Post your XBMC PVR + Backend Experiences

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CrashX Offline
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Posts: 1,164
Joined: Jan 2009
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Post: #1
Here is my spec:

CPU: ATOM 330
MEMORY: 2GB RAM
VIDEOCARD: Integrated
OS: Ubuntu 10.10 32bit
XBMC-PVR (SVN Build Weekly): https://github.com/opdenkamp/xbmc

TUNNER
---------
Country: USA
TUNNER: USB WinTV-HVR-950Q
TUNNING: Over the air ( <12 miles to nearest tv station )
ANTENNA: Basic Antenna that came with tunner.


TVHeadend
-----------
SVN ( Build Weekly ): https://github.com/opdenkamp/tvheadend

- Setup was pretty straight forward from web-end except I couldn't pickup all the channel with proper channel id. Once I got the channel I wanted, I setup EPG information via perl script to get information from zap2it.com. Then I would reboot the computer and find the channel tunning wouldn't work alright, no signal on certain channel. I had to kill tvheadend and load it couple of times, before it would be back to normal but it would only pickup some channels.

- XBMC-PVR would pickup the backend fine all time, but it would have problems tunning into though. I keep getting "No Signal Found" on channels that worked fine couple of minutes ago. I kept going back and forth between channels before I got it working on that channel. When it worked, I would get excellent pictures. EPG information was getting from backend fine.


MythTV
-----------
PPA build: sudo apt-get install mythtv

- Setup was a pain since I already had mysql installed. After reading through several articles, I had a working MythTV backend. It found all channels fine all the time, but MythTV Frontend would log me off my system when I tried to watch tv on a channel. After many re-install, I got it to work one time but I fooled around with the video settings on the MythTV frontend and now I am back to the same problem. EPG information for most of the channel was picked from the AIR via EIT. I could watch all channel ( one time it worked ) without any issue where tvheadend, it wouldn't even tune into some channels.

- XBMC-PVR did have addon from MythTV but it didn't work. I had use a native one ( non-addon ), which worked fine to retrieve information from Mythtv Backend but it would go into endless loop when I tried to watch a channel. I tried using Myth-Box and got the same result.


Kaffeine
--------
PPA: sudo apt-get install kaffeine

- Setup was pretty straight forward through GUI except no EPG information. It would tune it all channel all the time and I could watch all channel without any major problems. Pictures and sound were excellent except a minor sound issue with 1080p content.

- XBMC-PVR didn't have any support for Kaffeine as it doesn't have backend.


I am planning to get a better antenna to see if they issues are due to that.

Please post your experiences, so that I could use it to get a better XBMC PVR experience.

The normal XBMC log IS NOT a debug log, to enable debug logging you must toggle it on under XBMC Settings - System or in advancedsettings.xml. Use XBMC Debug Log Addon to retrieve it.
(This post was last modified: 2011-03-28 17:13 by CrashX.)
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rdoac Online
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Joined: May 2009
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Post: #2
My Spec.

CPU: AMD Phenon 9550 Quad Core
MEMORY: 4GB RAM
VIDEOCARD: G210 PCI-E
OS: Gentoo 32bit

TUNERS (USA)

Hauppauge HVR1250 PCI-E (Clear Qam Cable)
Hauppauge HVR1600 PCI

2 x Motorola Cable Boxes (Comcast) connected by firewire to VDR. vdr-iptv plugin to get to TS stream for non DRM encoded channels.

Hauppauge PVRHD with pvrinput plugin for DRM encoded channels.
Hauppauge PVR500 (For analog capture).

vdr-iptv plugin for some uk channels (iplayer)

BACKEND - VDR - 1.7.16

Compiled on Gentoo with some patches, including the alternative channels patch, so if one tuner/channel type is busy it will switch to a second channel (and therefore tuner type). Some patches to resolve Comcast mis labelling some streams.

EPG from tv_grab_na_dd and schedules direct. Some EIT information is available on local channels only but only program titles.

The backend is fairly reliable now. The picture quality with vdpau is much better on xbmc than vdr-sxfe. My wife's main gripe is that she can't start watching a recording which is still recording as it will stop at the time she started watching it.

