MythTV Paully

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Hello. My name is Paul Littlefield. This web page has all my tips, tricks, help and notes for MythTV, specifically Mythbuntu although there are additional notes for Ubuntu users installing MythTV. Some of the data is based upon my geographical location - which is Folkestone, Kent, UK.

  • Installation Medium: Mythbuntu 8.10 CD
  • Installation Date: Wednesday 17 December 2008
  • MythTV Version: 0.21.20080304-1 18722
# apt-cache showpkg mythtv
Package: mythtv
Versions: 0.21.0+fixes18722-0ubuntu1

Just Five Steps To A Perfect MythTV Channel Setup

  1. Scan for available channels
  2. Change to the Radio Times XML feed
  3. Answer the questions
  4. Tweak the database
  5. Run 'mythfilldatabase'

Change MythWeb Password Protection To Standard Apache Htaccess

By default, the password protection on the MythWeb directory is handled by the Mythbuntu Control Panel. This is fine, but it means you cannot tweak it. To fix this, disable the password protection in the Control Panel, then create the hidden /var/www/mythweb/.htaccess file with the following contents...

AuthType Basic
AuthName "MythWeb Access"
AuthUserFile /var/www/mythweb/.htpasswd
Require valid-user

Then, use the htpasswd command to create a password file...

htpasswd -c /var/www/mythweb/.htpasswd johnsmith
New password: 
Re-type new password: 
Adding password for user johnsmith

Disable MythWeb Password Requirement For Local Network

If you would like to disable password protection on your mythweb server if you are looking at it from your local network, edit your MythWeb /var/www/mythweb/.htaccess file to add the lines in bold shown below...

AuthType Basic
AuthName "MythWeb Access"
AuthUserFile /var/www/mythweb/.htpasswd
Require valid-user
Order allow,deny
Allow from
Allow from 192.168.0.
Satisfy any

Mythweb Stuck In Mobile / Handheld View

Problem - After viewing mythweb from a Palm handheld device or mobile phone, you still see this layout when you view it from a desktop.

Reason - Unknown.

Solution - Add the following to the end of your url: ?RESET_TMPL=true

Comment - The mobile view of MythWeb is a very good idea and not promoted enough.

Cannot Play Or Rip DVD Movies / 'Missing' DVD-ROM Drive

Problem - You cannot play or rip DVD movies. It just quits back to the menu.

Reason - This is due to the UDEV software rediscovering the PCI bus and not creating the correct symlinks for /dev/dvd. This can happen if you have changed the hardware inside your computer (e.g. new DVD-ROM drive or motherboard) since you first installed the MythTV software.

Solution - Removing the file


and reboot will recreate the file with default udev rules and the cdrom, cdrw, dvd and dvdrw symlinks will be restored and pointing to the right device.

Missing MythWeb Posters

Problem - The Internet Movie Database posters are shown as 'Missing Cover' from the Videos section of MythWeb.

Reason - This is due to a bug in the setup of MythWeb and matching the user who grabs the posters.

Solution - Find out where the posters / covers are being stored by looking in the MythWeb settings for VideoArtworkDir (http://your.mythserver.ip.address/mythweb/settings/mythtv), then update the symlink...

cd /usr/share/mythtv/mythweb/data/
sudo rm video_covers
sudo ln -s /home/mythtv/.mythtv/MythVideo video_covers
ls -l video_covers
/usr/share/mythtv/mythweb/data/video_covers -> /home/mythtv/.mythtv/MythVideo

Signal Lock Error

Problem - After some time, you will not be able to watch television because MythTV cannot lock onto a signal being broadcast. You will also not be able to record any of your programs. They will show as 0 bytes of data.

Reason - Unknown.

Solution #1 - Reboot the MythTV computer. This can be automated every 12 hours with the following crontab for root...

# mythtv signal loss fix
0 6,18 * * * /sbin/reboot

Solution #2 - Change your Video Source option in the MythTV Backend Setup to the Radio Times XML feed...

Radio Times XML Feed

  • Introduction
  • Give Me The Feed
  • Missing Listings Data On Some Channels
  • MySQL Database Tweaks
  • Missing XML-TV Listings Grabber


"Why do I want this?" - because you get 14 days of programme listings, you get LOADS more information on each programme (including detailed film ratings and cast members, etc.), plus it appears to fix the signal lock problem mentioned above!

