Setup TV Tuner in MythTV

This article shows how to set up MythTV on a computer running any linux distro that supports MythTV.


This article uses the Pinnacle PCTV HD Pro Stick USB ($20) TV Tuner (see the Setup USB TV Tuner on Linux for more info); however, the content is relatively agnostic in regards to the tuner. I also purchased a RCA ANT751 ($35) outdoor antenna from Amazon and tuned it according to


MythTV is "is a Free Open Source software digital video recorder (DVR)", put simply, its a replacement DVR for things like FiOS or Comcast's DVR functionality. MythTV can capture almost any video (e.g. video from your webcam, Over-the-Air broadcasts, and even video from a cable provider). MythTV has a two distinct parts (one system with two parts) which allow you to capture, save, schedule, and organize in one spot (the MythTV backend) and watch in another part (the MythTV frontend). On most MythTV setups the two parts are on one computer and you only see one application; however, this separation of the backend and frontend allow you to do cool things like have the backend running on a server in one room and have someone watching video (TV) from a laptop in another room and yet another person watching pre-recorded TV in another room on a traditional TV. This is all possible with MythTV and easy to set up and use.


Setup of MythTV is relatively simple, install MythTV (backend and frontend components) from your repo of choice. This should simply be a matter of selecting the software and clicking install. MythTV should now be up and working but your TV Tuner is not setup within MythTV. The following guide is an adaptation from but in an abbreviated form:

  1. Start the MythTV Backend application (or enter mythsetup in a shell)
  2. Create a new capture card which will allow you to capture data from your TV Tuner by selecting "New capture card"
  3. Configure the analog half of the card as follows:
  4. Under Card type, choose IVTV MPEG-2 encoder (or MPEG-2 encoder card (PVR-x50, PVR-500)). Do not select Analog V4L capture
  5. Choose the correct video device (usually /dev/video0 unless
    there is more than one card). Note: if the video device is not listed
    and a could not open to probe its inputs message appears, add /dev/video0 manually
  6. Probed info should populate with Hauppauge HVR-1600 [cx18]
  7. To use NTSC RF from an antenna or cable TV provider, choose 'Tuner 1' under Default input
  8. Select Finish.
  9. Next, configure the digital half of the card as follows:
  10. Add another tuner card
  11. Under Card type choose 'DVB DTV capture card (v3.x)'.
  12. Choose the correct value under DVB Device Number (usually 0,
    this should be the same number appended to /dev/video when configuring
    the analog portion of the card). Starting with 0.22, this field will be a
    string like: /dev/dvb/adapter0/frontend0. A second card would be
  13. Frontend ID should populate to something like "Samsung S5H1409 QAM/Subtype: ATSC'.
  14. Select Recording Options.
  15. Change Max recordings to 1, since this card can only record one thing at a time.
  16. Select Finish.
  17. Select Finish again.
  18. Next, we create one Video Source for each half of the card created above labeling them 'Analog' and 'Digital'
  19. The last step is scanning for channels which can be done as follows:
  20. Go back to the main menu and select Input connections, then select the correct DVB input for the card just configured.
  21. Set the video source to 'Digital', created in step 4.
  22. Select Scan for channels.
  23. A DVB device should be selected under Input.
  24. Scan Type should be 'Full Scan'.
  25. For cable, change Frequency Table to 'Cable' (you'll probably
    want to use 'Cable High' since most QAM channels are in the high range).
  26. For cable, change Modulation to 'Cable (QAM-256)'. All U.S.
    cable companies either use QAM-256 or QAM-64, most including Comcast use
  27. Choose an ATSC Channel Separator (most television tuners use a period).
  28. Select Next and then wait for the scan to complete. This may take a while.
  29. When it's done scanning, select Finish

You should now have your TV Tuner defined and ready for use. Start up MythTV frontend and navigate to "Live TV". If needed, hit the "s" key (the hotkey to bring up the TV guide) and you should see all of your channels along with show information.

Additional Information

Hopefully the above information is useful/helpful. If you have questions or issues please leave a comment. The following articles may also provide help if you run into issues:

other info: