MythTV for nomads

I don’t have a TV in a normal sense, and haven’t for a few years.  I stopped watching tv and listening to radio in real time around 2005.  Downside is no, I haven’t seen that funny new commercial.

But I do like to collect some OTA (over-the-air) shows for rainy days or when I’m tired of podcasts.  I’ve been doing this with MythTV running on a spare raspberry pi, as described here.

Setting this kind of thing up in a sticks-and-bricks house isn’t too tough, as the channels are fairly stable.  For guide data you can use:

  • EIT, the stuff that’s broadcast for free.  It tends to be minimal and very near future.  Both of these make it difficult for intelligent DVRs to work their magic.  They can’t get skip this airing due to a conflict because it airs later, for example.

  • You can rip (gently) a listings website

  • You can pay $20/yr for guide data from Schedules Direct (recommended)

But if you move around the last two approaches require a lot of maintenance.  So I stick to EIT with all its shortcomings.  But I found that the system was trying to record shows from other areas that I already left, because sometimes the EIT was still present.  So how to flush out that old info?

#        run whenever we move from place to place

#        stuff that must be run with backend running

# clear out EIT data
mythutil --cleareit

# take down backend
kill `cat /tmp/`

# clear channels, scan new channels,set starting channels here

#        restart backend
mythbackend --daemon --pidfile /tmp/

#        <a href="">maintenance</a>

# check show files
mythutil --checkrecordings --fixseektable

# optimize the tables

#        restart the frontend
mythfrontend &

The EIT data is wiped, new channels loaded, and everything keeps on going.  Existing show name  recording rules still work and guide data starts loading for the channels that exist where you are now.