Tried PLEX DVR the past few days

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by CIR-Engineering, Mar 27, 2020.

  1. CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

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    So I realized that I already had everything I need to run PLEX DVR last week; a powerful NAS with PLEX Server, PLEX Pass, an NVidia Shield on every TV, all on a wired network. The only thing I was missing was a tuner so I picked up an HDHOMERUN Quattro to try it all out...

    In a word TERRIBLE. PLEX’s interface is just garbage to start with. For example, to delete a DVR recording you have to first enable deletion by clients from the server. Then in the PLEX app on your clients it takes at least six clicks and multiple menus before you uncover the delete button. Then on top of that the program’s icon doesn’t get removed until you refresh or reopen the DVR menu so it looks like the program was not actually deleted.

    The sorting and ordering of programs is bad too, and there is no summary or title for each recording until you actually select and go into the show you are going to watch.

    Icons for many shows make no sense. The interface looks like something from ten years ago.

    Then there is the touted commercial removal. Well it’s great when it works which is about 20% of the time or less.

    There is no way to quickly fast forward or rewind.

    And then there is the clincher... you cannot watch recordings in progress. I mean WTF. Evidently it’s been a bug on and off for more than two years...

    So the TiVos will be staying in my house for the foreseeable future unless I decide to try Emby and like it.

    craigr

    Edited for fat fingers in original post from my iPhone.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2020
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  2. k2ue

    k2ue Retired RF Engineer

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    Try Channels DVR, it allows a mix of OTA, cablecard, and TVE streaming, so it is quite flexible, and solves the commercial deletion better by marking the commercials, so when auto-skip is inaccurate you can manually FR or FF to over-ride. Their web app puts all of recording management in one place, and deleting while viewing works well. I use a mix of Shield and Fire TV clients, and it supports remote viewing so we don't need a duplicate system at out summer house where there is no good OTA. And especially on the Shield the picture quality is better on 4K TV's than any TiVo box we've owned. So we have locals OTA on the same tuner you have, Spectrum local news on a CC HDHomeRun, and other cable fare (like news and sports) on TVE.

    I prefer Emby over Plex, but it has no commercial removal at all, so you need to set that up as a separate operation. Once we found Channels DVR it was the better solution.
     
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  3. reneg

    reneg Well-Known Member

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    The Plex DVR in our household was quickly rejected for similar reasons. My Household has no issue navigating the Plex libraries to find something to watch, but the DVR just didn't make the grade.

    I also went the went the Channels DVR route recently and it has been accepted by the household. Your HDHomerun Quattro will work with Channels DVR should you decide to give it a try.
     
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  4. dadrepus

    dadrepus Active Member

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    I'll admit that the dvr is a work in progress but I do like the live tv feature. I can be at my computer and put the news on Plex in a corner of the screen while I work. Very cool, even when I am out of town I can connect to Plex and watch all the local stations, or just listen.
     
  5. Wayoverpar1

    Wayoverpar1 Member

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    My wife tends to be a tuner hog so I use my 2 tuner HDHomerun to record a few programs that I like. I agree that the Plex DVR is a work in progress, but a great addition to Tivo when extra tuners are needed. I also keep my series recordings on Plex.
     
  6. CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

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    The best thing I have found about the PLEX DVR is the way it stores shows with good naming on my NAS so they can automatically scraped by Kodi. I’m thinking I may use it to record all the kids shows so the bulk of that can stay off the TiVo hard drives (also parity protected).

    Best,
    craigr
     
  7. CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

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    Thanks guys! I’ll definitely give Channels a shot after I look into it.

    One thing I demand is that there is no transcoding. That’s what drew me to the PLEX option with the Shield TV’s. My theater screen is 128” wide and video quality once transcoded looks terrible when blown up to that size.

    Best
    craigr
     
  8. dadrepus

    dadrepus Active Member

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    I also keep my shows from Tivo that I want to archive, on Plex. Since I'm on Te3 and no auto skip, I use kttmg to grab the shows, cut the commercials, and plop them into Plex. My wife is much happier she doesn't have to FF. I have never thought these 2 products to be in competition for my time or money. It would be much more work to take one of my bluerays or dvds and encode them and then send them to Tivo so they can be shown across the house to all my Tivos, let alone watch while I'm out of town. Both products are compatible.
     
  9. tommiet

    tommiet Active Member

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    OK...Did I miss something? "Channels DVR" is $8.00 a month for a system that is probably a step down from TiVo. Why pay them 8 bucks a month when you get can TiVo for a little more? Plus you will need to buy hardware to get it to work and run it on a computer 24x7. OUCH!

    I'm not a big TiVo fan... but its the ONLY 4 (or 6) tuner DVR available in my area.

    What did I miss?????
     
