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Dumb tuner - dumb idea?


emveepee

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emveepee

Recent posts indicate that the developers are considering using NextPVR as "simply" a network tuner. I think this is a bad idea for several reasons certainly it is far from simple and

 

- It clearly only applies to users who only use Emby for live tv and scheduling and watching recordings. NextPVR and Kodi users will still need NextPVR to remain in control and I expect there are lots of these users who want more than dumb playback or the overhead of transcoding.

 

- The live streaming interface does not lock a tuner

 

- The live streaming interface doesn't have a stop command manipulating the client ID by tuner ID could be a challenge.

 

- multi rec (using the same tuner for multiple recording) will require complex manipulation of the client ID especially with simultaneous back to back recordings.

 

- the streaming interface does not deal with tuners for merged channels, no access to specific tuners

 

- channel numbers in NextPVR cannot be assumed to be mapped to a specific channel in the EPG. A new manual Emby mapping table may be required.

 

- the most difficult process for most users (especially those without cablecard and Schedules Direct) is adding channels and mapping channels to the guide. This will need to be done twice, although I guess in theory no EPG data will need to be added to NextPVR.

 

- future adds, mods and deletes to the channel list because of frequency or channel changes will need to be performed in both programs.

 

- the biggest reason for the change appears to be the issue of syncing EPG data between two programs yet a simple CLI program in NextPVR's post epg update batch processing that triggers an Emby EPG update remotely through a URL or other mechanism seems far easier.

 

- assuming that Emby transcodes all files during recording there will be serious CPU usage concerns during peak times with 3+ recordings going on and users maybe watching live tv. Not sure if Emby supports comskip but the comskip CPU usage has to be considered too.

 

Martin

Edited by emveepee
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Yeah, I'd have to agree with most of these.

 

I know for sure they're going to loose things like Multi-Record scheduling etc, since Emby wouldn't be able to do it with the information it has available to it. 

 

Emby also have no ability to control which tuner is used, so would only have very basic support for setups with multiple tuners.

Edited by sub3
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Yea there are obviously pros and cons to either approach. The primary beneficiary of this type of change would be the Emby user that is only using Next Pvr for the tuner support. And us because we'd have less to troubleshoot. But feedback always rules the day so we would like to hear from Next Pvr / Emby users to find out what they think.

 

Just FYI - the transcoding bullet point won't be affected by this. In other words, playback experience will be identical.

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emveepee

Just FYI - the transcoding bullet point won't be affected by this. In other words, playback experience will be identical.

I added this since I thought Emby might transcode recordings on the fly with the dumb tuner approach. There is a pro to this since some users have asked for this feature.

 

Martin

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Just a little more info for the readers - these points about live streaming would actually not be any different:

- The live streaming interface does not lock a tuner 

- The live streaming interface doesn't have a stop command manipulating the client ID by tuner ID could be a challenge.

- the streaming interface does not deal with tuners for merged channels, no access to specific tuners

In other words, opening a live stream would still be managed by next pvr either way.

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emveepee

Clearly if the only interest is LiveTV and not a PVR there is reduced difficulty. However the second point still applies

 

For example I believe the built-in Emby Live TV function already supports m3u files and this is available from the NextPVR url http://127.0.0.1:8866/channels ie:

 

#EXTM3U

#EXTINF:0, 2 - TVO
http://127.0.0.1:8866/live?channel=2

#EXTINF:0, 3 - Global
http://127.0.0.1:8866/live?channel=3

#EXTINF:0, 4 - TV Guide
http://127.0.0.1:8866/live?channel=4

#EXTINF:0, 5 - CBOFT
http://127.0.0.1:8866/live?channel=5

#EXTINF:0, 6 - CHRO Analog
http://127.0.0.1:8866/live?channel=6

#EXTINF:0, 6.1 - CIII-HD
http://127.0.0.1:8866/live?channel=6.1

#EXTINF:0, 6.2 - CIII-SD
http://127.0.0.1:8866/live?channel=6.2
... 
Without Emby managing the &client= parameter this won't work for homes with multiple users. If there is only one user then sure use the m3u support if you want.

 

Martin

Edited by emveepee
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  • 2 weeks later...
pir8radio

I just did some testing using the NPVR m3u, and if NPVR could make this work with multiple concurrent client connections I think this would solve the issues we have, it gives us a "dumb tuner" option.  If NPVR can not make the m3u work with multiple concurrent connections, then I am all for making NPVR a dumb tuner for emby.  

 

When using NPVR as a dumb tuner with the m3u tuner within emby, the guide loads faster,  it doesn't freeze up when trying to view the guide, the recordings would be done in emby so I don't have to manage multiple software applications and settings for my recordings.  I like the responsiveness and usability with the m3u setup I've been testing.  When I first started setting up NPVR with emby it was pretty confusing as to who grabs the logos, where I needed to setup EPG, it totally made no sense to have NPVR do all of that just to pass it over to emby, when emby can directly grab that info.  

