[mythtv-users] MythTV - Video Distribution Solution?

Brad DerManouelian myth at dermanouelian.com
Mon Jan 14 19:23:46 UTC 2008

On Jan 14, 2008, at 11:07 AM, MythTV 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.

VLC might make more sense for your needs since I believe it multi- 
casts whereas MythTV doesn't currently do this, but I'll answer the  
questions I can.

> 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're only limited by network and disk bandwidth. I'm assuming this  
is all standard definition video, so you're likely bound by network  
limitations rather than disk limitations. Someone else might be able  
to give you numbers off the top of their head. I would have to do a  
bunch of google searching to find out how much disk/bandwidth you  
would need.

> 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?

Everyone accessing LiveTV will require their own capture device. If  
one frontend is viewing LiveTV and another tries, they will get a  
message that all tuners are in use and can choose to watch what is  
currently being recorded. If they choose to watch what's being  
recorded, it will be treated like a pre-recorded program and will not  
have the option to change channels. If the person who is watching  
LiveTV changes channels, the other person's program will end and be  
returned to the main menu.

> 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?

You simply add more machines as slaves. The frontends don't care where  
the recordings come from. The master backend handles all that.

> 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.)

The best way to do this is to RIP the DVD's, network mount the  
directory that contains the DVD rips to each frontend and use  
MythVideo to play them back. That way everyone has access to all the  
DVD's without the need to physically put the DVD in the drive and  
control it.

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