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Thread: Is it possible to link two Mythbuntu boxes in different locations together?

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    Is it possible to link two Mythbuntu boxes in different locations together?

    I am very new with MythTV and Mythbuntu (less than two weeks). At the moment this is more of a curiosity question than something I plan to do in the immediate future, but I had an interesting thought.

    Let's say you have your primary residence in City A and another location (could be second home, office, relative's home) in City B. And let's say City B has a much better selection of local TV stations. And let's say that you are using something like a HDHomeRun Dual to receive over-the-air TV at your home, but you only get about ten stations (counting subchannels) whereas your location in City B gets closer to 50 stations, plus it's closer to the transmitters for most of those stations.

    So here's what I'm wondering: It it possible to link two MythTV backends together so that SELECTED programming recorded on the a backend and HDHomeRun in City B could be transferred to the backend in City A and vise versa?

    The idea is that if you are at home and you want to watch a program that is only received reliably in City B, you could set up a Mythbuntu backend there, schedule and record it from a station there, then have it transferred to your backend in City A. Conversely, while you are in City B, you could schedule a program in City A (for example, a local news program) and have it sent to the backend in City B. Note that the idea would be to have only selected programming transferred, not everything that might be recorded on either backend. And you'd obviously want to remove commercials and maybe transcode the programming before sending it across the 'net, particularly if one or both ends has capped internet service.

    I realize that there would probably be some way to hack this functionality by setting up a script to look for and transfer files, but that's not what I'm asking. I'm asking if the MythTV backend software itself has any built-in capability to connect to a peer backend system in another location and schedule and share recorded programming. Obviously there would be a lot of potential uses for such capability, if it exists!

    What would be really great is if a MythTV frontend could show a schedule grid for both systems, and if you schedule an event for recording and it happens to be coming from the remote system, it would give you the option to transfer it to the local backend and delete it from the remote backend (after recording is finished), transfer it but also leave a copy at the remote, or not transfer it and only leave a copy at the remote. I suppose I am dreaming, but just thought I'd ask if there was any possibility that such capability might exist.

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    Re: Is it possible to link two Mythbuntu boxes in different locations together?

    A secondary/slave backend with extra tuners?
    yes works well over LAN.
    I had this for a while one for Freesat and one for Freeview here in the UK.

    All frontends show all the channels/recordings etc that both backends have. i.e like one big backend with 12 tuners
    You setup different Video sources for each type on the master backend, in my case 1 Freeview, 2 Freesat HD, 3 Freesat. DVB-S cards crash trying to tune to DVB-S2 channels?

    Not possible over the internet yet bandwidth required would be too big. So I'm told, not measured, but my 1Gb can't stream HD to remote frontends.

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    Re: Is it possible to link two Mythbuntu boxes in different locations together?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullwinkle_Moose View Post
    I realize that there would probably be some way to hack this functionality by setting up a script to look for and transfer files, but that's not what I'm asking. I'm asking if the MythTV backend software itself has any built-in capability to connect to a peer backend system in another location and schedule and share recorded programming. Obviously there would be a lot of potential uses for such capability, if it exists!
    No. And due to the nature of said feature request and the fact most MythTV developers reside in the US, such functionality will probably not be implemented due to legal reasons.
    *Don't PM me directly for support, open a new thread
    *Looking for a MythTV quick start guide?

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    Re: Is it possible to link two Mythbuntu boxes in different locations together?

    couldn't you theoretically connect the two locations with a vpn? you could have a transcode job that would transcode the remote locations recordings down to a reasonable size which could be streamed over vpn possibly? Good luck
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    Re: Is it possible to link two Mythbuntu boxes in different locations together?

    Quote Originally Posted by tgm4883 View Post
    No. And due to the nature of said feature request and the fact most MythTV developers reside in the US, such functionality will probably not be implemented due to legal reasons.
    I'm not sure I understand where you are coming from here. I can't imagine what "legal reasons" would come into play that don't already exist. Recording TV shows is not illegal, per the Betamax decision. The Slingbox exists, so I assume that sending received signals from one location to another for one's own personal use is not illegal. I realize that local broadcasters and possibly even the networks might hate it if you send a signal received in one market to another, but to my mind that's just the modern equivalent of having someone someone videotape a show for you in one area and then mail the tape to you so you can watch it in another location. Just because you convert the signal to a digital format and send it to another location over the Internet, rather than depositing it in a mailbox, shouldn't change the legal situation.

