MythTV 0.20 review

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MythTV project is a suite of programs that allow you to build the mythical home media convergence box on your own using Open Source s

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 12090K
Developer: Isaac Richards
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MythTV project is a suite of programs that allow you to build the mythical home media convergence box on your own using Open Source software and operating systems.

MythTV is a project aiming to create a homebrew set-top box. The end goal is to have a nice interface for watching TV, recording shows, listening to music, etc., all displayed on a TV and controlled by a remote.

Here are some key features of "MythTV":
Basic 'live-tv' functionality. Pause/Fast Forward/Rewind "live" TV.
Support for multiple tuner cards and multiple simultaneous recordings.
Distributed architecture allowing multiple recording machines and multiple playback machines on the same network, completely transparent to the user.
Compresses video in software using rtjpeg (from Nuppelvideo) or mpeg4 (from libavcodec). Full support for Hardware MPEG-2 encoder cards (Hauppauge PVR-250 / PVR-350). Preliminary support for DVB cards and the new pcHDTV tuner card.
Support for the (very nice looking) hardware MPEG-2 decoder and TV out present on the Hauppauge PVR-350.
Completely automatic commercial detection/skipping
Grabs program information using xmltv.
A fully themeable menu to tie it all together.

The television portion allows you to do the following:
You may pause, fast-forward and rewind live Television.
You may install multiple video capture cards to record more than one program at a time.
You can have multiple servers, each with multiple capture cards in them. All servers are centrally managed and all programs are scheduled by the Master backend.
You can have multiple clients (called "frontends" in MythTV parlance), each with a common view of all available programs. Any client can watch any program that was recorded by any of the servers. Clients can be diskless and controlled entirely by a remote control.
You may use any combination of standard analog capture card, MPEG-2, MJPEG, DVB or HDTV capture devices. With appropriate hardware, MythTV can control set top boxes, often found in digital cable and satellite TV systems.
Program Guide Data in North America is downloaded from, a subsidiary of Tribune Media Services. This free service is called DataDirect, and provides MythTV almost two weeks of scheduling information. Program Guide Data in other countries is obtained using XMLTV. MythTV uses this information to create a schedule that maximizes the number of programs that can be recorded if you don't have enough tuners.

Other modules in MythTV include:
MythGallery, a picture-viewing application
MythVideo, a media-viewer for content not created within MythTV
MythDVD, a DVD viewer / ripper
MythMusic, a music playing / ripping application which supports MP3 and FLAC
MythNews, a RSS news grabber
MythBrowser, a web browser
MythWeb, which allows you to control your MythTV system using a web browser. With MythWeb, you can schedule recordings, delete files, change keybindings and more. With proper security, you may even schedule a program over the Internet and have it immediately acted on by the scheduler.
MythPhone, phone and videophone using SIP.

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