Mythbuntu asks for password to shutdown/reboot

admin, 20 June 2011, Comments: 0
Categories: MythTV

I am controlling mythtv through a remote and therefore dont want to resort to the keyboard to enter a password to shutdown or reboot the box.


To get around this simple edit /etc/sudoers and add the line:

ALL ALL=NOPASSWD:/sbin/shutdown



MythTV keeps restarting when I kill it!

admin, 18 May 2011, Comments: 0
Categories: MythTV

Having upgraded to MythTV 0.24 / Mythbuntu 10.10 I now have a very annoying mythtv frontend. With a button on my PS3 BD remote configured to kill mythfrontend and start XBMC (and vice versa) I am now finding that when it kills mythtv another instance is automatically started!


It turns out it is the mythfrontend script bundled with mythbuntu trying to be a bit too clever. Simply add the offending exit code to the allowable list at the bottom of the file and then it should close gracefully. In my case the exit code was 143 so the line:

[ “$RET” = “0” -o “$RET” = “1” -o “$RET” = “254” ]

Should be modified to:

[ “$RET” = “0” -o “$RET” = “1” -o “$RET” = “143” -o “$RET” = “254” ]

Now the script will see exit code 143 as a valid code and not force a restart

Acer Revo 3700 Wireless under Mythbuntu/Ubuntu

admin, 18 May 2011, Comments: 0
Categories: MythTV

Having been running the new Revo a little there have been a few instances of mythtv reception  stuttering and then the frame buffer filling up and live tv stopping. I am not sure if this is since the upgrade to 10.10. Upgrading to Mythbuntu 10.10 required a rollback to the older kernel as the Revo refused to boot (a problem with the wireless driver I believe!).

Either way I have now installed dd-wrt on the Buffalo WHR-G300N router I picked up for £3 brand new off ebay and it is running as a wireless repeating bridge quite successfully so I now have the Revo connected to this via ethernet and the bridge connects to my main AP downstairs.

The upshot of this is that I now get a far faster connection than the card in the Revo (wireless N) and I can reduce the sleep timer delaying the mythfrontend startup. Running live tv for several hours has not dropped a single frame so all looks good so far

Viewing LiveTV recordings in MythTV

admin, 26 April 2011, Comments: 0
Categories: MythTV

LiveTV recordings are downloadable through MythWeb but by default are not visible in the UI.

To show LiveTV recordings go to the Watch Recordings page, bring up the Pop-up menu and then in Change Group View simply select Show LiveTV

Configuring the Sony PS3 BD Remote with MythTV & XBMC

admin, 21 April 2011, Comments: 6
Categories: Acer Revo, MythTV, XBMC

This howto worked with Mythbuntu 10.04.
Also tested with 12.04LTS.

Later releases dont kneed to worry about setting up uinput as a service as it is now in the kernel.

NOTE: I have added a .txt attribute to some of these files so they display in all browsers. Remember to strip this off if downloading and using these files

The Sony bluetooth remote makes an ideal remote for both MythTV and XBMC. Here’s how to get it working with both and enable the remote to start XBMC/switch between XBMC and MythTV. On the Revo I used one of the el cheapo small USB bluetooth dongles from ebay or the like. Simply plug in the dongle and power up and it should be recognised.

First install the blueman applet:

sudo apt-get install blueman

We need to check that the uinput service is running:

lsmod | grep uinput

On my default Mythbuntu installation it is not so to enable at startup:

sudo nano /etc/modules

and add a line:


Then create a udev rule:

sudo nano /etc/udev/rules.d/40-permissions.rules

And add the line:

KERNEL==”uinput”, MODE=”0666″

Now either reboot or start the uinput service with:

sudo modprobe uinput

Now start the blueman applet from Applications | Settings | Bluetooth manager

Click on search in the applet and hold down start & enter on the Sony remote for 5 seconds. The Sony remote should be detected

Now press + in the blueman applet (check the always grant access if prompted)

Press the yellow star in the applet to trust this device

In the applet menu navigate to Device | Setup.

Select proceed without pairing

Next select Connect to input service

The remote should now work. With focus in the applet panel press the numeric keys on the remote and they should echo in the applet window. We now have a working Sony Remote. It will also work in a terminal window and other windows.

next we are going to install the kitlaan patches to allow the remote to sleep and wakeup and not require new batteries every few days! I use rechargeable batteries and have the remote auto power off after 5 minutes. Pressing a button on the remote will wake it up again. There is a slight delay in waking the remote and the system responding and sometimes a second keypress is required but I find this far preferable to constantly changing batteries.

First add the kitlaan sources ppa. See here for details

Either setup the path to the kitlaan sources via the package manager or edit the config file:

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

and add the following to the end:

deb precise main
deb-src precise main

Change precise for your distribution

Add the correct key:

sudo apt-key adv –keyserver –recv-keys 6F7177CC

Then  install the patches:

sudo apt-get install bluez

sudo apt-get install bluez-utils

sudo apt-get install bluez-compat

Remember to upgrade the bluez packages either manually or from the package manager

I now set the idle-timeout in /etc/bluetooth/input.conf. Remove the # from the start of the line and set to 300 (seconds)

Install lirc

sudo apt-get install lirc

Now we need to configure the keymappings for mythtv and xbmc and provide the functionality to enable switching between the two using the eject button

ensure that ~/.lircrc contains the following 2 lines at the top:

include ~/.lirc/mythtv include ~/.lirc/irexec 

My ~/.lirc/irexec is here:


This configures the eject button to call a perl script located in the home directory of the my default user. Change mythuser to your own user account directory.

