SIMPLE & EASY TO USE DVR SETUP

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SIMPLE & EASY TO USE DVR SETUP

Postby btpoole » Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:42 am

Since becoming a Roku user I been reading hundreds of post about recording ota and watching thru Roku. I am interested in setting up a dvr (computer) to record the shows and watch on Roku at later time. The problem is I really don't know which way to go. I have the tuner card, more than enough storage, processing power is no problem. My problem is deciding on what software and the best method of getting it to the roku. I first liked the idea of the NextPVR and the NextPVR channel that had been created. Liked it so much I installed it, setup and recorded some shows. Problem started when Roku channel would no play the recording. The ts was converted to mp4, shows shows up on Roku channel, push play and nothing happens, just goes back to list of shows. After reading more post than I care to mention, I realize the project was abandoned, or at least that's what it sounds like. I am now looking for alternative. I know I could keep using NextPVR to record the shows and then stream them thru Plex which maybe the next option but I was looking for a program that has a Roku channel where I could do the schedules from Roku. Is there any others out there? Does MythTV or BeyondTV provide these things?
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Re: SIMPLE & EASY TO USE DVR SETUP

Postby Basil » Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:38 am

For using a Windows PC (Windows 7 or Windows 8) you can use the Windows Media Center application for TV viewing or playback directly to your TV; that is, not using your Roku, but connecting your PC to another input on the TV. I have done this. It's fairly straightforward and works.

There's TiVo, which would require an expense of a device (from $99 refurbished, $149 new) and service ($15/month, 1 year minimum) would also require a separate input to your TV. I have done this, and it works very well.

But, through the Roku, there are other other options.

One alternative (though not a cheap one) would be to go the Simple.TV route, which is a PVR that plays back through a Roku (up to 5 devices on the account). The device is $150, and you'd need an external USB hard drive ($60-90). Service is $49/year to automatically schedule recordings. I am currently trying this setup, and it works, though it does have some peculiarities. It's obviously first generation; TiVo does a much better job.

What you're probably looking for is something like Plex, for which I can make no recommendation, not having used it. Others will be able to offer recommendations for or against (mostly for, I suspect) regarding this method. There may be other apps/channels for which others can provide information.
Basil
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http://www.imao.us/
Roku 3, Roku LT; previous Roku 2 XS, Roku 2 XD, Roku 2 HD, Roku XD|S, Roku HD
Also running Apple TV, TiVo/OTA, Simple.TV/OTA, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV
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Re: SIMPLE & EASY TO USE DVR SETUP

Postby wzwor » Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:32 am

btpoole wrote:Since becoming a Roku user I been reading hundreds of post about recording ota and watching thru Roku. I am interested in setting up a dvr (computer) to record the shows and watch on Roku at later time. The problem is I really don't know which way to go. I have the tuner card, more than enough storage, processing power is no problem. My problem is deciding on what software and the best method of getting it to the roku. I first liked the idea of the NextPVR and the NextPVR channel that had been created. Liked it so much I installed it, setup and recorded some shows. Problem started when Roku channel would no play the recording. The ts was converted to mp4, shows shows up on Roku channel, push play and nothing happens, just goes back to list of shows. After reading more post than I care to mention, I realize the project was abandoned, or at least that's what it sounds like. I am now looking for alternative. I know I could keep using NextPVR to record the shows and then stream them thru Plex which maybe the next option but I was looking for a program that has a Roku channel where I could do the schedules from Roku. Is there any others out there? Does MythTV or BeyondTV provide these things?

I was never able to find any software that would do this to my satisfaction. To a certain extent, it depends on what you are looking for in a DVR and what you are willing to achieve that. On the other hand, it depends on how many televisions you want to serve. For me, in the end, the most satisfying solution was to buy a DTVPal DVR for each television. This is because...

1) we like to pause/rewind/fast forward
2) we did not want a monthly expense
3) we record a lot of shows simultaneously
4) we keep a lot of recordings on hand, but tend tend not to save these

Each DTVPal has dual tuners, so five sets with five dvrs means ten concurrent recordings and 240 hours of hd storage (1200 hours of sd). The media can be renamed and protected, so I can protect The Contest and let episodes of Rules of Engagement age off the DVR. We also get guides for OTA.

The DVRs are more expensive than when I bought mine, but still a lot less expensive than Tivo plus lifetime.

My 'to do' list includes a background DVR that will capture shows for playback ondemand without commercials via Plex, but I'd still like to have casual DVR functionality at each viewing station. I kind of like this for that. One of the reasons I haven't gotten busy with this is that I am waiting to see what SD is going to do with the HDHomerun. They have a beta going on with DLNA streams. I would love to be able to stream from an HDHomerun to a Plex channel. Regardless, the availability of new hardware will drive down the cost of the current stuff and I really do not have time to mess with this right now.
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Re: SIMPLE & EASY TO USE DVR SETUP

Postby vnazario » Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:34 pm

Hello:

I use a Mac Mini with EyeTV Tuner/PVR software. My Mac Mini also serves as my PLEX server. I can view my DVR recordings on Roku via the Nowhere DVR private channel or through PLEX. I configured my PLEX server to see and share the "My DVR Recordings" folder. I can access all my DVR recordings from all the TV's in my house. I access my Recordings from my living room TV through PLEX app on my Google TV and in the bedrooms from the PLEX client channel on the Roku's. This is not a TiVo so the experience is not the same, but it is FREE and I can view my recordings on all TV's in the house. It works for me and I save a ton of $$$. TiVo is much better but comes at a heafty price, IMO.

Because EyeTV is single tuner I can only watch OR record one show at a time but what I did was to add a splitter to the coax and I use my TV's built-in tuner to watch live TV while the EyeTV records other shows. Not exactly a dual-tuner solution but it gives you a bit more flexibility and nearly replicates what say "A dual-tuner HD HomeRun" does as far as recording conflicts.

Finally, I only DVR shows that are not already available to me via Hulu+ or Netflix. Daytime/Primetime shows like Judge Judy, People's Court and Big Bang Theory get DVR'd (BBT only available in Amazon, Vudu for purchase) and my other favorite shows from cable (WWE, Colbert Report, etc.) I get from Hulu+. Other cable content (History, Discoveries, etc.) I get through Netflix. Some older shows like: DogFights, Doomsday Preppers, etc. are available for free on YouTube so I enjoy a "Near Cable" experience for free without the big TV bill. I don't watch too much sports so I am OK with whats available OTA or through FREE Roku channels. Premium shows like Dexter and Spartacus I watched from certain websites from the browser of my GoogleTV device or the browser of my Mac Mini. If you know where to find them, you can watch them on your TV as well.

Good luck everyone with your cord-cutter setups. Everyone can start with a simple Roku, then add private channels, then expand with a computer (PLEX and "PO") and finally experiment with recording solutions. If you don't mind lower quality recordings you can also record from Roku to a "Good old VCR" and then more complex DVR solutions like mine above or with Media Center on a PC or using a Simple.TV or HD HomeRun device. Roku has a new HD HomeRun client channel but it only works on the cable-card version of the HD HomeRun Prime, not for the dual-tuner OTA/QAM so really not a solution for FREE TV cord-cutters. As an added bonus you can play with PlayTo and Twonky apps on your Roku and "Fling/Beam/Cast/AirPlay" TV content from your phone/tablet to the Roku/TV. Have fun with your Roku's. You can also combine a GoogleTV box with a Roku through the HDMI pass-through so you get the best of Roku and GoogleTV on your TV. You get the best YouTube and browser-based content with what you already get through Roku. Great combination. Only $16 per month for Hulu+ and Netflix. If your OTA reception is poor you may have Aereo as an alternative ($8 a month with 20 hour "cloud DVR"). Still $24 per month for the 3 services is much less than cables "bare-bone" basic TV package and you get so much more.
vnazario

(2) Roku2 XS,Roku 1(New),Logitech Revue Google TV,Raspberry Pi+XBMC,Mac Mini HTPC-EyeTV DVR+Rabbit TV+PLEX+XBMC,TiVo Premier,Wii,PS3,Sony Blu Ray w/ streaming apps,Equiso Android TV
Local TV: QAM from ISP coax line. PLEX+unsupported plug-ins.
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Re: SIMPLE & EASY TO USE DVR SETUP

