sumatra
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:07 pm

Practicality of OTA PVR

Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:22 pm

I'm thinking of building a PVR to record OTA TV broadcasts. I've been reading about Kodi and TVHeadEnd, and researching USB Tuners (and SiliconDust network tuner). Before I invest in considerable hardware (tuner, USB HDD, wireless keyboard, and probably a wireline ethernet extender), my question is this: Is the result usable and reliable?

In particular, I've read reviews of tuners and some people are unable receive TV channels that their TVs have no problem with (USB tuners not being sensitive enough), or the picture/sound quality is not good, or it is slow changing channels.

So, those of you that have done this, is it merely a fun technical challenge, or is it a usable end product? I'd appreciate hearing good and bad experiences. FWIW, I'll be using a Pi3 in the San Francisco bay area. I was a software developer for 30 years, mostly Windows, and a little Linux.

Thank you!

HiroProtagonist
Posts: 212
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:45 am

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:35 am

sumatra wrote:Is the result usable and reliable?
Short answer - yes.
In particular, I've read reviews of tuners and some people are unable receive TV channels that their TVs have no problem with (USB tuners not being sensitive enough), or the picture/sound quality is not good, or it is slow changing channels.
With your location you shouldn't have a problem with signal strength. It is probably worth talking to other US users about suitable tuners etc. Extracting an EPG can be an area you may need to work on.

I run a Pi2 headless server that runs a few services such as squid, NFS server, and TVHeadend with 3 DVB-T tuners. I'm ~50km from the nearest transmitter.

Although I can use the server for viewing live TV, I primarily use it for recording. It does a perfectly adequate job for less outlay than most commercial DVRs, plus I can't buy one with 3 tuners.

There are people who will try to tell you the Pi is not up to the task. That's rubbish.

sumatra
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:07 pm

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:03 pm

HiroProtagonist wrote: With your location you shouldn't have a problem with signal strength. It is probably worth talking to other US users about suitable tuners etc. .... I run a Pi2 headless server that runs a few services such as squid, NFS server, and TVHeadend with 3 DVB-T tuners. I'm ~50km from the nearest transmitter.
Thanks for your reply. Most transmitters in my area are 40 miles (65 km) away. Depending on the season and weather, I have trouble getting some stations on my TV, so I'm hoping to find a USB tuner that is at least as sensitive as my TV's tuner. Currently I'm looking at the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-955Q. What tuners are you using?

tausciam
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:48 pm

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Sat Jul 02, 2016 8:01 pm

Ha! I just got my Raspberry Pi 3 and just did exactly what you're speaking of....with a Hauppauge 955q. I posted about it on reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/raspberry_pi/c ... based_pvr/

I found the 955q to be really sensitive. Where I am, I get 49 channels with an outdoor antenna and antennaweb claims that, at most, I should be able to get 26 with an amplifier. I don't have an amplifier hooked up.

I'm running tvheadend backend on the Pi3 that I compiled from source via the tvheadend.org website. With the 955q being used to record/stream it never goes above 10% load. I've got a Western Digital My Cloud's Public directory mounted via cifs as the place I store the recordings. Because of that, they're instantly available via DLNA to all devices - whether or not they're running a frontend.

For my tv, I'm using an Odroid c1+ running OpenELEC as a frontend. Of course, my computers and tablets can run their own frontends. The C1+ has a built-in IR receiver and hardware decoding without buying licenses, but I don't really recommend it because the software and support are horrible.

HiroProtagonist
Posts: 212
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:45 am

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Sun Jul 03, 2016 11:13 pm

sumatra wrote:What tuners are you using?
I'm on DVB-T, so the tuners I'm using aren't going to be useful for you.

sumatra
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:07 pm

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Mon Jul 04, 2016 7:26 pm

tausciam wrote:Ha! I just got my Raspberry Pi 3 and just did exactly what you're speaking of....with a Hauppauge 955q.
Thanks! That's very encouraging. I plan to use one Pi for frontend and backend. Unless that doesn't work, of course, then I'll split it between two machines.

mikerr
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Location: UK
Contact: Website

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Mon Jul 04, 2016 8:24 pm

The problem if any, is that many usb tuners come with a poor antenna (a small coil of stiff wire! ). If you get one to use your outdoor aerial (or whatever the tv uses) you should be fine.

