Is there an elegant, legal way to add Sky or NowTV to my MP server

Discussion in 'MediaPortal 1 Talk' started by Jolltax, October 13, 2015.

  1. Jolltax
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    Jolltax MP Donator

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    Hi,

    I live in the UK and have a MP server and mostly Kodi clients through the house. My son is turning into a big Formula 1 fan. I notice that only about half of the Grand Prix are live on BBC and the rest are only highlights, pfft

    There are two possible legal solutions in the UK to watch the other live races as far as I know :
    1. I know I can buy a Sky Sports subscription but havent seen any way to integrate it into my setup and would just have to use a Sky Box, yuk. Can this be added to MP? I suspect not.
    2. I also see I can buy NowTV for Grand Prix weekends and watch it live streaming on a PC.
    My question is - is there an elegant way to integrate this into my server e.g. as another channel or something?

    Note : not interested in IPTV illegal streaming etc, I am quite prepared to pay for my content, I just want to integrate it into my MP setup which the whole family likes and uses.

    Thanks!



    Jolltax
     
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  3. mm1352000
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    Hello Jolltax

    Actually there are probably 2 ways to do this. :)

    First option would be to buy a capture card (eg. Hauppauge Colossus or HD-PVR) and connect the output from the Sky Box into the PC that way. Note that:
    1. As the wiki says, currently TV Server only supports Hauppauge Colossus and HD-PVR as "pure" capture cards. Unfortunately these can be a bit expensive... but they're the best option if you want high definition. Other options will be supported in future versions of TV Server.
    2. I expect the HDMI output from the Sky Box will be HDCP-protected. The HDMI inputs on Hauppauge capture cards don't support protected content. There are "ways" to strip the protection to make it possible to use Hauppauge cards. You will be able to find information about this [elsewhere on the internet] if you do a little research.
    3. Instead of buying a capture card, you could use the capture inputs on a supported tuner card (eg. Hauppauge HVR-22**, Blackgold etc.). Unfortunately most of these cards will only have s-video or composite inputs. In other words: you're limited to standard definition. No high definition. The only card I know of which has component inputs is the DigitalNow Dual Hybrid, but I'm not sure if that means it supports high definition. You can contact DigitalNow and ask them about it if you're interested.
    If you choose this option, you can treat the Sky Box input as a single channel. That's quite a simple setup, but not very flexible because you don't have guide data etc. for recording through MediaPortal/KODI. Alternatively it may be possible to go "the whole hog" and have MediaPortal's TV Server control the Sky Box with an IR blaster (something that sends commands as if it were your remote control). That setup is significantly more complex, but if you succeed you'll have a full guide and be able to schedule recordings. Note: the Hauppauge capture cards often bundle an IR blaster.


    Second option would be to buy a satellite (DVB-S/S2) tuner card and use your PC to decrypt the channels. This option could work out to be much cheaper (tuners tend to be cheaper than capture cards), easier to setup, and more flexible than the best capture card setup (because you're not limited to recording/viewing one channel). The biggest down side is that you won't be able to get high definition this way. In the past it used to be possible to get all channels from your subscription. Last year sometime Sky locked down the HD channels (presumably to try to prevent easy IPTV/internet streaming/sharing). If you want to find out more then you'll have to do research elsewhere on the internet (we don't permit discussion about the decryption setup on our forum because some people use this as a way to setup IPTV/internet streaming servers).


    I'm pretty sure there's currently no way to integrate such a service into MediaPortal's TV Server. MediaPortal (ie. the client/front-end) has a plugin called OnlineVideos which may enable reception of such streams. Presumably KODI has some kind of equivalent.

    Hope that helps. :)
     
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  4. Jolltax
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    Jolltax MP Donator

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    Thanks for your very cool and comprehensive answer.

    My setup is currently DVB-T2 but buying a new DVB-S2 card would be no problem, I do think watching in SD would be a deal breaker sadly. I can understand why the provider wants to protect its content and its easy to see the threat that IPTV represents to them. I will go and do further research!

    For the time being it looks like I can buy a NowTV Sky Sports Week Pass for £10.99 which should enable us to watch the formula 1 live for a weekend and watch it locally on our HTPC using the Windows

    Thanks again

    Jolltax
     
  5. tony72
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    tony72 MP Donator

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    I'm in the same boat, I buy Now TV week passes for the F1 races that the BBC doesn't show, and at the moment just watch them in Firefox on my HTPC. There didn't seem to be a Now TV plugin for OnlineVideos unless I missed it.

    The big downside of Now TV of course is that you can't pause/rewind/record, so if there was a way to integrate it into MediaPortal that also overcame some of those limitations, that would be have been awesome, but there doesn't seem to be so far.
     
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