We also have a second front end in the bedroom on an HP latop with NVidia 8400.
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alturismo Offline
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Location: Kaiserslautern, Germany
Post: #3
as backend im using win7 mediaportal tvserver, 2 cable tv cards

i have 2 frontend pc´s, an asus ion2 base and an core i3 530 with gtx430.
both front system using an small ssd and have 4 gig ram, both connected via hdmi
and using standard stereo audio.
also 2 laptops and the main pc but theres no real xbmc usage.

as mediaportal frontend has its own issues and i really like xbmc,i currently started
testing some xbmc versions to see if they fit better for my needs.

xbmc windows, they all suffer from no deinterlace options in dxva mode,
so not a real alternative to me, so i started to test the dxva deinterlace patch released
here http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=96445
when using the prebuilded build from that post my testfiles (.ts streams) sdtv, hdtv 720/1080i
work very nice, but no pvr addon, so i checked howto compile my own patched version
including pvr by using this tutorial http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=HOW...ource_code

i can compile the patched version but seeing some red marked .h and .cpp files wich i
assume means that they have some issues, as i also mentioned in above thread page 3.

results with opdenkamp source where ... pvr only the ts reader addon works, roughly also
remotely but only available when mediaportal tv server is locally installed.
sdtv ran fine, stable 50 fps, opening channel list ends up in a fatal framedrop to 5 - 10 ..
opening hdtv channels sometimes work, sometimes not, sometimes only audio, sometimes
video starts at 50 fps and after some seconds picture gets scrambled etc ...
while i get an cpu load from ~ 10 % wich means dxva is running but deinterlace patch
seems to break some there, while adding this patch i also get an string.xml conflict ...

so i started to try another source, margo pvr, here i can apply the patch with no errors.
here sadly the pvr addon mp ts reader is nowhere available, only ffmpeg wich is slower ..
but on margo build this works locally and remote machine, so i tested this build.
overall quality on live tv usage is alot better then opdenkamp source here but still
far away from real usability, sdtv yes, hdtv depends on wich setting deinterlace
was running, auto was fine for sdtv and 1080i, switching then to 720p i almost
get a complete freeze, takes ~ 1 min to stop the stream, some deinterlace like
best available works then in combo sdtv and 720p, but not on 1080i anymore ...

as i dont know much about this compiling etc. i have to wait now and see what comes
as i have no idea howto solve these compile issues ...

i also tested ubuntu on my ion2box to see if linux is better with vdpau compared to
windows version, well, afterall the linux version also has issues with hdtv playback,
my guess there is my ion2 box is not so well supported from linux, hell of issues with
audio playback through hdmi, weird sound, gfx drivers doesnt seem to be so good
using the standard suggested ones, after installing newer version manually i get
some vertical sync issues in all playbacks ... after trying to reinstall ubuntu cause
i thought i messed something up with gfx drivers i never got hdmi audio working
properly, only with some weird background noise in all kinda playbacks ...
i still have to test linux on my main htpc with dedicated gfx, but really lost the fun for
linux now on my ion2 box Wink

so lets see what will come in future Big Grin

great thanks to all devs for their work adding an tv solution for xbmc Big Grin
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Bonzi Offline
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Joined: Feb 2011
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Post: #4
Hi CrashX, I also have a WinTV 950Q. The linux drivers for this tuner are just not ready for any serious use I am afraid. My experience was much like yours, Tvheadend rarely found any channels and when it did, the tuning was quite sporadic. MythTV was not better. I think linuxtv should do a better job of saying which drives actually do work. I appreciate the work done on these drivers but they need a lot more work before this tuner is advertised as being supported.

I have since purchased a Avermedia Volar Max. Couldn't be happier, works without any issues with XBMC and tvheadend.

I think you will probably need a better antenna. The one that comes with the tuner is junk. You can pick up a good one for $40-50. I also live fairly close to nearest broadcast and I use an attic mounted Antennas Direct DB2 which is IMO one of the best indoor antennas.
(This post was last modified: 2011-03-29 08:08 by Bonzi.)
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FernetMenta Online
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Location: Munich
Post: #5
My spec:

Zotac ITX - 9300 with E5200
4GB RAM
GT220 passive
OS: Ubuntu 10.10 (32 bit)

Tuner: TBS QBox S2 (USB), the PCI-e slot is taken by the graphics card

Backend:
VDR 1.7.15

XBMC-PVR:
Fork of https://github.com/opdenkamp/xbmc, rebase every couple of days

Most channels i watch are 1080i50, some 720p50, and 576i50. I have deinterlacing set to auto which is temporal/spatial + inverse telecine and i am quite happy with the quality. I have invested pretty much time in vdpau, mainly deinterlacing, to get it work on gt220 and lower.
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mythboy Offline
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Post: #6
rdoac Wrote:EPG from tv_grab_na_dd and schedules direct. Some EIT information is available on local channels only but only program titles.

