[mythtv-users] Best way to integrate a Netflix feed into Myth ?

Michael T. Dean mtdean at thirdcontact.com
Mon Aug 22 19:12:29 UTC 2011

On 08/22/2011 02:42 PM, Eric Sharkey wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 2:25 PM, Michael T. Dean wrote:
>> MythTV is a networked Digital Video Recorder.  If you want a
>> non-networked (since you can't do passthrough over the network) non-DVR
>> application, run one instead of/in addition to MythTV.  :)
> By pass-though I didn't mean to refer to some sort of direct rendering
> where the capture card writes directly to video card ram, I just meant
> that the data isn't written to disk, and that absolutely can be done
> over the network.

Sorry.  Please, everyone, feel free to hook your Roku/PS3/Wii/XBox 360 + 
XBL/... to an input on your MythTV box***.  Then configure a new channel as:


then start a manual recording (to the Live TV recording group so it's 
automatically deleted after a day) or Live TV, then put down your MythTV 
remote (or switch modes on it) and use the device's remote to use the 
interface provided by the device to select the item to watch.  Enjoy 
pressing a button on the remote and waiting multiple seconds to see its 
effect reflected on screen.  If you chose to use Live TV, enjoy trying 
to find your place again on the occasional top of or half-past the hour 
when your Live TV program transition fails and kicks you back to the 
MythTV main menu and you have to re-enter Live TV with your MythTV 
remote, then use the device's remote and interface to rewind back to the 
part you hadn't yet seen.

Soon, after you decide that, maybe, perhaps, it's possible that 
MythTV--a Digital Video Recorder--is not the application to use for 
video distribution that doesn't involve recording a scheduled broadcast 
for later playback, you can then install the application you should have 
installed in the first place.  Oh, and at this point, maybe you'd like 
to post to the list telling other people that using MythTV recording 
isn't the right solution for distributing Netflix streams--just like 
it's not the right solution for trying to play an XBox 360 or PS3 game, 
or trying to order Video on Demand from your cable or satellite 
company.  The latency is /far/ too annoying--and hitting "Input" on your 
TV remote solves that problem completely.

I can't convince you nearly as much as you can convince yourself by 
actually setting it up.  I was only trying to provide an answer to the 
OP that would prevent him from wasting time on a solution that will 
require more patience and "living with a bad design" than anyone I know 
could muster and directing him to something that's more likely to be 
useful and usable and enjoyable.

My $0.02:   Reality trumps ideology.

>    But most importantly, what the "switch inputs on
> the tv" and the "run a different application" solutions fail to do is
> to efficiently share hardware resources with the mythtv backend.  If a
> STB is being used for on-demand, the mythTV backend needs to know that
> it's unavailable for recording, and the easiest way for that to happen
> would be just to have support for this within mythTV itself.

The point of the "switch inputs on the TV" solution is that it doesn't 
involve MythTV or MythTV resources in any way, whatsoever.  It's only 
using the physical display--which doesn't need to be displaying MythTV's 
screens at all times.

As for the "run a different application" solution, this is why there's 
an EXECTV option in the menu of MythTV.  It allows you to check out a 
capture device for use by another application.  There's also support for 
making such requests in the Python bindings.

And, as Raymond mentioned, the problem here isn't MythTV or a lack of 
dedication to (your idea of the meaning of) digital convergence.  The 
problem is the DRM that's meant to control how and where and when you 
can use Netflix streaming.


*** Wherein, you assume all liability for any copyright or 
term-of-service violations that may or may not be involved in doing so.  
I am not recommending that you do this for any reason other than an 
academic experience that allows you to see the latency involved in 
trying to use a DVR to record and distribute an interactive user 
interface as well as content.

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