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post #19531 of 19539 Old 01-10-2020, 10:09 AM
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I cant speak to in depth details for the Emby recording; I do basic recordings OTA for series I like. I cut the cable cord in 2009 and mostly use Emby to record/watch OTA plus play my movie library which is ripped from Blu-rays. I stream a lot more now as the quality has improved, or just wait until whole seasons are on Blu-ray, so my reliance on broadcast TV is now almost nil.

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post #19532 of 19539 Old 01-10-2020, 11:38 AM
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I cant speak to in depth details for the Emby recording; I do basic recordings OTA for series I like. I cut the cable cord in 2009 and mostly use Emby to record/watch OTA plus play my movie library which is ripped from Blu-rays. I stream a lot more now as the quality has improved, or just wait until whole seasons are on Blu-ray, so my reliance on broadcast TV is now almost nil.
What we're asking about is honestly pretty basic DVR functions, but it's amazing how often companies leave out such functionality. Bonus points would be received if Emby can be told to record all new games for a given sports team, something that some DVR's (Tivo, I believe) can do. You just pick a sport, then the team, and the DVR picks up all the games for you. This (or keyword searches that work) is important for me because I never watch sports live - I almost always wait until about 45 minutes after the start time so I can skip intermissions and commercial breaks and finish the game just about caught up to live. I'll try to take a look at Emby over the weekend. My brother and I started looking at Plex and TVHeadEnd, but they both had showstopper limitations (I already mentioned the Plex issues and TVHeadEnd doesn't support CableCard tuners without a TON of effort on the user's part).
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post #19533 of 19539 Old 01-10-2020, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Kenshiro 26 View Post
If Emby can do all this I'll consider moving to Windows 10 and using it.

If you want to hold to WMC a little longer, another option is Windows 8.1, which won't lose support from Microsoft until 2023.
Wasn't WMC a paid add-on in Windows 8.1? If so, is it still available for purchase or (legal) download? Even though I suspect my Windows 7 system will continue to work fine for now as is, I wouldn't be against upgrading to 8.1 if I could do so without running into any issues since it would add a few more years of update support.
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post #19534 of 19539 Old 01-10-2020, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by gsr View Post
What we're asking about is honestly pretty basic DVR functions, but it's amazing how often companies leave out such functionality. Bonus points would be received if Emby can be told to record all new games for a given sports team, something that some DVR's (Tivo, I believe) can do. You just pick a sport, then the team, and the DVR picks up all the games for you. This (or keyword searches that work) is important for me because I never watch sports live - I almost always wait until about 45 minutes after the start time so I can skip intermissions and commercial breaks and finish the game just about caught up to live. I'll try to take a look at Emby over the weekend. My brother and I started looking at Plex and TVHeadEnd, but they both had showstopper limitations (I already mentioned the Plex issues and TVHeadEnd doesn't support CableCard tuners without a TON of effort on the user's part).
When I switched from Directv back to cable I looked at Emby as a recording engine (I currently use it as a media backend on my server), the big limitation I found is the lack of ability to do keyword recording such as you mentioned. I believe it is on the list for future development though.

The only DVR software I found so far that functions as close to my experience with Directv was Channels DVR. It's not free costing $8 per month or $80 per year but that does cover guide data, which so far seems to be of high quality. The developers seem to be very active and responsive.

So far I like it.
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post #19535 of 19539 Old 01-10-2020, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Guebert View Post
The only DVR software I found so far that functions as close to my experience with Directv was Channels DVR. It's not free costing $8 per month or $80 per year but that does cover guide data, which so far seems to be of high quality. The developers seem to be very active and responsive.

So far I like it.
Thanks - I'll take a look at it. As much as I am very happy with how WMC works, it would be nice to move on to a current OS and software with support.
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post #19536 of 19539 Old 01-10-2020, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by gsr View Post
Wasn't WMC a paid add-on in Windows 8.1? If so, is it still available for purchase or (legal) download? Even though I suspect my Windows 7 system will continue to work fine for now as is, I wouldn't be against upgrading to 8.1 if I could do so without running into any issues since it would add a few more years of update support.
I'm not sure, I do know you need an 8.1 Pro license to use Windows Media Center within 8.1, I never used 8.1 for very long though so I haven't really researched the topic, I upgraded to Windows 10 shortly after installing 8.1 initially in my gaming PC.

