DVR options for OTA

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DVR options for OTA

Post#1 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:39 am

Guys I am trying to get rid of our 130.00 a month Directv bill. I installed an OTA antenna this past weekend so we are able to get all of our locals at 720P or 1080i. I have Amazon Firetv's connected to each TV running Kodi using Emby as the backend. Yesterday I purchased a 4 tuner HDHomeRun. The problem I'm having is which DVR should I go with I want to hear your thoughts on the below options. A second part of this is who all here is running there DVR inside a VM? I am curious to know what are the specs of your vm and how many shows can it handle simultaneously.


Native HDHomeRun DVR I think the programming guide looked strange on this one . Also I know its 35.00 per year but is that just DVR functions and I still have to pay extra for guide data.
Plex This is 39.99 for a year and 119.99 for lifetime also has guide data included in the price.
Emby This option is 54.00 per year also its 119.00 for lifetime. The problem I remember with this on is you still have to pay extra for guide data.
Nextpvr This option is free also its 25.00 per year for guide data it be integrated into Kodi or Emby. A friend was also telling me that he thinks you can get the guide for free with this one.
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Post#2 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:09 pm

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Post#3 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:25 pm

Scallica I have seen those around but never paid attention to them. BTW are you using one of these yourself?
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Post#4 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:31 pm

No, but I like the concept. You have a headless central DVR box that you can put in the basement or in a closet. Then, you chose what the front end device you want to use (Fire TV, Roku,Apple TV, etc). They have a prototype of a model that works with the HDHomerun Prime (CableCard), but no release date has been announced yet.

https://www.tablotv.com/blog/cedia-design-project-demo-tablo-cable-card/
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Post#5 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:10 pm

How about mythbackend setup?

http://gedakc.users.sourceforge.net/dis ... -remote-fe

Admittedly, I still use WMC because it still works for my needs.
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Post#6 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:18 pm

Scallica wrote:https://www.tablotv.com/


I was really interested in this one, but a few things held me back - audio is stereo only, live TV is awful slow to tune, and I believe the Roku interface can't manage recordings, only view (admittedly, I may be mixing that last one up with other options). I'm still considering giving it a shot, a refurb is pretty cheap.

I gave Plex a shot, but the format it records in required transcoding, which slaughtered my low power (electric and horsepower, the CPU is a J1900) server. I'm debating if I want to change the server or try another option. I'm converting all my WMC recordings using MCEBuddy, so having that and new recordings all in Plex is attractive. Ultimately though I just want every TV to use the same interface, the same content, and a limited number of devices (and thus inputs). I recently added Rokus (and one TV has it built in) so that's already there for streaming and Plex - OTA is the only thing left.

Emby is an option though I don't know where they are on live TV and DVR. My server runs Ubuntu so anything Windows is out.
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Post#7 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:47 pm

I wouldn't take Tablo TV for free.

WMC for me, until it absolutely stops working. At that point I either go Tivo, or else just drop OTA recording completely and stick with waiting for the shows to hit Netflix/Hulu.

Another alternative, for $40/month, is Playstation Vue. Its DVR is superb. But that is, if you really care about the whole pay TV thing. Hulu, Sling, Youtube, DirecTV--there are many options for the pay TV thing, some with DVR and some not.

It's more than locals, but there you have it.

PS Vue was a great value at $30/month. $40? Eh, I'm on the verge of cancelling it.
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Post#8 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:44 pm

Another streaming service to keep an eye on is DirecTV NOW. The cheapest plan is $35/month with an impressive range of channels. No cloud DVR yet, but expected in January.

This is a great resource: https://www.cordcuttersnews.com/
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Post#9 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:11 am

adam1991 wrote:I wouldn't take Tablo TV for free.


Out of curiosity, why? Like Scallica, I like the idea, and people seem to be happy with it, I'm just not sure it's quite what I want.

We use OTA for broadcast and local stuff. We get plenty of content with it but since it's now the only thing WMC exists for (on a big, full size HTPC) it's more limited. It may be I should just change WMC to a smaller machine and let MCEBuddy convert and archive to Plex anything older than a few days, but again at that level of effort I'll give serious thought to moving on.

Plenty of streaming here too - I've been considering the basic SlingTV tier, wouldn't want to spend much more for now.
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Post#10 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:37 pm

If anyone is interested in OTA, I strongly recommend the following:

-An OTA Tivo Roamio with lifetime. I picked up a used one on eBay for a little over $200.
-A good attic mounted antenna. Forget about those flat wall-mounted ones. I bought this one for $23:

https://www.amazon.com/GE-33692-Attic-Mount-Antenna/dp/B00DNJZ58M/ref=sr_1_60?ie=UTF8&qid=1512838817&sr=8-60

I was impressed by the picture quality.
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Post#11 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:55 pm

Definitely, I've had an attic antenna for years connected to my HDHomerun, it works great.