Give Me The Feed

  • Go to the MythTV Backend Setup (either from the XFCE Menu or run 'mythtv-setup')
  • Choose Video Sources
  • Choose your Video Source (probably named EIT or similar)
  • Change the Video Source Setup 'Listings grabber' to United Kingdom/Republic of Ireland (Radio Times)
  • Tick the option for Perform EIT Scan
  • Click Finish
  • It will say 50% complete. Now ALT-TAB to the terminal window behind.
  • Choose 0: UTF-8 for the character encoding.
  • Press Enter to store the default location for the listings cache.
  • Choose 0 to enable title processing.
  • Type in the first part of your postcode, e.g. CT20
  • Choose 1: Freeview for the TV Platform.
  • You will be given a choice of 'yes,no,all,none'. You have 2 options here. Option 1 is to answer no or yes for each of the 300 or so channels. Option 2 is to answer all and then edit the .xml file afterwards. I go for Option 2. :-)
  • This is now the end of the terminal session. It will say Your grabber does not provide channel numbers, so you have to set them manually. Close the terminal window.
  • Don't run mythfilldatabase right now. Click Cancel to the question.
  • This is now the end of the MythTV Backend Setup.
  • Now edit the .xmltv file in your .mythtv directory to remove the unwanted channels. Save and exit. It will look like this...
  • Now download my .sql script and run that, but checking that your serviceid for each channel in the MySQL database is the same as mine.
  • Run the command 'sudo mysql -u root < mythtv_update_channels_v3.sql'
  • Log in to the web based mythweb page http://your.myth.backend.ip/mythweb/settings/tv/channels and check that you now have the XMLTV ids and other cool options correctly ticked.  :-)
  • Now run 'mythfilldatabase' for the first time. This will take about 4 minutes to complete.

Missing Listings Data On Some Channels

Problem - There are no programmes shown for some television channels and all the radio channels.

Reason - You have chosen to receive your listings by the Radio Times XMLTV grabber, and unfortunately the Radio Times does not provide XMLTV listings data for some television channels (like Setanta Sports) and (bizarrely) none of the radio channels!

Solution - Enabled the Perform EIT Scan option in Video Sources of the MythTV Backend Setup. Then, tick the useonairguide box in http://your.mythserver.ip.address/mythweb/settings/tv for each of the channels you wish to receive over-the-air EIT listings data for.

Caution - Make sure you have used the MySQL script below or personally unticked the useonairguide boxes for all the other channels, otherwise you will be going over all the XML feed for those!

MySQL Database Tweaks

This is a MySQL script to perform all the updates needed for a perfect MythTV database, and does the following:-

  • Set the correct channel numbers
  • Set the correct channel names
  • Set the correct channel call signs
  • Set the correct option for commercial free channels
  • Set the correct XMLTV id for channels

For it to work, it is completely dependent on the correct matching serviceid field in the database table. If this differs in your database, then just change it accordingly. This is some MySQL output to show you what I mean...

| channum | callsign       | name                         | serviceid | xmltvid                       |
| 1       | BBCON          | BBC One South East           |      4172 |     | 
| 2       | BBCTW          | BBC Two South East           |      4236 |     | 
| 3       | ITVME          | ITV1 Meridian                |      8272 |       | 

...and here are the first 2 lines from the script...

use mythconverg;
update channel set useonairguide=0, visible=1, commfree=1, channum=1, callsign='BBCON', 
name='BBC One South East', xmltvid='' where serviceid='4172';

To use the script, download the file below and run the following command...

sudo mysql -u root < mythtv_update_channels_v4.sql

Latest version: 2009-10-01

Caution - I accept no responsibility for this damaging your MySQL database. It should be fine, but check the syntax. You have been warned.

You should end up with a channel table similar to this

Missing XML-TV Listings Grabber

Problem - If you choose to install 'normal' Ubuntu Linux desktop first, then add MythTV, you will find that the United Kingdom/Republic of Ireland (Radio Times) Listings Grabber is missing from the Video Source Setup.

Reason - the package 'xmltv' is not installed by default with the meta package 'mythtv' in Ubuntu.

