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Linux - Which TV server would you recommend?
Hi guys,

I'm currently evaluating a possible htpc setup.

I've played around with Windows Media Portal and MCE... and since I'm no Windows fan I really just "evaluated" it... after several random reboots and three bluescreens within two weeks I've decided to back to to my Linux... with XBMC...

I haven't set up any TV server yet... but today I've installed XBMC Eden PVR already. Videos and DVDs play fine.

So what TV server would you recommend? I was gonna choose tvheadend, but turns out that it does not support timeshifting.
MythTV plugin does not support to record shows via XBMC EPG

What about (ya) VDR?

I really like the TV setup from Media Portal...

So I have several things that I'd like to be able to do:

1. Watch Live TV
2. Record Live TV
3. Schedule Recordings from within XBMC (using the EPG)
4. Record more than one show in parallel
5. Have a "record this show every time it's on air" feature
6. Don't want to switch to another tool just to "do TV stuff"
7. Needs to be able to wake up htpc to record and go back to sleep afterwards (just like MediaPortal)

So is there any setup that you could recommend?

Thank you very much in advance!


XBMC PVR has made great strides, but if you are looking for all that - or something that even matches MediaPortal - it doesn't, at the moment, particularly when it comes to Timeshifting. It is a work in progress.

I personally use For The Record/MediaPortal for the TV side with XBMC PVR. Like I said, timeshifting more or less doesn't exist yet, even though it's supported on the backend, but it works well enough overall.

I have a MythTV server/CMyth box I do testing on, as there are many things about MythTV I like, and CMyth is likely to be one of the first XBMC clients to truly support timeshifting in coming months, but again, if you aren't interested in rolling up your sleeves and testing, and prefer something that just works, I'd stick with MediaPortal for now and check back in 6 months or so.
Hi ixian,

ok, that's hard to hear. But thank you very much for your information. I think I have to stick with what we have today... I'm definitely not going back to Windows! Smile
Another question... besides the fact that timeshifting does not work... what do you think would be the best TV server for XBMC... also regarding the integration, power management,...?!
define best Wink

I just love For The Record v/Argus for it's advanced scheduling option with build in webinterface, mobile app and im bot.

Current status:

1. YES
2. Timeshifting ? Not really, the backend does it, but currently the frontend you can pause and continue, not forward or back.
3. YES, but not with any options (and FTR has so many advanced) but a simple record this show from epg works, not series scedule etc, has do be done via web, mobile etc.
4. YES, support multible digital tuners and recording all channels on same transponder, limited by the capability of your cam and computer.
5. Not from xbmc, must use some of the other frontends, se #3
6. see above
7. Should work, but I'm not using this feature.

check out
I will say, blue screens seem to be an issue elsewhere. I've been running TMP for going on a year now and I don't experience blue screens on my TVServer box. It's also on my file server, so I would know if it was.

TMP seems to be the most feature rich backend, or was about 6 months back. It might be time for me to re-evaluate the PVR choices, but softof like you, no way I'm going back to Linux... :-)

I'm using only Linux at home and recently come to get a server connected to the TV. So I install XBMC on it.
And I get the same question as you "what for the TV management ?"

So that's my experience. We have 3 choices under Linux (no way to install something under Windows, NAS/Media Center+desktop+notebooks are Linux powered) :


I try the 3 and I give you my personnal feedback.

VDR : could not get it working, don't like it coz for me "too much not user friendly" and if I'm easy to play with a terminal, it's not true for my wife, need something more flexible
TVheadend : I like the web interface, very sexy and user friendly. Set up was easy, but not working with my video card (multiple streaming errors) So I go away too
MythTV : please to set it up quickly through the mythtv-setup and directly working with my video card, channels find, EPG too (I'm in France)

So I choose MythTV. And not only because it's working and user friendly (I'm still talking of mythtv itself, not inside XBMC)
MythTV has a web gui, good when you already have a web server (I have it with owncloud on it, transmission-daemon too)
MythTV can have multiple backends if I'm right, letting it manage the different backends
MythTV is well documented (with mythbuntu it's a reference)
MythTV as a scope for unity (the Ubuntu interface)
MythTV is already know to be part of the Ubuntu-TV project (proof for flexibility)

And for the XBMC/MythTV integration this is what I found :
Can be used with PVR add-on (need some work if you use the MythTV 0.25 included in Ubuntu Precise)
Can be used also as a direct video source in browse with the mythtv:// protocol
Can be used with Mythbox video plugin

Again, it's flexible with different way to use it
I don't know all the details about what you ask, but still the most complete choice (for me, personnal thinking)
PVR still not a finish job, but I think the mythtv addon will be filling 100% of what PVR module can do (so what you want and cannot do will be not possible at all, whatever your backend type)

