Suggestions for PVR (Android TV box hardware instead of Pi)

  • I'm sure this has been asked before (apologies) but I'm looking for options on how to configure a PVR setup.

    As mentioned elsewhere, I am running Libreelec with tvheadend on an HP SFF 8200 PC (i3) coupled to an XBOX TV tuner. I like this as it provides me with HD channels which I cannot get on my full HD TV (which has no freeview HD tuner) or standard def Topfield PVR which cannot get some of the non HD channels from HD MUXes. The problem with the HP PC is the power consumption (240W).

    I originally thought that I had an option to run tvheadend on a Rasp Pi 3 which consumes less than 5W (probably) and which may have enough grunt to record programmes and run Kodi at the same time. However, I've been looking at some of the Android boxes which are S905 based which may offer a better/cheaper solution since they are a dedicated TV solution anyway (and you get a PSU/cables/remote etc).

    What I don't know is the following:

    a. Do these Android boxes (that don't have DVB-T tuners built in) support adding Xbox tuners via USB?

    b. If they do support, can I plonk tvheadend onto one of these Android boxes ("as is") and then gain PVR capability by just adding an external HDD via USB?

    c. If they don't support, do I have to get an S905 / S905X box that permits me to put Libreelec on it and then use the Xbox tuner/external HDD to gain PVR capability?

    d. Is it possible to boot from SD card (with LibreElec) with these S905 boxes?

    e. If c. is viable, which boxes support dual boot / which one do people recommend / are they reliable?

    f. What is the view on things like the Matricom boxes which have Libreelec and which can be obtained for about £35?

    Any help advice would be appreciated.


  • Nice. So, if I got hold of a S905X MECOOL M8S Pro+ box, I could add two Xbox tuners, a usb hard disk and libreelec and have a dual tuner TV box/PVR that also dual boots into android?

    The single review on Amazon UK for this device isn't very favourable...

  • I would suggest a inexpensive NAS, like a WD MyCloud, for a little over a $100 US. Far more versatile. What about a networked tuner like the ones from SiliconDust, makes life much simpler.

  • The NAS option is a neat one - but if you are going for a standalone solution then make sure you run LibreElec on it, and ignore the Android aspect. Most reviews will concentrate on the Android side and won't be relevant when the box is running LE.

    In my experience the Android experience on these boxes is pretty dismal - whereas once you are in LibreElec they fly. I have an S905 based 1G/16GB MX box which I have reflashed LibreElec onto (so no dual boot) and it works very well as a Kodi player (2160/60p HEVC stuff is output at 2160/60p i.e. 4K - with no problems, and USB DVB-T2 tuners work fine with TVHeadend running on the box - though I haven't used the solution in anger with external storage as it isn't my main PVR solution.

  • Thanks for replies.

    I'm a bit confused here. Are you saying that Libreelec will run on a WD MyCloud? If so, how does the NAS work with Libreelec (mdadm?)

    I have a networked NAS which could be used instead of the USB HDD which means I only really need some box to plug a couple of tuners in.

    On this basis, it sounds like I can ignore the S905X MECOOL M8S Pro+ review on Amazon because Libreelec runs brilliantly on it and I'll have no trouble with the Xbox tuners, either (?)

    What about the remote control? Does that no longer work? I normally use Yatse anyway but if these boxes can remote wake on LAN that would be a bonus.

  • Wrxtasy has added support for the stock remote and the Bluetooth Xiaomi Mi remote to the MeCool M8S Pro PLUS running LibreELEC, so that solves the remote problem. Since you already, have a NAS, you don't need a hard drive attached, Tvheadend server can use the NAS for it's recording destination, and it works really well, even though the MeCool S905x only supports fast Ethernet, and not gigabit Ethernet.

    Not sure about drivers for the Xbox tuners being supported in LibreELEC.

    Edit: LibreELEC will NOT run on that NAS.