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Full Version: I'd like some PVR advice please
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Hi all,

I've been lurking and reading quite while here, and I hope this is the right place to ask this. I do love my XBMC, and I'd like some opinions on what you'd do knowing what you know about current PVR development...

This is what I have to work with:

AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 2TB 5400 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
AMD Athlon II X2 255 Regor 3.1GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor
Patriot 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223C
AVS Gear GP-IR02BK Vista 2 channel IR Remote Control
Pinnacle PCTV 800i HD TV Tuner
Windows Vista Business

I just ordered an HDHomeRun DUAL - High Definition Digital TV Tuner HDHR3-US because I really don't like that Pinnacle card. It came from a WOOToff a couple years back and was still sitting new in the box so I used it.

I have an OTA antenna, and an internet only cable connection that seems to broadcast most of the same stations as OTA along with a bunch of shopping channels and also WGN, strangely. I also have Netflix, which unless what I'm reading is dated, doesn't play well or even at all with Linux. My Windows 7 Home Premium desktop doesn't seem to like staying networking with Linux either.

First off, I love XBMC and am going to run that no matter what. I have a LOT of music (750GB) that I've collected over many years stored on a seperate partition of the drive since it's an HTPC case and only holds one 3.5 and one SSD (Which I don't want to spring for). I listen to music a lot and I love how XBMC handles it and the way it looks. I want to add PVR, and would like to do it within XBMC because I like it so much and because I'd like one remote to control everything. I'm not sure how I'd make that work to use a separate program to watch and record TV.

I have MediaPortal and NextPVR (formerly GB-PVR I've read) installed and working other than problems with the TV guide part. I've done a ton of reading and from what I've read both here and elsewhere, it seems as if Myth or TVHeadend seem to be the consensus for the best supported backend for Live TV and PVR functionality. I do not have Linux other than running in virtualbox on my Office PC. So much of what has been written about all of this goes back years and I don't see a lot of new information. With what you know about the development of PVR and XBMC, I'd love some advice and I'm open to about anything other than abandoning XBMC... What would you do?

Edit: Forgot to say that my GF is definitely not tech savvy. Think Grandparents level..
If i was you i would buy a usb stick and install linux on it and boot linux from a usb stick while you do some testing.

Install, tvheadend first as its the most simple to install and configure, test it, try it, configure things, change things, see what works for you.

Once your done uninstall tvheadend and go again with mythtv. Mythtv can be a pita to get configured if you are new to mythtv. stick with it, get it working and see what you think.

Repeat above with VDR.

If you have any major issue you can wipe the stick and reinstall ubuntu (or similar) and go again.

If the mrs wants to watch tv you can take the usb out and boot to windows.

There really is no better advice other than try everything and see what you like best.

if you like linux you could always dual boot with windows, or swap completely. you would have to check which backends support the HDHR. i know mythtv does, but im not sure about tvheadend or VDR.

EDIT: Have you tried the mediaportal plugin on windows?

I hope this helps.
That's a very good idea. I hadn't even thought of doing a stick and keeping the functionality I have now while experiment

A couple of questions about that:

Does the Linux version of XBMC have all the functionality of the Windows version?

Is Netflix a viable option in Linux? (Not a dealbreaker since my DVD player and Roku box will do it too)

I selected the hdhomerun because it delivers the stream over the network, eliminating driver issues, so I think I'm fine there.

I haven't tried the MediaPortal backend yet. My HDHomerun will be in Friday, and I wanted to set it up with that first.

As far as Tvheadend, I got this "You can use the webui to schedule recordings, at the moment, you cannot record from within XBMC itself :/ " from This Not sure if it's current, though as so much I read doesn't seem to be.
that's outdated. you can schedule recordings from within xbmc.
Thanks. I'm finding a lot of things are. I'm playing with the MediaPortal backend for Windows right now.
someone should spend some time updating those wiki pages (not me Smile)
Still working on getting my Windows 7 PVR set up working how I want. When I get it all figured out, I'll try to update those pages the best I can. Still need a mini PICIe TV,USB or HDHR device for my Linux box before I can do anything on it though.
Something else that would be nice is a link that always points to the newest version of the Windows XBMC PVR build. I keep seeing where the ones I am finding say they are outdated in the XBMC log. BTW, what port is the MediaPortal plugin attempting to use? I've found 3 different posts all saying different ones, and none is working.
bring Wrote:BTW, what port is the MediaPortal plugin attempting to use? I've found 3 different posts all saying different ones, and none is working.
The connection with the backend (via the TVServerXBMC plugin) is done on port TCP 9596. Live TV/Recording playback via RTSP streaming is done on the RTSP port 554.
Thanks margro. Those were 2 of the three I'd found, so I guess I have something else going on. Maybe when I get this figured out, I'll write up the steps I used to a post so that there's something a little more current out there for others to look at.

Edit: scratch that, I found THIS and it seems to be a current way to do it without using the PVR builds.

I may be stating what you may already be aware of. Mythbuntu comes with the necessary HDhomerun software and what not all set to go.

I am just in the process of starting to get in the process of maybe ditching my satellite provider here in Canada.

Anyone have any nice current screenshots or videocasts of the PVR in action with an EPG?