On using a HTPC in NZ

So what is this MythTV anyway?

, posted: 26-Jul-2008 20:45

OK so I have already talked here about why I prefer mythtv to MediaPortal, it’s not an exhaustive list but I think it makes a pretty compelling argument for Mythtv. However what makes an even stronger compelling argument for MP is its support for NZ's DVB-T broadcasts, and hence I use it. The latest from the mythtvnz mailing list is that Freeview HD is now working well in myth with the patches from pkendall, so hopefully it is just a case of getting the updates to ffmpeg etc into the main mythtv 'trunk' (is that what it called?) and we will be away!

Anyway I should get to the point of this post. I want to list a couple tips I picked up for improving mythtv here, as I alluded to earlier, myth does require more work than MP or GBPVR but it’s worth it:

1) Adding FM radio. I have no idea why this isn't included by default, it can't be hard and all other major HTPC programs have it. To get it in myth requires a bit of a hack, the setup instructions are here. As they note on the wiki page, it is a hack but looks like a plug-in in the end. It doesn't perform like a plug-in (in terms of sharing the card with recording etc) but it is good enough. Also this page gives an idea to the sort of changes to the menu structure that could be made if so desired.

2) By default myth only allows one job (such as commflagging, or a user job such as a special transcode) at a time. Assuming you are running a somewhat modern processor you can get away with a lot more, especially if you have a dual core. Under the 'general' settings in mythbackend setup, change the max number jobs to say 3 or 4. Also set mythcommflag to begin at the start of the show rather than wait until it has finished.

3) Make sure you enable plugins such as mythmusic, mythvideo and mythweb. If you are using Mythbuntu the Mythbuntu Control Center is the easiest way to change these settings. Mythweb in particular is great, and if you can successfully enable access through your router you can check out your computers status, and create recordings even when you are way from home.

That’s all can think of for now, but there are plenty of other settings worth investigating by hunting through the menus. There are some other good features that I never managed to fully implement, such as http://mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/Mythwelcome and automatic sleep/wakeup.

Next I will spill my thoughts on Media Portal, and the improvements made now we are at RC2.

Other related posts:
Genius Remote 300 review
Short note on power consumption
The Media Center

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amphibem's profile

Andrew Richards
New Zealand

My Current Setup

CPU: A64 5200 X2 (2.6GHz) Memory: 2GB Graphics: Onboard 6100 Hard drive: WD 640GB Optical: DVD-ROM Remote: Microsoft MCE USB2 Tuners: Hauppauge Nova T 500 & PVR150 Display: Toshiba 20" LCD Audio: Genius 5.1 bookshelf speakers

OS: Windows Vista Premium SP1 PVR: MediaPortal RC3 Codecs: Built in MPEG1&2 codecs, PowerDVD8 for H.264 EPG: nice.net.nz feed (from satellite feed)

Useful Links

MediaPortal Homepage
NZ Thread in MP Forumns
NZ MediaPortal Wiki page
MythTV Homepage
NZ Mythtv page
Mythbuntu Forumns
EPG Setup Guide