[mythtv-users] Frontend hardware

Piotr Oniszczuk piotr.oniszczuk at gmail.com
Thu Dec 14 19:43:53 UTC 2017

> Wiadomość napisana przez Matt Goebel <matt at goebelnet.com> w dniu 30.11.2017, o godz. 22:22:
> I just recently faced this same dilemma when it came time to replace my 2nd batch of aging HTPC's (two of them) that I've been using to run mythfrontend for ~12 years.  
> I wanted to drastically cut the expense, power usage, noise (NO fans), and management overhead while at the same time adding support for 4k, better organize my content collection, being more wife/family friendly, adding (good) support of online content/streaming, and better remote access to my content.  What I ended up with is the following:
> Software:
> - MythBackend for Live TV and recordings.  I have older HD-PVR's because HDhomerun Primes won't work with my provider other than the basic broadcast channels and being able to watch/record any cable/premium channel is important to my wife.  I also have IPTV sources more my wife to watch/record her HD European TV channels here in the US.  In terms of the ability to watch/record anything from any source I've found nothing better than Myth so no reason to change that part.
> - Plex media server. All my recordings (TV shows an Movies anyways) in myth are automatically fed into this once complete.  I use myth2kodi to do that, which adds support for automatically looking up missing metadata myth might not know (like episode number).  Same goes for all my other content from other sources, automatically added or manual.  It gets put into an appropriate location and Plex takes care of the rest. Plex does a fantastic job of grabbing meta data and making everything available anywhere, and organizing it into distinct libraries, far better than what Myth can do.
> - Kodi for the frontend. I use the Plexkodiconnect addon to access all my Plex content, and to organize everything in kodi into separate libraries (since on it's only it only has one) so that I have all our TV Shows, Movies, Kids movies/TV, woodworking shows/videos, exercise videos in separate main menu libraries.  Live TV and access to any recordings myth2kodi can't identify (sports/news/specials/etc only generally) are all accessible from Myth via the mythtv PVR addon.  I can also watch ALL the major streaming services in 4k (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Youtube Red, and a dozen+ others) directly from Kodi (more on that below).  It takes the right skin and quite a bit of time and effort tweaking settings and playing around with kodi to get the ideal setup, but once you do it blows everything else right out of the water.  My old Mythfrontend looks like a joke compared to what I have now.
> Hardware:
> - Nvidia Shield TV's (one for each TV): These are absolutely fantastic.  Relatively cheap (I got them for $170 each this month on sale), 4k support, tiny, fanless and low powr, support for everything (which is where I get a lot of the streaming service support in kodi).  I can plug in a keyboard to them, or expand the storage (which I've not needed to do), etc.  They add google home support too, so I have full voice controll over my TV's from anywhere even without the remote.  Kodi isn't supported yet for voice control via google (Alexa works though), but will be in 18.
> - Remotes I use the remote that came with the shield as well as some Harmony 650's I had (with Flirc USB IR receivers).  I really like the remote that came with the shield, but it's way to limiting with the lack of buttons for certain things in kodi.  The Harmony takes care of that and works perfectly.  I'm using HDMI CEC so that when I turn either the TV or Shield on/off both are in sync and there is nothing the confuse the wife/guests when something goes wrong.
> I'm completely in love with my new setup, as is the wife.  Even my just turned 3 year old has figured it out and said it's better (now she can watch youtube kids and PBS kids on the TV too).  For anyone still using mythfrontend you really are missing out.  There are essentially NO downsides to kodi, or a good android based setup, if you put the effort into it. It's that much better x10. 

Inspired by Matt setup I give a run for PLEX. 

My use case is following:
-in house 4xFE
-out of house: rMBP,iPAD, iPhone used to play recordings at vacations/on-road commuting/etc; Win10 in work.
For in house: I prefer myth FE. Reasons: mainly subjective (UI) but also maintenance (single MiniMyth2 image for all FEs).
For out of house I ended with setup:
-iPhone & iPAD: PLEX
-PC with Windows/Llinux/macOS: mythweb with HTML5 streaming (with applied https://code.mythtv.org/trac/ticket/12943)
For me unique functionality (even to PLEX) of mythweb with HTML5 streaming is in-advance download of already transcoded part - perfect for adverts skipping.
My BE can transcode  3..35.x real-time so usually:
-I ask for watching
-start watching
-when first advert begins – I have already in-advance downloaded content enough to skip advert via player slider.
This allows me to watch in web browser with adverts skipping – just like in in-house FE.
I wasn’t able to achieve this with PLEX as PLEX transcodes in-advance just to fill small buffer at player (so when buffer is filled - transcoding is throttled). 

BTW: in-advance download of already transcoded part works OK only for some browsers:
-Mozilla 57.01 and 54.01 are perfect. (tested on Win10 and macOS). Other versions had issues for me.
-Chrome: I wasn’t able to find any working version yet
-IE: not tested this crap

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