Knoppmyth R5E50 Backend won’t start after reboot

1 Comment | This entry was posted on Mar 01 2007

I have been running into a problem for a little while and I could not figure it out (not that I expected to figure it out on my own but I thought I could search for it). What happens is if you force the computer to shutdown (hold the power button) of if the video has an error while displaying and you reboot, your mythtv-backend will not restart after rebooting. Well thanks to the knowledgable users of Knoppmyth there is a fix in the forums.

You need to be root and you edit the following things.

edit \etc\init.d\mythtv-backend and change


You will get a little warning from it on startup because you will now be doing the restart code on startup.

That is all I have done and so far it looks like it worked. I will update this if I have something break because of this fix.

What I have tried… (part 2)

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Feb 22 2007

Continued from here (sorta). At least the titles are the same.

After a break from Mythtv I decided I needed to change some things. I needed to be able to watch and record HDTV. I thought this would not be very difficult at first. I soon found out I was very wrong.
Step 1: Computer

The first thing HDTV needs is a lot of processing power. Most of the Mythtv documentation says you can watch live HDTV on as low as a 2.4 Pentium 4. This depends a lot on how much you know about linux and how much you can shave the operating system down and get a good enough video card. It also helps if you run a backend and frontend on different machines. As soon as you get a 3.2 Pentium 4 or above you shouldn’t have any problems but you will also need a couple of other things if you are going to have other things going on (such as more tuners). I currently have a P4 3.0 and HD shows well as long as I am not doing anything else on the computer and there is no overlay over the picture.

RAM as much as this doesn’t seem like it matters it does. With 2 HD tuners you will probably want at least 512 Mb of ram and possibly more. I currently have 1GB of ram but I am not sure if less ram would affect the playback very much as it would the system loading/responding.

Video card From experience I would recommend a Nvidia video card. If you want a quiet system you can find FX 6200′s without fans and also half height. This is what I am using right now in one of my frontends and it only cost me about $40 (I probably could have found it a bit cheaper but I didn’t look around much). The 5600′s are a bit more supported by Nvidia drivers at this time but I wanted the best half height video card I could get. The best thing about the Nvidia cards is you will be able to offload some of the HD decoding to the video card (XvMC). At least that is what I thought at first. I know now that XvMC can’t do much with a HD frame because it is too big. This leaves all of your video encoding and decoding on the processor. Once again a it is a really good Idea to get at least a P4 3.0. I would recommend a processor with Hyperthreadding or multiple cores at this point because even a plane P4 in my machine seems to be having problems at times.

Step 2: Pick a card, not just any card.

So starting from scratch, what HD hardware encoding cards are available for Linux?

1. pchdtv – This tuner was designed for linux by linux users. The tuner has gone through quite a few changes from the first pchd2000 card but it is still a great card made specifically for linux pvr software. One downfall of this card is its price. Because the card is made by hobbyists it cannot be as cheap and as available as some of the other cards that are made by large companies. The best part about these cards is the fact that you can know you will always have support from the linux community with this card.

2. Air2pc – This is a bit of an older card from what I have found but it has been the longest supported HD card in Mythtv. I have never had the joy of using this card but I know when I first got my FusionHDTV card most people had this card instead. From what I can tell the support on this card is about the same as the Fusion card but the QAM doesn’t work as well with this card (if at all)

3. FusionHDTV – I had this card for a little while and loved it. The one I bought came with a remote and it also had Compontent inputs which was great for playing and recording Halo. The card had great QAM support and had decent OTA reception. A couple of things I did not like with this card were the fact that it seemed to take a little time to change channels but with only a handful of digital channels that isn’t always a big deal. And the fact that it took up a PCI slot was kind of a bummer if you only had 2 slots. The time this card came out there was no other option though because USB HD cards were slim to none and there was nothing else out there. Then came the HDHomerun.

