[mythtv-users]Help on implementing myth on multiple/various TV's

Chad masterclc at gmail.com
Thu Dec 1 03:18:17 EST 2005


I have been killing myself trying to figure out a solution for the following:

A semi-large to large network of 25+ TV's with various inputs on a
mythTV network.

One of the biggest problems being that several of these TV's will only
have RF inputs.

The second biggest problem being that unless I can find a mythfrontend
for each TV for $20 bucks or less, I would need to find a more
multi-head solution.  Can I run multiple frontends from a single box? 
If I placed a mobo with 6 pci slots in a box, and had 6 PCI videocards
in each box, then could I build a frontend for 60-120 bucks that could
power the demands of LiveTV for each TV?

The backends aren't an issue, I could splurge on the backends, say
around 700 a piece for them; they could include enough tuners (1 for
each TV, plus say 10+ to spare for recordings).  The processing would
be minimal (all PVR's or HDTV tuners), the I/O on the HD might become
an issue, but I could dedicate a few boxes to just storage.

I guess I should paint a picture instead of telling you the ways I've
thought to implement this, and you can offer advice on how to tackle

Picture a dorm, or a large hospital, or even a large office building. 
The dorm or hospital are easier to illustrate.  In each room in this
100 bed hospital lives 2 TV's, one for each bed.  This would equate to
100 TV's.  Now the backends could easily be absorbed quickly by the
routine users (the "staff" of the hospital or chronic patients) but
the cost of frontends would take quite a while to absorb, hence the
low cost need.  Also, not every TV in this hospital would be a quality
TV, more likely just your average 100 dollar wal-mart special, which
likely just has an RF input for cable or 'rabbit ears'.
How could you roll out Myth to actually work most (say, 90%) of the
time in this situation?  The patients or staff would assume they could
not only watch the game that's on right now (and pause it while the
nurse changes their dressing) but could flip through a variety of
programs that were recorded by other patients or staff, or even a
series (similar to Comcast's On Demand feature).
Now, in retrospect, a hospital could easily absorb the cost of this
setup, so picture this in a Dorm setting with starving students
wanting this setup.  They could still probably get the initial cost of
a couple (say 8-9?) backends that each have 6 pci's full of PVR-500's,
and 2 or 3 rigs that are just file servers (storage).  This cost, my
out of the air guess, would be somewhere in the ball park of 2-3
thousand USD.  Pulling their money (assuming 100 students) that's only
30 bucks a student.  They can probably do that and convince each other
to do it to ensure a 100% commitment (that means that every single
person ponies up the 30 bucks to get this backend running).  However,
to then tell them they have to spend more than an additional 20-30
bucks to actually get their content, they won't ever be up to it.

So, total cost I guess would have to somewhere in the ballpark of
5-6k, each student spending a max of 60 dollars total to have this.

Anyone have any ideas of how to implement that?


(Yeah, I have spent too much time learning about LTSP and thinking of
how myth could do the same ;) ).


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