Mailing List Archive

Simulate TV-card ?
Hi

Is there any way to simulate analogue and digital(DVB) cards during
development with MythTV so I am able to do some basic testing on a
separate computer without disturbing my real MythTV server ?

Regards
Erland Isaksson
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Re: Simulate TV-card ? [ In reply to ]
On 8/7/06, Erland Isaksson <erland_i@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Hi
>
> Is there any way to simulate analogue and digital(DVB) cards during
> development with MythTV so I am able to do some basic testing on a
> separate computer without disturbing my real MythTV server ?
>
> Regards
> Erland Isaksson
> _______________________________________________

In recent SVN there is an option I was recently looking at called
crciprec, which from what I read seems to be a 'simulated' recording
device that allows you to have a dummy capture device (the IP
Recorder) that captures over IP, and the example is used where VLC
streams the video data to the backend from another PC.

-Chad

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Re: Simulate TV-card ? [ In reply to ]
* On Mon Aug 07, 2006 at 07:05:43PM +0200, Erland Isaksson wrote:
> Is there any way to simulate analogue and digital(DVB) cards during
> development with MythTV so I am able to do some basic testing on a
> separate computer without disturbing my real MythTV server ?

You can simulate an ivtv-type card using the MpegRecorder. You can set
the 'videodevice' value to "file:/path/to/some/mpeg/file.mpg" and the
recorder will open "/path/to/some/mpeg/file.mpg" instead of trying to
open a real capture card. The recorder will loop in this file, so if it
reaches the end it will start back at the beginning. This means you can
have a short 1-2 minute sample file for testing and with that you can
simulate a multi-hour recording or LiveTV session. There is a special
DummyChannel class that is used to simulate the channel changer to allow
Myth to think it is changing channels.

I've been using this method for years, for a long time I didn't have
a real capture card in my main development box.

I think you may be able to get away with just creating an entry in
the capturecard table, but you might need a corresponding entry in
the cardinput table as well.

You can create as many of these 'fake' tuners as you want. I think
that David Engel used this at one time to simulate multiple tuners
when testing changes to the scheduler.

Here are the relevant rows from my capturecard and cardinput tables.
Most fields are irrelevant, they're just included here because I did
a "select *". Things like bitrate, etc. are not used since we're
just copying data out of the source file. The file must be a mpeg
file similar to one that can come out of a card that MPEGRecorder would
normally use because the file is parsed while reading in order to
generate the seektable info.

mysql> select * from capturecard where cardid = 1\G
*************************** 1. row ***************************
cardid: 1
videodevice: file:/taz/video3/mythtv/samples/snakeattack.mpg
audiodevice: /dev/dsp0
cardtype: MPEG
audioratelimit: 0
hostname: yourhostname.org
vbidevice: /dev/vbi0
defaultinput: Tuner 0
dvb_swfilter: 0
dvb_recordts: 1
dvb_sat_type: 0
dvb_wait_for_seqstart: 1
skipbtaudio: 0
dvb_on_demand: 0
dvb_diseqc_type: NULL
firewire_port: 0
firewire_node: 2
firewire_speed: 0
firewire_model: NULL
firewire_connection: 0
dvb_hw_decoder: 0
dbox2_port: 31338
dbox2_httpport: 80
dbox2_host: NULL
signal_timeout: 1000
channel_timeout: 3000
parentid: 0
dvb_tuning_delay: 0
contrast: 0
brightness: 0
colour: 0
hue: 0
diseqcid: NULL
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> select * from cardinput where cardid = 1\G
*************************** 1. row ***************************
cardinputid: 1
cardid: 1
sourceid: 1
inputname: Tuner 0
externalcommand:
preference: 0
shareable: N
tunechan:
startchan: 29
freetoaironly: 1
diseqc_port: NULL
diseqc_pos: NULL
lnb_lof_switch: 11700000
lnb_lof_hi: 10600000
lnb_lof_lo: 9750000
displayname:
radioservices: 1
childcardid: 0
dishnet_eit: 0
recpriority: 0
1 row in set (0.00 sec)


--
Chris
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Re: Simulate TV-card ? [ In reply to ]
On 8/8/06, Chris Pinkham <cpinkham@bc2va.org> wrote:
>
> You can simulate an ivtv-type card using the MpegRecorder. You can set
> the 'videodevice' value to "file:/path/to/some/mpeg/file.mpg" and the
> recorder will open "/path/to/some/mpeg/file.mpg" instead of trying to
> open a real capture card. The recorder will loop in this file, so if it
> reaches the end it will start back at the beginning. This means you can
> have a short 1-2 minute sample file for testing and with that you can
> simulate a multi-hour recording or LiveTV session. There is a special
> DummyChannel class that is used to simulate the channel changer to allow
> Myth to think it is changing channels.
>

This could also be brilliant for those that would like to trial mythTV
in say a VMware virtual machine to see how it feels. (I know I
started out like that but itched to know what playback was like also).