I've had a pi happily recording random programmes by keywords, over 3 tuners for a few years. I record to a 2tb disk which is accessed by plex, and network shares.
http://www.redrobe.com/mike/record-tv-o ... tvheadend/
Android app - Raspi Card Imager - download and image SD cards - No PC required !

Wurlitzer28
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:41 pm

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Sun Dec 11, 2016 3:08 pm

I see this is an older thread but it does apply.

I am in the USA if any of the following is effected by location.

I have 2 RPi 3 KODI installations & 1 NVIDIA Shield KODI system. I have yet to be successful using the RPi to run TVHeadend/Backend for a simple 1 HDHomeRun Extend OTA tuner DVR application.

The TVHeadend/Backed I tried was part of a LibreElec install that I tried on 2 different RPi 3. In both cases live/recorded shows were completely unwatchable with heavy buffering, tearing, broken audio...

As a stop gap measure I am running ServerWMC/Windows Media Center on a Win 7 laptop using WiFi [works fine] that I must leave on 24/7 for my DVR/Live TV application and that is not a long term solution.

Neither a WiFi or hardwired Ethernet solution worked for the RPi's.

I don't need commercial removal, just simply a way to watch live TV or Record, no transcoding required, as I prefer quality over file size.

I don't understand why the RPi is experiencing so much difficulty as IMO the HDHomeRun Extend is doing the heavy lifting and the RPi only needs to direct that file stream to my NAS and of course handle the scheduling using the EPG which should not require extensive CPU utilization.

I thought the LibreElec was the lightest weight solution even though it contained KODI which I don't need for a Server/DVR [right??].

If there is a lighter weight solution which does not require extensive Linux knowledge I'm willing to give it a go as long as it is well documented.

Thanks,

sumatra
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:07 pm

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Sun Dec 11, 2016 7:34 pm

I'm the original poster on this thread. I eventually built a moderately successful DVR with an R-Pi 3 and Hauppage USB Tuner. I have a USB HDD on the Pi for recording. I may eventually post an update to this thread detailing my build experience and remaining issues to be solved.

I have no experience with the HDHomeRun, but I doubt your problem is CPU loading. When watching 1080 HD live TV on my system , CPU utilization is 15% to 20% and memory is 30%. When recording and watching at the same time, the utilization is pretty much the same. It may drop a frame here an there, but otherwise it is fine. It would be instructive to see CPU utilization numbers on your system. While watching TV and/or recording, go to the System menu and select System Info to see the stats.

You do have quite a bit of network I/O, but it should be well within the capacity of the Pi. In an earlier version of my system, I was recording to a NAS over WiFi. Recording worked OK, but playback had the problems that you mentioned, so maybe your problem is due to NAS?? I never bothered to debug that setup. I now have a USB HDD on the Pi, and I'm using wired ethernet.

I started out using LibreElec but I was having problems, so I switched to OSMC. I can't remember the problems, and they may have been all pilot error due to my inexperience. My OSMC experience has been pretty good. Unlike LibreElec, OSMC allows you to use standard linux tools, but I don't think the linux aspect was a burden. But that's easy for me to say. I'm a retired software developer (mostly Windows). I have some linux experience but I had to research some stuff, especially setting up the EPG. Certainly you can do more with OSMC if you know linux.

If you want to try OSMC, I'd be happy to offer pointers on the linux aspect. But first I suggest looking at your actual CPU utilization. Also consider whether an attached HDD might help, vs. the NAS. First I tried using an old USB drive I had laying around, but it consumed more current than the Pi could provide. Eventually I bought a WD Pi Drive, which is designed for lower power consumption, and that works OK. I recommend wired ethernet if you have any doubts about your WiFi signal. Also, I found that when I mounted the Pi board in a case using metal screws, the screw nearest the WiFi antennae cause problems, so be careful there is no metal near the WiFi antennae if you're using WiFi.

Good luck!

Wurlitzer28
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:41 pm

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:43 pm

sumatra, thank you very much for your detailed reply.

My CPU utilization, like yours, was quite low, usually well under 30% for 1 cpu while the others did not have much at all. Remembering of course that in my configuration, KODI was running on the device that I was attempting to make a server, even though I did not need KODI [at least I don't think I needed it]

I would be willing to try OSMC but if I am correct, that does not come prepackaged with TVHeadend.

