DVR – PVR Media Server Setup – MythTV

mythtv_logoBeing a ReplayTV lover for so many years, and seeing the Tivo win out in the market place, I feel cheated. I am compelled to get the next ReplayTV. I have been watching the different systems our their and MythTV is the most popular. I love it’s open architecture, the ability to turn not so great computer into a networked multimedia kiosk.

The setup for me begins with a good, well supported base. The 2 flavors of Linux I replaytv_logowould choose are Fedora and Ubuntu. I tend to stick with Fedora for servers and Ubuntu for desktops, just a personal preference. A competitive server needs a good processor, sufficient RAM and drive space.

Like most people I have my “old” desktop to donate to the project. A Dell Dimension 8100, 1.5 GHz, 768mb RAM, 320MB HD. I had to yank the NVidia Video card since I could not get through the installer. I have a Haupauge model ?? video capture card.

I downloaded the Fedora 7 DVD and installed from there (this was attempt #2 since the first install I tried Fedora 8 DVD and the system locked up every 2-3 hours, I believe it did not like the video card). Choosing the Server configuration and disabling SELinux (old habit, i should find out why…). Either do the full install now or I choose to install more after the box was running.

After the reboot, run the Fedora firstboot setup, then reboot again if asked. As root do a yum update and update all the packages that are not current. After that madness, I logged into an X session and used the GUI Package updater. I like to install thin X environments like Fluxbox, XFCE, etc. Make sure you install a database or have one available. I have a primary database on another server and choose to have this once be a slave. My MythTV environment will point to the primary. I set up the replication as per the documentation, all went smooth.

Now the MythTV install, I choose to use yum install mythtv and all the basic myth components are installed with that. Later I used yum to install a few more components. The install was quick and I followed the install guide.

I even installed and configured the MythWeb plugin, that is a nice bit of work, however there is no security built in and there is way too much control over the system for just anyone to log into. Make sure you protect that directory with .htaccess and deny unintended users access to the app. It is too bad there is not a better security setup built in.

MythWeather, my all time favorite part of MythTV is broken! The dev forum lists the issue going back for quite some time. The application relied on a screen scrape from the MSNBC weather page. That was a terrible architecture choice, however at the time this was created, XML feeds from were not free or encouraged, thankfully this has changed. I hope someone will convert the plugin to this format before I break down and do it.

I have yet to load some MythGames. I love this feature, especially for the intention of giving my children a kiosk computer system(s) that are easy to maneuver, control and monitor.

This is where I stand today, my next steps are to re-install the capture card and get this box hooked up to cable. Connect to a TV guide XML feed to get the guide functioning so I can start recording. I will add a network share to the 15 GB of images in the web site, so we can view them through the interface and to the 20-30 GB of CD’s I have ripped. Lastly, install/build MythTV Clients all around the network/house.

Welcome to MythTV