Skew-T Meteorologist in Kansas City

DIY DVR

HDHomeRun Extend
HDHomeRun Extend

A few months ago I changed my cable plan to eliminate television service as I found myself taking advantage of the service less and less frequently. I now primarily watch online services such as Netflix or Blu-Ray but also take advantage of free over-the-air broadcast television (which funnily enough has better picture quality over-the-air). On the latter I was perhaps most interested in still watching Jeopardy, which unfortunately airs locally at a time I am rarely able to watch, so the TWC furnished DVR was to be sorely missed.

As I was researching devices compatible with MythTV, for building an open source DVR computer, I came across the HDHomerun Extend, a standalone network device with dual ATSC tuners. The Extend works with HTTP and DLNA offering flexibility in streaming to computers and TVs anywhere on the network. It proved an opportune time to purchase the device as a new version was about to be released, with a new silent case design replacing a reportedly noisy fan.

Plex for Android
Plex for Android

A simple shell script called via cron is all that is needed to record a program to a shared folder on a NAS. The folder is watched by a media scanner in Plex, quickly making it available by show and episode on Plex apps available for smart TVs, computers, phones, and more. The key line of code is a simple curl call:

curl -o "/mnt/video/tv/$SHOW/$EPISODE.mp4" "http://192.168.0.209:5004/auto/v$CHANNEL?duration=$DURATION"