User Wish List

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Before making any feature requests to the MythTV developers one first needs to understand the most basic truth about MythTV: "MythTV is a project by developers, for developers." If you look at things in that light, comments that get made by developers to users who submit feature requests ("Sounds good I look forward to your patch") make a whole lot more sense..

The developers of MythTV work for free (obviously), in their spare time. Most/all of us write software for a living, where they work all day long on things that other people want us to work on. When they work on Myth they focus on what's important to them. Features get implemented because a developer wants it bad enough to spend his spare time writing it and testing it and believes strongly in it enough to defend it from the other developers (to avoid the feature creep common in some projects). Bugs, especially crash bugs, get worked on by all of the devs as they encounter them as they impact everyone.

That's not to say that the users don't matter, or that they developers never implement something that comes from a user. It's just that unless a developer says either "why didn't I think of that" or "I could knock that out in a couple hours" it will be a much lower priority.

If you've got an idea for a feature that you'd like to see implemented here's some guidelines for submitting it:

  • Clearly indicate that it's a request not a demand.
  • Indicate your understanding that code speaks louder than words. (i.e. "If I could I'd write up a patch that does this but I'm not a dev")
  • Be very clear with how you envision your idea working. The more details you have in your request the better chance you have hitting that magical "knock it out in a couple of hours" mark.
  • Make sure you're not repeating a previous request. (search the archives)
  • Make sure what you want isn't already a feature. (it happens)
  • Do NOT be offended if a developer responds with "sounds good I look forward to your patch".
  • Requests from people who have contributed back to the project in some way carry a LOT more weight.

That last one is pretty important. Developers by and large tend to be rather blunt. People often mistake being terse and too the point for being insulting. Then they start a flame war on the mailing list (which is pretty much certain death for a feature request) all because a developer either a) didn't take 3 paragraphs to tell them "I'm not going to work on this" or they think that the developer should drop whatever they're doing because *they* want it done. A lot of the devs are a bit defensive when it comes to requests.

There may be a new way to get your favourite feature in MythTV. The guys over at plan on supporting MythTV development by tossing money at it. Of course, you'd have to subscribe first and pay monthly fees. I haven't tried it yet and can't comment on it. Just check it out, you are probably going to like it.

Features that users have asked for, but haven't been moved to the official feature development list:

With reference to website / mailing list:

  • X10 Home Automation, or you could read this as a request to add a basic menu editing GUI, to add program start buttons for example
      • How about rendering a mythtv page or set of trees based on a bluelava webpage or config and using a lynx/elinks like navigation? That would suit me fine and would provide a great solution for integration without reinventing heyu, br, and bluelava.
  • View count, especially useful if stored per user, to see if everyone has already seen the recording - would be nice to have an addition to options menu for "mark as seen by:" with submenu for defined viewers. This would really help in determining when shows can be deleted.
  • Show what recording profile were used to record a show, record profiles can change over time, so maybe this should fall back to displaying just the settings used. This exists to some extent you can see what profile was used but not what the settings are. Select "edit recording schedule" from the menu in the view recordings screen

Request on mythtv-users/dev mailinglist in chronological order:

  • ATI AIW support, this is a difficult one. (I don't expect this ever to work but who knows Henk Poley) Not going to happen the AIW card is a horrible capture card (from a driver standpoint).
  • Non-time shifting mode for watching regular TV, would be a bit difficult since the frontend/backend split, but might be possible when both are on the same machine. You could still draw the OSD if you would want. this defeats the purpose of a PVR, add a menu item to launch a non-buffering tv program in place of Myths "watch tv" item - This is better stated as a request for "fast channel changing" or "no 2 second delay". Current workaround is to switch channel changing behavior to "browse mode", but actually having "fast channel changing" would really help new user acceptance of mythtv.
  • MythTV watchdog, which would store crash reports to be sent together with bugreports.
  • Sending logs via email, probably good for an howto to do that with existing programs (logrotate or something?)
  • Channel lock,or just 'lock'. Users can receive a warning when attempting to change the channel while not caught up to real time, so the original purpose behind this is moot.. Might (still) be handy for parents with little kids.
  • Burn DVDs/(S)VCDs from within MythTV
  • Action sound, a short confirmation 'blip' to say that a keypress was received and is 'being processed' --- This is difficult to achieve without impelemting and requring all audio devices to be routed through an ALSA mixer (which has it's own issues at the moment)
  • /Play Multiple Episodes back to back (ref) This can be done using playlists. Just select the video you want to play and press the menu key. Select Add to playlist.

