[mythtv-users] Multiple viewers

Michael T. Dean mtdean at thirdcontact.com
Wed Jun 29 00:47:18 UTC 2005

Brett Stevens wrote:

> Still tying to figure out the ultimate design.
> If I have multiple tuners, say one per free to air channel so as to 
> avoid any arguments about selection. Can more than one watch the same 
> channel using "LiveTV" viewing but starting at different times. If so 
> is there anything special or differrent in the setup?

Basically, you need one tuner per viewer for LiveTV.

If, however, your viewers communicate with one another, and you realize 
that multiple people want to watch the same show, they should record the 
show.  Then, each viewer could--using his/her frontend--start watching 
the show (from the recordings section, not from LiveTV) any time he/she 
desires (even while the show is still recording--starting from the 
moment the recording starts until it's deleted--even while other viewers 
are watching the same show) and Myth is only using one tuner to record 
it regardless of the number of viewers.

So using LiveTV hogs a tuner while recordings don't.

If you're interested why LiveTV consumes a whole tuner, try to come up 
with an algorithm for maintaining an X megabyte ring buffer with 
multiple people watching the same channel from the same tuner.  
Depending on how much pausing is going on, it's quite possible that the 
person who's closest to real time is more than X megabytes ahead of the 
person who paused LiveTV to go make some dinner.  So, it's quite easy to 
go beyond the allowed limit for the buffer to ensure each person has 
his/her fair share of rewindability.

And, then again, there's the whole, "If my list of recorded shows isn't 
more appealing than the things that just happen to be on now, then I 
know I'm not using the DVR properly" perspective (to quote Bruce J. 
Markey).  Basically, once you get used to the DVR, you'll likely record 
anything and everything you might possibly want to watch.  This also has 
the benefit that (much to Jamie Kellner's horror), you don't have to 
watch/wait for the commercials (even while it's recording thanks to 
Chris Pinkham's near-real-time commercial flagging).  Not to mention you 
can playback at faster than real-time and watch the show in 
significantly less time with no losses (1.75X!!!  Thanks Mark Spieth!).  
But, then again, not everyone is a DVR convert like me.


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