[mythtv-users] The future of MythTV

Leslie Noland lnoland at xnet.com
Sat Jun 12 16:35:22 UTC 2021

On 6/4/2021 8:17 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. 

I used MythTV for a good many years but I haven't been using it for a 
little over a year.  That wasn't really my choice -- my house was 
burglarized and they stole my MythServer with multiple terabytes of 
recordings, as well as some other computers.  Not long after, I hurt my 
back, wound up in a wheelchair and was forced to move into assisted 
living.  I get free cable here but it's all encrypted.

Since I don't even have the ability to use a cable company DVR, I have 
switched to YouTube TV with unlimited DVR.  I have combined that with a 
Roku TV (the thieves took my TV as well) and now I stream everything.

But, I miss my MythTV.

Frankly, I still think that MythTV could have a future in its original 
purpose. I still know a number of people who get their TV over-the-air 
who would love a DVR setup but when I talk to them about MythTV, the 
complexity is a non-starter.  They want a box they could plug in.  And 
while they all use computers and could probably be convinced to dedicate 
a computer as their box, they still aren't looking for a hobby -- they 
are looking for a commodity -- and MythTV is still in the hobby stage.

When I had my setup, I was constantly tinkering with it.  how do I fix 
network overrun errors?  how do I fix disk overrun errors? My custom 
rule isn't working quite right, i've got to tweak the SQL.  I upgraded 
my version of LInux and now things have stopped working and I need to 
spend the next three days without TV while I spend hours on the Internet 
trying to figure out how to fix it.  I want to hook up a cable box, how 
do I control it?  While I realize that my situation was different from 
someone looking for a plug-in box because I loved the flexibility and I 
wanted everything to be exactly how I wanted it, so I modified and 
tweaked and added custom scripts and such.  I also had multiple tuners, 
was frequently recording four and five shows at a time with multiple 
hard drives, two backends, etc.  Most commodity-seeking users aren't 
going to do any of that, but the fact is, for the uninitiated, MythTV is 
still a daunting proposition and now that MythBuntu is gone, getting 
started has become even harder.  If you'd like to attract new users you 
need to find ways of making it easier to setup, modify, and maintain 
with a minimum of Linux knowledge (because most commodity users will 
have zero Linux knowledge).  Heck, even if I got out of assisted living 
and could go back to owning my own place with my own antennas, etc., I'd 
be reluctant to go through all the trouble of trying to set up another 
MythTV installation, and like I said, I really miss it.

Then, of course, there is the question of what ATSC 3.0 is going to do 
to MythTV.

While things like MythMusic were a nice idea, there are many other 
services which handle such things better and I don't know if there's 
much point spending time there.  MythWeb is a great thing and I can see 
reason to build on it.

The developers have done something wonderful in creating and building 
upon MythTV.  But like most freeware projects, they created the things 
which they wanted to create and spent less time on what others might 
want.  In particular, they have never targeted a commodity user and felt 
it was fine for users to have to know Linux commands and file systems, 
etc.  If they want to attract only hobbyists, that's fine, but I think, 
rather than let MythTV die, perhaps they should spend time trying to 
attract a new audience.

-- Les N.

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- Les Noland lnoland at xnet.com

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