[mythtv-users] Multiple viewers

Brett Stevens brett.stevens at hubbub.com.au
Wed Jun 29 02:41:39 UTC 2005

Thanks for the info. However can I ask for some design tips. There will be a
backend server and 4 clients with a max of 4 very selfish and demanding
The server will cope with more than that, in fact I think it is probalbly
able to handle double. The clients Im thinking of via epia m and minimith
via nfs 100/1000mb wired lan

I was orriginaly thinking of tuners in the clients as this would allow the
live tv function but what about recording. If I allow for, say 2 recorders
in the server this would allow for 1/2 the users to watch and record at the
same time this may be a problem. However if recording can be done from one
of the set top boxes this would be ok. Now I know that this can be done but
what happens if someone wants to use this set top whilst a recording is
underway or what happens to the scheduled recording. Can it be automatically
switched to an idle card, either in the server or a free set top?


Brett Stevens

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael T. Dean [mailto:mtdean at thirdcontact.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2005 10:47 AM
To: Discussion about mythtv
Subject: Re: [mythtv-users] Multiple viewers

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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