4. HDHomerun – This is just a cool device in general. Take a tuner card and make it available to any computer on the network. Then make it so you can control it from any computer on the network and then make it 2 tuners. That is basically what you get with the HDHR. It is its own class of device. This is not a PCI tuner, it is not a USB tuner, it is a network attached tuner that you just plug in two coax cables, nework, and power and you are set. The tuner is not as supported as some of the other tuners but it makes up for it with updates that come out at least once a month (so far). I haven’t been able to test with this tuner as much as I would like to so far but from what I have used it is great. HD wirelessly to my laptop is just a great, great thing.

Step 3: Picture is nice, but what about sound?
I am still working on good surround sound to work in linux. I haven’t tried much but I know the Turtle beach mirco usb sound card hasn’t been working well for me. This will have to be continued at another time when I can figure out something that works well for me.

Step 4: Controls
You have many options for controls but obviously most people want a remote to do all of their bidding. I still don’t have a remote so I have just been using my wireless keyboard. I will continue this once I do get a remote but for now I will give you the keyboard controls for mythtv.

More Mythtv

3 Comments | This entry was posted on Feb 22 2007

Alright, I am back at it and getting closer to being satisfyed. First of all I would like to give a line to a new site I have found thanks to a comment left on one of my other posts. Mythpvr is one of my new favorites for searching, news, and setup of mythtv. They even have some cool screencasts of setting up mythtv and I am sure there is more to come. All I have to say is thanks a lot for making me read another RSS feed. WhereTF is the RSS feed? Even my crappy sites has RSS!! Oh well, still posting a link to the RSS feed in my comments. is a good resource for understanding what Mythtv is and all it can do.

Now onto what I have found in the past week. BTW If you are just starting out and going to install mythtv. Do yourself a favor and install onenote (or some other note taking software) on another computer and take notes of everything you do. I really wish I had done that in the beginning because now I have to track down all the changes I made over a year ago.

So I install knoppmyth again and this time I have a bit more sucess because NVIDIA drivers are working once again. I found the following instructions in the knoppmyth forum so feel free to follow the link to read the original.
First you will want to do this (copied from another section of the forum)

dpkg -i linux-source-2.6.18-chw-13_2.6.18-chw-13-10.00.Custom_all.deb
cd /usr/src
tar xjvf linux-source

Then follow the instructions from the forum

follow the directions in the above post so that you have the /usr/src/linux-source-2.6.18-chw-13 directory. Now perform the following:cd /usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.18-chw-13
cp -r . ../linux-source-2.6.18-chw-13

This merges the kernel-headers with the kernel-source, since the source by itself doesn’t have the configuration files that were used.

Next, on my system at least, I had to at least partially make the kernel again, because certain kernel module scripts weren’t in a usable state until you did that. So I did the following:

cd /usr/src/linux-source-2.6.18-chw-13
[wait about 20 seconds and then hit ctrl-c]

Now we’re ready to install the new driver. The easiest way to do this is the rename the startx script and reboot so that X is not even trying to boot up.

mv /usr/bin/startx /usr/bin/

For some reason the NVidia install script isn’t yanking out the original nvidia kernel module, so I manually pulled it out with this command:

rmmod nvidia
lsmod | grep nvidia

The second command will let you verify that you no longer have the module loaded.

Now we’re actually ready to run the binary package from NVidia. It doesn’t quite detect everything correctly, so issue the command as such:

First you need the NVidia driver package though so run this command


Then carry on where we left off

sh \

You will most likely get a message during the installation process that it had to make assumptions about the paths for The assumptions that it made are fine.

Once the installer is finished you should be able to safely start X back up, but don’t forget to rename your startx executable.

mv /usr/bin/ /usr/bin/startx

As always, check the /var/log/Xorg.0.log file for hints as to what the problem may be. That’s how I figured out that the original kernel module was still loaded!

I stumbled across an easy way to get my 720p working in a flash. (once the driver is installed that is).
Mythtv documentation has a really nice Modeline Database that I just copied and pasted into my xorg.conf file. Wow, I must me a nerd because that all made sense to me.
To make it a little bit more legible…a modeline is kinda like telling the computer what resolution you want to use and the xorg.conf file is just where linux puts a lot of information (like resolution, keyboard layout, etc). You can probably find a lot better explanations on the internet but that is what I know about it.

