Openelec PVR vs Full Distro

  Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Post Reply
Prof Yaffle Offline
Donor
Posts: 969
Joined: Mar 2011
Reputation: 12
Location: UK - in the middlish (mostly).
Post: #1
I'd appreciate any thoughts/experience here...

Short version: Openelec PVR vs DIY Ubuntu/XBMC PVR with tvheadend and USB tuners - any thoughts?

Long version:

I've been running XBMC PVR on what was originally an XBMC Live install for a couple of years now - so it's still 10.04/Lucid under the bonnet, albeit with the latest PulseEight code instead of the original Dharma.

I use twin USB tuners (DVB-S and DVB-T) and, frankly, have a terrible time with them. I don't think I've ever started the system without problems of some kind, normally resulting in a reboot or a quick ssh in to restart tvheadend. All in all, it's not really the seamless backend PVR experience I'd like.

Since I've moved to Openelec on my primary (living room) system and moved this to a spare room, I'd considered rebuilding it under Windows and trying Media Portal as a backend. I'm reluctant to do that for a couple of reasons, though: one is that Windows will just infect the whole hard drive (we all know that it doesn't play nicely when installing into an existing grub menu), and the second is that Vista ran like a dog on this little ION box, so I fear that Win7 won't be much better. I could do without the week-long boot up times and the interminable "shutting down and repatching your system, please grow old while I apparently do nothing" shutdown messages.

So, I'm tempted to try Openelec PVR on this system to see if it's any better - maybe it handles the USB tuners better, maybe the timings are more predictable with a streamlined OS/kernel, maybe I'd just be lucky. Alternatively, I could trash and move to 12.04 or XBMCbuntu or similar, but I doubt that things are getting slimmer as I head in that direction, and I don't need the cruft. So long as I can hack the .asoundrc (which I know I can on Openelec) and a few other things like xmltv (which I assume I can, although it'd probably die in an upgrade), that's all I need the box to do.

Any thoughts/experience/comments from anyone much appreciated.

Thanks...
find quote
bibi Offline
Senior Member
Posts: 188
Joined: Sep 2009
Reputation: 0
Post: #2
Yop,

I use Openelec PVR as a client everyday, and it rocks.
However, my server is under archlinux, and it received my pci tuner, because Openelec did not have the firmware for my card.

I dont think that Openelec will handle your tuners better than Ubuntu, but try !
What are your usb tuners ?
find quote
Prof Yaffle Offline
Donor
Posts: 969
Joined: Mar 2011
Reputation: 12
Location: UK - in the middlish (mostly).
Post: #3
Hauppauge Win-Nova-T for DVB-T, and a TBS Qbox 2 for DVB-S(2). One of the problems with Openelec is the lack of information on firmware support (much as you say), but I can always install to flash to test... although the boot timing is different then, which defeats the object to a great extent!
find quote
PANiCnz Offline
Senior Member
Posts: 124
Joined: Dec 2009
Reputation: 0
Post: #4
The one problem i found with OpenELEC is it doesn't allow you to modify system files and directories. For my Hauppauge WinTV-NOVA-T-500 I like to create the file "/etc/modprobe.d/options.conf" which I can't do in OpenELEC without compile my own version (way too much effort). As such I still prefer the freedom Ubuntu offers.
find quote
FernetMenta Online
Team-XBMC Developer
Posts: 2,688
Joined: Jul 2010
Reputation: 55
Location: Munich
Post: #5
(2012-05-06 01:07)Prof Yaffle Wrote:  Hauppauge Win-Nova-T for DVB-T, and a TBS Qbox 2 for DVB-S(2). One of the problems with Openelec is the lack of information on firmware support (much as you say), but I can always install to flash to test... although the boot timing is different then, which defeats the object to a great extent!

I have a QBox2 as well which prevents me from using OE. The driver has propriety components which can't be included in OE without agreement from who ever.

I was told the 64bit OS performs much better on e.g. ION systems. XBMCbuntu is 32bit.

In case you want to watch 1080i and your graphics card is not a gt430 or better, you won't get 100% fun with current releases because lot of frame drops when engaging best de-interlacing method. (This is actually the reason why I started development on XBMC). I have re-written vdpau and started the process of integration this into mainline. A ION2 can do temporal/spatial deinterlacing on 1080i now.

So going for a full distro like Ubuntu Precise leaves the most options to you. You can install XBMC from a ppa or compile from my repo. I use Fluxbox as window manager.
find quote
Prof Yaffle Offline
Donor
Posts: 969
Joined: Mar 2011
Reputation: 12
Location: UK - in the middlish (mostly).
Post: #6
Thanks for the thoughts... I feared the the firmware would be a problem, but there's little information about OE support for various cards. At least you saved me from having to try it just to see!

I suspect I'll stick to a full distribution... the question is whether I can work through the boot sequence to see why it doesn't always start properly. I have my suspicion that it's simply an artifact of USB, but maybe it's a simple timing issue.
find quote
FernetMenta Online
Team-XBMC Developer
Posts: 2,688
Joined: Jul 2010
Reputation: 55
Location: Munich
Post: #7
I have an udev rule to detect the QBox. This fires an upstart event for vdr. The upstart pre-start script checks for existence of e.g. /dev/dvb/adapter0/frontend0, then launches vdr. This give me 100% successful boot-ups.
find quote
sraue Offline
Team-XBMC Developer
Posts: 865
Joined: Oct 2009
Reputation: 14
Location: Switzerland, Solothurn
Post: #8
(2012-05-06 05:43)PANiCnz Wrote:  The one problem i found with OpenELEC is it doesn't allow you to modify system files and directories. For my Hauppauge WinTV-NOVA-T-500 I like to create the file "/etc/modprobe.d/options.conf" which I can't do in OpenELEC without compile my own version (way too much effort). As such I still prefer the freedom Ubuntu offers.

hmmm... take a look at /storage/.config/modprobe.d there you can add modprobe options

greetings, Stephan

[Image: userbar-openelec-001.gif]
[Image: project_thin_badge.gif]
find quote