back to article Mythbuntu busted as last two devs working on media centre distro quit

The developers behind Mythbuntu, a Linux distribution dedicated to melding the open source digital video recorder MythTV with Ubuntu Linux, have called it quits. The project's death notice offers a simple reason for the distro's demise: the team working on it has shrunk from ten to just two, the remaining maintainers want to …

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Anonymous Coward

When you can

buy a "fully loaded" KODI box, for 30 quid, with a remote, why the hell would you even consider this option. Or a chromecast or fire stick........ All of which require no twatting about with repositories or setting up (beyond basics).

it was dead long before this.

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Re: When you can

I wish people would stop perpetuating the lie that MythTV and Kodi are the same - and in particular that Kodi is a replacement for MythTV. MythTV is so much more than what Kodi does - and the "lounge TV" part is just a tiny bit.

In fact, you can (AIUI) use Kodi to watch recordings made ona MythTV system - but using an inferior experience that loses several key (and very useful) features in the native MythTV frontend.

And for good measure, there are people running the native MythTV frontend on the Pi - though I gather there are still some wrinkles to iron out.

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Re: When you can

> there are people running the native MythTV frontend on the Pi - though I gather there are still some wrinkles to iron out.

You have to increase the memory for the GPU in setup, but I think that's it. A week or so ago I Pi-ed up the TVs on my network, and it's pretty seamless. (Easier on the Pi3 than the Pi2, because wifi.) An improvement on the Kodi I used to run on the Pi, because IIRC it saves bookmarks across the network, besides the usual MythTV frontend stuff.

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Re: When you can

How do I connect my satellite dishes to a Kodi box? Most won't work a USB DVB-TV stick fully (MPEG4 (SD & HD)+ MHEG5 Interactive) or at all without hacking.

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Re: When you can

"An improvement on the Kodi I used to run on the Pi, because IIRC it saves bookmarks across the network, besides the usual MythTV frontend stuff."

FWIW, Kodi will work with a backend MySQL database keeping your library/watched/bookmark status consistent across clients.

Of course as you and others have said, MythTV is not Kodi. Certainly not on a Pi. The recording features on MythTV outstrip what Kodi can do for a start.

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Re: When you can

As someone who used and loved mythtv for >5 years, Kodi is simply much better.

I am running OpenELEC, with TVheadend managing the TV tuners as a "backend".

(OpenELEC is a minimal standalone distribution of KODI

It is much easier to setup and maintain, and has been running reliably.

I can watch TV from my phone, program recordings and use my phone as a remote control.

I did try running on a raspberry pi, but the cheap DVB-T2 dongle was unreliable, hence I use a desktop machine with a PCI tuner card (dual DVB-S2).

If I was starting again, I would maybe try LibreELEC, not OpenELEC, as it seems to have more devs at the moment.

If you want to try on a raspberry pi2 or 3, get a decent USB tuner, like the 292e nanostick.

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Re: When you can

It's easy to switch to LibreELEC from OpenELEC, just a matter of grabbing the update package and installing it. Well worth doing as it looks like OpenELEC is also suffering from having too few developers (last news was from May).

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Kodi and Mythtv aren't really equivalents though, myth was always focussed on capturing tv, providing recording functions and tv-guide and programming, what you've come to expect from tivos and dvrs/pvrs etc, whereas kodi is more about playing back an existing library of local/remote files. There is overlap between the two, but at least in my opinion they are each individually defined, and both have their place in different use-cases.

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Unhappy

Sad news

indeed. Have been using mythtv and mythbuntu for years. As good as Kodi is, mythtv is a better back end. Up until 2 months ago I was lucky to get 1mb internet at home, so buying a fully (legally questionable) loaded box with Kodi or setting up my own mythtv server with multiple dvb-s and dvb-t cards was a no brainer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sad news

AFAICS, all you now have to do is install a regular Ubuntu derivative, then type:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mythbuntu/0.28

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install mythtv

If these people have been maintaining their own separate distro spin just to save people typing those three lines, I can understand why they decided to call it a day.

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Re: Sad news

Unfortunately, setting up MythTV is not quite that simple. Mythbuntu team has done a lot of work to make the maintenance and installation of MythTV a lot easier.

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Re: sudo apt-get install mythtv

Wouldn't you also want to also install at least the low latency kernel?

(And then tweak grub)

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Kodi Problems

I tried to set up Kodi a couple of times to replace my aing Win7 Media centre, but I stalled each time getting kodi to recognise and use a Hauppage DTV card - I gave up in despair/disgust in the end. All I wanted was a decent PVR.

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Re: Kodi Problems

Me too but in my case I could never get my TV receiver dongle to work.

It also seemed to have a 50% chance of dying completely during updates.

Gave up a bought a Fire TV stick, which is much better as a media player, but clearly not a PVR.

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Re: Kodi Problems

Have you tried installing a Linux distribution (like Debian), installing the card on that and making sure that works, then install Kodi on to Debian?

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Re: Kodi Problems

"All I wanted was a decent PVR."

