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Jerome's MythTV World

Could MythTV Be For Me?

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· Official Documentation
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· Installing MythTV on Fedora
· Hauppauge PVR-500
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· Arris DCX-3200M P3
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· Motorola DCT-700

If you want an install-and-start-watching experience, No. Go to your cable/satellite provider or a consumer electronics store and buy one of their PVRs, or get a Tivo. They are the kind of appliance you want. Not as featured or flexible as MythTV, but still way better than plain old TV.

If you are just thinking of trying Linux, Later. Linux will be new enough, and MythTV complex enough, that you will hate it unless you are in a mood to learn and exercise the patience it takes to learn. Especially Linux, with no "official" single source of anything. If you do dive in and not give up, you'll definitely get a great Linux lesson. Try Linux first as a "regular" machine and then come back.

If you want to move from Windows Media Center, Maybe. Now that Windows 10 drops Media Center you should have a look at alternatives like SageTV or NextPVR or MediaPortal first. All are long-time well-regarded alternatives for WMC. If none of those satisfy, then it could be time to look at MythTV.

If you use Linux already, Probably, to Heck Ya!. Consider, though, that MythTV is not as simple as just installing some packages. There's hardware (capture cards, infrared remotes, video cards and displays), software (MythTV and its components, MySQL, Apache, LIRC, drivers), and suppliers (cable/satellite/digital, lineup sources) that all have to play nice together. And they're not always Linux-friendly.

Which Linux? Disclaimer: I'm a long-time Fedora user so that's what I use and will keep using as long as most of my world is Redhat/Fedora. My sole MythTV non-Fedora experience was running Mythbuntu in a virtual machine to convert my 0.21 database to 0.24 so that it could be upgraded to 0.27. But, trawling the Internet for answers all these years suggests these recommendations:

  • You probably can't go too far wrong with Mythbuntu, a packaging of MythTV on Ubuntu, a distribution that historically has more of a consumer-friendly focus. Ubuntu also seems to factor in most MythTV search results. You could ignore the MythTV-related bits at first while you get familiar with Linux. If you're already running Ubuntu just add MythTV as any other package and if possible the Mythbuntu Control Center.

  • The Redhat-related distributions: RHEL, CentOS, and Fedora, are less consumer-focussed and take a bit more work to set up and can fall behind MythTV releases and support for the very-latest hardware. Fedora is the fastest-moving of the three, but that can come at a cost in new features that are not yet stable.

  • Other distributions like Debian, Gentoo, or ArchLinux seem to be in the minority but still well-represented. At some level "Linux is Linux" but each distribution's tools and files layout can be different enough to be at odds with what everyone else has. Fedora is like that at times, especially for consumer things like audio/video and games. ArchLinux has a good reference wiki. Debian is one of the oldest distributions and the grandparent of Ubuntu - more for the non-casual user. Gentoo is super customizable because everything is compiled (by you) from source - for the very hardcore computerist.

Which MythTV? Most distributions have some kind of software management tool, a "package manager" using graphic and/or command-line tools. With packaged MythTV you're at the mercy of the distribution for updates - they have to be received and reviewed and integrated with the distribution's environment and update cycles. For most people that works just fine. Power users wanting to stay the most up-to-date with bug fixes and enhancements and maybe even contribute to the MythTV project can set up like the developers and compile everything from source files. So there's something for everyone.


Welcome     The main page for Jerome's MythTV World.
What's a DVR/PVR?     What a DVR/PVR is and why you might want one.
What is MythTV?     Explains what MythTV is about.
Why MythTV?     Why I chose MythTV.
Could MythTV be for me?     How MythTV could (not) be for you.
My MythTV     Describes my MythTV setup.
How I Use MythTV     How I use MythTV to enjoy TV again!
Some MythTV Tools     Tools I've modified or made for my own MythTV use.

ERH/IPFI ------------------------------  This page is part of Jerome's MythTV World  ------------------------------ 2015-December-11