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The future of MythTV

Posted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 2:26 pm
by paulh
We can see from the number of Scheduled Direct users and the Smolt data that MythTV is losing users at an ever increasing rate. We think one reason for this is it's getting harder and harder to record stuff because more services are becoming encrypted requiring proprietary boxes to view and record content and some services are moving to an on-demand type of service that are hard or impossible to record.

So the question is what improvements would you like to see in MythTV in the future that would persuade you to continue to use it?

Would you like to see better support for YouTube for example or a better video media library. Better music player? Support for IPTV services? What plugins do you use? What plugins would you like to see? Are you happy with the user interface or would you like to see a more modern one?

Give us your thoughts on what direction you would like to see MythTV take now it's original purpose is slowing being killed of.

Re: The future of MythTV

Posted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 3:41 pm
by urbnsr
I have brought it up before, but we are watching more programming from streaming services. Not exactly what we wanted, but our cable bill finally got to be too much (and their customer support didn't help). We still use our HDHomeRun for local news, etc, but much more content is sourced from streaming services. At the moment, we can accept our current streaming selections, but understand they can start raising their streaming rates at any time. I guess we're just playing the game.

Last time I used MythTV, I used Myth as a frontend to add a link to a browser to watch content from Tubi, Pluto, etc. Our Schedules Direct subscription expires soon. We're not planning on renewing at this time.

I imagine you will find me somewhere in the future complaining about streaming rates.

Re: The future of MythTV

Posted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 6:22 pm
by drewsmith
I would say definitely, support for IPTV services. I've tried a few free trials, and after creating a modified .m3u that myth can understand, I get a partial lock. I've had some luck with some IPTV streams but most of the time, not. If I had some insight from the myth devs, I'd dig into the code to see what vlc does that myth doesn't to support all streams. After that, m3u import could be improved so it understands any m3u handed to it. That seems like the easy part.

I really enjoy the ability to mix my OTA channel guide with my IPTV streams, and been able to pull all the necessary data from Schedules Direct for the IPTV streams. I intend to keep my SD subscription for as long as I'm using myth.

Re: The future of MythTV

Posted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 11:59 pm
by wesnewell
I'm a cheap sob so I've never in my 74 years ever had any form of pay tv. All I ever used was broadcast tv and have never seen a need for anything else. Last channel scan I did got me 85 channels where I am with a decent antenna. I have mythmusic, videos, and images, but 95% of my usage is for recording OTA tv. If I make it a few more years I'd like to see support for atsc 3.0 if it ever takes off here. I'm quite happy with the frontend I use. So I need nothing extra. just a good reliable system compatible with future distros

Re: The future of MythTV

Posted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 1:40 pm
by heyted
+1 for ATSC 3.0 support.

Slightly off topic: It would be great if the content from the user mailing list could somehow be included on the forum. Having many topics on the mailing list that never get discussed on the forum makes the project appear less active than it really is to many people. I know exists, but it is not the same as having all of the content in one place.

MythTV is great. Keep up the good work.

Re: The future of MythTV

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:30 pm
by Lost Dog
I've been thinking about this for a while now. I've used MythTV as my main go-to for OTA TV and movies (DVD .iso's and bluray .mkv) for probably 15 years. There have been some great improvements but at the same time it does seem to lack features of other options out there. Some are limitations imposed by DRM and proprietary streaming services but others seem to be from lack of interest and fewer developers (please don't take that as a negative comment to the Devs and testers!!! They have done an amazing job and I understand that people have lives beyond open source projects).

The OTA side has been fantastic. I've not had cable for 20+ years and everything is broadcast or streaming. The DVR option is wonderful. It's a great pair with the HDHR but starting in about v30.0 I've found the two have not been as solid together with MythTV randomly not seeing the tuners. Restarting the frontend / backend makes it work again. Making this hardware combo bulletproof would be great.

