Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

DYI: DVR/Home Server questions

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • DYI: DVR/Home Server questions

    Here is my problem:

    We have a pretty bad DVR, it was good when we got it but lets just say we are a little less enthused by it now.[*Opinion]

    We really don't wanna get one from Comcast either.(Hell, I wish we didn't have to resort to Comcast either![*Opinion] Yay monopolies!)

    [It's this one. Great at first, sucks eggs now.[*Opinion]]

    Here is my solution:

    I wanna build a DVR out of some of my older computer parts and use a Linux/Linux-like distro.

    I also would like it to be capable of being a file server for extra photos, movies, files, etc.(Though this function is secondary, and might have to wait for another build with old parts.)

    I have done a fair bit of research but, I am not totally sure how to go about it.

    The parts I have:
    1. CPU
    2. motherboard
    3. memory
    4. nVidia 285 Not sure this works.
    5. REALLY OLD power supply We are talkin', haven't used it since before 2009, company went defunct in 2010. OLD! XD

    The other parts I plan to buy:
    1. very nice case
    2. network tv tuner for the cablecard(Comcast)
    3. external blu-ray drive
    4. ssd for the os/driver/etc
    5. a drive for the movies and tv recordings and such
    6. Maybe a power supply if the one I have does not work.

    Now, keeping in mind that I am trying to keep it sub-$500 (I think this all adds up to $450-some ATM) I am looking for suggestions on the parts. Cheaper or better.

    As for OS and software:
    I more need suggestions for this than the parts.

    I was definitely looking at something like XBMC(soon to be called Kodi) with a Linux distro.

    I was think of Linux Mint Debian Edition or openSUSE with XBMC, or VLC player.

    But I was also thinking of maybe openELEC, Myth TV, XBMCbuntu, or some other distro that is specifically targeted at being a media player. I am afraid, though, that I will not be able to use the comp to store my extra stuff.

    Another worry I have with using a Linux distro is compatibility with the Windows computers in my house.

    What do you guys think? Different parts? Distro/software? Should I change my avatar to reflect my now bigger beard?

    ================================================== ===============
    *Opinion -> Represents the opinion of the author of this post and does not reflect the opinions of others here or of anybody working for TG. Please don't sue!

    "Quando omni flunkus moritati" -Red Green Show
    [Link to my Youtube!] [Link to my Twitch!]
    [support]

  • #2
    Re: DYI: DVR/Home Server questions

    Cool case, man!

    It sounds like you are pretty far along in your research already. I used to be into the HTPC / home automation thing, but it's been a while. There are a few sites/forums out there that specialize in that sort of thing, I'm sure you've found them already but if not I can rack my brain and try to remember them.

    Is XBMC supporting CableCard now?

    I would personally begin with thinking about your network topology and use cases. Is it just you, and/or wife, kids? Who watches what (Netflix, torrents, cable TV, OTA HD)? If it's for your whole family, maybe consider a main server / DVR in your basement or wherever your cable comes in, and then "media extenders" or "viewers" at each TV. Tell us a little more about your usage and then we can go from there.

    Or have you already decided you just want a 1:1 replacement of your existing DVR? Because, IMO, that's selling yourself a bit short. You could be doing so much more functionality. The reasons for rolling your own DVR/HTPC (or other solution) are for flexibility, more power, etc. and not to save money, necessarily.
    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



    Comment


    • #3
      Re: DYI: DVR/Home Server questions

      XBMCbuntu
      One and done. That's my recommendation since I built a similar system a few years back (before XBMCUbuntu came out) and I run XBMC over a plain-jane copy of XP. However as [MENTION=33568]Randy_Shughart_ClwFL[/MENTION] points out, it's not for everyone. It has mediocre support for streaming media and is meant literally as a stand-in for recorded shows that you want played from a settop-like device.

      What's nice about XBMC Ubuntu is that it is a full distro Ubuntu with XBMC which includes all the media codecs, playback ability, and even drivers for various hardware all packaged and ready to install. You don't have to spend a few days hunting down the right software, fanangle it together, and then troubleshoot if it breaks on first boot.

      If you and your family are heavy into Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming media, it might just be more worthwhile to invest in a Chromecast for $35. You could then cast over WiFi from your Android phone or tablet without needing to move files around.
      |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
      TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
      Former 9th & 13th

      Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
      Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





      SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

      TG Primer and Rules

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: DYI: DVR/Home Server questions

        Thanks guys! Ill take a look into that. What I was planning on doing was having the machine in the living room where it's main job would be to be a DVR but also a file server/backup..-er. I want somewhere to put all my drivers and files in case I need to reinstall Windows or other OS and not have to download them off the internets again, and save photos and vids I take. I was going to put the TV tuner next to the modem and have the DVR pull from that, that way, when it is not in use someone else can watch TV from somewhere else in the house that has the capability on their comp or other device.

        As for XBMCbuntu, I think I am going to wait for Kodibuntu; same thing, but it is the next update that is coming out soon, and I might as well wait instead of having to reinstall laterz. I have no need to immediately pull the trigger now anyway. But I think I am definitely going this route.

