Newbie Comment and Question


I did only test one recording. The true test will be when I can record the same program using both apps.

I would be perfectly happy if I could dump my mkv files into the Channels folder and watch everything there. I tried that, but Channels didn't see them. Is it even possible to make that happen?


No. You cannot add recordings to Channels database; you can only restore from a previous backup of a Channels database.


I would do it the other way - have MCEBuddy process your recordings and then copy them to the Plex Environment. Everybody will behave better.

Plex absolutely will misbehave if you use those DVR folders as Libraries. The DVR will misbehave if you try to add stuff manually (without a lot of gyrations).

Best to keep your worlds separate.


I can't use MCEBuddy - I only have Apple computers.


Right, sorry. Forgot about that.


I wouldn't be opposed to getting a mini PC to handle MCEBuddy. I'm sure there are some threads regarding that on here. Off to do some digging.


When watching live tv some devices may have trouble with the MPEG-2 streams, if you have any from OTA. If you use Plex/MCEBuddy you want enough horsepower to do some MCEBuddy conversions and any transcoding MPEG-2 streams on the fly that may be necessary.

If you're using HDHR's Premium TV and they ever roll out the elusive 'Stage 2' you may have to deal with HEVC - sure to be interesting (and sure to use some CPU... somewhere along the line).

I'd shoot for a passmark score of 4500 or better. That would give you two full blown 1080p on the fly transcodes. Might be enough.


There will definitely be times when I'm recording four things at once.


If you're looking for a non-Windows solution of what MCEBiddy does, you can roll your own with:

  • ffmpeg, gstreamer, vlc or other similar software for transcoding
  • comskip for commercial detection
  • mkvtoolnix, mkvmerge or similar for packaging and metadata

Then, you can string all of this together with some basic scripting just using POSIX sh. If you require a bit flexibility or an OOP approach, feel free to use bash, python, ruby or something similar.


I'd say 99.998% of all humans on Planet Earth don't have the skills to work all that - I don't and I'm smarter than your average bear. If faced with hammering together all those parts in a Rube Goldberg nightmare, or buying something so MCEBuddy can do the work it's designed for - it's the latter all day, every day.

MCEBuddy has been around for a long time so we don't have to do all that nonsense. For me, there are far fewer days ahead than there are behind. I have better things to do than micromanage my TV watching by inventing Warp Drive. Sure, FTL travel is nice, but now that Praxis has blown up Dylithium Crystals are really hard to get.



I setup MCEbuddy and comskip, and started down that road of creating a manicured library. I got so tired of it that, getting angry when there were weather banners, presidential speeches messing things up. I decided to just record and delete as I watch, and if it’s ugly, so be it. There is so much content in the world I’ve never seen, why would I watch something twice.


That was my thought as I was reading that as well. :slight_smile: Back when I was a PC guy I had no problem opening it up and swapping out boards. After I switched to Macs I got out of the habit. 1995 Paul would have nosedived right into research to make the above work. 2019 Paul wants to buy an inexpensive mini PC to get the job done in the easiest way possible.


To each their own, but what I don't understand why people go to all that trouble just to save having to hit a commercial skip button when watching. Particularly when MS-Windows, as a DVR host, isn't one of the more trouble-free, reliable solutions, from what I've read here.

Precisely. Which is why, although I could do all manner of things, because I'm a retired IT professional that was a software designer before that, and a a hardware designer before that, I don't care to. So: Synology DS218+, a pair of reliable drives, install Channels, done. It's required precisely zero care or intervention since being installed five months ago.


For me - being violently allergic to ANY commercial interruption - anything that can eradicate an advertisement is worthy of my attention. MCEBuddy/Comskip works well enough.

For things I know others that have access to my Plex server will be watching, being retired, I have the time to clean those up with VideoReDo, or check to make sure Buddy did OK. Aunt Gladys (helped sew the first US Flag) is happy she doesn't have to crawl around on the floor looking for the remote. She hates ads as much as I do.

Now that MCEBuddy is all set up I can't imagine life without it. I have it automatically dealing with:

  1. TCM Movies - no comskip, no conversion. I trim the front and back later with VRD.
  2. Ad Packed PTV - comskip, remux H264 to h264 with 'smart-whack' Buddy Conversion.
  3. PBS (my only MPEG-2 source) from OTA - no comskip, convert from MPEG-2 to H264
    When/If the elusive HDHR Stage 2 creates HEVC:
  4. Any HEVC content will be converted to H264.
    Aunt Gladys doesn't have a device that will Direct Play HEVC and out of the 11 possible devices that'll be watching something I have, exactly one of them can deal with HEVC. In case you've never tried to generate video preview thumbs for HEVC - it can take weeks. I'll get that out of the way before it ever causes a problem when Buddy converts it to H264.

The Content Filters within MCEBuddy and those 3 (or 4) Task Profiles I have do everything that needs to be done - apart from some custom work for permanent additions. The Custom Renaming string catches 99% of everything, correctly naming and structuring for the Plexiverse.

I set up the recording and when I see it show up in Recently Added in Plex (I and Aunt Gladys) watch it. Can't get much easier than that.


Well, considering the OP seemed to want to continue using a Mac, I figured putting an option out there that required purchasing nothing new or additional, which would work with the existing equipment, was an idea suited to the discussion.

I understand you are a zealous supporter of MCEBuddy. Personally, my only experience with it was many years ago and I was far from impressed. Also, considering the need for a Windows host for the software, that right there makes it essentially a nonstarter in my household. (There's one Mac laptop, and everything else is Linux or OpenBSD.) Plus, learning how all of the pieces work together allows me greater flexibility down the road.

As far as not having the skills: most everyone has the skills, as all it takes is learning a few concepts and reading a book. Most may not care or have the interest, but I'd wager to say everyone on this forum possesses the skills.


Well guess what?

You're back! Welcome Aboard!



There ain't no "essentially" about it, here. MS-Windows makes it a non-starter, here, period.

When MS-Win7 EOLs in 2020, I'll simply leave the dual-booting laptop be, as I almost never boot it into MS-Windows, anyway. I was going to replace my wife's dual-booting desktop with a Mac Mini, as she needed MS-Win or OS X for her TomTom GPS map updates. But TomTom just informed her the lifetime of her "lifetime of map updates" was up. So no more need for that. I'll be building her a new desktop and she'll be running Linux Mint only.


I just did some reading on ffmpeg. Nope. Not for me. Barring detailed instructions (do this, then do that) it's not going to be something that will work for me. I downloaded it and started poking around. It's not exactly intuitive and the website assumes knowledge I don't have.


@pjo1966 What exactly is your goal?


Basically take recordings from the Channels folder, remove commercials, and drop it in the Plex folder. That way all my media is in one place. MCEBuddy was recommended but I don't currently have a Windows computer.