Like you, I spent my days in the Window world and have always found various instructions for Linux on the web to be like faulty bomb disposal instructions: "Cut the Red wire.............but not before cutting the Blue wire". They seem to assume the reader is somewhat versed in Linux.

Not sure what to tell you on the NAS other than it is a WD 2 TB drive just sitting there waiting for reads/writes and is hardwired ethernet to the router and all KODI systems exhibited the same buffering, breaking up of the image regardless if it was just Live TV or a Recorded file.

Even though I have a bunch of individual systems, they are never used simultaneously. Only one KODI client is ever running at any given time.

Did you use TVHeadend/Backend on OSMC?

Also, just to be sure, is it imperative that the HDHomeRun be directly connected to the RPi or can it be connected via ethernet to the router?

Thanks again.

sumatra
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:07 pm

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:52 pm

I think you're right, that OSMC doesn't come with TVHeadEnd. But there's a path in the GUI to install it, so I don't think there's any heavy lifting. OSMC comes with 2 shells, and path to install TVHeadend is slightly different for each. I don't recall doing any config on the backend, just installed it. But I'm using a USB tuner. I don't know how it connects to HDHomeRun.

Yes, I'm using TVHeadEnd frontend/backend. At the moment they are running on the same RPi3. One day I plan to move the client to a second Pi, just to try it.

I've never used HDHomeRun, but my understanding is that it connects to your network, and RPi connects to it via the network and router.

Sounds like you aren't any closer to finding the root of your problem. It sounds like NAS is probably not the issue. Moving to OSMC may or may not help, and of course moving means starting over to some extent. Have you asked on the LibreElect forum? OSMC has a nice facility to create debug logs and dump them to the internet, so you can reference the logs when you post a problem. Maybe LibreElec has something similar?

Good luck!

Wurlitzer28
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:41 pm

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:04 pm

Finally got TVHeadend/backend to record to my NAS device with OSMC.

For whatever reason this works much better than TVHeadend/backend under LibreElec which is great for everything but a PVR Server in my installation, YMMV and most likely will be better.

I did have to create the directory /home/osmc/mnt for the mounting of my NAS.

By adding to etc/fstab file the line, below, TVHeadend/backend recorded to my NAS in the Public/LiveTV directory.

//MyNAS IP Address/Public/LiveTV /home/osmc/mnt cifs guest,file_mode=0777,dir_mode=0777, uid-1000 0 0

johngammel
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:52 pm

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:04 pm

Like others I have a significant amount of Windows and networking experience but it's close to 10 years since I worked on Linux. Just dropped the satellite service and am using a combination of streaming on my DSL service and over-the-air HDTV channels for local access. Mostly OK but the streaming service is having some issues with stability and the OTA struggles with the channels being +35 miles away and trying to use an indoor antenna.

I really want to use a new Pi due to energy consumption and noise (in the last house we had a media PC with WMC but it was noticeable).

Could someone post a hardware purchase list and a build sheet for a working Pi OTA DVR? I don't need anything fancy such as watching it in another room and it will be adjacent to the TV and network hub/extender.

Thanks - the oldserverguy

sumatra
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:07 pm

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:47 pm

I'm afraid it isn't that simple. When I built my Pi OTA PVR, I found a number of guides online purporting to show how to do this. They each had a bit of "the truth", but they all had info that I considered to be undesirable or inapplicable to my situation. This is a hobby project more than a "paint by number" kit. It takes a certain amount of experimentation and thought. Linux knowledge isn't so important as a willingness to learn by playing around with stuff.

You don't say what your experience is with Raspberry Pi. If you haven't done anything with it, start by Googling for 'getting started with Raspberry Pi'. There are a number of guides, including these:

http://www.howtogeek.com/138281/the-htg ... ry-pi/all/
http://lifehacker.com/the-always-up-to- ... 1781419054

Start by bringing up a RPi running Raspbian, the default OS. Play with it and get comfortable with it. When you start building your PVR, I recommend OSMC as the operating system.