Without reference:

  • Add support for AC3 music files to mythmusic sample file
  • implement file management (rename,cut,past,copy) for images,music and video
  • implement import management for data-cd/data-dvd with images, music and videos
  • implement dvb-radio support
  • using gstreamer or xine c++ api for media handling instead of 'to reinvent the wheel' for each media type
  • Mouse support. Would make it possible to use a touch screen to control MythTV. - option added
  • Ability to automaticly change Xine/MPlayer (etc.) keybindings file when you change MythTV hotkeys (seems difficult to me - Henk Poley). Or just a webpage with Xine/MPlayer configs that conform to MythTV default keybindings.
  • On screen help. Press F1 and it tells you what keys do what at that point in time. Also tells you more about each function. ?How does this work with Remotes? --I'm planning on tackling this as my first bit of mythdev :) --David Greaves Try pressing "1" on your remote
  • Provide some way for users with multiple available tv cards to switch channels, while keeping the ringbuffer for the previous channel until system runs out of tv cards. This would allow flipping between two shows and keeping the ringbuffer for both
  • Implement a frontend gui that is based on xosd for text display and display on top of xscreensaver modules running on root window - this would allow for cool 3d backgrounds in the mythtv frontend - there is a new GUI based on OpenGL in CVS ...
  • Add photo album support to MythWeb (something like JAlbum or gallery)
  • Add EXIF display option for photos in myth's photo gallery. Also, create thumbnails of very large jpgs to speed up display.
  • make myth's photo display more flexible to allow display of variable number of photos per screen (like iPhoto or picasa)
  • take transition effects from xscreenaver and implement them for myth photo module
  • implement opengl photo transition effects as effects to be selected for channel change in LiveTV
  • Provide ability for MythMusic user to select music by Genre - this would be an easy way to deal with large music colletions and playlists
  • Provide an onscreen IM client (based on Myth Notify ?) Ideally it should integrate with GAIM and allow an IM chat in transparent text while watching TV with variable font size - possibly using GAIMnOSD
  • add asterix integration and configuration details to MythPhone and docs
  • add "smooth scroll" option to OSD Program Guide for horizontal and vertical scroll
  • Add an ebay module to watch and update active bids
  • Add simple games that can be played via the remote control (i.e. arrow keys and enter) - like some type of simple minesweeper or sokoban
  • Add support to MythGame for epsxe on linux using either ISO images or real Playstation 1 cds - Also add support for mtd to detect Playstation 1 cds
  • Add support to MythGame for Generator Sega Genesis Emulator
  • Implement support in mtd and MythDVD to support CD+G format using libcdg123
  • Integrate MythBurn into main MythTV packages
  • Allow saving of files that are actually mpeg2 or mpeg4 to .mpg extensions instead of .nuv (this may be possible for MPEG2, but not MPEG4 as it is actually .NUV in structure -- Gavin Hurlbut)
  • Provide a transcode to divx or xvid while recording option. Save a ringbuffer that is transcoded to divx and store in database as a TV Recording after processing to divx
        • After an initial transcode from mpeg2 to mpeg4, I woul d like to be able to do a mega-sqeeze using nuvexport for archival purposes but still keep the file in mythtv records -- not in videos. Can .nuv be used as a container for xvid? I.E. initial PVR250 recording for an hour takes up 2gb. Transcode to mpeg4 brings this down to 1gb. Nuvexport "transcode" to xvid brings it down to ~400mb and keeps the recording and program info in mythtv.
  • A way to process files and just remove cuts from cutlist without changing file format (to allow removing commercial from mpeg2 streams but keep mpeg2 format for easy transfer to dvd)
  • Provide option to show free disk space in main myth screens or on program guide Done in System Status in \0.18
  • Provide an option under setup that will gather system/mythtv config and info and allow a user to send an email to mythtv-users mail lists after careful prompting to ensure that new users can file useful bug reports or ask for help while including as much required information to provide a solution (Something similar to bug-buddy )
  • Have mythbackend back up the mythconverg database on a flexible schedule.
  • alarm clock feature - start playing liveTV from a given channel for a set period of time on given days of the week (i.e. weekdays, weekends)
  • support for secondary storage via NFS - when primary storage is full on a backend, go to secondary storage
  • support for blog entries from inside of myth - provide hotkey that will open a quick form to add an entry to blogger or other common blog. Included in the posting would be the information about the show being watched at the moment - would be ideal to have a transparent overlay window for text entry so blog entry could be posted while still wathcing TV - useful to blog about a debate or talk show
  • Add ability for mythtv to log all shows watched (live or recorded) during a day and store in a unique log file per day to store tv watching history. Add ability to put parental controls on mythtv to only allow a given number of hours of tv watching during the day, only allow certain channels during certain times on certain days of the week.
  • update mythweb to graph TV usage/watching over time. Include time tv is on, most watched channels, most watched programs, most recorded programs, link to logs of mythtv usage per day
