Internet Video with MythTV

There’s no capture card in the HTPC right now. Before adding that, I wanted to check out the state of Internet TV. MythTV has plugins for Hulu, YouTube and a few other internet video sites. The integration isn’t as tight as, say, cable on-demand. You can browse listings, but there’s not much information about the videos. I suspect video metadata will get better over time.

But one of the biggest problems is that some of the videos are a black hole. By this I mean, once you start playing them, there’s no way to get out. I was watching a CNet video that did this. The playback control bar would come up (sometimes), but it ignored attempts to move forward through the video. None of the keyboard commands worked either. When the video was over, it just sat there. No clicking of the mouse or use of the keyboard worked. Even the window manager’s application menu didn’t work. I had to Ctrl+Alt+F1 to a text terminal, log in and kill MythTV.

Playback wasn’t as smooth as I had expected either. I’ll need to do some more research to see if this is due to compression from the source, Flash or graphics driver settings. This machine is a Core i3 Sandy Bridge with integrated Intel graphics. It should be plenty fast to play even 1080p video if set up correctly.

There were some other problems, also. MythTV would crash frequently. I applied some updates from the MythTV repo and that seemed to help.