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

Chad masterclc at gmail.com
Thu Dec 1 20:36:08 EST 2005

> I'm sure those starving students each have a PC on their desk - you can't
> convince them to run linux & myth? :-P

:D  I'm just trying to provide a visualization that a lot of people
can grasp.  How about a retirement home, that's probably easier to see

> MediaMVP at $75 a pop is a pretty good deal. Another good choice would be
> xbox, but they are still $100 or so (but much easier to convince students to
> buy, since they can still be used for games, if modded correctly).

Both options would be nice, but both are above the price I'd like to
set.  The Xbox might not be a bad idea, but I still think it would be
too much to 'sell' these folks on.  I'm going to continue searching
out bulk discount suppliers for a full fledged frontend.

> To save money, I think you'll want to either clone some TVs (force two
> people to share control of one, or have a dead display with no control at
> all), or have the frontends be portable, and make the TVs that aren't using
> them watch normal live TV.

The cloning idea might not be bad.  I picture by that you mean that
the 2 TV's will display the same thing at the same time.  If the
program is changed, it's changed on both sets.  It might work for some
of the community rooms (that as noted in the previous message might be
a good place to have HD offerings).

> I like the idea of the shared frontend. I would think given the right
> hardware it would be possible for a single computer to house 2 or 3
> frontends....more if you can get video cards with tvout that will be happy
> working together in groups > 2. Controlling the frontends could get
> complicated...you'd either need a LOT of serial ports (most new PCs have
> only one, sometimes 2), or some USB ir receivers...and depending on how far
> apart these TVs are, the cable run for the IR receiver might be too long.

Assuming I can get a frontend to control 4 TV's a piece, the other 2
slots could be a PCI card with USB slots or serial ports necessary for
the remote controls.  This also assumes we'd be using the same or a
very similar setup in the frontends as the backends.  With the idea of
1 PC controlling 4 TV's (or the TV's controlling the frontend
depending on your POV) I could increase the cost of a single a PC and
split that cost 4 ways, meaning a 200 dollar box, just cost 50 bucks,
and you don't lose anything in the split.


So, focusing more on the frontends, does anyone (or has anyone tried)
know if you can do something like an LTSP server for the frontends? 
What I am thinking is that if you can have a single box (as described
in the first message) that has 6 PCI slots, 4 of them being used for
PCI Videocards (any suggestions for PCI cards that have a composite
out and probably do some hardware acceleration?) and the other 2 for
some sort of controllers (USB's, Serials, something else?).  You'd
need 4 instances of mythfrontend running from this box, but I think
using seperate accounts this might be able to be done (the linux part
of all this I think I can handle?  but the myth part I certainly will
need help with implementing).  What kind of CPU would I need to look
at?  How much of this setup could be done by offloading to the video
Any other ideas for hardware on the frontend that I'm missing?  Ooh,
audio.  Looks like I might only be able to squeeze 2 TV's (videocards)
onto each box, plus 2 soundcards.  Hmm...  Unless there are soundcards
that have 2 outputs (both would need to be analog).

I'll keep thinking..

Thanks for the replies so far!


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