"record this show every time it's on air" -> include in MythTV, and also I remember possible to retry a record later if miss a show with the next schedule in EPG
Record more than one show in parallel -> it's inherent from your hardware and country if I'm right (how many tuner on the card and how they are multiplexing on the signal), but otherwise working with PVR, tvheadend and mythtv for this
Needs to be able to wake up htpc to record and go back to sleep afterwards -> I remember to have see settings for this in MythTV setup, but haven't care of details (my backend is the mediacenter but also a webserver, so online 24h24)

For me, biggest problem is that XBMC Eden and MythTV 0.25 are packaged inside the Ubuntu 12.04, but the 0.25 mythtv protocol is not included in the XBMC of repo, need some patches, whatever you want the PVR, Mythbox or mythth://
True, when it comes to functions mythtv is awsome, I don't think anything compares if you go for the "full mythtv" with backend and frontend. But the gui of mythtv is 10 years behind xbmc.

All I hope for is that xbmc-dev gives that addon programmers the right tools to support all those cool features you find in these different backends.
I've used MythTv for a very long time, both frontend and backend, and I've always had recording problems with it. Especially if you're using a softcam like sasc-ng.

Because of that reason tvheadend is an awesome piece of software. Nearly everything is integrated, I just need a cardserver (newcs) to provide the keys and it does all the decoding.

Stability wise it hasn't let me down, either.
i use tvheadend as a backend and have not reallly a problem with it. In the last versions of xbmc i recognize that the import of epg information takes longer and longer. With a fresh epg db ist fast, but after the some time, the slowness (can i say that in english ? Smile ) is back Sad But beside from this, i'm satisfied with the combination of xbmc + tvheadend.

We build a tvheadend servers with 4 sat tuners for my uncle and after 5 concurrent recordings + watching a channel, we decided to stop the recordings, so it was not the end of number of recording channels.

A timeshift function in xbmc or better in the backend would be awesome, unfortunatley my programming skills are not the best ones. At the moment i'm do the "timeshift" in this way. Start to record the movie and start to watch it after 20-30min. So i can skip the advertisment in between Smile

But maybe i will give mythtv / VDR a try in next time, just to see how other backends behave.

tvheadend is able to wakeup the htpc

EDIT: removed the other link, because there is an addon/plugin available. (thanks to _BJ1, who build the plugin )

(2012-05-14, 22:31)mystefix Wrote: tvheadend is able to wakeup the htpc to start the recording and also to suspend it after the recording is finished.

You have seen this? =>

yep, now Smile before i was not aware of it, edit my post Smile
my absolut favorit ... tvheadend
easy to use, easy to set up ....

only drawback ... no timeshift.

oh no another drawback .... how the hell can i delete tvheadends epg data?

lets say it has its drawbacks ...
slow support, my epg keeps loosing data more and more channels have no epg, now timeshift, ...
but it also has its advantages
easy to use and set up, very good support for oscam, ....

but the alternatives on linux are limitted
.... vdr .... a little complicated to set up
.... mythtv ... you could write a master thesis on how to set up mythtv right Big Grin

about 4therecord i am not able to say somthing due to the fact that i never tried it .... maybe i should.
but as far as i know tvheadend is much more easy to combine with oscam and my sky card.

just my 2 cent
I have tried mythtv and tvheadend and prefer mythtv at the moment as with tvheadend I could not get full epg over eit for some reason and 5 times out of 10 xbmc would complain there was no source when changing channel and I would get the odd buffering issue during play back even though running on the same machine. The plus side was instant channel change on live tv when all working right.

Mythtv got all epg data no problem , easy to get logos as well, seems more stable apart from an issue introduced in a current build of the cmyth addon (which is always being improved). The only downside is it takes a few seconds to change channel which is a limitation of mythtv and is to do with the way it records live tv so I am told. The current version of the cmyth addon supports timeshifting in its early stages using the backends timeshift files.
(2012-05-15, 06:52)Mantus Wrote: .... mythtv ... you could write a master thesis on how to set up mythtv right Big Grin
MythTv has been on the tv recording game for many many years. I'm using it for about 7 years and IMHO it's the best software there is in that front. It's only natural that it has *many* configuration options but I think the defaults are sane for any newbie, the setup wizards are working fine and the docs are plenty. You can setup a backend with mythbuntu in half an hour. Then you have the mythweb interface from which you can control everything.
In few months time with the release of Frodo you'll have full power on it from within XBMC (tsp's plugin already does a lot and Myth0.25 integration will be soon there).

In my current family htpc setup, I use MythWeb to setup recording rules and I've added the recordings folder as a video source in XBMC. So MythBackend (0.25) does the recording and I watch them from XBMC as video files. In that way I can watch even livetv with timeshifting.
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