In addition to the RPi, case, SD card, and power supply (don't bother about a heat sink) the obvious thing you need is a TV tuner. Many people use the HDHomeRun network tuner (https://www.silicondust.com/). I used this USB Tuner: http://a.co/afPqZYj. If you're having trouble using an indoor antennae now, you'll need to get a better antennae. I use an ordinary UHF/VHF antennae from the old analog TV days. It's in my attic.

If you want to just timeshift a small amount of programming, you can use the SD card for recording (at least 32GB in size). If you want to archive stuff (like an entire season of a show) get a hard drive. The current available from the Pi USB ports is limited, so you will either need a powered USB hub, or a Western Digital Pi Drive, which requires less current and comes with a special cable to power the drive.

Perhaps the trickiest part is setting up an Electronic Program Guide (EPG). I used this article as a starting point, but I don't think I did it exactly the way they said. Like I said, it all takes a bit of trial and error.
https://www.adventuresinoss.com/2015/01 ... ram-guide/

When I started my project, I told myself I was going to record everything I did in a journal. That lasted about 2 hours. It was too much fun to race ahead and try to get things running, and frankly there's a lot of detail. Someday I might write a comprehensive guide, but I don't have time now. Just get started and ask questions here or elsewhere as you go.

EDIT: To answer my original question at the top of this topic, is it practical? Well, yes, sort of. It's mostly stable for a few days at a time. It does record OTA TV just fine. But I need to restart it once a week or so. If you go on vacation for a couple of weeks, you may or may not come back to recordings of the TV you missed. I've learned that some operations work better than others. Regularly watching TV using the OSMC client shortens the time between required reboots. It's better to let the Pi do recordings, and view live TV using your regular TV tuner. There are at least two mechanisms provided by the GUI for watching recorded TV. One works well, the other one not at all. (Avoid TV --> Recordings. Use Videos --> Files).

In short, its cheaper than paying $400 for a Tivo, or paying $20/month for the Tivo service. It's not as good as Tivo, but you get what you pay for. I complained to a friend about how much time and money I was putting into the project and he said, "Expensive hobby, cheap therapy". How true.


Good luck!

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bensimmo
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Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:23 pm

Do you have lower power transmitters over there than we do in the UK, 35m is not that far away in my eyes.
Our problem is some of our 4G networks can interfere.

Or is it just our country is setup around FTA (Ariel) and everything else is second like satellite and cable and even VoD Digital TV via DSL even lower down (excluding what is now Smart TV/Internet)

BuffaloFan32
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:39 pm

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:15 pm

@Sumatra I was just about to open a new thread on this very topic when I saw your post. I have a beaglebone but I am thinking about getting a Raspberry Pi as there seems to be more literature on this type of project. Do you think it would really matter? I too was looking at using a Hauppage TV tuner so I am glad you got it to work. I am far from an expert in any of this so I am having trouble reading through the tutorials you mentioned. None of them seem to show exactly what I want to accomplish. How much work is required beyond plugging in the Hauppauge and a hard drive to your pi and then installing the software?

Wurlitzer28
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:41 pm

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:52 pm

How much work is required?????

Here is my experience with 3 KODI clients, NVIDIA Shield, RPi 3, Win 7 laptop.

Well lets say in my installation, had Live TV/PVR been the first thing I tried to set up in Kodi I would have never had Kodi.

I am using an HD Homerun Extend tuner for OTA channels [7 all within 10 miles] and a home made 4 bay antenna which gives, according to KODI and an Android phone app, 96-100% quality signal.

Of all the things RPis do well Kodi included, the Live TV/PVR has exhausted my colorful vocabulary.

OSMC TVHeadend/Backend as a standalone PVR server seems as good as I can get outside of the Window's Media Center world and it was not perfect.

I cannot go a full week without rebooting the OMSC RPi nor the HD Homerun Extend tuner because one or the other will do the following: [I also show which systems had which problems.

