Mac Mini HTPC Setup - HDHomeRun, Plex & OTA DVR questions - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 8 Old 10-19-2016, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
grafixguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Mac Mini HTPC Setup - HDHomeRun, Plex & OTA DVR questions

Hello all. Trolling for awhile, first post.

I am moving into a new, old house and have decided to cut the cable cord (finally!). I will be in an area where I can pull an OTA HD signal.
I have all sorts of questions about how best to set up my HTPC. Here's a rundown of what I plan to do and what I desire in my viewing system.
  • I will be pulling local OTA HD channels from an antenna.
  • I will have high-speed internet connection from Comcast.
  • I will be adding a subscription to SlingTV
  • I view some content on Netflix.
  • I have a 2010 MacMini with a BluRay player.
  • I have Plex installed on the MacMini
  • I have an Airport Extreme router.
  • I will be adding a Silcon Dust HD HomeRun device.
  • I have two HD TV's I view content on. Both can accept HDMI or Ethernet inputs. They are in separate rooms.
  • I desire to be able to timeshift live TV as well as schedule recordings from the OTA and SlingTV content (can Plex DVR do this?).
So, my first major question is, how should I best arrange all of the components?
I have included a diagram of what I think would work for what I am looking to accomplish, but as I do not currently use OTA channels, have the HD HomeRun box or subscribe to SlingTV, I don't know if this setup will do what I need.

Other questions are:
  • What should I use for a channel guide? What free and pay services are available? Does Plex include any sort of channel guide?
  • I would like to be able to use Plex DVR to record content from either the OTA signal or from SlingTV. Can this be done?
  • My thought was to use the Mac Mini's dual monitor outputs (mirrored) to drive both TV's via (long!) HDMI cables with long IR cables in each room to connect two Harmony Remotes to as well as Apple wireless keyboard/mouse. Would this work?
Hopefully I have provided ample information. Thank you in advance for your thoughts and advice.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	HTPCsetup.jpg
Views:	164
Size:	27.6 KB
ID:	1724017  
grafixguy is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 8 Old 10-19-2016, 07:23 PM
Member
 
odiest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I don't have any experience with Plex DVR, but I don't believe you can record sling tv with anything. I use EyeTV to record OTA to my mini with TV guide supplying the listing info. Sorry I couldn't be of more help with your setup. If you have any questions about my setup feel free to ask.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
odiest is online now  
post #3 of 8 Old 10-20-2016, 07:47 AM
Advanced Member
 
djb61230's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Whitesboro, NY
Posts: 522
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Liked: 64
So one mac mini to two TVs? Would that actually work? I mean wouldn't it be the same content/desktop? I never tried to do it so I don't know.

You may want to consider Apple TVs at the TVs. Use the apps for Sling, Netflix, and Plex app for content from the mac mini.

I haven't used the Plex DVR software, well because I wrote my own DVR software. It's server software that would run on the mac mini and use the HDHomerun (recommend the EXTEND model because it will encode to mpeg4 in hardware) over the network. I also wrote an Apple TV app to control the DVR server software and to watch recordings and live TV.

My DVR software requires a subscription to Schedule's Direct which is $25 a year. I do get free coupons from time to time for people who want to try out the project. Otherwise all the software is free.

I really don't promote or push my project much because I wrote it for my own purposes. And being the fact it's only me it's a lot of work to please lots of different users. But after reading your post I was thinking it could be an option for you since you are just now trying to put a system together.

http://www.jflicks.org and calling it j4cc (jflicks for cord cutters).

As for recording Sling TV - there isn't an easy way to do it as far as I know. I mean I don't think there is any project that supports doing it.
djb61230 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 8 Old 10-20-2016, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
grafixguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks for the feedback odiest and djb61230. I know to stop chasing a way to record SlingTV content.

djb61230 - Yes, one Mac Mini delivering the same content to two TVs in different rooms. I'm the only person in the house. Just looking for a way to be able to have the same content in my living room and bedroom. I'd prefer not to add other devices such as Apple TV or Roku.
grafixguy is offline  
post #5 of 8 Old 10-26-2016, 09:51 AM
Member
 
Phillie14586's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 134
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 10
If you are using Plex then do either of your TVs have a plex app? Going that route you can use Ethernet instead of HDMI. I am running a 100' HDMI in my setup but that is outside of the standard but does work. If you are staying with the HDMI route I prefer Kodi over Plex. I use EyeTV to record with a $20 subscription to TVGuide for the listing.
Phillie14586 is offline  
post #6 of 8 Old 10-26-2016, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
grafixguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillie14586 View Post
If you are using Plex then do either of your TVs have a plex app? Going that route you can use Ethernet instead of HDMI. I am running a 100' HDMI in my setup but that is outside of the standard but does work. If you are staying with the HDMI route I prefer Kodi over Plex. I use EyeTV to record with a $20 subscription to TVGuide for the listing.
Phillie4586 - I know for certain that the 55" Pano can accept Ethernet connection and can run Plex app. The 42" Vizio can accept Ethernet, but not sure about the app.
My plan was to just split the content at the Mac Mini and deliver the exact same content to both TVs via HDMI. TVs do not need to be able to tune to separate channels as they won't be watched simultaneously.
Is EyeTV still available? I thought that they sold or shut down operations.
grafixguy is offline  
post #7 of 8 Old 10-26-2016, 11:41 AM
Member
 
Phillie14586's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 134
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Yes El Gato sold EyeTV but the new owners are supporting it. Here is a link to purchase. I did notice this is a European store but it is the same thing all of us in the US are using. You can do all your recording and watching from EyeTV if you want. Kodi and Plex just give you a better coach based interface.

The only reason I asked about the Plex apps on the TV is you mentioned the HDMI cables would be long. I do notice some increased brightness using a shorter cable but I am not supper picky, my TV sits next to a big picture window not in a dark basement. I am also not sure you can use the apps with out paying their fee anyways. I have not tried to use Plex to record but if it does have that option now I would not be surprised if they charged for that. Do note that if you use Kodi or Plex with EyeTV you do need the applescript to change the file names to comply with database scraping. I can easily get that to you if you go that route.

You should be fine running mirrored displays. I run mine as an extended display only so someone can be watching TV while someone else is working on the computer.

http://shop-en.geniatech.eu/category/software/
Phillie14586 is offline  
post #8 of 8 Old 10-26-2016, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
grafixguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillie14586 View Post
Yes El Gato sold EyeTV but the new owners are supporting it. Here is a link to purchase. I did notice this is a European store but it is the same thing all of us in the US are using. You can do all your recording and watching from EyeTV if you want. Kodi and Plex just give you a better coach based interface.

The only reason I asked about the Plex apps on the TV is you mentioned the HDMI cables would be long. I do notice some increased brightness using a shorter cable but I am not supper picky, my TV sits next to a big picture window not in a dark basement. I am also not sure you can use the apps with out paying their fee anyways. I have not tried to use Plex to record but if it does have that option now I would not be surprised if they charged for that. Do note that if you use Kodi or Plex with EyeTV you do need the applescript to change the file names to comply with database scraping. I can easily get that to you if you go that route.

You should be fine running mirrored displays. I run mine as an extended display only so someone can be watching TV while someone else is working on the computer.

http://shop-en.geniatech.eu/category/software/
The long HDMI cable run will be about 30'.
Thanks for update on EyeTV.
Been a long time since I messed around with AppleScript - good old days!
grafixguy is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply HTPC - Mac Chat

Tags
mac mini hdhomerun plex ota

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off