Record multiple channels from one multiplex
This is a feature, referred to commonly as MultiRec that is planned for release in a future version of MythTV (it is currently planned to be in 0.21, though that may change) which enables more than one channel to be recorded per tuner as long as the channels being recorded are being transmitted on the same DVB digital multiplex. It does not apply to analog tuners, and whether it applies to QAM digital cable depends somewhat on your carrier and your hardware.
The HDHomeRun external tuner is capable of supporting multirec, but the current version of the MythTV patch does not yet support it with that hardware.
- 1 Background
- 2 Sponsorship
- 3 Use cases
- 4 Countries with multiplexed DVB/ATSC transmissions
- 4.1 Africa
- 4.2 Antarctica
- 4.3 Asia
- 4.4 Oceania
- 4.5 Europe
- 4.6 North America
- 4.7 South America
- 5 Discussions
- 6 Documentation
- 7 Software Engineering
- 8 Pledge
DVB digital television transmissions are multiplexed Transport Streams containing several data streams (video, audio, epg, eit, ...) identified by PIDs. When you select a TV/Radio program or data service (like EPG, Teletext, IPv4, ...) the necessary PIDs are remuxed into a new data stream which can be handled by your application. In case of a media player one video PID and one or several audio PIDs are muxed into a TS- or PES-container (there can also be timing information like PCR).
The DVB-standard specifies the MPEG2 codec for video and audio. Alternatively AC3 can be used for audio.
Because of the high bandwidth of DVB multiplexes (up to 90 MBit/s) there is usually more than one TV- or radio-program in a multiplex. In contrast to the Windows BDA driver, the LinuxDVB kernel driver can also deliver the complete Transport Stream of a multiplex.
By remuxing the TS into more than one new stream other TV applications like VDR can record several TV programs in a DVB multiplex at the same time using only one tuner for the multiplex.
Multiplex recording also allows overlapping of sequential recordings of the same program. That avoids the annoying problem with the end of a broadcast being in the next recording or the beginning of a broadcast being at the end of a previous recording, as is lately popular with syndicated reruns of programs like Scrubs and ER.
Open Source Partners in Finland collected sponsorships for this development, with developers involved. The first payment has been made to the developers and work is mostly complete against this ticket.
This section originally existed to define some common things you might want to use MultiRec to do, and should be rewritten by someone familiar with the code to describe how closely these targets were hit.
- User schedules recording of two programmes on different channels that share a multiplex (e.g., BBC1 and BBC2). Only one tuner should be used to record.
- User has MythTV set up to always start recording five minutes before and after the scheduled time. User schedules recording of two back-to-back programmes on the same channel, or on different channels carried on the same transport. Only one tuner should be used to record both, despite the overlap.
A lot of the complexity in this change comes not from the recording code but from the scheduling. Define some edge cases to provoke discussion.
- User has three recordings defined that will all be transmitted on one multiplex at the same time, each programme given a priority of "5". Another recording at the same time has a priority of "10" on another multiplex. With only one tuner, which programmes get recorded?
- User has two tuners, one high priority, one low. Two programs at priority 0 are transmitted on the same transport, while one on a different transport has priority 10. Which gets the high priority tuner, and which the low priority one?
- User has two tuners, one high priority DVB tuner, one low priority analog tuner. Two programs at priority 0 are transmitted on the same transport, while one on a different transport has priority 10. Do we give the high priority DVB tuner to the two low priority shows and put up with analog reception for the high priority show, or do we use the DVB tuner for the high priority show, and miss recording one of the lower priority shows?
- User has two tuners, one low priority DVB tuner, one high priority analog tuner. One programs at priority 0 is on simultaneously with two priority 10 programs transmitted on the same transport. Do we give the low priority DVB tuner to the two high priority shows, or put one on the high priority analog tuner and miss the lower priority show? This may be a bit artificial, since a DVB tuner will usually have higher priority than an analog one.
- All these same issues arise for back-to-back recordings on the same transport that are made to overlap due to start early/end late.