I found documentation on how to make my QAM channels actually have information in the guide. You have to get what is called a XMLTVID from (if you are in the US and using zap2it as a source for your channels).

To get the ID you need I followed this forum over at Silicondust

The list of xmltvid values for lineup population. This can be found by going to (not and viewing the digital cable lineup for your area. When you click the call letters of the channel you are interested in, it is found in the URL variable stnNum. For example, the required value from my local NBC affiliate is “20358″ in this URL:…<EDITED>

Really I promise that is all for now. At least until I find more helpful information (like how to make my HD not go crazy when the overlay is on screen :(

Edit: link to original in bold and checked some of the code blocks.

Samba share with Knoppmyth

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Feb 01 2007

I recently was poking around the Knoppmyth wiki when I found a artical about webadmin for knoppmyth. The webadmin is really useful for setting up samba shares, managing RAID, and a whole bunch of other stuff I didn’t know knoppmyth could do. There is even a quick how to on watching your recordings on your PocketPC or portable device. I am going to look around some more and see what I can figure out.

MythTv Theme installation

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Jan 30 2007

Now that I have Knoppmyth up and running for more than .78 days I have had a chance to mess around with some of its features. I must say I definatly underestimated it. Anyway the thing I have today is how to install a new theme in MythTv. The one I chose is ProjectGreyhem because it is the closest to my modded xbox skin that I have now.

I am taking these instructions directly from the ProjectGrehem site because this is exactly hew it worked for me. It is really nice to have things work as they should!!

It is very easy to install Project Grayhem or Project Grayhem Wide

  • Download the tarball
  • Copy it to /usr/share/mythtv/themes
    N.B.: Check where themes are stored on your installation as themes can be stored at /usr/local/share/mythtv/themes depending on your distro.
  • Unpack the tarball with: tar -xvjpf Project-Grayhem-foo.bz2
  • Your new MythTV Theme should now be ready to use.
  • Either theme should work with MythTV 0.20

Thanks a lot to whoever maintains this skin (I couldn’t find any credits)

Just in case anyone is wondering “download the tarball” means to use the wget command (make sure you are saving it in a directory you can write to).

and the “tar -xvjpf Project-Grayhem-foo.bz2″ actually means to type in whichever version you downloaded.  To make it really easy just type “tar -xvjpf Project<tab>” in the correct folder as root.

Leave a comment if you have any problems.


0 Comments | This entry was posted on Jan 26 2007

Mythstream allows you to stream your recordings (and if you can get it to work) and live tv a-la slingbox replacement. I am having my own problems just getting it to play my recordings for more than 3-4 seconds at a time unfortunately. For some reason it will play the stream just fine for about 3 seconds and then just freezes. If I pause video lan and play again it plays for another 3 seconds. I am looking for a solution but until I find one I may just be stuck watching my recordings at home :(
One thing I did notice was that the controls for mythstream didn’t work with knoppmyth. I found a quick post by craigtv in the forums that gets those controls working. Here is what he said that got my controls working.

Edit the following files ….


in both files, find occurrences of this path …


and replace it with …


You’ll need to do the same thing to the same named files in the …/compact directory as well if you use that template.

In addition, I found the path to the ivtv-tune binary in this file …


needs to be changed from…




That makes the channel change command go thru, but I haven’t yet figured out what it’s supposed to do. I’d love to hear if anyone gets Live TV streaming, as it looks like that’s what it’s for.

That is all for now. I hope you enjoy.


1 Comment | This entry was posted on Jan 23 2007

I am back at it. I decided to install my PVR-150 tuner into my frontend and install Knoppmyth to make things easy on myself. Knoppmyth came out with a update (R5E50) recently which adds mythtv 0.20 with all the plugins I could ever want. Sure I had mythtv 0.20 installed under Ubuntu but I didn’t have all the plugins and skins that Knoppmyth has.

After install I went through the basic setup, added the card, scanned for channels, and watched some tv. I scheduled a recording and waited for it to finish.

