Home theater computer systems have gained mass popularity in the last two years, with the increased to digital entertainment, as well as cheaper computer systems and faster Internet connections. A home theater computer is a computer system hooked up to a TV and used to stream digital videos and play movies and games.
The only downside to utilizing a computer system for your entertainment needs is the clunky interface – you’re generally required to have a keyboard and mouse hooked up to the system, and switching movies or videos requires you to manually click on a new movie.
Luckily, as the demand came for sophisticated home theater computer systems, software was created to meet that demand. While most software is expensive, there is one program that is free while still offering the features needed – MythTV.
MythTV is a sophisticated PVR software that is loaded onto the theater computer. This software offers an attractive user interface that allows you to scroll through your movies with a remote, as well as browse live TV if you have it. It offers a digital menu just as you get with convention cable, and gives you the ability to record shows with it’s built-in DVR feature. MythTV is completely compatible with Bluetooth remote systems, so you can eliminate the need for a keyboard and mouse.
If you’d like to take your home theater computer to the next level, then read on to find out how to install and configure MythTV.
Home theater computer
Videos in supported format
TV Tuner card with cable port (if live TV is desired)
Bluetooth remote (if desired)
Step 1: The first step is the setup a home theater computer if you don’t already have one. The computer will need to have a good graphics card, at least two gigs of RAM, and a tv tuner card with a cable port if you would like to stream your live cable through the system. The system must be loaded with Linux, as the program will not work with Windows.
Depending on your TV, the system can be hooked up with an HDMI cable, component, s-video, or, as a last option, composite.
Step 2: Once a TV is hooked up to your computer, you’ll need to install the MythTV software. The program can be installed from the official MythTV website. The website has a wide array of documentation for installing and setting up the system – this will vary based on hardware you use.
The way you will need install the system will depend on the version of Linux you are running. The most common Linux distro is Ubuntu, so these instructions will work for that distro.
Open the Terminal by navigating to Applications > Accessories > Terminal. Once it is open, type sudo apt-get install mythtv. The installation process will start in the Terminal. Initially, it will show the information about the package, the amount of space that it will take up, and will ask if you want to proceed with the installation. If you do, press the ‘Y’ key. Wait for it to install.
A couple of times during the installation process, you will be asked to assigned a password for the MySQL database – don’t assign one, just leave it blank and press ENTER.
Step 3: After the installation is done, close the Terminal and navigate to Applications > Sound and Video > MythTV Frontend. This will open the MythTV application. From here, simply use your mouse to navigate to the various settings and change them as you wish.