SaltyCrane Blog — Notes on JavaScript and web development

Setting up a Linux DVR w/ MythTV, Ubuntu 12.04, and a Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 1250 TV tuner card

Setting up MythTV involves a little pain, but once it's set up, it's pretty great. And you don't have to spend lots of money on a DVR from the cable company. With my modest hardware specs, playback is smooth and clear, however Picture in Picture is too jittery to be useful. Here's what I did to get my MythTV DVR running on my Ubuntu machine.


Install the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 1250 TV tuner card

Put the card in the computer. Connect the TV antenna to the card.

Check the TV tuner card is recognized

Ubuntu 12.04 includes drivers for the Hauppauge 1250 TV tuner card, so I did not need to install any drivers.

Update 2016-10-16:On Ubuntu 16.04, look in /var/log/syslog instead of /var/log/dmesg.

$ cat /var/log/dmesg
[   15.211985] cx23885 driver version 0.0.3 loaded
[   15.214279] cx23885 0000:03:00.0: PCI INT A -> GSI 17 (level, low) -> IRQ 17
[   15.214492] CORE cx23885[0]: subsystem: 0070:2259, board: Hauppauge WinTV-HVR1255 [card=20,autodetected]
[   15.214600] IR NEC protocol handler initialized
[   15.230936] IR RC5(x) protocol handler initialized
[   15.235576] MCE: In-kernel MCE decoding enabled.
[   15.237132] IR RC6 protocol handler initialized
[   15.237703] EDAC MC: Ver: 2.1.0
[   15.238256] AMD64 EDAC driver v3.4.0
[   15.242493] IR JVC protocol handler initialized
[   15.246743] IR Sony protocol handler initialized
[   15.250908] IR MCE Keyboard/mouse protocol handler initialized
[   15.256862] lirc_dev: IR Remote Control driver registered, major 250 
[   15.257125] IR LIRC bridge handler initialized
[   15.284735] lp0: using parport0 (interrupt-driven).
[   15.361892] tveeprom 0-0050: Hauppauge model 22111, rev E2F5, serial# 8323201
[   15.361895] tveeprom 0-0050: MAC address is 00:0d:fe:7f:00:81
[   15.361897] tveeprom 0-0050: tuner model is NXP 18271C2 (idx 155, type 54)
[   15.361899] tveeprom 0-0050: TV standards NTSC(M) ATSC/DVB Digital (eeprom 0x88)
[   15.361901] tveeprom 0-0050: audio processor is CX23888 (idx 40)
[   15.361903] tveeprom 0-0050: decoder processor is CX23888 (idx 34)
[   15.361904] tveeprom 0-0050: has no radio, has IR receiver, has no IR transmitter
[   15.361906] cx23885[0]: hauppauge eeprom: model=22111
[   15.361909] cx23885_dvb_register() allocating 1 frontend(s)

Install MythTV

$ sudo apt-get install mythtv

Set up the MythTV backend

Run mythtv-setup to select your TV tuner card and scan for channels.

$ mythtv-setup

Click "Yes" to add your user to the "mythtv" group.

Click "Yes" to restart your login session.

Change the following options:

  • 2. Capture cards -> (New capture card) -> Card type: DVB DTV capture card (v3.x) -> Finish
  • 4. Video sources -> (New video source) -> Video source name: FOOBAR, Listings grabber: North America ( (Internal), User ID: blank, Pass: blank
  • 5. Input connections -> [DVB: /dev/dvb/adapter0/frontend0] -> Video source: FOOBAR -> Scan for channels
    Note: if you see the error "Failed to open the card", make sure the mythv-backend is actually stopped. The GUI said it would stop the backend but it was still running.

After running mythtv-setup, it will ask you if you want to start the backend. Select yes to start the backend. It will also ask you if you want to run mythfilldatabase. Select yes to run mythfilldatabase. This may take a while.

Ensure mythv backend is running

After running mythtv-setup, the mythtv backend should start running.

To check that the backend is running, run:

$ ps -ef | grep myth

If the mythtv backend is not running, start it using the following command:

$ sudo service mythtv-backend start

Troubleshooting mythbackend

If mythbackend doesn't stay running, there may be some configuration that is broken. Check /var/log/syslog. If that does not have enough information, run the backend with the --verbose option:

$ mythbackend --verbose

Run the MythTV frontend

$ mythfrontend

Some keyboard shortcuts

  • P - pause/play
  • SPACE - set/clear bookmark
  • LEFT/RIGHT ARROW - skip back/forward
  • M - menu
  • D - delete

Other stuff

  • You may want to change the theme. I chose the TintedGlass 2.43 theme.
  • To get schedule information, I ended up signing up for a membership at It is $25/year (or ~$2/month). It seems to be the recommended way to get schedule information.

How run mythfrontend on another Ubuntu laptop connected to your LAN (Added 2013-06-07)

Since MythTV has a flexible client/server architecture, you can run the MythTV backend server on one machine and access it from multiple other machines running a Mythtv frontend. These steps assume the remote frontend is running on a laptop with Ubuntu 12.04 and it is connected to your local network (LAN) (not through the internet (though that is possible.).)

UPDATE: Playing 1080p HD content over my $30 Belkin G wireless router (rated at 54 Mbps) had occasional stalls in the playback. Repositioning my router helped, but after a couple days, I decided to order a Netgear N600 Wireless-N Dual Band Router. Hopefully this will solve my problem.

