VLC – 1, MythTV Internal Player – 0

Don’t freak, I love my MythTV, however the Internal player for handling videos and dvds tends to suck a little at times.

I watch a few google videos (more like this or this, than this , but hey, you watch what you want 🙂 ) – anyway, the MythTV internal player more often than not doesn’t like playing these files, with either the video jumping, audio twitching, missing or some odd combination thereof.   Anyway, I’d finally had enough and decided i’d switch from the internal player to using vlc.

Surprisingly it’s pretty easy.

In mythtv, navigate the menus to “Video Settings” -> “Player Settings” and change the player from ‘Internal’ to vlc file://%s vlc:quit .  The vlc:quit adds ‘quit’ to the playlist which means when the video ends you’re not left with vlc sitting there looking at you.

Rather than passing parms to vlc via the command line, I modified the ~/.vlc/vlcrc and set options like :

control=lirc    #note

Then of course I had to modify my ~/.lircrc to allow my remote and vlc to have a happy relationship.  Of course your remote is likely different to mine, but the concept looks like this:

In this context, button is the button pressed on the remote and config is the vlc action to take (as detailed in the ~/.vlc/vlcrc )

#Stop playback and exit
prog = vlc
button = stop
config = key-quit

# Pause playback
prog = vlc
button = playpause
repeat = 3
config = key-play-pause

# Seek back 10 seconds
prog = vlc
button = rew
repeat = 3
config = key-jump-short

End result, all my videos work without issue.  My nearly 4 yr old son can happily get mythtv to work with this configuration, so dont let anyone tell you mythtv is hard to use 🙂


3 thoughts on “VLC – 1, MythTV Internal Player – 0

  1. FWIW, I use mplayer for playing video files in mythtv and its been pretty good as well.

  2. My opinion. The internal player is a piece of scrap. I use it to play ISOs off of a video server. Everybody is talking GigE and the load on the network is minimal when it works. It ain’t the server because it serves videos to other players just fine.

    Half the time, the internal player crashes when you pick an ISO to play. Sometimes it just hangs. If you’re lucky, this won’t crash Myth but sometimes it switches to lay-in-wait mode and then crashes Myth later on. Sometimes you can see the frontend in the process list and kill it but other times not.

    If you do get to see the menu, picking things off it sometimes works and sometimes not. Variations on the crash or hang are possible. Occasionally, the picture comes up with 1/4 of the screen, on the left, with the colors switched (an interesting effect).

    Once it actually begins to play the ISO, it usually works pretty good.

    It sounds to me like somebody forgot to initialize a bunch of stuff on startup and we’re just picking random values off the stack. For example, if you do see the menu and you move around the selections on it, this reduces the chance of crashing greatly.

    Bear in mind that all of the ISOs will eventually play OK. Its just random chance as to whether its this time or next time. This pretty much proves that there’s nothing wrong with the ISOs.

    Meanwhile, VLC plays them all flawlessly. So, if you are tired of the internal player’s crap, you might try VLC instead. It works way better for me.

  3. I use MythVideo with a ton of DVD images, but not in ISO format; I’ve extracted each of them to their own directory. In my situation, Myth has never, ever, crashed playing back these videos, so the blame has to be either faulty handling of ISO files or something particular to your systems. I’m glad I can use the internal player, as it mirrors the on-screen display as used in television viewing.

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