Getting the Rip DVD part of MythVideo to work

One of the nicest features of MythVideo, is being able to store your collection of DVD’s on your hardrive.
From there, its a simple task of selecting the Video from the Video Gallery, and hitting play.

You can fetch all the Movie’s details from IMDB, including poster art and movie ratings.
This makes it much more convenient, and more useful than having to fetch the DVD from your collection to watch it.

The only downside that I can see, is that you’ll start to run out of disk space very quickly, as each movie will take up between 4GB and 8GB.

I faced a few challenges in getting this working, and I’m going to try shed as much light on this as possible. Continue reading Getting the Rip DVD part of MythVideo to work

MythTV on NTL Analogue in Ireland

I’m about to submit my MythTV for its WAF rating, before being put into full use in the house.
So to make things nice and easy to use, and to also assist in finding all the favourite episodes for recording, I’ve put every NTL Analogue channel into the channel database, with mythfilldatabase working 100% fetching all the scheduling information.

So for everyone that has been trying to get this working, I’ll dump all the necessary configs here, so you can get yours going too. Continue reading MythTV on NTL Analogue in Ireland

How to automatically login to MythTV on boot

In my last 2 MythTV posts, I explained how to get mythbackend running on boot, and how to get mythfrontend started automatically when you start X.

Now I’m going to explain how to get X to startup and login on boot.
This essentially makes your MythTV setup completely operational from powerup, without user intervention.
Definate WAF in that…

This is how I did it on my Debian machine.

I’m running my MythTV as the user ‘mythtv’ on my machine.

First, you’ll need rungetty installed

apt-get install rungetty

Then open your inittab config in your favourite editor

vi /etc/inittab

Look for the line that starts all your getty’s. It looks something like this

1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty1

You’ll have to change it to this

1:2345:respawn:/sbin/rungetty tty1 --autologin mythtv

That’ll make it automatically log in to the mythtv user on tty1

Now, you’ll want to automatically start X whenever the mythtv user logs in to tty1
Its nice to constrain it to run, when the user logs in on tty1 only. That way, you can change tty’s and login without having X trying to start up automatically.

Edit your .profile for your mythtv user

vi /home/mythtv/.profile

Put the following in it

if [ -z "$DISPLAY" ] && [ $(tty) == /dev/tty1 ]; then
while [ 1 == 1 ]
                sleep 10

That’ll start up X as soon as the mythtv user logs in, and if X dies, it’ll wait 10 seconds and then restart it.

How to make mythbackend start automatically

In part of my quest to automate the startup of my MythTV, and in my quest for WAF (Wife approval factor), I’ve identified a few small issues that don’t seem terribly well documented anywhere.

I’m going to document them here, as clearly as I can.

This Howto contains a very simple startup script for automatically starting mythbackend on boot.

I’m using Debian lenny/testing, but this will apply to most Debian versions, and perhaps Ubuntu too.

You’ll need to create a file, lets call it /etc/init.d/mythbackend, with the following in it.

# Start/stop/restart mythbackend
# Modification done by Benoit Beauchamp, based on rc.mysqld by
# Copyright 2003 Patrick J. Volkerding, Concord, CA
# Copyright 2003 Slackware Linux, Inc., Concord, CA
# This program comes with NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.
# You may redistribute copies of this program under the terms of the
# GNU General Public License.

# Start mythbackend:
myth_start() {
  if [ -x /usr/local/bin/mythbackend ]; then
    # If there is an old PID file (no mythbackend running), clean it up:
    if [ -r /var/run/ ]; then
      if ! ps axc | grep mythbackend 1> /dev/null 2> /dev/null ; then
        echo "Cleaning up old /var/run/"
        rm -f /var/run/
    /usr/local/bin/mythbackend -l /var/log/mythbackend.log -v important,general -p /var/run/ -d

# Stop mythbackend:
myth_stop() {
  # If there is no PID file, ignore this request...
  if [ -r /var/run/ ]; then
    killall mythbackend

# Restart mythbackend:
myth_restart() {

case "$1" in
  echo "usage $0 start|stop|restart"

Then you’ll have to set that file as executable

chmod +x /etc/init.d/mythbackend

Now, test it and make sure it does what its supposed to.
Make sure mythbackend isn’t running, and then try:

/etc/init.d/mythbackend start

Check to see if its running. If not, check all the paths in the script, if it is, hurray!

Now we need to add it to run on boot, and as a bonus, shutdown mythbackend properly on shutdown
We’ll do this the Debian Way ™

update-rc.d mythbackend defaults 90

And that should do it! Give your machine a reboot and see it mythbackend started on its own.

How to Install usplash under Debian testing/lenny

Since Splashy is no longer part of the package tree for Debian, I decided to give usplash a go.
Its the same splash loaded that Ubuntu use, and it works quite nicely on my Ubuntu desktop machine at work.
I run Debian testing (its not THAT bad.. sheesh)

I needed it for my MythTV, for WAF (Wife approval factor).
If anyone has a nice MythTV style boot image, please do send it on.

So here’s what I’ve got so far…

Continue reading How to Install usplash under Debian testing/lenny