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Script: mythsshimport

Here’s a useful script for users of a MythTV box equipped with a PVR-350 MPEG capture/playback cardmythsshimport:


mythsshimport – transcode and install video files onto a MythTV box


mythsshimport file1 [file2 …]


Transcodes video files (AVI, MPEG, MOV, WMV etc.) into MythTV-compatible and PVR-350-optimised MPEG-2 .nuv files, suitable for viewing on a 4/3 screen, then transfers them to the MythTV backend, inserts them into the “recorded programs” listings, and builds seek tables.

All this happens on-the-fly, at faster-than-real-time rates; with a recent CPU in the transcoding box, and over an 802.11b wifi home network, you can start the process and start watching the video within 20 seconds, while it is transcoded and transferred in the background.

SSH is used as the network transport. If you have the CPU power available on the MythTV backend itself, you can run this script there (as the mythtv user) and it will skip the SSH parts entirely.


  • ssh password-less key access from transcode box into mythtv@mythbox (this could be localhost, if you’re transcoding on the mythbox). Test using: “ssh mythtv@mythbox echo hi”. If you run this script on the mythbox as the mythtv user, this is not required.

  • mencoder. Tested with 2:0.99+1.0pre7try2+cvs20060117-0ubuntu8 (I swear that’s a version string and not just me rolling my head around the keyboard)

  • MythTV. Tested with MythTV 0.20.

  • The “contrib/” script from the MythTV source tarball, installed on the mythbox in $PATH: download from

  • screen(1) installed on the transcoding box, used to keep the mencoder output readable

Download here.