1

We run a system called ClickView at work. It's a client / server system geared towards education that lets us record and store videos, and lets students and staff watch those recordings using the ClickView Player.

The server portion has a DVR built in that lets us schedule recordings from our two TV tuner cards, chop out the unnecessary parts, then make those available to staff and students. All in all it's not a bad system in principle.

However we've had more headaches with it than we're willing to admit. The DVR is a bit flaky, despite ClickView spending hours investigating what's going on (scheduled recordings go missing due to the funny way they handle tuners, error handling on tuners could be better, so it fails to switch channels etc.). It takes our editor a while to chop out ads, and we're afraid to reboot the machine at times, because the scheduled recordings have a tendency to disappear.

So I'd like to ditch the DVR app and use something else, and I'm looking for advice.

Here's what we need:

  • We need to record on multiple TV tuner cards at once (we have 2 Hauppauge cards, and each card has 2 sub-tuners, for a total of 4 tuners). It's not often we record on all four at once, but it happens a handful of times a term.

  • We need to be able to schedule recordings. Don't care about recording by picking an item from the TV guide, but being able to manually enter in times, dates and channels is a must.

  • A built-in editor is not necessary, but is very, very welcomed. It doesn't need to be fancy, as we just need to trim the start & end times and cut out ads.

  • Ad skipping is not necessary, but is welcomed. If it does skip ads, it should be a soft-skip, so if non-ad stuff is skipped, we can get it back.

  • It should be a stand-alone app (e.g. Kodi might not be suitable, as it's a full-blown HTPC app). I'd also be happy with a sub-program of a program (for example if MediaPortal has a stand-alone app installed alongside the main app. Even if we could programmatically schedule recordings (e.g. write an XML file to a folder), that'd be acceptable.

  • We have no budget, but I wouldn't want to spend more than perhaps $100 or $200 on software. Cheaper is better, free is betterer, open source is bettererer than that.

Anyone used anything like this? Seems like most apps out there are back-ends designed for software like Kodi or MediaPortal, so it's hard to find something good.

  • A suggestion to investigate to speed up the post processing is moviepy, zulko.github.io/moviepy, which is a python library to interface with FFMPEG - take a look at the examples of picking out the highlights of football matches based on the level of crowd noise. I am sure that it could be used to automate things like advert removal & it is free! – Steve Barnes May 19 '17 at 7:17
1

A friend of mine set up a very nice OTA broadcast receiving DVR, using 2 dual channel Hauppage cards, etc. as you describe. He used MythTV via Mythbuntu - a slightly customized version of Ubuntu with MythTV all set up. Worked very well for him, using commodity off the shelf hardware and Linux.

Unfortunately the Mythbuntu team has decided to stop maintaining the separate Ubuntu "flavor" and the 16.04 release is the last with the whole package together. They'll still be providing the programs that made it different from plain ubuntu so you'll have an upgrade path again in the future. And of course, it is all open source.

http://www.mythbuntu.org/downloads

https://www.mythtv.org/detail/mythtv

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.