Configuring MythTV to run without a TV Tuner/Card

Note: This is an archived post. Information may not be relevant now.

This post is a straight forward set of instructions on how you can configure MythTV to run without a TV tuner or capture card.

My current ADSTech TV tuner isn’t supported by MythTV due to driver issues. So, I have ordered a Hauppauge TV tuner which I am getting very soon. Although I had no plans of using MythTV just for local music and video playback, I couldn’t wait to try and see why it is so popular. Configuring MythTV to run without any identified TV capture card wasn’t that straight-forward and I thought sharing it would help someone else besides serving as a cheatsheet for myself.

Installing MythTV

On Fedora, CentOS, RHEL and other rpm based distros:

sudo yum -y install mythtv

For Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install mythtv


Launch setup with mythtv-setup.

Navigate to 2. Capture Cards
Select (New Capture Card)
For Card Type, select Demo test recorder and leave File path field empty. Hit Finish.

Use Esc key whenever you need to go one level back. Pressing Escnow takes us to the main menu.

From the setup main menu, navigate to 4\. Video sources.
Select (New Video Source)
Fill in Video source name with Empty.

Select No grabber for Listings Grabber.
Hit Finish.

Now that we have created card and source, we need to connect them.
From the main menu, navigate to 5\. Input connections.
The Demo capture device is currently attached to none.
Press Enter key to edit this connection and select Empty from the pulldown.
Hit Next and then Finish to save this connection.

From the main menu, select6\. Channel Editor and then click Add New Channel.
Give a name for Channel Name and select empty from Video Source pulldown.
Hit Next and then Finish to save this channel.

We can now exit the setup.

Running MythTV

Start MythTV backend service with mythbackend &.
The & after a process name pushes it to background.

Launch mythfrontend.