Postby reddot » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:59 pm

If you don't want to buy and maintain DVR hardware in your home, you could look into http://www.aereo.com. I did a one month trial with them and we ended up not continuing because at least at the time (over the summer) we weren't watching anything that was on network TV.

vnazario, would you recommend EyeTV? I hear mixed reviews of it. I've got an aging SageTV setup (which is great and which I'll miss) and I want to transition everything to a Mac mini server and get off of Windows. I might try doing a virtualization setup, but would like to avoid that if possible. What do you use for a tuner?
Roku 1 XDS connected via ethernet
Roku LT via WIFI
Apple Airport Extreme
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Re: SIMPLE & EASY TO USE DVR SETUP

Postby vnazario » Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:50 am

My EyeTV setup combined with PLEX works for me. You will have to do some tweaking within EYETV at first but it works very well. First perform your channel scan, then delete remove channels that don't broadcast properly or you don't watch, then name the channels/frequency appropriately for example: CBS, CBS-HD, ION, etc. then re-arrange your channel playlist by channel number to match that of the free Open EPG (I do not use the non-free TV-Guide option) and compare your setup with the Open EPG and that of Titan.TV. You can remote schedule your recordings from Titan.TV when away from your computer.

Since I don't pay for the enhanced TV-Guide EPG, I have to manually create my Smart Play Guide (Season Passes) but because I only record a handful of shows, it didn't take me long to tweak this.

Finally, in your PLEX server, make sure you point your shared "Recordings" folder so all the devices in your home that support PLEX can view your recordings. For Roku's you may use PLEX or Nowhere DVR channel. For your tablets, GoogleTV and Android TV devices you must purchase the PLEX app for $1.99 but worth it.

To avoid recording conflicts use EYETV Tuner in combination with your TV's tuner if it supports ATSC/QAM. If you have an older TV, this setup won't help unless you have a digital TV converter box.

If you don't mind using your Roku in lower SD picture quality, you can use the component (Yellow/Red/White) connector from your Roku to your VCR and to the TV from the VCR. You can record to tape stuff from Justin.TV and other Roku channels.

Use the power of PLEX for the supported and unsupported plug-ins, to share your DVR recordings and you can also visit your public library and pick-up DVD's and record/encode them to your server via VLC to then use on PLEX to your Roku.

A TiVo Premier through QAM offers the best user experience if you don't mind spending the money
Aereo (If you live in their market areas) offer best simple solution but requires subscription
Simple.TV also costs money but you are in control of recording capacity

****My setup is totally FREE (after initial purchase and setup). It is a bit techy/geeky but it works for me and I don't have to spend extra on subscriptions of service or advanced EPG options****

Good luck everyone. Hope my setup guide helps you.
vnazario

(2) Roku2 XS,Roku 1(New),Logitech Revue Google TV,Raspberry Pi+XBMC,Mac Mini HTPC-EyeTV DVR+Rabbit TV+PLEX+XBMC,TiVo Premier,Wii,PS3,Sony Blu Ray w/ streaming apps,Equiso Android TV
Local TV: QAM from ISP coax line. PLEX+unsupported plug-ins.
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Re: SIMPLE & EASY TO USE DVR SETUP

Postby vnazario » Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:59 am

I use an El Gato EyeTV Hybrid tuner with my Mac Mini. You can get more information regarding this setup:

Go to Youtube and search: GigaOM Cord-Cutters. One of the episodes talks about Roku setup with EyeTV and Nowhere DVR channel.

The extra steps of recording to VCR and sharing my recordings through PLEX I learned from other cord-cutter veterans from Roku and PLEX forums. Tricks of using Titan.TV and Smart Guides I got from EYETV forums.

All this knowledge is available on the web. If you put in the time and don't mind experimenting and spending a little money you can get the most out of your Roku's.

BONUS: You can watch "Live TV" on your Roku using PlayTo/Twonky Apps. Goto: www.FilmOn.TV from your smartphone or tablet and "Beam/Cast" to your Roku to the TV. Cumbersome setup but great if you want to just stay tuned on a single channel for awhile (Sports game, Movie). Not recommended if you will be switching between channels.

