[mythtv] A need for advanced player settings

Stuart Morgan stuart at tase.co.uk
Tue May 31 18:10:30 UTC 2011

On Tuesday 31 May 2011 15:26:00 Kyle Rose wrote:
> I was arguing in my OP that you can't have hard-coded settings for the
> ringbuffer that are one-size-fits-all, because they're going to make
> *somebody* unhappy: either the person who complains that seeking is
> too sluggish, or the person (like me) who can't even play a particular
> video from a local SSD without pauses. The default settings are fine
> for 95% of cases, but the other 5% need to be able to turn dials.

It might offend a lot of people to say it, but 99.9% of users are not going to 
know what appropriate values for such a setting should be or even understand 
it's purpose.

On the basis of experience I can bet that many of them will still play with 
the values and in the process they will cause playback problems that they 
don't connect to their messing with things they don't understand. Of those 
users with broken playback about half will immediately blame the software and 
stop using it, half of those will also spend the next few months bad-mouthing 
MythTV for being unable to play their videos. The other half descend on 
forums, mailing lists and the bug tracker to report that MythTV won't play 
their files and everyone's time will be wasted to finally establish that the 
user chose bad values for a buffer setting.

There is a very good reason why we've spent the last two years trying to 
eliminate many of the settings we already had and it's not just about making 
MythTV easier to configure. I'm almost sympathetic with Apple's attempt to 
lock down their platforms to improve the user experience for a majority of 
their customers. If you make something configurable then it will be used 
inappropriately, even if you attempt to hide that setting deep inside a hidden 
config file somewhere (someone will just advertise it's existence on their 
blog or mailing list complete with incorrect instructions for it's use).

Those with the technical competence to understand this buffering will likely 
also be those who are comfortable building from source and patching source-
code and therefore it's probably best left that way until we have a proper 

Stuart Morgan

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