Solution - install the 'xmltv' package and dependencies...

sudo apt-get install xmltv

Retuning To Get New Or Changed Channels On Freeview

  1. Backend setup --> Channel Editor --> Delete Channels
  2. Backend setup --> Channel Editor --> Channel Scanner
  3. Download .sql script (shown above)
  4. Run mysql update script as root (shown above)
  5. Edit the .xmltv file in your .mythtv directory to remove the unwanted channels. Save and exit.

Important Web Site:

Important Web Site:

Important Web Site:

Important Web Site:


After deleting the channels and retuning, most of the MythTV serviceid numbers have changed; some of the channel numbers are wrong, so a major rewrite of the SQL script has taken place :-(

This is a real pain-staking task - but worth it...

  1. Run "select channum, callsign, name, serviceid, xmltvid from channel order by channum+0" and save it.
  2. Look at the Freeview UK PDF to check / change the Channel Number.
  3. Look at the serviceid to check / change that.
  4. Look at the Name and Callsign to check / change that.
  5. Look at the XMLTV id to check / change that.
  6. Repeat for the next 50 channels!

Hauppauge Nova-T 500

This is how to install the low-profile twin-tuner Freeview (DVB) PCI tv tuner card that I have in my MythTV system!


Grab the latest (at time of writing 1.20) firmware for the card...

sudo cd /lib/firmware
sudo wget

You may have one already in that directory, and we may have to delete (or rename, or symlink that)...

lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   23 2009-04-07 19:43 dvb-usb-dib0700-1.10.fw -> dvb-usb-dib0700-1.20.fw
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  33K 2009-03-15 19:41 dvb-usb-dib0700-1.20.fw


You will need the kernel source files...

sudo apt-get install linux-source


Before we go installing the latest and greatest Video4Linux DVB drivers, we need to make things easy for ourselves and install the Mercurial software for Ubuntu. This will make updating the source files via CVS a breeze.

sudo apt-get install mercurial


Now change into the directory where you would like to keep and compile the V4L-DVB drivers source files, and then run the following command to grab them...

sudo hg clone

Change in to the newly created directory...

cd v4l-dvb

Compile and install the drivers...

sudo make
sudo make install


sudo reboot


Check that your system has found the TV card...

sudo dmesg |grep -i 'dvb'

[   10.608851] dvb-usb: found a 'Hauppauge Nova-TD-500 (84xxx)' in cold state, will try to load a firmware
[   10.608855] firmware: requesting dvb-usb-dib0700-1.20.fw
[   10.960665] dvb-usb: downloading firmware from file 'dvb-usb-dib0700-1.20.fw'
[   11.664046] dvb-usb: found a 'Hauppauge Nova-TD-500 (84xxx)' in warm state.
[   11.664418] dvb-usb: will pass the complete MPEG2 transport stream to the software demuxer.
[   11.664569] DVB: registering new adapter (Hauppauge Nova-TD-500 (84xxx))
[   11.892647] DVB: registering adapter 0 frontend 0 (DiBcom 7000PC)...
[   12.072421] dvb-usb: will pass the complete MPEG2 transport stream to the software demuxer.
[   12.072613] DVB: registering new adapter (Hauppauge Nova-TD-500 (84xxx))
[   12.220438] DVB: registering adapter 1 frontend 0 (DiBcom 7000PC)...
[   12.400638] input: IR-receiver inside an USB DVB receiver as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:10.0/0000:01:09.2/usb3/3-1/input/input6
[   12.409251] dvb-usb: schedule remote query interval to 50 msecs.
[   12.409256] dvb-usb: Hauppauge Nova-TD-500 (84xxx) successfully initialized and connected.
[   12.409473] usbcore: registered new interface driver dvb_usb_dib0700

Enjoy!  :-)

Hauppauge Nova-T 500 : Remote Control

The Nova-T 500 is a dual digital tv tuner with a remote control from Hauppauge. It's a nice compact pci card at a great price. The remote control is tricky (I have spent about 4 hours in total - but not impossible) to set up and work with Mythbuntu  ;-)

Install Linux Kernel Source

sudo apt-get install linux-source

You should now see something like the following in the /usr/src directory...

