Demystifying MythTV


I’ve always liked playing with various PVR software. It helps me evaluate the different features in each software, keeps me current with the HTPC scene, and boosts my overall knowledge about this hobby. I’ve given GB-PVR, SageTV, MeedioTV, MCE 2005, and BeyondTV a try. All Windows-based PVR apps. I have a basic understanding of Unix/Linux, and not an expert my any means. I admit I had a fear of venturing into the world of Linux HTPC apps because I’m just not confortable enough to work within the OS, and I don’t feel confident that I could support a Linux box. We all know the there is inevitable maintenance that needs to be done on any HTPC box.

After reading about how far MythTV has come with its features and ease of install I decided to take a sip from the Kool Aid. After reseaching which Linux distro to use I decided on Fedora. I initally thought it would be easiest to go with Knoppmyth (which is probably true), but Fedora offers the best blend of ease of install, maturity, broad support base, and a good learning experience. If I’m going to have to support this box, then I should learn as much as I can about it. With that in mind I took whatever spare time I had this weekend and managed to use Jarod Wilson’s guide to install Fedora Core 4 and MythTV on a spare Compaq PC that I use for testing purposes. I just disconnected the Windows XP Home hard drive and threw in a spare 120GB drive I had lying around, which I used to install FC4. I couldn’t believe how easy it was! It probably took a total of 4 hours or less. I did all this between taking my girlfriend shopping, sleeping, and catching up on my TV/movie viewing.

Hardware Specs:

  • 2.8GHz Celeron
  • 1GB PC2700 RAM
  • 120GB Hard drive
  • Hauppauge PVR-250
  • Onboard graphics
  • Wireless IR Keyboard/mouse


  • Fedora Core 4 (2.6.14-1.1656)
  • MythTV 0.18.1-117

All these photos can be found on Flickr.

MythTV on my testbench:

MythTV main screen (with MythCenter theme):

Program Guide:

Recordings screen:

MythWeb Guide:

MythWeb Recording Schedule:

MythWeb Recording listing:

MythWeb Backend Status:

Next Steps:

  • Learn more about Linux administration in general
  • Configure other plugins: MythDVD, MythGallery, MythMusic, etc
  • Setup HD firewire recording with Motorola DCT6200
  • Bunch of other stuff I can’t think of now

Helpful Links (used in this install):


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