Download and Install MythDora
MythDora can be downloaded from MythDora.com under the Get MythDora section. Download and burn the CD/DVD appropriate for your hardware. Test the CD/DVD you created for errors; this can save you some frustration up front. When you boot from the CD/DVD it will give you the option to test the installation media. It cannot be said enough times, if this is a newly created CD/DVD then test the media for errors.
Installation of MythDora is relatively easy and straightforward. You will need to select your language of choice and your keyboard type, set your timezone, establish a root (administration) password and select any extra installation repositories. If your box is connected to the internet, we recomment enabling all of the listed repositories; this will save you some update time later. After installation is complete and your machine is rebooted, you will come up to the Welcome screen which will help finalize your installation. After you accept the user agreements, you will be prompted to set your date and time. We highly recommend using Network Time Protocol (NTP) if this machine has access to the Internet; this will keep your MythTV setup running on an accurate time base. You will next be prompted to submit your profile. It won't affect your performance whatever you choose to do here. Submitting your profile will help make MythTV better, so perhaps you should consider it. Be sure to click the "Set up MythTV..." before you press the "Finish" button on the final page. The installation process doesn't create your MythTV user profile; it is created in MythDora Configuration. Without a user profile, you will not be able to log into your newly setup box. Yes, you established a root password, but root login is disabled at the login screen. Go figure. Just make sure to click on the "Set up MythTV..." button before clicking on "Finish."
You will be taken to an internal web page labeled "MythDora Configuration Page" with a main heading "MythTV Machine Setup". There will be only one prompt visible: "Choose a MythTV configuration." This article is concerned with setting up a basic MythTV stand-alone box, so select "A Master Backend with Frontend" from the drop-down menu and click "Process Selections" to continue the setup process.
The first section on the next page is MythTV User Creation. The default username and password are mythtv:mythtv. If your MythTV box is on a network, it is recommended that you at least choose a different password if not an entirely different username/password combination. You should enable sudo for this user (check the option box). If you aren't familiar with sudo, look into it. It can keep you from needing to switch to the root user when you do maintenance on your box.
The remaining sections on this page are about setting up networking and network access to your MythTV box, as well as some appearance and functionality options. You can leave things as they are right now. If you find you need to change these later, you can re-run this configuration page from the MythDora Tools option of the main MythTV menu. Click the "Process Selections" box to apply all the changes made on this page.
If all went well, you should see the Configuration Complete page. This page informs you of some upcoming steps you will still need to take. This is covered as well in the next section of this article. Close the browser and click "Finish" to exit the first-time setup. You will be automatically logged-in as your MythTV user and taken to the MythTV Setup program.
This program lets you change the basic behavior of MythTV (mostly the backend process) and set up your hardware devices for watching and recording TV. You will first need to select the language you want to work in, then you will be taken to the main menu with a list of six options.
Highlight the first option and press "Enter". You will need to enter a security PIN for the backend. A pin of 0000 will tell the backend to accept all frontend connections. If the PIN is left empty, the backend will reject all frontend connections. For our standalone box, all communication is done through the internal interface (127.0.0.1) so security isn't an issue. We will use 0000 and leave all other settings as they are. Highlight "Next" and press "Enter". The default locale settings are fine for our box so we leave them as they are. This article covers a basic setup so we will not be using XMLTV to get our listings. If you are planning to use SchedulesDirect, or similar service, then you will want to set your XMLTV timezone. We will leave all other settings under this section as they are and hit "Next" until we return to the menu.
2. Capture Cards
Highlight the second selection and press "Enter". Here is where we will set up the capture hardware for our system. The first screen presents us with a list of configured cards in the system. Since we have not configured any cards, the list is blank. This article covers setting up two pcHDTV HD5500 HDTV cards for both ATSC (digital) and NTSC (analog) video from over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts. MythTV treats each type of video received from the HD5500 as though it were a separate card so we will need to set up a card for the analog video and the digital video on each of our two HD5500 cards.
We will set up the digital cards first. Highlight "(New capture card)" and press "Enter". Use the up/down arrow keys to highlight different fields and the left/right arrow keys to change the selection within a highlighted field. Highlight the "Card type:" field and select "DVB DTV capture card (v3.x)" from the list. Move to the "DVB device number" field, the default should be 0 (zero) and the "Frontend ID" field should read "DViCO v2 or Air2PC v3 or pcHDTV HD-5500 Subsystem." We will test to make sure our second card is visible by selecting device 1 (one) from the list and checking its "Frontend ID" as well. Return to device 0 (zero) and move down to "Recording options" and press "Enter". Highlight the line "Open DVB card on demand" and press "Space" to select the option. This option tells MythTV to release the DVB (digital) interface when it isn't needed; allowing us to access the V4L (analog) interface as well. Select "Finish" on this page and on the first page as well. You should now see DVB:0 in the list of cards on the system. Repeat the steps selecting device 1 (one) to configure a second card.
