Comparison of PVR software packages
This is a comparison of digital video recorder software packages.
Basic general information for popular DVR/PVR software packages.
|Name||Windows||Macintosh||Linux||BSD||Android||Prices||License||Latest stable release||Notes|
|Not compatible with DVB tuners.
While Snapstream is providing minor fixes for Beyond TV, they no longer actively updating and developing the software as they are focusing on commercial applications. Despite the lack of a new version, their fanbase (in the forums) maintains active and the program is still available.
|CenterStage||No||Yes||No||No||No||Free and open-source software||GPL||0.6.2 / 2007-08-20||Development ceased December 2008|
|EyeTV||No||Yes||No||No||No||Bundled||Proprietary||3.6.1||Bundled for no extra charge with all Elgato USB tuners, but also sold separately for use with other tuners.|
|Hauppauge WinTV||Yes||No||No||No||No||Bundled||Proprietary||winTV7, CD3.5, current Jul 14||Bundled for no extra charge, only works with Hauppauge TV cards and peripherals.|
|InterVideo WinDVR||Yes||No||No||No||No||Discontinued||Proprietary||Discontinued. Previously Bundled for no extra charge with various TV tuner devices.|
|JRiver Media Center||Yes||No||No||No||No||$49.98||Proprietary||17.0.50 December 2011||DirectShow video player, audio, images, 10 foot GUI, Remote control, DLNA|
|Kodi (formerly XBMC)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Free and open-source software||GPL||14.1 "Helix". 2 February 2015||High quality cross-platform free and open source software PVR frontend application, able to watch/record live TV, music, photos and has one of the most expansive collection of plugins/addons, enabling the system to do anything from browsing the web or downloading movies, to dimming the lights in the sitting room.|
|MediaPhoenix/ShowShifter||Yes||No||No||No||No||MediaPhoenix - Unreleased
ShowShifter - Discontinued (Was £30)
|Proprietary||3.1||Supports some older TechnoTrend/Hauppauge boxes which are not BDA compliant, such as the Dec 2000-t/3000-s and first generation Nova-t USB boxes, which are unsupported by other PVR software.|
|MediaPortal||Yes||No||No||No||No||Free and open-source software||GPL||1.5.0 (October 1, 2013)||built on the .NET 2.0 Framework|
|MythTV||Limited ||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Free and open-source software||GPL||0.27.4 (October 15, 2014)|
|NextPVR||Yes||No||No||No||No||Freeware||Proprietary||3.3.8 (25 October 2014)|
|SageTV||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Discontinued since it was bought by Google. Prior to that it had been $79.95 software; $29.95 client; $29.95 per mediaMVP client.||Proprietary||6.6||Java based. SageTV was purchased by Google on 20 June 2011 and its online store was shut. No statement has been made about the future availability of SageTV products.|
|Tvtime||No||No||Yes||No||No||Free and open-source software||GPL||1.0.2 (November 10, 2005)||High quality television application for use with video capture cards on Linux systems. tvtime processes the input from a capture card and displays it on a computer monitor or projector|
|Video Disk Recorder (VDR)||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||Free and open-source software||GPL||2.0.6 (March 22, 2014)||TV Done Right, VDR can use one to eight video cards and support DVB-S, DVB-C and DVB-T. Record and read any DVB flux with a lot of plugins.|
|Windows Media Center||Yes||No||No||No||No||Bundled for no extra charge prior to Windows 8 stable releases. US$100 for Windows 8 and 8.1 (respective Pro Pack, retail box pricing); US$10 for Windows 8 Pro and 8.1 Pro (Media Center Pack, online download).||Proprietary||6.3.9600.16384 (© 2013)||Included in Windows XP MCE 2005, Windows Vista Home Premium and Ultimate editions, Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate, and some Windows 8 preview/developer editions. Not included in Windows 8, 8 Pro, 8.1 or 8.1 Pro. Not available for Windows RT.|
|VBox Home TV Gateway VBox@TV||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Bundled||Proprietary||2.46 Nov 11th 2014||Bundled for no extra charge with VBox Home TV Gateway - Network TV Tuner, Manage and schedule recordings from any web browser, local or over the internet|
Digital/Personal Video Recorder (DVR/PVR) features
Information about what common and prominent DVR features are implemented natively (without third-party add-ons unless stated otherwise).
|DVR||Subscription free electronic program guide (EPG)||power management||Multiple TV tuner cards support||CableCARD support||CAM support||ATSC tuner support||Automated commercial skipping||Teletext||Schedule timed recordings||Personalized intelligent recording and scheduling[f 1]||DRM support||DVB (T/T2, S/S2, C) tuner support||Smartphone/Tablet playback||Smartphone/Tablet syncing||Smartphone/Tablet remote control|
|Beyond TV||Yes||Yes[f 2]||Yes||No||?||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||?||?||?|
|EyeTV||DVB;[f 3] other guide info varies by region[f 4]||Yes||Yes||No||?||Yes||External add-on||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||?||?||?|
|Kodi (formerly XBMC)||Yes||Yes||External add-on||External add-on||External add-on||External add-on||Yes||External add-on||Yes||External add-on||External add-on||External add-on||Using Plugin||Using Plugin||Using Apps|
|MediaPortal||DVB[f 3]/XMLTV[f 7]||Yes||Yes||Partial[f 8]||Supported on some specific cards||Yes||Using Plugin||Yes||Yes||Yes||Partial support||Yes||Yes[f 9]||?||Yes[f 9]|
|MythTV||DVB;[f 3] other services region dependent[f 10]||Yes||Yes||Limited[f 11]||Yes[f 12]||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Requires external add-on[f 13]||No||Yes[f 14]||Yes[f 15]||No||Yes[f 15]|
|SageTV||Yes||Yes||Yes||Partial Using Plugin[f 16]||?||Yes||Using Plugin[f 17]||No||Yes||Yes||No||?||?||?||?|
|Video Disk Recorder||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Using Plugin||Yes||Using Plugin||No||Yes||Using Plugin||No||Using Plugin|
|Windows Media Center||Yes||Yes||Yes[f 18]||Yes[f 19]||?||Yes||External add-on[f 20]||Yes||Yes||Yes[f 21]||Yes; also respects the "do not record" flag, not supported by US courts.||Supports DVB-T/T2 and DVB-S/S2; does not support DVB-C[f 22]||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|VBox@TV||DVB Guide info varies by broadcaster and TV service provider||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||?||Yes||Yes||Yes||?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
- A system similar to TiVo's which enables the DVR/PVR application to record programs based on past viewing habits and interests.
- To take advantage of operating system power management with Beyond TV, the main user interface must be closed.
- Supports over-the-air EPG when using cards/boxes which support this functionality, and in areas where such a service is available. For example, over-the-air 7-day programme data is available in the UK for DVB-T services (Freeview, TopUp TV etc; DVB-T2 listings for Freeview HD are encrypted) and Freesat (DVB-S/S2).[f 6]
- Elgato's contract with TitanTV for the US market expired in 2010. When it expired, TV Guide became the sole EPG provider for EyeTV in the United States. There, one year of TV Guide EPG service costs $19.95.
- No native subscription free EPG built in, but EPG data available using third party services. With analog devices XMLTV is the only choice, with digital devices the simpliest choice is OTA, but after a bit of configuration an XMLTV source is likely to offer more detailed data although won't be updated as often and requires an internet connection.
- Unlike the UK DVB-T EPG, the Freesat EPG uses its own channel and thus must be specifically set up in order to be used. Consequently support for DVB EPG may be insufficient to access it.
- Supports XMLTV programme data which is provided by various sources for various costs depending on territory. For example, the (supported) 14-day Radio Times feed for the UK is free of charge.
- Version 1.5.0 or higher required - only 'Copy Freely' support - No Encrypted 'Copy Once' support
- via aMPdroid app; requires WifiRemote and MpExtended plugins
- Subscription-free EPG is available in areas where program listings data is freely available without violating copyright laws or data owners' Terms of Service. In North America, Schedules Direct provides legally-licensed EPG data for a nominal fee of $25 per year.
