Master Backend Server and Single Frontend MythTV Setup On a Ubuntu 10.04 Box

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MythTV is a great PVR (Personal Video Recorder) software which allows you to turn your computer into a TV server and all you need is a TV Tuner card that is supported in Linux. MythTV not only does allow you to watch and record TV on the computer where you install your TV tuner card, but it also allows you to watch live TV on multiple computers which act as front ends. So one doesn’t need to install tuner cards in each of the computers.

This guide is going to tell you how to go about setting MythTV up so that you can make use of its full power. This post would focus on the setup of the standard backend-frontend setup. In the next post I am going to talk about how to setup additional frontends to your network.

Step 0: Before we begin you would need to install the drivers for your TV tuner card. I used the Avertv Hybrid Volar Max Tv Tuner, which is supported in Linux (you would have to download the driver from Avermedia Website).

Step 1: Install MythTV by doing

sudo apt-get install mythtv mythtv-themes mythweather mythplugins mythvideo mythmusic

It would automatically install all the essential components including the mythbackend and mythfrontend. I have chosen some other great components which would enrich your multimedia experience, e.g. mythvideo, mythmusic etc. Wait for the setup process to finish, the setup would also install MySQL server, because that is what would be used to store all the information that MythTV would be using. Note: you would be prompted for the root password for your MySQL database, you can choose blank, but I would recommend you to set a non blank password for greater security. In addition MythTV would also generate a password for the standard user for running MythTV with user name “mythtv”, you can note it down or later retrieve it from the text file where it is saved.

Step 3:  Now we need to configure the installation. First the “backend “. Launch MythTV Backend from the System > Administration > MythTV Backend Setup. The set of entires or changes that one needs to make to get MythTV up and running are shown below in screenshots. My MythTV setp up is with the HDTV tuner mentioned earlier in the post, it is detected as DVB type card by MythTV. Click on images to see them in full size.

First we start with the General setup, for the basic default setup, you only need to enter the ip of your master backend which I am assuming to be the same machine where this setup is being run. You can arrow keys and enter button to move through options.

First ip, i.e. local backend can be localhost, but for the Master Backend IP, you must enter the actual ip on your lan. Hit next to go to next screen

Keep hitting next till you are done with the general settings. You don’t need to change any of these settings now for the basic setup and you can come back later to make changes, once you have MythTV working.

Now from the main setup menu (First screenshot), select Capture Cards, this is where you would setup the capture card.

I already have setup one tuner which is showing in the last line, but to add a New capture card press enter while selecting “New capture card” option and go to the setup screen.

Now you would be given the option to select the type of your card. I chose DVB and immediately MythTV would search for the type of card and list down the available hardware.

I am getting the Warning message because I have already added this card, so when you are adding it for the first time you won’t get any such warning. Click Finish to return to main menu.

Now go to the “Video sources” option from the main menu, this is where you choose the source of EPG (Electronic Program Guide) based on your tuner type. I chose the Transmitted guide only option.

Again click finish to return to main screen. Now if you go to the Input Connections menu, you should be able to see the Tuner and video source that you have setup.

You don’t need to make any changes here, press “Esc” to get back to the Main Menu.

Now go to the Channel Editor option and click on “Channel Scan” , wait for the scan to get over, and you should now be able to see a set of channels detected in the scan.

Now again return to the main menu to setup your “Video Directories” in the Storage Directories menu. You would see a bunch of Storage Groups like these.

Choose Videos and hit enter to get to a screen like this

Click Add New Directory to add new paths. This setting is important if you want to use MythTV to watch all your videos on your local machine as well as remote front ends. And you don’t have to deal with any complicated NFS server setup. Now return back to main menu by pressing “Esc” and then again press “Esc” to exit the Backend setup. You would be asked if you want to run “Mythfilldatabase”. Select “Yes”.

Step 4: Now you just need to setup the frontend and you would be all set. Fronend setup is easy. When you run the Myth Frontend for the first time you would be asked to choose your language, and then enter the details of the Backend, enter the details from the backend setup and press next, till you finish the setup options, and with that you should be able to see the MythTV frontend in its all glory with options to watch, TV, Videos and Recordings etc. You can go to the Frontend Setup to make finer changes and adjustements.

Let me know if this tutorial works for you, else I would try to include more details.

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About the Author

has written 346 posts on this blog.

Meditating towards his "nerdvana", lifehacker is a teacher by the day and a nerdy blogger by the night. He lives to learn and yearns to learn living.

2 Comments on “Master Backend Server and Single Frontend MythTV Setup On a Ubuntu 10.04 Box”


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