I think it's about time to replace my SageTV DVR/PVR system, so I'm
looking for opinions and recommendations for a DVR backend to run on a
Gentoo desktop machine.
For many years, I ran a dedicated, combined frontend/backend MythTV
system (usually a Debian install). Then I switched to a mac-mini
frontend booting a dedicated MythTV frontend distro from a USB flash
drive with the MythTV backend running on my general-purposed Gentoo
box. I was never completely happy with the mac mini frontend, but it
was small and quiet and mostly worked.
After that (about 8 years ago) I switched to using the SageTV backend
on that same Gentoo box with SageTV brand custom frontend set-top
About a year later, SageTV got bought by Google and mostly shut down.
Software continued to be updated for a few years, and EPG data was
kept flowing. The software has since been open-sourced, but the
backend development has slowed and development/support for the set-top
boxes ended (there are some nagging set-top box problems that are
never going to get fixed). The "lifetime" free EPG data spigot for
SageTV got turned off last year.
SageTV is a large Java app with a bunch of custom libraries. For now,
the tarball of JAR files and binaries works, but it's not a long-term
solution. I tried building the SageTV backend under Gentoo and was
unsuccessful in an effort to produce an ebuild for it. The build
system is a completely broken mess of shell-scripts and makes all
sorts of assumptions about development host library versions (it
requires a lot of ancient library versions).
I'm looking for opinions on a DVR backend to run on a desktop Gentoo
box. Input is OTA ATSC via an Ethernet-connected tuner (SiliconDust
HDHomeRun). The ideal set-top frontend would be Roku. I'd also really
like a good Android frontend. My next choice for a set-top frontend
would probably be Kodi on Raspberry Pi 3B or Vero 4K HW. I'm going to
pick up a RPi3 this weekend and start playing with Kodi (OSMC or
The main backend options seem to be MythTV, Plex, and TVHeadend.
Pros: Good feature set
Cons: It's a giant bloated mess that pulls in all sorts of Qt stuff
Fragile frontend API/protocol that gets broken regularly
Poor music player (the last time I tried it)
Poor frontend support for Android.
Pros: Roku frontend
Good integration of existing media files
Good support for Android
Cons: DVR support is new
Android frontend (I think)
Cons: Weak recording management
Poor integration of existing media
There are minimal subscription costs for all three ($40/year for Plex,
$25/year for the others), so that's a push.
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