[mythtv] Mythbackend UPnP server?

Louie Ilievski loudawg at comcast.net
Wed Jan 18 04:36:32 UTC 2006

> I have already implemented most of what is needed to turn MythBackend into
> a uPNP Server.  Here is what I have left to do:

This is great.  Mat (the original poster) and I work together and have been 
discussing this issue the past week.  My current project at work is to help 
create the software which will make DirecTV's next generation settop box 
compliant with Intel's new VIIV technology and act as a MediaRenderer.  This 
project has enlightened me on UPnP in general, and more specifically, on UPnP 
A/V.  We've come to realize the potential for UPnP in MythTV.

> 2)Implement the Notification Subscription services (events).  This should
> not take long, all pieces have been completed, just need to assemble them.

Isn't this handled in the libupnp stack?  Of course you never did mention that 
you were using libupnp to begin with, but if not, it is definitely worth 
checking out as it takes care of all the basic UPnP functionaly (device 
discovery, event subscriptions, SOAP requests, etc) just not the A/V specific 

> I was planning to have the completed implementation done 2 months ago...
> Unfortunately, real life has gotten in the way.  I am starting a new
> project at work and should start to have time in the next month or so to
> finish my changes (I figured the delay would allow all the LiveTV changes
> to become rock solid).

It would be great if you could release what you have so far.  Perhaps I, and 
others can jump in on this contribute to it.  I am very interested in seeing 
what it can do.

Here are a few other thoughts I have come up with that UPnP could do for 

Discovery:  UPnP would allow for automatic discovery of frontends and backends 
(I mean just Myth FE/BE, not to mention anything else that is compliant), so 
any time a user installs mythfrontend on a new system, or let's say network 
settings were changed (IP address of the backend changed), there's nothing to 
worry about, and there's no configuration necessary.  Just fire up 
mythfrontend, and you're all connected.

MediaServer:  MythTV could also advertise itself as a MediaServer service as 
well as just a MediaRenderer.  This way, all recordings, pictures, movies, 
etc. stored on the backend are instantly available to any other UPnP 
complaint device in the household, including your PC's.  Handheld devices as 
well could display recordings, pictures, music, etc. stored on the backend 
without worrying about the storage space needed and copying it all over.  
Just turn it on, browse, and view.  This is of course dependent on how far 
one wants to go with this.  Because UPnP A/V allows for multiple resource 
elements for a given media item, a recording could be offered up as a sized 
down mpeg4 file, or a full blown, untouched, mpeg2, or any other form, 
provided the backend is capable of transcoding the material on the fly for 
that request (it needs both the processing power, as well as the tools to do 
this).  The same applies to pictures and audio.  In addition, this eliminates 
the need for some Renderer, say just your office computer, to have to mount 
the backend's file system, or copy the file over before viewing.  It's all 
taken care of on the fly.

Other UPnP stuff:  UPnP has standards defined for lighting controls and other 
things as well.  So, building on top of the basic UPnP stack would be pretty 
easy to support more stuff in the future.  If your heating/cooling system, or 
some lights in your house (or a device that controls them) are compliant, you 
can use your MythTV setup to control them seamlessly.  

Anyway, I'm thinking about this too much now  :-)  Some of the ideas above may 
not be practical or, because I'm not a pro yet on UPnP, may not even be 
possible.  However, these are just ideas I've lightly thought about now that 
I have a fair understanding of the subject matter.

Thoughts are welcome.


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