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Summary:

Want to watch live TV on your Roku media streamer, and maybe even pause live feeds whenever you need a quick break? How about watching recordings of your favorite broadcast TV shows? All of this is possible if you turn your Roku into a DVR.

roku dvr

Roku’s media player is a great device to watch content from Netflix and Hulu Plus on, but it lacks access to live TV — that is, unless you use a neat little hack to turn your Roku into a DVR that is capable of serving up live and archived broadcast content. Check it out:

Show notes for this episode:

Are you doing unique and interesting things with your Roku DVR? Or maybe you own an EyeTV tuner and watch recordings on other devices? Please share your tips, tricks and experiences in the comments, get in touch with us on Twitter (@cordcutters) or email us at cordcutters @ gigaom.com.

  1. Does this work without a mac or an iphone? I have Nowhere in my channels, but I can’t figure out how to get live channels or how to make the dvr work.

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    1. Do you have an EyeTV device like the one shown in the video? This won’t work without it.

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  2. Definitely worth a try (I’m tempted) but Roku’s interface does get a bit in the way of actually watching live tv. I mean, that’s not what it was designed for so… no surprise.

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  3. Definitely worth a try (I’m tempted) but Roku’s interface does get a bit in the way of actually watching live tv. I mean, that’s not what it was designed for so… no surprise.

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  4. Janko,

    Is there a way to connect to External Hard drive which is on the network connected to the wireless router.

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    1. You mean to play content on your Roku? Depends on your router, I’d say. There are several channels that can stream content from your local network, but most of them either require a dedicated application installed on your computer, or files to be shared through a web server. Most routers don’t have web servers, but simply share as Windows (SMB) shares. You might be able to connect to the drive from your computer and then stream from there… it’s a good question though, I’ll look into it. Or maybe anyone else has any ideas?

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  5. Intriguing! BUT – this video doesn’t say how to record shows… how are the show files named, is that automatic? Can it record things while you are away from it, or do you have to be home to hit record when the show starts, and hit stop when it’s over? One of the major functionalities of a real DVR is its ability to show you the entire day’s (week’s) TV schedule; you pick what you need; it does the rest. How much of that process can this hack actually handle?

    Anyhow, a great hack.

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    1. You can’t schedule any of these things through the Roku, but EyeTV offers a neat interface on your computer that does the trick, including naming the files the right way. Check out this episode for a quick intro to EyeTV: http://gigaom.com/video/cord-cutters-eyetv-one/

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  6. Janko,

    Yes. Just like we add in XBMC as a source drive for media which ia available on Network

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  7. Does this only work with the EyeTV? Does Roku have something similar for the HD Homerun devices or with other DVR software (Windows Media Center, SageTV, MythTV, etc)? I just set up a full-on HTPC, but a Roku that could work with an HD Homerun would be very interesting.

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