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I've been running MythTV for several months now, ever since my venerable DirecTV TiVO died a grisly death earlier this year. So far I'm loving it. It's reliable, stable, and records good quality video.

I am running MythTV on two separate machines. My Myth backend (the machine that actually contains the video capture card and does all the recording) is on an old P4 2.something GHz running Mythbuntu 9.04 Jaunty. Plenty fast enough for the single standard def capture card I record my DirecTV from. Unfortunately it's rather pokey when it comes to transcoding video. Since this machine is just a backend (i.e. it only does the recording, I don't actually watch TV on it), it runs headless (no monitor, keyboard, mouse). I use my Macs as the MythTV frontend, thanks to the excellent Mac OS X port of the MythTV mythfrontend software.

Like I mentioned before, my Myth backend (the Pentium 4 machine) is a bit on the slow side, and thus isn't good for transcoding video. However, my main desktop machine, an 8-core Intel Mac Pro, should have plenty of power for transcoding.

Is there any way I can run the transcoding tools, and have them fetch the data from my backend over the network? I normally use nuvexport to create iPod/Apple TV compatible H.264 video files.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I do exactly this with my MythTV setup. In fact, my transcoding machine is a KVM VM running on a quad core.

The VM is set up as a MythTV backend without a capture device. It uses the same 'mythtvdb' database, etc. as the (primary) backend. I share my /mythtv directory using NFS. Once configured, transcoding tasks, etc. are offloaded. I believe there is even a setting to tell MythTV to never transcoding on the primary backend, although I let both of my machines transcode.

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there are mythtv frontends prebuilt for MacOSX on the download page. i should've thought of that. – quack quixote Oct 11 '09 at 13:20

Of course. The basic process is simple:

  1. copy files from the mythTV box to the OSX box;
  2. run your transcoding tool.

Afterwards you can delete the files you copied over and enjoy your much smaller files.

How you do Step 1 depends on what's installed on the MythTV box. If you're missing something, you can install it from the standard Ubuntu repositories. Your basic options are:

  • Samba/CIFS (aka Windows-style network shares)
  • NFS (if you've never heard of it, ignore it and pick another one)
  • SSH -- using commandline tools like rsync or scp, or a GUI scp tool
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I've done this as well, but it's not automated nor within the control of MythTV – EmmEff Oct 11 '09 at 13:00
it's automate-able, via shell script if nothing else. rsync and ffmpeg FTW! :) but i like your solution better. – quack quixote Oct 11 '09 at 17:46

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