Play MythTV recordings in VLC

UPDATE 28/11/2010: VLC 1.1.5 now supported

For the Christmas holidays I’ve decided to embark on the project to build a MythTV plugin for the VideoLan Client (VLC) such that you will be able to view TV recordings without the need for SMB shares or mythfrontend itself. My primary computer is Windows which can’t run mythfrontend, so to view recordings I have to resort to using samba shares and I can’t watch live TV either. With the development of MythTV Player, you could now watch recordings and even live TV. However development seemed to have stagnated. There are features like teletext that are available in VLC, but not in the MythTV Player. Wouldn’t be great if VLC could directly access MythTV, so you can watch recordings and enjoy the features like telx subtitles? That’s what I did. I made a MythTV access plugin for VLC. Currently only available for Windows:

Download it

To install it, just extract the zip and move libaccess_myth_plugin.dll to your VLC/plugins directory. This was built against VLC 0.9.8a, so you should use that. It only supports myth protocol 40 (so only works with mythTV 0.21) at the moment.

To use it, open VLC (duh), go to the menu Media > Advanced Open file. Then click the network tab and enter a myth URL ie. myth://

Open MythTV URL

Open MythTV URL

You can also browse recordings as well. Set up your myth backend url first by going to the preferences and selecting show settings: all. Then expand Input/Codecs > Access modules > MythTV. For the Backend Server URL option, enter something like: myth://

Set the myth backend URL

Set the myth backend URL

After saving the settings, click the menu Playlist > Additional Sources > Myth TV library. Then open the Playlist (Playlist > Show playlist) and you should see a MythTV option on the left. Click that and all your shows should be there.

Play List

Play List

11 thoughts on “Play MythTV recordings in VLC

  1. jombi

    access_myth error: MythBackend Protocol mismatch, server is 43, we are 40″

    Any updates mate? Looks like a good plugin!

  2. Loune Post author

    I’ve been working on it sporadically for the last few months. Looks like you are running a beta version mythtv (0.22?). I might release a new version in the coming weeks that will support the new version.

  3. Paul


    Any chance you could update it for the latest version of VLC. Tried it and it just crashes.

    I also tried it on 0.9.8a, the zip version just unzipped to a folder on the deskop and repeated your instructions but it crashed.

    Both crashes are when selecting “Playlist > Additional Sources > Myth TV library”

    Does it make a difference that I don’t have MythTV set up to watch TV. I use it for the other features – e.g. Video Library for downloaded video.

  4. Loune Post author

    Currently the plugin can only play TV recordings. I’m not sure if it’s possible to use mythtv for streaming media files over the network.

    It doesn’t work on VLC 1.0 yet and some major changes are required to get it working. So it will be a while until there’s a 1.0 compatible version.

  5. David

    Would be nice to use this on Linux as well. Is the plugin portable? I watch Mythtv recordings on Linux with VLC but would like it to skip commercials.

  6. Mac MythTV User

    How about setting up a VLC-server to run along side the MythBackEnd and some scripts to read from the Myth recordings database (in MySQL) and advertise them to VLC-clients like a mini-IPTV station? Also, I think live-TV is just a matter of implementing some remote channel-changing ability (plug-in or adapt the IPTV controls?) and broadcasting the resulting mpeg that’s being created “live”. The trick is though that the client-side remote channel-changing code should also display the Program Guide –maybe using VNC to a MythFrontEnd running on the MythBackEnd. Still not very much work, since VLC is doing all the heavy lifting.

  7. Loune Post author

    @David yes it’s possible to port to linux

    @Mac MythTV User the hard bit with live tv and myth tv is knowing when to give up the tuner so normal recordings won’t get blocked.

    @Chris yes I do want to open source it and welcome any help I can get. I just need to find time to fix the source code so it works with VLC 1.0

  8. PeO

    I’ve been searching for a way to watch LiveTV from mtyhtv backend to a VLC frontend for some time. Found this now, but last comment suggests it’s not ready for current VLC 1.0. That was almost a year ago, any news on that?
    If could program I would love to help, unfortunatly that’s not the case. It’s possible I might be able to help with testing if needed.


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