[mythtv-users] Anybody running an HD-PVR on a VM?

Ronald Frazier ron at ronfrazier.net
Wed Dec 16 23:13:47 UTC 2009

>> I mean running a complete Myth backend, with an HD-PVR and an HDHR, under
>> VMware or VirtualBox.

I'm contemplating an upgrade to 0.22 for my main myth system, and am
currently evaluating it by running it in Virtual Box under Windows 7.
No HD-PVR here (just a HDHR), but so far so good. Both backend and
frontend run pretty decent. SD content and broadcast HD playback just
fine using the basic VirtualBox graphics system and generic linux vesa

Bluray playback isn't quite as successful, but it's not exactly a fair
comparison. My production myth system is running 0.21 on Core2Duo for
dedicated backend and frontend (separate physical machines). The
frontend has a nvidia 7100 onboard graphics, which means it uses
nvidia drivers (which gives it xvmc or whatever), but has no VDPAU
support, so it's all decoded in software. The BluRay rips are hosted
on the backend and the drive is mounted by NFS on the frontend,  but
the "always stream" option in myth is enabled so I don't think it
should be using NFS for transfer. With that setup, BluRays play back
perfectly fine on the frontend as long as they are slice based (which
allows ffmpeg to do multithreaded decoding).

The 0.22 setup in the VM, however, doesn't play back quite is
smoothly. The same movies that work on the other system only work here
in the lowest bitrate parts. Higher bitrate parts cause stuttering.
Granted, I'm just using the basic VirtualBox graphics system with
generic vesa drivers (so I doubt is has anything like xvmc), but on
the other hand that setup is running on a Core i7 with the VM getting
3 CPUs (though whether that ends up being 3 physical cores, or 2
physical + 1 hyperthread core, I can't say). Also, this VM has both
the frontend and backend hosted on the same system, but the video
files are stored on an NFS mounted share.

Yeah, it's a very apples-to-oranges comparison, but make of it what
you will. I guess what I'd take away from this is that, apart from
video acceleration performance (or lack thereof), everything else
seems to run just fine.

Ronald Frazier Photography - http://www.ronfphoto.com/
Blogging About Photography - http://ronfrazier.blogspot.com/

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