Emby announced native Live TV support with a HDHomeRun device which means you’d no longer need to user third-party software such as NextPVR, ServerWMC, or Media Portal to interact with Live TV. I’ve always used ServerWMC/Windows Media Center for my DVR back-end – the part that actually does the recording. I had to figure out a way to cut my ties with Windows Media Center if I ever wanted to use Windows 10 and Direct X 12 and I haven’t been impressed by HDHomeRun DVR so far.
To get started, I closed the ServerWMC application and removed the plugin from Emby along with clearing my recording schedule from within Windows Media Center; of course this is all optional but I had some issues with multiple Live TV plugins and wanted to start fresh anyway.
Then I went to the IP of my HDHomeRun TV tuner device which for me was 192.168.1.200 and clicked on Channel lineup where I selected the channels I wanted by clicking the star next to them; this will help prevent pulling in every channel under the sun as you can restrict which channels Emby will use.
With that done, make sure you’re running Emby Media Server version 3.0.5713.1 and up. For this next part you must be on the computer with Emby Media Server installed or you won’t see these options, now select the Live TV tab on the left and there you should see a box to add a tuner.
If it doesn’t find your tuner you may need to input the IP of your tuner of course as I mentioned earlier mine is 192.168.1.200; for me it was automatic. Click on the tuner listed once it’s added and from here we can click the box to restrict the channels to the ones we selected on the tuner earlier. Click the settings tab at the top and set the recording path otherwise you’ll just get an error when it tries to record. Here you can also indicate the default padding which will record X amount of minutes before and after your recording.
Now we’ll setup the Guide – Schedules Direct is the only supported EPG and costs $25 for a year membership, they do offer a trial for new accounts. You’ll put your username(not your email!) and password as well as your zip code, it will then ask you to select your provider from the list which once selected there’s nothing else to set up unless you’ve got multiple tuners.
Let’s get out of managing the server and into the guide itself, one thing I noticed is the channel logos look great, of course it had some trouble with local logos but I could fix those. I noticed that my selections seem to respond faster for example when selecting a show or setting up a recording.
I tested a few recordings to see if there were any issues with quality or otherwise, Emby records content as .TS files while Windows Media Center records as .WTV files. Once of my concerns with a Windows Media Center replacement would be the loss of MCEBuddy which automatically converts .WTV files to .MP4 and removes commercials; from the few recordings I made I didn’t see any issues with this process.
At this point it’s almost safe to say that I’ve found my Windows Media Center replacement and as long as you’ve got a Silicon Dust HDHomeRun device you should give it a try. My next step is to migrate to Windows 10 and see if there’s any issues.