drwxr-xr-x 22 root root 4.0K 2009-04-07 00:44 linux-headers-2.6.27-11
drwxr-xr-x  8 root root 4.0K 2009-04-07 00:44 linux-headers-2.6.27-11-generic
drwxr-xr-x 22 root root 4.0K 2009-06-15 07:49 linux-headers-2.6.27-14
drwxr-xr-x  7 root root 4.0K 2009-06-15 07:49 linux-headers-2.6.27-14-generic
drwxr-xr-x 22 root root 4.0K 2009-01-03 14:35 linux-headers-2.6.27-7
drwxr-xr-x  7 root root 4.0K 2009-01-03 14:35 linux-headers-2.6.27-7-generic
drwxr-xr-x 22 root root 4.0K 2009-01-03 14:35 linux-headers-2.6.27-9
drwxr-xr-x  7 root root 4.0K 2009-01-03 14:35 linux-headers-2.6.27-9-generic
drwxr-xr-x 26 root root 4.0K 2009-03-19 23:07 linux-source-2.6.27
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  50M 2009-04-15 21:26 linux-source-2.6.27.tar.bz2

We also need to add a symlink in the current running kernel modules directory...

sudo cd /lib/modules/`uname -r`/
ln -s /usr/src/linux-source-2.6.27 source

So you should end up with something like the following in that directory...

lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   40 2009-06-15 07:49 build -> /usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.27-14-generic
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root 4.0K 2009-06-15 07:48 initrd
drwxr-xr-x 10 root root 4.0K 2009-06-15 07:48 kernel
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root 4.0K 2009-06-15 19:59 misc
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 458K 2009-06-20 10:35 modules.alias
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   69 2009-06-20 10:35 modules.ccwmap
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 457K 2009-06-20 10:35 modules.dep
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 1.3K 2009-06-20 10:35 modules.ieee1394map
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  527 2009-06-20 10:35 modules.inputmap
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  23K 2009-06-20 10:35 modules.isapnpmap
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   74 2009-06-20 10:35 modules.ofmap
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 309K 2009-06-20 10:35 modules.pcimap
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 1.5K 2009-06-20 10:35 modules.seriomap
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 195K 2009-06-20 10:35 modules.symbols
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 662K 2009-06-20 10:35 modules.usbmap
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   28 2009-06-20 09:58 source -> /usr/src/linux-source-2.6.27
drwxr-xr-x  3 root root 4.0K 2009-06-15 07:50 updates
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root  360 2009-06-20 10:39 volatile

Install LIRC Source

sudo apt-get install lirc-modules-source

You should now see something like the following in the /usr/src directory...

drwxr-xr-x 22 root root 4.0K 2009-04-07 00:44 linux-headers-2.6.27-11
drwxr-xr-x  8 root root 4.0K 2009-04-07 00:44 linux-headers-2.6.27-11-generic
drwxr-xr-x 22 root root 4.0K 2009-06-15 07:49 linux-headers-2.6.27-14
drwxr-xr-x  7 root root 4.0K 2009-06-15 07:49 linux-headers-2.6.27-14-generic
drwxr-xr-x 22 root root 4.0K 2009-01-03 14:35 linux-headers-2.6.27-7
drwxr-xr-x  7 root root 4.0K 2009-01-03 14:35 linux-headers-2.6.27-7-generic
drwxr-xr-x 22 root root 4.0K 2009-01-03 14:35 linux-headers-2.6.27-9
drwxr-xr-x  7 root root 4.0K 2009-01-03 14:35 linux-headers-2.6.27-9-generic
drwxr-xr-x 26 root root 4.0K 2009-03-19 23:07 linux-source-2.6.27
-rw-r--r--  1 root root  50M 2009-04-15 21:26 linux-source-2.6.27.tar.bz2
drwxr-xr-x  4 root root 4.0K 2009-06-20 10:31 lirc-0.8.3

Choose LIRC Components

We only need 3 parts of the LIRC driver modules for our Hauppauge remote control. Change into the newly installed lirc directory...

cd /usr/src/lirc-0.8.3/

Edit the file Makefile...

sudo nano Makefile

Change the following line to look like this so that we only compile 3 modules...

DRIVERS=dev i2c pvr150

Save and exit.

Hack The PVR150 Module To Fix Missing Symbols Bug

Before we can compile and install the modules, we need to fix a bug in them to make them work with our newer PVR150!

Edit the lirc_pvr150.c file...

cd drivers/lirc_pvr150/
sudo nano lirc_pvr150.c

Comment out (put a /* at beginning and */ at end) the following lines mentioning ivtv_reset_ir_gpio...

