[mythtv-users] Is this possible??? The **ultimate** system...
bret at welcometolazyhill.com
Wed Jan 14 14:54:22 EST 2004
Hey all - getting into this late in the game, I guess, although I've been
following MythTV for some time now. I've had the following ideas about the
**ultimate** TV/PVR for a few years now. MythTV and SageTV
(www.freytechnologies.com/sagetv.html) seem pretty close to making this
happen, but I don't think all this is possible - yet. The streaming video
from www.videolan.org seems good, too. www.prismiq.com is close, too.
Please take a look at my PDF architecture attached and let me know if I'm
off in the weeds or not ;-).
Here's a short feature list:
o output to TV *AND* PC monitor (PC monitor doesn't have to be as pretty as
TV output. TV output should look very polished like MythTV currently does)
o skinnable (MythTV does this, the rest don't)
o see page 2 of the pdf - output should be totally customizable, with
windows for each tuner or input (i.e. CNN in one, ESPN in another, DVD in
another, web browser in another, webcam/security cam in another). You'd be
able to select the current one for audio via mouse or remote. You'd be able
to shrink the unused ones and enlarge the current one, but still have the
others available at the touch of a button. It'd have customizable plugins
scattered around the screen (news, weather, stocks, etc.) Ideally there'd
be a GUI that'd help people customize this on-screen using their mouse or
remote... Very user friendly - no XML or HTML hacking required!
o would support both hardwired TVs (i.e. local to the Myth backend) as well
as wired/wireless, streaming video to all front-ends via TCP/IP. Hey, I
watched the Matrix DVD on an 802.11b stream using vlc from www.videolan.org,
so you ought to be able to get 3-4 streams easily enough on an 802.11g
o user profiles - I'd be able to set up my configuration separately from my
kids' or my wife's. I'd select it from an OSD menu and my configuration
would come up (i.e. 4 PIP, multiple tickers, etc.)
o wireless keyboard and mouse for web surfing (I think this is already in
o Intelligent acquisition of tuners - if someone is watching a program using
Tuner1, don't barge in and steal it. Instead, switch to another tuner or
pop up a message saying "all tuners are in use, do you want to kill a
recording or watch a recording" or something similar.
o along with profiles, permissions would be nice... Maybe I don't want the
kids watching '24' or 'Threat Matrix' that I recorded...
o of course, playlists for still images, videos, and music. It'd be nice to
string several different things together for many hours of uninterrupted
viewing/listening (i.e. string 4 Blues Clues and 7 Bob the Builder episodes
together as a playlist to keep junior busy). Or a "playlist"/slideshow of
all the images on the inserted memory card while playing a playlist of MP3s
(there's your screensaver/picture frame. That'd look awesome on a large
o EXTREMELY simple addition of new tuners... such as USB. You buy a new USB
Tuner, plug it into your USB hub, MythTV finds it and starts using it to
schedule new recordings - all automagically.
I envision a mini-itx based client box at each TV, running a CF based Linux
distribution (list price < $200USD). All data would come over the network
(preferably 802.11g), streamed to the client and decoded locally. The
clients would never see the OS - it'd boot right into the front-end (like
Tivo does). FWIW, VIA is coming out with a new mobo soon, called MII, that
will have a PCI slot, a CF connection *and* a PCMCIA connection, so you
won't have to get the riser card everyone's using. The mobo was intended
for wireless ISPs, but will work well for MythTV, too!
The webcams could eventually be used for videoconferencing, security, or
just to watch the kids play. I eventually see plugins for home automation
via X10 (with onscreen images of what you're controlling).
What can be done already? How can I help out?
Sr. Software Architect
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