Then copy to ~/scripts the file from Arkay  (note I have hardcoded the my($LOG) directory in this script):

Remember to make this executable:

chmod ugo+x

Note I had to hardcode the logfile location into this file as it would not appear to accept relative pathnames so you may need to change this!

Here is my ~/.lirc/mythtv file with the keymappings for mythtv:


We now need two configuration files for lirc



Hardware.conf needs to be configured with the correct input. To find which input your BD remote is on:

cat /proc/bus/input/devices

search for the PS3 remote entry in the output and remember which event handler this is using. In my case it is event8. Then edit hardware.conf  and make sure the line


corresponds. ie if the remote is on event8, make sure hardware.conf uses event8.

Note that I had to set the remote socket in this file also. If you use the file here you should not need to modify this setting.

And finally add the xbmc keymappings



And we should now have a fully configured remote that works with both xbmc and mythtv and allows us to switch between the two applications using the eject button

MythTV resume recording from previous position

admin, 14 April 2011, Comments: 0
Categories: MythTV

Another of those useful embedded options that took a while to find! Do you want MythTV to continue playback of recordings from where you left off. Here’s how! In the MythTV frontend navigate to:

Utilities/Setup | Setup | TV Settings | Playback

Then in the  General Playback (2/8) screen change:

Action on playback exit to whatever you prefer!



Mythweb – setting default start early/end late

admin, 14 April 2011, Comments: 0
Categories: MythTV

After upgrading mythtv I seemed to lose these settings. Anyway after much digging around all those menus I found it. I knew it was there somewhere it’s just sometimes having so many options makes it difficult to find!

Anyway I set my recordings to start 5 minutes early andfinish 10 minutes late just to be sure. Why not I have loads of disk!

From the MythTV frontend go to:

Utilities/Setup | Setup | TV Settings | Recording Priorities | Set Recording Priorities

Set default start early and end late (note you will have to manually adjust any old rules) and now any new recording rules in Mythweb should have this set by default

Power saving with

admin, 28 March 2011, Comments: 0
Categories: Acer Revo

Stumbled across at the weekend so thought I would try it out. Because the Revo is so low powered and for convenience I just leave the backend/frontend (Revo R3610) runing 24/7. Yes I know I could use BIOS wakeup events but it gets used for watching/recording TV and also for watching films and playing music via XBMC so convenience wins I’m afraid. Anyhow installing and letting it clock its statistics, itr claims its saving me 30% so that’s got to be a benefit. I havent physically measured the power consumption to prove or disprove this but the Revo certainly still works just fine so it’s got to be a good thing!


Running the reporting GUI at startup

Go to Applications | Session and Startup then in Application Autostart add a new entry

Name: Granola GUI

Command: granola-gui


Which USB Tuner for MythTV?

admin, 10 March 2011, Comments: 0
Categories: MythTV

After much research i went for the Hauppauge WinTV-Nova-TD for its twin tuner capability. No problems at all to set-up just plug into the Revo R3610, boot up Mythbuntu and configure.

Have since added a second tuner to give 4 simultaneous tuners to allow for running the remote MythTV frontend and still give a recording capability.

I have both both variants:

  • Model 286 (2 MCX connectors and a splitter (supplied) lead to allow a single aerial connection into both tuners).
  • Model 1175 (1 IEC and 1 MCX requiring two aerials or a separate (not -supplied)  splitter to feed both inputs.


  • The MCX plugs are flimsy to say the least and the plugs on the splitter lead with the 286 bend over time. IEC to MCX converters can be picked up on ebay for £1 so not a great problem.
  • The two variants I have are using different hardware beyond simply the aerial connection. The receiver sensitivity varies considerably requiring an antenna booster for one and not for the other. Solved by using a 4 way splitter with amplifier at the TV and adding a variable attenuator out of the amplifier for the second USB stick (splitting the output between the attenuator and the stick to feed both inputs).  Yes it seems a convoluted way of doing this but it gives the less sensitive receiver the maximum signal and works.

Comparisons between Revo 3610 and 3700 for MythTV & XBMC

admin, 10 March 2011, Comments: 0
Categories: Acer Revo, MythTV, XBMC

Having been running a Combined MythTV frontend/backend plus XBMC on a Revo R3610 the time came to buy another so which one…the 3610 or the 3700.

At the time I could get both for the same price albeit with a slightly smaller hard disk and less RAM (4GB in the 3610 and 2GB in the 3700).  So do I buy the older one and have both machines the same hardware build or get the newer spec machine. The first option gives more commonality but goes slightly against the grain buying an older spec machine.

Plus points for the 3700:

  • Faster processor – but only marginally
  • Black
  • WirelessN

Now this machine was going to be running wirelessly so N was an advantage although it is only 2.4GHz and also needed a few tweaks to get it running but nothing major. In the end it was the colour that swung it! There are in-depth reviews online regarding the diferences but from personal experience they both run even though they dont run exactly the same configuration

To be honest the hardware in the 3610 was more compatible (wireless and audio) but those are fixed (having checked it was fixable prior to purchase) and both run just fine so take your pick…..