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Remote pvr server build advice


Standard Member
I'm looking to reuse an old pc I have with single core 3200 amd 3 gig of ram and inbuilt graphics and a hvr 4000 dvb-t tuner as a server based pvr. It will be mainly used remotely to get Irish tv I cannot get in Europe where I live easily.

The main issue is that the machine struggles to play back live tv (cpu is at 100%) but if I record it without viewing and play it back on the main pc a quad core sandybridge machine then the recording itself seems ok.

I think from the CPU point of view i think this is the bare minimum that can handle this but I was wondering would a better gpu reduce the load on the CPU. The current gpu is an onboard ati xpress 1150.

I will probably update the machine next year to a better CPU but do you think a better graphics card would help media centre or would the CPU be the main blocking point.

The machine will be in the attic running headless most of the time as I will access it remotely via remote potatoe using windows 7. Once the files have been recorded I would transfer them to the Nas and then remotely via FTP so I may need to reencode them first to make the wtv files smaller due to size limitations form the isp but haven't looked at this yet so any advice would be recommended.



Recording Tv is not very demanding especially Digital Tv .. basically it just dumps the stream pretty much unaltered to the disk. Playback however is a different story, I would tthink that a cheap GPu (5450/6450) would certanly help with playback. Cant help thinking it will be pretty awkward to climb up into the attic to watch TV.??. Also a waste of a monitor ..
Your recording m/c is pretty underpowered tho and any modern (dual core) CPU would run rings around it especially a LLano or Pentium G840.
I think your whole idea is called "placeshifting" see sling box
Nice to know you live easily


Standard Member
In terms of cpu yes I know it's underpowered and hope to switch to a haswell or llano build next year if possible. At the moment when recording the cpu usage seems to be around 100% but I'll double check this but I was hoping a cheap gpu would reduce the load on the cpu as the machine is unresponsive during the recording and the remote potatoe server isn't even running yet (although for me your logic is sound that it should be simply storing the stream to disk)

It will be running headless but I have a spare monitor, keyboard and mouse I willl leave in the side attic so if it crashes someone can look at it not to watch in the side attic (although it's actually more comfortable than you'd think as I sheeted it out to store the pc)

I looked at slingbox a few years ago as a solution but at the time didn't consider it because it wasn't possible yet to get dvb-t here in Ireland. Also how is the epg with slingbox in terms of recordings as I would like to record and then later watch it. I'll check this again as maybe this has improved but I couldn't see if it supports hd over dvb-t (not dvb-t2) but I can send a support email.


Active Member

take a look at dvblinks connected version of tvsource - it sounds like it would solve most of these problems. Not sure what the min spec is recommended for a server using this software but they offer a 20 day trial so you could try it and see.


Standard Member
I'll have a look at dvblinks as it looks interesting (currently I use remote potatoe for remote recording where I live)

Slingbox is apparently not an option in this case as it doesn't support mpeg over dvb-t according to a review I read from last year meaning it won't work with the dvb-t in Ireland unfortunately. Also the broasdband here is not so broad as I only get 8 MB down 512 up over the phone as opposed to 30 MB down 2 MB up at home over the phone.

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