[mythtv-users] Maybe a slightly different usage model for Myth with DirecTV encrypted HD?

Mark Knecht markknecht at gmail.com
Mon May 24 23:48:19 UTC 2010

I was wondering over the weekend whether there would be any problem
with using MythTV simply as a scheduler/controller vs a DVR?

I'm now using DirecTV having dropped all Comcast cable. This has given
me (I haven't counted) maybe 50-100 encrypted HD channels but has left
me with the problem on not being able to stream to a remote
non-DirecTV machine. They had a beta program for what they called
multi-room which allowed the STB in the bedroom to play videos
recorded on the living room DVR but the beta has ended so I'm somewhat
stuck for streaming right now unless I set up specific Windows

None the less, their DVR works fine physically - it records great and
uses very little power - but it's terrible at scheduling. It cannot
work out multiple priorities and moving recording jobs around from
channel to channel and hour by hour like Myth can. It records multiple
copies of the same thing which stops me from getting lower priority
program recorded. I sometimes get 3 copies a day of The Daily Show - a
program I can hardly live without but I don't need 3 copies!

There would be value (to me) in just using Myth to start and stop the
DTV DVR and still let it do the recording. As the recordings are
encrypted HD Myth cannot do much with the data anyway (AFAIK) so I see
no major value in Myth storing the video vs leaving on the DVR.
Granted, I'd still have to sit down on one of the DTV boxes to watch
the video, but I'm not overly concerned about that. They will
eventually release the multi-room stuff again and then I can watch
anywhere in the house or I'll set up a Windows machine with
Silverlight and deal with it like NetFlix.

I know Myth can control an STB using some sort of IR Blaster interface
so would it be a big deal to somehow program Myth to use the IR
Blaster to tell the DTV DVR to actually record as opposed to just
turning on and change a channel? This way I'd not program any
recordings on their machine but just sort of do everything as a live

Are others doing this already?

How does one discover the command set to control the DVR? Is that an
lirc task - run some program and capture key codes or something?


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