[mythtv-users] two mythfrontends

Justin Mason jm at jmason.org
Tue Apr 19 22:39:48 UTC 2005

Hash: SHA1

Hi all --

First off, thanks for MythTV!!  It's a very nicely done package, well
polished, and I'm very impressed.  (especially given the rather hairy
situation you wind up in, dealing with all this bleeding-edge
barely-documented hardware...)

now, I have a situation that must have cropped up at least once before ;)
and a few questions arising from that, so here goes.

Basically, I'm using a VIA EPIA ME6000 with a 600Mhz fanless Eden CPU, its
onboard CLE266 video with TV out, a PVR-350 and *its* TV out, and

The PVR-350 now works flawlessly for both recording and playback through
the ivtv_dev X driver.  MythTV also works very well on that framebuffer;
OSDs all look great, and TV overscan is working fine.

However, it can't play back AVI files or other forms of non-MPEG2 movie
files well at all; it looks a lot like the PVR-350's framebuffer just
can't handle the display updates (at least not with a 600Mhz CPU) without
a *lot* of dropped frames.  It's pretty unwatchable :(

So I've tried the CLE266, and that can indeed display the movie files just
fine (using mplayer or xine's xv output).  However, the quality of TV out
from MythTV via this is pretty lousy -- the CLE266's MPEG decoder (even
with the Unichrome XvMC drivers) is more-or-less fast enough, but there's
quite a few messy display artifacts, it still lags noticeably, and the
picture is nowhere near as sharp as the PVR-350's output.  For live-TV
display and recorded-TV playback, it looks like I'm stuck with the PVR-350
for any kind of decent quality. (I've verified the cables are all OK, btw,
since I can swap between the PVR-350 and CLE266 outputs.)

So what I'm now after is a dual-X-server setup:

  - one X server for the PVR-350 with the ivtv driver, for live-TV and
    recorded-TV playback;
  - and another X server for the CLE266 with the via driver, for AVI XviD
    files and so on.

I can easily get both TV-outs hooked up to my TV, and swap between them on
the TV remote -- that's just fine.  However, right now, I have to run the
mplayer for the CLE266 server manually, via ssh -- and instead I'd prefer
to use mythfrontend to do that.  In other words, I'd like to run
mythfrontend on *both* X servers -- with the PVR-350 frontend for live-TV
and recorded-TV (using the native MythTV support for that), and the CLE266
frontend only allowing access to MythVideo and no access to live-TV.

(In particular, as far as I can see if mythtv is configured to use PVR-350
hardware acceleration, if I attempt to access "watch live TV" on the
CLE266 server, mythbackend will exit!  I'd like to avoid that option being
available, to avoid that.)

This Knoppmyth forum thread notes that it should be possible --
http://mysettopbox.tv/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3508&highlight=pvr350 --
(although the user is trying for different reasons), but recommends
against not doing it, without giving a good reason why.   Hence, I'm here,
asking if it's doable, and how easy it would be ;)

So, here's a couple of questions.

- - Is it possible to run two mythfrontends and one backend, and configure
  them to display different buttons on the main page as described?

- - How would I go about having lircd send remote presses to one at a time,
  instead of having both pick them up?  (How does lircd determine focus?
  through X?)

- - Alternatively, would it be possible for mplayer or xine to display video
  on one display, but be controlled via LIRC keypresses on another
  display? That would at least allow me to select files on one display,
  switch to the other to view the movie, use the remote, then switch back
  again when done.  (it looks like xine offers some kind of network
  remote control; I could hack something up to do this if the
  dual-frontend option isn't workable.)

Cheers for any illumination you can provide on this ;)

- --j.
Version: GnuPG v1.2.5 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: Exmh CVS


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