Question Which PVR Backend software for new build server / Kodi front-end

Jolltax

Active Member
Hi guys,

I live in the UK and watch Freeview DVB-T2 live TV and stream from Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify. We started with a TiVo in the 90's in the UK for our TV PVR until the service was cancelled and then migrated through Windows MCE (now gone) and switched about 5 years ago to a MediaPortal backend server running on a PC with Kodi frontends around the house.

We have many frontend devices on multiple different platforms around the house running Kodi or other frontends LibreElec, iOS, PC. The new backend server will need to support streaming to multiple devices and simultaneous recording and storage of all our TV, it must have a web EPG so we can schedule recordings whilst mobile.
I am about to replace our server and it seems like an opportunity to look again at what options are out there as there are a couple of features we really miss in MediaPortal :
  • A web EPG interface that is not buggy (WebMediaPortal is buggy and seemingly not supported)
  • A proper "Series Link" functionality (not "record every time on this channel") so you can record by series number or new episode
The development version of MediaPortal (v2) has seemingly been ongoing forever and will still lacks these features as far as I can see.

I would love to hear from people how some of the other media servers match up, I have been looking and here are my findings so far :

NextPVR - looks quite good but not sure about web EPG interface
PLEX - Live TV seems a bit of an afterthought / in beta, we don't have a media library and PLEX seems biased towards people who do
TVHeadend - I tried it years ago and didn't like the lack of any proper interface, I don't know much about it these days or how it has evolved
Emby - reviews seem to imply its not as good as PLEX and although it supports Live TV it seems limited compared to NextPVR / MediaPortal
MythTV - I really like Linux but last time I tried it was very horrible to set up and had nasty server interface and compatibility compared to Windows, I can't see wifey building drivers from source, using the command line etc ...
MediaPortal 1 - it actually works OK and does a lot of what I need but the web EPG is sadly neglected and looks likes its about to die at any moment, based on MPExtended, last update July 2013 ... lol. Also desperately needs better series links for UK TV - anyone fixed this?

If anyone has any comments or recommendations for our usage case I would love to hear them :)

*We have no real interest in internet streaming, just Live TV plus we already have Amazon Prime, Netflix and Spotify subscriptions to meet our streaming needs

Chunks
 

maddy

Distinguished Member
I'm still using MCE as it's sooooo good but have been looking around for an alternative for a while.

I've tried NextPVR and TVHeadend as the backend whilst I tinker around to find an alternative - has to be rock solid to get the necessary wife approval factor, but given that I run a Windows Server I've plumped so far for NextPVR. The web interface for it is OK, nothing flash, just works.

For guide listings I subscribe to Schedules Direct, costs $25/year for FreeView listings. I started using this for data after having so many outages on the MCE data download. Excellent data supplied by them and NextPVR integrates well with it.
 

Jolltax

Active Member
I'm still using MCE as it's sooooo good but have been looking around for an alternative for a while.

I've tried NextPVR and TVHeadend as the backend whilst I tinker around to find an alternative - has to be rock solid to get the necessary wife approval factor, but given that I run a Windows Server I've plumped so far for NextPVR. The web interface for it is OK, nothing flash, just works.

For guide listings I subscribe to Schedules Direct, costs $25/year for FreeView listings. I started using this for data after having so many outages on the MCE data download. Excellent data supplied by them and NextPVR integrates well with it.
Thanks, I have ordered the parts for my new server and once I have it up and running I was also planning to give Schedules Direct a try for listings.

If NextPVR doesn't seem better as a back-end to MediaPortal, I can always go back to MP!

Jolltax
 

palmer27

Standard Member
Like the OP I went from the original TiVo to WMC.

When I upgraded the HTPC to a Ryzen APU I was forced to upgrade the OS to Windows 10 due to lack of driver support. I used the various methods to install WMC on Windows 1The semi-annual feature updates break the WMC installation so I started with Windows 10 LTSB 2016. But the Ryzen APU wasn't fully supported (pixelation in streaming videos) so eventually upgraded to Windows 10 LTSC 2019 when released. Unfortunately WMC randomly froze or disappeared altogether twice so started looking for alternatives.

Tried MediaPortal and Emby with NextPVR. Live TV channel switching and EPG weren't as good as WMC.

