How to Build Automated DVR for the Ultimate TV Experience

Find out how to construct a DIY Digital Video Recorder (DVR) that may routinely document all your favourite reside TV exhibits.

In the event you’ve ever questioned:

What’s the alternative software for Windows Media Middle so I can watch and report stay TV?

How do I do weekly episodic programming?

How can I manage and play my TV recordings?

How can I share TV exhibits across multiple viewing units?

Then this whole DIY guide, which can show you ways to set up an automatized and commercial-free TV experience, is strictly what you need.

You will be unable to achieve this with any set-top DVR field.

I have this DVR system up and operating in my residence, and I actually consider that it will utterly change the method you watch stay TV.

What you will study in this publish

How to…

You should use this DIY DVR system to mechanically document only chosen TV collection, or all content on a channel.

When utilizing this DVR system, you will not want to plan prematurely to guarantee your TV exhibits might be recorded.

Subscriber-exclusive content material: For those who’re My Media Experience subscriber, you get free life-time access to step-by-step coaching programs in our member resource library that may provide help to to construct your HTPC from scratch, select the proper software and set them up. Not subscribed but? Enroll here.

What you will have

So as to full this guide, you will want a TV tuner, a Home windows-based pc with the disk area for recordings, and one thing with a display for viewing.

Advisable hardware:

  • Media server hardware: I’m using my value HTPC (my performance HTPC also works properly) as a back-end server for the TV recorder, scheduler, business remover, and media server purposes.
  • TV tuner: I’m utilizing a HDHomeRun TV tuner to document TV.
  • Media units: I’m utilizing my front-end HTPCs and iPad to watch TV.

Advisable software program:

  • TV recorder: In accordance to my checks, NextPVR is strong TV software that has a complicated scheduling system.
  • Business remover: I’m utilizing MCEBuddy to take away commercials, rename, and convert TV exhibits to MP4 format.
  • Media server software: I’m using Plex Media Server to arrange TV exhibits and transcode video streams to other units.
  • Entrance-end software program: I’m using my custom HTPCs with a Plex add-on on Kodi software to watch recorded exhibits in my house.
  • Plex app: I’m utilizing a Plex app on iPad to watch TV exhibits on the go.

This is what my DVR system seems like…



Build a back-end media server

I’m utilizing my reference value HTPC, which inserts perfectly as a DVR, but many different hardware varieties are also appropriate as a back-end media server.

If you already have a Windows-based pc that has an Intel Core 2 Duo processor 2.four GHz or better and at the least 2GB RAM, you possibly can skip this step.

When you don’t but have a computer that may act as a media server and usually are not positive which elements to choose, you need to use my worth HTPC element listing to construct a HTPC with me.

Get the worth HTPC elements here.

Set up Windows

If you have already got Home windows 8.1 or Windows 10 installed on your pc, you possibly can skip this step.

Installing Home windows 8.1 or Windows 10 could be very simple. You possibly can comply with these directions on how to set up Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 Preview.

After the Home windows working system set up is accomplished, it is time to set up graphics drivers.

In case you are utilizing my worth HTPC reference construct, you’ll be able to download the drivers for the Intel HD graphics card right here and comply with the installation directions on the display.

Set up Home windows Storage Areas (optionally available step)

StoragesYou’ll be able to skip this step in case you are using only one onerous drive for your TV recordings.

In case you use a number of exhausting drives, I like to recommend that you simply create a storage pool to be able to document all TV exhibits into one folder.

The good thing about Storage Areas on Windows eight or newer variations for a Do-It-Yourself DVR is that the Storage Area is definitely a digital disk and you may report all the TV exhibits into one folder, while Storage Areas distributes the knowledge into multiple onerous drives.


  1. First, go to Management Panel and select “Storage Spaces” beneath System and Security.
  2. Select the “Create a new pool and storage space” choice, and you may be prompted to create your first space for storing. You will notice an inventory of obtainable onerous drives that may be included into your pool.
  3. Subsequent, enter a name, drive letter, and resiliency sort for your space for storing. I decided to use the “Simple” resiliency sort as I needed to maximize space for storing and I did not want to shield my knowledge from a single drive failure.
  4. Finally, click on “Create storage space”, and your storage pool can be created. The arrange is now accomplished and you can begin recording media information to the space for storing.

