Linux How-To MultiSeat (A single PC for every TV in the house)
#1
I have documented my progress on XBMC MultiSeat. I now have a 100% fully functional system. More details in blog post but basically consists of:
  • Three Televisions in different rooms
  • Three EVGA nVidia GT 210s
  • Separate "seats" on the server for each TV running separate XBMC sessions (using FLIRC or Android Remote to control)
  • HDMI Audio at each "seat"
  • Simultaneous, but unique, 1080p playback on each "seat" with almost no CPU usage (VDPAU)
  • Shared library
  • One computer

The how-to was built for Fedora, but should be usable on any system that has systemd-logind, ymmv.

Blog post here.

Currently at work but wanted to share, will be adding screen shots/video of system in action when I get home this evening.

Thanks for looking, hope this helps someone!
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#2
Very cool.
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#3
While I have no need for this kind of setup, it is still badass of you to share.
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#4
Sounds awesome! curious what the benefit is? Why not have three XBMC clients and a File and MySQL server?
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#5
(2013-01-15, 00:32)Jpaytoncfd Wrote: Sounds awesome! curious what the benefit is? Why not have three XBMC clients and a File and MySQL server?

I would say hardware cost, but it really depends on how cheap you can get video to your TV's. If you have to use wireless HDMI then its about the same as a small prebuilt htpc box. If you can use wired HDMI extenders then the cost is cut considerably ($15 for extender + $30 for video card = another TV can be connected).

Power cost is another, but then again, new hardware doesn't draw much power.

My main reason's for setting this up was:
  • Server consolidation - I had about 6 different servers performing various tasks, and then frontend HTPCs hooked up to each TV, I wanted to consolidate it all down to one machine, and if I could, even consolidate down the frontend HTPCs. This guide is only part of a "One Server to Rule Them All" (a single machine that can do everything in my house) kick I've been on.
  • Power consumption - All those machines I had were chewing up a considerable amount of watts each, now I have only one.
  • But most of all because I had the idea one day, thought it was cool, and damn it if I wasn't going to get it to work haha. The fact that I couldn't really find anyone else who had done this drove me further.
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#6
I have seen multiseat MythTV setups described. So it has certainly been done.
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#7
(2013-01-15, 01:15)nickr Wrote: I have seen multiseat MythTV setups described. So it has certainly been done.

Ah, yes I didnt mean MultiSeat had never been done, I've seen it used a ton in education. I just couldn't find a successful documented XBMC MultiSeat, I definitely did not invent this wheel.
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#8
I'm not sure I'd do this for power savings as heads can be built to sip power but it's REALLY cool!
Openelec Gotham, MCE remote(s), Intel i3 NUC, DVDs fed from unRAID cataloged by DVD Profiler. HD-DVD encoded with Handbrake to x.264. Yamaha receiver(s)
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#9
Yeah multiseat for multimedia is pretty rare. That's why I mentioned the MythTV one. One question: graphics cards are usually pcie16 - how did you get 3 in one motherboard?
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#10
(2013-01-15, 02:57)nickr Wrote: Yeah multiseat for multimedia is pretty rare. That's why I mentioned the MythTV one. One question: graphics cards are usually pcie16 - how did you get 3 in one motherboard?
From the motherboard's spec sheet:
Quote:PCI-E x16 4

You can easily drop down to x8 or even x4 for video cards without appreciable loss in performance especially when used in an application like this.

Definitely a cool build.
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#11
Yup as pumkinut said, I'm using a MSI K9A2 Platinum motherboard which has 4 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots. The motherboard is re-purposed from a former "gaming" build of mine.
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#12
Ahh OK I didn't pick that up from the specs I found online, I agree totally, a very cool build. One set of software to maintain, but of course single point of failure Smile You can't have everything though.

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#13
Has the guide been taken down? Does anyone have a copy of it?
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#14
Wireless HDMI uses lossy compression for the picture. You don't stand a chance of getting a good picture on a display in a room that isn't in the same location as the sender. It makes 1080p stuff look like SD material.

Don't even go there, I did...big waste of money.

(2013-01-15, 01:03)noahbeach Wrote:
(2013-01-15, 00:32)Jpaytoncfd Wrote: Sounds awesome! curious what the benefit is? Why not have three XBMC clients and a File and MySQL server?

I would say hardware cost, but it really depends on how cheap you can get video to your TV's. If you have to use wireless HDMI then its about the same as a small prebuilt htpc box. If you can use wired HDMI extenders then the cost is cut considerably ($15 for extender + $30 for video card = another TV can be connected).

Power cost is another, but then again, new hardware doesn't draw much power.

My main reason's for setting this up was:
  • Server consolidation - I had about 6 different servers performing various tasks, and then frontend HTPCs hooked up to each TV, I wanted to consolidate it all down to one machine, and if I could, even consolidate down the frontend HTPCs. This guide is only part of a "One Server to Rule Them All" (a single machine that can do everything in my house) kick I've been on.
  • Power consumption - All those machines I had were chewing up a considerable amount of watts each, now I have only one.
  • But most of all because I had the idea one day, thought it was cool, and damn it if I wasn't going to get it to work haha. The fact that I couldn't really find anyone else who had done this drove me further.
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#15
Noah if you are still subscribed, any chance of getting your howto back online?
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