Just getting started

Hello all. First off let me go ahead and apologize, I will not call things what they are, I’ve had regular cable or a satellite my whole life so anything internet based pertaining to tv, which I call “streaming tv” is new to me. I get confused w servers and clients and all this type of stuff so I just call it what I’m doing w it. My tv watching habits have changed over the years, I don’t watch it as much as I use to and I want to find a cheaper way of watching tv. Ive been researching what all my options are and this is how I found and decided I want to use channels/DVR/tv everywhere, I think it will create the 1 place for everything environment I’d like to have. I think I have a grip on the basic set up I’ll need to meet my needs, but I’m just not clear about a couple things.
My tv habits currently:
•I dvr everything and watch when I have time, skipping all commercials.
•There are 3 TVs total, living room, bedroom, and daughters. The living room and daughters Tv are usually going at same time, when I’m using the bedroom tv the living room tv is usually off, so usually only 2 would b on going at same time. The living room and bedroom tv will use Apple TV boxes and my daughter will use her ruko or firestick.
Now from what I’ve found out I will use the channels system 99% of the time, I record a lot, somethings coming on at same time, and obviously I’ll b watching recorded material while other stuff is recording, all this will b done using the channels stuff. I watch 3 shows (all in same season) on lifetime and for these I would need to use Philo dvr since it’s not available w channels, this 1% is the only time I wouldn’t b using channels.
Now what I have put together so far:
•I have antenna on my roof for locals.
•I’ll b subscribing to Philo for my “cable” channels.
•I already have home internet service and a router and everything.
•I have a MacBook Pro, which is what I’ll do most everything on that requires a computer.
•I have an old hp laptop, I don’t use anymore.

Now I do not want my MacBook Pro running all the time so making it my dvr/storage is out the question, I also don’t want to spend a load on a storage system, I have been wanting to set up a whole network system, where all devices can use it and I can reach it away from home as well, for random file storage so a cheap storage solution this early in the game would b ok. I plan to do a 60 day trail w “streaming” tv, I will keep my Directv service during this time but I won’t b using it, only the streaming system. If all goes as I expect I will cancel my Directv and use the streaming, then I can just pay the yearly fees for channels and expand/put some money into my storage system.
So now that you kinda know what I’m attempting to do here’s my questions

  1. The HDHomerun, if I will b using channels 99% of the time do I need a 4 tuner or will the dual tuner work?
  2. What type of storage/device would you recommend for me just starting out? (Please give specific names of equipment because I know NOTHING about this sorta thing)
  3. I seen it mentioned someone used a shield w an external 4TB Iron Wolf w protective case attached as external storage, would this b a stable setup?
  4. Could I use my old hp laptop for the 60 days as the dvr/storage, it’s 500GB.

I would recommend just jumping in and testing things out. Use your old laptop as the server and maybe connect an old external drive you may have to it for more storage.

You can start using Channels TVE right away while you wait for HDHomerun purchase. I would recommend 4 tuner because more tuners is always better.

There should be no problem streaming to 2 or 3 TV's at the same time. TV Everywhere doesn't use a tuner, so you would only be using a tuner slot if recording your local antenna channels or watching live TV from the antenna. Otherwise the streaming limit is more related to your home WiFi or Ethernet quality/capacity (and possible by your server, HP Laptop, limitations).

I wouldn't plan on using the Roku with Channels though. While technically possible, it isn't a good experience. Stick with Apple, FireTV, or Android (Nvidia Shield).

I would also recommend what axm300c stated. Try things out running on your old HP Laptop and see if that has enough power to record and stream to multiple TV's. If you signup for the 7 day free trial with Philo, you can setup TV Everywhere right away as well.

Also go with the 4-tuner HDHomeRun. These can be found use/refurbished on ebay for $80. It's worth a few bucks more than the 2-tuner, especially if you plan to watch or record a lot from the local stations.

You can only learn so much about how everything works by researching. I think you've come to the best option (Channels DVR), but it will become so much more clear once you just test it out. The community here is also great, so you'll have help if you need it.

Great recommendations by everyone!

I would add that you should make sure the laptop is plugged in via ethernet and turn off all the sleep options. Window can be a bit of a pain with that.

What @Helios2 said is right. Just jump in and set it up and try it out. You have lots of time to try it out and learn it and can do it in stages.


Thanks guys, I will try it w this HP and see how it goes.