This article is a follow on from Part 1, where I guide you through some of the features of this DVBs/DVB-S MythTV DVR/PVR system and the software installation. In this part, I guide you through the setup of the MythTV software and getting it working with your DVB card.

The Setup

The first thing to note is that during the setup of MythTV, your mouse will not be able to point and click at the MythTV buttons. MythTV was designed with a TV mindset from day one, so its expecting inputs from a remote control. In this case, your keyboard works just fine. The keys you are going to use are:


Verify DVB card is operating in Linux

Before starting this process its worth checking your DVB card is correctly recognised by the Linux Kernel. Open a Terminal window (Applications->Accessories->Terminal) and do the following

ls /dev/dvb/adapter0/

The reuslt should show you a ‘frontend0.’ If you see frontend0 your DVB card drivers are in the Kernel.

$ ls /dev/dvb/adapter0/
demux0  dvr0  frontend0  net0

Start MythTV-Setup

To begin the setup process, you need to run mythtv-setup. From the menu at the top of your screen, click System->Administration->MythTV Backend Setup. This should fire up the setup process and present you with the initial language selection screen. Select your language, verify your network settings and press enter to bring up the 5 option main setup menu. If you get a ‘no UPNP backend’ error, please verify your network settings. Go into option 1, General.

This should now bring up some networking parameters. If you followed Part 1 of this howto, using ‘apt-get’ to install MythTV, then the MySQL DB and network information should already be filled in for you and you only need to select a PIN (set the PIN to 0000 to disable it. The PIN is not really necessary unless you want to stop other people on your home network from watching TV and recordings), then <TAB> to select the ‘Next’ button at the bottom right of your screen.

On the other hand, if you installed MythTV and MySQL yourself without using apt-get, then input the parameters you set up with here, set your PIN to 0000 then <TAB> to ‘Next’ at the bottom right of your screen. Mine looks like this (Note PIN is not shown in this picture, but you still need to enter it):

MythTV network config screen

On the next screens you should modify the values as specified below. Any values not specified here can be left at the default values. Don’t forget to <TAB> to ‘Next’ after each screen :

Locale Settings screen

  • Format = ‘PAL’
  • VBI = ‘None’
  • Channel Frequency = ‘Europe West’

Misc Settings screen

  • Master backend override = ticked
  • Delete files slowly = ticked
  • HD rungbuffer = 9400

EIT scan options screen

  • EIT transport timeout = 1 minute
  • Cross source EIT = ticked
  • this is useful if you add more sat orbital positions later on)
  • Backend idle before EIT = 30 secs,

shutdown/wakeup screen

No changes, leave the default values

backend wakeup screen

No changes, leave the default values

Backend Control screen

No changes, leave the default values

Job Queue (backend specific) screen,

  • Max jobs = 2
  • Job queue check = 300 seconds.
  • If your mythbox is on all night long, set the job queue start and end to the middle of the night when you are asleep so MythTV jobs do not hinder your daytime system performance. For example, start 02:00 end 07:00.
  • cpu use =  medium
  • Allow commercial detect = ticked
  • Transcoding = ticked

Job Queue (Global) screen, Job Queue (Job commands) screen, UPNP Server settings screen

No changes, leave the default values.

On the UPNP Server settings screen, the ‘Next’ button should be replaced with ‘Finish.’ <TAB> to finish and select to return you to the main setup menu.

DVB Card Setup

Select menu option 2 (capture cards) then click new capture card. Set Capture card type to ‘DVB DTV capture card (v3.x)’ NOTE:  your card may show up as V4L or similar initially. Make sure you select DVB DTV capture card instead. Once selected, the system should auto fill technical details regarding your card, such as type.

  • Set tuning timeout to 20000 and signal timeout to 20000
  • Select the Diseqc settings button (even if you dont use it). In the new window, hit enter on ‘unconnected’ (Note you may need to press the right arrow key on the word ‘unconnected’ to highlight/select it before hitting enter). This should bring up a menu, from which you select LNB. This will bring up another window, where you set ‘LNB preset’ to ‘universal(europe)’ – this is assuming you have a European style universal LNB (Sky minidish has this). Select finish (you should now be back one page and see ‘LNB’ instead of ‘unconnected’). Hit escape to take you back to the card setup screen
  • Select recording options and in the new screen set max recordings to ’2′ (this allows you to watch one channel and record another if they are on the same DTV transponder/multiplex). Tick wait for SEQ start header. Untick open DVB card on demand. Tick use DVB card for active EIT. Put a ‘tuning delay’ of 100ms to help with Budget DVB cards. Select finish to go back one screen, then select finish again

You should now be at the capture card list and you should see your card, like so:


If you see your card, Hit ESC to go back to the main menu. Congratulations, you have successfully completed Part 2 of this guide and are well on the way to watching TV!

Join me in Part 3 where we add ‘Video sources’ and start searching for channels!

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  1. [...] is part 3 of the MythTV freesat howto, following on from Part 1 and Part 2 posted earlier on this [...]

    January 25, 2010 Reply to this comment
  2. [...] is the software installation and basic preparatory work completed. Join me in Part 2 to get into the MythTV setup and mvoe a step closer to watching Tv and HD [...]

    January 25, 2010 Reply to this comment

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