HAVE FUN!!!!
vnazario

(2) Roku2 XS,Roku 1(New),Logitech Revue Google TV,Raspberry Pi+XBMC,Mac Mini HTPC-EyeTV DVR+Rabbit TV+PLEX+XBMC,TiVo Premier,Wii,PS3,Sony Blu Ray w/ streaming apps,Equiso Android TV
Local TV: QAM from ISP coax line. PLEX+unsupported plug-ins.
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Re: SIMPLE & EASY TO USE DVR SETUP

Postby SimpleMinded » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:06 pm

WARNING: I AM ABOUT TO STATE THE OBVIOUS

In the interest of completeness, I would like to add the Simple DVR to the list of OTA DVR options.

I don't care for the Roku channel, but it is acceptable for navigation/playback of recordings. Simple requires no server software or hardware. You can manage it from your LAN or a remote location. Like a Tivo, it only records an episode once and finds episodes regardless of time or channel.

Put one of these with a 2t disk on your network, plug it into the broadcast feed, program it from a PC, then enjoy your recordings from a Roku or a web browser. Your Simple DVR is available over the internet for remote viewing and control of your programming.

Woot has been bundling the v1 hardware with a lifetime premier subscription for $100, so this is a very inexpensive solution.
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Re: SIMPLE & EASY TO USE DVR SETUP

Postby dgrace » Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:11 pm

Here is a thread I started when I bought my over the air DVR. I'm still loving it.
viewtopic.php?f=44&t=63852
I record more than enough TV to fill any gaps in my viewing time, usually just things that come on at those times when I'm not able to stay awake, but could be used for sports that I'd not be wanting to waste daylight watching, instead to watch later (and fast forward the commercials).
"I might be moving to Montana soon..."
Frank Zappa
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Re: SIMPLE & EASY TO USE DVR SETUP

Postby vnazario » Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:02 pm

One more tip to add to my setup. Since I use my Mac Mini as my Media Server, I can burn DVD's of my recordings and I also record to an external HD which allows me to take my HD and hook up to any computer for viewing. It works great with computers that have VLC media player or codec-pack software installed.

I haven't tried yet to connect my external HD directly to the Roku to see if my recordings play from the Roku's USB port. If it does....."Sweet", but haven't had the need to try this as I use PLEX to view my recordings within the house without having to unplug/re-plug anything. But if this works then that would also be a viable way to view recordings if you have multiple Roku's with USB ports.

If someone has already tried this and would like to "chime in" with their results, I'd like to hear it. If not, I will post my results when I get a chance to test this at home.

Hope my tips help you guys enjoy more your Roku's.
vnazario

(2) Roku2 XS,Roku 1(New),Logitech Revue Google TV,Raspberry Pi+XBMC,Mac Mini HTPC-EyeTV DVR+Rabbit TV+PLEX+XBMC,TiVo Premier,Wii,PS3,Sony Blu Ray w/ streaming apps,Equiso Android TV
Local TV: QAM from ISP coax line. PLEX+unsupported plug-ins.
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Re: SIMPLE & EASY TO USE DVR SETUP

Postby vnazario » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:37 pm

UPDATE:

I can confirm that MY DVR Recordings to my external hard drive (Currently attached to my Mac Mini) can be viewed when I plug in the drive directly to the Roku's USB port and use the Roku USB Media channel. This is great to know since this will allow you to take all your EyeTV DVR recordings with you to connect to any USB supporting Roku devices (Roku2XS and Roku 3). I can now watch my recordings on my best friend and parents Roku's if I ever wanted to.

This was an unexpected result but I am delighted to have more sharing options with my recordings. I suppose that my EYETV setup works since it converts my recordings to iphone/ipad format which is compatible with Roku's codec's.

