Sunday, October 2, 2011

Better than a DVR all finished

So I'm wrapping up the Better than a DVR project. I've got Subsonic up and running, Apache is set up and redirecting for increased security and a bit more customization, and TED is installed and searching for my favorite shows as they become available. there is just one thing that would make this better than a DVR, I need to get the files from my server to my TV. the goal this whole project has been to not have to add any hardware, and do it all from within Linux.

This was all fairly easy to do back in my windows days; media player or media center both would share with my Xbox 360 with no issues. The problem is that I had never been able to find a good way to share between a Linux system and the Xbox, till now.

Enter Ushare, a simple and small service that works as a UPnP AV server streaming to other UPnP devices, it was originally meant to be part of the GeeXboX project but can be used with any UPnP client device; for example the Xbox 360.

As usual I'll be working from the terminal, cause I like it there. first things first we need to download and install Ushare

sudo apt-get install Ushare

Next we need to edit the config file, we need to turn on Xbox streaming.

sudo vim /etc/ushare.conf

there are a few things that need to be changed in the config file, it is well commented but here are the entries that need to be changed.

First we need to give things a friendly name

USHARE_NAME=Better than a DVR

after that we need to tell Ushare which network device to listen too


The next step is to tell Ushare which directories you wish to share

USHARE_DIR= /home/user/Videos

you can make it any directory you have access to that you want, and set multiple directories if you want too.

The last step is to enable sharing to the Xbox


once this is done we need to return to the terminal and make sure the Daemon is running

sudo /etc/init.d/ushare start

The service will start on boot after this, it can be turned off if you don't want it on but for me it just makes sense to leave it running. And that's it is really that simple, it took me less time to download and install the app then writing this post did. and good news for those of you who would rather use a PS3 than an Xbox, Ushare supports it as well.

With this last step the 'Better than a DVR' project is finished, I can now stream from my server to my phone, other computers, and my Xbox. add to that the server will automatically search and download my favorite shows.

I hope you enjoyed this, if you have any questions or want me to cover something I haven't (Subsonic for example) please let me know!


  1. You know I've tried TED a couple times in the past. It works great for about a month or so, then it downloads an episode incorrectly and once that happens the rest that follow are also incorrect/out of sync with the episode I'm currently on. How long have you been using it, have you experienced this, and if so how does one prevent it?

  2. @VoidnessMD

    I haven't been using TED for long in honesty, so far everything looks as though its working well. the shows it has downloaded have been the most recently aired ( if I didn't have them all ready). I'll give it a week or two to see where we stand. although so far so good.

  3. Yeah, give it a couple months. Hopefully they've fixed it. But every once in a while, like when a show goes on hiatus for a couple months, some idiot will upload a fake copy of the next episode and TED doesn't know it's fake and downloads it. Once that happens it seems like it's forever out of sync on that one show.