Our range of DVBLink products for NAS, PC and Raspberry Pi platforms offers everything you need to enjoy your favorite Satellite (DVB-S/S2), Cable (DVB-C and QAM), Terrestrial (DVB-T/T2 and ATSC), IPTV and Analog TV channels and recordings within your home network and on the go!
- Record your favorite TV programs in original quality directly to the local hard disk of your NAS, PC or Raspberry Pi
- Watch live and recorded TV, browse EPG, manage timer recordings on the home network or while you are on the go using free DVBLink apps for iOS and Android mobile devices and feature-rich web interface
- Access live and recorded TV content within your home network with DLNA clients
- Watch live and recorded TV in XBMC running on Windows, Linux, Mac or embedded platforms
- Stream live and recorded TV to PCs, running Windows MediaCenter
- Get the most complete program information for your TV channels and personalised TV recommendations with DVBLink TV Adviser products
I have run across this product on several occasions but never gave it as much as a passing thought.
A while back it came up in a thread and I went ahead and gave it a look. I installed it (as a look see) and on the surface it appeared to work great. Now I have installed it on another NAS and I'm actually seeing if it could replace WMC. Now I know it could from the little testing I have done using Kodi on the client side.
Rather I'm trying to find out exactly how many gotchas there are compared to WMC. I'm guessing too many that I won't switch but I have an open mind and I'm willing to see if it's possible. The one issue I have is to really test it I need to dedicated all four of my tuners to it to see how it handles time overlaps, conflict resolution and all of the little things that make DVRing hands free. Not a VCR.
I'm not willing to sacrifice all of my scheduled recordings (via WMC) to see how it handles all of these issues. However I have it up and running with all four tuners and I'll play around as much as I can. With this in mind I'm wondering if anyone is using it and what is their experience? I'm going to do some serious "Googling" into the various items but starting a thread here can be helpful.
I'll update the post if and when I learn about the little pictures.
You can rely on OTA data which may or may not be successful based on your location. In my case I'll use Perc Data. It's installed via the DVBLink Server. To map your channels go to Sources - EPG sources and click on PercData add. It will link to creating an account (7 day trial available). Once the account is setup and you have selected your Lineup go to Channels - EPG sources - and select Perc Data under available EPG sources. Then simply match your channels and you are done.
Items of note:
- Don't let the fact this is NAS based scare you off. You can purchase a ReadyNAS with more than enough power for under a hundred dollars (if you catch a good sale). And the installation of DVBLink is 100% browser based. You don't need to know SSH, vi or even know how to spell geek.
- If you select live TV or recordings and they don't play you might try using authorization. I used the same username/password as my NAS' admin account. You enter this under DVBLink Configurations - Settings. Be sure to enter the same credentials in the DVBLink Add-on under General. It's probably not required but can't hurt. I was using a Beta copy of Kodi at the time and ended up installing the current release and all was fine. At a later date I installed Beta (15.x) and worked this time without issue.
- Back to back recordings on the same channel - With a start time of one minute before and five minutes after if you schedule back to back recordings on the same channel it appears to truncate the first recording by not recording the additional five minutes. The second recording doesn't record the one minute before. So the first recording gets one minute added to the beginning and the second five minutes at the end. Note: if there is a free tuner DVBLink record the overlap time in both recordings.
- New episodes - This features is based on shows that have already been recorded and or deleted. Versus a new flag in the guide data. My understanding is it will record repeats if you haven't already recorded or deleted it previously. I haven't tested this feature yet and if I'm wrong please let me know!
- Kodi - Client for viewing and managing your installation
- OpenELEC - Self-contained Linux OS with Kodi
- Titan MediaBrowser - Favorite Kodi skin
- My NAS is configured to power on at 6 pm and power off at 2 am. The clients use WoL (Wake on LAN) for access during off hours
I stopped using WMC a while back after roughly three years and began DVBLinking. Reliability has been 100%. Bottom line I gave up some recording intelligence and gained the ability to record OTA without using a PC.
Up front this wouldn't be my first generic recommendation. That would probably be TiVo or WMC. However it just might be the perfect recommendation if you happen to fall into the growing niche of NAS users who have cut the cord. If you fit into this group (and perhaps a few others) I highly recommend the solution.
- QNAP HS-210 (low-end NAS) - DVBLink requires very little horsepower - handles four concurrent recordings while streaming to two clients
- DVBLink TV Source and EPG Loader for PercData - 45 euros via Paypal
- PercData - 30 dollars annually
- Kodi/OpenELEC - Dell PC (J1800) - Titan MediaBrowser (remote configured)
- Kodi/OpenELEC - HP Chromebox (Celeron) - Titan MediaBrowser (remote configured)
- Kodi/Windows 8.1 - Dell PC (i3) - Titan MediaBrowser (mouse configured)
- HDHomeRun OTA Tuners - two network based units for a total of four tuners
I had a few concerns when I began testing. First and foremost how reliable is it in handling recordings. This has proven to be a non issue. As it simply records what's scheduled and being self-contained it isn't affected by my viewing clients in any manner.
Next was the user interface. I had my doubts as I have in the past casually used Kodi with ServerWMC and never felt comfortable. This was addressed with the suggestion of trying the Titan MediaBrowser skin. It required a couple hours of configuring but afterwards it made all of the difference in the world. I went from being uncomfortable to preferring it over WMC... quite the transformation.
Last was its ability to handle scheduling of series such as first run, repeats and all of the intelligence that makes a DVR far superior to a VCR. Unfortunately I found this aspect lacking to a degree. Some of it is DVBLink's approach versus WMC and some is it's not as sophisticated. Details are discussed throughout this thread. However it wasn't enough of a drawback to stop me from switching as to a large degree I was ready for a change and I am gaining a few things to offset my few "losses"
After several weeks I have no regrets and I find the ability to do maintenance in my browser (although a little slow) very handy. Especially since the Kodi Add-on lacks a few features and you are required to use DVBLink at times.
I would recommend anyone in the club (NAS and recording OTA) to give it a try. Free trials are available for DVBLink and the guide data. Installation is extremely easy. In a few hours you'll have a pretty good understanding of what's possible and more than likely be fairly impressed.
I just installed a ReadyNAS from scratch. Installing the OS, configuring the NAS, installing and configuring MySQL (for Kodi database libraries) and finally installing the two DVBLink apps took well less than an hour. Now I made a backup of DVBLink's configuration (Source and Channel data) from the QNAP of which I restored and instantly DVBLink was ready to roll. I just need to schedule recordings and such. If you don't have a backup I'd guess another hour for fighting your way there the various screens. If it's your first time playing with a NAS I'd say half to a full day of tweak time for the NAS and DVBLink with a couple of what the heck moments... of which I'm sure I can almost help.
The ReadyNAS has a much more powerful CPU (although it's a much older model) and the DVBLink browser pages fly by compared to the "lowly" QNAP model.