Mythbuntu considered.

MythTV + Ubuntu = Mythbuntu.

Quite a pain to set up but once set up, very nice.

Lesson 1: Get hardware that is supported.

I heartily recommend the HD Homerun. It is extremely well-supported on MythTV, and the fact that it is a separate device from the MythTV box means that you can make sure it’s all working before diving into the so-flexible-it’s-a-pain MythTV setup.

Lesson 2: Get hardware that is supported

I am using a $15 Streamzap remote, after I could not get the Remote Wonder Plus to work. I tried so hard to get that blasted thing to work, but I just couldn’t. The Streamzap worked straight off.

If you have a fancy remote you want to use but no IR receiver, see above, the HDHR has one.

Lesson 3: Get hardware that is supported

Nvidia graphics seem to work best. I’ve had no problems with my 6150, but apparently Geforce 8+ supports VDPAU, which enables HD video with very little CPU, so that would probably be worth getting if one was buying a card now.

Some cool things about Mythbuntu once it’s working

  • If you have an iphone, you can use it as a remote control for a Frontend. Install the free MyMote or RRgh apps.
  • Commercial skip
  • Other machines in your house can run the Mythtv frontend, so you can watch recorded shows anywhere. On Linux, just install the mythtv-frontend package; on MacOSX, look here. Note some config is necessary on the backend machine to allow other machines to connect, and new frontends will need to be set with backend parameters and password as well.
  • The Myth box is also a PC of course, so it can export DAAP/iTunes music shares and other server-y stuff, if you want.

I finally finished getting our Myth box set up — the last thing I had to do was assign some additional buttons on my remote. Now I’m looking forward to not touching it again for a long, long time.

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