/* void ivtv_reset_ir_gpio(struct ivtv *itv); */
/* ivtv_reset_ir_gpio(i2c_get_adapdata(ir->c_rx.adapter)); */

Compile And Install Modules

Now compile and install the LIRC modules...

cd /usr/src/lirc-0.8.3/
sudo make clean
sudo make
sudo make install

This should give you the following files in the current kernel modules misc directory...

ls -lah /lib/modules/`uname -r`/misc/
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  26K 2009-06-20 10:31 lirc_dev.ko
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  23K 2009-06-20 10:31 lirc_i2c.ko
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  32K 2009-06-20 10:31 lirc_pvr150.ko

Tweak System Modules

There are already a set of these modules which the distro has installed itself. We need to find them and remove them, then link back to our newly compiled ones.

Find them...

sudo modinfo lirc_pvr150

This should show their location...

filename:   /lib/modules/2.6.27-14-generic/kernel/ubuntu/lirc/lirc_pvr150/lirc_pvr150.ko

Now delete (or move) these files...

sudo rm /lib/modules/2.6.27-14-generic/kernel/ubuntu/lirc/lirc_pvr150/lirc_pvr150.ko

Then link to our newly compiled ones...

cd /lib/modules/2.6.27-14-generic/kernel/ubuntu/lirc/lirc_pvr150/
sudo ln -s /lib/modules/2.6.27-14-generic/misc/lirc_pvr150.ko
ls -lah
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   50 2009-06-20 10:26 lirc_pvr150.ko -> /lib/modules/2.6.27-14-generic/misc/lirc_pvr150.ko

Repeat for the other 2 modules...

cd /lib/modules/2.6.27-14-generic/kernel/ubuntu/lirc/lirc_dev/
sudo rm lirc_dev.ko
sudo ln -s /lib/modules/2.6.27-14-generic/misc/lirc_dev.ko
cd /lib/modules/2.6.27-14-generic/kernel/ubuntu/lirc/lirc_i2c/
sudo rm lirc_i2c.ko
sudo ln -s /lib/modules/2.6.27-14-generic/misc/lirc_i2c.ko

Update the system information for modules...

sudo depmod

October 2009 - Updated commands

sudo su - root
rm -rf /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/ubuntu/lirc/lirc_pvr150/lirc_pvr150.ko
ln -s /lib/modules/`uname -r`/misc/lirc_pvr150.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/ubuntu/lirc/lirc_pvr150/lirc_pvr150.ko
rm -rf /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/ubuntu/lirc/lirc_dev/lirc_dev.ko
ln -s /lib/modules/`uname -r`/misc/lirc_dev.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/ubuntu/lirc/lirc_dev/lirc_dev.ko
rm -rf /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/ubuntu/lirc/lirc_i2c/lirc_i2c.ko
ln -s /lib/modules/`uname -r`/misc/lirc_i2c.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/ubuntu/lirc/lirc_i2c/lirc_i2c.ko


Now reboot...

sudo reboot

Check the kernel logs for correct registration...

input: IR-receiver inside an USB DVB receiver as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:10.0/0000:01:09.2/usb3/3-1/input/input6

Check that the kernel modules have loaded...

lsmod |sort |grep lirc
i2c_core               31892  14  ivtv,i2c_algo_bit,v4l2_common,tveeprom,lirc_pvr150,dvb_usb_dib0700,dib7000p,
lirc_dev               20020  1 lirc_pvr150
lirc_pvr150            23728  0 

Fire up the MythTV Frontend and keep your fingers crossed!  :-)

Hauppauge Nova-T 500 : Remote Control : Fix After Software / Kernel Update

To fix the remote control after a typical Ubuntu software update, follow the instructions above as for the Nova-T 500 and Remote Control in the same order...

  • 11.4 V4L-DVB
  • 11.5 Reboot
  • 11.6 Check
  • 12.5 Compile And Install Modules
  • 12.6 Tweak System Modules
  • 12.7 Reboot

Apple Movie Trailers

You can watch the latest movie trailers from Apple in one of 2 ways...

  1. Stream the files from their web site
  2. Save them to your hard drive and watch them

I love movie trailers and like to keep them, so here's how to do it ...

