Zoneminder and MythTV - any chance of dev synergy?

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ConcreteRooster
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Zoneminder and MythTV - any chance of dev synergy?

Post by ConcreteRooster » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:34 pm

Didn't know where to post this, it's just a random "thinking out loud" kind of notion...

As a long-time user of MythTV (open-source DVR), and more recently a very enthusiastic user of Zoneminder, I can't help but notice they have some similarities, at least at a high-level:
  • Both deal with live capture of video streams (typically from cameras in ZM, and typically from broadcast TV in MythTV)
  • Both do analysis on the video streams (ZM has Modect, MythTV has commercial flagging and skipping)
  • Both use a MariaDB backend for management/file tracking
  • Both have a web interface (though native X11 is the primary interface for Myth)
I've never looked at either the MythTV or Zoneminder code, so this could be a ludicrous idea, but I wonder if there's possibility to combine any pieces of the two projects for some developer synergy... I do know MythTV is built on the Qt library, IIRC ZM doesn't use that. So that alone might make code sharing too much work relative to any potential gain.

But, like I said, mostly just thinking out loud here, and curious if anyone with experience with either code base has thought about this?

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knight-of-ni
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Re: Zoneminder and MythTV - any chance of dev synergy?

Post by knight-of-ni » Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:18 pm

I've been using Mythtv as long a ZoneMinder. MythTV is a great project, and despite all the new dvr products on the market, MythTV still is the only product that does everything I want. Well, almost everything. Last time I tried the mythzoneminder plugin, I was disappointed it did not do pip with my nvidia card, but like ZoneMinder, Mythtv is open-source and free. If it bothered me enough, I'd take the time to learn how to fix that.

Despite their similarities though, the two projects each have different goals. MythTV is part of the entertainment industry while the ZoneMinder project is part of the security industry.

While they both deal with streams of one form or another, Mythtv is designed around recording a single stream at full frame rate, sometimes more if you add more tuners.

The ZoneMinder project is designed to record many camera streams, these days h264 rtsp streams, at low frame rate.

Sure one could put together a MythTV system with 100 tuners. Likewise, you could build a ZoneMinder system that records all its cameras at full framerate, but these cases are not what each project sets out to achieve.

Commercial skipping vs. security motion detection are two completely different animals. A better comparison might be commercial skipping versus the code zoneminder uses to determine a lost signal.

That doesn't mean the two projects cannot share high level ideas, but the two projects are different enough it does mean we can't just fork the project and treat it like an external library.
Visit my blog for ZoneMinder related projects using the Raspberry Pi, Orange Pi, Odroid, and the ESP8266
All of these can be found at https://zoneminder.blogspot.com/

ConcreteRooster
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Re: Zoneminder and MythTV - any chance of dev synergy?

Post by ConcreteRooster » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:28 pm

Thank you for your thoughts, knnniggett. My gut said the similarities were likely too superficial to achieve any real synergy. But I couldn't help but toss the idea out there.

Only one follow-up comment:
knnniggett wrote:Despite their similarities though, the two projects each have different goals. MythTV is part of the entertainment industry while the ZoneMinder project is part of the security industry.
Interesting. In my mind, I've always thought one of the beauties of open source is that it doesn't have to be pigeon-holed into a specific industry. I always associate "industry" with "profit motive", and all the baggage that comes along with such a mindset (beholden to investors, accountant, marketing, taxes, etc). Whereas, with open source, you are able to remove the profit motive (though you certainly don't have to), and open up ideas that may not be commercially viable, but very useful nevertheless.

Upon further thought, I suspect you probably didn't mean your statement the way I'm interpreting it.

Just to be clear, I'm not arguing at all here, just indulging myself in some philosophical, tangential, thinking out loud. :)

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knight-of-ni
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Re: Zoneminder and MythTV - any chance of dev synergy?

Post by knight-of-ni » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:44 pm

You're right. I didn't mean it that way.
By day, I've been a communications systems engineer in the security industry since 2002, to give you an idea of where my point of view is coming from.

The statement you quoted was not targeted towards ZoneMinder or even open-source software for that matter. Rather, I was referring to the technical mindset/requirements of the each industry as a whole.

I wouldn't call it pigeon holed. I'd call it optimizing the system for the given application, which is to catch the bad guy (security), not create a motion picture (entertainment). The requirements to do each of these might seem subtle at first, but they are quite a bit different.

Think of this as best practices. It isn't impossible to make zoneminder do something it wasn't meant to do, it'll just be harder than it could be if you instead use the right tool for the job. Here's an analogy. Do you own a jig saw and a table saw? They both cut wood, but a table saw is better suited for long straight cuts than a jig saw. A jig saw is better suited for curved cuts than a table saw. Depending on the application one tool is better suited than the other.
Visit my blog for ZoneMinder related projects using the Raspberry Pi, Orange Pi, Odroid, and the ESP8266
All of these can be found at https://zoneminder.blogspot.com/

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