[mythtv-users] MythTV - Video Distribution Solution?

Kevin Kuphal kuphal at dls.net
Mon Jan 14 19:15:33 UTC 2008

On Jan 14, 2008 1:07 PM, MythTV <mythtv at hermon.net> wrote:

> Hi everyone!
> I am writing from the Hermon School Dept. and we are very interested in
> the possibility of using MythTV in our district.
> I've been through the documentation, but I have a few questions.
> In our case, we are not only looking for a simple DVR, but a network
> distribution utility.
> Our goal is to have a way for teachers to access recordings in their
> classroom through a "frontend" device, that would in turn connect to a
> central server with the video storage. It sounds like MythTV would support
> this. Also, teachers would need to be able to access cable and Satellite
> through the frontend.
> I do realize that a cheap server wouldn't work for this environment, and
> would be willing to purchase a high-end server to handle the capacity of
> the High School. (There would be a server in each building).
> My question is, how many frontend devices can a MythTV server support
> concurrently? At the high school, there would be about 45 classrooms with
> front end units. (Realistically, they all wouldn't be using them at the
> same time.)

You are limited only by your network bandwidth and I/O requirements for the
number of simultanoues clients you wish to have.  Myth itself places no
limits on this.

> What would you say the specs of a server would need to be to support at
> least 10 frontends at the same time? The front end devices and the server
> would be on their own segment of a 1-Gig backbone network so bandwidth
> shouldn't be an issue.
> We do understand that only one teacher would be able to change the channel
> for live TV at a time (or satellite). What would happen if a second user
> tried to change the channel when another person is already controlling the
> source? Can multiple people at least see, but not control, cable through
> the Front End utility?

I *believe* that only one user can enter "LiveTV" with only one tuner.
Other users attempting will be given the option to view the in-progress
recording of the program but if the user that initiated the LiveTV session
first changes programs/channels then their program will end prematurely when
that occured.

> Last, but not least, I see that MythTv supports adding multiple recording
> servers. Can we add a second recording server (or server with different
> sources) and integrate it with the overall program guide that the frontend
> use, or would the frontend machines have to be changed to point to a
> second server to see the programming available on it?

Yes.  The frontends would connect to the master backed and receive
programming and DVR functionality from all the backends.

> I ask because we also have DVD players we want to add as a source (a
> single channel in the program guide) and to be available to staff. (We
> realize that remote control of the DVD players isn't possible this way.)

As a suggestion, you would be better off providing ISO copies or DVD-rips of
the materials stored on the server and using MythVideo to present them in a
gallery format rather than attempting to manipulate a DVD player on an
s-video input.

> Thank for you any assistance you can provide! We are planning on getting a
> Monolith box for the Video Server.

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