Build your own tv-true platform

Do you want to watch the TV programs from websites such as BBC iPlayer and Seesaw directly on your television rather than on the screen of your laptop? what you need is a tv-true platform. On this page you will find the step by step instructions for creating your own tv-true platform.

The tv-true platform described here is based on the MythTV software. MythTV provides a menu system designed for viewing on your television from the ten foot distance. Using the menus and a remote control, you can navigate to all the features of the MythTV suite including recording TV and accessing your stored movies and photos. Think of MythTV as the equivalent of the Windows Media Center for Linux. These instructions will guide you through installing MythTV and the additional steps for configuring access to the TV streaming websites. To record television programmes you will need additional TV tuner hardware, but this part is out of scope for this instruction guide, although there is plenty of online assistance available to help you setup this facility.

MythTV is bundled into a software collection called MythDora. The MythDora bundle includes the Linux OS (Fedora) and all the other software packages you will need. Having a software bundle like MythDora, this takes all the unknowns out of the installation process.

The components that you will need to create your own tv-true platform are:

  • A quiet PC that has sufficient CPU power to play Flash streaming comfortably - these instructions are based on using the Asrock ION 330. The Asrock ION is a small, near silent, "bare bones" PC (i.e. it does not come pre-installed with an operating system). Being small and quiet makes the ASrock ION an ideal component that will be easy to accomodate in a living room setting. Some model versions of the Asrock ION include HD 1080p DVD playback and infra-red sensor with remote control; the manufacturer of the Asrock ION clearly had this living room environment in mind when designing it.
  • A seprate PC capable of burning DVDs - this is so that you can create your installation disk after downloading MythDora. Alternatively you can purchase the in-expensive MythDora DVD from the MythDora website
  • A television with HDMI input - the Asrock ION does not have s-video output, only HDMI and VGA. VGA does not carry sound and the Asrock ION has no built-in speakers, so if you use VGA you would also need a set of PC speakers (the ION has a standard 3.5mm stereo sound socket and S/PDIF).
  • USB keyboard and USB mouse - during the installation process you will need a keyboard and mouse, once MythDora is installed, these can be put to one side
  • Infrared remote control with IR receiver. There is an option to purchase the Asrock ION 330 with a Windows Media Center Edition remote control but similar is able to purchased separately.
  • Network cabling to your TV - the Asrock ION does not have built in WiFi, so if you cannot route the network cable close to your television you will need a wireless networking USB dongle

Steps for Creating your tv-true platform

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