Now to set up the analog cards. Select "(New capture card)" and the card type should show "Analog V4L capture card." The "video device" field is showing /dev/video0 and the "probed info" field shows "pcHDTV HD5500 HDTV [cx8800]". Highlight the "video device" field and use the left/right arrows to cycle through the options to see any other video devices. Our setup shows both /dev/video0 and /dev/video1 as HD5500 cards. We will set up the video0 device first. If you plan to use closed captions from this video than you will want to set the VBI device number to match the video device number; in our case /dev/vbi0 for /dev/video0. The "audio device" field is a bit trickier because the device numbers won't necessarily match. Sound cards and other audio devices can set up DSP devices before the HD5500 driver is loaded causing the numbering to not match. Highlight the "audio device" field and cycle through the options. If you are lucky, the list will only contain as many numbered options as you have video cards. (The unnumbered option is usually just a pointer to one of the numbered options, i.e. a default) The lowest numbered device should pair with the lowest numbered video device. e.g. the lowest numbered audio device in our system is /dev/dsp2 which is paired with /dev/video0. Set the "Audio sampling rate limit to "48000" and the default input to "Television." Select "Finish." You should now see V4L:/dev/video0 in the list of cards. Repeat the steps above for any other cards in the system.
Press "ESC" to return to the menu.
3. Video sources
Video sources tell MythTV where program information can be found for devices in the system. There needs to be a source for each capture card. Enter the "Video sources" option and select "(New video source)." Give the source a unique name; ours is "digital 0". You can set up your SchedulesDirect information here if you plan on using it as a listings grabber. For this article, we will change the "listings grabber" to "Transmitted guide only (EIT)" which grabs the programming information sent OTA with the digital video. Select "Finish" and the new video source is now in our list. Repeat the process for additional cards. For the V4L cards, set the listings grabber to "None." Note: This setup will not show program guide information for the analog stations. A service like SchedulesDirect is needed. Our list now shows sources: digital-0, digital-1, analog-0, and analog-1. Press "ESC" to return to the menu.
4. Input Connections
This is where we tie a capture card to a specific video source and establish the available channels on each source. Enter the "Input connections" menu and you will see a list of inputs available for all of the capture cards set up above. You should see three (3) inputs available in the list for each V4L card you set up, one for each of the three analog inputs to the HD5500: Television(coaxial connector), Composite(RCA connector), and S-Video(multi-pin connector). We'll start with the first DVB device. Select "[DVB:0]" and hit "Enter." Select the "Video source" field and use the left/right arrows to select the video source for this card from the list we created earlier. Highlight "Scan for channels" and press "Enter." The first thing to set is the modulation type. Since we are grabbing ATSC from OTA broadcast we need VSB-8. If you are trying to get unencrypted digital cable channels you may need to try QAM-64, QAM-256, and VSB-8 unless you know for sure what your cable company is using; you will also change the frequency table to cable. We changed the "Channel separator" to a period rather than an underscore because we think it looks cleaner. Your preference may be different. Highlight "Next" and press "Enter" to begin scaning for channels. Make sure your card is connected to the proper source in order for the scan to work. When the scan is completed select "Finish" which will return you to the previous menu. Select "Next" and "Finish" to complete the set up for that input. If you have other digital cards repeat the set up for each card in the list.
The process to set up the analog capture devices is similar. Select the "[V4L:/dev/video0](Television)" input. Select the appropriate "Video source" and then select "Scan for channels." If you are tuning cable channels you will need to cahnge the frequency table accordingly. Select "Next" to begin the scan. We encountered a small bug in that MythTV Setup exits (crashes) at the end of the analog channel scan. If this happens, you can re-enter MythTV Setup through the MythTV frontend menu. Select MythDora Tools -> MythDora Settings -> MythTV Setup. The analog set up you just did is saved correctly and you only need to repeat the process for any other analog inputs.
5. Channel Editor
You can use the channel editor to display more information about the channels you receive. However, there is nothing that needs to be changed here for a functioning TV system.
6. Storage Directories You will need to enter this menu and select "Default" from the list. Within the "Default" screen, there is a "(Add new directory)" option and a blank line beneath it. Highlight and select the blank line. In the pop-up menu, enter /storage/recordings then select "OK." Press "ESC" twice to exit to the main menu. Press "ESC" again to exit MythTV Setup.
After exiting MythTV Setup, the MythTV frontend should start up. Use the "Watch TV" option to test your setup. You can switch between inputs by pressing the 'Y' key. The volume can be adjusted by using the '[' and ']' keys for volume down and volume up respectively. We found that our volume control was not actually controlling the audio. Under Utilities/Setup -> Setup -> General, hit "Enter" twice to get to the "Audio" setup page. We had to change the "Mixer device" to "ALSA default" and the "controls" to "Master." This let us adjust the volume using the volume keys. We also had to exit MythTV and select the "Mixer Controls" from the volume menu and set the PCM input to maximum to get suitable volume from our system.