        "Quando omni flunkus moritati" -Red Green Show
        [Link to my Youtube!] [Link to my Twitch!]
        [support]

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: DYI: DVR/Home Server questions

          Why not invest in a large capacity flash drive to store your reinstall files? That's what I do: I have a 64 GB flash drive that holds drivers, an image of Windows 7 and Windows 8, various apps, wallpapers, digital manuals, etc.
          |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
          TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
          Former 9th & 13th

          Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
          Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





          SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

          TG Primer and Rules

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: DYI: DVR/Home Server questions

            I have been reading around, and apparently XBMC/Kodi does not have the ability to record TV. It just has the ability to watch live TV. I've read about backends like MythTV, do you have any recommendations for a backend?

            "Quando omni flunkus moritati" -Red Green Show
            [Link to my Youtube!] [Link to my Twitch!]
            [support]

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: DYI: DVR/Home Server questions

              Since you want to record live TV as well, MythTV would probably be your best bet. Personally, I've never used MythTV before since recording TV is so rare now (streaming media like Netflix has taken over).
              |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
              TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
              Former 9th & 13th

              Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
              Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





              SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

              TG Primer and Rules

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: DYI: DVR/Home Server questions

                Hmmm....how I am reading different things, I might not be able to record HDTV w/o buying some sort of box. Will have to wait and see until I can put everything together and give it a look. [Link to box]

                I hope not, that's expensive and defeats the purpose of most of this stuff I bought already!

                "Quando omni flunkus moritati" -Red Green Show
                [Link to my Youtube!] [Link to my Twitch!]
                [support]

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: DYI: DVR/Home Server questions

                  You should be able to record HDTV using MythTV assuming you have TV with a ATSC tuner built in (most HDTVs have these built in).

                  If you are still on a older analog TV, then you'll need to buy a ATSC tuner separately (or at least a passthrough converter box). Like this one: Amazon.com: Mediasonic HW-150PVR HomeWorx ATSC Digital TV Converter Box with Media Player and Recording PVR Function/HDMI Out (Black): Electronics ($30 on Amazon). (It also has some PVR abilities as well, so it might make your DVR PC build worthless in comparison.)
                  |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                  TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                  Former 9th & 13th

                  Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                  Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                  SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                  TG Primer and Rules

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: DYI: DVR/Home Server questions

                    You can record ClearQAM and/or FOTA HDTV with just an HD capture card. For the encrypted / digital stations through your cable provider, that is what the CableCard(s) are for. That is why I was asking about your topology, because there are other devices than can do the same thing on the network (like the HDHomeRun), but I guess I assumed you were talking about capture card(s) in this box.

                    It's been a while and now I don't remember which softwares really support which functions exactly. Some have very nice "extenders" where you can view the on screen TV guide and set programs to record, as well as watch live TV or playback previously recorded TV on the remote TVs. Some are better at streaming as Acreo mentioned. That's why I said it's really worth taking the time to really think about / specify what you want to be doing exactly, and which software / hardware ecosystem you might want to use before going any further, or else you may run into exactly the problem that you are running into right now.
                    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: DYI: DVR/Home Server questions

                      Alright, you just made me look things up, dammit! lol

                      The biggest hurdle you need to overcome is Comcast's DRM. You know, just to watch the television you are already paying for. Yay monopolies is right (don't get me started on our "lovely" cable/telecom companies)! Although MythTV + the HDHomeRun PRIME you linked in OP should get you there. The other serving up of files and stuff should be trivial after that.

                      Here is some good related info / background: https://www.pantz.org/software/mytht...nd_mythtv.html

                      And there are a few important differences apparently between the few different CableCard tuners that are supported under MythTV. More info here: https://www.mythtv.org/wiki/CableCARD

                      After that, I would just make sure that MtyhTV supports everything else you are trying to do. Although it probably does.
                      "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: DYI: DVR/Home Server questions

                        Thank you both so much for the help! When I get all the parts, I'll be sure to update you guys on how it went.

                        Randy, your link pantz.org seems to be broken. It tells me the page is not available.

                        "Quando omni flunkus moritati" -Red Green Show
                        [Link to my Youtube!] [Link to my Twitch!]
                        [support]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: DYI: DVR/Home Server questions

                          Here's repost of that same link: looky

                          It works fine for me, so perhaps your ISP is blocking that particular page/site?
                          |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                          TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                          Former 9th & 13th

                          Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                          Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                          SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                          TG Primer and Rules

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: DYI: DVR/Home Server questions

                            It may be, because I still cannot access it. Stupid Comcast....If my area had even a decent competitor....

                            "Quando omni flunkus moritati" -Red Green Show
                            [Link to my Youtube!] [Link to my Twitch!]
                            [support]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: DYI: DVR/Home Server questions

                              Originally posted by Acreo Aeneas View Post
                              Here's repost of that same link: looky

                              It works fine for me, so perhaps your ISP is blocking that particular page/site?
                              Well, I can't *possibly* imagine why!

                              *cough*support net neutrality*cough*

                              SnS, if you Google "comcast mythtv" it should be like the 4th result. Or just fire up your favorite proxy or vpn with an exit point outside of Comcast's network, and then you should be able to get there.

                              >having to do this in America in 2014
                              "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



                              Comment

                              Connect

                              Collapse

                              TeamSpeak 3 Server

                              Collapse

                              Advertisement

                              Collapse

                              Twitter Feed

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X