Nvidia Shields can serve as DVRs with Plex Media Server update

Cord cutters with a desire to own and operate their own digital video recorder (DVR) and a phobia for the x86-based systems the enthusiast community typically employs for this purpose have a unique option thanks to the combined efforts of HDHomeRun network TV tuner manufacturer SiliconDust, Nvidia, and personal media streaming software company Plex. The latest beta release of Plex Media Server for the Nvidia Shield set top box now supports Plex's recently-added DVR functionality.

Plex offers its Plex Home Theater for virtually every smart device with a screen, but Plex Media Server support for streaming players is unique to Nvidia's Shield. Plex began offering its eponymous Media Server software for the Shield in June of this year. The latest beta release adds DVR support for three current HDHomeRun network TV tuner models: the HDHR Connect, Extend, and Prime. Like many non-core Plex features, the Shield beta release is available exclusively for Plex Pass subscribers. Plex Pass is a software subscription that gives subscribers access to Plex clients for a wider variety of hardware, including smart TVs, as well as offline synchronization for mobile devices, and user management features.

Plex claims its software supports Shield models with the 500GB mechanical hard drive, as well as the base model with 16GB of flash storage. While 16GB may not be ideal for DVR duty, the storage capacity of the flash model can be upgraded with a microSD card or an external USB hard drive.

Shield owners can schedule and manage DVR recordings on their devices with nothing more than a web browser. Plex claims that initial recordings of episodic content will present the user with the option to automatically schedule recordings of future episodes. The software collects a variety of metadata about the recorded content and offers that data to the user through the Plex Home Theater client interface. Hopefully, that browser-based system is secure—no one wants to come home to a DVR full of Kardashian shenanigans.

If you'd like to roll your own DVR using this software, Nvidia’s Shield 16GB sells for $199, and the 500GB model comes in at $299. Compatible HDHomeRun models start under $90, and an annual subscription to Plex Pass costs $40.

Comments closed
    • TheMonkeyKing
    • 3 years ago

    Still a little disappointed by the new Plex ads that touts everything as “free.” Only to find out that when you install the Plex android plug-in do you realize free is adware.

    • Anovoca
    • 3 years ago

    “Native” TV tuner functionality for PLEX has been something the community has been asking for since the beginning. A little frustrated to see it go in as a shield exclusive, or an HDHomeRun tuner exclusive for that matter. Granted I could care less about recording TV, but it would be nice to stream broadcast television going into my server to all my PLEX enabled devices. I could throw out a lot of antennas.

    • mkk
    • 3 years ago

    I’m just surprised people still find things on TV that are worthwhile to record.

    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 3 years ago

    I’m going to try this on FreeNAS and compare it to the Silicon DVR. It’s approaching a year over due from being fully featured.

    • danazar
    • 3 years ago

    Just a note for people who haven’t looked into the Plex DVR, there’s a very basic DVR function that this won’t do: Let you watch live or still-recording content.

    That’s right, you have to let it finish recording, and only then you can start it. This thing is no TiVo.

    • maxxcool
    • 3 years ago

    Oh hey a use for Shields!

    • tipoo
    • 3 years ago

    This must be the most power efficient Plex server out there as it’s the only one that uses Maxwells dedicated video block rather than all on the CPU, and iirc drew under 15W max load.

    Though unlike a full Maxwell block that should be good for 8 video streams, this seems to cap out at 2.5 full HD streams.

    Really hope they start using the dedicated video hardware in other platforms rather than just on the CPU though. Seems odd to only do that for one low marketshare device

    • FroBozz_Inc
    • 3 years ago

    We have two Shield TV’s and a HDHomeRun Connect as well as and an older one (that works fine in Android with InstaTV). I’ve been holding out for HDHomeRun’s homegrown DVR solution, but I wonder if it will ever be completed and reports are that it’s buggy.

    I’d love to see a review of this new Plex DVR option. I’m very interested.

      • Takeshi7
      • 3 years ago

      Since you have two Shield TVs, I nominate you to write the review.

      • DragonDaddyBear
      • 3 years ago

      I’m using the DVR software with FreeNAS backend and Kodi with the plugin as the front end. I’m loving it. I’ve not had any bugs with it.

        • drfish
        • 3 years ago

        Is the cable card support in yet? How’s the guide? WMC has been failing hard with sports programming for awhile now…

          • DragonDaddyBear
          • 3 years ago

          Charter in my area doesn’t have a lot of encryption. My cable card is wiring fine. I will say there DVR information is better than Microsoft post provider change.

          The big hold up is Windows Universal Programs not exposing HDCP information.

    • drfish
    • 3 years ago

    Something has to replace my Win8.1 & WMC HTPC eventually. It’ll be something from Silicon Dust because they’re the only game in town when it comes to Cable Card support (or so my most recent knowledge says).

    I don’t think I can give up on a Windows PC running my TV though, it’s just too useful (like Skype and Paint Shop Pro powered DnD sessions).

      • Leader952
      • 3 years ago

      [quote<]Something has to replace my Win8.1 & WMC HTPC eventually.[/quote<] Why? All the current so-called DVR replacements lack critical features and/or have additional costs. I have WMC on Windows 7 and it does everything I want a DVR to do.

        • drfish
        • 3 years ago

        Well I intend to keep it for as long as possible. 😉

      • Theolendras
      • 3 years ago

      Altough I posess some Silicondust hardware, I think Ceton and Hauppauge also provide some solutions in the matter.

        • drfish
        • 3 years ago

        Only hardware ones though. For software I think that MS and SD are the only options.

          • Theolendras
          • 3 years ago

          For most software I believe it to be true, but according to this :

          [url<]https://www.mythtv.org/wiki/CableCARD[/url<] MythTV seems to support it. I don't think it can use HDCP protected content tough.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This