I saw that you're using tv_grab_na_dd and schedules direct. I've tried using that same script and I'm getting the message like "44 channels found, 789 events, 0 new events injected in EPG"

How did you populate your epgdb file?
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joelmeans Offline
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Post: #7
mythboy Wrote:I saw that you're using tv_grab_na_dd and schedules direct. I've tried using that same script and I'm getting the message like "44 channels found, 789 events, 0 new events injected in EPG"

How did you populate your epgdb file?

On the channels tab of the setup page for tvheadend, you have to associate each channel with an xmltv source. I had the same problem when I first set up tvheadend.
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mythboy Offline
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Post: #8
Thanks I got it working last night doing exactly as you said.
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mythboy Offline
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Post: #9
System:
Atom 330 Dual-Core 1.6Ghz Zotac mobo
DDR2 4GB of RAM

SW:
Mythbuntu 10.10 64-bit
TvHeadend + xbmc-pvr from lars opden kamp compiled on 2011-05-30
I'm using IPTV as my video transport with 100+ channels
EPG from schedulesdirect

Wish list:
- Pause button missing
- Record while watching a show based on EPG instead of the default 180min
- Preserve channel numbers from EPG instead of an ordered list created by xbmc
- It takes at least 2 tries to switch channels. I get the hstp client disconnect for "unknown reason" on the first attempt and then it connects to the channel after a 2nd attempt.
- parental control missing

Love list
- program guide search is fast!
- clean integration with xbmc


Tvheadend vs. MythTV
- MythTV videos runs much smoother, no jitter in 1080 and audio sync issues
- 720p and lower are about the same, while MythTV provides clearer picture in all resolutions
- Channel changing is much faster in Tvheadend (when the channel switch doesn't disconnect)
- MythTV runs a bit slower
- MythTV offers commercial flagging out of the box
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ultrawires Offline
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Location: Doncaster East, Vic, Australia
Post: #10
XBMC + For The Record 1.6.0.0

backend server
AMD E-350
Win7 Ultimate 64-bit
Avermedia A825 Twinstar

xbmc versions
1. client/backend server - magro pre-Eden 11.x windows binary - working EPG timeline

2. client (Thinkpad t61) - opdenkamp git rev. 73703e8 - "crippled" EPG timeline

The above config was set up this month and everything is working good enough for this to be used as the primary hub for live TV and stored media viewing.

Thanks to developers and all involved Nod
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ant_thomas Offline
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Location: Manchester, UK
Post: #11
XBMC PVR
Asus EeeBox EB1501 (Atom 330/ION)
2GB RAM
250GB HDD
Maverick Minimal

Backend
AMD Sempron 2500+
1GB RAM
2 x TBS 8920 PCI DVB-S2 Cards
Maverick Minimal
VDR (VNSI + Streamdev + OpenSC + Live) (alex surkov PPA)
CCcam

File Server
Intel P4 1.5GHz
1GB RAM
~4.5TB Storage

Looking to combine Frontend and Backend into an AMD Fusion mATX based system to save on power and space and replace file server with something less power hungry, probably AMD Fusion too.
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ijourneaux Offline
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Location: Wisconsin, USA
Post: #12
ultrawires Wrote:XBMC + For The Record 1.6.0.0

backend server
AMD E-350
Win7 Ultimate 64-bit
Avermedia A825 Twinstar

xbmc versions
1. client/backend server - magro pre-Eden 11.x windows binary - working EPG timeline

2. client (Thinkpad t61) - opdenkamp git rev. 73703e8 - "crippled" EPG timeline

The above config was set up this month and everything is working good enough for this to be used as the primary hub for live TV and stored media viewing.

Thanks to developers and all involved Nod

Love XBMC and looking to implement PVR capability to replace BeyondTV. I am looking at a client/server running Win7. Would you recommend this configuration for a home PVR system used by serveral people? i.e. is reliability "good enough"?

