Time for a change?

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs & Equipment' started by hipsterdoofus, Oct 28, 2017.

  1. hipsterdoofus

    hipsterdoofus Limp Gawd

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    Hey all, I have been running a Windows 7 pro machine for years. I have know for awhile that one day I'll have to make a change since WMC no longer exists in 10, so I'm currently weighing my options and thought I'd come here for advice.

    Caveat: Currently in addition to video recording, I also use my HTPC as a backup for personal files like pictures, videos, etc (and my DVD collection). I have backup software that I pay for that backs up from the HTPC, since it tends to be powered on quite a bit more often, and I have to consider that in my options (though I guess I could always move those files to the desktop).

    Being that I've been a long time HDHomerun user, I'm considering the hdhomerun dvr and nas device. It seems that this would be less in overhead, but I don't have experience with it. I'd also have to replace my tuners as they are pretty old but I'm willing to accept that.

    I'm also open to other options, but since I've had my current HTPC since I think 2009, I'm keeping an eye out towards a long term solution.

    Suggestions?

    Edit:

    Forgot to add, I figure I'd be watching thru Roku? I believe the HDHomerun dvr is compatible with that, though I may need to upgrade my Rokus - they are the 3's.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
  2. jevans64

    jevans64 Gawd

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    I migrated from a HTPC years ago and just serve media from a dedicated NAS using an Oppo DB-203 4K disc player. The interface is a little crude by today's standard, but something like Plex is too cluttered for my taste. You can run Plex on a Roku device. A good NAS is basically a computer dedicated to storage and the maintenance/upkeep is the same. A NAS, like QNAP or Synology, will also allow you to manage a security system as long as you get a separate POE box to connect the cameras to.
     
  3. hipsterdoofus

    hipsterdoofus Limp Gawd

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    I hadn't really considered Plex as my software, but I guess they have DVR now that will also work with Roku, so that is certainly worth checking into.
     
  4. etekberg

    etekberg [H]Lite

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    I went from WMC->Myth->Plex DVR (very briefly in early Beta)->Myth->Plex DVR over the years. I really like Plex DVR now. It's the first setup that I've actually been happy with. It's not perfect but it's good enough for what I want and they seem to be continuously improving it. I have a separate freeNAS box, and then I run plex in ESXI. But you can easily just do one standalone plex box.
     
  5. hipsterdoofus

    hipsterdoofus Limp Gawd

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    I have the OLDEST generation of HD Homerun...I believe an upgrade will be required to work with Plex DVR, am I right?
     
  6. hipsterdoofus

    hipsterdoofus Limp Gawd

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    Nevermind - turns out my HDHomerun works with it. I bought plex pass to try it out.

    I have to say, I'm not a fan so far. Their EPG and DVR functionality compared to what I'm used to on WMC is awful. Sure it is glitzy with thumbnails and such, but unlike ever other EPG I've seen, it doesn't show stuff in gridview based on what channel it is on. Also, I have yet to figure out how to schedule something in the future on the EPG. The really need to work on their functionality, in my opinion.
     
  7. etekberg

    etekberg [H]Lite

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    Yes the epg is deficient without a grid view. But they are widely available on the internet. I use zap-2-it to browse shows then find them on plex.
     
  8. hipsterdoofus

    hipsterdoofus Limp Gawd

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    I understand that a gridview is forthcoming. I'll say I also don't care for the layout in Roku anyway of TV shows. Shows either latest aired or last added. I'd rather it just show me them grouped by series. If you go to the Web, you can do a list view, but I can't see that you can in Roku. I appreciate that they are trying to make Plex "pretty" but would rather it be functional too. I don't know, I may try it for the next month and see if I can get used to it.
     
  9. etekberg

    etekberg [H]Lite

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    The plex layout is one of the things I like. I don't have a roku. I use fire sticks and the windows plex player. If the roku is similar to other plex clients you can control it remotely from the phone or web app. Just something else to try. But generally if you don't like the interface, I don't see too much benefit to plex dvr for you.
     
