like the TiVo and ReplayTV have dedicated encoder chips which use specialized hardware to convert the video stream to the MPEG-2 format without using the motherboard CPU. The main CPU has the responsibility of running the Operating System and reading and writing the encoded frames to the disk. These tasks have fairly low CPU requirements compared to encoding video.
There are many variables that go into the question: "How fast a CPU do I need to run MythTV"? Obviously, the faster your CPU, the better your experience will be with MythTV. If you are using the software MPEG-4 encoder and performing the "Watch TV" function, where the CPU is both encoding and decoding video simultaneously to allow Pause, Fast Forward and Rewind functions for live TV requires more CPU then just encoding or decoding. MythTV also supports multiple encoder cards in a single PC, thereby increasing the CPU requirements if you plan on simultaneously encoding multiple programs. As a general guideline, plan on 1GHz per encoder if you are doing software-based encoding, less if you are using a hardware-based encoder.
Here are a few data points:
The second mode of operation is where MythTV is paired with a hardware-based video encoder, such as a Matrox G200 or a Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-150/250/350/500. In this mode, because the video encoding is being done by a dedicated video processor, the host CPU requirements are quite low.
~~ Setup Steps.