MythTV – digital video recorder (DVR) project

MythTV is a suite of software that allows you to build a Home Theater convergence box. It allows you to watch and record TV programs, watch movies, view photos, listen to music, play games, and more.

This large feature set is, in part, created by the large number of available plugins.

MythTV is free and open source software.

Features include:

  • Basic ‘live-tv’ functionality. Pause/Fast Forward/Rewind “live” TV.
  • Support for multiple tuner cards and multiple simultaneous recordings.
  • Distributed architecture allowing multiple recording machines and multiple playback machines on the same network, completely transparent to the user.
  • Compresses video in software using rtjpeg (from Nuppelvideo) or mpeg4 (from libavcodec). Full support for Hardware MPEG-2 encoder cards (Hauppauge PVR-250 / PVR-350). Preliminary support for DVB cards and the new pcHDTV tuner card.
  • Support for the (very nice looking) hardware MPEG-2 decoder and TV out present on the Hauppauge PVR-350.
  • Completely automatic commercial detection/skipping.
  • Grabs program information using xmltv.
  • A fully themeable menu to tie it all together.
  • Displays basic program information on channel change using a themeable semi-transparent on-screen display.
  • Basic video editing abilities. Optional transcoding to remove the commercials from the video file to save space.
  • Picture in picture support, if you have more than one tuner card.
  • Electronic Program Guide that lets you change channels and select programs to record. The program guide data in North America is downloaded from, a subsidiary of Tribune Media Services.
  • Program Finder to quickly and easily find the shows you want to record.
  • Scheduled recordings of TV programs, and playback and deletion of those programs, all through a themeable UI.
  • Browse and resolve recording conflicts.
  • A nice web interface to let you select programs to record remotely.
  • Rip, categorize, play, and visualize MP3/Ogg/FLAC/CD Audio files. (FLAC, Vorbis, and MP3 encoding). Create complex playlists (and playlists containing playlists) through a simple UI.
  • Includes UPNP server, so a UPNP client should automatically see content from a MythTV system.
  • MythUI OSD.
  • Blu-ray disc/folder parsing and playback.
  • Metadata grabbing in MythGame.
  • Fully automatic metadata grabbing in MythVideo, allow users to select artwork to be downloaded.
  • Embedded text subtitle support in MKV and others.
  • Blu-ray and DVD multi-angle.
  • Online theme browser and downloader.
  • Experimental Broadcom Crystal HD hardware decoding support.

Support: Forums
Developer: Isaac Richards and many contributors
License: GNU GPL v2


MythTV is so popular it has become the base of some specially developed Linux distributions, such as iMedia MythTV Linux (a distribution for Via EPIA mainboards), MythDora (a Fedora Core and MythTV linux distro that is packed on a single DVD), KnoppMyth and Mythbuntu.

MythTV is written in C and C++. Learn C with our recommended free books and free tutorials. Learn C++ with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

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