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xmrkite 01-16-2007 04:23 PM

Linux DVR with two TV's and Two Video Capture Cards
Hello. I have a little project i want to start on soon. It is as follows:

1 linux box with a fast cpu, lots of ram, big hard drive, and all the goodies, plus two video cards and two or three tv tuners hopefully HD-capable

I have one tv in one room and one tv in another room. I want to have the "dvr" work on both tv's at the same time, but be able to show different tv programs on each tv, so in essence, it'd function like 2 dvr's. The big advantage is that they will share the same recorded library.

Has anyone attempted this before, or is this out of Linux's reach?

pljvaldez 01-16-2007 04:36 PM

In general, the way to accomplish this is to make 3 boxes. The main box will have the capture cards and a graphics card for output to a monitor. This will be the master server. Then you build two small identical boxes w/ basically a DVD-rom, video card, IR reader/remote, and network card. These two will act as "frontends" and get all their data streamed over your network. A friend of mine uses an Xbox as one of the frontends...

The problem with your proposed setup is that you would have to sit in front of the server to change channels and pick recordings and the server can't be in both rooms at once. So you'd have to walk to the den to change channels in the family room...

xmrkite 01-16-2007 04:45 PM

I thought about the 3 boxes idea, but that's just too many computers. To work around the sitting in front of the server to change channels, i would use an IR extender and hook that up to the computer, that way, the remotes can work from wherever i run the IR extender cable.

pljvaldez 01-16-2007 04:57 PM

Then the only issues I see are making sure you have enough signal boosters for the video outputs to the TV and figuring out how to make the DVR frontend software run on each output because when you boot up, you basically want it to start the frontend w/ the output on a particular device only... Try googling for multi-head linux setups and maybe they'll point you to a way to setup the video outputs that way...

xmrkite 01-16-2007 05:07 PM

Ya, i figured the video outputs would be a big issue. So, back to my main question, does this seem linux possible, or linux impossible?

pljvaldez 01-16-2007 05:27 PM

In my inexpert linux experience, I would say linux possible. I think you'd have to create a multi-head device, and maybe have an auto login on VT8 and VT9 that are output to display 0:1 and 0:2 (or is it 1:0 and 2:0?).

Check out these links:

xmrkite 01-16-2007 05:32 PM

The research begins, thanks for the leads and the help.

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