[mythtv-users] Raspberry Pi suitability for MythFrontend

Michael Watson michael at thewatsonfamily.id.au
Mon Sep 3 02:02:12 UTC 2012

On 3/09/2012 8:24 AM, Gary Dawes wrote:
> On 2 September 2012 22:51, Michael Watson 
> <michael at thewatsonfamily.id.au <mailto:michael at thewatsonfamily.id.au>> 
> wrote:
>     On 3/09/2012 7:38 AM, Joseph Fry wrote:
>                 Some us do not transcode, nor record or watch blueray
>         or HD
>                 and run
>                 quite happily on low end Atom stuff.
>             The term "low end" is very much relative. Your average
>         1.6-1.8GHz
>             dual core Atom is nearly an order of magnitude higher
>         performance
>             than the 700MHz ARM11 in the RPi. That's not including the
>             performance penalty hit when you start swapping on a
>         machine with
>             ~200MB of memory, compared to an Atom which will more
>         likely have
>             1-2GB.
>             I was using that as a point of reference, showing performance
>             complaints on an Atom when opening a large library in Watch
>             Recordings, to point out potential problems on a yet
>         significantly
>             lower end system.
>                 I acknowledge it may not run much but I hope it might
>         run a
>                 low end
>                 front end, so please let's not write it off just yet.
>             I'm not writing it off. I'm just explaining the hurdles to go
>             through in using it, and that the addition of hardware MPEG2
>             support, rather than just H264, makes no real difference.
>         I wonder how lite mythtv could be as it stands today with just
>         changes to settings, theme, and OS.
>     There are some guys on openelec forum working on running
>     MythFrontend as an app addon for OpenElec/XBMC
>     http://openelec.tv/forum/12-guides-tips-and-tricks/31170-mythtv-025-addon-for-openelec-r10534?limit=20&start=20
>     There are now two distro's of xbmc available for the Pi, OpenElec
>     and RaspBMC.  Which you can then add Mitch Cappers version of
>     MythBOX (which will run against a Myth 0.25 Backend) for access to
>     MythTV.
>     I almost tempted to purchase a Pi, just to see how well xbmc runs
>     on it, and test it as a suitable frontend device, if it fails, I
>     guess it could always be used as a low power NAS for some USB HDD's
> I have a Pi, with the Raspbmc distribution installed on a 4gB class 4 
> SD card.Not installed the mpeg2 decoding library yet.
> All my movies, TV series, and music is on a NAS providing SMB, NFS, 
> and UPNP shares. I also have a Mythtv system, which pulls the movies, 
> TV, and music from the same shared. Only Tv recordings are stored 
> locally on Myth.
>  The Pi does like to do one thing at a time - If it is scanning the 
> media shares, and pulling down metadata, the menus get very sluggish.
> Playback is perfect for media which it can decode in hardware - most 
> of my videos are mkv containers with the content encoded in H264 at 
> 720P with a handful in 1080P - all stream and playback brilliantly, 
> and I expect the mpeg2 content to do so when I purchase the library.
> HDMI-CEC works out of the box with the one TV I have in the house 
> which supports it (an LG).
> The on-demand content addons available in the UK for XBMC (iplayer, 
> itvplayer, 4od) also work very well, with almost no installation or 
> fiddling necessary.
> XBMC is a little bit fiddly to setup in a shared environment with 
> shared metadata etc., but the blame for that cannot be laid at the 
> Pi's door - The one issue which does relate is that all the XBMC 
> versions need to match. Out of necessity at the moment, The version on 
> Raspbmc is bleeding edge, so installing a pckage on a PC wont work - 
> you need to grab the same build from git and compile yourself - This 
> will settle down though as everything gets more stable and mature.
Yeah, In my view, the lack of out of the box support for a shared 
enviroment is one of its downfalls.  Not a big issue to compile the same 
version for a desktop, as it doesnt take that long to compile, but still 
a pain.
> The big plus for me with all of this is that it is a small unit which 
> can be velcroed to the back of the TV, and powered from the USB ports 
> on the TV with nothing else needed.
Yes, this is one of the plus's I had thought of, reduced cable clutter
> It has already replaced the Mythfrontend in my daughter's room as she 
> virtually never watched any content recorded by Myth - it's all ripped 
> movies and TV shows. The catchup services are also there if there is 
> anything she's missed.
> Recording, scheduling and multiuser/frontend access are still the 
> jewels in the Mythtv crown.
I currently use MythWeb on an IPad to do most of my scheduling changes, 
but I agree the simple setup of an extra frontend on Myth is definately 
something that has been done right.
> Once I get the mpeg2 licence, I am going to try a build of the 
> frontend on the Pi to see what it is like with something like the 
> mythcenter-wide theme which is light compared with some of the others. 
> I had 0.24 running on a Nokia N900 mobile phone.
Would love to here how this goes.  After 6 years running Myth for all 
our TV usage (the entire lifetime of my children), its might be a trying 
time switching to XBMC.
> Gaz
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