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71 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 86727 12-Jul-2011 17:26
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Introduction
I'm looking for a way to record Freeview TV shows to our home server such that the recordings can be played back on other computers/TV's. I'm sure someone here has a similar set up so I would be really thankful if anyone could point me in the right direction. 

Issues


  • I've read that most TV Tuner cards require a graphics card capable of x264 acceleration. My home server has integrated 760G graphics on the motherboard which does not support x264 acceleration. Will this be a problem? I only want to record Freeview on the server, not watch it.
     

  • Assuming I manage to record Freeview to the server, what's the best way to automate the recording of certain shows? The family mainly wants the soaps...


  • Once there is recorded content on the server, how do I stream it to the netbooks/TVs? I'll probably need to get a pair of Western Digital TV Live boxes for the two TV's in the house. From the research I've done it looks like I will have to transcode the recorded Freeview content to a supported format such as MPEG or Xvid.



Home Network


  • Gigabit Ethernet to most rooms

  • 802.11G wireless

  • 1 Desktop PC

  • 3 Netbooks

  • 2 Newish LCD TVs (don't support DLNA unfortunately)

  • pFsense router running on an Alix 2D3

  • Home Server


Home Server Specs (Headless)


  • Asus M4A78LT-M Motherboard

  • 2GB Ram

  • AMD x255 3.1ghz processor 

  • 4TB hard drive space

  • 1 Intel Desktop Gigabit Network Card

  • OS: Windows Home Server
     


Thanks in advance for any help.

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  Reply # 492585 12-Jul-2011 18:21
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What type of Freeview do you want to record?

DVB-S (satellite) is already in MPEG2 format, and has a lower data rate, so takes up less space, and less strain on the network. Downside, standard def only.

DVB-T (UHF) requires high spec graphics cards to decode, has a higher data rate, but some channels are high def.

If you go the DVB-S route, there are linux based satellite recievers that will mount a network share and record to it for under $100. Alternatively, you could look at sticking one or more DVB-S or T cards in your server, and using that to do the recording...



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Master Geek


  Reply # 492587 12-Jul-2011 18:31
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Thanks RunningMan. I hadn't really thought about what whether to go with DVB-S or DVD-T. Our house has both hooked up in separate coax lines. This project is mainly for other family members who don't want to miss out on certain soaps... and now that Orcon is not zero rating TVNZ on Demand I suppose I could use it for docos as well.

If I went with DVB-S could you link to the devices that could record to network shares? That would be ideal.

Hard drive space or network congestion isn't too much of a consideration but the high spec graphics cards might be. Would something like a WD TV Live be able to play the recorded DVD-T streams? If not I will definitely go with DVB-S.

Thanks for your reply.

RunningMan: What type of Freeview do you want to record?

DVB-S (satellite) is already in MPEG2 format, and has a lower data rate, so takes up less space, and less strain on the network. Downside, standard def only.

DVB-T (UHF) requires high spec graphics cards to decode, has a higher data rate, but some channels are high def.

If you go the DVB-S route, there are linux based satellite recievers that will mount a network share and record to it for under $100. Alternatively, you could look at sticking one or more DVB-S or T cards in your server, and using that to do the recording...


 

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  Reply # 492615 12-Jul-2011 19:27
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WDTV Live would be fine to play DVB-T recordings as long as they are encoded to the correct format.

Under Linux something like TVHeadEnd would do what you want, could have a look at MediaPortal and see if it's TV Server can be configured to record TV without the frontend.

Utlimately you should be fine with adding a DVB-S or DVB-T tuner to your server, the slightly more difficult part is finding some software that will do what you want. Irrelevant you should be able to configure it to record wherever you want.

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  Reply # 492631 12-Jul-2011 20:04
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For starters you dont need anything flash for recording. It doesnt need to support H.264 or anything. I use MediaPortal for all of mine. I used to run 2 DVB-T cards in my server (which was an Athlon 64 with an ancient onboard card). Its the machine that wants to watch it that needs to be able to decode and support h.264..

I would recommend MediaPortal for it for sure. You are able to schedule your recordings from any machine running the MP client and if you want to be more versatile you could use something like the 4therecord addon for MP. It allows you to set schedules and whatnot via a web browser. I havent personally used it for a long time though - I find the normal built in one to be perfectly fine.

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  Reply # 492661 12-Jul-2011 21:03
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Take a look at Dreamboxes, they come up second hand on trademe from time to time, and would handle both the recording and playback side of things; should be pretty easy to use for non technical people too.

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  Reply # 492686 12-Jul-2011 21:52
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Hi mastapenguin,

FWIW, I bought a 'cheapy' DVB-S card off eBay from Kong Kong, and put that in my PC cabled to an ex-Sky dish. Installed the freebie ProgDVB program, made a couple of settings and away we go with full Freeview reception, EPG, and recording (sheduled or manual). Currently I record in the .TS file format but the program allows a full variety of formats.

If you need DVB-T, then one of those mini-DVB-T USB adapters come at under $15 (also eBay) and as far as I can tell ProgDVB will work fine with that too.

I stream anything recorded to my (analogue) TV using an Astone media player via wifi ... no problems at all.

R.

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  Reply # 492836 13-Jul-2011 12:28
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mastapenguin: Thanks RunningMan. I hadn't really thought about what whether to go with DVB-S or DVD-T. Our house has both hooked up in separate coax lines. This project is mainly for other family members who don't want to miss out on certain soaps... and now that Orcon is not zero rating TVNZ on Demand I suppose I could use it for docos as well.

If I went with DVB-S could you link to the devices that could record to network shares? That would be ideal.

Hard drive space or network congestion isn't too much of a consideration but the high spec graphics cards might be. Would something like a WD TV Live be able to play the recorded DVD-T streams? If not I will definitely go with DVB-S.

Thanks for your reply.

RunningMan: What type of Freeview do you want to record?

DVB-S (satellite) is already in MPEG2 format, and has a lower data rate, so takes up less space, and less strain on the network. Downside, standard def only.

DVB-T (UHF) requires high spec graphics cards to decode, has a higher data rate, but some channels are high def.

If you go the DVB-S route, there are linux based satellite recievers that will mount a network share and record to it for under $100. Alternatively, you could look at sticking one or more DVB-S or T cards in your server, and using that to do the recording...


 


I don't think the WD TV live can play the sound from our TV1/TV2 DVB-T broadcasts (anyone with one is welcome to correct me).  As far as I know the boxes that will work are an AC Ryan PlayOn, and a Popcorn  Hour A200/C200.   Ad I suspect a couple of others.

Sticking with DVB-S pretty much anything will play it.

That said, I do have a popcorn hour A100 and do have it working with DVB-T - using GBPVR (now NextPVR and the Popcorn hour client) I get access to my "server" and all recorded content from another room.

Like someone else pointed out, for recording only, you do not need a high spec machine, or a video card. There's no conversion involved - what if broadcast is dumped to disk. 

I have heard of people getting MediaPortal or Gbpvr working with Windows Home Server 1 (Windows server 2003 based) and Windows Home Server 2011 (Windows 2008 based).






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  Reply # 492837 13-Jul-2011 12:29
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What you need is MediaPortal/TVServer. You don't need an h.264 decoding card in the TVServer only on the clients that will play the recordings and that only applies if you are going for DVB-T.




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