My DVR/Media Server for Roku Setup

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My DVR/Media Server for Roku Setup

Postby lumberjack » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:08 am

Just wanted to share my setup that I am extremely happy with. I stream TV Shows to a Roku 2 XD and a Roku HD. They typically are available on my Roku 45 minutes after they air without commercials.

Initial setup: 45 minutes
Add a DVD: 1 minute + 20 minutes of waiting
Schedule Recording: 1 minutes to add a series to be recorded. I can typically watch on the Roku 45 minutes after the show airs without commercials.


First, I love my Rokus but I have not been happy with Hulu+ because of commercials and the channel seems to become unresponsive more than any other channel I have. I tried simple.tv but ended up selling it on eBay because I didn't really like the Roku channel and $200 only gets you 1 tuner.

So I bought a SFF 2.33GHz Intel C2D refurbed Win 7 PC on eBay for $120. I'm a Mac guy but I wanted Windows Media Center. I bought a tuner off of Amazon for $80. I took a 2TB USB drive I already had and plugged that in.

Then I did this on the computer.

1. I setup 4 folders on the external drive and pointed Plex Media Server to them: Movies, Home Videos, Kid's Movies, TV Shows.
2. I used Handbrake to rip all my DVDs and put them in one of the above folders.
3. Plugged in the tuner into my router and let WMC find it.
4. With Remote Potato I setup all my TV recordings from any computer in my house. WMC has a built in FREE programming guide.
5. I setup MCEBuddy to remove commercials and transcode in a fromat for Roku. Drops the output into TV folder.
6. Plex scans for new files every 15 minutes. I also setup a bunch of Plex Channels (Hulu, Daily Show, YouTube, etc.)
7. Sit on my couch and let my shows hit the Roku every week with very little interaction


This works amazingly for me because I do not need to watch live TV and it removes all of my commercials. I have this computer sitting in a closet humming away.

Links:


* Similar computer to what I bought $120: http://www.ebay.com/itm/271095617320?ss ... 1439.l2649
* TV Tuner $80: http://www.amazon.com/SiliconDust-HDHom ... erun+prime
* USB Hard Drive $90: http://www.amazon.com/Book-Essential-Ex ... rds=mybook
* Plex $0: http://www.plexapp.com/
* Remote Potato $0: http://www.remotepotato.com/
* Handbrake $0: http://handbrake.fr/
* MCEBuddy$0 : http://mcebuddy2x.codeplex.com/


Total about $300 unless you have an old USB drive or computer lying around.
lumberjack
 
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Location: Owasso, OK

Re: My DVR/Media Server for Roku Setup

Postby Garp » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:02 pm

Really interesting set-up. I have ordered a Raspberry Pi to mess around with over the Xmas break, although I don't know whether it has the power to run something quite as spectacular as this. Colour me really jealous, though. Bravo!
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Re: My DVR/Media Server for Roku Setup

Postby optikhog » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:45 pm

lumberjack wrote:This works amazingly for me because I do not need to watch live TV and it removes all of my commercials. I have this computer sitting in a closet humming away.


I'm actually doing something very similar to you, but using Ceton Companion for remote admin of the WMC 'puter (which is also the family PC). Same config - Roku fed by Plex with TV sourced from compressed/cut files by MCEBuddy recorded by WMC/HDHomerun Prime (with Cablecard). Using a Phenom 3-core server with a pair of 'green' 750GB drives in it. It even goes to sleep when not busy, saving us even more $. Quite happy with it, although I think I'm going to pick up a Ceton Echo as well since the wife likes to "see what's on" and watch Live TV.

I have one of those new Simple.TV boxes as well but a) it's not quite "there" yet and it can't record cable. In an ideal world, I would cut the cable and just record broadcast but the kids/wife have their few remaining shows which they can't seem to live without. It's only a matter of time, though...
optikhog
 
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Re: My DVR/Media Server for Roku Setup

Postby wzwor » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:54 pm

lumberjack wrote:Just wanted to share my setup that I am extremely happy with. I stream TV Shows to a Roku 2 XD and a Roku HD. They typically are available on my Roku 45 minutes after they air without commercials.

Initial setup: 45 minutes
Add a DVD: 1 minute + 20 minutes of waiting
Schedule Recording: 1 minutes to add a series to be recorded. I can typically watch on the Roku 45 minutes after the show airs without commercials.


First, I love my Rokus but I have not been happy with Hulu+ because of commercials and the channel seems to become unresponsive more than any other channel I have. I tried simple.tv but ended up selling it on eBay because I didn't really like the Roku channel and $200 only gets you 1 tuner.

So I bought a SFF 2.33GHz Intel C2D refurbed Win 7 PC on eBay for $120. I'm a Mac guy but I wanted Windows Media Center. I bought a tuner off of Amazon for $80. I took a 2TB USB drive I already had and plugged that in.

Then I did this on the computer.

