multiple myth backends

So what do you do when you have multiple TV tuners?  You setup mutiple myth backends, too!

I actually had no idea you could even do this until yesterday, but apparently you can have slave backends for mythtv, not just frontends.  It is really cool how it works, too.  In my scenario I have two amd64 Gentoo boxes both running the 0.19-fixes svn release.  On my main master myth backend, I have the Plextor tuner and all my recordings. Then on my slave backend I’ve got the PVR-500 with dual tuners on it.

Setting up a master-slave backend relationship is actually much, much easier than I thought.  Just run mythtv-setup, first of all, and setup the IP addresses of the machine.  Myth will know if your box is the “master” backend server if (and only if) both IP addresses are the same in the General configuration — one is for the ip of the box, and one is for the ip address of the master server it should connect to.  By default they are both set to for localhost.  Just change those to 192.168.1.x and now others can connect to it.

Then, on the slave just set the master ip address and the subnet address for the slave too.  The only other big thing to do is make sure you setup MySQL on the master server to accept connections from the subnet.  Up until this point though, your “slave” box is just a frontend, since you haven’t really done anything with the backend.  In fact, I’m assuming the only difference between running it as a frontend or backend (or both) is if you actually start running mythbackend on that box.

I went through the rest of mythtv-setup on the backend and added the tuner cards.  The DataDirect listing showed up in my list already from the master server (wow, that’s cool) so I knew they were already talking to each other.  Then it was time to try out the little booger.  Sure enough, I could record three shows at once, and set the scheduling from either of the two frontends.  Plus, I could watch things in the library from either one, not to mention stream video from the live tv recording streams on the tuners from the other boxes.  Very cool stuff.

I started playing around with myth a bit more after that, and it started dawning on me quite a bit more how cool this application really is.  Even when you take it down to the bare basics — it is an awesome PVR.  I still remember pretty well how crappy my Comcast DVR was, mostly lack of features and huge bugs, and mythtv just totally pushes the standard.  It’s great stuff.

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