I had tried Plex DVR in the past but the Windows PHT client wasn't as easy to use and smooth as WMC with OpenPHT. The Windows PHT client always transcoded the TS stream to MKV which meant there was a 5 second delay before a channel started to play. FFWD and RWD were useless.

Finally I settled on using the HTPC with only Plex Media Server installed and buying a Nvidia shield TV for the front end. The shield uses the same PHT app but is able to direct play the DVB-T streams. Plex clients on Android and IOS devices are also able to watch live TV and schedule recording. The EPG in a web browser is just as good as the one available on WMC. Plus I can now watch YouTube, iPlayer etc all from one remote without having to get out the keyboard and use Chromecast and Google Assistant.
 

jchh

Member
Hi,

I'm in Oxfordshire and have used Plex for a while. In principle it's great, but they have totally screwed up the EPG over here last week after moving to a new provider.

I am sure it will settle down, but they gave little warning and clearly did not prepare well.

My major criticism is that they seem to focus oil new functionality before ensuring what they have is super reliable.

In the meantime, I have been playing with NextPVR (which requires a subscription to SchedulesDirect.com for the EPG) but so far so good. I am on a Mac and therefore using the beta.

[edit: typos]
 
Last edited:

Jolltax

Active Member
I created this thread back in April and built my media server a couple of months ago and installed NextPVR backend and have been using it for a couple of months now.

It works really nicely with my Kodi frontends and was a doddle to install and the webUI is fine, only really missing a decent search functionality.

Overall based on all the testing I did, NextPVR is hands-down the best and easiest for my usage case.

Good luck!

J
 

maddy

Distinguished Member
@Jolltax
One thing I've found with Kodi is that, if you start watching a recording that's in progress, once you reach the point in the recording when you started watching it, it stops playback.

Is this something you've found, and if so did you find a workaround for it?
Thanks
 

maddy

Distinguished Member
Quick update, though I appreciate this isn't my thread...

I bought an HDHomerun a while back, finally got around to installing it and getting it going with Kodi. I had a TVHeadend server up and running but tbh it's just too much faff and part of the reason for moving to Kodi is to simplify everything.

Current solution is Kodi, HDHomerun plus annual subscription for the guide, plus the Zuki HDHomerun script to integrate the guide with Kodi - works great.

I'm just coming to the point where I'll turn off W7 MCE for good.
 

maddy

Distinguished Member
Good so far, up to 14 days depending on channel.

I paid for a Schedules Direct sub at $25/year, HDHomerun is $35/year.

The HDHomerun native client for Kodi is rubbish, though. Hence my using the Zuki add-on.
 

jchh

Member
so why bother with HDHomerun subscription at all - just use SchedulesDirect (I am not a Kodi user).
 

maddy

Distinguished Member
As far as I can tell, you need to either have a) TVHeadend between Kodi and HDHomerun, with a SD sub, or b) Kodi and HDHomerun using the zuki script and the HDHomerun sub.

B) is a lot easier.
 

Lunchplease

Novice Member
Hi all
Whilst I am a paid up plex user, I was seriously P***** off at what happened back in July(as another user @jchh says) when they screwed up the EGP fof those of us in Aus anywayiptv as well as aerial. I have a Haupagge dual wintv tuner which I have plugged into my windows 10 pc. I have literally just stumbled across this Nextpvr software and cant believe how well it works especially with recording of IPTV as well as aerial tv. Just wanted to chime in my 2 cents :)
 

jchh

Member
Plex EPG still sucks - I can't believe they aren't honest about this when sucking in new Plex pass users.

NextPVR is still great though!

@Lunchplease - how do you set it up (what do you need) to also record IPTV?
 

Lunchplease

Novice Member
Plex EPG still sucks - I can't believe they aren't honest about this when sucking in new Plex pass users.

NextPVR is still great though!