Random vertical stretch 3x normal returning maybe after commercial breaks: WMC, LibreElec TVHeadend, OSMC TVHeadend

Sound skipping every 5 seconds: WMC, LibreElec TVHeadend, OSMC TVHeadend

No video but sound on 1 OTA channel but not others: WMC, LibreElec TVHeadend, OSMC TVHeadend

Opens recording, sound continues but the first video image remains static for the entire recording: WMC, LibreElec TVHeadend, OSMC TVHeadend

Attempt to skip ahead on a OTA recording in 10,30 second increments and it just goes back to the beginning: OSMC TVHeadend

Unwatchable highly pixilated Live TV & recordings: LibreElec TVHeadend [abandoned this]

No EPG as the setup, with such partial directions on the web cannot be done with my limited knowledge: OSMC TVHeadend
SEE NOTE BELOW

Recordings totally missed: WMC, LibreElec TVHeadend, OSMC TVHeadend

On client side in KODI on NVIDIA Shield or RPi LibreElec or Win 7 PC, the HD app for LIVE TV is useless with pix freezing, sound skipping, lock up: WMC, LibreElec TVHeadend, OSMC TVHeadend

Only the NVIDIA Shield's HD app plays Live TV at acceptable quality.

Silicon Dust had replaced this tuner once when it would constantly stretch out vertically and never return even after a reboot.

It is now out of warranty and while SD was quite responsive I am tired of chasing this dragon and looking for some other tuner solution and if I cannot get EPG on the OSMC RPi I'll have to go back to WMC on Win 7 [Not @^&&!@!@ windows 10].

Sooooooooo! In this Kodi world I cannot even reliably receive the same Live TV I could have gotten with rabbet ears in the old analog days. Seems it has not been an improvement.

NOTE: For those great people who post how to's on the internet please assume the reader knows NOTHING and don't leave out steps which are 2nd nature to you but for a novice totally unknown. Even simple things like leaving out SUDO in a code segment can ruin an installation attempt.

For some reason in the Linux world they tend to skip important steps like poor bomb disposal instructions "CUT THE RED WIRE..........BUT NOT BEFORE CUTTING THE BLUE WIRE. Boom.

BuffaloFan32
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:39 pm

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:15 pm

@Wurlitzer thanks for the realism. It sounds like I am in for a challenge. Did any of the tutorials you read stand out as better for a lamen like me (I also notice that a lot of them leave out key steps)? I still don't understand the advantage of the HD homerun so I am planning to go with the Hauppauge and an external drive connected to the pi. Am I correct in thinking that I can use the regular pi operating system along and then install Kodi for playing video and TVheadend for EPG and scheduling recordings? It is hard for me to understand exactly what these programs do, even after reading their websites. I am in the US and planning to use this setup for recording OTA shows only.

Wurlitzer28
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:41 pm

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:22 pm

BuffaloFan [Not from Western NY are you???]

If you plan on using TVHeadend I would suggest starting with this video [and subscribing to his YouTube Channel] as I was able to get TV Headend running by watching, pausing, watching, pausing..... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Y-E4sQSb94

Ronnie Bailey has a ton of videos related to this stuff but like so many others does not have a solution which worked for me on EPG. Right now I just manually enter scheduled recordings via the TVHeadend web interface. Not a big deal for me but not ideal.

If you want to have a HD on the RPi it would be much easier than my approach and there are a bunch of YT videos to show you how to make the RPi see as USB HD. In my case I wanted to record to my Western Digital NAS and that required me getting an indoctrination into the world of command line Linux gobbledygook. Took me a week to get this line into a file called fstab located in I don't remember where buy obviously you need to replace the NAS IP address.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This Works !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [well for me it does]

//My nas IP address/Public/LiveTV /home/osmc/mnt cifs guest,file_mode=0777,dir_mode=0777, uid-1000 0 0

Wurlitzer28
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:41 pm

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:34 pm

BuffaloFan regarding what to load. With LibreElec you just download the package from their web site onto your PC Win/Mac and follow their directions to write it to an SD card for the RPi.

LibreElec comes with KODI and contains both the TVHeadend client and the TVHeadend/backend but I was never able to get the backend to work. LibreElec is your operating system nothing else required for OS.

OSMC, again comes with KODI and a very nice install package to walk you through installing it on an SD card, but you have to google the install instructions for TVHeadend/Backend if you want it as your Live TV/Recorded TV server. It is not difficult but an added step HOWEVER it does work fairly well in my installation minus all the problems I listed before. OSMC loads on to Raspian which IS contained in the download.

I just "Upgraded" my LibreElec RPi to KODI Krypton and it is a world of difference in GUI speed and maybe it's version of TVHeadend/Back might work but I am not about to go that route again. One major problem however, is now ONLY on LiveTV or Recorded TV the sound is terrible. Sound from addons is perfect. Where are the rabbit ears?????

