[mythtv] Parental Controls and MythVideo

Doug Young goofdad at gmail.com
Fri Sep 7 04:29:21 UTC 2007

I have a large family and am interested in squeezing a tad more
functionality out of my MythTV System...Here's my problem (and my proposed

I love that there are 4 levels of "Parental Control" for movies.  It allows
me to set movies from L1 (anyone can watch) to L4 (only for my wife and I).
The problem comes in the PIN.  With the current system, the PIN is for
"changing levels", which means that in order to truly limit L4 to my wife
and I, I'd have to keep the PIN to myself, and enter it for my older
children when they want to bump the level up to 2 or 3.  What I'd rather do
is have multiple PIN's, one for L2, one for L3, and one for L4.  That way,
my G only crowd could just use it without thinking (always a good thing), my
PG crowd could have the L2 PIN, my PG-13 crowd could have the L3 PIN, and
only my wife and I can have L4 (OK...that's a tad contrived, 'cuz no way do
my opinions on what my kids can watch match the ratings that nicely, but one
could dream...).  My hope is to have the L4 PIN unlock any level from 4
down, L3 from 3 down, etc, so that any one person only has to remember 1

This will keep me from having to run downstairs every time the middle tier
children want to change levels (no comments about needing to get away from
my computer and get some exercise, thanks)...

I've already started looking at the code, and doing a bit of coding, but was
wondering (before I get too far) a: if this was already available somehow,
and I was just being dense and missing it, and b: if I was the only one with
this particular itch (ie, would this be useful to submit, or should I just
slink off in a corner and keep it to myself ;-)

Assuming the answers are no, it's not available, and no I'm not alone, this
is what I believe would be necessary to do this patch right:

1: write a modified version of MythPasswordDialog that takes an array of
valid passwords, and returns true if -any- of them match.
2: modify the occurrences of checkParentPassword() to accept a "level" as
and argument and use the new Dialog from (1).
3: move the Parental Controls to their own configuration screen (another
screen under General?  their own settings screen?), add the new fields,
complete with useful descriptions.
4: test, test, test.

With 8 children ranging from 18 to 2s, believe me, this will get -hammered-
on in my house ;-)

My worries:
i: The CodingStandards wiki page says to use Myth for gui tasks...I was
hoping to quickly and quietly copy 80% of MythPasswordDialog into
MythMultiPasswordDialog, and that's based on Qt.  How big a problem is this
ii: MythPasswordDialog is more of a general function, and probably belongs
inside the mythdialogs.h/cpp inside libmyth, but I was considering being
down and dirty and simply inserting it into the videodlg.h/cpp inside
mythvideo.  Again, since nobody else is using it, how big a problem is this?

Thanks in advance!
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