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PVR software

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,477
545
126
Hello,

I wanted to ask you guys your thoughts on some good PVR software. I've got a network-based Silicon Dust HDHomeRun Dual that I want to primarily use to record network TV shows in hi-definition. The requirement is that the software must run in a virtual machine. Here are some I've tried so far:

1. BeyondTV -- I've always been a big fan of BeyondTV and used it exclusively when I had a dedicated HTPC. I've had some issues with it in a VM. Admittedly, I haven't spent much time trying to work through those issues, so they may not be too hard to resolve.

2. NextPVR -- NextPVR seems to work OK but seems particularly buggy. For example, I was able to get the electronic program guide working and I scheduled the software to record Cosmos every Sunday from 9:00 to 10:00 PM. For whatever reason, the first instance of the series was fine and all others were recording from 10 to 11 for whatever reason. Additionally, I manually scheduled the next couple of recordings for Cosmos and both times, they ended up in Failed status even before the show aired. I haven't really done any research on these issues yet, so maybe they're easy to fix and this is the best solution.

3. I'm not enamored of Media Center. I tried it but I think it seems to have too many limitations.

Any suggestions? The main requirements for me are:

1. Must run in a VM (VM will run on Hyper-V 2012 R2).
2. Must support electronic program guide.
3. Must have web interface where we can schedule recordings.
4. The software does not have to be free, BUT it must have a trial version at a minimum with full functionality so I can make sure it meets my needs.

Maybe running in a VM is too much to ask for some of these packages, but I would think it wouldn't be a big deal.

Thanks
 
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Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
I haven't tried Media Center in a VM, and it's last in your list, but it seems like the easiest and possibly the best choice. The remote potato server gives you the ability to program via website or android or iphone app (e.g. http://myfrem.nl/apps.html), and the guide works without hassles. In my experience, the limitations of Media Center are mostly related to codecs, not off-air programming.
 

Elixer

Lifer
May 7, 2002
10,378
763
126
I haven't used NPVR in a VM, but, I do use it with my Homerun prime (no cablecard).
I haven't run into any issues, but, I don't use the guide to schedule repeated runs, since, I had issues with that as well. Now, I just select quick record, and be done with it.

MythTV will also work...

Also, if you don't want to use NPVR, you could talk to the homerun via hdhomerun_config.exe and record from that. It will dump a .ts file for you.
Then, you can just use a simple cron job to get your weekly program to record.
 

bradly1101

Diamond Member
May 5, 2013
4,690
293
126
www.bradlygsmith.org
With MC I use a combination of Remote Media Center (for streaming) and My Media Center (for guide and scheduling) because RMC doesn't allow searching the guide.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,460
920
126
Nobody mentioned SageTV, and I assume they're still selling their software with new revisions. Just like BeyondTV, it had a lot of the features of Media Center.

Except for the HDCP restrictions imposed on us by the Jack-Valenti-Media-Nazis, I don't see anything limiting about MC. Some other programs integrate into the main MC menu.

I was even pleased the other day, thinking I needed a bigger HDD dedicated to the Media Center buffer and storage of recorded programs. But I have a Windows Home Server 2011, and Media Center simply guided me to archive a lot of that recorded material to the server, which has plenty of space.

I've learned over a long time that "simple is best." If you can get what you want with a component bundled with Windows, why complicate things with alternative software?

But I wouldn't know about how these options behave with VM.
 

Linflas

Lifer
Jan 30, 2001
15,388
73
91
I've kind of given up on making my HTPC a PVR. I hate having to deal with IR blasters to change the channels etc on my DTV boxes so I just ended up going with DTV's whole home DVR and manually dump down the HD recordings I want to keep onto my Plex server using a Hauppauge Colossus hooked into one of the DTV boxes. Odlly enough this is something that was actually much easier with DTV in the standard def days because I could control the DTV box via a serial connection to change the channels and record stuff much like a modern PVR.
 

pkscout

Junior Member
Aug 30, 2012
24
0
0
Nobody mentioned SageTV, and I assume they're still selling their software with new revisions.
Nope. It's dead as a commercial product. The only way to get anything SageTV like is if you have Google Fiber and their TV product.

I'm using ArgusTV. It's scheduling engine is very powerful, and it has a nice web interface for scheduling recordings and getting status. That said, there are some drawbacks. It's Windows only, there is no playback or cataloging mechanism (I use XBMC as a front end for it), and it can be a little daunting to setup.
 
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IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,477
545
126
UPDATE: I've been toying with BeyondTV on my older Windows Server 2012 R2 physical server box with a Hauppage 2250 installed internally and a HDHomeRun Dual network tuner. The 2250 generally seems to work fine in standard def (haven't configured QAM yet). I am having a hell of a time getting the HDHomeRun configured and working correctly. I'm probably going to install NextPVR next and give a shot with it, because it was a breeze to configure the HDHomeRun on it.

I still think BeyondTV is the best overall but without support and updates, it may just be too big of a hassle to mess with.
 

Rio Rebel

Administrator Emeritus<br>Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
5,195
0
0
When you figure all this out and have the perfect system, come share your findings with me. I live in Fishers.

;)
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,477
545
126
UPDATE: I installed the BDA drivers on my older Windows 2012 R2 server, installed an HVR-2250, and have NextPVR recording from the HVR-2250 and the network-based HDHomeRun Dual with no issues. There is also a Plex package available which lets me connect and watch the recorded shows using my Roku devices throughout the house. It works pretty well.

I gave up on using BeyondTV since it is no longer supported and also gave up on the VM idea since I wanted to incorporate the HVR-2250.
 

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
4
81
Did you try WMC? Your OP stated a reluctance to using it, but if it works well in the VM, it may be the best bet. You can also use WMC as the back end only, and use XBMC, Plex, or Media Browser as the front end (via other PC's or Roku).
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,477
545
126
Did you try WMC? Your OP stated a reluctance to using it, but if it works well in the VM, it may be the best bet. You can also use WMC as the back end only, and use XBMC, Plex, or Media Browser as the front end (via other PC's or Roku).
I used WMC for a year or two before I had my Plex environment and even bought one of the DVD library plugins for it. It was OK but even then, I still used BeyondTV for recording duties because it was simply better.

I really don't require a VM any longer, ar least until Hyper V supports PCI pass through.
 

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