FTA PVR/DVR to the next level (or how I watch recordings with ease)


Silver Member
Username: Ez2ctv

HOPE ESTATE, GRAND BAHAMA... Commonwealth...

Post Number: 179
Registered: Dec-07
Seems that the playback functions of some FTA boxes (I.E. Nano2) w/ PVR/DVR's are less than ideal here is a solution I found to work. FTA has become BORING and this gives someone a chance to hack from many angles.
Build a Network Access Storage(NAS) using a old computer (I am using a PII w/ 512 ram that otherwise is a piece of junk for modern day computing) loaded http://freenas.org/freenas "FREENAS" (open source based on BSD / Unix and "FREE") you can load as a live disk (live distro) or embed to run from a Hard drive (even a memory card). As you learn and build your system you can add hard drives for storage or to build a RAID system.
You can network to your Home network / FTA box either Hardwire (Cat 5 etc) or Wireless.

I have mine hardwired to a Linksys WRT-54g-TM hacked with DD-WRT firmware running AutoAP connected to both OPEN and encrypted WiFi networks (searches for the strongest one. I have loaded profiles of encrypted networks that I hacked through "BackTrack" (another live Distro this time linux)

For playback to my Home Theater system I use a WD TV Live http://www.wdc.com/en/products/index.asp?cat=30 Hacked (it runs Linux!) with B-Rad's WDLXTV firmware http://b-rad.cc/wdlxtv-live/ which gives so many more functions (OSD, Thumbs, Movie SHeets, YouTube, etc.) you can do this both Wired and Wireless to stream from a external hard drive (USB) or from a Netorked NAS. I have mine hooked up through HDMI and Optical for DTS audio to my receiver & LCD.

I use Handbrake to shrink my DVR/PVR/DVD's etc.to a smaller size if I want to keep it for archiving, For just time shifting and playback 1 time I leave the recording as is and delete them when done.

The Nano2 playback sucks (have to reboot, file size limitations etc.) BUT playback through the WD TV LIVE (and my FreeNas) is problem free and I have everything (Movies, Music, Photos) at a push of a button to watch and listen to (no more fumbling around with DVD's, CD's etc.). Storage is cheap ( I bought several 1TB HD's for $ 40.00 each recently).

So while FTA / Satellite has become boring there are other aspects of this hobby and associated hardware that can keep one occupied.

I did all this with a lot of old hardware lying around waiting for a new project and less than $ 200.00 out of pocket ($ 100.00 for the WD TV Live and $ 80.00 for the 2 new hard drives and the hard drives only because I wanted large storage and build a RAID to have a backup in case a hard drive fails down the road)

The sky's the limit if you only use your imagination.

Platinum Member
Username: Nydas

Post Number: 19262
Registered: Jun-06

Ez2CTV: Excellent instructions, well written, as always.
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