What to replace DVBLink with for Sat-IP and IPTV sources?

breakingdad

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What to replace DVBLink with for Sat-IP and IPTV sources?

#1

Post by breakingdad » Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:13 am

Greetings, new user here.

For many many years, I've been using DVBLink as an aggregator of all my TV sources, which is a mixture of SAT-IP and IPTV streams. It has worked pretty well. I stick all my tuners and sources behind DVBLogic, and it presents to WMC as one simple BDA-tuner. With epg123 handling the epg, it's a pretty sleek setup. But now DVBLogic is no more. I can't even activate another instance should my PC fail. So I gotta look for an alternative.

Is there another aggregator that can present as a compatible tuner? There's been a few HDHomeRun emulators where you could feed an m3u8 playlist for Plex and Emby. But the emulation doesn't go far enough to fool WMC/HDHR-BDA as a real HDHomeRun tuner.

Anyone on the same boat as me, using WMC with IPTV sources?

thanks!

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Jacoats

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#2

Post by Jacoats » Sun Mar 06, 2022 1:08 am

I’m in the same boat. Did you have any luck finding anything ?

breakingdad

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#3

Post by breakingdad » Thu Feb 15, 2024 2:09 pm

No, I haven't found a replacement for DVBLink yet.

We have 2 TVs in the house. The main TV is attached to a Win7 PC running WMC + DVBLink + epg123 server. The DVBLink server talks to my Xoro Sat-IP box. Then the bedroom TV is attached to a Win10 PC running WMC + DVBLink client + epg123 client. Either TV can tune, record and watch simultaneously. But should anything happen to my main room PC, there's no way to recover because it's no longer possible to reinstall/reactivate a new DVBLink server instance.

I want to keep WMC as it's the most uncomplicated, spouse-friendly frontend there is. Thanks to garyan's work, WMC and EPG are solid. So the only alternative route I see is to get a separate box to run Tvheadend, then run HDHRProxyIPTV on our main room PC. I haven't crossed that bridge yet, but I may have to this year.

boxcar32

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#4

Post by boxcar32 » Tue Apr 02, 2024 1:12 pm

Hi all, give this a try, https://kevinchalet.com/2023/07/05/conn ... o-dvblink/. I just did this with the help of Kévin. I now have WMC working with my cable channels and some Pluto TV channels.

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#5

Post by prsa01 » Tue Apr 02, 2024 4:18 pm

boxcar32 wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 1:12 pm Hi all, give this a try, https://kevinchalet.com/2023/07/05/conn ... o-dvblink/. I just did this with the help of Kévin. I now have WMC working with my cable channels and some Pluto TV channels.
Have you tried recording /watching/timeshifting the pluto stuff yet? Pretty much everything I've tried and read (with possible exception of channels dvr) has had mixed to disappointing results with pluto depending on channel and even show within channel.

To be clear, this has nothing to do with Kevin's iptv/wmc solution. This is using multiple different dvr solutions with pluto.

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#6

Post by boxcar32 » Fri Apr 05, 2024 4:39 pm

I only have a few pluto channels that I watch through WMC. Some play fine but others don't play at all. I am using tvheadend where I have to pipe some of the channels to get them to stream. I will test recoding a series and let you know.

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#7

Post by prsa01 » Sat Apr 06, 2024 9:52 am

boxcar32 wrote: Fri Apr 05, 2024 4:39 pm I only have a few pluto channels that I watch through WMC. Some play fine but others don't play at all. I am using tvheadend where I have to pipe some of the channels to get them to stream. I will test recoding a series and let you know.
Streamlink seems to help, but not solve, some of these issues. There are discussions both in n NextPVR and Channels dvr forums about the many things people have tried to get pluto to play nicely with other apps. In Npvr/kodi I can watch live (mostly) fine and record some shows/channels after transcoding ok. Other shows pretty much are a mess after recording. One of the knowledgeable people said the time indexes need to be rebuilt but Npvr stopped putting effort into it awhile ago. It's possible Channels dvr solved it. I haven't tried their solution but don't see current problems discussed. That could be because they gave up on it too, though.

Anyway, if you find something that works, please share it.