If I were to make a list:

  • ATSC 3.0 support (HDHR ATSC3.0 tuner)
  • AC4 audio for ATSC 3.0
  • HDR, Dolby Vision, etc
  • Better Bluray menu support
  • UHD (I don't have hardware that can play 4K yet so I'm not sure how well this works)
The UI is dated and there are much more dynamic options out there with other programs but I don't know of anything that does the DVR portion as well as MythTV.

Part of me wonders if MythTV should partner with KODI and establish themselves as the 'official' DVR/backend for KODI and let that group focus on the frontend. Make integration out of the box rather than with plugins (that may or may not get updated).

KODI is solid with playback of nearly everything with HDR implemented on capable hardware. I've been playing around with KODI as my frontend because I've been fighting MythTV with Full Range vs Limited RGB output. I just can't seem to find a combination in MythTV that works (TV vs video card output vs MythTV). The picture is either washed out or way too dark. I can't get it calibrated correctly using blackpoint / whitepoint patterns. With KODI it's flawless and the picture is perfect.

Plugins to support streaming would be great but with DRM issues it may be difficult to get the 2k and 4k streams (with HRD) on non-certified hardware.

Again, I'm hugely supportive of the MythTV community and thankful for the software. It's been a member of the family for many years!!!

Re: The future of MythTV

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:40 am
by dhwalker
For me, it's MythTV's DVR capabilities that are it's greatest strength. These days, I use the Frontend only when I needed to do something that isn't supported by Kodi (e.g., change a recording's recording group). That means improving support for OTA and CATV, IPTV, and unifying them with Schedules Direct when possible. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that most video content will be moving into DRM vaults, but that will take a while, and one never knows how the politics around big tech might change.

Re: The future of MythTV

Posted: Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:37 am
by John Bergqvist
I use MythTV to record from Satellite (as being in the UK, most of our TV that isn't through Sky is still unencrypted) still in full 1080i/p HD, as corresponding IPTV services from broadcasters still don't match that in terms of resolution & bitrate still. And I do love its DVR capabilities re. knowing which shows I've already recorded etc. etc. But having said that I only use it for recording off the TV and checking what's on that day. However I'm ultimately watching less & less TV as I get older.

If it could capture from several IPTV providers in as higher quality as they offer, that would be great, however you've missed the boat as youtube-dl already does that, albeit that is a tad complex.

Re. the TV front, it's still difficult even to do simple (these days) stuff like just chromecasting live tv from my backend to whatever room I'm at, in the house, or even just streaming to my phone via generating an m3u8 I can shove into VLC or whatever. I haven't used the built-in frontend in years. I watch livetv & recordings using Kodi's MythTV frontend nowadays for example. If you have the CPU power, i'd like to be able to take an 1080i live TV stream and cast that as 1080p50/60 anywhere around my house - it shouldn't be that difficult, and Plex can transcode on-the-fly already.

Re: The future of MythTV

Posted: Tue Jun 15, 2021 5:27 pm
by cliveb
We use MythTV almost exclusively as a DVR for UK Freeview OTA broadcasts. We record everything to watch later at our leisure and haven't seen an advert for about 15 years.

My biggest concern over any move towards streaming services is that the non-paid for services from commercial broadcasters don't let you skip over the adverts. What's needed is some way of downloading and/or recording streamed video so it can be placed into recording groups just like OTA broadcasts. Probably a pipedream. Luckily I'm getting on a bit and will probably be dead by the time OTA broadcasts disappear.

Re: The future of MythTV

Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:47 pm
by jfabernathy
I've spent the week setting up my TV stuff for my RV camper. It's a 40' fifth wheel trailer so it's a multi-TV setup just like my house. So that gives me some sense of what I really want in my TV watching instead of just keeping the old stuff in my house running.

1. Since there will be a lot of streaming of services like Netflix and Prime Video I used a FireTV 4K stick.

2. I need OTA ATSC 1.0 DVR capability so I don't have to watch commercials and can skip over them manually with a remote. To solve this I used Mythtv on a Raspberry Pi 4 4GB, with an HDHomerun Quatro tuner.