 

Granted the guide issues could probably be fixed by the plugin developer, but that relies on an emby user to stick around and maintain the plugin.   I would rather depend on the emby team to keep up with the development of NPVR interface.     

 

By the lack of emby user responses, I bet most people wouldn't care either way as long as their live tv is reliable and their recordings are made and managed.

Just my two cents....   I am for NPVR dumb tuner option, either way m3u or built into emby.

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I just did some testing using the NPVR m3u, and if NPVR could make this work with multiple concurrent client connections I think this would solve the issues we have, it gives us a "dumb tuner" option.  If NPVR can not make the m3u work with multiple concurrent connections, then I am all for making NPVR a dumb tuner for emby.  

 

When using NPVR as a dumb tuner with the m3u tuner within emby, the guide loads faster,  it doesn't freeze up when trying to view the guide, the recordings would be done in emby so I don't have to manage multiple software applications and settings for my recordings.  I like the responsiveness and usability with the m3u setup I've been testing.  When I first started setting up NPVR with emby it was pretty confusing as to who grabs the logos, where I needed to setup EPG, it totally made no sense to have NPVR do all of that just to pass it over to emby, when emby can directly grab that info.  

 

Unfortunately that's a flawed plan because Emby can't know which channel URLs can be used at the same time as other channel URLs (since it doesn't know which channels are on the same device and same frequency etc, and other rules around multiple tuners, or asymmetric tuner devices (where use of one type of resource means another is unavailable)). ie, they'd have to let you schedule any future recordings you want, and would only know at recording time if a channel was unavailable. In an ideal world you want the system to tell you 'no tuner available' at the time you try to schedule a recording. 

Edited by sub3
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pir8radio

That's a flawed plan because Emby can't know which channel URLs can be used at the same time as other channel URLs (since it doesn't know which channels are on the same device and same frequency etc). ie, they'd have to let you schedule any future recordings you want, and would only know at recording time if a channel was unavailable. In an ideal world you want the user to tell you 'no tuner available' at the time you try to schedule a recording. 

 

True but my home cable company PVR will let me schedule 10 recordings at the same time until its time to record then I get an error.   Users would have to manage this the same way...  I have a ceton 6 tuner receiver all 6 tuners have the same channels so I can manage 6 concurrent views/recordings pretty easily...    

 

But I do get what you are saying with different services on different tuners, for those users this wouldn't work...    But for people with a set quantity of tuners with same channels, emby developers could have a field to tell emby how many tuners you have  "6" then emby can keep track of concurrent tuners in use internally.   Maybe NPVR could output separate playlists one per tuner...   Which could also sidetrack the above issue.   like http://10.0.0.1:XXXX/tuner1/channels   http://10.0.0.1:XXXX/tuner2/channels  Then emby would treat each one a a different tuner and only allow one stream each, and then emby would be able to keep track of available tuners.

Edited by pir8radio
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True but my home cable company PVR will let me schedule 10 recordings at the same time until its time to record then I get an error.   Users would have to manage this the same way...  I have a ceton 6 tuner receiver all 6 tuners have the same channels so I can manage 6 concurrent views/recordings pretty easily...    

 

But I do get what you are saying with different services on different tuners, for those users this wouldn't work...    But for people with a set quantity of tuners with same channels, emby developers could have a field to tell emby how many tuners you have  "6" then emby can keep track of concurrent tuners in use internally.   Maybe NPVR could output separate playlists one per tuner...   Which could also sidetrack the above issue.   like http://10.0.0.1:XXXX/tuner1/channels   http://10.0.0.1:XXXX/tuner2/channels  Then emby would treat each one a a different tuner and only allow one stream each, and then emby would be able to keep track of available tuners.

 

​The tuning situation is much more complicated than a simple count of the tuners though. For example, here is a screen shot of me watching 16 channels simultaneously using *two* tuners, using multirec, which takes advantage of the way that digital tuners work, to allow multiple streams from each tuner.(imagine these as recordings instead of live tv - but same scenario)

 

59644b8b4b5c6_16channels.png

Edited by sub3
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pir8radio

​The tuning situation is much more complicated than a simple count of the tuners though. For example, here is a screen shot of me watching 16 channels simultaneously using *two* tuners, using multirec, which takes advantage of the way that digital tuners work, to allow multiple streams from each tuner.(imagine these as recordings instead of live tv - but same scenario)

 

59644b8b4b5c6_16channels.png

 

Yes DVB and multirec users will have to stick with the existing plugin...  But the majority of US users with cable will not be using this.    So a dumb tuner or separate m3u output would be a great option to let emby do it's thing. 

 

pro's and cons, the plugin will still be available for these advanced uses, but an option for cable tuner/basic users would be great. 

