[mythtv] MHEG BBC iPlayer

Lawrence Rust lvr at softsystem.co.uk
Tue Jul 26 12:35:22 UTC 2011

On Tue, 2011-07-26 at 10:05 +0100, nospam312 wrote:
> > I've been working on the MHEG code to add support for "Interaction
> > Channel" (ETSI ES 202 184 V2.2.1) which enables BBC iPlayer and other
> > http based interactive content to be accessed directly from the "Red
> > button",  For anyone interested in trying, I have a patch here:
> This sounds great.  Is there plans to try to get it included into MythTV 0.25?

The short answer is no, not until 0.25 is released and stable.

It's certainly fairly straightforward to apply the patches to
libfreemheg but there also needs to be fairly substantial changes to
mythplayer and ringbuffer.

The 0.25 ringbuffer implementation supports http streaming but not
https, which is mandated by the InteractionChannel spec.  Https is used
by iPlayer in certain special circumstances.  Currently I use the Qt
library to support both http and https but integrating this code with
the current http stream from ffmpeg is difficult.

I had to modify the 0.24 ringbuffer readahead buffering code
significantly to support the large range of streaming speeds and
latencies.  These changes are also difficult to port.

The InteractionChannel depends heavily on caching for performance.  The
Qt library provides a reasonable disk cache and support for http cache
coherency and querying, unlike ffmpeg and the current mythdownload

The changes to MythPlayer to allow stream selection are quite extensive
and need significant re-work due to changes since 0.24

Lastly, and this is the main stopper, is the testing problem.  My
production backend machine, which includes my dvb-s card, runs 0.24.1.
We use this machine for all our TV viewing - on dedicated fe systems and
Linux & Windows PCs.  So I'm hesitant to upgrade it.  Recent experience
with git master has indicated that it's not yet production quality.
Without a live backend running git master I can't test the changes.

> Do any other Freeview channels apart from BBC have support for this?

ITV broadcast a MHEG stream but the boot app does nothing.  Maybe
something for the future.

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