This was one question that I really wasnt sure how I was going to answer or if I would find a good answer but then Plex Premium came to the rescue again. One of the add ons for the premium version is the ability to stream live TV and act as a DVR. All that was required was a compatible TV tuner. I have not used a TV tuner on a computer since the early days of XBMC and quickly realized it wasnt worth my hassle, but this time was much easier although I did have one mistep along the way. I started by looking to use a small USB based tuner, the Hauppague WinTV-DualHD. This is a fine device if you are running things on a Windows 7 system or something consumer level, but since i have my server running on Server 2012, I found out that the drivers were not compatible and I could never get the system to do anything but recognize the device. It did that fine but then would not find any channels. Keep in mind this is for over the air TV only and will not work well if you are too far away from the antennas. That being said there are some very long range HD OTA antenna available today. So since I could not get any stations, i returned that device.
The reviews on the Plex site spoke very highly of the SiliconDust HDHomeRun devices, but they were a bit more expensive. I opted for the HDHomeRun Extend. I could have probably gone with a lower end unit but with hardware transcoding and compression built in, I felt like I would get better use and efficiency. I wasnt quite sure what to expect form this device since it has a power cord, an ethernet jack and a coax connection for an antenna. I did the initial setup for it and it picked up an IP quickly and to my surprise, the Plex server saw it almost instantly over my LAN. From there it was just setting a few configuration on the settings screen in Plex and I had a program guide and Recording schedule added to my manage screen. The recording options are limited but gives you the basics you need.Once you get your shows selected it gives you a nice interface of what will be recorded, and they all go into a TV Show folder you have created. You will also notice that I get CBS shows this way. I dont have to miss out on any of the shows I enjoy just because they wont let me stream them with any of the services.
Overall the Plex DVR is incredibly easy to setup and about $150 more to get configured, I look at it that what I save every month, even with all my purchases it will take less than 6 months to get all my return.