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

Neil Cooper neilcoo at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Aug 25 20:59:08 UTC 2011

--- On Tue, 8/23/11, Jay Ashworth <jra at baylink.com> wrote:

> From: Jay Ashworth <jra at baylink.com>
> Subject: Re: [mythtv-users] Best way to integrate a Netflix feed into Myth ?
> To: "Discussion about MythTV" <mythtv-users at mythtv.org>
> Date: Tuesday, August 23, 2011, 10:49 AM
> ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Linuxguy123" <linuxguy123 at gmail.com>
> > On Mon, 2011-08-22 at 14:28 -0400, Michael T. Dean
> wrote:
> > > Just like I wouldn't hook up a set-top-box BluRay
> player to MythTV
> > > to
> > > play a BluRay disc, it makes no sense to hook up
> a set-top-box
> > > Netflix
> > > player to play a Netflix stream.
> > 
> > It just so happens that I am going to have a central
> BluRay player as
> > well. We've got 5 tvs in our house. Why should I have
> 5 BluRay
> > players ? Why not just have one and distribute the
> content via Myth ?
> Well, I'm pretty sure the 1999 Diamond Rio MP3 format
> shifting case
> covers ripping your DVDs for private one-at-a-time use, so
> I can't see
> why you couldn't do *that* with your BDs as well, diskspace
> permitting.
> Thought perhaps that's what you meant, "central BluRay
> player" notwithstanding.
> Cheers,
> -- jra

Yep thats my solution.

OK lets get real for a moment. I'm gonna say what we know we are all really thinking.

Thanks to Netflix making internet streaming a separate package, I finally gained the ability to stop paying for something I can't use because Netflix refuse to support Linux. I don't have a windows PC in the house as windows is crap in comparison to Linux.

With the money I saved from not having to pay for streaming I can't use, I added another DVD out at a time and still came out ahead.

My solution to how to integrate a Netflix feed into myth is to build a BIG raid array (mine is 3x3TB 5400rpm internal HDs, total cost about $400 from newegg). 
I take the view that my netflix 'feed' is a disc-based protocol using the mail as the transport layer or the protocol. I use my raid array to cache the entire disks contents in order to play it as my DVD drive can't cope with mutliple playback streams (i.e from multiple front ends) without skipping.

Of course the side effect of having such a large disk cache, and that cleaning it out requires a manual operation, may mean that the contents aren't necessarily wiped out right away. In fact I've noticed my cache can sometimes retain entire disk images for many months after I have mailed the actual disk back. Of course I make a point to never watch these (even though there is nothing technically preventing it) as that may be illegal.

Advantages of this approach far outweigh others:

1) The picture quality is best possible (identical to either upscaled DVD or Blu-ray), not some stream thats claimed to be HD but has been re-encoded through a particularly lossy compression algorithm to be low enough bandwidth for the internet.

2) No dependency on the internet being reliable or even up at all when I want to watch movies. I hate the dropouts you get with streams.

3) No need to buy an expensive product that fills more space and consumes more power that I wouldn't use other than for legally removing the DRM from netflix streams  (Microsoft windows PC or a Roku).

4) True and unlimited support for multiple mythtv frontends viewing the same movie simultaneously.

The single disadvantage is that my "on demand" turn around time is about 24 hours instead of instant, so I just have to plan ahead a little. To be honest its more than worth it compared to all of streaming's disadvantages.

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