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post #1 of 24 Old 08-16-2014, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Alternative OTA DVR software?

I'm interested in a good alternative to MCE for recording OTA programming. I currently use MCE but the output obviously isn't non-Windows device friendly.

I've tried MCE Buddy, but it's hit or miss. Are there any solid alternatives? I don't mind spending a week or two configuring as long as the daily operation remains stable.

I want an output that is Plex friendly, since I have Plex for my Android devices.

Any suggestions? Or should I work on configuring the kinks out of MCE Buddy?

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post #2 of 24 Old 08-16-2014, 11:16 AM
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NextPVR and MediaPortal are two that spring to mind, along with JRiver. The only problem might be copy-protected content - but it depends how you receive your TV.
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post #3 of 24 Old 08-16-2014, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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It would be entirely OTA, so no copy-protection.

Once it is recorded I am interested in migrating the recordings to my file server.

Do any of the options you listed name the file in a convention Plex can recognize? (S01E10 for example.)

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post #4 of 24 Old 08-16-2014, 11:47 AM
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MediaPortal records .ts files of a filename you determine. Series and Episode numbers are not a part of the recording, they're a function of the EPG you use. Schedules Direct provides EPG for $25/year, combined w/MediaPortal would work. Personally, I use MC2XML for a free EPG and Episode Scanner to retrieve episode data from TVDB (not to mention the TV-Series plug-in which also catalogs my series grabbing data from TVDB). I do no Plex.
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post #5 of 24 Old 08-16-2014, 02:04 PM
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I used to use BeyondTV for recording OTA channels and it worked great. The only reason I switched to WMC was to use the Ceton InfiniTV 4. BeyondTV is no longer sold, but you might find a copy for sale on ebay or in the Snapstream forums. Thye good news is that Snapstream continues to provide guide data for BTV, as indicated here:

http://www.snapstream.com/goodbye_beyondtv/
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post #6 of 24 Old 08-16-2014, 02:59 PM
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If you're willing to give WMC a chance, Remote Potato works rather well for mobile streaming.
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post #7 of 24 Old 08-19-2014, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrZoid View Post
I'm interested in a good alternative to MCE for recording OTA programming. I currently use MCE but the output obviously isn't non-Windows device friendly.

I've tried MCE Buddy, but it's hit or miss. Are there any solid alternatives? I don't mind spending a week or two configuring as long as the daily operation remains stable.

I want an output that is Plex friendly, since I have Plex for my Android devices.

Any suggestions? Or should I work on configuring the kinks out of MCE Buddy?

Mr Zoid
What are you wanting out of MCE Buddy?

I use it and it works well. I have it set to convert/remove commercials and copy to my server. I have one rule setup for our programs and one for my kids. They each go to a different folder on my server. I have them convert to mkv.

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post #8 of 24 Old 08-19-2014, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
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The rule I had set up previously was not working with my Android devices. I had set it to output the file as MPEG2 and remove commercials.

The Android devices would stutter, and on my desktop systems the audio was out of sync.

I tried on my desktop converting a file to MKV High and it worked okay.

The only issue is that even on my i7-2600K the conversion took a long period of time for an hour long program.

Worried that if I move to record all network primetime shows we watch the system will never fully catch up.

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post #9 of 24 Old 08-19-2014, 09:18 AM
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JRiver is worth a look. It does produce a better image than WMC can due to its use of LAV filters for live TV and recorded TV playback. It is cheap and it is has its own server built in. The Guide is a bit wonky but it is usable especially if you are dealing with the hundreds of guide listings you would have with combined OTA and Cable together. It works with a WMC remote.

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post #10 of 24 Old 08-19-2014, 04:58 PM
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Argus TV is another option. Has an absolutely awesome scheduler. Isn't as well documented as some of the others. It can control the MediaPortal TV server if you don't want to use the Argus recorder.

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post #11 of 24 Old 08-20-2014, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Will JRiver name recordings as something Plex can recognize?

Not all of my playback devices are Windows systems. In fact only one is. Otherwise they are 6 Android devices and a ROKU 3.

That's one reason plain jane MCE doesn't fit my needs. That and the audio bug when HD audio bitstreaming is set.

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post #12 of 24 Old 08-23-2014, 11:59 AM
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It's not there yet, but ServerWMC is *so close* to really giving you what you are looking for IMO

Well, serverwmc and mb3 that is . . . If you run serverwmc alongside your WMC setup on your MB3 server then you can have all of your WMC recordings (assuming they are shared) available in MB3

They wouldn't show up under your TV Shows library, but under live tv instead. Here is a shot of my live tv recordings library (I only have 2 recordings as I don't keep them very long)



Apparently (I didn't know this until last week) the Roku MB3 app already does this

It works well through the browser interface (especially locally)

It's also coming to Android, but it's quite tough to say when that will ever come to fruition http://mediabrowser.tv/community/ind...e-tv/?p=104215

