Friday, November 4, 2011

A homebrew ATSC multi-room PVR project

I'm not involved in technical matters much at work right now and thus I've fallen back to updating my own home on my spare time. This is a six-month project that will consist of:

Canada has switched to ATSC on September 1st, so my main objective is to cut cable TV and modernize my 2 current standalone cable-company-supported-PVRs which have an interface that dates back to 2001.

In a nutshell, I'll do this in the following weeks:
  • No more lightning in the house: Installing and grounding an exterior OTA antenna
  • Thank you foxconn and the MediaPortal Team: Building and configuring a "budget" Windows 7 TV Server with MediaPortal
  • Rsync now, robocopy later: Dismantling my FreeNAS-based NAS to consolidate data on the TV Server.
  • PXE for the masses: Deploying 2-3 MediaPortal client nettops using PXE and OpenWRT

I've got some of the pieces in place. The Win7 server is running and I should be ready to test MediaPortal soon. Why Win7 and not Win2008? The reason is that my ATSC card (an AverTVHD Duet) doesn't have drivers for 2008, and I don't need a domain controller for my house anyway. For the nettops, I have one in hand already, and wish to try installing them using PXE (just for the kicks).

I'll try to post some pictures and details over the coming weeks. They should roughly follow the 4 steps above.