MythTV on Dapper: Advice Required

As regular readers may well remember, I installed a MythTV quite some time ago. I got it up and running on Ubuntu Breezy, with video out from my ATI card and support for my remote control and LCD panel. Feeling rather smug about building said box, I showed it off to all and sundry to which the responses sounded like an episode of Batman. Since then, the box has recorded hundreds of gigabytes of shows and proved incredibly reliable.

Anyway, now is the time to upgrade, and I want to solicit help and advice from you ‘orrible lot before I do the deed. Has anyone upgraded a myth box from Breezy to Dapper or just installed from scratch on Dapper? Some points I will need to consider about the upgrade:

  • I will be building MythTV 0.19 from scratch. Any gotchas involved in building on a Dapper box? I am building because packages are not available for Dapper, and no, I am not going to run Edgy. :)
  • Kernel 2.6.15 and above should have support for my DVB card (Nova-T) as well as my PVR350 card. Do I need to bear anything in mind to make these two play together nicely?
  • Has anyone got MythGame and MythBurn up and running OK? Also, is anyone aware of an infrared arcade stick so I can play Bionic Commando from my couch?
  • Finally, can anyone recommend a good way to get current things off my box and converted to something usable (such as MPEG4) before I do the deed? I believe nuvexport could be useful here. I tried mencoder to convert from .nuv to something else but there were lipsync issues.

People, share with me your experiences… :)

  • Juski

    A few questions Jono:

    1. Why build 0.19 from scratch? there are packages available here: deb ./

    I’m using the frontend packages & so far I have no complaints :)

    1. ivtv drivers are now more closely knit into the kernel than ever, this began with 2.6.15 and ivtv 0.6.x – so you shouldn’t have to put up with dodgy module conflicts anymore (yay!)

    2. I’m experimenting with mythgame myself (thanks to the xmame demo at LRL!) – so far no worky worky but I’ll let you know. MythBurn.. my only experience of that has been seeing mjpegtools segfault lots on my gentoo box :-/ Apparently just dragging the required stuff from a KnoppMyth CD does the biz though – I’ve no idea how true that is.

    3. I used nuvexport to pull some recordings off my main system for the demo box I used at the show. It’s spiffy (for a bunch of scripts) and easy to use & I’d recommend you give it a try.

  • Juski

    Oh I almost forgot. Rumour has it that 0.20 will be out very soon (ish) and mytharchive (myth’s dvd burning/export plugin) may very well make it into the release. Unless hamsta is on the ball we’ll all be building from source.

  • jono

    Thanks for the comments Juski. Now, if 0.20 is out soon, should I just wait? Or will all my current configuration get blown away with 0.20. Is there any backwards compatible support with versions?

    Also, what is actually gonna be in 0.20?

  • Chris Skalenda

    Myth 0.19 doesn’t use .nuv files for recordings any longer. They’re just stock MPEG2 files now, I believe. Playing them in both mplayer and totem works fine out of the box for me.

  • Juski

    As with any upgrade of MythTV, it’ll pay you to back up your database before upgrading (infact it’s good policy to back it up regularly anyway!). The recordings directory should be fine.

    W.r.t. inter-version compatibility – there’s no such thing with mythtv. When you upgrade one part you need to change the rest to the same library version. In most cases this means upgrading everything Myth

    From the perspective of the database and all your recordings etc.. they should all stay intact so it should be seamless from that point of view. The db structure can change a lot between versions and WILL be made incompatible with a previous version (so if you’ve not backed up & want to roll back you’ll have a right old job on your hands).

    As far as which features will be new to 0.20.. here goes, off the very top of my head:

    Mytharchive – really looking forward to seeing this

    Interactive TV (red button) on DVB cards

    DVB Radio (yay!)

    The mythweb improvements I hinted at during LRL will (I’m told) probably not make it into 0.20, which is a shame because mythweb really needs that Ajax stuff to make loading faster

    OpenGL UI – well the beginnings of one, since the rewrite isn’t finished yet (but the bling is on its way)

    Loads of bug fixes

    Improvements to EIT (over the air EPG) – data will now be cached and (not 100% sure of this yet) show times will adjust when the schedules are changed.

    Improvements to DVB scanning (IMHO 0.19 was a pain for that).

  • Patrick Wagstrom

    A couple of corrections to what folks are saying. First, regarding NUV files, if you have an MPEG2 capture card, MythTV has never stored these as nuppel video. The change between verson 0.18 and 0.19 was that the mpeg2 streams are now saved with a .mpg extension instead of .nuv. When you transcode the video, they will be converted into a nuppel video file (unless you use lossless transcoding, which literally just cuts the commercials).

    If you want to see what’s coming up and when MythTV 0.20 might be out, I suggest looking at the roadmap at:

    Finally, compilation of MythTV on Ubuntu Dapper is not nearly as hard as compiling it on Breezy. You’ll need lots of dev packages, especially if you’re compiling all the mythmusic stuff – audio formats, visualizations, etc. However, watch of out for the major gotcha. Dapper has MySQL 5, which has problems with MythTV 0.19. You need the release-0-19-fixes branch for it to not loose connections to your database (MySQL 5 is a little over zealous at dropping connections). See for how to check that out.

    Finally, don’t worry about upgrading between versions. I’ve never had a problem with upgrading from different versions. I’ve been using the same MythTV database for more than three years now, dating back to version 0.9 or something like that. A much bigger danger is MySQL eating your database. So you probably should back up your MySQL database on a frequent basis anyway. I just have a cronjob save dumps of the database.

  • Adriaan Leijnse

    Jono, check this out: maybe it’s helpful

    greets! Aidy

  • Jonty

    Danger Will Robinson! Danger! Danger!

    0.19 does NOT play nicely with the Nova-T due to an unfixed bug in it’s drivers that renders livetv almost unusable due to the 30s-1min long tuning time and frequent freezes/lockups. I found this first hand, and it’s rendered my myth box distinctly girlfriend-unfriendly. This is a known issue and is supposedly fixed in 0.19.1, or the mythtv-fixes branch. Either wait for 0.19.1 to be released (which should be soon) or compile from SVN (probably not a good idea, the fixes are still being tweaked).

    While 0.18 was rock solid for me, 0.19 has been nothing but awful and crashy.

  • Stack

    I built it from SVN, following It works for Dappe as well.

    I’m having a very hard time getting the IVTV drivers to work correctly. The mp3400 module will not load. There doesn’t seem to be a fix for this. The only fix I came across was someone who later recompiled their kernel to get it to work.

    I’ll post more once I get home to let you know how it goes.

  • Stack

    I compiled a vanilla kernel and the IVTV drivers started working again. Otherwise everything seems to be running smoothly

  • ironstorm

    I set-up a mythTV 0.19 install on Dapper on my P3-800 using the breezy packages at and lame…

    It’s I’m using a techinsat PCI tuner and it’s fast enough to record HDTV streams (which I then must copy to my big computer to play as 1080i decoding kills the P3). I can confirm that 0.19+ records to native MPEG2 files… which is handy.

    I had planned to a run MythTV backend on an NSLU2 ( with a FusionHDTV USB tuner, compiled myth and got mythweb running, but am in a holding pattern while the bootloader is rewritten… anyhow…


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