The only things I have changed so far was I added my user name to /etc/group so my user can use the su command and I added the following lines to /etc/X11/xorg.conf so that the resolution was 720p (instead of 800×600) on my tv. I added the following modeline to the monitor section of the xorg.conf file.

        # 1280x720 @ 60.00 Hz (GTF) hsync: 44.76 kHz; pclk: 74.48 MHz
Modeline "1280x720_60.00" 74.48 1280 1336 1472 1664 720 721 724 746 -HSync +Vsync

Then I added “1280x720_60.00″ to the screen section.

That is all I have done so far and I can watch, record, and schedule recordings as much as I want. Now I just wish I didn’t install on a 20 gig hard drive. I am going to run out of space fast.

Mythtv with Ubuntu

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Nov 14 2006

Mythtv 0.20 is working great with Ubuntu Edgy 6.10 right now! Here is the trick, HD takes a lot of processing power!!! I tried with a couple of P4 2.4 boxes but I could not get things to tune and I could not get things to play. Here is a tutorial that I have been using to get this set up multiple times.
I finally stepped up and tried this whole set-up on a P4 3.2. Yes, it is faster than my current desktop but it works so well I don’t know if I even care. Shortly after setting up Mythtv (and getting the frontend to actually show up) I started scanning for channels. My Fusion card did a pretty good job scanning channels in QAM 256 and actually got 5-6 HD channels. Shortly after the scan I went back into the frontend to make sure I could watch the shows and they worked pretty well (not flawless but I defiantly was watching HD). The next hurdle to overcome is being able to record shows. Recording works without a problem but the station information (what shows are playing at what times, etc.) was not working. So now that is what I am trying to do. Get some information on channels (although channel 2 works fine).

Here are the steps I am taking to make a custom channels.conf file. Using the tutorial above install the nessessary tools

sudo apt-get install dvb-utils dvbstream
sudo apt-get install gxine mplayer

Then scan for some channels

sudo -s -H
mkdir /root/.tzap
scan /usr/share/doc/dvb-utils/examples/scan/atsc/us-Cable-Standard-center-QAM256 > /root/.tzap/channels.conf

Just to make sure I got all the channels I needed I repeated the last scan step with a few other options. You can find all the options for scanning by just doing

ls -a /usr/share/doc/dvb-utils/examples/scan/atsc

To be honest I have no idea if this is going to work. I am still scanning channels. I sure hope it does though. For now here are a couple other links that are helping me figure out this whole custom channels.conf file.

Until I finish all of these scans, wish me luck!

xlink kai

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Nov 04 2006

This is yet another post for myself to be able to replicate this setup at another time.

The background to this is that I used to always use xbox connect to play halo 1 online. It is a great system made by a great guy (woot Todd!). I was involved with the community for a really long time but recently I switched over to the dark side (xlink kai) because of their support for multiple operating systems and their connectivity with modded xbox’s. I was setting up xlink on my mythtv box (which actually seems to be working mostly) and I just wanted to post instructions on how to get it to work if I ever have to reformat.

Basically just download the file from and extract the file. Open kaid.conf with a text editor and adjust settings as needed. Once the settings are all done copy the kaid.conf file to the /etc folder and then the kaid file to /usr/bin. Now to run the xlink server simply type “sudo kaid” in a terminal. (or set it to run at start up).

Connecting from xbox media center is easy. Just go to the settings and then “My Programs”. Turn on the service and put in your user name and login information. After that everything in controlled from the xbox. It is a great system and I now can play halo 1 online without ever needing to touch a controller.

I hope this helps.

I haven’t had a chance to go through this script but I also saw this in the forums for running kai via a startup script. Enjoy.

Building Myth

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Sep 29 2006

Whenever I grab Mythtv source I need to have certian flags set. Here are the flags I use





I hope to find out what all of these do (in more detail than I know now) and when I find out I will put that here. Until then here are the rest of the flags that I could find.



Honestly that is all I could find. I may add to this later but for now this is all I got.