Perhaps we could build one of those VMware 'appliance' images that
folks can download and run up immediately.

Just a thought...

Cheers,
Whytey
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Re: Simulate TV-card ? [ In reply to ]
> -----Original Message-----
> From: mythtv-dev-bounces@mythtv.org [mailto:mythtv-dev-bounces@mythtv.org]
> On Behalf Of David Whyte
> Sent: 07 August 2006 22:01
> To: Development of mythtv
> Subject: Re: [mythtv] Simulate TV-card ?
>
> On 8/8/06, Chris Pinkham <cpinkham@bc2va.org> wrote:
> >
> > You can simulate an ivtv-type card using the MpegRecorder. You can set
> > the 'videodevice' value to "file:/path/to/some/mpeg/file.mpg" and the
> > recorder will open "/path/to/some/mpeg/file.mpg" instead of trying to
> > open a real capture card. The recorder will loop in this file, so if it
> > reaches the end it will start back at the beginning. This means you can
> > have a short 1-2 minute sample file for testing and with that you can
> > simulate a multi-hour recording or LiveTV session. There is a special
> > DummyChannel class that is used to simulate the channel changer to allow
> > Myth to think it is changing channels.
> >
>
> This could also be brilliant for those that would like to trial mythTV
> in say a VMware virtual machine to see how it feels. (I know I
> started out like that but itched to know what playback was like also).
>
> Perhaps we could build one of those VMware 'appliance' images that
> folks can download and run up immediately.
>
> Just a thought...
>
> Cheers,
> Whytey
> _______________________________________________


I was involved in some talk about this some time ago, but due to time
constraints and my shocking memory it never materialised. I think people
where somewhat surprised to find that a VMware frontend actually worked as
well. Having recently set up a new VMware frontend, I am actually having
stuttering playback issues that I am yet to look into..

I think providing a VMware appliance for either frontend only, and secondary
backend transcoding, and/or backened development platforms would be a great
idea!

Steve Daniels



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Re: Simulate TV-card ? [ In reply to ]
* On Mon Aug 07, 2006 at 10:18:50PM +0100, Steve Daniels wrote:
> I think providing a VMware appliance for either frontend only, and secondary
> backend transcoding, and/or backened development platforms would be a great
> idea!

They weren't setup like the normal appliances, but I run my
mythconverg database and my main mythjobqueue instance inside
VMs currently. The mythjobqueue instance Lets me take advantage
of faster horsepower around the home network without taking up
the whole machine.

--
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Re: Simulate TV-card ? [ In reply to ]
Chris Pinkham wrote:
> * On Mon Aug 07, 2006 at 10:18:50PM +0100, Steve Daniels wrote:
>
>> I think providing a VMware appliance for either frontend only, and secondary
>> backend transcoding, and/or backened development platforms would be a great
>> idea!
>>
>
> They weren't setup like the normal appliances, but I run my
> mythconverg database and my main mythjobqueue instance inside
> VMs currently. The mythjobqueue instance Lets me take advantage
> of faster horsepower around the home network without taking up
> the whole machine.
>
We use vmware extensively at work. I certainly have access to possibly
create these appliances. I haven't tried using a USB capture device
(don't have one) in a VM and running a real mythbackend to see if it
would work but the jobqueue idea is certainly interesting. Is there a
minimum installation needed to run that? I'm thinking of a very small
Linux installation that can boot and run jobqueue. Any pointers?

Kevin
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Re: Simulate TV-card ? [ In reply to ]
On 8/8/06, Kevin Kuphal <kuphal@dls.net> wrote:
> >
> We use vmware extensively at work. I certainly have access to possibly
> create these appliances. I haven't tried using a USB capture device
> (don't have one) in a VM and running a real mythbackend to see if it
> would work but the jobqueue idea is certainly interesting. Is there a
> minimum installation needed to run that? I'm thinking of a very small
> Linux installation that can boot and run jobqueue. Any pointers?

