[kwlug-disc] Apple TV w/MythTV

Paul Gallaway pgallaway at gmail.com
Mon Mar 9 15:06:21 EDT 2009

On Mon, Mar 9, 2009 at 2:20 PM,  <john at netdirect.ca> wrote:
> Has anyone looked at using AppleTV as a mythtv front end?
> It appears to be possible. AppleTV runs a pared down version of OS X on
> Intel and there is a MythTV binary for Mac OS X. The price is right and it's
> an HDMI/Component option that has built-in H.264 and MPEG4 hardware decode.
> And it's an attractive package.
> I generally only use MythTV for recorded shows but I'm wondering what else
> will work or won't.

No personal experience with it but here's what I have garnered from my
time reading the MythTV list:

- MythTV doesn't/can't use the OSX video acceleration on any Apple
product. I don't recall specifically if there's an option to install
as menu item in the AppleTV or if installing linux first is the only
way. (I know it's possible on the mini). MythTV simply doesn't have
the code base to make use of the video acceleration code in OSX;
- If you install linux first and then MythTV you can use XvMC to
accelerate MPEG2 for the AppleTV. The old mini revisions didn't
support any video acceleration (Intel). The new/current mini have a
NVidia 9400 igp and assuming you can get a linux distro installed, it
should support VDPAU (no field reports that I have seen on this yet);
- Apparently XvMC for 720p and greater resolutions doesn't result in
the greatest picture. This doesn't apply to just the AppleTV. However
I'm pretty certain it's the only way to get 720p to work on the
AppleTV; and
- It is an extremely slow frontend to use for Live TV.

Don't let any of this dissuade you. There are many people using them
as cheap, good looking, reliable frontends. Search AppleTV on the user
list and you'll be well prepared for all the caveats and gotchas you
might face. You might want to also find the AppleTV boot loader
project page for all the gory installation details.


        all good things. all in good time.

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