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

Introduction:

As of 2013, (with the introduction of v12 Frodo), XBMC/Kodi features powerful Live TV and video recording (DVR/PVR) abilities using a very flexible distributed application structure.

By levering other existing third-party PVR backend applications or devices that specialize in receiving television signals and and also support the same type of client–server model which XBMC/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 XBMC/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 XBMC/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 XBMC/Kodi?

Logically, the PVR / Live TV design in XBMC/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 XBMC/Kodi) - an XBMC/Kodi addon which controls the presentation of that content via the XBMC/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 XBMC/Kodi, or on a stand-alone host/device completely by itself with XBMC/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 XBMC/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 XBMC/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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