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MythTV is an open source software digital video recorder (DVR) that is an alternative to Tivo or Windows Media Center. It allows you to pause and rewind live TV shows, skip commercials, schedule TV show recordings, and control a settop box using an infrared remote or firewire. In order to use MythTV, you will need a video capture card. Hardware requirements are described on the MythTV Wiki.
NOTE: in PC-BSD, webcamd is used to provide the drivers for video capture cards. This is enabled by default, meaning any devices supported by Video for Linux should “just work”.
During the installation of PC-BSD the installer provided an option to install MythTV. If you wish to install MythTV afterwards, use Control Panel -> System Manager -> System Packages -> Misc. Once MythTV is installed, an entry should be added to the Multimedia section of the application menu of your desktop.
Running MythTV for the First Time
The PC-BSD version of MythTV provides an initialization script to properly setup the database backend used by MythTV. The first time you run MythTV, you will be prompted for the superuser password in order to configure MythTV. After inputting the superuser password, a console will temporarily open indicating that the MySQL service is starting and the MySQL database is being created. Once that is complete, you will see the configuration GUI shown in Figure 8.3a:
Figure 8.3a: MythTV Configuration GUI
NOTE: your mouse will not work in this GUI. This is by design as MythTV was meant for use with a remote control or a keyboard. Use your arrow and tab keys to highlight the desired options and press enter to select.
The initial screen will prompt you to select your Country and Language. Once the desired options are highlighted, navigate to Save and press enter. The next screen, shown in Figure 8.3b indicates that MythTV will update your database schema. Navigate to Upgrade and press enter.
Figure 8.3b: Upgrading the Database Schema
Once you press enter, you should receive a message indicating the location of the backup file that will be created should the upgrade fail. Navigate to Upgrade again and press enter to perform the upgrade. After a few seconds, you should see the MythTV front-end screen shown in Figure 8.3c:
Figure 8.3c: MythTV Configuration Screen
Use your arrow keys to navigate to the configuration screen you wish to access, then press enter. To leave a screen, press ESC. To exit the front-end completely, press ESC, arrow to "Yes please" and press enter.
Chapters 10-12 of the MythTV Howto demonstrate the possible configurations and how to schedule recordings.