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2509 posts

Uber Geek
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Topic # 185538 26-Nov-2015 19:15
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So, I have finally taken the plunge and acquired a small ASRock BeeBox NUC as my first HTPC. It has a Celeron N3150 Braswell CPU. $360 in PB Tech's Cyber Monday sale. So I thought I would ask a few questions of people with more HTPC experience for some suggestions.

I have it set up with Windows 10, 2 GB of Ram and a 32GB SSD (all of which came preinstalled), and a 750GB drive for recordings. It has HDMI out, and I have a wireless keyboard with a trackpad that will be connected to control it. It also comes with a media remote control. I will upgrade the Ram and SSD later if those don't prove adequate.

So I have to decide what software to install on it.

My media library is stored on a NAS with a plex server, so Kodi with PleXBMC is doing to be installed.

The other bits of hardware I have are a Hauppauge USB tuner and a Hauppauge HD PVR2 USB capture Box. I want to use it to record the odd bit of TV, hopefully automatically strip commercials, and also do HD captures. These will be capped locally onto the 750GB drive, and transferred to my main machine over the network to be processed before being flicked to the NAS if I want to keep them.

So my first decision is what media center software to install. The obvious candidates seem to be MythTV or NextPVR? As far as I can tell these should both play nice recording Freeview, and with the HD PVR. Are there any other obvious or better options I have missed out?

My second decision is whether to install Comskip. Does this (or anything else like it) work well for Freeview?

Any other thoughts about what software is useful of essential for a HTPC?

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762 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 101

  Reply # 1435487 26-Nov-2015 19:55
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Congratulations on going the HTPC way!

Generally speaking, put as little software on it as possible. You want it as cool, quiet and smoooooth as possible. It's hard because everyone on GZ loves fiddling and tweaking.

Also make full backups before you add each new bit of software, so it's easy to roll all the way back to an unspoilt state!

I reckon most of us here tried a few different setups before we struck the one that worked for us.

HTPC: Antec NSK2480B case, AMD A4-5300 CPU, Asus F2A85-M LE mobo, WD Caviar Green 64Mb 2TB HDD, HD Homerun, Win7 Home Premium, RAM 1600Mhz 4Gb.
iPad air 2

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1435493 26-Nov-2015 20:02
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I set up an AMD media center for lounge with Windows 10 and Nextpvr for Freeview.  I use Kodi for media center software and have the nextpvr add on for kodi.  Through Kodi I set the recording and watching recordings and it works well.  However watching Freeview live in Kodi I get pixelation and stuttering.  So for watching freeview live I exit Kodi and watch on Nextpvr program on the desktop.  Recordings are fine watching in Kodi.  Hasnt missed a beat with series recording in 2 months I have had it setup.   If I used a better cpu than the AMD A4-4020, I would probably not have pixelation or stuttering with live tv in kodi but it suits my needs fine

HTPC Intel Pentium G3258 cpu, Gigabyte H97n-wifi motherboard, , 8GB DDR3 ram, onboard  graphics. Hauppuage HVR 5500 tuner,  Silverstone LC16M case, Windows 10 pro 64 bit using Nextpvr and Kodi


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1435499 26-Nov-2015 20:09
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Welcome to the world of fun (but oh so frustrating) HTPCs.

MythTV is *nix only, so I don't think you'll have much luck with a Windows 10 based system.

My personal choice is MediaPortal. Has both the server backend (for recording) and a front end (for playing, the equivalent of Kodi/XBMC). A Kodi front end still plays nicely with a Media Portal back end if you're not entirely fussed with the Media Portal front end (you wouldn't be the first but I quite like it personally). For your initial install to make sure everything is working I would install both though.

Comskip does work with freeview (and MediaPortal), but you're in for quite a lot of work getting it set up properly. I gave up in the end and instead set my skip steps (the skip ahead amount) to 4 minutes - works almost perfectly for NZ ad breaks. With only 2GB of RAM you're probably not stripping commercials on the fly either.

You will also need the awesome EPG grabber (made my Geekzone's own @SJB, I think). Full instructions are here.

I would also get familiar with the task scheduler - it can make life easier if you schedule your reboots and updates for Infomercial hours.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1435564 26-Nov-2015 21:59
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Most depends on your preference, Windows or Linux. Personally I prefer Windows for media and have used nextpvr for many years (since the days of gbpvr and analogue).

I also find for using the browser on Windows was better for streaming sites. I believe this may have changed with drm access for streaming on Linux.

Previously known as psycik

Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,OpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, Raspberry PI temperature Sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors,HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 2012 
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1437759 30-Nov-2015 12:07
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My personal choice is MediaPortal.

The great thing about Mediaportal, is with movie & TV files , it remembers which ones youve watched, and how far into each you watched it.
So you can pause/stop 1/2 way into a movie/documentary, & the next day/week  Medaiportal will ask if you want to continue from where you paused or just start again.
If you have a bunch of vids in a folder, say a TV series, it will hi-light unwatched vids.

Im still running a very old version of mediaportal, on 2 old XP PC's. Once setup its great.
Certainly there are easier to install/setup choices (I tried a few) , but none where any where near as good .

291 posts

Ultimate Geek

  Reply # 1440892 5-Dec-2015 09:09
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+1 Mediaportal.

Set up long ago, still running smooth.


  • Mediaportal
  •  + one button music plugin
  • EPG Collector
  • Samsung blu-ray player :-)

We do not use comskip, unnecessary as skip 3 minutes works perfect.

FYI, my setup is still on Vista MP1.2 as Windows 10 + current MP does not provide a good viewing experience on my hardware.

HTPC: Antec Fusion 430, Gigabyte GA-MA78GPM-UD2H F7, AMD X2 4850e, Sapphire 4670 1GB, Corsair 4x1Gb,  Adata 128Gb SSD, WD10EARS Green, LG GGC-H20L Blu-ray, Hauppauge NOVA TD-500, Logitech z-5500, Logitech Harmony 525, Samsung LA40B530 1080p, Vista Premium-32 SP2, Catalyst 10.12(Facelift preview), Mediaportal 1.2.3+OneButtonMusic, AC3Filter, Cyberlink Powercinema 6 codec, BLU-RAY: Samsung BD-F7500

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1440943 5-Dec-2015 12:21
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Personally would go for Emby and use that as a server for Kodi, or just use the Emby apps. That doesn't help much if you're a Plex fan but just thought I'd mention it.



290 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1441051 5-Dec-2015 16:33
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I'd go with NextPVR. It's developed entirely in New Zealand. 

The currently 3.6.6 release also has built in support for the NZ DVB-T listings, so no need to worry about EPG Collector or other tools to get your EPG.

You can use the NextPVR frontend, or Kodi or Emby if you prefer.

You can even use the NextPVR front end on Samsung Blu-Ray players or tvs, or LG tvs.

Good support for Hauppauge devices, including the HDPVR2 you mention.

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