Create a new directory to hold your downloaded trailers...

sudo mkdir /var/lib/mythtv/trailers

Move the current mythbuntu_apple_trailers script from cron daily...

sudo mv /etc/cron.daily/mythbuntu_apple_trailers /root/

Copy the myth_trailers_grabber script file to mythtv's home directory...

sudo cp /usr/share/mythtv/myth_trailers_grabber /home/mythtv/

Edit the file and change the following lines...

$STREAM_OR_DOWNLOAD             = "download";
$DOWNLOAD_FILES_DIR             = "/var/lib/mythtv/trailers";

Create a crontab for the mythtv user, so that he runs the script every morning...

sudo crontab -e -u mythtv

# download apple movie trailers
0 2 * * * /usr/bin/php -q /home/mythtv/myth_trailers_grabber > /home/mythtv/appletrailer.xml

Run it manually first time and you should see the movie trailers files...

ls -lah /var/lib/mythtv/trailers/

-rw-r--r--  1 mythtv mythtv  35M 2009-06-18 23:44
-rw-r--r--  1 mythtv mythtv  35M 2009-06-19 20:18
-rw-r--r--  1 mythtv mythtv  24M 2009-04-22 22:33
-rw-r--r--  1 mythtv mythtv  40M 2009-06-19 20:26
-rw-r--r--  1 mythtv mythtv 8.7M 2009-06-17 22:52
-rw-r--r--  1 mythtv mythtv 7.5M 2009-06-19 22:25
-rw-r--r--  1 mythtv mythtv  29M 2009-06-19 20:30
-rw-r--r--  1 mythtv mythtv  36M 2009-06-16 00:18
-rw-r--r--  1 mythtv mythtv  32M 2009-06-17 01:01
-rw-r--r--  1 mythtv mythtv  30M 2009-06-09 16:25
-rw-r--r--  1 mythtv mythtv  47M 2009-05-08 21:42
-rw-r--r--  1 mythtv mythtv  20M 2009-04-27 23:33
-rw-r--r--  1 mythtv mythtv  23M 2009-05-15 20:15
-rw-r--r--  1 mythtv mythtv  35M 2009-06-15 22:36
-rw-r--r--  1 mythtv mythtv 3.8M 2009-06-12 23:43
-rw-r--r--  1 mythtv mythtv  28M 2009-06-19 20:23
-rw-r--r--  1 mythtv mythtv  49M 2009-06-19 20:10
-rw-r--r--  1 mythtv mythtv  17M 2009-06-19 20:15
-rw-r--r--  1 mythtv mythtv  30M 2009-06-18 23:56

If you would like to keep the files, then you need to copy them across to another directory or drive, because the script deletes all the files every time it is run! Make sure you run this every day after the grabber script has finished...

sudo rsync -a -v /var/lib/mythtv/trailers /my/backup/directory/

That's it... enjoy!  :-)

Update - August 2009 - Fix For Broken Script / Missing Files

If you have missing movie trailer files from around the middle of August 2009, then read on. Apple has tightened the access to movie trailers from their web site. It is now only allowing direct access from the links shown on the movie page on from particular software and so the downloaders used on systems like MythTV are getting no files.

Well, that security lasted about a week  :-) Here's how to fix it.

Edit the file mentioned above...

sudo nano /home/mythtv/myth_trailers_grabber

...and change the following line...

system("/usr/bin/wget --quiet $movieLink"); that it looks like this...

system("/usr/bin/wget -nd -t 0 -T 15 --quiet $movieLink -U \"QuickTime/7.6 (qtver=7.6;os=Windows NT 6.0Service Pack 1)\" --header \"Host:\""); and exit. Then run the script manually OR check back the following morning. You will now have your lovely movie trailer files once again.


Wired and Wireless Networking

The frontend players for MythTV can work with either wired or wireless ethernet connection. I have had success using wireless to stream both live television and recordings, although the sound and picture do break up a little sometimes. A wired connection will give you no problems and the greatest quality of picture and sound... the faster, the better! Just to be sure, I have a 1000Mb network card in my mythtv backend server, a 1000Mb switch which then goes to a 200Mb powerline-lan point to the bedroom... :-)

Linksys Powerline

Turn your existing power lines into a high-speed network. It’s the perfect solution for high-speed, "no new wires", home networking.