Now, I have about 5.5 TB space for storing on one digital drive, which suggests I can report virtually 5,000 hours of SD or 1,000 hours of HD content.

Set up HDHomeRun TV tuner


HDHomeRun is a superb network hooked up TV tuner that permits you to watch and report stay TV.

You possibly can choose between three HDHomeRun products: Join (2 tuners normal), Prolong (2 tuners HD), and Prime (3 tuners HD).

The Connect and Prolong are over-the-air antenna units, whereas Prime is a premium cable TV gadget with full CableCARD conditional entry help.

Choose your HDHomeRun product right here.

Then, let’s proceed with establishing HDHomeRun.


  1. Connect the coax cable, Ethernet cable and power adapter to the HDHomeRun.
  2. Download the HDHomeRun software program and set up it in your PC. Launch the app and set your location and source sort. In the Software tab set the “Main Application” to “Other”.
  3. In case you are utilizing a DVB-C tuner like I’m, choose the modulation settings on the DVB-C tab. For those who use the Dual mannequin, you’ll be able to skip this step.
  4. Run a channel scan on the Digital Cable tab. As soon as
    scanning is accomplished, you’ve finished the installation.

Set up NextPVR TV recorder software program

NextPVR (1)
There’s a variety of TV recording software to choose from. Over the past a number of years, I’ve been utilizing Windows Media Middle, Tvheadend, MediaPortal, DVBLink, NextPVR, Argues TV, Emby TV and Plex DVR.

Just lately, I’ve returned to NextPVR to report TV exhibits.

Plex DVR and Emby TV are creating in the proper path, providing an easy-to-use interface and fast setup.

Nevertheless, based mostly on my exams, I nonetheless get the most dependable experience with NextPVR.

Here you’ll be able to see a comprehensive comparability of the PVR recording software program.

In case you are utilizing a cable card, for example with HDHomeRun Prime, then I might advocate utilizing ServerWMC with Windows Media Middle as the PVR recording software.

It is good to take into account that Windows 10 not consists of Home windows Media Middle any extra, so you want to keep on with the Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 operating system, for those who plan to use WMC and ServerWMC.

In my setup, I solely report free (i.e. unencrypted) TV channels, so my suggestion is NextPVR software program due to its flexibility and reliability in accordance to my exams.

Word: In case you are nonetheless using Argus TV based mostly on my earlier suggestion, right here you will discover Argus TV instructions.

Let’s proceed with the NextPVR software program installation.

  1. Download the latest NextPVR model.
  2. Launch NPVRSetup_X_X_X.exe and comply with the steps in the set up wizard.
  3. Open the NextPVR software and you will notice the Settings page once you launch the software for the first time. You’ll be able to entry Settings later by clicking the proper hand mouse button.
  4. Go to the “Devices” tab and select your TV tuner from the listing (mine is HDHomeRun DVB-C tuner).
  5. Click “Device Setup”, select your nation and click on “Scan” to search for the channels. Subsequent, select one other TV tuner system in case you have multiple tuners and answer “Yes” to copy the channel configuration from the first TV tuner gadget.
  6. Go to the “Channels” tab and select “Details” to set the right EPG supply (e.g. DVB/ATSC EPG). Tip: select “Bulk Map” to simply set the EPG source for a number of channels.
  7. Then, select “Update EPG” to retrieve the TV Information (EPG) for all channels and units.
  8. Go to the “Recording” tab and choose “Add” a new folder if you wish to document information to some other location.
  9. Finally, click on “OK” and exit the NextPVR software.

The NextPVR TV tuner server software will run in the background even once you exit the NextPVR software.

Tip: While you will get the primary Digital Program Information EPG by way of DVB signal, Schedules Direct (enroll here) allows you to get far more complete episode metadata that permits Plex, Emby or Kodi to retrieve fan-art and different photographs and episode info.

Scheduling your recordings

There are several ways to schedule your recordings.

