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Transcoding Improvements


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First off, I love Emby.  The amount of progress just over the last year that I have been using it has been pretty amazing, both on the client side and on the server side.


I have a question about the potential for improvements transcoding live TV.  I use Ceton tuners on two setups, and they don't support DNLA or built-in transcoding so I'm worse off than most.   As I understand it, transcoding is achieved through a complicated series of steps where ServerWMC (or another backend) takes the raw MPEG2 streams, writes them to disk, and then ffmpeg transcodes that file to another file, which is then served up using HLS or some other streaming protocol.  This introduces long wait times while the stream is prepared, and the potential for orphaned ffmpeg processes and glitchy controls that don't respond consistently or timely.


I know EmbyTV removes the third party back end which is a benefit, but will it be technically possible to improve this basic sequence? For example, can the stream from the tuner be fed directly into ffmpeg  (or another encoder) within memory without an intermediate file?  I understand that some features are limited due to manpower, but others are just technically impossible.  I'm just curious as to whether it is possible to improve upon the existing sequence.


Also, another potential method to reduce the lag and glitches created by building and tearing down streams, would be to immediately activate a tuner as soon as the Live TV module is loaded.  It would immediately create a transcoded stream based on whatever is coming out of the first available tuner so the user doesn't have to wait every time a program is selected for the stream to be created.  Selecting the program would change the channel on the tuner with the steam already in progress which would eliminate all lag except for the buffer.  Only when you exit the Live TV module would the tuner be released and ffmpeg shutdown.  Combine this with upcoming hardware encoding improvements to ffmpeg, and I think the live tv experience would be greatly improved.

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