Now, for purposes of covering Media Center configurations (which I do not use), can anyone using MC to DVR recording to an external drive confirm if MC recordings also work when directly plugged into Roku's USB port? Please "chime in" and share the knowledge. Thanks in advance.

vnazario
vnazario

(2) Roku2 XS,Roku 1(New),Logitech Revue Google TV,Raspberry Pi+XBMC,Mac Mini HTPC-EyeTV DVR+Rabbit TV+PLEX+XBMC,TiVo Premier,Wii,PS3,Sony Blu Ray w/ streaming apps,Equiso Android TV
Local TV: QAM from ISP coax line. PLEX+unsupported plug-ins.
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Re: SIMPLE & EASY TO USE DVR SETUP

Postby vnazario » Fri Dec 13, 2013 7:09 am

Another tip:

If you want to "mimic" the feature of Simple.TV that allows you to access your recordings from anywhere with your tablet just open a dropbox or other "cloud based" server space solution provider and copy your recordings to their service. Since EYETV automatically converts your recordings to iphone/ipad format you can transfer/download and play directly from your phone/tablet or if the remote storage provider allows to stream directly without downloading......even better.

Some "Cloud Storage Server" providers offer free accounts with limited space (usually under 20GB for free accounts). Just keep in mind that a 1/2 hour recording in iphone/ipad converted format is around 2.4GB so the number of shows you can record on free accounts is very limited so you have to find out the best provider with free access with the most storage and figure out how to maximize the use of your free storage space. Beware that some providers give you a free cap but if you go over that cap they charge you. Others will give you a "Not enough space" warning but others are sneaky and "want" you to go over to justify charging you. Typically these are the providers that ask for CC information upfront to create/open the account.

Hope these tips help you. Happy streaming.
vnazario

(2) Roku2 XS,Roku 1(New),Logitech Revue Google TV,Raspberry Pi+XBMC,Mac Mini HTPC-EyeTV DVR+Rabbit TV+PLEX+XBMC,TiVo Premier,Wii,PS3,Sony Blu Ray w/ streaming apps,Equiso Android TV
Local TV: QAM from ISP coax line. PLEX+unsupported plug-ins.
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Re: SIMPLE & EASY TO USE DVR SETUP

Postby knuckle » Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:38 am

pogoplug -- 20 bucks on amazon,unlimited pogo storage -- 50 bucks a year (or use a usb drive for storage), linux os -- absolutely free and using bittorrent and flexget you have a very nice dvr solution for very little $$
ROKU 1 XD J0A113014862
ROKU 2 LT 16A182002191
ROKU 2 LT #2 16A19K025194
ROKU HD 18D2CP067635
all hooked wireless via Linksys WRT54G running tomato firmware

favorite channel-- Justin TV
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Re: SIMPLE & EASY TO USE DVR SETUP

Postby reddot » Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:04 am

Plex also offers really easy remote access to your media.
Roku 1 XDS connected via ethernet
Roku LT via WIFI
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Re: SIMPLE & EASY TO USE DVR SETUP

Postby Pearl » Sun Dec 15, 2013 2:16 pm

SimpleMinded wrote:WARNING: I AM ABOUT TO STATE THE OBVIOUS

In the interest of completeness, I would like to add the Simple DVR to the list of OTA DVR options.

I don't care for the Roku channel, but it is acceptable for navigation/playback of recordings. Simple requires no server software or hardware. You can manage it from your LAN or a remote location. Like a Tivo, it only records an episode once and finds episodes regardless of time or channel.

Put one of these with a 2t disk on your network, plug it into the broadcast feed, program it from a PC, then enjoy your recordings from a Roku or a web browser. Your Simple DVR is available over the internet for remote viewing and control of your programming.

Woot has been bundling the v1 hardware with a lifetime premier subscription for $100, so this is a very inexpensive solution.


I jumped on the Woot deal for the simple TV and have been pretty happy with it so far. At full price it isn't even worth looking at. For $100 with a lifetime premier license that can be moved to any of the new devices they release, it's a really good deal. I hedged my bets that the company and the technology will mature, and I'll have gotten the license for almost nothing. With the upcoming release of the new simpleTV with multiple tuners, it would appear that they have a backstock of the older model so I am guessing that the $100 deal will pop up again. I hooked up an OTA antenna (I live in city very close to the main towers), got all the channels I need (20), and the recording software seems to work pretty well. Besides using on my Roku at home, I have tried it on remote networks on my Nexus7 and was able to watch shows I had recorded and live TV. Setup took only about 20 minutes.

I highly recommend scooping up one of the bundled deals if they show up again. At $300 for a single tuner device, it's not even worth looking at. At $100 for the hardware and the lifetime license, seems like a good investment. Just more TV when on the road.

-P
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