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03 October 2012, 12:20

HTTP streams to the screen with MythTV 0.26

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Zoom HTTP streams are added exactly like conventional capture cards
Source: MythTV Wiki

The MythTV project has made the latest version of its open source digital video recorder (DVR) and media centre available. Released almost six months after the last version, MythTV 0.26 includes support for watching and recording HTTP live streams, and the theming engine has become more flexible. As usual with MythTV releases, the new version also includes several changes and bug fixes under the hood.

The HTTP live stream recording feature allows users to enter a URL for an M3U playlist and set the streaming provider up just as they would if they added a new capture source to the application. The HTTP stream can then be "tuned into" from the live TV interface just like normal TV channels. These channels can also be organised from the channel editor like regular TV channels. The developers also provide an example playlist with 15 channels including NASA TV, several Al Jazeera streams, BBC News and Eurosport UK. The maintainer of the list is currently looking for other streams to be included in the future.

Further changes to MythTV in this version include a more flexible theming system. Users can now replace UI elements on several screens with widgets from other screens. This allows for more varied themes that are customised to individual use cases. The developers have also changed MythTV's storage backend to store all times in UTC and calculate offsets based on the system's time zone. This makes the scheduling system more robust for users in time zones that employ daylight savings time. MythTV's logging functions are now handled by the new Mythlogserver which is based on the ZeroMQ transport layer.

Since the switch to UTC requires relatively big changes to the database, the developers strongly recommend updating it with the script before upgrading the installation of MythTV. They also point out that, on a large database, the update could take a significant amount of time.

A detailed list of changes in MythTV 0.26 is available from the release notes in the MythTV wiki. The source code of the application is available for download from the MythTV site. Users wanting to try out MythTV or set up their own dedicated system may be interested in a tailor-made distribution, such as Mythbuntu or MythDora. Source code for MythTV is hosted on GitHub and is licensed under the GPLv2.


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