Since I’ve upgraded my home Windows server to Windows 10, I’ve had to find a replacement for Windows Media Center as a back-end DVR for Kodi.
Now, I could continue to use the discontinued Media Center software as outlined here, I’ve decided to further embrace the open source world, and use a PVR that is still being actively developed. My main criteria were:
1. Open Source.
3. Easy to setup.
Well, I wanted to find an easy setup to run on my Linux home server… but, Nope. Yeah, it’s possible to do, and not super crazy difficult, but its annoying to setup. I didn’t really want to waste the several hours I did setting up TVheadend. MythTV still sucks from what I can tell, and I wasn’t really happy getting the scheduler to work correctly.
Enter a Windows only entry, NextPVR. While I had considered MediaPortal, NextPVR’s site was a bit more friendly, and seemed a little more light weight, especially since I would be sticking with Kodi as my front-end.
NextPVR installed in a snap, saw my HDHomerun tuner automatically (I had already installed the Windows drivers) and required very little setup. Essentially, after signing up for Schedules Direct (you can just use the free trial if you want to test firts), all I had to do was map the stations to the schedules direct guide.
Aaannnnd, you’re all set to use NextPVR, or install the NextPVR addon in Kodi. If you install the NextPVR Kodi plugin, you really just need to supply the IP of your server, and the pin that you set earlier. Also, do yourself a favor and turn on the “time-shifting” feature which should really be on by default.
This is the best WMC LiveTV replacement I have found, and my only small compaints are:
- I can’t install the server on Linux (thought the Kodi Client works great in Windows or Linux)
- It’d be nice to have a bulk move to schedules direct rather than having to do them one by one.
Again, this may be your best solution to a WMC DVR/PVR replacement, it’s certainly the best I’ve found. The setup took me < 20minutes from beginning to end including install times, and All of the TV recording and Live TV features work at least as good as when I was using WMC as a backend. I’m super happy with this setup and would rate it at 95% Awesome.
Need another Kodi box, or just another toy to tinker with? Check out the Raspberry Pi 3.