For example, you need to use:

  • NextPVR software
  • Net Interface (http://your-server-IP-address:8866)
  • NextPVR iOS app
  • Kodi PVR add-on

Subsequent, I’ll show you two other ways to schedule your recordings: guide and automated.

Manually schedule and report TV exhibits

I’ll use the NextPVR iOS app to simply create schedules for the recordings.

  1. Buy the NextPVR iOS app in the Apple App Store.
  2. Open the NextPVR app.
  3. Choose “TV Guide” at the backside of the display.
  4. Choose your favorite TV show and schedule recording.

Routinely schedule and document all TV exhibits on a channel

Subsequent, I’ll present you a extra advanced means to mechanically document all TV exhibits on a selected channel. Using the advanced guidelines technique, you don’t even want to keep in mind to schedule your favourite TV exhibits.

Let’s create advanced rules so that each one the TV exhibits might be mechanically recorded on chosen channels.

  1. Launch the NextPVR software.
  2. Go to the “Recordings” tab.
  3. Transfer your mouse to the prime of the display and select “Man-Rec” from the hidden menu.
  4. In the “Manual Recording” display, choose the “Channel” you want to document.
  5. Add superior rule, reminiscent of “title LIKE ‘%news%’” to document all exhibits with ‘news’ in the title.

Please observe that the “Advanced Rules” function will ignore the specified Start and Finish occasions.

You possibly can study more about potential superior rules.

Set up business remover


If you want to clean the recorded TV exhibits and remove commercials, I might advocate using the MCEBuddy software.

MCEBuddy watches the recordings, strips the commercials, and re-encodes video information in top quality.

I are not looking for to remove advertisements on each recorded TV present as I document all packages on specific channels.

I made a decision to arrange my TV recordings into two separate folders: Recordings and Favorites.

The Recordings folder incorporates all recorded TV exhibits, while the Favorites folder incorporates solely my most often watched TV exhibits converted with out commercials.

So, I’ll show you ways I set up MCEBuddy to take away commercials and convert them to MP4 format for my favourite TV exhibits.


  1. Buy and download MCEBuddy and install it in your PC. Click “Settings” button to configure settings.
  2. Click on the “Add” button beneath “Monitor locations”. MCEBuddy will hold monitoring this location for new recordings. Then, click on the “Add” button underneath “Conversion tasks”.
  3. In the “Conversion Task” window, write the process identify, set the “Profile” to “MP4 High Quality” and set the destination folder (e.g. D:Recordings). In the “Selection Filters”, sort the TV exhibits you need to have advertisements removed from and converted. (e.g. Bones*; Citadel*;Holmes*). Click OK twice to return to the principal display.
  4. On the “MCEBuddy Status” display, click on “Start” and it ought to routinely start converting. You’ll be able to depart MCEBuddy working in the background, so when ever new recordings are available, they are going to be processed.

I observed that a few of the transformed recordings had a inexperienced line on the aspect.

You’ll be able to eliminate this inexperienced line by going to “Settings” > “Edit Conversion Task” > “Expert Settings” > uncheck “Hardware encoding” underneath “Audio and Video”.

All in all, MCEBuddy has been working properly in my system and it has removed commercials very accurately with Comskip device.

Manage recorded TV exhibits

PlexServer (1)
Subsequent, let’s arrange our recorded packages and re-encoded our favourite TV exhibits so that they will be obtainable on any system you employ to watch videos.

For this technique, I examined both Emby (was MediaBrowser 3) and Plex Media Server to see how they might be used as a back-end media server for my DVR system.

I found Plex to be the easiest method to handle recorded TV exhibits.

Let’s install and configure Plex Media Server to handle and stream recorded TV exhibits to any gadget.

Plex Media Server has the capability to transcode your TV recordings, depending on your gadget and network.

This manner, TV exhibits will play easily in your cell phone or your iPad over a wi-fi community.

One other nice function of Plex is which you can proceed the video file from the place you left off on any system.

For instance, you can begin watching a TV program together with your HTPC in the front room and then continue watching it in your iPad elsewhere.

You’ll be able to set up Plex Media Server and media library for your TV recordings by following these steps.

  1. Obtain the Plex Media Server and set up it on your PC. As soon as set up is completed, select Launch to open Plex. You can even launch Plex by right clicking the software icon on your begin bar and choosing “Open Plex”
  2. The first time you load Plex Net App, a wizard will prompt you to Sign In or Signal Up when you don’t have a Plex account yet.
  3. Next, Plex will detect your pc as a server and you may give it a new identify if you wish. Click on the “Next” button.
  4. You may be prompted to create Libraries for your media. Choose “Add Library” after which select “TV Shows” and locate the folder the place the recorded TV show is situated. Click “Add Library”.
  5. Permit Plex to undergo your media information and scrape the meta knowledge. Then, click on “Next” and eventually “Done” to full the setup.
  6. You possibly can repair any incorrectly matched videos by choosing the TV show and clicking the “…” icon on the left bar. Choose “Fix Incorrect Match” and search for the right TV present.
  7. Now, you possibly can entry your media library on any PC, cellular system or Sensible TV. For example, you will get the Plex app for your mobile phone and start watching your TV exhibits.

Lastly, I might advocate altering the library update interval, so that media library stays up-to-date when NextPVR finishes recording new TV packages.

In the Plex Net App, go to “Settings” > “Server” > “Library” > Enable “Update my library automatically” and set the “Library update interval” to “every 15 minutes”.

Configure front-end software program

It’s also possible to use Plex front-end, however I want Kodi software program as an entire entertainment middle answer.

In case you are new to Kodi or want to customise it further, you must take a look at my comprehensive information to establishing and customizing Kodi.

Combine Kodi and Plex Media Server

In this part, I will present you ways to integrate Kodi and Plex.

  1. Go to the Add-ons tab on the residence display and choose “Enter add-on browser”.
  2. Go to “Install from repository > Video Add-ons” > Plex
  3. Click on on the Plex add-on and choose install to obtain it.
  4. You possibly can go back to the Add-ons menu, and you will discover the new Plex add-on beneath the Video Add-ons folder.
  5. Launch Plex add-on and choose “Sign In”. In your net browser (on any gadget), go to plex.television/link and enter the code introduced on your TV display.
  6. Now, you’re all set and you can begin discovering your content material on Plex.

Integrate NextPVR and Kodi to watch stay TV

Even if this DVR system is capable of recording all TV exhibits, you’ll be able to in fact nonetheless watch stay TV.

Listed here are the steps to watch stay TV.


  1. In Kodi, go to “Settings” > “System Settings” > “Add-ons” tab.
  2. At the bottom of the display, be sure to have either “Advanced” or “Expert” settings degree chosen.
  3. In the “Add-ons” tab, select “Manage dependencies”.
  4. Choose “..” to go to the root folder and select “My add-ons” and then “PVR clients”.
  5. Next, select your most popular software program from the PVR shopper record (in my case “NextPVR PVR Client”.
  6. Click on “Enable” to begin the NextPVR shopper. You can even configure your TV server’s IP tackle in case you use a distant pc.
  7. Now, Kodi ought to start importing the EPG from shoppers. Go back to the principal menu and select “TV” from the most important menu to begin watching the stay TV stream.

Tip: Enable the video deinterlacing choice for smoother stay TV playback. Choose on-screen “Video Settings” and set “Deinterlace video = On”.

To wrap it up

You’ve finally reached to the end of this information.

It might look difficult to arrange this DVR system at first, but when you get it working, you’ll be able to merely overlook it and luxuriate in TV exhibits mechanically appearing on your media units.

Let’s recap the details to contemplate when constructing your personal DVR (Digital Video Recorder) system…


In this complete step-by-step guide, I’ve coated step-by-step how to construct and arrange a DVR system to mechanically report TV exhibits.

Now it’s your turn.

Advisable hardware for your back-end server:
To get began building your personal, have a look at the following hardware recommendations which might be appropriate back-ends and front-ends for your ultimate TV experience.

I might additionally advocate testing this information to watch and document online channels comparable to Netflix and Hulu.