[mythtv-users] Secondary viewing location help

Roger Heflin rogerheflin at gmail.com
Wed Sep 3 22:10:29 UTC 2008

jansenj wrote:
> I have an HD fontend/backend currently connected to an HD TV via DVI
> and spdif to my amp.  I am trying to come up with a solution to be
> able to watch my recordings in another room as cheaply as possible.
> Here's the catch I just use OTA (hdhomerun), so 90% of my recordings
> are HD bandwidth.  Note: I do have wired Ethernet to the secondary
> viewing location.
> So I've got a few thoughts and looking for any comments or feedback.
> 1. For $230 I could get an AppleTV, but its not clear to me how easy
> it is to get that working for HD recordings, if I went this route, I'd
> love to maintain the apple SW for the ability to rent movies if I
> desired. Either way, cracking the unit would not be an option as I
> don't have or have easy access to an Intel Mac.  Is this still a
> viable option for processing 1080i MPEG2 using a myth gui on an Apple
> TV?  I've read several success stories for using Apple Tv for SD
> recordings, but not as many for HD recordings.
> 2. Cost prohibitive option would be buying a mac mini, space would
> prohibit a shuttle PC even if you could configure one cheaper that
> could still handle HD.
> 3. HD capable upnp player.  But I haven't had any experience setting
> up the backend to play nice with a upnp media player, is there a how
> to on configuring an XP or VISTA piece of SW that I could test out the
> upnp capabilities of the backend? Plus I understand you loose all
> commercial skipping abilities.
> 4. Cheapest option would be if I could use the existing hardware to
> mirror the digital video and spdif audio on the analog counter parts
> (TV out of the video card and headphone jack of the audio), then run
> analog cables to by second viewing location, but I don't even know
> where to start or if it is even possible with this option.  I realize
> using this option as stated would only allow 1 recording to play at a
> time, but that is acceptable for now.  I'm guessing someone has
> thought of this before, but I have yet to see any indication that
> anyone has done it.  Basically run two independent frontend sessions
> off the same CPU.

To mirror the exact output in another room you can get ends that punch down onto 
a cat5e/6 cable, on one cat5e/6 cable you can put Audio/L+r and either a Svideo 
or composite connector and use the cat5e/6 to run the signal to the other room, 
then you need a remote repeater ($30-$40) to allow the remote to be used in the 
second room and sent to the first room with the frontend.   The Audio/L+R is 
about $8 (each end-but a pair L+R) and the composite or svideo is about $8 (each 
end).  The things to punch down appear to be available in most Home Depots in 
their network/cable tv section.   I typically add a cat5e jack to a external box 
that then splits into the AudioLR / composite or svideo and just cable that to 
the wall (straight through cat5e RJ45 jack) with a standard network cable. 
That wa y I can move these external boxes around to put the connections that I 
need where ever quickly.   Each box with a RJ45 jack can be had for about $20 
total, and then 2 network cables to connect them, and the remote repeater, so 
total around $80-$90 with the remote repeater.

> 5. And of course I could transcode every HD recording down to SD and
> use an MVP, but I'd rather not have to wait for a day for the
> transcodes to always finish, plus that is a lot more electricity to
> use if I transcode EVERY recording.  Besides, in 0.21, there was not
> an obvious way to drop resolution, but still maintain MPEG2
> compression.  Can anyone help me in that department if it sounds like
> thats the best option of those I've described.

I have a script that does this, it is called makempeg2 and is setup as a "user 
job" and specifically adjusts things to work on a MVP, if you search for 
makempeg2 you should find it, but if you want I will send you a copy of it, it 
does replace the HD content on mythtv with a SD copy.


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