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Full Version: Advice on setting up backend for first time ever
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Wife finally approved cutting the cord, so I'm trying to get the house setup for the transition.

I am looking for OTA only, and some timeshifting, but probably no real saving of shows or recordings for long term at all. Mostly just like pausing to go get a drink, or rewind to re-listen to something. I will most likely run this off an XBMCbuntu install, but I am completely clueless as to where to begin on tuners. HDHomerun? Add a tuner to the existing XBMCbuntu? I can only think one xbmc in the house at a time would ever timeshift, but there could possible be more than one watching live tv at any moment.

Which country are you in and which platform do you wish to use (e.g. terrestrial, satellite, or cable)?

For instance.... the UK uses DVB-T for SD terrestrial, DVB-T2 for HD terrestrial, DVB-S for SD satellite, DVB-S2 for most HD satellite and you're not allowed to attach devices to the cable network. I'm guessing from the mention of OTA and HDHomerun you might be in the USA or Canada so I'll to leave the hardware recommendations to someone else.


You can have one TVHeadend installation which does all your recordings on one box and the live TV and recordings are then viewable on multiple devices. Basically if you attach all your tuners to one box then all the other boxes can make use of them. Once you have a PVR you'll never want to go back to live tv again - I generally start watching programmes 10 minutes after the scheduled start time and skip the ads. The only live stuff is the BBC channels (no ads) and F1 on BBC and RTL. I'm not sure if you have much in the way of FTA satellite channels that side of the pond but if you started with, say, three terrestrial tuners then added a satellite one later on the satellite channels would appear on all the XBMC boxes straight away.

With a single tuner you can view all the channels on a single multiplex at once.

e.g. here
physical channel 49 carries BBC ONE, BBC TWO, BBC THREE, BBC FOUR, BBC News Channel, BBC Parliament, BBC Red Button
physical channel 54- carries ITV (Central East), Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV 2, Channel 4+1, More 4, E4, ITV +1 (Central West)

With a single tuner I can watch and record any combination of those services on channel 49 on as many XBMC* instances as I feel like simultaneously but I couldn't watch just one service on 49 and one on 54. To be able to do that you need one tuner for as many physical channels as you would ever watch and record at once - here in Nottingham six DVB-T tuners would be enough to do that (for the SD services) - however I can get by with just three DVB-T and one DVB-S tuner. TVHeadend will prioritise recordings over live tv too.

* Or in other apps - e.g. TVHGuide on Android or VLC on a PC.

In the USA it looks like fewer services are on a multiplex so you may find that you are watching less programmes at the same time on the same multiplex, but in the Virtual channel number the bit before the dot handily indicates if channels share the same multiplex - e.g. in NYC the (partial) list is (was)

4.2 WNBC-DT2 NBC 2
5.1 WNYW-DT Fox
5.2 WWOR-DT1 Fox
7.2 WABC-DT2 ABC 2
7.3 WABC-DT3 ABC 3

To watch NBC, NBC2 and NBC Sports at the same time you would need just one tuner (as they are all on channel 4 or it's physical equivalent), but to watch ABC2, CBS, and NBC Sports you'd need three as they are on three separate multiplexes.

If you are only ever going to use it for Live TV would you need one tuner for each XBMC machine or each physical channel in use at your location (obviously ignoring those you'd never use) to guarantee there would be a tuner free to use. (e.g. six physical channels and 4 XBMCs = 4 tuners, 3 physical channels and 10 tvs = 3 tuners).

Note that some tuners actually have multiple tuners in them - so for six physical channels you would need either three dual tuners or six single tuners.