Watching TV on XBMC

dar124

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I've recently got my HTPC up and running and have been using XBMC to watch the movies & TV shows that I have down on my WHS server. I'm still getting used to XBMC and have been making little changes here and there to get it configured, but overall I'm pretty happy with it.

Since getting things set up, I've started looking into watching TV with XBMC. After a bit of googling there seem to be a bunch of different add ons out there for this. So I wanted to check here to see if anyone has any suggestions or input about watching TV via XBMC??

Thanks in advance.
 

malacoda

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If you already have windows media center set up somewhere the wmc.pvr plugin is super easy to get up and running. If you dont want/need to mess with wmc then I would suggest NextPVR or DVBLink. I have used both with good results.

The HD prime by silicon dust makes an excellent ethernet based tuner for cablecard. They also make versions for ota that work equally as well.
 

ru!ner

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Are you trying to watch cable or OTA TV? Cable can be problematic because of encryption, and OTA depends on if you have good reception.

XBMC's PVR system, or at least the plugins I've tried, is missing a bunch of features like series record. The WMC backend plugin is supposed to be able to do this but WMC doesn't like to do OTA in Canada.

I actually found MediaPortal to have the best PVR functionality but XBMC to be better at handling TV series and movies. Since my wife doesn't want to use 2 different interfaces I settled on XBMC with ARGUS as the backend, which has quite a bit of functionality but a lot of it is only accessible through the ARGUS TV software.

I'm using a HDHomeRun 3 and it works great since I can put the antenna in a different location from the HTPC and distribute the signal with my existing ethernet wiring.
 

dar124

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Maybe I titled this wrong or described what I was trying to do incorrectly.

I was looking into watching live TV via XBMC. The info that I saw online (mostly on YouTube videos) talked about installing F TV, Mash Up, 1 Channel, Ice Films in some combination as various XBMC add-ons for watching live TV. I'm still new to XBMC, so I guess that I was looking for some additional info regarding these add-ons and/or about watching live TV via XBMC. From the YouTube videos installing these and setting everything up seems pretty simple, but I don't want to just go out and do something only following directions found on YouTube.

Does anyone here use any of these add-ons?? Does anyone here use XBMC to watch live TV or have any additional info about doing so??
 

faugusztin

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Question is, what do you mean by watching TV. Me and ru!ner clearly think about it in terms of PVR, and that means internal card or external box, which you can connect to your PC and is supported by MediaPortal. Then you can link MediaPortal to XBMC, and XBMC will act like a frontend, and MediaPortal TV Server like a backend.

If you by watching TV mean various random streaming services, then you usually need to hunt down XBMC addons for that specific site.
 

malacoda

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I use XBMC to watch live TV.
I have a silicon dust HD Prime and a cable card from comcast. My XBMC box also runs windows media center 8 as my TV/DVR back end. I use the wmc.pvr plugin from XBMC to connect to the WMC backend. Once thats all set up I watch all my comcast channels in XBMC plus I schedule and watch single/series recordings from XBMC.

This guide should answer most of your questions for setting up xbmc and wmc to work together
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=187548

I have used NextPVR and DVBLink as my backend before but the WAF seems highest with wmc.
 

dar124

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Question is, what do you mean by watching TV. Me and ru!ner clearly think about it in terms of PVR, and that means internal card or external box, which you can connect to your PC and is supported by MediaPortal. Then you can link MediaPortal to XBMC, and XBMC will act like a frontend, and MediaPortal TV Server like a backend.

If you by watching TV mean various random streaming services, then you usually need to hunt down XBMC addons for that specific site.


By "watching live TV" I was meaning streaming live TV via XBMC with some sort of add on, not with a PVR.

I initially got my server, HTPC and XBMC set up to be able watch the local content that I have saved/ripped down on the server in the living room. But as I've gone thru reading about XBMC I've come across some articles and videos (video 1, video 2, video 3, video 4) that show various ways to stream live TV with XBMC. So I was posting here to try to get some additional info on this and see if any of it really worked before I just went ahead and tried it with only watching the YouTube video.

My ultimate goal would be to get rid of cable all together. But the main drawback is not being able to watch live TV. I dont personally have an issue with watching shows a few days after they've aired, but my wife is a bit hesitant to not have the ability to watch the handful of shows she watches live.
 

malacoda

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ahh Ive not done the full cord cut yet as Im trying to wean my wife off her cable channel surfing. I am baby stepping her down by cutting the cable channels a tier every few months.

Ill end up at basic cable since its actually cheaper for me to bundle cable internet/basic HD channels than to just get the internet as standalone

wmc.pvr is the name of the addin that lets you pull the live TV stream from windows media center. I watch regular old live TV from comcast inside xbmc.

