[plug] IPTV Linux server software

William Kenworthy billk at iinet.net.au
Sat Dec 31 08:56:58 WST 2005

Mythtv is a PVR (Personnel Video Recorder) - its great to select what
you want to record and share between a few frontends.  I am not sure how
it would scale.  Typically, it will use ~1/3 of a 100M link (switch)
under remote playback conditions.  Wireless links can be used, but run
into capacity/interference problems a lot (from the myth list), besides
often having pauses in the video because of lack of bandwidth.  CPU
demand is also high limiting you to powerful boxes/multiple systems
Hence Myth is unlikely to scale well.  Also, myth doesnt do VODs
directly, you have to transcode, but thats not a problem except for the
cpu power required for transcoding.

Myth just uses mplayer (or xine) to record and playback and lirc for
remote control - its just a fancy frontend!  And its flaky - stray
lockups/segfaults and wierd things happen. (I have one remote frontend
that kernel oopses after 4 seconds of playback, the server will hard
lock if I try and record from both the DVB and V4L inputs whilst
attempting a remote playback.  Then there's wakingh up in the morning to
a running, but totally unresponsive box - reboot!

VLC is designed for streaming, so it takes an existing source such as a
v4l feed, mpg etc and creates one or more streams on demand.  The system
I mentioned before just makes stream creation dynamic (or on demand).

Then there's how you are going to design the system: put a computer in
every endpoint (hundreds?) - bandwidth is going to kill this!  Use it to
drive a video distribution setup - but how are you going to accept user

Then there's the cost of setting up a reasonable scale demo system.  I
am not saying it cant be done, or done on a small scale for special
cases (a few rooms), but a commercial quality, scalable solution will
require considerable investment.

In my case, nobody else in the house will use mythtv - too quirky, odd
ball for the push-button generation!  However, my next trick will be to
VLC stream the recordings from mythtv to the other PC's in the house.
The VLC players seem OK, are cross platform and work.  As well, I think
other players will read the standard streams - need to confirm that.  I
have VLC up and running, but have not spent much time on it so far - too
busy trying to whip myth into shape!

I would recommend you build a myth system with a VLC streamer and get
enough experience to see what you are really dealing with - reality
bites!  - if this was easy, there would already be lots of systems out


On Fri, 2005-12-30 at 16:13 +0800, Chris Caston wrote:
> On Fri, 2005-12-30 at 12:08, William Kenworthy wrote:
> >
> Thanks Bill,
> Which do you think would be easier (in terms of getting it done and
> making at least some profit) the VLC || Mytv VODs or setting up
> Asterisk/wireless VOIP as a landline replacement option for caravan park
> permanent residents.  
> I always get lots of ideas of projects and I start on them then the
> phone rings and I have to run out and fix some Windows PCs. 
> Then I get an idea for another project and start on that one without
> finishing the first. I really need to get a solid project for 2006 so I
> can show that I have at least finished something.
> Maybe there is someone that can mentor me to keep me or track or someone
> also interested in working on such projects?
> regards,
> Chris Caston
> _______________________________________________
> PLUG discussion list: plug at plug.org.au
> http://www.plug.org.au/mailman/listinfo/plug
> Committee e-mail: committee at plug.linux.org.au
William Kenworthy <billk at iinet.net.au>

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