1. I setup 4 folders on the external drive and pointed Plex Media Server to them: Movies, Home Videos, Kid's Movies, TV Shows.
2. I used Handbrake to rip all my DVDs and put them in one of the above folders.
3. Plugged in the tuner into my router and let WMC find it.
4. With Remote Potato I setup all my TV recordings from any computer in my house. WMC has a built in FREE programming guide.
5. I setup MCEBuddy to remove commercials and transcode in a fromat for Roku. Drops the output into TV folder.
6. Plex scans for new files every 15 minutes. I also setup a bunch of Plex Channels (Hulu, Daily Show, YouTube, etc.)
7. Sit on my couch and let my shows hit the Roku every week with very little interaction


This works amazingly for me because I do not need to watch live TV and it removes all of my commercials. I have this computer sitting in a closet humming away.

Links:


* Similar computer to what I bought $120: http://www.ebay.com/itm/271095617320?ss ... 1439.l2649
* TV Tuner $80: http://www.amazon.com/SiliconDust-HDHom ... erun+prime
* USB Hard Drive $90: http://www.amazon.com/Book-Essential-Ex ... rds=mybook
* Plex $0: http://www.plexapp.com/
* Remote Potato $0: http://www.remotepotato.com/
* Handbrake $0: http://handbrake.fr/
* MCEBuddy$0 : http://mcebuddy2x.codeplex.com/


Total about $300 unless you have an old USB drive or computer lying around.

I'm going to give this a try. If it works out, I'm going to post it to my blog as a tip. Unless you'd like it attributed otherwise, I'm going to give credit to Lumberjack on forums.roku.com with a link to this post.
http://thebeersoncomcast.wordpress.com/
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Re: My DVR/Media Server for Roku Setup

Postby lumberjack » Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:18 am

optikhog, I'm going to have to try out Ceton Companion. Had never heard of that but looks pretty cool. My next goal is to reduce power consumption (external and computer power supplies add up to about 250W) but keep it under $300.


Garp wrote:Really interesting set-up. I have ordered a Raspberry Pi to mess around with over the Xmas break, although I don't know whether it has the power to run something quite as spectacular as this. Colour me really jealous, though. Bravo!


I thought about trying an RPi to just host my Plex Server. The problem is you can't transcode online content with the Linux server edition and I haven't seen anyone actually get PMS going on a Pi yet. And I worry if MythTV would ever run on a Pi.

wzwor, have at it! Link back on your blogpost so we can learn from your experience.
lumberjack
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 7:49 pm
Location: Owasso, OK

Re: My DVR/Media Server for Roku Setup

Postby wzwor » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:54 pm

http://thebeersoncomcast.wordpress.com

(it's my sig)

More about OTA than internet streaming, but streaming is a key technology for cord cutters. I'm a hobbyist (four SMP-N200s, three Roku LTs, and two Roku 2XSs plus Plex and Playon and looking at MediaPortal, Myth, and your idea). I plan to develop channels soon for local content (for the wife who lets me spend all this money on all these toys).
http://thebeersoncomcast.wordpress.com/
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Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:47 am

Re: My DVR/Media Server for Roku Setup

Postby optikhog » Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:39 am

lumberjack wrote:optikhog, I'm going to have to try out Ceton Companion. Had never heard of that but looks pretty cool. My next goal is to reduce power consumption (external and computer power supplies add up to about 250W) but keep it under $300.


I'm pretty new to the world of Ceton but their Companion product is really slick. I have the app on my phone and tablet and even have the wife using it. I've finally gotten around to connecting the kids' Xbox 360 in the basement to my WMC setup and think the Echo should do exactly what I want in that it will be supplementing my Roku's for live TV content.

lumberjack wrote:I thought about trying an RPi to just host my Plex Server. The problem is you can't transcode online content with the Linux server edition and I haven't seen anyone actually get PMS going on a Pi yet. And I worry if MythTV would ever run on a Pi.


I actually have Plex PMS installed on an Acer Revo RL70 because I wanted to save on energy bills vs. the Athlon 64 X2 server I had been using. It works surprisingly well even while transcoding and uses 18 watts peak power. It's a good compromise IMHO and according to my little power meter I'm saving >$60/year in electricity. Acer is selling refurb RL70's on ebay for $279. I added a $69 2.5" 1TB hard drive, so it's a bit over your $300 budget but the energy savings covers that IMHO.
Last edited by optikhog on Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My DVR/Media Server for Roku Setup

Postby Garp » Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:21 am

lumberjack wrote:I thought about trying an RPi to just host my Plex Server. The problem is you can't transcode online content with the Linux server edition and I haven't seen anyone actually get PMS going on a Pi yet. And I worry if MythTV would ever run on a Pi.


Yeah, I actually found that out after ordering one. :? :lol: Anyway, it looks like I can still do most of what I want through a RPi version of XBMC. Of course, my techy knowledge is severely limited, so god only knows whether I'll even be able to turn the <Force equals mass times acceleration> thing on. Fun times ahead!
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