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MythTV is a free and open source home entertainment application with a simplified "10-foot user interface" design for the living-room TV, and turns a computer with the necessary hardware into a network streaming1 digital video recorder, a digital multimedia home entertainment system, or home theater personal computer2 It can be considered a free and open source alternative to TiVo3 or Windows Media Center It runs on various operating systems, primarily Linux, macOS, and FreeBSD4


  • 1 History
  • 2 Features
    • 21 HDTV support
    • 22 Tuner-card support
    • 23 Modules
  • 3 Operating systems
    • 31 Bundles
  • 4 Internals
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


The MythTV project was started in April 2002 by Isaac Richards,3 who explained his motivation:5


  • Pause, skip, and rewind live TV shows
  • Completely automatic commercial detection and optional skipping
  • Intelligently schedules recordings to avoid conflicts
  • Interfaces with TV listing sources such as XMLTV or PSIP
  • Interfaces with nonprofit subscription listings service Schedules Direct in the United States and Canada Schedules Direct delivers the same Tribune Media Services listings data that TiVo and other video recorders use
  • Supports ATSC, QAM, DMB-T/H and DVB everything supported by LinuxTV high-definition television
  • Supports Xv, OpenGL, and VDPAU video output
  • Supports H264 codec
  • Supports VP9 and H265 codecs as of version 028
  • A backend server and frontend client architecture, allowing multiple frontend client machines to be remotely served content from one or more backend servers A single computer can perform as both the frontend client and the backend server
  • Plays recordings at an accelerated or decelerated rate, adjusting the audio pitch as necessary
  • Schedule and administer various system functions using a web browser-based interface
  • Controls a settop box using an infrared remote IR blaster, or firewire

HDTV supportedit

MythTV is capable of capturing HDTV streams from any source that will provide unencrypted video This means broadcast ATSC and DVB content, as well as encrypted DVB content when using a tuner with an integrated CI module Most US cable and satellite providers use encrypted video only accessible through their own set-top boxes Cable systems may provide some unencrypted QAM channels, but these will generally only be local broadcast stations, and not cable programming or premium channels

OpenCable devices are available to access encrypted content on US cable systems, but as this is a full DRM system, and not just CA like DVB CI, every piece of hardware and software on the playback chain must be tested and licensed by CableLabs At current, Windows Media Center is the only DVR software to meet these requirements, and only it, and other software using its recording libraries, can use these devices In 2010, CableLabs relaxed the DRM restrictions allowing unlicensed devices to record copy freely content using these devices,6 however it is still entirely up to cable operators what content they provide flagged as such

As an alternative to direct digital capture, one can use an external decoder to receive the channels, and then capture using digital-analog-digital conversion the analog hole A popular means of doing this conversion is to connect the component outputs of a set-top box to the Hauppauge HD PVR78

Tuner-card supportedit

The MythTV software supports TV tuner cards fully compatible with V4L-DVB kernel drivers

MythTV also supports program capture via FireWire from digital set-top boxes These include the Motorola DCT-6200, the STB used by Cogeco Cable in the USA and Shaw Cable in Canada for its HD services It can also record directly from IPTV sources such as the Freebox service, as well as from the HDHomeRun network tuner


MythTV's add-on modules plugins include:

  • MythVideo plays various video file formats
  • MythMusic a music player, jukebox, collection manager, and CD ripper
  • MythGallery online photo gallery manager
  • MythNews RSS feed news reader
  • MythWeather fetches weather forecasts – including weather radar – from the Internet
  • MythBrowser small web browser
  • MythGame frontend for game console emulators
  • MythWeb controls MythTV from a remote web browser
  • MythArchive DVD burner
  • MythNetvision streaming video player intended primarily for Flash-websites like YouTube
  • MythZoneMinder frontend interface for a ZoneMinder system
  • UPnP AV MediaServer v10 compliant server: share media files with UPnP-clients

The base system integrates well with its modules A system can be controlled with an infrared remote control using LIRC, or radio remote control using kernel modules