I noticed you used the 4theRecrod Argus recorder? Did you consider the MediaPortal TVServer?
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ultrawires Offline
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Location: Doncaster East, Vic, Australia
Post: #13
ijourneaux Wrote:Would you recommend this configuration for a home PVR system used by serveral people? i.e. is reliability "good enough"?

I noticed you used the 4theRecrod Argus recorder? Did you consider the MediaPortal TVServer?

I'd tried MediaPortal on and off but after my first go with 4TheRecord, it's a keeper. As a backend it's "straight-forward" and the scheduling is more full featured then I can use. The other aspect that got me was my dual-dvb-t tuner, in a short test could record 5 broadcast concurrently (explained here).

I'll have to admit, I've not used MediaPortal as extensively and cannot form any reasonable opinion.

With XBMC PVR builds - there one Lars Op den Kamp and another margro (Marcel Groothuis). 4TheRecord is "integrated" into the margro builds and works right off.

Placing the pvr addon into Lars build was ok in the previous build but with the current git rev. 60222aa, TV recordings made prior to the installing the current xbmc did not show up, even though they're still in the folder but will show up again when reverting to the previous version (git rev. 73703e8).

My problems come when I'm watching live tv with xbmc and when the backend, 4TheRecord kicks in to start a scheduled recording - most of the time, xbmc will hang. Just using xbmc to watch stored/previously recorded programs is probably the "smoothest". Put in watching live tv and things get "iffy".

Another anomaly, I've noticed is if xbmc is left running overnight, the next morning, I'll find that it's hung and I'll have to kick in the windows task manager to kill the xbmc process.

Having said all that, I must also state that I've being installing and uninstalling a variety of applications to come to this point where I think I've got the basics to function as I see fit. Now's the time to re-setup a clean install and hopefully eliminate some of the "iffies".

Not sure how helpful all this if for you but I've come to accept that each individual's tolerance is vastly different and you'll really want to have a go yourself to see how you can live or not live with a certain setup.
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ijourneaux Offline
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Location: Wisconsin, USA
Post: #14
Thanks for the comments. My PVR system has 3 tuners. A dual digital tuner HDHomeRun, a dual analog tuner Adaptec 3610, and an HD-PVR. I have used this with a minimum of problems over the past several years using BeyondTV.

With a recent migration to Win7, I have been looking at options to retire BeyondTV. I would ahve gone with SageTV but with Google's acquisition of SageTV a month ago, it is nolonger available.

I was looking at MediaPortal but I must admit, I have really struggled to get the system properly configured. I believe I finally got the tuners added correctly but now the recorded video looks blocky as if there is too much compression.

If it was just for me, I wouldn't mind the quirks after the system is up and running but this system is used by the rest of the family so it just has to work (or I will hear about it <grin>).

I will take a look at Argus and ForTheRecord to see what I can do with it.

Take Care
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Ruxton Offline
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Location: Perth, Australia
Post: #15
CURRENT SETUP
HP Microserve N36L
* Athlon II Neo (2 x 1.3Ghz, 1Mb L2)
* 1Gb ECC DDR3
* 250Gb HDD
* 100Mb On board network

Video Card: Sapphire ATI HD5450 PCI-E Passive Cooler
Tuner: Hauppauge HVR-2210 PCI-E (Australia)
* Tuning OTA with the house antenna
OS: Ubuntu 11.04 X64 on 2.6.38-11-generic

FUTURE HARDWARE
* 4 x 3Tb Hitachi HDD's
* 1 x 4Gb ECC DDR3

ISSUES
* Had to patch media_tree to give support for the 2210, code for the patches was lying around in older V4L repos.
* Screen tearing, had to set anti-tear in the default catalyst drivers

TV Headend
Using latest opdenkamp repo packages, will probably switch to builds directly from the original source
Quote:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lars-opdenkamp/xbmc-pvr ## add the PVR ppa
sudo apt-get install tvheadend

XBMC-PVR
Latest packages from pulse-eight
Quote:sudo apt-get install curl
curl -Ls --output /tmp/install-xbmc-pvr.sh http://packages.pulse-eight.net/ubuntu/i...bmc-pvr.sh
chmod +x /tmp/install-xbmc-pvr.sh
/tmp/install-xbmc-pvr.sh
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