[clug] Alternatives to MythTV etc.

Tony Breeds tony at bakeyournoodle.com
Sun Mar 1 19:30:13 MST 2015

On Mon, Mar 02, 2015 at 11:12:59AM +1100, Bob Edwards wrote:
> Many TVs and STBs now come with a plethora of "canned" web apps that
> allow you to, eg. play YouTube or iView etc. (my Samsung has many).
> Anyone looked at catching (MitM) the Web connection of one of these
> apps and redirecting it to their own private server clone and serving
> up content that way? Does DLNA do this? (I confess to not really
> knowing...).

This is a rather complex question and one that might make a good CLUG
meeting discussion. 

So due to #firstworldproblems TV watch is no longer a simple thing  We have
expectations that are becoming harder and harder to meet.  For me I think
MythTV does 2 seperate but related functions.

1) It schdules a tuner device (or multiple) to capture TV streams and store
them on disk.
2) It plays back media that may ro may not be recorded TV programs.

I'm totally happy to be corrected here but for function 1 MythTV is the only
horse in the race.

For function 2 (which is I think wheer your question is aimed) there are many
and varied options.

I'll describe my setup

1 MythTV PC with 3 tuner cards.  This box records stupid ammounts of TV and
then exposes those files to the ntaive MythTV "frontend over NFS"  Even though
the frontend has no tuner it can stream (and pause) live TV directly from the
backend.  SUre there is lag but it works. Also running on the backend box is
minidlna which exposes the data in the mythTV via (you guessed it DLNA)  I have
2 clients for this.

1) a WDTV live box (which is oh so limited in codec support and is slow) but
   for most cases it works
2) (experimental) a chromecast dongle.  I browse the DLNA directory on
   $android_device and say play that on the chromecast.  The gotcha is that the
   chromecast supportes even fewer codecs than the WD TV Live.  This means if
   I'm going to commit to it I need to transcode several TB of data :(

Both of these non mythTV playback devices expose limited functionality.  I like
deleting shows that I'm never going to watch again  I can't do that ove DLNA.
Also to setup a 'cutlist' for a show in mythtv you need to use mythtv.  This
means that shows that have preamble or postamble (because TV scheduling in
Australia sucks) are a little annoying to watch over via DLNA.  A show with ads
just forget it.

Now I don't owe a smart TV so I have no idea about them but my best guess it
it'd happily browse a DLNA server and playback but it'd be just like the WDTV

Yours Tony.
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