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
Home icon grey.png   ▶ Video library
▶ Live TV
▶ PVR

Introduction:

As of 2013 with the introduction of version 12 (Frodo), Kodi features powerful Live TV and video recording (DVR/PVR) abilities using a very flexible distributed application structure. That is, by levering other existing third-party PVR backend applications or DVR devices that specialize in receiving television signals and and also support the same type of client–server model which Kodi uses, these PVR features allows you to watch Live TV, listen to radio, view a EPG TV-Guide, schedule recordings and enables many other TV related features, all using Kodi as your primary interface once the initial pairing connection and configuration have been done.

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


1 How does Live TV and PVR work in Kodi?

Logically, the PVR / Live TV design in Kodi uses a distributed application structure that is designed after the client–server model concept which consists of two parts:

  1. The PVR backend (as the server side part), which communicates with a TV tuner adapter(s) to receive the Live TV signals and create a video or audio stream, and
  2. The PVR client (as an addon for Kodi) - an Kodi addon which controls the presentation of that content via the Kodi GUI that acts as unified frontend and common interface for all connected PVR backends.

The "PVR backend" as such is a separate application/process that directly interfaces with your TV tuner adapter(s) and the performs the task of tuning, streaming, and recording over-the-air and cable television signals and radio programming. PVR backends can either run on the same host running Kodi, or on a stand-alone host/device completely by itself with Kodi only running when needed, as long as they have a network connection between them. Some PVR backends may be able to serve several clients simultaneously, which may be Kodi clients or others applications/devices, and in those cases such PVR backends that serves multiple clients are commonly refereed to as PVR servers.

When paired with one or more matched PVR backends, a configured PVR client addon enables Kodi to handle the GUI interface, or frontend, allowing the user to watch Live TV (with pause/time-shift, if supported by the PVR backend used), display a graphical EPG (Electronic Program Guide) of all available television programming, 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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