Results 1 to 17 of 17
Like Tree6Likes
  • 1 Post By trubble2rubble
  • 1 Post By beege
  • 1 Post By 67Cuda
  • 1 Post By Garwood
  • 1 Post By WHHJR
  • 1 Post By nt1953

Thread: OT... DIY DVR and getting away from SAT/Cable providers

  1. #1
    TFPace's Avatar
    TFPace is offline Hot Rolled
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Pinnacle, NC USA
    Posts
    803

    Default OT... DIY DVR and getting away from SAT/Cable providers

    Hello All,

    Wanting to know if there are any PM folk that have set up a home media PC? I have been paying Dish Network $100.00 plus a month for years. We watch at best less than 6 channels out of 250 plus that are available.
    We do use that DVR and I love that feature. HD television over the air antennae are pretty good too. From what I am reading the homeowner is able to put together a system that couples your local TV stations and then use the DSL/internet to watch the cable shows via HULU and other similar formats.

    Can anyone suggests some forums that your guys have used to set a system? Thank you all!

    Tom

  2. #2
    doug8cat is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,593

    Default

    I have cable but understand the question, our cable company has different packages containing more or less dependind on your choice of which channels are offered. Maybe the company your using has such an option, a call to them explaining which channels you want may prove fruitfull. Call 'em up and say listen I like your company but is there a way to limit my channel choice and oing so bring down the bill. You would be surprised what you can get by contacting companies and explaining the problem or what you want. It is just the fact so many folks don't take the personal approach, there are good deals out there not just in the cable t.v. market but every where. People just take the time to schmooze, tell the Co. how great they are and that you will be telling your friends about the exceptional service if you get your way. Same thing with home appliances rarely do folks call to get them to honor a warentee especially on smaller things that they think it is easier to just chuck it and by a new one rather than call the manufacturer and possibly get a new unit for free or atleast a lower price.

  3. #3
    trubble2rubble is offline Aluminum
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Burlington,NJ
    Posts
    140

    Default

    If you're PC capable, try this:

    Do-It-Yourself DVR | PCMag.com

    t2r
    TFPace likes this.

  4. #4
    beege's Avatar
    beege is online now Hot Rolled
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    714

    Default

    And try this, too

    MythTV, Open Source DVR
    TFPace likes this.

  5. #5
    67Cuda's Avatar
    67Cuda is offline Titanium
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Coastal Dogpatch, West Coast, CA
    Posts
    2,217

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TFPace View Post
    then use the DSL/internet to watch the cable shows via HULU and other similar formats.
    Just be aware that internet providers have a cap as to how much you can "use" a month, somewhere around 250 gigabytes. This cap may or may not affect you depending on how much you'll be downloading TV shows.

    Tom
    TFPace likes this.

  6. #6
    Garwood is online now Titanium
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    2,088

    Default

    Had Netflix for two years now. Haven't seen a TV commercial or a news program since and am much happier for it. One month of cable pays for a whole year too.

    Couldn't pay me to have cable again.
    TFPace likes this.

  7. #7
    MrFluffy is offline Hot Rolled
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Nomadic in Europe
    Posts
    653

    Default

    Used mythtv for ummmm about 6 years now. We have a rack mount tv server with 8 feeds into it, 2Tb of storage drives, and two quad dvb cards for dvb-s feeds.
    Round the house we have a ragbag of atom based fanless mini pc's as frontends, a old laptop in my wifes sewing machine and some tablets etc. My kids use the record feature the most for timeshifting cartoons
    We've only just retired xbox classic's for frontends because a while back we made the switch from pvr250's to dvb-s cards means we can't choose the bitrate and they just couldn't cope with most of the dvb-s channel's bitrate and resolution.
    Mines pretty stable after all this time, and we have no other way of watching tv in most rooms apart from the feed from the myth server...

    But... word of caution, its a tinkerers dream and you better like linux. Even if you use something like mythbuntu or mythdora etc with everything pre configured, you'll still end up getting hands on in a few places I'm sure.

  8. #8
    Chazsani is offline Cast Iron
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Virtual, SF Bay Area, Tampa Area
    Posts
    369

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MrFluffy View Post
    Used mythtv for ummmm about 6 years now. We have a rack mount tv server with 8 feeds into it, 2Tb of storage drives, and two quad dvb cards for dvb-s feeds.
    Round the house we have a ragbag of atom based fanless mini pc's as frontends, a old laptop in my wifes sewing machine and some tablets etc. My kids use the record feature the most for timeshifting cartoons
    We've only just retired xbox classic's for frontends because a while back we made the switch from pvr250's to dvb-s cards means we can't choose the bitrate and they just couldn't cope with most of the dvb-s channel's bitrate and resolution.
    Mines pretty stable after all this time, and we have no other way of watching tv in most rooms apart from the feed from the myth server...

    But... word of caution, its a tinkerers dream and you better like linux. Even if you use something like mythbuntu or mythdora etc with everything pre configured, you'll still end up getting hands on in a few places I'm sure.
    What is this DVB cards for DVB-S? Is that for receiving signal from a small satellite dish (DISH/DirecTV) or a big dish (2-3meter)?