Countries with multiplexed DVB/ATSC transmissions
At present New Zealand has two Freeview (FTA) DVB-S transponders on Optus D1. Sky (pay tv provider) also broadcasts TV One and TV 2 unencrypted on one of their transponders. At some point in 2008 we expect to also see 2-3 MPEG4 based DVB-T Multiplexes. The DVB-S Transponders have enough room for upto 9 TV Channels.
|DVB-S 12483H||DVB-S 12456H|
|TVNZ 6||Parliament TV|
|TVNZ Sport Extra||Reserved|
|Reserved||Radio NZ National|
|Reserved||Radio NZ Concert|
- ABC and ABC2, with ABC2 repeating much of the ABC content later in the week (great if you run out of tuners)
- SBS with SBS world News
- Digital 44 (Sydney only) - datacasting of news/tab/expo/christian tv/parliament
- Seven and Ten now show additional programming on the HD channel in their multiplex
- Seven, Nine and Ten also show, at other times, both SD and HD versions on different channels in their multiplex
- Astra 19.2° and EutelSat 13.0° DVB-S (up to 20 radio or 8 TV programs per transponder/multiplex)
3 Multiplexes (on terrestrial).
- Multiplex A (CT1, CT2, CT24, CT4 Sport, TV Nova) + some radios
- Multiplex B (Prima TV, TOP TV, Ocko, 24cz, TV NOE) + some radios
- Multiplex C (some tests)
1 Multiplex, - more will come.
Current multiplex has: DR1, DR2, Tegnsprog and TV2. As of February not all of the country are covered. Se http://www.digi-tv.dk
- All TV stations on DVB-C/-T (up to 6 TV channels per multiplex)
4 Multiplexes (on terrestrial). Muxes A and B cover 99,9 % of country. Mux C covers 78 % - 85,4 %. Mux E is reserved for pay-TV is also operational but not covering whole country.
Multiple multiplexes on cable, depending on providing company.
TTV is Finland's 2nd biggest cable tv provider with 12 multiplexes. 6-10 channels per multiplex and most of the users use only 2 of them -> More than 10 free channels. Even getting 2 channels with one tuners would be HUGE improvement.
Analog TV has been switched off since 31th of August 2007 in Finland...
- All TV stations on DVB-C/-T (4 TV programs per VHF/UHF multiplex)
The UK is made up of 6 multiplexes. As you can see below, with only 6 tuners you could have quite an incredible MythTV recording platform.
|Mux 1||Mux 2||Mux A||Mux B||Mux C||Mux D|
|BBC ONE||ITV1 or (STV or UTV)||abc1||301||E4+1||Film4|
|BBC TWO||ITV2||bid tv||302 / Community||Sky Sports||Ideal World|
|BBC THREE / CBBC||ITV3||Five||305||Sky Sports News||ITV Play|
|BBC NEWS 24||CITV||Five Life||BBC FOUR / CBeebies||Sky Three||The HITS|
|Channel 4||Five US||BBC News Multiscreen||UKTV History / smileTV||TMF|
|E4||price-drop tv||BBC Parliment||UKTV Bright Ideas / f tn|
|Quiz Call||Teachers' TV|
In addition, there are a large number of radio stations.
The full list can be found here: 
As the UK is currently in transition to all DVB-T (completed in 2012) an up to date status of Mux's and Channels can be found here: .
