The best XBMC PVR setup as of now?
I was wondering what the best combination of software to get XBMC PVR running smoothly is.

Ideally, I'd like to achieve the following:
  • Hauppauge 2250 and HVR-1600 support
  • H.264 transcoding for ATV2 support
  • Web interface for recording shows
  • Ability to run on Linux preferred, but not needed

I've tried tvheadend and MythTV, but both gave me problems with transcoding and XML grabbers. I've been trying to get a good setup for a month or so now, and this is the first time I thought to contact the forums.
Mediaportal is probably the most robust backend supported right now. Using it myself with great success...
I personally have very few issues with a combination of VDR and XBMC.

It seems most people have various views on what backend is best for the job. It really is a case of what you prefer and what works best for your setup. For me it's VDR. For others it's TVHeadend of Mediaportal.
Well, I know OP says that he couldn't get along with myth, but for me it's working well enough now to be a drop in replacement for mythfrontend.....
More than a year ago I was using MediaPortal on Windows, server+client, not stable
Then switched to ForTheRecord recorder and MediaPortal client on Windows, recorder was good but not 100% stable, but it could have been a hardware problem although I had the same hardware as the developers.

Then bought a VU+DUO enigma2 receiver, 100% stable, but the whole interface is from the 90', dated is what I mean. But good

Then I saw recently that XBMC had PVR support, so took a look around and decided to make a new setup based on XBMC + tvheadend, bought the hardware, installed everything and my worst nightmare became true, not stable at all, a lot of missed recordings, it was sometimes hit/a lot of miss.

Then tried VDR, 2 words "The Best", never missed a recording up until now, a bit hard to setup, but once you have everthing working, VDR itself, eepg, epgsearch, dvbapi, xvdr and VDRAdmin-AM webinterface, you'll have the most feature rich and stable of them all, that is VDR alone. In combination with XBMC, mainly when watching live tv there can be a crash of XBMC sometimes.

VDR an tvheadend was both on Linux

Just my 2 cents
I tried mediaportal tv server for a few months and had nothing but problems.

I had also tried TVHeadend but it's didnt support my hauppauge USB stick very well so channel changes were slow and sometimes I had to tune the same channel multiple times.

I just switched to For the Record and it's working very well with my XBMC Live setup. No more suttering, no more crashing changing channels, channel changes are fast.

Recent development on the client and full howto here:
im using vdr as well with great success.

if it helps you,
i have written my own documentation how to setup my home system.
commented in german but it should be self explaining.

edit: its ubuntu (xbmc live cd) based with xbmc 11 beta
i would recommend you compile all for yourself to get the latest versions of xbmc and vdr
I am using mythbox (w/separate back end) on XBMC in windows 7 with great success! Never a problem. Using a n550 laptop with HDMI.

ATV2 works with mythbox but ATV2 does not have enough power to play the Recordings (SD or HD)! If the next ATV2 comes with enough power this setup is the best! ATV2 works just like an appliance!
For me, best solution is combination VDR,XBMC(opdenkamp)+XVDR Pipelka under Linux. I'm using VDR for many years and as backend VDR is very stable. VDR is very stable with own plugin xineliboutput over VDPAU.
I tried to use tvheadend. It works, TVHeadend has better setting(web interface) than VDR, but about stability, VDR is better with combination 2 DVB-S2 Dual card. TVheadend has problem with multifrondend card..

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