Running Multiple XBMC Instances

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Psychofly Offline
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Post: #1
Hi. I've just come back to XBMC after using GBPVR for a while, or whatever the new name for it is. XBMC is amazing, it's the only media center software I've found that really does what I want it to. Everything is so configurable, well done and good work.
I wonder if someone could tell me if the following is possible :

I've got XBMC running on a PC in the living room, when I moved in I fed an HDMI cable through the wall from the living room to the kitchen so I can watch films or tv shows when I'm cooking which I do a lot of. Without thinking it through properly the HDMI cable is pretty much the only thing cable I ran and when it came to testing it - which I couldn't do till long after all the decorating had been done - I realised I had a problem with sound. Basically the PC in the living room uses DVI->HDMI into the TV. Sound is via coax to a 5.1 amp in the corner. The HDMI cable runs to a monitor/TV in the kitchen which is configured as a duplicate desktop so both images are identical. The problem stems from the fact that I can use XBMC to output EITHER to coax, which gives surround sound in the living room but no sound in the kitchen via the HDMI cable, or sound output to HDMI which gives sound on the TV in the kitchen but no sound in the living room. It's way too much effort and girlfriend-negative-hassle to run another cable through the wall this soon after decorating so adding speaker cables is a no go. I was thinking is it possible to have 2 separate and distinct instances of XBMC running on the same PC, one which serves the living room and is configured for coax sound output, and one which serves the kitchen and is configured for HDMI sound output ?
My first instinct is this probably isn't possible since I'm not sure how the appdata could be separated therefore they'll both be using the same set of config files. There's also another issue with controlling the second install since I can't see how it would be possible to use a specific keyboard in the kitchen that controls one XBMC instance and then a keyboard and remote in the living room controlling the other XBMC instance without them affecting each other.
The more I type this and think it through the more I'm convinced it's not possible but if anyone has any ideas I'd gladly hear them. The only other possible solution I think of is to try and feed some speaker cable through using the existing HDMI cable as a kind of guide/feed cable but this is unlikely to work since it loops round the back of built in cupboard and through some pipes so I guess the chances of a cable feeding through cleanly is pretty minimal. Wish I'd thought it through a little better in the first instance ! So frustrating.
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jhsrennie Offline
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Post: #2
I'd probably buy and Apple TV2 or a cheap HTPC and use it to run a second copy of XBMC. You can keep all the media files on your main PC and have the ATV2 play them across the network.

JR
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BoomBang Offline
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Post: #3
EDIT: First, suggestion to Psychofly problem. Then, my similar issue (not attempting to hijack the post)
@Psychofly: I was in the same postion and this is what I did: I looked for (and found) an application to "run two windows instances" and therefore have not only another pc screen but (almost) another pc entirely. The application uses the different displays (and input devices) to create (sort of) autonomous windows sessions that allow each display to work independently from the others.
I'm using my regular keyboard, mouse, speakers and computer monitor for station 1, and for station 2: the living room's HDTV via HDMI, and onboard sound device of the GPU (HD6950) and usb keyboard+mouse combo (connected via USB extension cable) (which will be quite redundant with HDMI-CEC device).
I'm using ASTER V7 and costs money but I thinks it's worth it. There are other multiple terminals in one PC solutions in the market.
Input devices are not mandatory for each station. same set can skip between station.
You don't need a super computer for this to work and the software has a fully operational trail period.

Since Psychofly didn't mention an error code of any sort, I'll add the error message I get when attempting to execute to instances of XBMC (in portable mode):
"Capplication::Create() failed - check log file and that it writable"
I guessing first instance exclusive writes to the the log file.
(This post was last modified: 2012-03-06 04:35 by BoomBang.)
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BoomBang Offline
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Post: #4
-bump-
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HenryFord Offline
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Post: #5
What was the bump for? Please... keep bumping down unless it is totally worth it, and your last post was just yesterday...

However - the problem with the logfile can easily be circumvented: Just tell the two portable modes to work with different userdata-directories. Otherwise this problem never will be resolved as XBMC locks the logfile for exclusive usage (in Windows that is) and thus it is impossible that two instances write to them...

Need help? Check out my XBMC Frodo Guide. It contains full featured guides to Sickbeard and CouchPotato as well.

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BoomBang Offline
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Post: #6
HenryFord Wrote:What was the bump for? Please... keep bumping down unless it is totally worth it, and your last post was just yesterday...
Most recent posts (page 1) are more likely to be answered and from other forums' rules bumping your post is allowed every 24 hours. If isn't accustomed in this forum, pardon my mistake.
Furthermore, defining "totally worth it" can differ from person to person.

HenryFord Wrote:However - the problem with the logfile can easily be circumvented: Just tell the two portable modes to work with different userdata-directories. Otherwise this problem never will be resolved as XBMC locks the logfile for exclusive usage (in Windows that is) and thus it is impossible that two instances write to them...
I'm using portable mode to allow different windows users (in the same machine) to have the same record of watched media. Will this change break this functionality? Should I use MySQL server (even though it's in the same machine)? Or a script maybe? simplest solution possible?
thanks (seems I hijacked the post :ooSmile
(This post was last modified: 2012-03-06 20:37 by BoomBang.)
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HenryFord Offline
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Post: #7
It would most certainly break that, because the databases are also exclusively locked. With MySQL it would be possible to maintain that however...

Need help? Check out my XBMC Frodo Guide. It contains full featured guides to Sickbeard and CouchPotato as well.

[Image: all-fanart.jpg]
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o.maille Offline
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Post: #8
First poster may like a dual output if he's happy with one instance;
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=86038

Or get the virtual audio cable which will allow you to run one output to two etc. ;
http://software.muzychenko.net/eng/vac.htm
(not sure how to work from phone yet)

Just about to try out running multiple instances with the portable switch and using individual logs etc. with shared mysql music and video databases as I do want the option of different music in different areas.
Then using official xbmc remote and different ports for each instance and the remote boot;
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=98772
run and control the lot from my phone.

All instances apart from one won't need video output and none essentially need a GUI - is there any way to strip the whole thing down to help running smoother?
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o.maille Offline
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Post: #9
(2012-03-06 19:16)HenryFord Wrote:  What was the bump for? Please... keep bumping down unless it is totally worth it, and your last post was just yesterday...

However - the problem with the logfile can easily be circumvented: Just tell the two portable modes to work with different userdata-directories. Otherwise this problem never will be resolved as XBMC locks the logfile for exclusive usage (in Windows that is) and thus it is impossible that two instances write to them...

Also might be a restriction in write access to folders in program files.

Running 4 multiple instances through XP by opening each under different XP users and by creating a shortcut with the portable switch (the programs are installed outside program files to allow read write without hassle)
Using mySQL for database
Changed event server port in guisettings to allow individual control via xbmc remote for android
(This post was last modified: 2012-06-30 15:54 by o.maille.)
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