    I mean, I get that we live in a litigious society, but I don't think that ideas should be thrown out because someone has some nebulous idea that there might be legal issues. For all I know there may be legal issues with breathing air but people will do it anyway. Anyway, I would just say that absent someone citing case law that would reasonably apply here AND that would cause a problem for the developer of the software, let's not kill this discussion over a fear of what MIGHT POSSIBLY happen.

    (That said, I do understand that this is why so much software development is now coming from outside the USA — it's just that fear of litigation that causes people in the USA to clam up!)

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    Re: Is it possible to link two Mythbuntu boxes in different locations together?

    Quote Originally Posted by dannyboy79 View Post
    couldn't you theoretically connect the two locations with a vpn? you could have a transcode job that would transcode the remote locations recordings down to a reasonable size which could be streamed over vpn possibly? Good luck
    That might work, although for most users setting up a VPN is not exactly a straightforward process. The bigger issue would be how to get the remote backend to send ONLY certain traffic (the recorded programming wanted at the other location) over the VPN, while NOT using it for general Internet access. I don't know enough about VPN's to know if it is possible to direct only certain selected traffic through a VPN tunnel. My (very limited) experience with VPN's is that it's an all or nothing situation — either all your Internet traffic goes through the VPN (except the VPN packets themselves) or all of it uses the local Internet connection. I'm guessing there are ways around that, but I'm also guessing that it's not something the average Mythbuntu user would be able to figure out easily.

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    Re: Is it possible to link two Mythbuntu boxes in different locations together?

    primary backend and slave backend functionality already exists in the code, so you just need to create a vpn between the two locations so they appear to be on the same network and you should be good to go
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    Re: Is it possible to link two Mythbuntu boxes in different locations together?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlecJ View Post
    A secondary/slave backend with extra tuners?
    yes works well over LAN.

    .....

    Not possible over the internet yet bandwidth required would be too big. So I'm told, not measured, but my 1Gb can't stream HD to remote frontends.
    That's why my idea was to record the program on one backend, then after it was recorded, commercials removed (if desired), and transcoded (if desired), only then would it be moved or copied to the other backend. That would both potentially reduce the size of the recording, and eliminate any issues associated with live streaming. While I'm sure some types of Internet connections could possibly handle live streaming (FIOS, or Google's Fiber project in Kansas City, maybe) I'm pretty sure I'd have issues with it on my local cable connection, so I wasn't thinking of attempting that.

    Anyway, as I say, I was just curious whether Mythbuntu had that capability, and what I'm taking away here is that maybe one could set up a secondary or slave backend (how do you do that?) over a VPN but you'd have to be a fairly advanced Linux expert to make it work, at least the way I had envisioned it.

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    Re: Is it possible to link two Mythbuntu boxes in different locations together?

    there's guides out there already for setting up openvpn as well as guide for setting up a slave backend for mythtv
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    Re: Is it possible to link two Mythbuntu boxes in different locations together?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullwinkle_Moose View Post
    That's why my idea was to record the program on one backend, then after it was recorded, commercials removed (if desired), and transcoded (if desired), only then would it be moved or copied to the other backend. That would both potentially reduce the size of the recording, and eliminate any issues associated with live streaming. While I'm sure some types of Internet connections could possibly handle live streaming (FIOS, or Google's Fiber project in Kansas City, maybe) I'm pretty sure I'd have issues with it on my local cable connection, so I wasn't thinking of attempting that.

    Anyway, as I say, I was just curious whether Mythbuntu had that capability, and what I'm taking away here is that maybe one could set up a secondary or slave backend (how do you do that?) over a VPN but you'd have to be a fairly advanced Linux expert to make it work, at least the way I had envisioned it.

    If you have your frontend/backend setup with mythweb installed, you can do most of what you want, just not inside the frontend.
    point another browser on another machine on your LAN at it's IP and then you can stream and/or download recorded programs. Place the downloaded files in the Videos folder of another Mythbox and watch from the videos menu.

    If you set a mythweb password and open port 80,22 in your router/firewall to your Mythbox, then using a fixed IP or a rent domain name you can get in from the internet to your box and download, set programs to record and loads of other stuff.
    The stream .asx is too slow to watch (here anyway), and the direct download took a few hours for just under an hour of SD.

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