My thoughts on this topic rapidly evolve. Now that I’ve gone through a bunch of hard drives and files I’m confident I could lose any of the three Win10 PCs without losing anything important, I realize I could use them to test out various DVR / media server software.

More and more I think I would like a “back room” TV tuner server and be able to at least play stuff on the TV and computers via DLNA and/or a program.

Some software thoughts:

  • MythTV - Most of my problems with this were playback, but that was years ago and I’m not wanting to use it to play. It’s worth another look as a backend server.
  • NextPVR - Has suddenly started behaving and may turn out to be the default, least-trouble if it continues to work. Supposedly can serve media via DLNA, and even if it can’t another server could serve its recordings I expect.
  • SageTV - Has very little mention / mindshare out there, but used to be proprietary, got bought by Google (!) in 2011 and was fully open sourced about a year ago. Worth a look if for no other reason than Google and open source, but curious why it appears to be under the radar.
  • Plex - Meant to be a server. Parts are proprietary, but it might do what I want to do with the free parts. Might be worth an install on a now-spare PC.
  • Emby - Had a lot of hype in recent months/years. I know very little about it, but it’s supposedly a server-oriented thingy, too.

I’m currently more in favor of trying out existing stuff than rolling my own. I have 3 TV tuner cards and at least one USB tuner. 2 tuner cards are in the NextPVR box, but that still leaves me two other trial tuners, and heck I might even be able to temporarily stop NextPVR and install something else on the current DVR box.