Author Topic: Noob DIY TV DVR Quest.  (Read 3652 times)

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Offline wblackledg

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Noob DIY TV DVR Quest.
« on: April 20, 2015, 03:56:23 am »
My wife tasked me to check into what is available in the DIY DVR (Tivo type) market.  She doesn't want to pay a monthly fee (I'm in agreement).  :P

Can anybody point me in the right direction?

thanks.

 
 

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: Noob DIY TV DVR Quest.
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2015, 04:04:28 am »
What do you want to record?  From what channels/networks?
Are you talking about receiving free terresterial broadcasts?  Free-to-air satellite?  Cable? Proprietary satellite?
Impossible to even try to respond to such a overly-broad generic question.

I "cut the cord" many years ago.  I now use only free terresterial broadcast reception (using an antenna in the attic), supplemented by free and subscription websites.  Pretty much everything I want to watch is on free-to-air TV or on Hulu+, or Amazon Prime, or CBS.com (or even on YouTube).

If you are talking about free terrestrial broadcast, note that there are very inexpensive ATSC receivers with built-in recording to USB mass storage for < $50 (I just bought 2 of them on Amazon).
« Last Edit: April 20, 2015, 04:09:07 am by Richard Crowley »
 

Offline wblackledg

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Re: Noob DIY TV DVR Quest.
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2015, 04:20:34 am »
What do you want to record?  From what channels/networks?
Are you talking about receiving free terresterial broadcasts?  Free-to-air satellite?  Cable? Proprietary satellite?
Impossible to even try to respond to such a overly-broad generic question.
Cable /HBO/ Netflix/Amazon Prime.
and Youtube via the TV. (her request...)
thanks.
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: Noob DIY TV DVR Quest.
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2015, 04:39:44 am »
MythTV is the most popular DIY DVR platform, but it is a little hard to set up.
https://www.mythtv.org/
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Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: Noob DIY TV DVR Quest.
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2015, 04:44:59 am »
Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube are essentially "pre-recorded" and "on-demand". So it is not clear why you would want to re-record anything AGAIN?  (even if you could).

"HBO Now" appears to offer some web-based on-demand access, but perhaps not everything available on commercial cable/satellite?  And perhaps only along with a subscription to the primary cable/satellite delivery.

"Cable" could mean anything. Certainly the majority of content on commercial cable is available ONLY via the cable with the regular subscription price. And using a cable-operator-provided DVR is likely your only option.

Suggest checking out "mythTV" which is an open-source DVR project.  It may offer some of what you are looking for.
https://www.mythtv.org/
 

Offline Seekonk

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Re: Noob DIY TV DVR Quest.
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2015, 06:02:36 am »
Could you be more specific on a search term.  I have searched now and then for the same thing.  I miss being able to record easily.  A few years back the store shelves were stacked with DVD recorders, suddenly these all disappeared. picked up a couple used ones that all had bad drives.  Thought about TIVO hacks.  Ebay searches just turn up mostly security or vehicle recorders.  ATSC USB turn up 2 or 3 from the same company for $50. I'm used to seeing hundreds.  Has the cloud taken over?
 

Offline wblackledg

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Re: Noob DIY TV DVR Quest.
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2015, 11:56:36 am »
Could you be more specific on a search term.  I have searched now and then for the same thing.  I miss being able to record easily.  A few years back the store shelves were stacked with DVD recorders, suddenly these all disappeared. picked up a couple used ones that all had bad drives.  Thought about TIVO hacks.  Ebay searches just turn up mostly security or vehicle recorders.  ATSC USB turn up 2 or 3 from the same company for $50. I'm used to seeing hundreds.  Has the cloud taken over?

well, its so the wife can understand and use it.  ;D

 

Offline Seekonk

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Re: Noob DIY TV DVR Quest.
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2015, 05:40:49 pm »
"so the wife can understand and use it."

My wife only watches the news.  I have the three news channels programed to one button.  She continues to click through a dozen channels to get to the next station.

