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Broadcast TV Tuner Capture To Remote Window/Website

Posted on 2008-06-16
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hey Experts,

I'm looking to find out what technologies (anything from a mid-level .NET sdk to complete commercial solution) I would to develop a slingbox/org/media center style broadcast of media content. The requirements:
- Flexibility on the media input - so a live tv tuner capture or playback of a local media file/source for instance, any av input (e.g. apple tv, video)
- Multiple sources/endpoints, programatically switched (through hardware api or software)
- Full programatic control of media sources (at least, close to the maximum source extent possible with a standard cpu setup)
- Output should be able to be used remotely in both/either a remote window/browser (of my control/creation) or directly to a display (The critical requirement here is that we have programatic control of how it is displayed, rather than something like a slingplayer where you have a required client component that needs user/proprietary interaction - There is a layer of automation on top of this, so being able to control the display is essential.)

So I've considered:
- Slingbox: Excellent video capture, but only transmits to proprietary clients/devices, doesn't offer direct stream output or source control via an api
- Orb: Closer, though software based only and still somewhat lacking in api and hardware interfaces - could work, though I would need help fleshy out the details of how to effeciently share/control the media remotely and interface with hardware. Any orb experts out there with knowledge of the api and hardware integration?
- Windows Media Center Extenders: There's promise here, though I've ahd difficulty finding good sources for info on how to roll your own extender or interface with one with a decent api and either control the original media source through the extender or, preferably, interact with the source directly through a remote media center services api. Plus, there seems like there'd be a significant amount of development here that ideally I'd like to avoid with a commercial solution if there's something out there.

Fire away, and thanks in advance!
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Question by:ebyrne
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Expert Comment

by:supdawgtt94
ID: 21808445
Have you tried Media Center with WebGuide?  It lets you stream recordings and/or live TV either to a browser or as a streaming feed to Windows Media Player.  The only issue is control over the stream is not there.  I don't know what you're trying to accomplish, but if you want source code to create a media center type application for remote viewing, you might also consider looking at Media Portal which is an open-source application similar to Windows Media Center.  It is developed in .NET with source available.

http://www.asciiexpress.com/webguide/
http://www.team-mediaportal.com/



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by:Redwulf__53
ID: 21812948
You are asking a LOT. MythTV is your best change, it has a client/server design whre you can network multiple clients and servers together, supports a lot of capture/tuner hardware (much more than Win MCE) and it is OPEN SOURCE with a huge supporting community, and various distributions to choose from. So it also gives you an API to build on.
http://www.mythtv.org

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by:supdawgtt94
ID: 21813522
The difference between MythTV and Media Portal is that MythTV is C++/Linux based and the other is .Net/Windows based.  They both can do pretty much the same things (client/server, TV, local media files, photos, music, plug-in modules, etc.), and they're both open source.  But IMHO, Media Portal has a much better user interface and it's a much more customizable skin technology.
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by:Redwulf__53
ID: 21813689
On the other hand.... mythTV has much much lower minimum hardware requirements and 0 license cost ;)
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by:ebyrne
ID: 22018595
So media portal or myth seems to have potential. Two questions for each:

1. How easy is it to remotely obtain a listing of content with links to streams?

2. In terms of the streaming itself, can both easily be played with something like a wmp client on the client end, provided you get the link from some remote api?

Thanks for the help!
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Accepted Solution

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supdawgtt94 earned 500 total points
ID: 22157368
Media Portal and Myth, they both also have web interfaces, so you should be able to scrape the html.  Or just modify the code to provide an API.  As I mentioned before, Media Portal comes with .NET source, while Myth is all in C++.

I still recommend checking out WebGuide add-on for Media Center.  It has a web interface with streaming links that will play in WMP.  Since it's a web interface, you should be able to generate the link from your own client and use HTTP to communicate with Media Center.

http://www.asciiexpress.com/webguide/
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