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MythTV: The Abyss of Convergence Freedom

Backend Server Characterization

The backend server handles a variety of tasks in a ways that's completely transparent to any end-user. Typical backend tasks involve prioritizing and resolving recording schedules, managing capture cards, flagging commercials in recording (or already-recorded) steams, transcoding video formats and direct interaction with the MythTV database.

A MythTV backend handles program information, recording schedules and database storage.

For MythTV, two classes of backend servers follow the so-called a master/slave paradigm. There can be only one master to oversee secondary slave backend servers, all of which may contain one or more capture cards. The master backend sits on top of the backend hierarchy, and coordinates all activities related to any slave backend servers under its control.

Perhaps the most important role a backend server plays comes into play when it transcodes or edits scheduled recordings. Commercial flagging describes MythTV's automated detection and subsequent removal of commercials present in television recordings. Transcoding describes the act of converting one file format (presumably the default NuppleVideo format) into another more widely used video format, perhaps something like MPEG2 or MPEG4.