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I'm not saying it's a terrible idea, and I can understand why you looked at it, but I don't think the idea will fly. You give up too much, and I can see you'll encounter issues with it.

 

FYI though, multirec is fairly useful in the US for digital cable users. There is other situations here multirec is used too, which might not be so obvious, like overlapping recordings on same channel (giving both recordings pre/post-padding etc). 

Edited by sub3
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pir8radio

This is good info though...  I didn't consider multirec hardware...   Looks like none of my tuners support it, so I can't mess around.    I just don't want to be limited to a 3 tuner hdhomrun within emby.   I would be fine with native support for some basic tuner features supplied from NPVR to emby..   Or native support for the ceton Infinitv 6 ETH   :)         

 

Thanks for the info @@sub3 very good points. 

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This is good info though...  I didn't consider multirec hardware...   Looks like none of my tuners support it, so I can't mess around.    I just don't want to be limited to a 3 tuner hdhomrun within emby.   I would be fine with native support for some basic tuner features supplied from NPVR to emby..   Or native support for the ceton Infinitv 6 ETH   :)         

 

Thanks for the info @@sub3 very good points. 

All tuners support it in NextPVR. It's just a term we coined for NextPVR's ability to make multi-streams for the same underlying hardware. With digital tuners, it goes a lot further, giving you multi-streams with multi-channels on the single hardware tuner. On analog / cablecard (ceton etc), it again gives you multi-streams, but limited to what the device will provide, which is usually a single channel - but still useful if you for overlapping recordings, or users wanting to watch live tv at the same time as the device is being used for recording etc. 

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pir8radio

All tuners support it in NextPVR. It's just a term we coined for NextPVR's ability to make multi-streams for the same underlying hardware. With digital tuners, it goes a lot further, giving you multi-streams with multi-channels on the single hardware tuner. On analog / cablecard (ceton etc), it again gives you multi-streams, but limited to what the device will provide, which is usually a single channel - but still useful if you for overlapping recordings, or users wanting to watch live tv at the same time as the device is being used for recording etc. 

 

Oh I was basing that off of https://www.mythtv.org/wiki/record_multiple_channels_from_one_multiplex   I believe with my hdhomerun emby was able to share streams probably not the same thing you are talking about, but i could watch what is recording, or have multiple users watching the same channel while only using one tuner.   

 

Again, just looking for some basic 6 tuner native abilities within emby.   Options would be nice even if not ideal.

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emveepee

@@pir8radio's use case is so unusual with his Emby server remotely located from NextPVR it would explain his problems with using Emby better tnen a flaw in the current add-on design. Additionally 6 tuners is not that common so sure this will make record scheduling logic more flexible than most but you can't design for this.

 

To me the logical thing would be scrap the Ceton as a bad decision, and buy one or two Primes if 6 tuners are really needed and take NextPVR out of the mix because of the complexity needed to implement the dumb tuner.

 

Martin

Edited by emveepee
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pir8radio

@@pir8radio's use case is so unusual with his Emby server remotely located from NextPVR it would explain his problems with using Emby better tnen a flaw in the current add-on design. Additionally 6 tuners is not that common so sure this will make record scheduling logic more flexible than most but you can't design for this.

 

To me the logical thing would be scrap the Ceton as a bad decision, and buy one or two Primes if 6 tuners are really needed and take NextPVR out of the mix because of the complexity needed to implement the dumb tuner.

 

Martin

 

WIth two primes i require two cablecards.   the ceton supports 6 tuners with a single cable card...   I own a prime already...  and yes it works directly with emby but I want all six tuners...   But if that's what I have to do I guess I'll research scrapping NPVR as you suggest. 

 

@@Luke any chance for native support of the Ceton InfiniTV ETH6  I can open it up to the internet or a VPN with only the tuner on the network for you to test..    :)

Edited by pir8radio
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emveepee

Another solution might be to add a parameter &client=unique_id to each line in the m3u file, then they will be treated as 6 clients. The id could probably be the channel number. Since you are just one guy with a laptop you probably don't record 6 different shows simultaneously that often.

 

Martin

Edited by emveepee
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pir8radio

Another solution might be to add a parameter &client=unique_id to each line in the m3u file, then they will be treated as 6 clients. The id could probably be the channel number. Since you are just one guy with a laptop you probably don't record 6 different shows simultaneously that often.

 

Martin

 

Lol, You must not have a woman living in your house......     6 horrible reality shows at once wouldn't be uncommon..    (actual at least 3).  Maybe luke could add the &Client=USERNAME when a user records or watches a show....   But I think im going to look at a second homerun and order up a second cable card...  Probably the easiest. 

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  • 1 month later...
haroldmchugh

I also have the 6 tuner ceton setup using nextpvr plugin to access live tv in Emby.  Its a great tuner and was really great in WMC.  I really like what PIRBRADIO has to say.  I wish their was native support for the Ceton and I wouldn't need the nextpvr plugin.

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