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.

Quieting dbus

I run a program called logcheck which regularly scans the logfiles looking for “interesting things”. One of these interesting things (to logcheck, not to me at first) was dbus complaining about mythtv.  The logs look something like this:

Nov 17 05:08:18 elmo dbus-daemon[1621]: dbus[1621]: [system] Rejected send message, 2 matched rules; type="method_call", sender=":1.236" (uid=999 pid=3669 comm="/usr/bin/mythfilldatabase --verbose general --logl") interface="org.freedesktop.NetworkManager" member="GetDevices" error name="(unset)" requested_reply="0" destination="org.freedesktop.NetworkManager" (uid=0 pid=1930 comm="/usr/sbin/NetworkManager ")

What this is is the dbus daemon rejecting a message being sent from mythfilldatabase that wants to go to NetworkManager.  Looking at NetworkManager’s dbus configuration, its doing all the right things.

So it’s a simple matter of just fixing up the dbus configuration and you’re done. Then I hit the first snag; the dbus documentation is a little sad. I remember seeing a show where they MRI scanned some artifacts to get to the writing and then used a maker-bot to recreate the hidden writing. They then painstakingly translated it using a team of experts to work out the English translation.  Working out the dbus configurations is not quite that difficult, but it’s close.  The easiest way is to copy something and see if it works, which is what I did.

I created a file /etc/dbus-1/system.d/mythtv.conf which permitted the myth user access to the GetDevices method. It looks like:


        
                
        


Reloaded dbus and all went quiet.

 

 

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