[mythtv-users] need help with decision: replace bad parts or buy appleTV

Heath Roberts htroberts at gmail.com
Mon Jun 16 14:47:16 UTC 2008

On Sun, Jun 15, 2008 at 7:58 PM, Josh White <jaw1959 at gmail.com> wrote:

> I plan to run Mythbuntu on the home built machine, and if I go with the
> Apple TV, I'd like to set it up such that I can use it along with the
> tv features as seemlessly as possible (I seem to recall seeing that
> had Mythtv show up as a menu item on an older version of the ATV, I'm not
> sure if that's still possible).  If not, I'd like to dual boot the ATV to
> run mythbuntu if possible, or debian.

I went to a linux users' group talk on "AppleTV as a Myth frontend" last
week, and the presenter recommended against trying to use the OSX version of
Myth on the AppleTV.

Apparently the biggest problem with using the AppleTV as a frontend is that
Myth is a memory pig, and there's not much community support for making it
more efficient, which I personally don't understand, but I suppose it is
what it is. So, Linux, X, and Myth take 350-500MB of memory, and the ATV has
256MB. Basically he said it's going to swap, but he's not found it to be a
problem in practical terms. It sounds like it's a good idea to build your
distribution including only the pieces you need, and leave everything else

Other key points were

   - for HD content up to 720p and 1080i, there's no issue, but that most
   1080p content is at too high a bitrate for the ATV processor.
   - streaming live TV takes a long time to start--some people care about
   that, some don't.
   - otherwise it's been very stable (for ~1yr)
   - the small form factor, quiet operation, and general inconspicuousness
   were nice and had a high wife acceptance factor (these are important for me
   as well--I despise machine noise and blinkenlights in the bedroom, or
   anywhere, really...

Personally, I have two AppleTV's, and as soon as I can get my programming
source issues worked out, I plan to switch them over to being Myth

I guess one of the good sources of information is at

I've also looked at awkwardtv.org and www.appletvhacks.net/

Someone at the meeting also mentioned that there's a Mythbuntu-like project
going for Myth on AppleTV.

Heath Roberts
htroberts at gmail.com
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