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The XBMC Live TV and PVR/DVR Setup Guide

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Live TV and PVR Setup Guide:
  1. Introduction
  2. Setting up the recording software
  3. Configuring live TV settings in XBMC
  4. The basics of Live TV and recording
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As of v12 (Frodo), XBMC features live TV and video recording (DVR/PVR) abilities. This allows you to watch live TV, listen to radio, view a TV guide (EPG), schedule recordings and enables many other TV related features.

Due to the somewhat complicated nature of setting up PVR for XBMC, this guide was created to help users from start to finish.

1 How does live TV/PVR work in XBMC?

Logically, the XBMC PVR / Live TV consists of two parts:

  1. The Live TV backend server, which communicates with a TV tuner adaptor to create a video or audio stream, and
  2. The PVR client - an XBMC Add-on which controls the presentation of that content

The PVR backend is a process/application that performs the task of tuning, streaming and recording over-the-air and cable television and radio programming. It can either run on the same host running XBMC, on a stand-alone host or completely by itself with XBMC only running when needed. Some servers may be able to serve several clients simultaneously, which may be XBMC clients or others.

When paired with a matched backend, a configured PVR Add-on enables XBMC to handle the interface, or frontend, allowing the user to watch live TV (with pause/time shift, if supported by the backend), schedule recordings or listen to radio, giving the same sort of functionality as Tivo-style video recorder devices.

Next step: Setting up the backend software

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