    Thanks,
    Chazsani

  9. #9
    WHHJR is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Near:Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,046

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TFPace View Post
    Hello All,

    I have been paying Dish Network $100.00 plus a month for years. We watch at best less than 6 channels out of 250 plus that are available.


    Tom
    Call dish and try to get a better rate. I pay about $64/month. They do not want to lose you.

    2
    TFPace likes this.

  10. #10
    MrFluffy is offline Hot Rolled
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Nomadic in Europe
    Posts
    653

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chazsani View Post
    What is this DVB cards for DVB-S? Is that for receiving signal from a small satellite dish (DISH/DirecTV) or a big dish (2-3meter)?

    Thanks,
    Chazsani
    DVB-S is a card that takes direct input from a satellite dish with no STB required. The lead from the dish screws right onto the backplane of the pc card. It doesn't care about the size of the antenna connected to it, but the pc card versions can't handle encrypted signals without a 3rd party CAM module, which if the encryption is proprietory is unlikely to be available for purchase. All the feeds I take are in the clear (mostly astra 1b unencrypted, but we have another dish pointed off at eurobird that comes up with all sorts of bizzare middle eastern stuff too).
    The other variant is DVB-T which takes digital feed from a terrestial antenna instead of a satelite dish and most euro countries have turned off their analog tv signals in favor of dvb-t signals now.

    I don't know the DiSH network hardware to know which it is, but dvb-s and dvb-t are both in use in europe.

  11. #11
    TFPace's Avatar
    TFPace is offline Hot Rolled
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Pinnacle, NC USA
    Posts
    803

    Default

    MrFluffy,

    Both Dish & Direct are very encrypted. Free to Air satellite has cooled off in the US.

  12. #12
    jim rozen is offline Diamond
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    peekskill, NY
    Posts
    21,601

    Default

    Folks, I "cut the cord" years ago. Right when we bought our house, we had a kid. That right there
    was grounds to tell the cable company, no-thanks anymore. We never set up any service when we
    moved in, and after a few months of back and forth, the jerks just, well, jerked the wire off the
    house.

    Good riddance.

    Yes we have a DVD player and a TV. Yes we get program material from netflix, and from the local
    library. Does not hurt that ms. mulligan is a librarian in town - so we have a bit of an 'in.'

    Don't miss the commercial programming, don't miss what passes for "news" on the commercial stations.

    Right now as far as I can see, the old paradigm of commercial programming is just going away. Obsolete.
    Network and cable execs must be taking a good long hard look at declining revenue, and saying uh-oh.

  13. #13
    MrFluffy is offline Hot Rolled
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Nomadic in Europe
    Posts
    653

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TFPace View Post
    MrFluffy,

    Both Dish & Direct are very encrypted. Free to Air satellite has cooled off in the US.
    Then the myth way is to use the dish and direct stb's and control them with a IR blaster controlled by the mythtv backend box and record the input using a analog card (for example a hauppage pv250). Been there and did that with encrypted Sky satelite in europe for a few years. The real let down in that setup was the amount of times the official skybox firmware just crashed out and needed power cycling, and the myth system just recorded the error screen. The dvb-s decoder less system has a much higher wife acceptance factor...

    But, that doesn't meet the original posters requirements of cutting off dish network and their fee's.
    In which case, either a analog capture card if the local stations are in the clear and old analog signals still, or a dvb-T if theyre dvb terrestial streams but unencrypted also.

    There are other products that do the same but in a windows based setup, that I have no experience in to comment further on. GB-PVR, MediaPortal, xbmc etc.

  14. #14
    nt1953 is offline Cast Iron
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Huntsville, Alabama
    Posts
    334

    Default

    I use a PC with a TV-FM radio card to do all my media stuff. I watch over the air TV (I get 12 local channels), listen to FM radio, record anything I want, surf the web, use Netflix, play DVDs or CDs, store and show pictures, store and play music. You can even get dual TV channel cards so that you can record one station and watch another at the same time. DVR function is all part of it. I don't miss paying for cable or dish at all.
    Laurentian likes this.

  15. #15
    GregSY is offline Diamond
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    4,258

    Default

    I haven't had cable TV since 2001. I don't miss paying the monopolistic prices and handing money over to idiots. Somehow I feel I might even have a few more brain cells for having missed 10 years of Pauly, Mikey, Jesse, Wolfgang, and all those pawn shop/ice road/storage locker idiots.

  16. #16
    Lakeside53 is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Woodinville, WA
    Posts
    1,215

    Default

    My Tivo Premiere (and my previous Tivo HD) works well with the local "over the air" HD channels, and connects via dsl to just about anything on the internet.

  17. #17
    Forestgnome's Avatar
    Forestgnome is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Californeeeah
    Posts
    1,170

    Default

    The problem I've had is distributing the signal. I originally had Dish running to distributed ch3 rf feeds. When I switched to pc-based I wanted to feed one HDTV and distribute to the other tv's via rf. The problem was I couldn't get good rf conversion, and even with that, there was a big time delay between the rf and HDTV so there were echos in the house. Also there was no way to view different aspect ratios on different outputs. The video cards are capable but Windows isn't. So until I replace the other tv's with HDTV I view either Dish or the pc. One other issue is that if my tv is turned off I need to restart the pc to get the tv to handshake with the HDMI in the pc. Tv on first, then pc. The technology isn't quite ripe.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •