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MythTV is an application that allows you to watch TV on your computer and record it on your hard disk. It takes hours to set up, for example you have to install a mysql database to use it. So if you just want to watch TV, have a look at these applications: TV-watching applications.


  • Zap2it DataDirect TV listings
  • Time shift TV programs
  • Pause Live TV
  • Skip commercials
  • Schedule recordings based on program name
  • Schedule based on time-slot
  • Set recording priorities
  • Resolve conflicting schedules
  • Slow motion, fast forward/rewind
  • Themes for the MythTV GUI
  • Program Guide
  • Program Finder
  • Program Search
  • Web Interface. Control MythTV over the internet
  • Play videos on your hard drive not recorded by MythTV
  • Scalability allows several backend boxes each recording different programs
  • play from your music collection
  • view RSS Newsfeeds on your TV
  • surf the web on your TV
  • remote control with lirc
  • On Screen Display
  • download and display regional weather forecast on your TV

Capture card support:

  • many cards which use the Brooktree bt848 and bt878 chipset
  • Zoran chipset

Capture cards with Hardware MPEG2 encoder

  • Hauppauge WinTV PVR-250
  • Hauppauge WinTV PVR-350 (includes TV out)

HD Tuner cards with capture support:

  • PCHDTV HD2000/3000
  • Air2pc

Hauppauge PVR-250 and PVR-350 require the ivtv kernel module instead of the bttv module.

MythTV pulls listings using XMLTV and/or Zap2It service from Zap2It Labs.

Note - Versions >=0.15 of MythTV can use the Zap2it labs ( TV listing service. See this page for instructions. Using this will get better listings and also lighten the burden on the Zap2it servers.


An all one MythTV Distribution ( is one common (and easy!) way to install MythTV. KnoppMyth ( and MythDora ( are the most popular. They are meant to be installed on a computer you intend to dedicate to MythTV. They will format the hard drive and install a fully functional MythTV system based on your answering a few questions.


SUSE Linux 11

To install MythTV with SUSE Linux 11,

yast -i lame-devel
yast -i fbdev-devel
yast -i qt3-devel
bunzip2 mythtv-0.21.tar.bz2
tar xvf mythtv-0.21.tar
cd mythtv-0.21

Note, we use 0.21 as an example, it should work same or similar for all versions.

export QTDIR=/usr/lib/qt3
./configure && make
make install

SUSE Linux 10.3

To install MythTV with SUSE Linux 10.3,

yast -i lame-devel
bunzip2 mythtv-0.21.tar.bz2
tar xvf mythtv-0.21.tar
cd mythtv-0.21
./configure && make
make install

Debian Based Systems

Debian users, add to your /etc/apt/sources.list file:

# MythTV
deb unstable mythtv
deb-src unstable mythtv

then, from the command line run the following commands:

apt-get update
apt-get install mythtv

Instead of apt-get install mythtv you may also use apt-get build-dep mythtv

Ubuntu Installation Guide

Gentoo System

emerge sync (for the latest ebuilds)

emerge mythtv

Currently something is not working with the new firewire support, so for now:

USE="-ieee1394" emerge mythtv 

Might be required if your build fails. Configuring MythTV on Gentoo:

Portage copies the setup script to a location in your $PATH and renames it mythsetup. Run mythsetup to get your backends configured, and go through every step for your first time. Afterwards run 'mythfilldatabase' and finally, setup your frontend before actually starting liveTV 'mythfrontend'.


Follow the steps at compiling from Source, use the download URL

Maybe consider going over to the wiki and contributing there?


To configure mythtv, issue



To start mythtv, first start mysql

/etc/init.d/mysql start

Then start the backend:

mythbackend &

Verify the backend is reachable:

tweedleburg:~/mythtv-0.21 # nmap localhost

Starting Nmap 4.60 ( ) at 2008-10-27 21:36 CET
Warning: Hostname localhost resolves to 2 IPs. Using
Interesting ports on localhost (
Not shown: 1704 closed ports
3306/tcp open  mysql
6543/tcp open  mythtv
6544/tcp open  mythtv

Then start mythtv:



No error type from QSqlError? Strange...

If you get

No error type from QSqlError? Strange...

Install qt3-mysql

See also