As for the good ol x86 box, you can also view everything directly within XBMCs recordings area of live tv
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post #13 of 24 Old 08-23-2014, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kesawi View Post
Argus TV is another option. Has an absolutely awesome scheduler. Isn't as well documented as some of the others. It can control the MediaPortal TV server if you don't want to use the Argus recorder.
I just wish Argus TV wasn't such a pain to install. And there doesn't seem to be any good tutorials for MediaPortal.
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post #14 of 24 Old 08-23-2014, 11:57 PM
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Honestly. I've tried everything and nothing beats Windows Media Center in terms of UI, simplicity, and functionality. If you badly need to play the recordered files on something else, I'd just set up a program to automatically convert them.
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post #15 of 24 Old 08-24-2014, 08:43 AM
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Honestly. I've tried everything and nothing beats Windows Media Center in terms of UI, simplicity, and functionality. If you badly need to play the recordered files on something else, I'd just set up a program to automatically convert them.
I disagree in that IMO just about every other front end beats its UI (except maybe jriver) and they all beat its functionality. Its only claim to fame is really copy-once cable, but this is an OTA thread. With copy-free cable and OTA, ServerWMC is the best possible solution. It leverages the robust tuner management, recording management, and guide data from WMC and ties into XBMC or MB3. The only downside (if considered that) is that you end up running a windows server, though with wake/sleep you could with some effort just run it on any available WMC box and have it wake when needed

Also, wtv wrapped mpeg2 video with ac3 or aac audio plays back without any conversion necessary in mpc-hc, xbmc, etc
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post #16 of 24 Old 08-24-2014, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post
I disagree in that IMO just about every other front end beats its UI (except maybe jriver) and they all beat its functionality. Its only claim to fame is really copy-once cable, but this is an OTA thread. With copy-free cable and OTA, ServerWMC is the best possible solution. It leverages the robust tuner management, recording management, and guide data from WMC and ties into XBMC or MB3. The only downside (if considered that) is that you end up running a windows server, though with wake/sleep you could with some effort just run it on any available WMC box and have it wake when needed

Also, wtv wrapped mpeg2 video with ac3 or aac audio plays back without any conversion necessary in mpc-hc, xbmc, etc
Well we'll about to agree to disagree about that. Especially if you're looking for an extender. My Xbox 360 would be useless to me right now if I could not use it as an extender for WMC OTA.
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post #17 of 24 Old 08-24-2014, 07:14 PM
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Well we'll about to agree to disagree about that. Especially if you're looking for an extender. My Xbox 360 would be useless to me right now if I could not use it as an extender for WMC OTA.
I'm not sure what that has to do with the functionality of WMC or UI, but from my perspective an OTA extender would be totally useless to me anyway. If that was all I could really do with it an ota antenna plugged into the tv would nearly suffice. I never went the extender route since they were always limited on playback of full bitrate rips, but today there are ways around that which cost less and use less power better than the extender model. If there was a truly capable extender in existence, I would have probably gone that route to begin with and been on your side of the argument
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post #18 of 24 Old 08-24-2014, 09:04 PM
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I'm not sure what that has to do with the functionality of WMC or UI, but from my perspective an OTA extender would be totally useless to me anyway. If that was all I could really do with it an ota antenna plugged into the tv would nearly suffice. I never went the extender route since they were always limited on playback of full bitrate rips, but today there are ways around that which cost less and use less power better than the extender model. If there was a truly capable extender in existence, I would have probably gone that route to begin with and been on your side of the argument
I'm just saying it's extremely cheap and simple to get OTA DVR functionality with WMC. And with an Xbox 360 (which can be had ridiculously cheap nowadays), playing back recorded content, or watching live tv somewhere else in the house is as plug and play as it gets.

Setting up Argus TV or MediaPortal is a lot more complicated and frustrating in my opinion.
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post #19 of 24 Old 08-24-2014, 09:06 PM
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I used ArgusTV for a long time. It's a royal pain to get setup, and you still have to have something to use as a front end to actually organize and play stuff (I used XBMC). There is an external tool (I've totally blanked on the name) that will rename the recordings to XBMC standard Series.SxxExx.Title.ts, and I think that would work with Plex too.

ArgusTV just crapped out on me one day though and wouldn't recognize any of my tuners anymore, so I switched to NextPVR. NextPVR is easier to setup, but the documentation is only marginally better. There is an external tool for that called ImageGrabLite that will rename stuff to the XBMC standard. I've never used the front end of it, as I still use XBMC for that.
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post #20 of 24 Old 08-29-2014, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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What I was afraid has indeed occurred. I fired up a game on my i7-2600K, and the performance was bad. After quitting the game I looked to see what was wrong, and my CPU is pegged at 100%. I had set a job to remove commercials and convert to .MKV some recorded files. Specifically 4 recorded files. This job started at 2:00 AM! It is now 4:58 PM, and it's on the third file.

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post #21 of 24 Old 08-29-2014, 05:35 PM
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I haven't had any solid experiences with comskip. Just not worth it to me, I just press the right arrow on my remote in xbmc and blow through commercials 30s at a time

Did you look into mediabrowser / xbmc?

Which android devices are you using? Phones/Tablets only or STB as well?
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post #22 of 24 Old 08-29-2014, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
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At this time, phones/tablets. Thinking about Android TV or Amazon Fire TV in the future. I have a ROKU 3 if that counts, but I don't use it often right now.

I might just stick it back at MPEG2, no commercial skip. That should just be stripping out the meta data. I'm not really hurting for space on my server. I have terabytes left at this time.

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post #23 of 24 Old 08-29-2014, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Did you look into mediabrowser / xbmc?
I've used MB2/3 before, but I prefer Plex theses days. I've toyed around with XBMC but never cared much for it.

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post #24 of 24 Old 08-30-2014, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I did a little investigating earlier, and I think when the new MCEBuddy is released to the general public it will help with my situation by offering hardware accelerated conversions.

I just don't think the program is robust to spend money on at this time.

Maybe if it could monitoring shares for new episodes and write to a share when finished converting.

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