- Support is limited to content broadcast as 'copy freely' (DRM Free)
- Supports hardware-based CAMs supported by LinuxTV framework.
- External third-party plug-in required, e.g. "tvwish", "MythMiner"; not supported.
- Supports any tuner card supported by LinuxTV framework.
- The official MythTV plugin MythWeb allows users to browse the programme guide, schedule recordings, manage media and playback video via a Flash-based player, which works on Android phones and tablets.
- Support is limited to content broadcast as 'copy freely' (DRM Free) - Smartphone and tablet control of the full range of Windows Media Center features is possible on iOS and Android.
- Supported by 3rd party plugins: ComSkip and ShowAnalyzer
- Windows Media Center supports two NTSC (Analog) tuners and two ATSC (Digital) tuners out of the box. Using additional tuners requires registry modifications. Windows 7 Media Center supports up to 4 tuners of each type out of the box, DVB-T, DVB-S, NTSC/PAL.
- Windows Media Center supports CableCard when used on CableLabs certified OEM Hardware. Windows 7 Media Center supports CableCard on any hardware that passes the Digital Cable Advisor tool in MCE.
- Requires an external plug-in such as "DVRMSToolbox", "Lifextender" or "MCEBuddy"; not supported by Microsoft.
- Vista Media Center can do partial intelligent recordings based on keywords, actor(s) name(s), or genre.
- DVB-C is achievable using certain cards that are detected as DVB-T tuners. And also using addons such as DVBLink
Video format support
Information about what video codecs are implemented natively (without third-party add-ons) in the PVRs.
|DVR||MPEG-1||MPEG-2||MPEG-4 ASP (MPEG-4 Part 2), i.e. DivX, XviD||H.264/MPEG-4 AVC (MPEG-4 Part 10)||HEVC (H.265)||VP8||VP9||WMV||AVI||ASF||QuickTime||MP4||RealVideo|
|Kodi (formerly XBMC)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|MediaPortal||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Yes||Yes||Yes||No[v 1]||Yes||No[v 1]|
|Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Unknown||No||Unknown||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Windows Media Center||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes[v 1][v 2]||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes[v 1][v 2]||Yes[v 1][v 2]||No[v 1]|
- Possible with third-party software.
- Windows 7 only
Information about what video codecs are implemented natively (without third-party add-ons) in the PVRs.
Each features is in context of computer-to-computer interaction. All features must be available after the default install otherwise the feature needs a footnote.
|DVR||Tuner Sharing||Hard Disk Pooling||Shared Media Database||Home Automation||Media Extenders||Placeshifting/Spaceshifting||Two-way Remote Control||Second Screen|
|Kodi (formerly XBMC)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes4||Yes||Unknown||Yes3||Unknown|
|Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Unknown|
|Windows Media Center||Yes6||Yes7||Yes||Yes2||Yes||Yes5||Yes2||Unknown|
1 Yes with registry change
2 Yes with retail third-party plugin
3 Yes with free supported third-party plugin
4 Yes with free unsupported third-party plugin
5 Yes with free third-party software Web Guide 4
6 Yes with add-on software called DVBLink Server
7 Yes with using symlinks, or just adding folders in settings
TV tuner hardware
- List of free television software
- Comparison of video player software
- Home cinema
- HTPC (Home theater PC)
- Digital video recorder
- Hard disk recorder
- DVD recorder
- Media center (disambiguation)
- Silent PC
- Media server
- "Kodi 14.1 Helix Bugfix release".
- "MEDIAPORTAL - Download MediaPortal for free!". Team MediaPortal. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
- Why is there a fee for the EyeTV Program Guide?
- How do I use TV Guide with EyeTV?
- "Support for CableCard Tuners".
- "aMPdroid - Android Apps on Google Play". Retrieved 2012-09-27.
- Schedules Direct
- https://code.google.com/p/mythdroid MythDroid