Mythbuntu 8.04 Brings MythTV Improvements To Fruition
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 22 March 2008. Page 2 of 2. Add A Comment

Mythbuntu doesn't ship with all of the packages that are installed by default with Ubuntu, but the common packages have been updated. Mythbuntu 8.04 beta ships with Mozilla Firefox 3.0 Beta 4, X Server 1.4.1 pre-release, and the Linux 2.6.24 kernel (among other packages). For multimedia needs outside of MythTV, Mythbuntu continues to ship with mplayer, Xine, and the VLC Media Player. All other Ubuntu packages can be found in the Hardy Heron repositories.

The Mythbuntu Control Center found in the 8.04 release doesn't contain many changes compared to what's available in 7.10, but this control panel is already full-featured and designed quite well. The pages include System Roles, MythTV Configuration, Applications & Plugins, Proprietary Drivers, Infrared Devices, System Services, Artwork & Login Behavior, MythTV Themes, Proprietary Codecs, Advanced Management, and the new addition being Diskless Server.

Some of the specific improvements in Mythbuntu 8.04 include DKMS support for LIRC, all Mythbuntu themes have been modularized, many bug fixes, a new version of XMLTV, and one Windows special feature. For Windows users with the Mythbuntu 8.04 disk, included on it is the MythTV Player, which allows you to access MythTV recordings and content from within Windows. MythTV Player also includes all needed audio and video codecs. The DKMS (Dynamic Kernel Module Support) allows LIRC (Linux Infrared Remote Control) kernel modules to be automatically rebuilt when upgrading the Linux kernel.

MythTV 0.21 was released earlier this month and Mythbuntu 8.04 uses this new version. Its updated packages can also be found in the Hardy Heron repository for Ubuntu 8.04 users. MythTV 0.21 has auto-discovery support for less manual configuration of new front-ends, Storage Groups, new plug-ins, multi-channel audio enhancements, and new de-interlacing/video display options. The MythTV Storage Groups feature brings support for multiple recording directories, which eliminates the need for an LVM in many cases as MythTV can save the videos to multiple directories on multiple hard drives. For those with multiple recordings simultaneously, MythTV will balance these recordings across the available Storage Group directories.

Another new feature is the MythTV Watch List, which will list recorded series-based television shows in order. The new MythTV 0.21 plug-ins is MythMovies and MythZoneMinder. MythMovies will provide cinema/movie schedules based upon your zip code and a given radius. MythZoneMinder is a plug-in that supports monitoring CCTV cameras with a remote-friendly interface. On the performance end, the memory footprint for mythfrontend has been reduced by up to 75% and MySQL 5.0 is now required for MythTV 0.21+.

The biggest improvements delivered in Mythbuntu 8.04 are the diskless client support and upgrading against MythTV 0.21. MythTV 0.21 alone has many significant changes and bug fixes, with many of them being ones that will appease end-users. Mythbuntu 7.10 was an excellent MythTV distribution and Mythbuntu 8.04 is a nice upgrade to that first major release. Mythbuntu 8.04 beta can be downloaded today while Mythbuntu 8.04 final should arrive on (or slightly after) April 24, 2008 from Mythbuntu.org.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.


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