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#8

Post by boxcar32 » Wed May 15, 2024 12:03 pm

@prsa01, I am now able to record and timeshift the pluto channels that have WMC guide data. I also have youtube live cams added as channels. I have recorded series and checked them all. All of them play even when a commercial plays. I also am able to watch these pluto live tv channels nonstop. A few weeks ago I was about to purchase a lga 1155 motherboard so I could use my Colossus card again, but this meant leaving YTTV and back to a cable provider that has a set top box with component inputs. So I'm glad I kept trying Kevin's solution and after a few months no more freezing when watching live tv. Also I use epg123 for guide data, the pluto guide lineup does not have all the channels so I am only able to populate some channels with guide data. Do you know of a way to get the missing guide data for the other pluto channels into WMC?

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#9

Post by prsa01 » Thu May 16, 2024 10:25 am

boxcar32 wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 12:03 pm @prsa01, I am now able to record and timeshift the pluto channels that have WMC guide data. I also have youtube live cams added as channels. I have recorded series and checked them all. All of them play even when a commercial plays. I also am able to watch these pluto live tv channels nonstop. A few weeks ago I was about to purchase a lga 1155 motherboard so I could use my Colossus card again, but this meant leaving YTTV and back to a cable provider that has a set top box with component inputs. So I'm glad I kept trying Kevin's solution and after a few months no more freezing when watching live tv. Also I use epg123 for guide data, the pluto guide lineup does not have all the channels so I am only able to populate some channels with guide data. Do you know of a way to get the missing guide data for the other pluto channels into WMC?
Did you do something to get recording, etc to work consistently? I'm using NextPVR and have the issues still on many channels but haven't updated streamlink or anything else in awhile. I'll try doing some of those things and see what happens.

I'm afraid tvheadend defeated me when I was trying Kevin's solution. I couldn't get past getting channels setup and tried "Cabernet" that was supposed to help simplify that process but never made much progress.

To answer your question, there are many Pluto guide sources out there. Both Channels dvr and Npvr forums have them that seemed to be complete. Because (I'm told) Pluto only carries about 6 hours of guide data you'll need to update your guide every 4 hours or so. Here is the Channels dvr guide source - https://community.getchannels.com/t/non ... -epg/29308

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#10

Post by boxcar32 » Thu May 16, 2024 12:52 pm

Thanks for the info on Pluto guide data. Well Kevin's option is the one I tried since DVBLINK is no more. It took me about 2 months to get his option to work. Meaning it worked when I first started but all my channels in WMC would freeze after X amount of time. I am new to tvheadend myself but not Linux. I believe Kevin is in another country and I am in the USA. I can send you my instructions.

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#11

Post by prsa01 » Thu May 16, 2024 1:18 pm

boxcar32 wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 12:52 pm Thanks for the info on Pluto guide data. Well Kevin's option is the one I tried since DVBLINK is no more. It took me about 2 months to get his option to work. Meaning it worked when I first started but all my channels in WMC would freeze after X amount of time. I am new to tvheadend myself but not Linux. I believe Kevin is in another country and I am in the USA. I can send you my instructions.
That would be fantastic! As I said, it wasn't anything to do with Kevin's setup or communication. He was incredibly helpful. I just couldn't find a reasonable way to add channel groups in tvheadend. I didn't want to add channels one at a time. When I tried it there was also a limitation in Kevin's setup (going from memory) for only having ip guide sources and not merging with ota channel sources or something like that. I'm sure Kevin would have worked with me to resolve that issue but since I was stuck on tvheadend, I didn't pursue it with him. I was also running tvheadend under the built in unix in win10 which was also a learning experience ;-)

If tvheadend saves something that has channels (xml, whatever) that you could share that might get me past the roadblock I hit. The system I was testing with is now a production std wmc ota only setup so I'd need to start from scratch on another system anyway.

Would certainly appreciate any guidance you can provide from your process.

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#12

Post by boxcar32 » Thu May 16, 2024 1:40 pm

sent

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#13

Post by boxcar32 » Thu May 16, 2024 3:09 pm

If you don't understand something from my instructions let me know. Also not sure about groups, but you can add a playlist with all channels for a group but will need to select IPTV AUTOMATIC NETWORK. I do not use tvheadend epg.

