I know I’m probably late to the game, but I just got myself a Raspberry Pi. Currently I have a Myth TV front end in the living room run by an old laptop, my goal is to replace it. Here I share some of my experiences with the pi.
For a while I’ve heard of this mythical flash streaming that is now supposedly built into MythWeb. However I have yet to see it anywhere in the website. What gives? So I decided to get to the bottom of this. There’s a wiki article on MythTV web which describe how it’s done, but it’s said to be outdated and pointed to MythWeb’s wiki page, which only mentions it’s been rewritten to enable Flash streaming. So how do I enable it?
After digging in source and finding various shenanigans with the WebFLV_on variable, the answer revealed itself in the preference pages of MythWeb (Settings > MythWeb > Video Playback). There is a tick box to “Enable Video playback”. However, it says it requires ffmpeg with mp3 support.
I’m using gentoo so installing ffmpeg was just a matter of emerge -av ffmpeg. After installing, I can finally tick the “Enable Video Playback”. However arriving at the preference pages and tried playing on the flash player, a new stumbling block appeared. It says that the pl/stream/bla/bla.flv is not found. Navigating to it manually revealed a 500 Internal Server Error.
Since I’m using Lighttpd, I discovered that it has a deficiency logging CGI errors. The error.log was useless and I ended up running Lighttpd in non-daemon mode (/usr/sbin/lighttpd -D -f /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf) and looked at the errors spat out on to the console. Turns out that it requires Math::Round which I haven’t installed.
The story is actually a bit more cumbersome as before everything I needed to enable CGI on lighttpd for perl to work and to get around a streaming path issue, I modified $stream_url in /includes/defines.php to not double slash on my root, but I know everyone just wants to see what I wanted to see when I embarked on this journey – a screenshot of it in action:
It’s by no means perfect with video being low quality, lack of seeking and some high CPU usage – but it works!
Over the weekend I decided to update the MythTV VLC plugin that I wrote a while ago. The plugin allows you to watch your MythTV recordings in VLC without SMB or any other intermediaries. It talks the Myth Protocol. It’s now updated for VLC 1.1.5 and MythTV 0.23/0.24 and better than ever. It’s still a beta release though, so expect bugs. Some bugs which I’ve already noticed are occasional high CPU (after seek) and occasional crash when stopping playing. Other than that, it’s perfectly usable. This version adds preview pics for your recordings in the VLC media browser.
Currently it only supports the default storage group. You can’t watch LiveTV yet, but support for it is planned. Only the windows version is released but Linux and Mac OS X is possible. (just needs to be recompiled on those platforms)
The source code will be released soon on my github.
UPDATE 28/11/2010: VLC 1.1.5 now supported
For the Christmas holidays I’ve decided to embark on the project to build a MythTV plugin for the VideoLan Client (VLC) such that you will be able to view TV recordings without the need for SMB shares or mythfrontend itself. My primary computer is Windows which can’t run mythfrontend, so to view recordings I have to resort to using samba shares and I can’t watch live TV either. With the development of MythTV Player, you could now watch recordings and even live TV. However development seemed to have stagnated. There are features like teletext that are available in VLC, but not in the MythTV Player. Wouldn’t be great if VLC could directly access MythTV, so you can watch recordings and enjoy the features like telx subtitles? That’s what I did. I made a MythTV access plugin for VLC. Currently only available for Windows:
To install it, just extract the zip and move libaccess_myth_plugin.dll to your VLC/plugins directory. This was built against VLC 0.9.8a, so you should use that. It only supports myth protocol 40 (so only works with mythTV 0.21) at the moment.
To use it, open VLC (duh), go to the menu Media > Advanced Open file. Then click the network tab and enter a myth URL ie. myth://192.168.0.10:6543/1022_20081229212500.mpg
You can also browse recordings as well. Set up your myth backend url first by going to the preferences and selecting show settings: all. Then expand Input/Codecs > Access modules > MythTV. For the Backend Server URL option, enter something like: myth://192.168.0.10/
After saving the settings, click the menu Playlist > Additional Sources > Myth TV library. Then open the Playlist (Playlist > Show playlist) and you should see a MythTV option on the left. Click that and all your shows should be there.