Operating systemsedit

MythTV is available for many operating systems which are based on Linux or Unix, including Mac OS The MythTV Web site distributes only source code which must be compiled for the desired system; executable programs can be downloaded from various third-party sources9 The software runs on and is officially supported by Microsoft Windows, but as of January 2013update no official executable version was available; there are detailed instructions for compiling for Windows10 All core frontend features work under Windows, including LiveTV, scheduling, and watching recordings, but most plugins do not work without additional patches11


There are several projects which include a Linux distribution bundled with MythTV and associated libraries to make installation, configuration and maintenance easier and faster:

  • iMedia MythTV Linux distribution is a version of the iMedia embedded Linux distribution
  • LinHES is a bootCD derivative of Arch Linux Its MythTV frontend can be run from the CD An entire installation to the hard disk can be made in minutes
  • LinuxMCE bundles MythTV with Kubuntu as the Linux distro, along with the Pluto Home automation suite
  • MiniMyth is a small Linux distribution that turns a diskless computer into a MythTV frontend
  • Mythbuntu combines Ubuntu distributions with MythTV The Ubuntu community has built extensive resources for installing, configuring and troubleshooting MythTV
  • MythDora is a Red Hat Fedora distribution with MythTV It was discontinued in 2011
  • Ubuntu TV integrates MythTV into a television-ready interface based on the Ubuntu Unity user interface
  • Xebian is a distribution of Debian Linux for the Microsoft Xbox game console and includes MythTV


The default file format for software encoding is a RTJPEG or MPEG-4 video stored in a slightly-modified version of Roman Hochleitner's "NuppelVideo" nuv containercitation needed NUV files are also playable in VLC media player and MPlayer, but can occasionally exhibit problems in A/V synchronization due to the MythTV-specific modifications It also appears that MythTV is now the single authority on the NuppelVideo file format, since the original author's website is no longer available

MythTV can also record via hardware-encoder cards and other sources of MPEG-2 digital TV streams like DVB, ATSC and Firewire from HDTV cable boxes in the United States, so many users of MythTV rarely see NuppelVideo files unless they choose to transcode their files to NuppelVideo to save disk space

As of September 2012, the only backend database supported has been the same since its beginnings, MySQL The database contains much of the operational data of the system, such as what TV tuners are available to the system and their characteristics/capabilities, what channels can be tuned by that tuning hardware, what recorded programs are available for viewing, program scheduling information, etc

See alsoedit

  • Free software portal
  • Television portal
  • Comparison of DVR software packages
  • Home theater PC
  • Infrared blaster
  • List of free television software
  • Schedules Direct
  • tvtime
  • Ubuntu TV


  1. ^ "Network – MythTV" 
  2. ^ Morrison, Graham 2009, "Build the ultimate MythTV box", Linux Format, Future Publishing 117, pp 56–59, retrieved 2010-03-04 
  3. ^ a b Barylick, Chris 2006-03-26 "MythTV Invades Realm of Cable and TiVo" The Washington Post Retrieved 2008-08-16 
  4. ^ "MythTV operating systems" MythTVorg 2011-08-12 Retrieved 2012-01-10 
  5. ^ User Manual:Introduction, mythtvorg Retrieved 15 August 2008
  6. ^ "CableLabs Approves Tuner Sharing and DRM Free Copy Freely Content" The Digital Media Zone Retrieved 2012-01-10 
  7. ^ "HD PVR Product Description" Hauppaugecom Retrieved 2012-01-10 
  8. ^ "Hauppauge HD-PVR – MythTV Official Wiki" MythTVorg Retrieved 2012-01-10 
  9. ^ "Download MythTV" MythTVorg Retrieved 2013-01-16 
  10. ^ "MythTV Web site: MythTV on Windows" MythTVorg Retrieved 2013-01-16 
  11. ^ "MythTV FAQ: Does MythTV run on Windows" MythTVorg Retrieved 2013-01-16 

External linksedit

  • Official website

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MythTV Information about


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MythTV viewing the topic.
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