[mythtv-users] MythTV newbie questions

George Galt george.galt at gmail.com
Fri Sep 14 13:45:00 UTC 2012

On Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 8:52 AM, Nick Jenkins <nickpj at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I'm new to MythTV, coming from having previously used an aging Series-1
> TiVo, and I have some MythTV questions that I'm hoping you might be able
> to help me with.
> Version numbers/setup details, in case it helps: Distro: MythBuntu
> 12.04.1 (fresh install), MythTV: 0.25 + fixes (the full version string
> is: "2:0.25.2+fixes.20120906.05a3d73-0ubuntu0mythbuntu4"), configured as
> a primary backend + frontend. Hardware is a HP Microserver N40L with a
> "Sony PlayTV" (USB dual FTA digital tuner), HDMI out and sound are via a
> MSI NVIDIA GT620 card, remote control is an Flirc USB module (which
> looks just like a keyboard to the host). The channels I receive are the
> free-to-air ones for Sydney/Australia, and using the EIT program data.
> My questions:
> * When watching something with the TiVo, if you're fast forwarding or
> rewinding, and then press the play/pause button, it starts playing at
> normal speed. However with MythTV, if you're fast forwarding or
> rewinding, and then press the play/pause button, it pauses. (I've bound
> the play/pause button to the letter 'p'). Is there some way to make
> MythTV play when coming out of fast forwarding/rewind, without having to
> use a separate button on the remote? More broadly, this feels the more
> intuitive behaviour, so would it make sense to have play/pause toggle to
> play first when viewing at a non-standard speed?
> * Is there some way to bind a key to "jump back 5 seconds"? I quite miss
> this function from the TiVo's remote, and would like to reproduce it.
> Under Setup -> Video -> Playback Groups, I can see a "jump back" entry
> set to "5", but I'm assuming this is equivalent to the "JUMPRWND/Jump
> back" keybinding of "Page up", and from memory this jumps back 10
> minutes.
> * For testing the tuner, on my main Ubuntu workstation I installed a
> MythTV backend and a frontend. Once I had established the tuner was
> working, I wanted to use the workstation as only a frontend, so I
> uninstalled mythtvbackend. But now when I run "mythfrontend", it
> repeatedly says "Could not connect to the master backend. Is it running?
> Is the IP address set in for it in mythtv-setup [OK]". However I don't
> have mythtv-setup installed any more, as there's no backend on the
> machine any more. So I went into mythfrontend -> setup -> general, and
> have confirmed that the MySQL database settings are correct (since the
> same MySQL parameters work when used from the command line, such as
> "mysql -h N40L -D mythconverg -u mythtv -p"). The console output from
> mythfrontend is here: http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=DJeN36PE ; it seems
> to want to connect to a backend server on How do I convince
> mythfrontend to look at N40L rather than localhost for the backend
> server? I've tried "sudo dpkg-reconfigure mythtv-frontend", but it
> didn't seem to do much. Neither did deleting ~/.mythtv . Do I need to
> open a different port on the MythBuntu system? Or is it more something
> on the workstation?
> * Not really MythTV related, more xfce (which is the window manager
> being used in MythBuntu): I don't have a mouse on the mythtv system, so
> how do I open the xfce main menu using only the keyboard? E.g. In
> windows, ctrl-escape will open the start menu; In Gnome, Alt-F1 will
> open the Gnome menu; Does anyone know the equivalent keystroke in xfce?
> * Possible bug, maybe: Here in Sydney, there are two channels both
> called "ABC1" (channel 2, and channel 21). They seem to show the same
> content at the same time. To my way of thinking, MythTV recording option
> of: "Record at any time on channel X" means that a show will only be
> recorded when broadcast on one channel - however, that is not strictly
> the case. When I set a show to "Record at any time on channel ABC1" when
> looking at channel 2, it tries to record the show both when it shows on
> channel 2, and on channel 21 (i.e. 2 simultaneous recordings from one
> channel season pass). This tends to use both tuners, so it blocks
> anything else from being recorded. Instead of matching for a channel
> whose name matches the string "ABC1", maybe mythtv should match on a
> channel called "ABC1" with the right channel number too? Anyway, just a
> suggestion, because I just disabled channel 21, and that looks to have
> solved the problem I had.
> Any help or guidance or pointers for any of the above will be gratefully
> received.
> -- All the best,
> Nick.
> _______________________________________________
> mythtv-users mailing list
> mythtv-users at mythtv.org
> http://www.mythtv.org/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users


Welcome to mythtv!

There are a number of good guides on the wiki that can answer many of
your questions.  A good starting place is here:
http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/User_Manual:Daily_Use  Near the top of that
page there is a good chart showing what keys are bound to what
functions.  You can also dive deeper at

IIRC, there are 2 ways to move around a recording.  The first
replicates the old-school "fast forward" and "rewind" of a VCR tape
where you run through the recording at a fast pace.  The other way --
and the way I have used mythtv for many years -- is to bind the right
cursor, left cursor, up and down buttons to various jumps.  In my
case, right jumps forward 15 seconds, left jumps back 5 seconds, up
jumps forward 1 minute and down back one minute.  All of these times
can be configured (I believe the default for up and down is actually a
10 minute jump).  After a jump, the recording just continues playing.
This is much easier in a digital setting.  You can set your lirc file
to allow for an extended key press to issue multiple key presses,
which would give you multiple jumps, if that is behavior you want.
Using this second method, while different from your TIVO might be
easier once you get used to it.

On your issue regarding connecting to the backend, from your file it
looks like it is either not finding you config.xml file under
/home/nickj/.mythtv or that file is empty.  There should be a section
that looks something like:
        <DBHostName>[IP address of backend]</DBHostName>
        <DBPort>[port number of db]</DBPort>

Fill in the brackets with the correct information and it should work.

I hope this helps.


More information about the mythtv-users mailing list