[mythtv-users] MythTV - Video Distribution Solution?

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Mon Jan 14 19:49:03 UTC 2008

Ryan Steffes wrote:
> 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.
>> mythtv-users at mythtv.org
>> http://mythtv.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/mythtv-users
> 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.

With satellite receivers you can assign different remote codes to each
receiver to avoid conflicts. I'm not sure about cable STBs, but I
suspect at least some of them might have similar capabilities.


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