  10. spencers

    spencers Gawd

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    Have you given Emby a try for Live TV duties? I currently use a HDHR + Emby to stream my cable connection. Works quite well, even remotely. Even taught the wife how to use Emby with the Chromecast. The guide looks great, but I had to pay for a listings subscription with Schedules Direct.

    I only use Emby for Live TV. Consuming saved media is a mix of Kodi (local) and Plex (remote).

    Screen Shot 2017-11-13 at 11.23.43 AM.jpg
     
  11. Lunar

    Lunar Limp Gawd

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    I recently shifted from using NextPVR (backend) + kodi (frontend) to using the official HDHomeRun DVR service, and I'm loving it. It doesn't have a grid guide, which I really didn't like at first, but now that I've given it a shot I've actually found it easier to find something to watch with the HDHR DVR Discover view than with the traditional guide. I tried Plex DVR a bit ago, and wasn't too happy with it, although I think I may have tried it too soon since they've added more features now.

    Current configuration:
    MSI Cubi mini-pc (headless) running Ubuntu MATE 16.04 with 500 GB drive + HDHomeRun RECORD service
    HDHomeRun Quatro OTA tuner
    NVIDIA Shield TV (ethernet)
    Amazon Fire TV (wireless)
    Various phones and tablets over wifi

    My current configuration is stable and reliable so far. My wife likes using the HDHomerun app over Kodi because it's more reliable at tuning channels than Kodi + NPVR was.
     
  12. y0bailey

    y0bailey Gawd

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    I used to lose sleep over this....because it just sucks so badly that freaking 10+ year old WMC is still better than any option we have available by a freaking landslide. Especially if you need protected content (which I don't).

    Personally, if you already have a W7 WMC box, I would just freaking leave it alone. It is still the best option available. My wife (who isn't computer savvy) just said "wasn't this so much fucking easier a few years ago" just a few days back. She isn't wrong.

    I've gone to full PLEX fanboy now. My only complaint is that I'm still using old PC's attached to my TV's, and there isn't a LIVE TV option yet for the Windows 10 Plex app. It is supposedly coming. I can watch live TV on my freaking phone, but not my dedicated HTPC. I still have the HDHOMERUN app installed for that purpose, but would love to just be 100% in Plex.

    If I had a time machine, I wouldn't have upgraded to W10 and gone full HDHOMERUN DVR BETA. Plex is making me regret that decision less every day, but still, WMC was and still is king.


    EDIT: Holy shit Plex just added auto-commercial removal for plexpass users. I take back all of the above if it works well. Plex>WMC
     
  13. hipsterdoofus

    hipsterdoofus Limp Gawd

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    So I know this topic is an old one, but thought I'd revisit it. I wasn't particularly happy with the options i had a year ago and just left my setup as is with an HTPC running Win7 / WMC. However, I once again realize I'm getting closer to that not being viable. The guide service on it isn't super reliable, and I'd like to eventually get a setup that is more accessible to other parts of the house. I have an Xbox 360 that will connect the the HTPC, but again, that thing's probably on its last lets.

    What I'm more interested in would be a NAS device for storage, not only for TV, but also my ripped DVD's, pictures, videos, music. I'm not at all familiar with whats out there though. When doing a bit of reading, I see a lot of discussion about transcoding capabilities of NAS's, so that muddles things even more. I have some old HD Homerun devices now, I realize I may need to upgrade those as part of this process, and I'm okay with that - I've been a long time HDHomerun fan.

    As far as a live TV option, I'm also not sure what all my options are. I messed with plex a bit but hated their interface honestly - compared to WMC, it wasn't friendly at all. Also, in all my experiences viewing TV via a Roku or similar connected to Plex on my HTPC, there's always that buffer delay when starting / fast forwarding, etc that of course I don't have on my HTPC and I don't know if that's avoidable. I know, I'm spoiled. I'd just like to update my setup to something that I could be happy with the next several years. Suggestions are very welcome!