My cord-cutting story part 3

More of the continuing tale of cord-cutting. I've gone through quite a few iterations so far of the Plex Media Server software and it looks like the behavior of the video recording has stabilized, at least to a large extent. I'm now successfully recording shows off of our antenna (though not as successfully from WEAU in Eau Claire - they're really far away and we have a lot of trees in the path, so wind is my enemy.  It makes a lot of multipath issues with our reception of Channel 13 and as a result the picture keeps dropping, which makes recording difficult). In any case, the great thing is that I can now record the TV shows we watch, which is mostly PBS and a few other shows, these days notably The Good Place.

One huge improvement in the Plex software ecosystem that has just happened is that they are supporting Live TV on the Roku box we have. We can now watch TV through our Plex server live, and can pause the TV stream and go back, etc., more or less like we could on our old cable set-top box. We're now finally more or less on a par with the sort of TV service we had with cable, at least on our over-the-air TV. The Plex server has become pretty stable and well-behaved, and I now have plenty of room to store TV shows and movies, and can now add in over-the-air TV to the collection (the end result of which is that I now have a gazillion hours of shows we didn't have time to watch, including the whole Ken Burns Vietnam series). 

The server is now running on a somewhat-revamped older PC.  I upgraded the CPU on the motherboard to give it enough oomph to transcode at least two television shows at the same time.  Unfortunately its an AMD-CPU system, which doesn't give me the opportunity to use the accelerated transcoding in the new software, which more or less requires an Intel processor with integrated graphics. One of these days after I get rich.  This server holds lots of movies, TV shows, and music, all of which I can now retrieve in our living room, the rest of the house, or when traveling. I particularly appreciate being able to download the music into my cell phone for those long driving trips.

Next time I'll talk about getting set up to record TV off of the Internet using Playon. 

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October 14, 2017

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