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Hi everyone!

I am migrating from Windows Media Center to XBMC, and I have a few questions about possible settings/addons that might be available for the PVR features in XBMC. I am currently running 12.3 and using WMC as a backend with a Ceton InfiniTV tuner card.

1. What skin are you using for XBMC that you feel that a good implementation of PVR features (especially the EPG). Confluence is OK but not very flashy (it at least has the channel logos in the guide), Aeon Nox looks good everyone else but the guide, which is terribly ugly, and Aeon MQ5 looks the best overall, but doesn't have channel logos in the list.

2. Is there a way for the EPG to start at the last tuned channel? My cable provider has 500+ channels, and it is a pain to have to scroll through the entire guide to get to the last channel I tuned to (which is usually at the end of the list, where the HD channels are located).

3. Is it possible to use the number pad (or numbers on a remote) to tune to a channel? I have a harmony remote that can set up my favorite channels to a touch screen icon, but it needs to be tied with an actual channel number.

4. How are you handling series recordings? The support for it seems to be pretty limited, so are you using the backend's interface in order to manage that?

5. Anyone using a raspbmc to consume live tv? The EPG takes a very long time to pull up (5-10 secs) which almost makes using the device a dealbreaker.

That's about all I can think of for now. Hope you guys can help me out with this because I'd really like to start using XBMC rather than WMC with Microsoft's support obviously waning!
On skins, just download to your hearts content and try them out to find the one that you like best - everyone has their own tastes so any recommendation wouldn't be very objective.

Having said that, if you're new to XBMC Confluence is a good place to start as the team XBMC guys keep it right up to date with the latest features. There is at least one current Confluence mod if you want a variation.

On series recording, when I was using XBMC as a PVR (I use a set top box atm) as I recall I used the backend to handle that (Next PVR).
In response to some of your questions:

1. Aeon MQ5 is by far my preference. Whilst you don't get channel logos in the main epg view, it is possible to add them to the mini epg view (H key?)

3. I've seen a post elsewhere and the answer is currently no

4. I use DVBlink back end and set up my series recordings via the web interface. Whilst not perfect its by no means a show stopper and I believe native series recording will happen eventually.

5. Yes and totally agree. I ended up replacing it with a Xstreamtec Midnight M3. Very snappy and works very well even with Aeon MQ5 loaded
It's starting to seem apparent that XBMC just might not be up to snuff when it comes to PVR features, especially compared to WMC. I would be willing to look past one or two of these gripes, but taking them all together, it would be hard to migrate away from WMC (especially for my girlfriend).

I'll probably come back to this again when Gotham is released, hopefully it'll address some of the issues I have. Thanks for all of your replies!
(2014-01-14, 21:55)chiefmongo Wrote: [ -> ]It's starting to seem apparent that XBMC just might not be up to snuff when it comes to PVR features, especially compared to WMC. I would be willing to look past one or two of these gripes, but taking them all together, it would be hard to migrate away from WMC (especially for my girlfriend).

I'll probably come back to this again when Gotham is released, hopefully it'll address some of the issues I have. Thanks for all of your replies!

Same here. I can't move completely to XBMC for PVR stuff. WMC is so fluid and fast with channel switching and everything else.
Try Arctic skin and Margo's speed build of XBMC. Faster channel switching and excellent EPG display.

I agree XBMC PVR could do with a bit of polish, though as it's only a front end a lot of the functionality is down to the backend chosen.
Just did a google search of the Arctic skin... looks very nice at least on the PVR screens!

It just seems to me that the devs or the requirements people for XBMC didn't really use a competing PVR solution, such as WMC, Tivo, etc when they made some of their UI decisions. Other aspects of playing media in XBMC are great, but when my primarily use my media center to consume live TV, it's a step down from other competing solutions.

Also, another small gripe I have is when turning to a channel from the EPG, it always displays an info menu for the selected show with show information, OK, switch, and record buttons. Most skins display the show information on the guide, so what is the point in displaying it again on the info screen? 95% of the time I want to just tune to the channel, I don't need to be displayed the option to record. Is there any way to click a button to directly tune to the selected channel? Also, the defaulted selection is OK, which adds 3 extra button presses (two dpad presses, and another enter) to tune to a channel. This just seems like poor UI choices.
<showepginfoonselect>false</showepginfoonselect>
in advancedsettings.xml http://wiki.xbmc.org/?title=Advancedsett...#.3Cpvr.3E
(2014-01-17, 16:11)Dilligaf Wrote: [ -> ]<showepginfoonselect>false</showepginfoonselect>
in advancedsettings.xml http://wiki.xbmc.org/?title=Advancedsett...#.3Cpvr.3E
It's been a while since I used this, but if I remember correctly this has the downside of preventing options being displayed for future programs to? (i.e. it doesn't distinguish between clicking on a live program vs a future one).
There was a post a while back on a similar vein (http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=173319).

I dabbled in XBMC last year but was disappointed by the PVR functionality compared with WMC (or rather my wife was), so back to the comfortable folds of WMC we went, and looking at XBMC now I'm a little saddened that things haven't really moved on on the PVR front.

WMC is a ticking time-bomb. It hasn't had any major investment for years, and I'd guess it won't be long before MS stop paying for the EPG license. Its lack of integration with current services (at least in the UK) is already grating.

The issue is there aren't any viable alternatives in the HTPC arena, and the competitive edge of HTPCs - local file access, smarter EPGs, streaming - are being eroded by smart TVs and newer set-top boxes. Where WMC, XBMC and their ilk really shine is in integrating these functions into a single solution. The trouble is, although movie-buffs and contiguous-series-watchers are, I imagine, in heaven with XBMC, live-tv users' experiences are falling short compared to other avenues.

I'm not criticizing the goals or passion of the XBMC contributors, I just wonder if their own needs - so by extension the focus of XBMC - is vastly different to that of potential WMC defectors.
If you are accessing Sky UK/Freesat, then IMO the best solution is Mediaportal backend with DJBlu's Sky-UK EPG grabber. It is the only (I stand to be corrected!) backend that is able to populate the EPG directly using Sky's EIT rather than relying on internet data to populate the EPG.
The Mediaportal frontend also gives a better PVR experience, though of course XBMC is better for everything elseWink

Having said that @simbo, I agree with your post. The sat/cable providers seem to have finally cottoned on and their proprietary boxes being brought out now are (in their limited and limiting ways) finally providing a proper PVR experience for non-technical users. The XBMC TV experience just isn't good enough yet to persuade most people away from Rupert Murdoch's (or BT's or UPC's or....) suffocating bosom.