@Lunchplease - how do you set it up (what do you need) to also record IPTV?
Hey there I've got nextpvr v5 installed on a very limited windows PC(a micro PC from 6 or 7 years ago) with the Haupagge tuner in the back. All I did was installed the software on the PC and searched using the tuners for the aerial connections and then noticed the IPTV segment so put in an address for both my m3u user list and xmltv link which found....a fair few more stations than local ;) and then that all builds into 1 tv guide and I use Kodi as a front end with nextpvr plugin and so far so great....if you have any other as feel free to send me a message and happy to help
 

jchh

Member
Hey there I've got nextpvr v5 installed on a very limited windows PC(a micro PC from 6 or 7 years ago) with the Haupagge tuner in the back. All I did was installed the software on the PC and searched using the tuners for the aerial connections and then noticed the IPTV segment so put in an address for both my m3u user list and xmltv link which found....a fair few more stations than local ;) and then that all builds into 1 tv guide and I use Kodi as a front end with nextpvr plugin and so far so great....if you have any other as feel free to send me a message and happy to help
Thanks!
 

jcjefferies

Active Member
I have been using NextPVR since 2011 for most of the time on a HP Microserver. The processor may be sub Celeron but recording to and playback from disk needs little processor power even recording several HD channels. I started off with one then a second DVB-T USB tuner then later a DVBSky twin DVB-S2 card to add HD.

I use EPGCollector to generate a Freeview & Freesat EPG in XML format to import into NextPVR. At the time NextPVR did not extract the unique ID in the EPG data which Freesat/Freeview recorders use to "Avoid Duplicate Recordings" but EPG Collector does extract the ID. I am happy with the Freeview/Freesat EPG so see no need to pay SchedulesDirect for their EPG.

For playback I use Kodi clients running on LibreElec on 2 X RPi3 and a microPC. I like the clean simple NextPVR Menus and EPG but dont like the Kodi menus so use X-NEWA addon and its replacement to make Kodi look like NextPVR.

I have a test server running NextPVR V5 but not yet ready to install on my main server. Latest addition is a Telesat R1 SAT>IP networked quad DVB-S2 tuner. Should be able to do away with the long cables from the dish to each receiver. Also instead of buying a replacement for my faulty satellite receiver I can use a Kodi add-on to turn my 3 Kodi clients into a satellite receivers!
 

tredman

Distinguished Member
Interested on any updates from anyone in this thread on what they are currently using.

I've been a long time tvheadend user (with hdhomerun & Digibit R1), but got fed up with lack of EPG artwork. Switched to NextPVR 5 with schedules direct which works well, but the tuning time in Kodi is long (have to set pre-buffer to 4s to get it stable).

I like the Zuki hdhomerun pvr addon in kodi with the hdhomerun dvr (which is surpisignly good), but it doesn't run on TVOS.

In short I really haven't found a perfect solution - keen to here what other users have found the best.
 

bubblegum57

Well-known Member
I am running TVH server & client on a H96 android box, using coreelec, epg seems to be ok. Presently using a xbox usb tuner.
I picked up a HD homerun duo, for £20, from Facebook market place, (don't think she knew what it was). I have used that as the tuner, but don't use it on this at the moment.

I am running TVH server on a synology nas, using the HD Homerun

I don't use the HD Homerun app on any device, cos you have to pay for an epg

I have a plex pass & have the HD HR setup. The epg was crap, & didn't seem stable, but nowdays it seems better.
 

bubblegum57

Well-known Member
What country are you in? I have some icons which I use for UK freeview. & I get an EPG.

Using kodi, you can browse to a folder with the channel icons.
 

tredman

Distinguished Member
I get a full EPG and channel icons (I build my own picons), but with NextPVR and HDHomeRun backends you get in EPG artwork (little image of the show).
 

maddy

Distinguished Member
I get a full EPG and channel icons (I build my own picons), but with NextPVR and HDHomeRun backends you get in EPG artwork (little image of the show).
Does NextPVR do chase play? i.e. seamlessly watch a recording that's in progress and be able to skip the adverts etc. all the way to the end of the recording? Ta.
 

tredman

Distinguished Member
Does NextPVR do chase play? i.e. seamlessly watch a recording that's in progress and be able to skip the adverts etc. all the way to the end of the recording? Ta.
Yes, other than the slow channel start its very good and does all I need. The slow channel start is a deal breaker for me though.

Having thought it through I am going to go back to Channels DVR for a while. Its just *very* good in every way.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: CES 2021 Special - Sony, LG, Panasonic, Samsung, TCL and Hisense TV news and more...

Latest News

NAD Launches CI 16-60 DSP Amplifier
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Sky seals Studiocanal movie deal
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
iFi Audio launches iDSD Diablo DAC/Headphone amp
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Samsung launches Galaxy Buds Pro
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Samsung launches Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra smart phones
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Top Bottom