Official Web Page -

Hauppauge MediaMVP


MediaMVP stands for 'Media Movie Video Pictures'. It is a Linux based digital media receiver. Inside MediaMVP is a high performance IBM PowerPC processor and a hardware MPEG audio/video decoder for MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 videos and MP3 music. MediaMVP receives digital media from the PC via the Ethernet LAN, decodes the media and outputs audio/video to the TV set through the SCART connector in RGB, Composite or S-Video. Digital pictures are software decoded by MediaMVP’s processor.

Official Web Page -

Where To Buy One -

How It Works - There are 2 areas of memory in the MVP, a non-upgradeable boot rom and the flashable/volatile ram that loads the dongle (see below).

To make it work with MythTV, a special Linux mini-distribution has been written called 'MediaMVP Media Centre' which boots via TrivialFTP to the box itself over the Ethernet LAN.

The MediaMVP Media Center (mvpmc) is a media player written in C. It currently runs on the Hauppauge MediaMVP hardware. It can play video (including live TV), audio (including live radio), show pictures, and retrieve Yahoo! weather. mvpmc can access media from a MythTV, ReplayTV, Hauppauge, VLC, or SqueezeCenter (aka SlimServer) server. It can also access media via UPNP, HTTP, NFS and CIFS. There is a VNC viewer built in. It understands MPEG1 and MPEG2 video, MP3, OGG, WAV, AC3 and FLAC audio and JPG, BMP & PNG images.


Model: 86002
Rev: D3A
Lot: 4503
Version: 1004

Getting it to work

  1. Install Dnsmasq
  2. Edit the Dnsmasq configuration file
  3. Start the Dnsmasq daemon
  4. Download the MVPmc firmware
  5. Create the firmware configuration file
  6. Power on the MediaMVP (watch those 5 bars go!)


Install the package dnsmasq.

Edit the main configuration file (/etc/dnsmasq on mythbuntu), to include the following lines (sorry, will be more specific on exact places another time). Please change these to reflect your own network...

Restart the dnsmasq daemon.

The MVPmc Firmware

Download the latest firmware from and save it in the TFPD directory you specified in the DNSMasq configuration file above...

$ cd /var/ftpd
$ wget
$ mv dongle.bin.mvpmc-latest dongle.bin.mvpmc

The Configuration File

Create a text file called 'dongle.bin.mvpmc.config' in the same directory as the firmware...

-rw-r--r--  1 root root 2.0K 2009-04-30 22:43 dongle.bin.mvpmc.config
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 3.5M 2009-04-10 08:20 dongle.bin.mvpmc-latest

With the following contents...

# Setup time and date
TZ='GMT0BST-1,M3.5.0/01:00,M10.5.0/02:00' ; export TZ
echo "TZ='GMT0BST-1,M3.5.0/01:00,M10.5.0/02:00'; export TZ" > /etc/shell.config;

# Set up the host name
HNAME=`mvp1` ; export HNAME
# Now we actually run the mvpmc sofware with the all important & at the end!
mvpmc --weather-location UKXX0058_c -f /etc/helvB14.pcf -a 16:9 -o composite -S 600 -s -p PASSWORD -u mythtv -y -T mythconverg -F /var/myth/cfgs/$HNAME.cfg &

The command line options shown above are:-

--weather-location UKXX0058_c Sets the city for Yahoo! Weather feed. UKXX0058 is Folkestone and _c is to set the temperature is Celcius. This is taken from the url...

-f /etc/helvB14.pcf Sets the font file used for the interface on screen.

-a 16:9 Sets the aspect ratio for your TV. 4:3 is for the old format, and 16:9 is for the newer widescreen format.

-o composite Sets the output device for video (composite or svideo). As my MVP has a SCART connection, I have to use 'composite'.

-S 600 Sets the screen saver timeout in seconds (0 - disable).

-s -p PASSWORD -u mythtv -y -T mythconverg Sets the IP address of the MythTV server, and MySQL Database settings.

All the commandline options are here:

All Systems Go!

Now fire up the MVP and keep your fingers crossed. You should see 1, 2, 3, blue bars go across the screen. It will take a while for #4 to appear, because that is where it is loading the 3.5Mb firmware file. Bar #5 is the config file. If all goes well, then you should then see the screen go blank and the mvpmc logo appear with 4 red dots and then 4 green dots... after which point you should see the lovely mvpmc menu.  :-)

Keeping the firmware up-to-date

If you would like to load the latest daily build of the mvpmc firmware every time you reboot your MVP, first create a symbolic link to the file called 'dongle.bin.mvpmc-latest' in the /var/ftpd directory...