The 'interesting' Free TV channels that can be received with a DVB-S card (ie no Sky box required) and are thus available for multiplex recording:
Note especially the BBC HD
|tp 41||ITV 2+1||ITV 1|
|tp 44||ITV 1||ITV 2||CITV||ITV 4||Men & Motors|
|tp 45||BBC One||BBC Two||BBC News24||BBC Four||CBBC||CBeebies||BBC Three|
|tp 47||BBC One||BBC Two||BBC Radio|
|tp 50||BBC One||BBC HD|
|tp 54||Channel TV||STV||ITV 3|
|tp 14||Zee Music UK|
|tp 26||Sky News UK||Sky News Ireland|
- TV stations on the Digitenne network are in DVB-T (multiple TV programs per multiplex, all FTA public channels on one multiplex)
# scandvb -c
using '/dev/dvb/adapter0/frontend0' and '/dev/dvb/adapter0/demux0'
0x0000 0x044d: pmt_pid 0x1b62 Digitenne -- Nederland 1 (running)
0x0000 0x044e: pmt_pid 0x1b6c Digitenne -- Nederland 2 (running)
0x0000 0x044f: pmt_pid 0x1b76 Digitenne -- Nederland 3 (running)
0x0000 0x0450: pmt_pid 0x1b80 Digitenne -- TV Rijnmond (running)
0x0000 0x0457: pmt_pid 0x1bc6 Digitenne -- Radio Rijnmond (running)
0x0000 0x0458: pmt_pid 0x1bd0 Digitenne -- Radio 1 (running)
0x0000 0x0459: pmt_pid 0x1bda Digitenne -- Radio 2 (running)
0x0000 0x045a: pmt_pid 0x1be4 Digitenne -- 3FM (running)
0x0000 0x045b: pmt_pid 0x1bee Digitenne -- Radio 4 (running)
0x0000 0x045c: pmt_pid 0x1bf8 Digitenne -- Radio 5 (running)
0x0000 0x045d: pmt_pid 0x1c02 Digitenne -- Radio 6 (running)
0x0000 0x045e: pmt_pid 0x1c0c Digitenne -- Concertzender Classic (running)
0x0000 0x045f: pmt_pid 0x1c16 Digitenne -- FunX (running)
dumping lists (13 services)
Nederland 1 (0x044d) 01: PCR == V V 0x1b63 A 0x1b64 TT 0x1b65
Nederland 2 (0x044e) 01: PCR == V V 0x1b6d A 0x1b6e TT 0x1b6f
Nederland 3 (0x044f) 01: PCR == V V 0x1b77 A 0x1b78 TT 0x1b79
TV Rijnmond (0x0450) 01: PCR == V V 0x1b81 A 0x1b82 TT 0x1b83
Radio Rijnmond (0x0457) 02: PCR == A A 0x1bc8
Radio 1 (0x0458) 02: PCR == A A 0x1bd2
Radio 2 (0x0459) 02: PCR == A A 0x1bdc
3FM (0x045a) 02: PCR == A A 0x1be6
Radio 4 (0x045b) 02: PCR == A A 0x1bf0
Radio 5 (0x045c) 02: PCR == A A 0x1bfa
Radio 6 (0x045d) 02: PCR == A A 0x1c04
Concertzender Classic (0x045e) 02: PCR == A A 0x1c0e
FunX (0x045f) 02: PCR == A A 0x1c18
All of Dutch national public TV and radio in one multiplex!
See http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digitenne for details and information (in Dutch)
|Mux R1||France 2||France 3||France 4||France 5||ARTE||La Chaîne Parlementaire|
|Mux R2||Direct 8||Gulli||Europe 2 TV||i>TELE||BFM TV||TMC|
|Mux R3||Canal +||Canal J||Planète||Canal + Sport||Canal + Cinéma|
|Mux R4||M6||W9||NT1||Paris Première||TF6||AB1|
|Mux R6||TF1||NRJ 12||TPS Star||Eurosport||LCI|
DVB-T and DVB-C.
There are 5 public DVB-T multiplexes. Four of them covers 90% of the population, one 50%. This is about 30 channels, both encrypted and unencrypted. There are also ongoing work to ensure that the Swedish population in Finland will continue to receive digital transmissions after the analog transmissions have stopped.
Read more at Teracom.
1 Multiplex ( HTV 1, HTV 2, Nova TV & RTLTelevizija)
- All TV stations on DVB-T (Maximum of 4 TV programs per VHF/UHF multiplex. Radio stations do not count for the maximum).
Digital cable transmissions are multiplexed. The standard encoding appears to be QAM-256 for unencrypted channels. Usually there are also lots of audio only channels multiplexed into the stream, so each frequency can have a number of streams. Maximum for one frequency with Rogers cable in the Toronto area appears to be 14 streams on one frequency...a mixture of unencrypted video+audio, audio and encrypted HD.
Rogers has a total of 424 streams!