For my HTPC / Media Server I'm sticking with Win 7 and my cablecard for as long as possible. Using EPG123 and SchedulesDirect for guide updates.

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post #19537 of 19539 Old 01-13-2020, 09:10 AM
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I'll certainly take a look at Emby, but does it truly have DVR feature parity with WMC (other than support for DRM channels such as HBO)? Some specifics:


  • Support for both OTA and CableCard tuners simultaneously.
  • Support for series recordings with the ability to exclude repeat episodes
  • Support for keyword recordings so you can have it record all shows with something like "NHL Boston Bruins at" in the name or "Robert De Niro" in the actor list?

I had looked at Plex and it's missing simultaneous support for multiple tuner types (there's a way to make it work, but it's sort of hacky) and doesn't have keyword searching.

JRiver Media Center is a great alternative to WMC that supports all the above and much more - the recording rules they've implemented are extremely flexible and they support multiple tuner types simultaneously. The only real issue is that their recording engine doesn't run as a separate process from the UI, so if the UI crashes (and it does from time to time), it brings the recording engine down with it. The folks at JRiver don't seem to get the significance of this issue and have been unwilling to split the recording engine into a separate service. The other issue with JRiver is that the user interface and configuration is overly complicated, but after initial setup has been done it's not a huge negative and is a plus in some respects because it's super configurable. JRiver also appears to be a viable business that should continue to exist for a while.


Emby can do all that except I believe key word recording. I've never seen a DVR do that, since they usually record through the drive.

I know you can of course record sports. So that might help you in that area. I haven't tried to get all games from a certain team.

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post #19538 of 19539 Old 01-13-2020, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post
Emby can do all that except I believe key word recording. I've never seen a DVR do that, since they usually record through the drive.

I know you can of course record sports. So that might help you in that area. I haven't tried to get all games from a certain team.
Every decent DVR I've ever used, including Windows Media Center and JRiver Media Center, supports keyword searches for recording. I have no idea what you mean by "they usually record through the drive".

For keyword searches, there are various degrees of support, but the better implementations (such as JRiver) allow you to specify a list of criteria such as something along the lines of this:

Code:
Title contains 'NHL Hockey' 
AND
SubTitle contains 'Boston Bruins'
AND
Duration > 120 minutes
AND
Channel is one of (7.1, 576, 578)
The Title and Subtitle restrict the list to Bruins hockey games, the Duration eliminates 2 hour replay broadcasts, and the Channel list eliminates full length replays of games on the NHL Network. These options obviously go beyond simple keyword searching (which would be the Title and Subtitle portions, but could be extended to things like searching the Actor list or any other text field in the EPG data), but demonstrate some of the flexibility that some DVR's offer.

Windows Media Center keyword searches aren't quite that flexible (channel can only be restricted to 1 channel or all channels), but work well enough.

If Emby doesn't have keyword searches, then it's probably a waste of time for me to even try it out. Sporting events are just one good example of where keyword searches would be used.

Plex doesn't have keyword searches and from what I've seen also doesn't have a feature where you can tell it to record all games for a sports team.

I experimented with NextPVR (on Windows and my brother is experimenting with the Docker version) over the weekend are here are some initial findings:

- The setup process is an abomination in both Windows and Docker
- When scrolling through the channel list to restrict a recording to a specific channel, you get the call sign, but no the channel number which makes it difficult to know where you are in the list of channels
- The overall UI is very dated
- It can integrate with other UI's, such as Kodi, but the integration is FAR from ideal (all channel numbers are lost, for example)

The bottom line is that NextPVR doesn't look like a good option to me.

Mark suggested Channels DVR, but they don't have an evaluation option. It sounds like one can get a refund if unhappy with it, so it may still be worth evaluating.
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post #19539 of 19539 Old 01-13-2020, 11:52 AM
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Last time I looked, Emby supported its own PVR functions and also allowed plugins like Next for example. Presumably still the case. The Emby forum would be able to give feedback on which option on the platform might be best for this need.

I used to be a big PVR guy but broadcast TV is becoming less and less relevant to me, and I'm not into sports, so many use cases now are outside my focus.

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