3. Since the RPI4 is not so good at frontend work, I used the FireTV 4K Stick with Leanfront, Kodi, and Mythtv-frontend apps.

This all works well and brings me to what I'd recommend for the future of Mythtv. Keep improving the backend OTA recording capabilities and not worry about the frontends except on Media devices like Android, etc.

It used to take a decent PC with good GFX to use mythtv. However, now you can do the same stuff on cheap devices. My backend for the RV is:
1. RPi4 4GB $75
2. HDHomerun Quatro tuner $$150
3. USB3 to SATA adapter and 1TB SATA SSD $100

To get the best frontend possible for steaming and mythtv it only takes a $30 FireTV 4K stick. IMHO, it's not worth the time to develop mythfrontend for every PC/Mac/Linux box that appears. I know combos are nice, but the worse frontend I have is an ASRock IND 1167G5 Core i7 11th gen Intel base NUC at $900. It will take years for Linux and mythtv developers to get this right.

Well for what it's worth, that's my opinion.

Re: The future of MythTV

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 4:15 am
by JeffDwork
I have Comcast cable with two HDHome-CC boxes (6 tuners). I use MythTV to record only - recordings are transferred into my home-built library and frontend system. I'm very happy with MythTV capabilities as is, but please keep mythweb - I schedule everything from browser on phone or desktop.

For streaming services, I use tv/dvd player/roku apps and just put up with the ads. If I want to keep a copy or the show has limited availability, I use PlayOn running on Windows to capture the show on my pc (I don't use their cloud services). PlayOn stores my userid and password for each service, logs in as me, and streams and captures the show. I can get all my services and the premium channels from Comcast. It's fiddly and needs frequent updates and won't let me save mpeg-2 so it needs a fast cpu, but it works. This might be a direction to explore.

Thanks for all your work.

Re: The future of MythTV

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 4:56 am
by deadite66
Use it to record Freeview, it works fine for me.
though i've never got on with mythfrontend and use kodi + mythtv addon.

Re: The future of MythTV

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:59 am
by paulh
Thanks for the replies.

Help me to understand why the hate for mythfrontend and the love for Kodi :?
What does Kodi do that mythfrontend doesn't :?:

Re: The future of MythTV

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 1:22 pm
by jfabernathy
paulh wrote:
Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:59 am
Thanks for the replies.

Help me to understand why the hate for mythfrontend and the love for Kodi :?
What does Kodi do that mythfrontend doesn't :?:
From my perspective, it's not a love or hate. What I hate is bad video. I developed the bad habit of knowing bad video playback by working 26 years for Intel with customers who would not put up with crappy video. They'd show what they hated and we'd have to work to fix it.

So on some hardware mythfrontend does not play well for certain types of formats. A lot of times Kodi will display the same video without any issues.

For me, I'm not a fan of the Kodi interface, but have learned to use it because it gives the best video quality on some low-end hardware.
Overall, I prefer mythfrontend because it does everything, but it's complicated to some. My wife will not use it since I showed her Leanfront.

So I use mythfrontend if the hardware support good video playback. But on low-end hardware I use Kodi because the video playback is better.

However, as I said in a post above, We use FireTV or Shield TV almost exclusively and on those platforms mythfrontend, Kodi, and leanfront all do about the same so you can choose without video quality being the issues.

Re: The future of MythTV

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 4:04 pm
by paulh
Hi jfabernathy,

What version of MythTV do you use? Mainly want to know if master is the same.

Mark Kendell was doing a lot of work to the video output some of it is in v31 but there are also a lot of changes to master what will be v32. Unfortunately Mark has vanished without trace we've tried emailing to make sure he is OK but have got no reply. Hope the dreaded lurgy hasn't got him :( so not sure if his work will ever be finished now.