  10. reneg

    reneg Well-Known Member

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    You didn't miss a thing. Yes, Channels DVR is 8 bucks a month or 80 per year. I still use Tivos with lifetime service to record OTA stations that are archived to Plex. For cable channels, I use Fubo TV and HDHomerun for OTA stations. That combo gives the household most of what they got when we had with Tivo + Xfinity. I'm saving lots of money getting rid of Xfinity compared to the cost of Fubo + Channels DVR. For me, I'd had enough of getting gouged by Xfinity, and looked for an alternative that was less expensive and was acceptable to my household.
     
  11. tommiet

    tommiet Active Member

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    Now that helps! Thanks for the explanation.
     
  12. spiderpumpkin

    spiderpumpkin Say no to Hydra!

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    The $8 a month I pay for Channels DVR is well with it just for the Gracenote guide data.

    Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
     
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  13. CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

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    The only thing you may have missed in my original post is that I already have ALL of the hardware required and a PLEX Pass Lifetime subscription. The only component I had to purchase was a used HDHOMERUN Quatro ($100) to test PLEX DVR. I figured it was worth the test and some people rave about PLEX DVR so I decided it might be worth it.

    Looking into Channels DVR and finding that there is no lifetime subscription option has miffed me a bit. I really wanted free or very cheap. You get a free trial month with Channels though so I will probably try it. I've also found some other options for the DVR software. If I really wind up liking Channels there is an $80 per year option too.

    I figured I could sell my BOLT, BOLT VOX, and two TiVo Mini VOX units (all have lifetime) and get some good money out of them. TiVo has been making decisions lately that I really hate like the pre-roll adds and adds in the Hydra interface (I have stayed on TE3 because of this). I think TiVo is doomed, but after my experience with PLEX DVR I do think TiVo still has time left.

    Another thing is that the OTA tuners in the TiVo BOLT's are not that great. Honestly they work well enough for me, but I am less than 7 miles from the towers and have an excellent OTA antenna that I built myself. Even with this, during a given program there will usually be at least a moment or two with pixelation and a momentary audio drop. I know OTA will never be perfect, but I have never seen this when watching on any other OTA tuner, just the TiVo BOLT's. My old TiVo Primere and TiVo HD units never had this problem either. So far all recordings from the HDHOMERUN have been perfect as well.

    I will most likely wind up waiting some months and then trying PLEX DVR again. They are working hard on it and I've been tracking the improvements. I bet that within a year the PLEX DVR will be family friendly and may be able to replace the TiVo's.

    I'd love to try an EDGE OTA, but it's cost prohibitive to me for what I consider antiquated hardware right from the start. Also, if we do get ATSC 3.0 in Chicago than it's a lot of money spent for a unit that is not capable. The HDHOMERUN units are cheap and stackable. Two HDHOMERUN Quatros and I have 8 OTA tuners just like with the BOLT's and the cost will be around $200 for them both.

    Lots to consider,
    craigr
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2020
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  14. tivolocity

    tivolocity Member

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    I've used both. Plex is a great media center, but a terrible DVR (at the time). I continually had transcoding issues, among other things. Plus, the UI is very cluttered, with recorded shows ending up too deep in the navigation. Channels is a much better DVR solution. It just works. I was initially irritated by the price too. I used Channels for about a year with Apple TVs as the client. It was a great solution. A combination of circumstances forced me back to TiVo. If/when TiVo goes down in flames, I would gladly go back to Channels if circumstances permit. I may give Channels another try just to see how well the TV Everywhere ( Channels — TV Everywhere ) feature works with Xfinity.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2020
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  15. CIR-Engineering

    CIR-Engineering Video Calibration & Electronics Repair Engineer

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    Well Plex just updated the server software again today and you can now at least watch a recording in progress.

    Progress!

    If they at had a list view for recordings and a show episode title or description I would probably consider Plex more seriously.

    I think they will continue to improve.

    craigr
     
  16. just4tivo

    just4tivo Active Member

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    That's the thing with TiVo and how TiVo made it's mark... EZ learning curve and comfy UI, well until Hydra.

    Cable was easy then we went to Dish Network and the wife wasn't happy. Then down the road we switched to DirecTV and I got lots of hard looks.

    When AT&T bought DTV and they jacked their prices we moved to Roamio OTAs.

    That transition was smooth and my wife wanted to know why we didn't get TiVo years ago.
     
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  17. tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

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    Hydra is plenty comfy and a modern interface. :)
     
  18. just4tivo

    just4tivo Active Member

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    Opinions vary...
     
  19. tenthplanet

    tenthplanet Well-Known Member

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    Well of course, if we all agreed on things the Tivo Coffeehouse would be dead in a week :D
     
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  20. dadrepus

    dadrepus Active Member

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    I didn't mind the hydra interface but we rolled back as soon as the pre-rolled ads were announced. Didn't even wait for it to happen. I've never tried to watch Plex while recording as my server was a Mac mini and didn't have enough oomph. Might try it now (different server) and if it is watchable then we might switch to that. With the Tivo, if my wife seriously wants to watch something while recording we have to FF through the commercials. Does Plex cut commercials out while recording or after it finishes? I assume after, but it would be nifty if it was during.
     

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