I have been thinking about that since this morning too, and I was
originally thinking Xubuntu. Why? Becuase:
a) I like Ubuntu (and use it at home)
b) Xubuntu is like Ubuntu, but uses a less intense window manager (or
something technical like that) and I thought that would be good to
limit the performance hit cuased by VM's.

I don't know for sure though, there could well be a better distro for this.

Cheers,
Whytey
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Re: Simulate TV-card ? [ In reply to ]
> I don't know for sure though, there could well be a better distro for
> this.

KnoppMyth?

--
Nigel Pearson, nigel@ind.tansu.com.au|"I haven't tested it yet, but
Telstra Net. Eng., Sydney, Australia | it should be perfectly safe."
Office: 9202 3900 Fax: 9261 3912 |"Just a bit or harmless brain
Mobile: 0408 664435 Home: 9792 6998 | manipulation, that's all" -
Wallace
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Re: Simulate TV-card ? [ In reply to ]
For a specialized 'job oriented' image, I would think Gentoo might be
a good distro. I am biased in that Gentoo is my server distro of
choice and I am in the process of setting up to Gentoo-based virtual
machines, one file server and one web server. The Gentoo file-server
virtual machine will eventually by my media-storage server for my Myth
box.

I guess Xubuntu does have custom installation options for servers, but
I prefer the way Gentoo handles dependencies for upgrades.

--Mike O.

On 8/8/06, Nigel Pearson <nigel@ind.tansu.com.au> wrote:
> > I don't know for sure though, there could well be a better distro for
> > this.
>
> KnoppMyth?
>
> --
> Nigel Pearson, nigel@ind.tansu.com.au|"I haven't tested it yet, but
> Telstra Net. Eng., Sydney, Australia | it should be perfectly safe."
> Office: 9202 3900 Fax: 9261 3912 |"Just a bit or harmless brain
> Mobile: 0408 664435 Home: 9792 6998 | manipulation, that's all" -
> Wallace
> _______________________________________________
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>
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Re: Simulate TV-card ? [ In reply to ]
On 8/8/06, Chris Pinkham <cpinkham@bc2va.org> wrote:
> * On Mon Aug 07, 2006 at 07:05:43PM +0200, Erland Isaksson wrote:
> > Is there any way to simulate analogue and digital(DVB) cards during
> > development with MythTV so I am able to do some basic testing on a
> > separate computer without disturbing my real MythTV server ?
>
> You can simulate an ivtv-type card using the MpegRecorder. You can set
> the 'videodevice' value to "file:/path/to/some/mpeg/file.mpg" and the
> recorder will open "/path/to/some/mpeg/file.mpg" instead of trying to
> open a real capture card.

Thanks for that tip, Chris. I have been wanting to setup Knoppmyth in
a virtual machine as a development system, and this is the bit of info
I have been missing.

Thanks,

--Mike O.
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Re: Simulate TV-card ? [ In reply to ]
* On Mon Aug 07, 2006 at 09:13:23PM -0500, Kevin Kuphal wrote:
> We use vmware extensively at work. I certainly have access to possibly
> create these appliances. I haven't tried using a USB capture device
> (don't have one) in a VM and running a real mythbackend to see if it
> would work but the jobqueue idea is certainly interesting. Is there a
> minimum installation needed to run that? I'm thinking of a very small
> Linux installation that can boot and run jobqueue. Any pointers?

We use ESX quite a bit at work and I've also been a Workstation user
since before they released 1.0.

Here's part of the first license file I had from them:

ProductID = "VMware for Linux"
ProductType = "0.10 Beta"
Expiration = "1999-5-21"

It's come a long way. :)

For my OS installs, I'm one of those guys who usually goes by the
"if it ain't broke, don't fix it" motto. My mythjobqueue VM has a 1GB
virtual disk and 512MB of RAM. The recordings are out on NFS so it
doesn't need a lot of storage.

I'm using about 600MB of disk space on that 1GB drive, but that could
be cut down to 400 or less probably if I wanted to clean up a little. No
reason to have things like gtk, *spell, asound, etc. libraries taking up
space, but the image is small enough where there's not much incentive to
go lower unless I wanted to run it off a USB stick or something like that.

I could cut down on the memory as well since I don't care if the data is
cached. 128MB would be enough. My myth boxes all run an upgraded version
of RedHat 9. It's a fairly slim install even with Qt 3.3 installed.
No gnome or kde or anything fancy, just the minimum to get Myth running.

--
Chris
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