I don't plan on watching a lot of TV in the office but I wanted the ability to watch some over the air channels. No, I can't stream everything I might want to watch because our internet connection maxes out at 2mb and can dip to 1.5 at times. Not enough for streaming to compete with other uses...even with QoS.
The external TV antenna comes into the house in the lounge which shares a wall with my office so it would be relatively easy to run a lead through the wall. It would, however, require a hold and then the running of wire across the walls to where I need it. Outside access would also be an alternative but with the same issues.
Enter the RPi, XBMC, and Tvheadend. XBMC has just come out in a new version named Frodo that supports TV streaming from a variety of back end servers. I had a 'spare' RPi and so have decided to 'gen it up to serve TV via Tvheadend. I know, TV streaming is not exactly new technology but the RPi provides a cheap platform and one that is pretty low voltage as well.
Key to making this work was the following blog post by Quonith on the STM Labs Forum.
As stated at the front of this blog entry you can install Tvheadend as part of the RASPBMC installation (and this is probably what I should have done)...but I wanted a native installation on the RPi in case I want to do other things with it. So, with the help of Quonith I was able to get Tvheadend running on my RPi (easy part) and recognizing the TV dongle (hard part).
The next complication was getting Tvheadend to find my local TV stations. I expected Tvheadend to find stations automatically but it did not. Not sure why though I read somewhere that the database of frequencies that it comes with is outdated for the UK.
|RPi Serving TV to My Office|
That was pretty much it. Oh, except for the fact that my wireless network was not completely happy with streaming between the Rpi running Tvheadend and my Mac Mini running XBMC (on Ubuntu). Enter the Tp-Link Powerline Adapters.
I now have four of these creating a 200mb wired network to augment my wireless. One connects the stuff in the lounge to the network (Sky+, Humax, Apple TV, and the RPi). One connects my office gear and one connects to the stuff in the wiring closet at the front of the house where my DSL connection lives.