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#14

Post by prsa01 » Thu May 16, 2024 5:22 pm

The creating each channel individually was what frustrated me about tvheadend. The other options I tried would auto create all the channels by just giving it the m3u file and a starting channel number. Since I was constantly in testing mode I didn't want to keep individually creating hundreds (or at least dozens) of channels. I guess if I'm creating a relatively stable setup going thru the time to individually setup channels isn't quite such a big deal.

I think I saw threads with you and Kevin working thru issues handling having larger numbers of channels. Do you have both iptv and ota guide sources? Something related to that was a limitation when I was working with his solution.

Thanks much for the information you sent!

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#15

Post by boxcar32 » Thu May 16, 2024 8:42 pm

Yes the WmcChannels-1.1.1 is the version he created to allow more than 50 channels. With my YouTube tv, youtube live cams and 12 pluto channels, I have 112 channels. Also I am able to get guide data for YouTube tv, OTA and a few pluto channels. Note that I have a physical HDHomeRun FLEX 4K. The DVB-T is virtual. In tvheadend I use the iptv m3u for OTA channels. So create a channel like normal. This is my local OTA ABC channel URL (http://IPofHDHomerun:5004/auto/v13.1). Then I match it in epg123 then it shows in WMC. In tvheadend when assigning a channel number be sure it's 13 and not 13.1. WmcChannels-1.1.1 program seems not to like these numbers.

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#16

Post by boxcar32 » Thu May 16, 2024 9:18 pm

FYI - I just created a test m3u playlist with 10 channels and used the IPTV Automatic Network. Tvheadend scanned all 10 and scan result was OK. They appear to work fine in WMC after using WmcChannels-1.1.1 to have them added.

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#17

Post by Kevin Chalet » Thu May 16, 2024 10:24 pm

boxcar32 wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 8:42 pm In tvheadend when assigning a channel number be sure it's 13 and not 13.1. WmcChannels-1.1.1 program seems not to like these numbers.
Supporting dotted channels/channels "with subnumbers" is something I considered while creating the tool, but while it's supported by WMC, it's not a concept that exists in DVB, that only has an integer LCN (logical channel number). So, to keep things simple, I opted for a DvbTuningInfo.Lcn that matches the channel number, which means it must be an integer and not a dotted number. That said, as an improvement, it could be more gracefully handled by returning an error message telling you you can't have dotted channels in Tvheadend.

It seems more and more people are now using this approach, so it might be worth investing more time on that tool (currently, it does the job but it's quite limited and wipes all the channels before re-importing instead of trying to update them if they've changed, tho' it would be harder to implement)
Last edited by Kevin Chalet on Fri May 17, 2024 1:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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#18

Post by boxcar32 » Thu May 16, 2024 10:43 pm

Absolutely Kevin. I'm glad I stumbled upon your approach a few months ago.

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#19

Post by Kevin Chalet » Fri May 17, 2024 1:56 pm

boxcar32 wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 8:42 pm Note that I have a physical HDHomeRun FLEX 4K. The DVB-T is virtual. In tvheadend I use the iptv m3u for OTA channels. So create a channel like normal. This is my local OTA ABC channel URL (http://IPofHDHomerun:5004/auto/v13.1).
Out of curiosity, have you tried using the HDHomeRun Flex 4K as an ATSC tuner for an ATSC-T 1.0 network in Tvheadend? (instead of defining an IPTV network with muxes pointing to each channel URL, I mean). The main difference is that Tvheadend would become responsible for scanning the channels and would send tuning requests to the HDHomeRun device instead of acquiring individual IPTV streams.

I sadly don't own an HDHomeRun - they are now impossible to source in France/Europe: Silicondust even updated their Amazon listings to prevent HDHomeRun products from being shipped to the UE :thumbdown:... - but it's something I've always wanted to try :mrgreen:

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#20

Post by boxcar32 » Mon May 20, 2024 12:18 am

Yes, I allowed tvheadend to scan the ATSC-T tuner yesterday. Before this attempt tvheadend did not see my HDHomeRun Flex 4K on the laptop, but now it does.

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