Getting a good PVR setup is annoying me lately. Virgin Media offer cable services over DVB-C but it is impossible to connect a device like the HDHomerun because of encryption. DVB-C cards will not work without a Conditional Access Module (which is likely not legal), not to mention the violation of TOS when you hook up equipment to their network that is not authorised. With flaky and quite frankly unappetising offerings on DVB-T (Freeview), and a lack of DVB-T2 cards back in June 2010, I took the DVB-s2 route. I’ve got a dual tuner TBS6981, and it works fine for playback / recording with Astra 28.2E.
Really, what I want though, is a nice integrated system with XBMC. MediaPortal does not play very nice. The channels seem to parse fine in the application, but the orders are unchangeable and are far from acceptable, as well as the issue with EPG information. Scrap that, I tried setting up a minimal Linux distro with XBMC and TvHeadend (fast boot off SSD I’ll tell you that). Unfortunately, recordings don’t seem to go into fstab mounted SMB shares, and the EPG listings reset constantly (I don’t want web-based listings, we get EPG data over DVB-S and I should be able to use it).
TVHeadend didn’t cut it. It insists on rescanning muxes every time, as well as purging its EPG listings on reboot. Once the dev resumes work in the summer, it might be good for a server box, but I was running this on an all rounder-machine, that is regularly rebooted. I did like the AJAX interface, which seemed a nicer touch compared to MediaPortal’s .NET system which seems to not use different threads for the UI and background processing, resulting in long periods of the UI thread locking while waiting for MP to query the remote database. MythTV and me haven’t got on that well before, but I guess I’ll be going back to try it now that I’m not using such a poor DVB-T aerial and I can actually get some decent SNR attenuation.