Setting up an eMachine 1401 as a MythTV/XBMC media centre

admin, 06 August 2011, 11 comments
Categories: eMachine, MythTV, XBMC

Have just received an eMachine 1401 (£129.99 from ebuyer with no mouse or keyboard).

Using the Same Mythbuntu 10.04 setup as before and then upgrading to 10.10 everything works without a problem with two exceptions:

  1. The system hangs on reboot or shutdown
  2. No sound via hdmi

Two simple fixed resolve this:

Firstly the reboot issue is caused by the wireless driver (note there were also wireless issues with the Revo 3700). Anyway to solve this we simply need to blacklist the rt2800 driver:

create /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-wlan.conf with:

blacklist rt2800pci
#install rt2860sta /bin/false

then reboot

Wireless should remain workign and system should now reboot or shutdown with no issues

The sound over hdmi is quite simple…mythtv 0.24.x should simply autodetect the sound.

To get audio over HDMI working in XBMC go to the audio settings in the system options and set:

  1. Set Audio output to HDMI
  2. Set Audio output device to plughw:NVidia,3
  3. Set Passthrough output device to plughw:NVidia,3

HDMI sound should now work correctly


11 responses to “Setting up an eMachine 1401 as a MythTV/XBMC media centre”

  1. rhodeski says:

    Tried adding the plughw setting described here as custom audio / sound output but it kept coming up saying it couldn’t initialise the sound device… launching alsamixer from the command line by pressing ctrl+alt+F2 whilst in xbmc, then unmuting the outputs did get sound working over HDMI fine though 😉

  2. billzee says:


    trying to solve audio problem, ie no audio

    1. No problem

    2.Cannot find a setting for this in xbmc

    3 Nor for this

  3. Jamie says:

    Hello mate, I have installed Ubuntu 11.04 on my emachine er1401 and it runs great, I installed XBMC and video streaming looks great – however I have no sound over HDMI – do you think your fix will work with ubuntu?

    • admin says:

      Should do as Mythbuntu is essentially Ubuntu with MythTV and packaged to make the whole thing a bit simpler to install/configure MythTV

  4. billzee says:

    how is the custom audio settings accessed, exact path please as a noob to xbmc


  5. admin says:

    Its in the audio section of the system settings of the GUI

  6. billzee says:

    yep, seems different versions of xbmc have different options

    tried ‘live’ and those custom options are available, only prob is they didn’t work, gonna go with wmc, this xbmc seems just to buggy and problematic

  7. billzee says:

    thanx anyway for input

  8. Drew says:


    Just bought one and put Ubuntu 11.04 on it. I shall try your fix for audio over HDMI tonight. I’m a bit miffed with it up to now as when I try and play bbc iplayer over hdmi, it’s a little jumpy.The same seems to be true of any flash movie I play from any website, even though I’ve gone to the “additional software” section and installed the latest flash driver. I’ve installed the “recommended” version of hte Nvidia drivers from the “additional software” app but not made any difference. I’ve tested the broadband connection and the video plays fine on my laptop at full screen. Any suggestions on what I can do to fix it? Could it be a setting on the tv? It’s a Samsung 40″ LCD 1920/1080 Cheers!!

    • admin says:

      Are you running iplayer through your web browser? Initially flash player did not support VDPAU but it does now…try searching on google with “flash player vdpau”. It seems you are probably not the only one:

      I have to admit I run iplayer through XBMC via the iplayer plugin and it works fine on my Revo’s. I built the eMachine for a friend so have not got it here to check but I expect it would work fine using xbmc. Sounds like a flashplayer config or conflict issue to me. It wont be your TV!

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