  • A convenient way to comment on movies in IMDB after watching them. I.E. At the end of watching a MOVIE, add an option to the delete menu to jump to IMDB "post a review" for this movie (or a link to tvtome to comment on an episode of a series?)
  • A solution to allow MythTV to watch and record encrypted digital cable broadcasts that the user has licensed. This is an EXTREME pipe dream as it would require 1) cooperation, or at least noninterference, from the cable companies; 2) digital receiver cards that can accept CAMs from the cable provider; 3) volunteers to code the drivers.
    • Note that this isn't *quite* as far fetched as it sounds. It *may* prove possible to receive unencrypted (non-pay) digital cable channels in the US with the pcHDTV3000 card. The encrypted ones would require a card compatible with a Cable Card decryption card -- which cable companies *are* required to provide if you ask for one... but we're unlikely to see such a card ship *before* the July 1 2004 advent of the broadcast flag. So support EFF in getting it thrown out.  :-) -- Bay Link [[Date Time(2004-11-01T20:10:47Z)]]
  • provide arbitrary encapsulation of ANY UNIX application started fullscreen inside of a VNC session and assign to a Channel - I.E - start a vnc session with xterm in fullscreen, assign to channel 100, start xchat logging into #mythtv-users and assign to channel 101, etc.
  • LiveTV multichannel preview mode - show a snapshot of each channel on a 3x3 or 4x4 matrix. Allow arrow keys and ff/rw to scroll through channels and enter to select channel
  • Add local movie showtimes module
  • playlist queue - ability to manage a queue of recorded programs or videos for sequential playback
  • change behavior going to livetv or attempting to change channels when all tuners are in use to provide a menu allowing the user to cancel a currently-running recording job and delete the recording.
  • Add default MythTV setup options for ALSA : default for alsa devices and mixer. Provide documentation on how to have all ALSA output go though mixer (so that two sounds can play at the same time)
  • Have MythTV emulate a standard uPnP "Media Server" to take advantage of "media center extender" hardware- See thread - one example: Cyber Media Gate
  • Add a Test Screen to help adjust TV colors correctly to view MythTV at the very best -- also add test sound effects for stereo, 5+1 sounds, etc sound debugging. This would be a nice addition to setup in myth. -- possibly lprof-1.09 tools
  • Provide a setting for maximum time on LiveTV or "Watch Recordings" screen with active mini preview video without any user event (i.e. no remote signal, no keypress, no channel change). When time reached, kick MythTV back out to main screen. This will prevent unnecesasry ringbuffer disk I/O after set time. A reasonable default time for this may be 6 hours.
  • Add option to MythWeb "backend status" to bump encoders out of LiveTV into "local" (i.e. - you left the TV in livetv mode, and nobody's watching)
  • Add option in MythWeb to send a line of text to Myth Notify - like a one-way page (probably most useful to add under backend status - where you can see that TV is on, and someone is likely to be in front of TV)
  • Add search by title, actor, keyword, and new shows options to MythWeb. When searching for terms from mythweb, I would like to have them stored as search terms in myth GUI for future reference.
  • Add support for an dosbox frontend to play classic dos games. (NOTE: This can be accomplished via MythGame and customizing the gamelist.xml file on a per program basis for anything that uses dosbox)
  • Add option to limit the time length or filesize of recordings. Long length MythTV recordings would automatically span multiple files similar to film rolls. Allows TV marathons, sporting events, etc to be broken up into manageable pieces.
  • Configurable "max_commercial_length", override recordedmarkup and skip max_commercial_length where appropriate. (sometimes I hit skip and jump 13 minutes, etc).
  • More precise time offset for guide listings (My clock is spot on using NTP, but my provider's clock seems fast by 30-60 seconds). Or, allow "End Late" to be a negative value, could be used in combination with "Start Early" to accomplish same goal. This could also be used to compensate for any scheduler "lag".
  • a method to allow review of email on a POP3 server. No need to download the email, just browse what is there and read/delete/etc.
  • Add an "Export Recordings" mode under "Manage Recordings" that interfaces with mkmovie, nuvexport and nuv2avi in some integrated fashion so that TV recordings could easily be exported from MythTV without dropping to the commandline to do so.
  • Add an option to import playlists for and streaming URL's for internetradio to MythMusic
  • Add a capability to the encoder back-end to allow overlapping scheduled recordings to be recorded using the same encoder as long as they are on the same channel - would still produce 2 or more separate recordings, but would not produce a conflict if the recordings were on the same channel. Should be possible - the same video would appear in 2 or more different recordings.
  • Two big problems if you try to move your recordings around, and symlink them back to the original location:
   1. Autoexpire doesn't understand symlinks, so if you move expirable programs off the main disk, they get deleted for no reason.
   1. Transcode doesn't understand symlinks, so if you transcode something that's moved, you get an extra copy, and fill up your main recording space.

Questions and Answers

There is a Talk:User Wish List for Wiki contributors to ask and answer questions.