An example dvbscan output:
Unique name:frequency:modulation: video id: audio id: serviceid (pid)
#dumping lists (424 services) [076e]:513000000:QAM_256:26:27:1902 :513000000:QAM_256:29:30:1907 :513000000:QAM_256:18:19:1908 :513000000:QAM_256:32:33:1910 :513000000:QAM_256:37:40:1909 :513000000:QAM_256:51:52:1912 :513000000:QAM_256:53:56:1913 [07b3]:519000000:QAM_256:21:24:1971 [07b5]:519000000:QAM_256:41:42:1973 [07b6]:519000000:QAM_256:43:44:1974 [07b7]:519000000:QAM_256:46:47:1975 [07b2]:519000000:QAM_256:49:50:1970
Please read these discussions, and the Trac ticket thoroughly before starting a new discussion about the subject on the mailing list.
- Record multiple channels from one multiplex (again...) thread on mailing list, which has some activity.
- Handle multiple DVB channels simultaneously from a single multiplex thread on mailing list.
- is mythtv smart enough to do this with recordings? thread on mailing list
- One mux, multiple channels - status? thread on mailing list
- One mux, multiple channels - status? thread on mailing list.
- Recording 2 channels on same multiplex (HDHomerun) thread on mailing list
- Record >1 channel per multiplex? thread on mailing list
- DVB-Virtual Recorder (Multiple recordings on one card) thread on mailing list.
- MythTv with DVB: Multiple PID support thread on mailing list.
- Recording multiple channels on a single DVB transport thread on mailing list.
- Ticket #1772: Allow Multiple Channels rom 1 Transponder thread on mailing list.
If someone has time, it would be great if the ideas in these threads and the ticket could be summarised?
MythTV does not support multiplex reception
Q: How to get several recordings from one multiplex?
A: Grab the complete Transport Stream from a DVB/ATSC device into a ringbuffer and demux it into several MPEG streams.
Q: Does it make sense to store the TS on harddisk instead of using a ringbuffer?
A: No, unless you can afford 40 GByte diskspace per recording hour (DVB-S multiplexes can have bitrates up to 90 MBit/s). So make it configurable: 1 or more, or all channels from one multiplex, perhaps appearing as a `virtual tuner` to MythTV. MythTV can use the channels via the normal means.
Q: Is it possible to record encrypted and decode the recording offline/later?
A: In theory, yes. Practically NOT.
- The decoding is done by CAM modules with smartcards.
- The CAM modules use a extended PCMCIA interface with special wiring.
- You need a kernel driver for the CAMs.
- Also consider the high load for the PCI/PCMCIA interface.
- Legal issues in most countries.
Q: How to prevent MythTV-backend crashes by broken Transport Streams?
- Validate Transport Stream by defining preconditions in the TS remuxer
- Fork a transport stream demuxer process for each recording.
- Make sure to handle process signals correctly (no zombies)!
- Make it restart upon error (e.g. using a watchdog process)
Q: How to handle multiplexes in the recording scheduler?
A: Use source type (DVB-C/-S/-T), frequency (DVB-C/-S/-T) and polarisation (DVB-S) to identify programs on the same multiplex. In a multiplex case use the new code; MythTV can then handle `conflicting` situations.
Q: How to adapt the recording scheduler for multiplex recordings?
A: A simple Solution for this is in the Ticket in Track about this feature. This is not the full Solution, but it works.
Q: Will it be possible to view concurrently two programs on the same multiplex with Picture in Picture ?
A: PiP is a frontend feature while multiplex recording is a backend feature.
So the answer is YES! If your backend provides multiplex demuxing you can use PiP.
An implementation branch for the multirec feature has been started. http://svn.mythtv.org/trac/browser/branches/mythtv-multirec
Since the 14th of January 2008 the MythTV SVN (rev 15450 and newer) contains a fully working implementation of recording several concurrent shows from one transport stream.
Three developers are going to work on this feature in the spring of 2007. A pledge to pay for that effort has been started in April 2007. Please donate to the pledge if you're willing to pay for this feature.
(Note that another pledge was started earlier and expired on 15th December, 2006)