Advice for HDHR newbie who is now considering Channels with DVR

A few weeks ago, I ditched TiVo in favor of HDHomeRun (HDHR). I really like the hardware capability of HDHR and my whole home solution using two separate HDHRs, plugged into their own separate antennas. I purchased one HDHR Scribe Duo and another HDHR Duo (non-scribe). I get free recording service for a year; but I can already see that, on the software side of things, other solutions such as Channels, look much better.

All that said, I am kind of overwhelmed when looking at Channels (or really any of the 3rd party solutions) for Guide view and recording engines. Looking at NAS boxes, they are all over the place with a large number of choices. I also note (when looking at NAS boxes) that the manufacturers of these products "really" promote all the PC backup capabilities. That's all nice, but I don't have a home office, nor any elaborate backup needs for my home PC. If I go with Channels (and thus a NAS for recording), I would primarily be purchasing the NAS for television recording, no so much for PC backups, although I could certainly use the NAS for PC backups, just not something critical for me and I've already got an external solid state drive that I use for PC backups.

One thing is for sure, I do not want to use my older PC for setting up a recording engine for Channels. This PC will eventually be replaced (although not right now). Plus, with my older PC, I don't want to have it running 24/7 as a server for television recordings. It just doesn't make sense to do that.

So in looking at the NAS options, I see such products as the Synology 2 bay NAS DiskStation DS718+ (Diskless). And while I know that's compatible with Channels, is it worth it for my needs? I've got the money to spend. I just don't want to overspend unnecessarily for something that I simply want to function as a DVR, and do it in an outstanding, reliable way that will serve me well for years to come.

My last question is about future 4k support when I ever get access to these programs either via paid TV channels, or over the air broadcast (ATSC3 allegedly already approved by the FCC a year ago). So can Channels and its DVR engine record 4k content in a reliable way (at least in the home environment of the home network)?

Any thoughts/suggestions from others on how I should consider setting this all up would be appreciated.

You could also start running the dvr on your PC to evaluate, then move it as you get a better sense of what your requirements are.

The most popular NAS among Channels users is the DS218+

What client device do you plan to use? The SHIELD is a good option that can run both the server and client.

ATSC3 will require a new HDHR box that supports it. It's still a couple years out I think, git Channels should support it when the hardware arrives. Some FIOS users have already been able to make and watch 4K recordings off cable with the HDHR PRIME

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Thanks for your reply. So from what you're saying (if we are just looking at Synology), the less expensive DS218+ is more than adequate versus the more expensive DS718+ model that I mentioned in my post. What "specific" hard drives are recommended for these NAS boxes? (I've never had a NAS so it's all new to me). And is there anything else I would have to purchase (besides the hard drives) to get the DS218+ up and running? I've got plenty of spare ethernet around the house, so hard wiring it to one of my switches would not be an issue.

As for the HDHR, yes, I knew the tuners I purchased are not compatible with ATSC3, and that ultimately I will have to replace those tuners if I want 4k. But, as you say, we are probably a few years out before we even start seeing any local broadcast TV in 4k, although it already is being tested in some markets in the US (i.e. Phoenix and Dallas).

As for my client, I've recently purchased a couple of 4k Firesticks and I even made them hard wired, although they probably would've been fine on a wireless basis. I replaced my Rokus as they did not play "nicely" with HDHR, despite the fact that playback is supposed to work in Roku. But that's another issue and a moot point now that I've got 4k firesticks.

Seeing the Channels offers a 30 day trial, I could start evaluating it (as you said). And could even try the recording functionality on my older PC. Although, as I was saying, I have no interested in turning my older PC into a server for television recording.

So we get back to the NAS and me thinking about the best option there. I will have to check out the Synology DS218+. Any other thoughts are appreciated.

Correct, the 218+ is more than adequate.

I don't think it matters that much. And you can start with a single drive if you don't care about redundancy.

The chipsets to receive atsc3 are not yet being mass produced and so still quite expensive. TVs in 2020 will start shipping with atsc3 tuners which should start bringing the price down.

Thanks again for the information.

I am going to start experimenting with Channels on my old PC soon so I can get a better "feel" of it. But from the demos I've seen online, I really like it's "cable like" look. The software reminds me of TiVo that I've used for so many years.

About the DS218+, I am seeing HDD for it. But what about SSDs? It seems all the NAS boxes I am looking at online are running with HHDs as their primary storage. But I guess I am not understanding why they haven't all migrated to SSDs these days? I've got an older PC; and I got away from HDD storage years ago. Solid state drives seem much more efficient and of course quiet.

About atsc3, that's what I was reading that those tuners will start to ship in 2020 with a slow rollout in US broadcast markets. I know South Korea has been using this broadcast standard for several years now and apparently its successful and slowly taking hold over there with the viewing public. Unsure why they are so far ahead of us with that technology, but that's another story entirely.

Thanks for any further info (i.e. insight into HDD versus SSD) on these NAS boxes. Just not sure why I am seeing HDD since SSD has been around for a while now. Flash memory is now much cheaper than it was 6-8 years ago.

Large SSD drives are still expensive. You'll want 1-2TB since OTA video files are very large. And honestly you just don't need all that raw SSD performance for a DVR.

That makes sense (what you said). Thanks :slight_smile:

Hello. I have Fios and a Prime. I’m interested in reading more on how users were able to record or watch 4K. Any links?