Does the Roamio have any way to service more than one screen? I'm after live TV on two of three screens, and recordings on two as well.
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Post#12 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:01 pm

Bryan wrote:Does the Roamio have any way to service more than one screen? I'm after live TV on two of three screens, and recordings on two as well.

Yes, you would need a Tivo Mini on each TV, which are similar to WMC extenders. However, Tivo Minis require Ethernet or MoCA; no wireless. Also, the Tivo Mini's give you the full functionally of the Tivo including apps (Netflix, Amazon, HBO Go)

https://www.amazon.com/TiVo-Mini-IR-RF-Remote/dp/B00TIBFEIA

You can probably find a better deal on eBay.
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Post#13 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:42 pm

Not a bad option though it'd be replacing the (far less expensive) Rokus already in place.

I'm considering swapping my HTPC to a ~$130 Intel NUC and run 8.1 on it. I really only want to archive to Plex stuff we record for my kids (which is a small number of shows) so MCEBuddy could just run on it and take care of that overnight. It doesn't do anything for live TV in other rooms but that's probably not needed. I do need to try Plex and OTA on a more powerful machine too, I'm not sure if that's a good option or not.
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Post#14 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:54 pm

Scallica wrote:If anyone is interested in OTA, I strongly recommend the following:

-An OTA Tivo Roamio with lifetime. I picked up a used one on eBay for a little over $200.
-A good attic mounted antenna. Forget about those flat wall-mounted ones. I bought this one for $23:

https://www.amazon.com/GE-33692-Attic-Mount-Antenna/dp/B00DNJZ58M/ref=sr_1_60?ie=UTF8&qid=1512838817&sr=8-60

I was impressed by the picture quality.

As long as you have good reception, you will always get better (or at least equal) picture quality with OTA then you will with pretty much any other medium (cable, satellite, streaming).

OTA broadcasts are at full quality and bandwidth (at least for the primary channels). Most other mediums try to conserve bandwidth by lowering the bitrate, resulting in lower quality.
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Post#15 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:25 pm

I think the Stream+ that just hit the street is another one to consider. Biggest drawback is you have to buy a pretty hefty microSD for DVR storage. Supposedly USB storage is coming later. Otherwise, a great low cost alternative to a Shield/Plex/Homerun/NAS combo. Plus it's Android so could run a host of other streaming apps. Not sure how whole home streaming of recording would work though.

https://www.channelmaster.com/Stream_Plus_p/cm-7600.htm

I pre-ordered one to play with. Even if the DVR falls short (hope it doesn't), it's as capable as a similarly priced Fire TV box for streaming.
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Post#16 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:12 pm

Did a little more digging. Looks like the Stream+ will use Google Live Channels app and integrated DVR feature, same as you can run on the Shield today. I also ordered a cheap 1TB microSD card on ebay. I'll post back in a couple of weeks when I receive it and get it set up.
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Post#17 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:37 pm

mdavej wrote:Did a little more digging. Looks like the Stream+ will use Google Live Channels app and integrated DVR feature, same as you can run on the Shield today. I also ordered a cheap 1TB microSD card on ebay. I'll post back in a couple of weeks when I receive it and get it set up.

Please do! Although I really like the Tivo Roamio OTA, it's missing the Showtime Anytime app.
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Post#18 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:35 pm

Nice! I saw that one too but since it was new and would replace other devices it wasn't what I wanted. Hope it turns out to be a good option though.
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Post#19 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:22 am

I wound up decommissioning my HTPC, upgrading the CPU to an i5-4690, and replacing the J1900 board in my server with it. Plex is rocking now and plays everything I throw at it without breaking a sweat. Recording TV with it is working great as well. It's not a solution for everyone but since I already had a server and have been using Media Center for so long, it's a good fit. Live and recorded TV is used far less than streaming too.
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Post#20 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:49 pm

mdavej wrote:I think the Stream+ that just hit the street is another one to consider. Biggest drawback is you have to buy a pretty hefty microSD for DVR storage. Supposedly USB storage is coming later. Otherwise, a great low cost alternative to a Shield/Plex/Homerun/NAS combo. Plus it's Android so could run a host of other streaming apps. Not sure how whole home streaming of recording would work though.

https://www.channelmaster.com/Stream_Plus_p/cm-7600.htm

I pre-ordered one to play with. Even if the DVR falls short (hope it doesn't), it's as capable as a similarly priced Fire TV box for streaming.

After a few delays, finally received my Stream+ and used it for a few minutes. For my purposes, it's a total bust. The bare bones Google Live Channels DVR is ok for limited recording. Problems are USB storage is unreliable, guide is too short (2 days max), and library of streaming apps like Netflix, etc. is abysmal. It can't replace my Tivo and certainly can't replace a Roku or Fire TV for apps. Was homing for a good all in one cheaper than than Shield, but this isn't it. Tivo and Shield are still the best WMC alternatives for OTA.
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