# cd /var/ftpd
# ln -s dongle.bin.mvpmc-latest dongle.bin.mvpmc
# ls -lah
total 3.5M
drwxr-xr-x  2 root root 4.0K 2009-04-10 14:57 .
drwxr-xr-x 16 root root 4.0K 2009-04-01 23:29 ..
lrwxrwxrwx  1 root root   23 2009-04-10 14:57 dongle.bin.mvpmc -> dongle.bin.mvpmc-latest
-rw-r--r--  1 root root 3.5M 2009-04-10 08:20 dongle.bin.mvpmc-latest

then put the line below into root's crontab...

25 6 * * * cd /var/ftpd && wget --quiet --timestamping

or as a script file in the /etc/cron.daily directory...

cd /var/ftpd && \
wget --quiet --timestamping

Things That Are Working

  • MythTV Live TV
  • MythTV Recordings
  • MythTV Programme Guide
  • Yahoo! Weather

Things That Are Not Working (Yet)

  • Music
  • Photos
  • News Feeds


Overall, I like this cute little device. For £50 you can have your MythTV library and live TV in another room. I have it in one of my bedrooms connected to a Samsung 18.5" SM933HD DTV Monitor via SCART and it does the job. Pros: small, inexpensive, completely silent, remote control, and it all* works. Cons: picture not perfect, but still very watchable. Score: 7/10. * at least what I have tried to get working :-)

Acer Aspire One


Acer Aspire One is a line of subcompact notebook computers, or netbooks, released in July 2008 by Acer Inc. It is based on the Intel Atom platform, which consists of the Intel Atom N270 processor, Intel 945GSE Express chipset and Intel 82801GBM (ICH7M) I/O controller. The line is manufactured for Acer Inc. by Quanta Computer, and is available in several shell colors: seashell white, sapphire blue, golden brown, onyx black, and coral pink.

Acer redefines mobile connectivity with Aspire one, the revolutionary netbook packed with fun and powerful computing features in a diminutive 8.9" form factor.

From the moment you switch it on, the Aspire one is ready to go in just 15 seconds. That's what the call a smart start. Once on, the interface is pure simplicity: a home screen divided into four areas that contain all the applications you need to stay connected, work, play, and organize your life on the road. And as your Aspire one is as unique as the way you use it, you can customize the applications on the home screen so that it's just right for you. Fast, simple and indescribably chic. That's your life with the Aspire one.

Official Web Page -

Wikipedia Page -

MythTV Frontend Software

Install the package 'mythtvfrontend' via the command-line shell...

$ sudo yum install mythtvfrontend

Run the frontend software. Be patient. This takes nearly a minute to start for me!

$ mythtvfrontend

Amazingly, there is no need to configure the frontend. It appears to find all the necessary settings via uPnP!

From here, you can watch live television or your recordings via the easy-to-use menu.

Internal or External Screen

  • Internal Screen - 8.9" at 1024x600 resolution, very clear and bright. Very watchable.
  • External Screen - my Samsung 18.5" SM933HD DTV Monitor works fine (needed an auto switch to line up the picture) with this plugged into the VGA and stereo jack inputs. The Acer will not find the external device until you reboot it.

Wired vs. Wireless

  • Wired - it works perfectly with the wired ethernet connection through the Linksys Powerline at 200Mb.
  • Wireless - not tested yet.

Remote Control


This beautiful 'netbook' makes a very good (even if slightly expensive!) frontend. For about £200 you can have live television and your MythTV recordings in any room. It also doubles as a laptop to work at the office or surf the web on the train... ;-) Pros: good quality picture, Cons: expensive. Score: 7/10.

Apple Mac Mini

Sony Playstation 3

This beautiful piece of kit can stream the Recordings, Music, Photos and Videos from a MythTV backend server.

When you turn the PS3 on, it should do a scan of all media servers on your network.

Select either 'Photos' or 'Music' or 'Movies' from the ribbon menu, then scroll down until you see 'MythTV AV Server'. From there, you can choose all your TV recordings or Movies.

To stream the ripped DVD movies, they must be in .mp4 format. You can use the wonderful HandBrake software to do this. See IPod_Videos for instructions.