[mythtv] (Request) Possible to retransmit not-unpacked MPEG from an ATSC device out over IP?

Benjamin Vander Jagt benjamin at winchesterpc.com
Tue Feb 26 02:29:20 UTC 2013

Hi, apologies in advance if I'm in the wrong place.

I work at a WISP in northern Virginia, USA.  We are trying to find a 
way to pull in local TV stations, which due to our terrain are hard to 
get without a tall antenna pole.  We have antennas on top of towers on 
top of mountains.  Our original plan was to build a MythTV box at each 
antenna site, load it up with simple ATSC tuners, such as ATI TV Wonder 
600 USB's, re-compress them on the fly using x264/ogg, and multicast 
them to our wireless customers as a complimentary service.

(Disclosure: I'm not an ISP guy.  I run the computer repair shop that 
is a subsidiary of the ISP.  I've been asked to help out with this if I 
can, and I'm doing it fully as a volunteer.)

We already checked into the laws, and we've got that sorted out.  We 
can get the equipment, and re-streaming x264 is no big problem for our 
servers.  It's all our network, so bandwidth isn't a huge problem, 
though we would like to try to keep the channels low-bitrate for now, 
since some of our customers are almost 80 miles away and therefore are 
limited to around 1 megabit.  The problem is, as you know, transcoding 
hurts quality.

It seems to me that there ought to be a way to use the ATSC tuners to 
pull in the compressed stream from the air, let MythTV backend send it 
out to clients in UDP, and let the client ends decompress the streams 
however they want.  Am I missing some technical detail that makes this 
all not possible?

Thank you all for your time, and thank you for everything you do for 
MythTV!  If this works out, I will try to get the webmaster to put a 
donation button up for you.  (-:

-Benjamin Vander Jagt

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