On the Mythtv backend server configured above:

  • Determine the IP address of the Mythtv backend server by running ifconfig
    $ ifconfig 
    For me, it is This will be used in the steps below.
  • Follow the instructions here:
    • Edit /etc/mysql/my.cnf so the the bind-address line is commented out (on Ubuntu 16.04 edit /etc/mysql/mysql.conf.d/mysqld.cnf):
    • Allow remote users access to the database. Note: replace "mypassword" with the value found in ~/.mythtv/mysql.txt.
      $ mysql -u root
      mysql> grant all on mythconverg.* to 'mythtv'@'%' identified by 'mypassword';
      mysql> flush privileges;
      mysql> exit
    • Restart mysql server:
      $ sudo service mysql restart 
  • Ensure mythbackend is not using
    • Run mythtv-setup:
      $ mythtv-setup 
    • Change the IP address from to (or IP address you determined from above.)

On the laptop:

  • $ sudo apt-get install mythtv-frontend 
  • click "yes" to be added to the mythtv group
  • click "yes" to restart your session
  • click "OK" to the msg about logging out of your session
  • logout and login again
  • Run mythfrontend
    $ mythfrontend 
  • For the hostname: enter the IP address of the Mythtv server. For me it is
  • Enter the Mysql password. This can be found in ~/.mythtv/mysql.txt (or ~/.mythtv/config.xml or /etc/mythtv/config.xml on newer versions) on the Mythtv server machine. Or you can check the settings of the mythfrontend running on the server machine.

How to watch your recorded videos on your Android phone over the internet

  • This method uses the MythTV Services API
  • PC: Set up a SSH server on your MythTV backend server
  • PC: Get the external IP address of your MythTV backend server
    $ curl
  • Android: Install Connectbot on your Android phone and enable port forwarding of 6544. For more info see:
    • Android: Using Connectbot, connect to your MythTV server using the IP address from above (111.222.333.444)
    • Android: Menu -> Port Forwards -> Menu -> Add port forward:
      • Nickname: mythtv
      • Type: local
      • Source port: 6544
      • Destination: localhost:6544
    • Android: Disconnect and reconnect
  • Android: Install and set up MythTV Android Frontend
    • Android: Touch the settings icon -> Away Profiles
      • Name: Away
      • MythTV Master Backend Address: http://localhost:6544/
    • Android: Away -> Recordings -> Select a show to watch -> watch it

See also:

How to control your DVR from your Android phone

  • Configure your MythTv Frontend on your PC:
    • Setup -> General -> Hit "Next" 6 times -> Check "Enable Network Remote Control"
    • Setup -> Appearance -> Hit "Next" 3 times and
      • Check "Enable LCD device"
      • Check "Display time"
      • Check "Display menus"
      • Check "Display music arstist and title"
      • Check "Display channel information"
  • Install MythDroid on your Android phone
  • Install MDD on your PC
    • Install libimlib2
      $ sudo apt-get install libimlib2-dev 
    • Download MDD
      $ wget 
    • Install MDD
      $ tar xvf mdd-0.6.2.tgz 
      $ cd mdd 
      $ perl Build.PL 
      Type "y" because you are running this on the PC that runs your MythTv frontend
      $ ./Build installdeps 
      Hit ENTER to accept all the defaults
      $ ./Build test 
      $ sudo ./Build install 
      Type "y" to stop mythfrontend. Then start it again
      $ mythfrontend 

How to restore an old database on a fresh install Added 2016-10-16


$ wget 
$ chmod a+x 
$  ./ --directory /mnt/hdd2/mythtv/db_backups --filename mythconverg-1317-20161008080149.sql.gz --drop_database --create_database 
$ # if there has been a database schema change, you will need to run mythtv-setup

Help / References


#1 Mugsy commented on :

Almost. Very helpful, but not for my tuner.

I've got a USB WinTV-950 tuner, and even though Ubu "detects" it, I've yet to find a way to actually get it to work in Ubu.

Tutorials like this all prove "card" based tuners can be made to work, but so far, no solution for us USB WinTV tuner owners. :(

#2 Lindsey commented on :

Thanks so much for describing such a well conceived and useful template. I have the graphics card and have ordered the capture card. I specifically bought a used desktop that would accommodate the two. Hope it all works together!

#3 Hip Creep commented on :

Not working for me. I got as far as 'Click "Yes" to restart your login session', but I never had a chance to 'Change the following options:'. Tried restarting, running mythtv-setup again. It says that the backend is already running, do I want to stop it, and when I say yes an XTerm window opens but doesn't seem to do anything. I skipped ahead to "Run the MythTV frontend", and it runs, BUT: the mouse pointer disappears when I move it into the MythTV area, and when I click 'watch live TV' it tells me that there's no video source selected--or something like that. I'd appreciate any help anyone can offer, but I'm a bit of a noob, so please speak slowly.

#4 kevin commented on :

I have a swan usb PC DVR-4 when I try to load the disk I ge an error it works fine with windows I can you help THANKS

#5 Emi Sam commented on :

Most of the populace prefer to call up professional help for this kind of solutions. This was something very easy. Will definitely give a try.

#6 Thanusree Dev commented on :

Helpful information. But it is not useful for all tuners. But this information helps me to find exact method for my tuner.