Making a MythTV Server

I started this project with great confidence. Altough I read old information that the Hauppauge HVR 1300 was not an easy card I counted on the MythTV community. I could not get the analog part working despite of some information on how to configure it. I could have bought another card but I decided to stop.

This page will provide you with the information on my MythTV installation. I write this page to help others or to help others to help me. This page is as accurate as possible.

You can help me or ask me by sending a mail to [marco][dot][website][at][debooy][dot][eu].

Hardware

I decided to use a mini-itx motherboard with a low current consumption. I searched for a shop that could deliver me this. I came to the following parts:

The advantage of the Jetway is that it has an on-board MPEG2 decoder with a S-video and Composite TV output. The Hauppauge card comes with an IR remote controller. When you search the web you find positive information on this card with MythTV. The only 'little' problem seems to be Belgium. The xmltv is not available like for other countries. There are work-arounds.

Installation

For the installation I choose MythUbuntu. It is based on Debian. The booting went smoothly but when I wanted to start the installation the graphical screen did not show up. Only an error message that said that it could not activate the graphical mode. Ubuntu 7.10 (on which MythUbuntu is based) had the same result. On my desktop everything worked as it should. I created a third boot CD which allowed to install a command line system. This time I could do the complete installation. Now I only had Linux running.

Now at least I had a running system. The drives look like:

  • / of 15Gb
  • swap of 2Gb
  • /var/lib in XFS with the rest of the disk.

Now I installed the packages one-by-one and got the graphical interface running.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install openssh-server
sudo apt-get install xfonts-base xbase-clients xserver-xorg xfonts-75dpi fluxbox
sudo apt-get install xfsprogs
sudo apt-get install ntp
sudo apt-get install mythtv-frontend mythtv-backend mythtv-database
sudo dpkg-reconfigure mythtv-common
sudo dpkg-reconfigure mythtv-database
sudo apt-get install mythweb
sudo apt-get install ivtv-utils
sudo apt-get install mplayer
sudo apt-get install xine-ui

Everything seemed to function. I found all separate things running but.... They did not work together. I did not know how to solve all of them. I added the mythtv-backend to the sudo for mythtv. Now I could run mythtv-setup without an error. I also found how to configure MythTV to use my remote database with the mythtv user instead of root. The connection is defined in the mysql.txt file in the /home/mythtv/.mythtv directory.

TV Capture

Hardware information:

Model Hauppauge HVR-1300
Tuner Philips FMD1216ME
Host Interface PCI CX2388x
Analogue 1x CX2388x and 1x CX23416
Digital DVB-t (CX22702)
Other Composite In, S-Video In, and FM Radio
IR Yes

56 -> Hauppauge WinTV-HVR1300 DVB-T/Hybrid MPEG Encoder [0070:9600,0070:9601,0070:9602]

Configuration

Here are some pages with some configuration information:

  • BOOT messages.
  • PCI configuration.
  • V4L configuration.

TV Guide

To get my TV Guide I followed the guidelines from MYTH portal. I created the file /home/mythtv/mythcron.sh with the content:

echo `date` >> /var/log/mythtv/mythcron.log
/usr/bin/wget http://www.mythportal.be/sites/mythportal.be/files/guide.xml.gz 1>/dev/null 2>&1
/bin/gunzip -f guide.xml.gz
sed -ie 's/"ketnet"/"ketnet\/canvas"/g' guide.xml
sed -ie 's/"canvas"/"ketnet\/canvas"/g' guide.xml
/usr/bin/mythfilldatabase --file 1 -1 /home/mythtv/guide.xml 1>>/var/log/mythtv/mythcron.log 2> /dev/null

In the /etc/cron.daily I created the file mythtv that makes a call to this file:

#!/bin/sh

# RUN THIS ON THE MYTHBOXES, put it in file mythfilldatabase.sh!
# fill database (run with --help for explanation of params)
#
su - mythtv -c "~/mythcron.sh"

Unsolved Problems

  • s-video output from motherboard is BW. When I want color I need to connect the Composite output too. I use a SCART plug to connect it to my TV since it has no s-video input.
  • No sound.
  • MythTV does not seem to connect to my Hauppauge card. It is in the list of capture cards.
  • IR remote does not function.
  • Since I installed mplayer I can not play my DVD anymore.

The End

I stopped the project in January 2009. I decided to use the hardware (without the Hauppauge card) for a new Linux server.