XBMC with MythTv

I have had MythTV running on my server for quite some time. Once I got past the weird problems you often have with the local ABC channel, it has worked very well. One tip, put the recordings into their own partition. MythTV will happily fill it and deleting files only marks them for deletion. This makes perfect sense when it has its own partition but is annoying otherwise.

Until recently, the frontend on the television in the living room was a DVD player that spoke DLNA. This worked ok, but was very basic. The recordings were just a list with no graphics or details. Something better had to go here and it has; XBMC.

A small (size of a paperback) PC later and we have XBMC running and doesn’t it look pretty! The cute thing was it merged my DVD images and my recordings into one, so it didn’t matter where the movie came from, it looks the same. It even understands MythTV advertising marks and skips them, all is good.

Except, no sound. This is where a combination of my Google skills and XBMC’s documentation failed.  The documentation either says switch to HDMI output or go through a very long and involved process to get the sound card working.  The tests on the command line failed and I thought I was going to be in for that long and involved process fixing alsa.

Then in another part of the menus I saw you had Basic, Advanced, Expert levels and wondered what that did? It gave me more things to tweak in the menus. Perhaps that might fix my HDMI sound problem?  Going into the System setup and then audio and then switching to a higher level of menu (it’s on the left) suddenly I have a screen and a half of options and a few seconds later, sound!

So if you are searching for NVIDIA and HDMI and sound, first turn on the advanced menu items and try setting that, it might be all you need (despite what Google and documentation says).

One other thing, the C or I button on  a remote could be called “Guide”. It is on mine.

Also, SMB shares give a much better result than DLNA ones because SMB all the images and info are done on XBMC and it doesn’t do the same for DLNA.


2 responses to “XBMC with MythTv”

  1. Can you please elaborate on the problems you were having with ABC? ABC had been working fine for me for months on XBMC, now it will not longer work, although it will work with mythfrontend.


    1. OK, first of all its the ABC in Australia; Australian Broadcasting Corporation. I assume you are in the US so its the other ABC so not exactly relevant to your situation.

      For anyone else who it might match what they’re seeing. My specific problem is to do with the frequency that it transmits on off the Canberra tower. While all of the other channels “just work” that one takes some fiddling to get it right. If you look at a channel.conf list, all of the other channels end in frequencies of 500, such as SC10 Canberra on 177500 kHz. ABC is on 205620 kHz.

      Some software, and I think its the software not the video cards, doesn’t like this. So at first you just don’t get lock but with some playing around it gets there and then you don’t touch it anymore. There’s plenty of hits for ABC Canberra and Mythtv etc so its a reasonably common problem. It’s not XBMC’s fault here, it just is a frontend to mythtv backend.

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