Wurlitzer28
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:41 pm

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Fri Feb 03, 2017 7:41 pm

BuffaloFan, regarding the HD Homerun, no advantage IMO but given the problems I had your choice may be better.

I selected them because they were going to have a PVR app and if it had worked [$60 I think] it would be great.

They have a version which runs on the NVIDIA Shield and in all honesty I don't know how many other platforms but given the problems I had, it soured me on HD Homerun.

BuffaloFan32
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:39 pm

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:08 pm

@Wurlitzer, I am originally from Western New York but I live in California now.

Thanks for all the commentary! I think I have enough to get started now but I am sure I will be back here as I run into problems. I was looking at LibreElec but I wasn't sure if it would make things easier or not. I will give it a shot!

BuffaloFan32
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:39 pm

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Mon Feb 06, 2017 3:27 pm

Has anybody tried to use this tuner or know if it would work?

https://www.amazon.com/HAUPPAUGE-WinTV- ... s=happauge

I like the idea of having two tuners so I can record one thing while watching another but I all of the tutorials I have seen using the Hauppage use this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Hauppauge-Digita ... s=happauge

HiroProtagonist
Posts: 212
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:45 am

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:15 am

The reason there is no one all-singing all-dancing TVHeadend tutorial, is because everyone's situation is different. One of the major differences involves your country, which will impact such things as how you configure TVHeadend, what tuners you should use, and how you obtain an EPG.

Note that Kodi is not necessary in order to use TVHeadend. You can run a TVHeadend server on a Kodi box such as OSMC, but you don't have to. You can just as easily install TVHeadend on a headless server running raspbian lite, and have Kodi clients access it over a network and/or access it via VLC or the client of your choice.

My advice for installing TVHeadend on a Pi:

1) If you want to follow a how-to on the web, either follow one specific to your country, or keep in mind that there may be major differences in how you need to configure TVHeadend. Also be aware of how old what you're reading is - earlier versions of TVHeadend were different to current versions.

2) If you want to serve more than 1 client, consider a separate server, rather than cohabiting with a media player.

3) If at all possible, user wired ethernet
[*] and connect your storage directly to the TVHeadend server device. Don't use SD as recording media. If your storage needs are modest, use a USB stick instead.

4) Pay special attention to providing enough power for the Pi and it's peripherals - if you fail to provide enough power, your pi will be unreliable.

5) Pay attention to signal strength - USB tuners are often not as sensitive as the tuner in your TV, so make sure you have a good antenna, high quality coax, and use a masthead or distribution amplifier if you have cable splitters or are distant from a transmitter. Poor signal quality or interference can result in problems such as recordings without sound, or odd video artefacts.

6) You may need multiple tuners depending on how many simultaneous recordings/live viewings you expect to support that span multiple muxes. If you install multiple tuners, pay particular attention to 5).

7) A pi running TVHeadend should be stable & reliable - if you are unable to achieve months of trouble-free uptime, there may be something in this list you need to look at. Check both your linux and TVHeadend logs for clues.

8) If you think the help available on the net is inadequate, you can help to remedy that by posting your own easy to follow tutorial.

[*] A power line adapter is a viable option if you can't get an ethernet cable where you want. Only use Wifi as a last resort.

Wurlitzer28
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:41 pm

Re: Practicality of OTA PVR

Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:11 pm

HiroProtagonist, good post with with some good suggestions.

I do have my OSMC RPi 3 on wired ethernet.

I can live without EPG, as it is obvious I don't have the Linux skills to follow the few bread crumbs on the web to set one up in the USA especially when so many bread crumbs are missing. Writing my own tutorial would be very easy if and only if I were able to get it to work.

I have noticed a new problem with all my 3 KODI V17 Krypton versions after the update from V16. [NVIDIA, Win 7, RPi3 LibreElec].

Seems I have a 50/50 chance of a "xyz.ts" recording playing on any KODI system but when it fails I can play it via WMC on my Win 7 laptop. Again this only started after the "upgrade" to V17 Krypton.

On the KODI clients I see the file, I can select it and up at the top right I see the blue arrow that it is playing but nothing is actually playing. If I hit the "Enter" button a second time I see a CD Icon like this is a music CD but again nothing plays.

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