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Questions Before Getting Started

Added by T B about 6 years ago

Hello all, I've been doing quite a bit of reading on TVHeadEnd and am getting ready to purchase the equipment I'll need. I'm just looking to confirm that what I think I will be able to put together, will in fact work the way that I am hoping, before I invest money into the hardware.

At home, I currently have a server running Plex Media Server. On my televisions, I have Raspberry Pi 2's running RasPlex. This works great, allowing me to easily stream media from the central server.

For the TVHeadEnd component, I am planning on setting it up on a Raspberry Pi 2 up in the attic, with the tuners attached to it.

I've seen reference to a plugin for Plex Media Server that will offer the TV Streams from TVHeadEnd as a channel. This is where my uncertainty comes into play:

  • Will the live TV streams be transcoded by the RPi in the attic running TVHeadEnd, the Plex Media Server, or the RPi at each television running RasPlex? I'd prefer to offload the transcoding to the Plex Media Server, as it has more significant hardware than the RPi's. Or do the RPi2's at the televisions have more than enough hardware to do the transcoding themselves?
  • Say I only had one tuner connected to TVHeadEnd, and three RPi's with RasPlex to stream the live television to through Plex Media Server. If RPi A is streaming one channel, are the other two RPi's limited to viewing that channel as well, or can they view any other channel at the same time so long as it is on the same MUX?
  • I've seen mention of IPTV. Say a year down the road I switch to Bell Fibe Television IPTV, would I be able to connect an RPi with TVHeadEnd to the IPTV Router to deliver the stream to my other RPi's connected to the television, effectively eliminating the need to rent Bell set top boxes?

Thanks for the help folks. I'm hoping that this will be the solution for my home. I've got Ethernet everywhere, but no coax. So getting this to work is the only renovation free way to deliver live television throughout the house.


Replies (3)

RE: Questions Before Getting Started - Added by Mark Clarkstone about 6 years ago

T B wrote:

Hello all, I've been doing quite a bit of reading on TVHeadEnd and am getting ready to purchase the equipment I'll need. I'm just looking to confirm that what I think I will be able to put together, will in fact work the way that I am hoping, before I invest money into the hardware.

At home, I currently have a server running Plex Media Server. On my televisions, I have Raspberry Pi 2's running RasPlex. This works great, allowing me to easily stream media from the central server.

For the TVHeadEnd component, I am planning on setting it up on a Raspberry Pi 2 up in the attic, with the tuners attached to it.

I wouldn't recommend using a Raspberry Pi 2 as a Tvheadend server for the following reasons:-

  • The RPi 2 only has one usb bus shared between 4 usb ports and Ethernet & can easily be overwhelmed, it struggles to receive and stream 45mbps (the avg 28E sat mux) over Ethernet. So say you want to stream an HD service at about 15mbps it'll only take three clients to cause issues, welcome to glitch and bitch (by your SO) city.
  • You're going to need a fast mSD card if you want decent timeshift & recording functionality, you could save the files over Ethernet but again you're going to run into issues with bandwidth if you have people watching TV at the same time.

    Note: Not all applications support timeshift, the only known (sort of) working client is Kodi and the pvr.hts add-on however it's buggy & doesn't shift to where you actually want it to :p.

I've seen reference to a plugin for Plex Media Server that will offer the TV Streams from TVHeadEnd as a channel. This is where my uncertainty comes into play:

  • Will the live TV streams be transcoded by the RPi in the attic running TVHeadEnd, the Plex Media Server, or the RPi at each television running RasPlex? I'd prefer to offload the transcoding to the Plex Media Server, as it has more significant hardware than the RPi's. Or do the RPi2's at the televisions have more than enough hardware to do the transcoding themselves?

The only way you'll get the Raspberry Pi to transcode is by piping it to an external script that runs gstreamer or something else that supports omx.

The RPi really shouldn't need transcoding as it supports mpeg2 and h264 with a license key.

  • Say I only had one tuner connected to TVHeadEnd, and three RPi's with RasPlex to stream the live television to through Plex Media Server. If RPi A is streaming one channel, are the other two RPi's limited to viewing that channel as well, or can they view any other channel at the same time so long as it is on the same MUX?

As long as the requested channel is on the same mux then Tvheadend should be able to use the already active tuner leaving the others free.

  • I've seen mention of IPTV. Say a year down the road I switch to Bell Fibe Television IPTV, would I be able to connect an RPi with TVHeadEnd to the IPTV Router to deliver the stream to my other RPi's connected to the television, effectively eliminating the need to rent Bell set top boxes?

I don't see why not but this depends on a number of factors, encryption, concurrent connection limits and whether or not the provider does some weird crap to limit the receiving devices.

Thanks for the help folks. I'm hoping that this will be the solution for my home. I've got Ethernet everywhere, but no coax. So getting this to work is the only renovation free way to deliver live television throughout the house.

All I can suggest is that you try it and see but don't say I didn't warn you if you run into problems :p

RE: Questions Before Getting Started - Added by Al B about 6 years ago

Don't use rasplex on the pi2 clients the tvheadend plugins for plex are no good. Use openelec on the pi2 clients with the kodi pvr-hts addon for live tv (connecting to tvh server) and the plexbmc addon to connect to plex.

This is how I have mine setup and have no issue's with live tv or plex on the pi2's in my home. Im running a full server though not a pi2 server just pi2 clients + tablets and phones all using kodi with the mentioned addons.

As for the limited channel watching 1 tuner usualy equals 1 channel can be watched but if they are on the same mux multiple channels can be watched (works for me on a -T where all channels are on 1 mux tested with channels playing on 3 different clients).

RE: Questions Before Getting Started - Added by Gary Brown about 6 years ago

you have this plex server why not install pci cards into this and run tvheadend on it (if it's linux)? if it must be separate then build a cheap PC and use PCI cards instead of USB Sticks (more tuners per slot than USB).

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