[mythtv-users] MythTV - Video Distribution Solution?

Ryan Steffes rbsteffes at gmail.com
Mon Jan 14 19:43:55 UTC 2008

On Jan 14, 2008 2:25 PM, Mache Creeger <mache at creeger.com> wrote:
>  At 11:15 AM 1/14/2008, Kevin Kuphal wrote:
> 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.
>  As a school district, which is accountable to the public, you would have to
> be careful about showing a ripped DVD simultaneously to different audiences.
> Under the terms of the single DVD license, you are only able to duplicate
> usage as if you would have one physical DVD. Once you rip a DVD to an ISO
> file, myth gives you the capability to have multiple viewers each view the
> DVD content, all playing at different parts of the movie, at the same time.
> This would be a fundamental breach of DVD license terms and could get you
> into trouble. I would talk to the school district counsel for more detail
> about this and other similar aspects of using myth.
>  -- Mache Creeger
>  Thank for you any assistance you can provide! We are planning on getting a
>  Monolith box for the Video Server.
>  Kevin
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You'll also need to keep in mind when dealing with satellite or
digital cable services, you'll most likely need to set up IR Blaster
type controllers to change the channels for the set top boxes, so
you'll need to factor that into your plans.  Putting two IR blasters
across from each other controlling different, but identical boxes
could lead to some interesting fun times.

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