[mythtv] Roku, mythtv integration, mvpmc

David Shay david at shay.net
Wed Jan 26 16:16:07 EST 2005

> David,
> When progressing with this, keep in mind that the Roku HD1000 only
> MPEG-2 TS streams. More or less, it should be able to stream most of the

The 2.0 software supposedly reads MPEG-2 program streams as well.

> content MythTV records, although you'll need to strip the NUV header more
> than likely. The videolan client (vlc) has been able to stream to the
> HD1000. I understand that MPEG-4 support is underway, but according to
> the HD1000 might not have the hardware power to decode it in real time,
> which could really make it unusable.

I only have PVR-250s and now a PCHDTV-3000 so all of my tv-recorded content
will already be MPEG with just a NUV extension. This would still be an issue
for some of my mythvideo stuff.  First step would be to get it working
without a transcode layer, then introduce that complexity.
> So yes, recorded content should play fine, but local video files (divx,
> mpeg-4, and not-so-properly-formatted-mpeg2 can not successfully be
> by it.
> How you will have the Roku HD1000 be controlled is another issue. I am not
> aware of a perfect solution for this yet. There is serial and telnet
> ability for this device, but I don't know if you can tell it to load a
> stream at a particular URI as of yet. For example, how do you want to
> control it? You might want to be able to use the Roku remote to search,
> browse, and list content (this would require creating a new protocol to
> to MythTV (perhaps adding uPNP AV to MythTV to make it look like a device,
> or by writing a custom protocol to fetch content listings from MythTV to
> displayed on a Roku UI application). Or perhaps you want to stay within
> MythTV menu system, select your content there, and have it trigger the
> to stream content (somehow) off the MythTV content server. You would also
> have to tell your receiver or your HDTV to change to the proper input to
> display and hear the Roku HD1000. Either way, it looks like a fair amount
> work.

My approach is moving in the direction of building uPNP AV server
functionality into mfd.  My understanding is that with release 2.0 of the
Roku software, they will have a full fledged browser/player.  That is one
the current list of stuff to be released before the non-beta 2.0 release.

That would allow a fully Roku-integrated way to play content.  The next step
would be to provide a UI to allow for scheduling new programs, deleting
programs, and managing conflicts/priorities.  There seems to be a rather
robust SDK for the Roku that would allow this to happen.  The myth protocol
could be used to manage some of this (adding a new schedule, deleting a
program, etc.), but displaying/searching the guide is a separate challenge
since right now the protocol doesn't support this as it is done with direct
sql calls.  Porting this functionality would either require extending the
protocol to add generic SQL support or getting libmysqlclient working on the
Roku hardware.  The mvpmc project has these same issues with respect to
guide data display/schedule.  All of that would be secondary work once the
uPNP server is built.

> Roku Labs intends on completing the uPNP AV stack on all of their devices,
> but as of now, you can't use it to list content it sees, you can just
> control basic functionality. For example, with the Roku M500/M1000/M2000
> devices, you can tell it to PLAY, PAUSE, SKIP FORWARD, etc. But you can
> tell it to play a specific song.

If you've got experience with uPNP development, drop me a line to see how we
could collaborate.  I have some Qt, XML, and http experience, but nothing
directly with uPNP before.

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