"Sunday Morning" just did a segment about how we are in a subscription world.  When we die our relatives will have to continue paying else our history will disappear. Ended by saying he was going to keep all the old DVD's, get some photo albums, and fill the basement with file cabinets.  I am just amazes that there is no demand for video recording.  I have a couple hard drives from Direct TV boxes.  Been looking for a box to hook them to.  Found some $30 boxes to record to SD cards.  There just ought to be some consumer box that people like to use and even my wife could figure out.  Just amazed the general population has moved away from recording.  And I don't have or want cable.
 

Offline wblackledg

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Re: Noob DIY TV DVR Quest.
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2015, 05:47:39 pm »
"so the wife can understand and use it."

My wife only watches the news.  I have the three news channels programed to one button.  She continues to click through a dozen channels to get to the next station.

"Sunday Morning" just did a segment about how we are in a subscription world.  When we die our relatives will have to continue paying else our history will disappear. Ended by saying he was going to keep all the old DVD's, get some photo albums, and fill the basement with file cabinets.  I am just amazes that there is no demand for video recording.  I have a couple hard drives from Direct TV boxes.  Been looking for a box to hook them to.  Found some $30 boxes to record to SD cards.  There just ought to be some consumer box that people like to use and even my wife could figure out.  Just amazed the general population has moved away from recording.  And I don't have or want cable.

she has been on this kick watching old reruns of TV reality shows.  ugh.. :=\

However, if its not a simple seamless solution, I will be the one hearing about it as well as constantly tweaking it to make it work.  I wish to avoid both if possible.

So is there a goto website for this sort of DIY solution?

thanks.
 

Offline nixfu

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Re: Noob DIY TV DVR Quest.
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2015, 06:06:36 pm »
I am a non-windows person myself... but I have Windows Media Center running on a dedicated Windows 7 system sitting in a cabinet using a pair of HD Homerum network tuners as my PVR.  I use the ATSC/Over the Air Ones, but you can also use the HD Homerun Prime's for cable TV, that have the CableCard support and allow you access to encrypted premium cable TV stuff.  https://www.silicondust.com/products/hdhomerun/prime/.  Personally, I put in a nice TV antenna, and have access to nearly 30 channels of over the air TV for zero dollars.  I literally spend ZERO/month on my TV/PVR.   

I highly recommend Windows Media Center. Its probably one of the best products Microsoft ever came out with.    And I only have Mac and Linux computers in my house other that that one system that runs it.  It requires nothing but a copy of Windows 7 that has Windows Media Center as part of the version (Professional, HomePremium or whatever the hell they are called these days).  And no monthly fees, the TV Guide data is free forever.

You can use XBOX 360's as cheap, full featured multi-room extenders with LiveTV, Recorded TV, and accessing a DVD/Movie/Video Library. 

Or if you want to go even more DIY can use ServerWMC running on XBMC Client such as I have using OpenElec running on a little Raspberry Pi in the kitchen.  The ServerWMC for XBMC Client works ok, but the Xbox extenders are very polished native Windows Media Center interfaces and a little more friendly. I use 2 Xbox360's and one Raspberry Pi on my network.  I am not ready to get rid of the Xboxes because they are just a little easier for the family to use.  In fact, in our bedroom I have the xbox to automatically go into the Windows Media Center when it is powered on, so my Wife does not have to select anything at all.

But, this setup, gives me 4 HD Live TV tuners, and all the storage I can throw at it for media storage anywhere there is a network connection the the house.   

And now that the XBox One is out, its making 360's cheap to pickup as extra extenders if you want.

I also use the MediaBrowser plugin(now called Emby) for Windows Media Center which has a great library to store and watch your movies and old TV seasons you store on the system http://emby.media/download/.

And I use the mediacentermaster program to manage the library and automatically download DVD covers, backgrounds, etc.. http://www.mediacentermaster.com/wiki/index.php?title=MediaBrowser

I have tried others like Myth, Sage etc.. and frankly as much as I personally dislike the Window,  I have to say that Windows Media Center is by far the best option.     
« Last Edit: April 20, 2015, 06:32:43 pm by nixfu »
 


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