Each frontend client is individually configured and shares only those global parameters common to all frontend clients that may be specified by the master backend server. Otherwise, each frontend runs its own themed menu system, incorporates its own set of plug-ins, uses its own operating system and runs on its own underlying hardware.
Frontend configuration is straightforward and simple. The first series of options pertain to master backend configuration - where to obtain channel guide or EPG listings, host name or IP address and port number for the server server, and so forth. Other configuration options include playback settings such as MPEG2 process offloading, video deinterlacing and video filters to improve video playback quality. You can even embed hacks that enable LED activity to spell out backend recording status on Xbox frontend clients.
The full scope of frontend capability is more than we can cover in this article. Simply put, there is a plethora of plug-ins to further enhance or extend functionality on a MythTV client frontend in countless, but eminently useful ways. Take for example the MythPhone plug-in for interaction between HTPC and a session initiation protocol (SIP) capable VoIP phone; a built-in miniature Web browser; audio/video archival, playback and recording interfaces; game emulator control panel; news reader and weather station; Netflix account manager and a music play list module. And that only encompasses the official plug-in selection! There are many unofficial plug-ins to provide even more features than you might be able to imagine. Stay tuned, please: we cover all these and much more in our next article.
The MythTV Convergence