Home DVR solutions

I’m trying to cut the cord on Sky, and one of the things I want to be able to do is to effectively reproduce sky+ pause/rewind type behaviour but on any TV in the house.

E.g. first-world problem, we’ve missed the first 10 minutes of bake off, and want to watch it in bed from the start. Right now we have to now wait a day because 4OD doesn’t have a watch from the beginning feature and the on-demand doesn’t appear till the next day.

This is the requirement I need to satisfy :slight_smile:

I’ve got a firestick for the TV upstairs already so is there some HD Freeview DVR that can then broadcast to a firestick? I could then schedule all the recording and so on from a phone and be able to watch it on any tv in the house that has a firestick (or similar).


Also, why are you inviting Prue into your bedroom? That’s just weird :wink:

(Freeview boxes have this built in)

You end up paying more for broadband…it’s generally only a tenner more for the TiVo/Q packages.

Most modern TVs you can plug a USB hard drive into and it’ll record live TV onto that which should let you pause live TV and schedule recordings using the EPG

If you had a Plex server with a TV tuner you could record on that and then watch on the Firestick.

Don’t know the answer, but have fixed the text of your question for you.

“first-world problem, we’ve missed the first EIGHT HOURS of KONA, and want to watch it in bed from the start…”

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Ha! Yeah I saw elsewhere there’s a Facebook Live TV app so that one seems easy enough. Hoke One-y One-y!

Thanks for the suggestions - I should’ve said that the TV upstairs isn’t in a room with aerial/satellite sockets available so I’m looking for a single box to serve my needs.

Seems like with a bit of modding there might be some combination of firestick/andriod apps that could potentially suck content from a Humax but would prefer something that’s got an official android app that just works. Also sounds like Humax boxes can talk to each other so could have a DVR downstairs and a basic humax upstairs, but again feels like I should be able to do away with that second humax box and use the firestick instead.

The basic Virgin TiVo boxes don’t stream to other rooms/tvs unfortunately - the more expensive one does though!

Hadn’t heard of plex before - maybe I can make my own machine :slight_smile:

When you stop your Sky subscription, does the Sky box maintain the ability to cast, or it it all secured by an app that needs an up to date subscription?

I’ve got an older Sky+ box which doesn’t cast, but apparently it would still effectively work as Freesat box even without the subscription.

Plex is exactly that, you make the box with some HDD space, stick in a dvb tuner. Then load an OS and the Plex server software. It’ll do a lot more than you’re looking for once you’ve got it setup. If you load it up with (legally bought) films and TV shows it catalogues them beautifully and you can play them on loads of devices e.g. Firestick, android phones, laptop even remotely.

Gonna go with this. Looks like a Rasberry Pi 4 could work but the setup for Plex with the PI TV tuner looks like it could be a bit fiddly/unreliable.

Therefore I’m leaning towards an NVidia Shield TV, which on research would be a more out of the box solution once coupled with an external HDD and a TV tuner. The videos I’ve watched for then installing HDHomeRun and Plex on top seem straightforward, plus it has more than enough horsepower to alleviate any worries for transcoding/streaming performance for multiple devices at once.

From the Kona thread…

Yeah, I know sky is a pain for not being able to cast. I have a set top box in my bedroom that has a slingbox app, so I have a hacked way of getting sky in the bedroom that way without multiroom. BT Sport etc is much easier as I just have a chromecast into the bedroom TV.

My question to @gingerbongo was more around how he’s using the google home. My assumption here was the use of a google home hub in the kitchen, rather than just the audio on a standard google home when he said this…

In prior research, I’d never been able to establish if you can use them effectively as a “chromecast display”. So can I cast BT sport, or in a Kona case facebook watch, to the Google Home display? Or can you just install an app directly on the google home and “run it” on the screen? The latter would potentially open up Sky Go if it was running directly on the device

Just to further my comment on the other thread. Facebook live - yes definitely. BT - i don’t know.

I don’t think it acts as a true chromecast extension. But i’ve never really looked into it to be fair. There may be further apps or functionality that i haven’t tapped into.

Fab, thanks (and for your other detailed reply). The bit about supported apps is what I’d previously never been able to determine. That said, googling again I’ve come across this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eBaH3wZrXI

That seems to show it does work as effectively a chromecast display (you select it as a display on your phone as with other chromecast devices), and the video info provides details on the supported and unsupported video apps. It lists BT Sport as supported for example, but not netflix as you said.

Useful to know. I may consider getting one then, as they’re often available for cheap with the newer version out.

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Also just seen on the comments to that youtube link that people say you can also directly screen mirror to the home hub screen. So not quite as clean as casting, as you’d still need your phone on, but potentially a way to get netflix etc on a bigger screen.

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Looping back here, I got an Nvidia Shield Pro + Hauppage Dual USB tuner. The Shield Pro is designed to work as a Plex Server among other things, so setup was pretty straightforward.

So now it’s acting as a Freeview DVR, which I can acces on all our TVs via Firestick or the inbuilt Plex clients on the TV, plus through the web and on my phone. Obviously Plex offers much more than that but it’s doing what I need it to now.

Some teething issues with Android TV Plex clients at the moment meaning BBC2 is mapping to ITV (even though through the Web UI and on the server it’s mapped OK) but seems that’s just a bug in the latest client.

I did look at Emby as an alternative to Plex but had already bought the Hauppage which Emby doesn’t support.

Cheers for the heads-up on Plex @Jgav !

Still need to buy an external drive for the Shield as it only has 16GB of storage but wanted to make sure this was a viable alternative first.

Glad it’s working. Always a bit of a faff to get the software setup but once it is it becomes seamless.