The only striaght out streaming service I have exerience with is playOn http://www.playon.tv/. My brother runs it on his htpc. He seems quite happy with the service but you do have to run it on the same server as XBMC to get the HD stream function to work for XBMC
 

boomhower

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Get mash to start with. It has about everything all combined into one interface. Also get p2p as it installs acestream along with it that will allow you to access much higher quality streams. Mash really rocks though. icefilms, 1click among others are good. Youtube fusion and supereppo to access these and a lot more.
 

The Lurker

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The only striaght out streaming service I have exerience with is playOn http://www.playon.tv/. My brother runs it on his htpc. He seems quite happy with the service but you do have to run it on the same server as XBMC to get the HD stream function to work for XBMC

From what I understand none of the channels they offering are true live TV, it's all basically on demand. Only when the CW11 or Fox puts up the episode of the show you want to watch that is when the user of Playon will be able to watch it, not as it is being aired. You would also need to have netflix, hulu, and amazon prime memberships to use those "channels".

Unless I am grossly misunderstanding.
 
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The Lurker

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Question is, what do you mean by watching TV. Me and ru!ner clearly think about it in terms of PVR, and that means internal card or external box, which you can connect to your PC and is supported by MediaPortal. Then you can link MediaPortal to XBMC, and XBMC will act like a frontend, and MediaPortal TV Server like a backend.

If you by watching TV mean various random streaming services, then you usually need to hunt down XBMC addons for that specific site.

What the benefit of using media portal as the back end for XBMC versus just using Media Portal for both front and back end?
 

The Lurker

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I understand that and I use XBMC side by side with WMC. However, I only use WMC for TV, everything else I watch through XBMC(switch between them with the WMC plugin). I do not have the wmc.pvr plugin setup in XMBC because WMC works well, does everything we need and I can watch HBO and Showtime with it. I doubt i'll watch TV through XBMC simply because it would be a PITA to switch back and forth for HBO and Showtime, but I was still curious what the benefits are of running a different back end and using XBMC for everything not copy protected?
 

af22

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What the benefit of using media portal as the back end for XBMC versus just using Media Portal for both front and back end?

If you only care to watch live tv, both WMC and Media Portal are superior then using XBMC.

But if you want to watch x264 mkvs. Both WMC and Media Portal are a pain to get the video codecs / audio codecs / and subtitles working.
 

SirMaster

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I watch Live OTA TV on my XBMC with NextPVR backend. Works great with my Hauppauge tuner.
 

morgwon

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only way to "watch live tv" is using some sort of tuner. If you want to kill cable and rely in OTA (over the air) signals you will still need a tuner. That is part 1 to watching live tv. The other part is finding something that gives you playback. Like others mentioned Windows Media Center (Windows only obviously), Media Portal or MythTV are all viable options. While they are intended to give you the ability to have PVR capabilities you can still use it to watch live tv. I believe all 3 have plugins that will allow you use from within the XBMC menus. Now if you are looking for plugins to be able to watch shows available on websites that do not require you to be a cable subscriber (HBO, ESPN are sites that I believe require a valid cable or satellite account login) you can check out something like Mashup. Never used it myself but it looks like a good option to aggregate all the available online streaming shows and giving you a way to control via the same manner you would control xbmc.
 
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Funny he keeps saying it over and over, he wants to use the live streaming add-ons which rely on torrent networks and other on demand services.

I want the same thing. But add-ons are not working properly sadly.

Also looking for advice on the latest and greatest addons.
 

faugusztin

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But you won't a reliable service for that, because TV networks are still stuck in '90s and refuse to change; same as with music industry few years ago.
 
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I was able to get the add-ons working.
Along with the PseudoTV Live add-on which is just awesome!
 

dar124

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I was able to get the add-ons working.
Along with the PseudoTV Live add-on which is just awesome!


Which add-on's are you using to watch TV?? If they weren't working previously, what did you end up doing to get them configured and working??
 
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I've got poor net access, I can use netflix, but it seems most of these add-ons are unable to dumb themselves down enough for me.

1channel worked, along with others. But wishing I had better internet for sure!

If you have a huge database, pseudotv is great!
 

dar124

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So I ended up using the links I previously posted as guides to install 1Channel, Mash Up, Icefilms and the TV Addons Maintenance Tool.

I've since used 1Channel and Icefilms to watch some movies and it seems to work pretty well. I had a couple buffering issues and once the stream just stopped half way thru the movie. But selecting another stream worked and we were able to finish the movie.

I also cleaned my XBMC cache and set up Zero Cache using this video, to hopefully eliminate some buffering issues.

But my initial goal of watching live TV hasn't worked out yet though. According to the Mash Up forum, their live TV streams have been down (although after briefly looking over their forum today, they might be back up). I'll have to check them this evening when I get home.
 

Kelvarr

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The HD prime by silicon dust makes an excellent ethernet based tuner for cablecard. They also make versions for ota that work equally as well.

Not that it pertains to what the OP wants to do, but the HD Prime can be used as an OTA tuner as well if you don't want/use a cable card.
 

Pivo504

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just got xmbc any help on what you can do with it? Ive used it for music but not sure what else?
 
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