Wednesday, July 9, 2008

HDTV on a Macbook with MythTV

Mini HOWTO setup MythTV to watch HDTV on a Mac:

This is a brief reference on how I setup MythTV for local HDTV broadcast stations (it works the same for unencrypted cable channels)
  1. install Debian (or Ubuntu)
    • since this is just the backend a slow computer works well, mine is a 866 Mhz P3

  2. buy a HDHomeRun device from

  3. add debian-multimedia to your /etc/apt/sources.list (not needed on Ubuntu)
    • deb stable main

  4. install mythtv
    • aptitude install mythtv-backend

  5. get an account with Schedules Direct

  6. setup the MythTV backend

    • /etc/init.d/mythtv-backend stop
    • su - mythtv
    • mythtv-setup
    • tell mythtv to use the local IP address so that it works for frontends on other hosts
    • comment out bind-address in /etc/mysql/my.conf to let mysql talk to frontends on other hosts
    • For a headless backend you can run the mythtv-setup over ssh to a remote X-windows system like X11 on a Mac or Linux desktop
      • ssh -Y mythbackend-box
      • su -
      • /etc/init.d/mythtv-backend stop
      • chmod a+r /home/username/.Xauthority
      • su - mythtv
      • export DISPLAY=localhost:10.0;export XAUTHORITY=/home/username/.Xauthority
      • mythtv-setup -O Theme=blue -O Style=Windows -O ThemePainter=opengl --geometry 800x600+20+20
      • mythfilldatabase
      • /etc/init.d/mythtv-backend start

  7. install MythFrontend on a Mac (needs > 1.6 Ghz CoreDuo CPU for HDTV playback)

That's it! Now have fun getting to know your new MythTV software.

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