Then try Mythbuntu while you can still download the iso.

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Re: Kodi Problems

"It also seemed to have a 50% chance of dying completely during updates."

Is that in Windows by any chance? I've got Kodi running on Android, FreeBSD, Linux and couple of Pis (versions 1 and 2) and I don't recall any update going bad. I've never used Kodi on Windows, so this is a real question, not a nix/windows snark.

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Notion of Gratitude

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the developers of Mythbuntu. I have used the distro on multiple computers since 2010, and I still use it on daily bases. The distribution has made the installation of MythTV a far smaller hassle than it would be without the distro, and the included control center software has helped me countless times. Mythbuntu has also provided an excellent set of tools for managing my PVRs, which are far more than just MythTV-based media centers, like the article suggests. I dare you to set up a multi-tuner PVR + media center with low IO and CPU loads and acceptable WAF using Windows or Linux without Mythbuntu, and you start to appreciate what these people have done.

Thank you for your work, it truly is sincerely appreciated.

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Re: Notion of Gratitude

"I dare you to set up a multi-tuner PVR + media center with low IO and CPU loads and acceptable WAF using Windows or Linux without Mythbuntu..."

That would be MediaPortal then.

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Re: Notion of Gratitude

MediaPortal is a nice piece of software, too. I'd love to see some stats and comparisons about the features and resource usage of different multi-tuner MythTV and MediaPortal setups. Maybe they could put ChromeCast, XBMC and Kodi in there too, just to show how different the feature sets are.

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Re: That would be MediaPortal then?

MediaPortal is only win7 and later.

MediaPortal is no use for Linux. The MythTV is.

Kodi is primarily for streaming.

MythTV is primarly for Satellite cards and DVB-TV Sticks etc and can work VERY well on Linux. (ProgDVB on Windows is superior to any MS MediaCentre version for Broadcast and even does MHEG5 Interactive), but no use for Linux, and not free. However I'd pay something for decent Linux TV reception software that just works, like ProgDVB or other packages on Windows.

The problem with Linux is setting up the PCI satellite cards and USB TV sticks in the first place.

Is there a future for Windows with OEM sales of Win7 now ended?

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Re: That would be MediaPortal then?

>Is there a future for Windows with OEM sales of Win7 now ended?

No. There's no way to use software to bypass the liscences on it, so it'll never be useful again.

Honest.

:D

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LinHES? Anyone used it?

Looks like it may be a replacement for Mythbuntu. I've liked Arch-based distros before (E.G. Manjaro). LinHES looks like a fairly mature distro (8 years) and the last major release was May of this year.

Just noted in passing.

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Unhappy

Mythbuntu has been stable on my kit for years

Sad to see it go, I have upgraded without problems since the first Mythbuntu release.

I run Mythbuntu as a backend server with Kodi on a Pi and various Android clients.

My mythbuntu server also runs PHPmyadmin, Nextcloud, Motioneye, and a couple of other database apps, plus doubling as a general use pc and a digital photoframe.

MythTV is awesome, and I will probably move to Ubuntu with XFCE and Mythtv.

Mythbuntu just made it all a lot easier.

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Re: Mythbuntu has been stable on my kit for years

Sad to see it go to. I'm not great on Ubuntu, and my first attempt to set up MythTV on top of Ubuntu took days and a couple of bits, like the web interface, never worked.

After a drive failure I used the Mythbuntu ISO and it was up and working in a couple of hours - it just made life a lot easier. I then used it to create a second front-end which was up and connected in about 30 minutes.

If Ubuntu and similar ever want to be mainstream, they need to do the kinds of things the MythBuntu team did, and move more of the stuff you need to an actual GUI that works. Typing in long strings of commands from dodgy forums with no indication of how up to date the information is is a lot less user friendly than going into a control panel and updating some options.

I don't have the skills to contribute, but I hope some who do pick up on it and continue development. It's a great, legal way to build a video library from over the air broadcasts in a way than an average computer user can get up and working.

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Less Broadcast TV Use

I'm guessing the loss in popularity of Mythbuntu maybe simply a result of people using broadcast TV less frequently.

I for example planned to build a Myth box at one point, but pretty much survive now with a Kodi for local video content and a Roku for streaming services (iPlayer, 4oD, Amazon, Google etc etc).

It's now rare that we record anything on our Satellite box, we tend to just use the catch up services. So I no longer feel the Myth box would be used or necessary for us.

There is absolutely a use case for a full Myth/Media Centre system, but less people may need this type of solution than before.

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Emby

Emby is another great alternative. A true client server model that means the server does the heavy lifting so the client can be lightweight. Native TV recording without using a plugin to another backend (using my HDHomeRun) is one of the reasons that I was finally able to ditch Windows Media Center. It is still a little rough around the edges, Live TV especially is still a little rough and ready but for all the bits that are still a little bit v1.0 there are a ton of features that WMC and Kodi never did.

Finally it's also pretty OS agnostic (front and backend). I've run the server on both Windows and Linux (I used CentOS) and the experience was very comparable.

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