For years I was searching for perfect multimedia TV experience. This was problematic since all STB's and Smart TV's were not enough user friendly. That's why:

  • Usage of any type of input device require choosing proper source.
  • You have to use many remote controls (for tv, movies, etc).
  • Smart TVs are hard to use (I suppose, UX of Android TV was created by IT-guys, not UX designers).
  • STB are slow.

When AppleTV 4 was presented, I've got mine for 1 USD (as registered Apple Dev). So I could try it before official release. Since then I think idea of touch remote control with extremally fluent User Interface is the best think, could happen to TV. Comparing UX of Apple TV and Android installed on my Philips PUS has no sense.

Since then, my dream was to unify my User Experience while using TV and left AppleTV and its remote as only controller in the living room. It could be achieved partially by using VOD's (actually in Poland there are few AppleTV enabled VOD services: Netflix, HBO GO, Showmax and iTunes Movies). Unfortunately there was no possibility to watch Live TV with that device.

Solution.

Web search showed me solutions like Silicondust's HDHomeRun + third party AppleTV app and others. But there was limitations: European version of HDHomeRun can be used only with FTA TV. Then I have found set of Linux based Tuners. Actually I've got Cable TV, so the tuner should work with that. My choice was Vu+ duo2, which can be extended with 3 tuner cards (with multiple tuners) and up to 2 CAM modules. This device can stream up to 8 streams to the network (which is extremely easy with FTA channels, and requires installation of alternate soft for using scrambled channels (I've managed to make it work with Hyperion Soft)).

So, idea was to use Vu+ as a home server with HDD for recordings, and couple of AppleTV's as Multiroom clients. There is couple of apps, which supports Enigma2 OpenWebIF Interface, which can work both on AppleTV and even mobile devices in the same network. But I didn't like their interface. Actually, earlier I was using ADB tuner for watching Satellite Television, and I missed possibility of using timeshift on ATV Devices. So I've created an app called EnigmaTV.

Killer features.

EnigmaTV utilizes following killer features like:

1) AppleTV-based Timeshift. Watched stream is stored in AppleTV local memory, so You can rewind and pause watched channel every moment.

2) Full EPG. You can watch EPG for channels organized in bouquets (it can be done by web site of OpenWebIF or simply on the Enigma2 Box.

3) Open Movie Database posters display. During EPG browsing there are downloaded posters for selected tv shows

4) Recording management. You can plan simple recordings (in EPG) and manage them

Roadmap.

Future versions of the app will provide more functionality

1) Full recordings management (planned, repeated and automatic recordings) (v 1.5)

3) Extended EPG Informations. (v 1.6)

2) Thumbnails display for recordings. (v 1.7)

4) Alerts when You are planning more than possible recordings (v 1.8)

5) Different audio and subtitles support (v 1.9)





Result

In the result I Could replace all remote controls with only one (this from Apple TV). My TV HDMI connection are limited to two cables connecting Apple TV and TV set and TV set and Sound Receiver (HDMI ARC).

1) Turning off and on is working with usage of HTMI-CEC protocol, which allows AppleTV to turning on and off a TV set and controlling volume on Receiver.

2) Multimedia is stored on the NAS

3) LiveTV is provided by VU+

So, this is the TV Experience I was dreaming about forever!