All I Ever Wanted Was Transcoding On-the-Fly
#1
I've been using NextPVR with Kodi for about three years now, and I've generally been totally happy with everything. It's worked great, performed reliably, and behaved as expected. The only feature I've ever really wanted is Transcoding On-the-Fly while streaming a program. It always seemed like the most obvious feature to have: here you have a water-cooled, nuclear-powered server, necessarily under full-time power, why not let it take the burden off the downstream links and devices? I figured everything else about NextPVR was so awesome, it would surely be the next main feature to add.

But nobody else seems to be interested, such as in this thread from 2017, saying basically "you don't need it".
305213 (thread)

Yes, I do need it. My TV picture comes across the cable at about 20 Mb/s. Sure, nominally, my client devices can handle that. But I need transcoding for slow devices, or when network conditions aren't ideal. I need it for running many devices simultaneously. I need it for running multiple streams to one device. I need it for when I'm at the park and I don't want to use all my monthly data in 15 minutes. I need it for when I'm at work, and they won't notice a 0.5 Mb stream, but a 20 Mb they certainly would. I need it when I'm trying to watch remotely, and my server's upstream bandwidth is only 10 Mb. It's hard for me to understand why anyone wouldn't need it, unless they're doing the absolutely simplest thing, streaming one or two streams on a captive full-speed network.

What makes it even more frustrating is that this technology is already in the product; it uses on-the-fly transcoding for the web interface. Sure, I could use the web interface for everything, but that's horrible - having to use a mouse to even pause, and if you need to FF or Rewind you might as well kill yourself.

I was so happy to discover X-NEWA, because finally I could get live-transcoded streams to my Kodi. When it works. Which right now it doesn't, so I have the time and frustration for this rant.
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#2
The Kodi PVR addons generally do do a lot of server calls so it is understandable why it is not a highly demanded feature.

However transcoding on the fly should still work with x-newa feel free to open a thread on the NextPVR forum,  with all your supporting logs.  I don't test it much because my server isn't nuclear powered and I can barely do 1 stream without getting to 90% CPU.  

AFAIK transcoding is only needed for remote access when the personal use only license of NextPVR is respected.    Cable isn't 20Mb anymore but OTA might 16 or 17, so even on an old network with just 100Mb you should be able to get 6 streams.  I doubt you could even transcode that many 1080i channels in real time with most PCs

Martin
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#3
My HD streams coming in are 16-17mps. My network can pump through about 56 Mbps, wired or wireless. My i7-2700 takes about 15% CPU to transcode a channel. Those are the actual measured numbers.

Yes, I can use X-NEWA, but it's a workaround. It's another app to install, and it can never be as nicely integrated as the native PVR.

I'm just saying, I've always felt hamstrung by this, unable to do some things that are really cool and quite possible if we could do transcoding on the fly. If NextPVR won't do it, somebody else will.
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#4
(2019-05-21, 01:34)lochness Wrote: My HD streams coming in are 16-17mps. My network can pump through about 56 Mbps, wired or wireless. My i7-2700 takes about 15% CPU to transcode a channel. Those are the actual measured numbers.

Yes, I can use X-NEWA, but it's a workaround. It's another app to install, and it can never be as nicely integrated as the native PVR.

I'm just saying, I've always felt hamstrung by this, unable to do some things that are really cool and quite possible if we could do transcoding on the fly. If NextPVR won't do it, somebody else will.
Sorry - but this isn't on my to do list. The Kodi nextpvr addon was only ever intended for use on a local network, where very few people would benefit from on the fly transcoding. Adding this feature brings would make things a lot more complicated, and the additional 5+ seconds for changing channels would be unattractive to most.
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#5
Sound like you need a solution like Emby more than NextPVR.  Transcoding more than 4 streams simultaneously seems like a problem waiting to happen.

Martin
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#6
Well, I think you're wrong Smile

I'm surprised more users haven't chimed in; perhaps they watch TV only in their homes, or they have less hostile cable signals. Who doesn't want to watch their recorded programs on their phone at the beach? Seems obvious - and the whole system works fine with NextPVR under Kodi on Android, except that the video bandwidth is unmanageable.

Yes, you probably wouldn't want it to transcode all the time, due to channel switching time. Yes, if you tried to transcode more than your computer can handle, that would be a bottleneck. Seems like transcoding one channel would be within the reach of most modern computers, and would capture most of the use-cases while not overly tempting to violate the terms of use.

I think remote watching, and more generally scaling to the client device capabilities, is very desirable market feature that you are ceding to the other players. I know for myself, it's all I've ever wanted, and if somebody else offers it, I'm there.

I could potentially help with the coding.
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#7
If you want people to chime in, then...

(2019-06-07, 03:56)lochness Wrote: Who doesn't want to watch their recorded programs on their phone at the beach?
Me. Why would I want to watch tv at the beach on a horrendously bright day, squinting at a tiny screen listening to embarassing quality audio? I am at the beach for a reason Wink

Also emveepee is the add-on developer, so telling him he is wrong with how his own add-on operates might not be the best approach.
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#8
Lochness if you want transcoding on the fly, I suggest you purchase the official NextPVR Android addon since that is what it is designed for.   Emby is also a good transcoding choice.

If you want to submit the PR for optional transcoding sub can look at it.  Personally I'd wait for a future v5 release when GPU based transcoding might become a reality.

Martin
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