[mythtv-users] The future of MythTV

BP lists at qucae.com
Sat Jun 5 05:12:51 UTC 2021

On 6/4/21 6:17 AM, Paul Harrison wrote:
> We can see from the number of Scheduled Direct users and the Smolt data 
> that MythTV is losing users at an ever increasing rate.  We think one 
> reason for this is it's getting harder and harder to record stuff 
> because more services are becoming encrypted requiring proprietary boxes 
> to view and record content and some services are moving to an on-demand 
> type of service that are hard or impossible to record.
> So the question is what improvements would you like to see in MythTV in 
> the future that would persuade you to continue to use it? Would you like 
> to see better support for YouTube for example or a better video media 
> library. Better music player? Support for IPTV services? What plugins do 
> you use?  What plugins would you like to see? Are you happy with the 
> user interface or would you like to see a more modern one?
> Give us your thoughts on what direction you would like to see MythTV 
> take now it's original purpose is slowing being killed of.
> Paul H.

Nearly 18 years ago when I first started using MythTV, there was little 
that did all the things Myth aspired to.  the mythical convergence of tv 
(dvr), videos, music and other plugins was well ahead of its time. 
Things have changed a lot since then.  We now have relatively cheap 
streaming boxes that let us pick the best options for all the things 
those plugins do.

Over those same years, the plugins have all languished.  Years ago there 
was a developer that was doing a major rewrite of MythMusic.  After a 
year or so, he disappeared and his branch was abandoned.  Someone else 
came in behind him and completely changed the schema to match some open 
source player.  That completely messed up everything for me and I've not 
used it much since.  Today we have streaming services with pretty much 
any music you could ever ask for available.  My personal collection 
hasn't grown much in several years.

MythVideo still works decently for those with collections of ripped 
media or personal videos.  The problem is you're limited to platforms 
the Myth frontend runs on.  For anyone that wants access to videos from 
other devices, things like Plex/Emby/Jellyfin and Kodi are also great 
and have clients on multiple devices.  If you want to use other devices 
for playback, there's not much purpose to keep using MythVideo.

Myth Images was great years ago.  There wasn't really any alternative. 
Now with Google Photos and Apple Photos (on AppleTV) with all the innate 
organizing and tagging, Myth Images doesn't offer much other than 
needing a lot of manual attention copying images around and organizing them.

News and Weather are well covered by smart tv/streaming box apps.  Myth 
Browser is better achieved by casting from your phone if you want to 
show it on the tv.  I don't see much need to try to improve on the 
plethora of options available.

The one big advantage Myth plugins do have is privacy.  If all you want 
to do is curate your own media collections and not worry about how some 
app developer might use your viewing history/habits, Myth wins.

Where Mythtv still shines is in recording.  I've played with some of the 
options from Plex and Silicon Dust.  They can't touch the scheduler of 
Myth.  Well, at least for those that don't mind using Power Search and a 
little bit of sql.  So long as cable card tuners are still supported by 
the cable companies (I'm guessing it will be killed off in the next five 
years) or that OTA is enough, Myth's backend is hard to beat.

I've not used the frontend on a dedicated pc for at least a year now.  I 
switch between the lean frontend and an android build of the full 
frontend on Shields and GoogleTV Chromecasts.  This gives me the 
original vision of MythTV -- complete convergence.  One device and 
remote that gives me access to all my sources of media.  It's just not 
within Myth any more.  MythTv is just an app with recorded tv along side 
apps from video streaming services, my personal video collection, my 
photos, a music streaming service, and short time killing games.  All my 
scheduling has always been done through Mythweb (which thankfully 
continues to work despite lack of priority).

What I'd like to see is more a focus on a frontend app.  To take the 
leanfront concept to a more polished app.  Better integration with 
Android TV to find/search content, recommend next episodes of what 
you've been watching, quickly resume where you've left off.  Perhaps 
profile support for different family members.  It would be great to 
support other platforms too, but AndroidTV/FireTV devices are cheap 
enough, focusing there might have the best impact.  It would be nice to 
have phone apps which allow for transcoding/downloading local copies for 
watching while traveling.  I currently accomplish this with mythlink and 

There's really not a need for a full-fledged pc frontend any more. 
While it can be fun for tinkerers, I think messing with things like lirc 
are a big deterrent to new users (and a pain for long time users every 
few years when new versions of lirc break things.  Although bluetooth 
with the now on life support Harmony hub works great).  Especially since 
an app on a streaming device/tv just works after installed.

As for the other parts of the current frontend, such as settings, 
scheduling, etc, getting all that rolled up in to the in progress web 
interface would fill the need.

Mythtv has been great.  All the people that have contributed for nearly 
20 years are well appreciated.  It just seems like modern needs of the 
ecosystem likely scratch different itches than what likely attracted 
many of those developers to the project to begin with.  Some pieces like 
the scheduler and recorder are mature and just need occasional 
maintenance. Others like the frontend really need to go a different 
direction and this likely excludes rolling a custom video player and 
manipulating streams.

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