Project: create the best Freesat PVR ever

You only need to answer basic questions about your location, language and the base username. The first question specific to MythTV is titled 'Advanced Installation Type', where you need to choose between either 'Standard' or 'Advanced'. Choose the first option for minimal pestering. The next page will take you through the configuration of a remote control and an IR transmitter. For remote control functionality, Mythbuntu uses a popular application called LIRC, which is compatible with hundreds of PC-based remote control solutions.

Select yours from the drop-down list. There's also the option to configure an IRtransmitter. These are used tocontrol set top boxes that are connected to recordable inputs on MythTV. The transmitter will emit a channel-change signal just before a scheduled programme.

The next window will let you select additional drivers and firmware. This page deals with the thorny issue of proprietary drivers, and what you choose will depend on which hardware you're using. Owners of Nvidia graphics cards should choose the Nvidia proprietary driver from the drop-down menu.

This offers much better performance than the open-source driver. You can also choose to enable the TV output onthe card. For ATi and Intel devices, we recommend sticking with the open-source drivers fornow. Clicking on 'Forward' willstart the main installation process. This will first repartition your drive (you have the chance to configure this manually), before moving on to package installation. On an average PC, the process takes around 10-20 minutes. Enough time for a cup of tea.

Setting up MythTV

When you return to your machine, all the required files will have installed and you'll see the Configure Guide Data/Backend window. The first option is only of interest to US users, as they can download programme data from a paid-for online service.

The rest of us need to click on the 'Launch MythTV setup' button. This will launch MythTV's low-level configuration application. This holds the options you set once and forget about. After choosing your language – British English is in the list – you'll see a window with six further options.

We only need toworry about the first four. Selecting the first option, labelled '1. General', you only need to make sure 'TV Format' on the second page is set to 'PAL'. Don't worry about the channel frequency table, that's for older analog cards. Quickly skip through the rest of the General options, and switch to '2.Capture cards'.

Press [Enter] on the 'New capture card' and scroll through the card types until you find DVB DTV. This selection will work for both Freesat and Freeview, but satellite users need to add a few further settings. You should click on the 'DiSEqC' button, press [Enter] and choose 'LNB' as the device type. From the resulting LNB Configuration page, ensure Universal (Europe) isselected and click on 'Finish'.

Now we move onto '3. Video sources'. Under the video sources list that appears, select 'New video source' and press [Enter]. This page tells MythTV how to get the EPG (electronic programme guide). Give the video source a name – we used 'default' – and select 'Transmitted guide only (EIT)' from the listings grabber drop-down menu.

This will get programme data from the digital television transmission. Click on 'Finish' to move back to the main options menu. The '4. Input connections' page ties together the two previous options, linking the capture card to the video source. Press return on the only item in the list (our capture card), and change the video source to the name you gave in the previous step.

Press the 'Scan for channels' button. Terrestrial viewers can now click 'Next' to scan for new channels. Satellite users need toenter '10788000' for the frequency, 'Vertical' for the polarity and '2200000' for the symbol rate. Clicking on 'Next' will open the Scan Progress window, and you'll need to wait for MythTV to find every channel it can.