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March 3, 2006

Why Watch TV may not work under MythTV 0.19

Filed under: — brendan @ 15:42 GMT

I did an apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade -u on our MythTV box to update it to the latest and greatest. After doing the upgrade, though, we were no longer able to watch live TV. I read through the release notes and found the LiveTV part had changed drastically. (Hmm, is it about here you’re wondering why I upgraded everything before reading what was changing?)

The LiveTV change makes it possible to watch something for a while, hit record, and have it save everything you’ve seen so far.

The fix to let us again watch live TV through our MythTV box was to run mythtvsetup and look under Capture cards and modify the single /dev/video0 entry that’s in there to have a Default Input value of S-Video 0.

When I first set up the box, I’d set up two inputs, one from the “regular” cable (Tuner 0) and one from the NTL Digital Cable box (S-Video 0). The intent was to make the MythTV record shows off the regular cable so we could watch whatever we wanted from the digital cable (no channels changing out from under us). I found the quality of what was being recorded for regular cable wasn’t the greatest, so I finally ditched the idea and stuck to just recording programs off digital cable. (Hmm, perhaps I should give Tuner 0 a try with the new version?) I deleted the Tuner 0 input connection, leaving just S-Video 0.

So it appears the new way of capturing live TV in a style that can be retroactively recorded has closed the part of MythTV that would iterate through input connections if the default doesn’t work. Instead, it will throw you right back at the initial screen for the UI. (Actually, this change is more of a workaround; still need to look at the diffs and figure out the real fix to the code to make it stop throwing us back out.)

Having changed it from the old Tuner 0 to S-Video 0, I restarted mythtvbackend, then mythtvfrontend. Voila, we can again watch live TV and pause it when the phone rings or someone comes to the door. Or to avoid commercials by pausing til we know they’re done (commercials are considerably less frequent in Ireland/UK television than in the US, but they’re still there). Thanks, MythTV!

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