In my setup, I only record copy freely (i.e. unencrypted) TV channels, so my recommendation is Argus TV software because of its flexibility and reliability according to my tests.
If you are using a cable card, for example with HDHomeRun Prime, then I would recommend using ServerWMC with Windows Media Center as the PVR recording software. However, it is good to keep in mind that Windows 10 does not include Windows Media Center any more, so you need to stick with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 operating system, if you plan to use WMC and ServerWMC.
Note: if you wish, you can also follow my earlier Argus TV instructions.
Let’s proceed with preparing for the Argus TV software installation.
Install Microsoft SQL Express
Before you install Argus TV Scheduler, you will need to install database server software. Argus TV recommends you use Microsoft SQL Express, so let’s proceed in installing it.
|First, download Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Express
and launch installer. Select “New SQL stand-alone
installation or add features to an existing
|Accept the terms and conditions then simply click
“Next” for the following screens using the default
selections until the installation is completed.
Create recordings folder
I would recommend creating a recording folder and set up your shares before installing Argus TV.
|First, using the Windows Explorer, create a folder
where you wish record all TV shows. For example,
I’m using “E:Argus TVRecordings” that utilizes
Windows Storage Spaces. Then, create another folder
for Timeshifting.For example, “E:Argus TVTimeshift”.
Choose “Share” > “Specific people” to bring file
|In the file sharing window, add “Everyone”
to the list and choose Read/Write permission level.
Click “Share” button.Now, your recordings folder is
visible in the Argus TV.Repeat this step for the
Timeshift folder as well.
Install Argus TV
|First, download the latest version of Argus TV.
Launch the installer application and click “Next”.
|In the “Select Setup Type” screen, choose
“Server/Client” and click “Next”. Choose all
components and click “Next”.
|In the “Set Additional Scheduler Settings”,
pick a user name and password for accessing
remotely via a web page to Argus TV. Continue
clicking “Next” on “Set Additional Web Access
Settings” and “Choose Install Location” dialog
|Next, you will need to test the database
connection the Argus TV service should use. Choose
“Windows Authentication”, and test the connection
with the “Test Connection” button. Click OK, and you
will be shown the finish dialog.
Configure Argus TV Recorder
After installing Argus TV, let’s proceed in configuring Argus TV Recorder in the Recording Console.
Let’s first detect and configure TV tuner cards and then scan TV channels as services.
|Launch the Recording Console application and click
“Connect” to connect to the Argus TV Recorder.
|Go to the “Cards” screen to get an overview of the
cards installed in your PC. If you use HDHomeRun,
select “Show settings” at the bottom of the screen
and choose the “Advanced” tab. For each card, check
the box for “Reset when idle” and change the “Wait
for service PMT” to 20 sec.
|Next, go to “Scan Services” to scan for services.
Select a suitable region and click “Next” to see
a list of frequencies to scan. Click “Scan” button.
|When the scanning is completed, you will see
the list found services.
Then, you will need to map services to TV tuner cards. This is a useful feature especially for multiple tuners such as HDHomeRun, as you can scan for services on the first card and then map all the scanned services to other cards.
After mapping services to cards, you will need to link services to channels and finally you can activate EPG-grabbing for the channels.
|Go to the “Card/Service Mapping” screen. Using the
<< buttons you can map services. Repeat this step for each of the card. When ready, click "Save" button.
|Go to “Services” screen. For each service that is
not linked, click the “Create Channel In..” button, and
select the group (e.g. the All Channels group) where
you want the channels to be created in.
|Go to “Channels” screen. For each of the channel,
check the checkboxes in the grid “Grab EPG” and
“Include in EPG” columns.
|Finally, go to “Settings” screen. Press “(Re)Check
Share” buttons to make sure that the paths entered in
the Recordings and Timeshifting are properly shared,
and accessible as UNC share (e.g. \yourPC\Recordings).
Add channel logos
Finally, in order to make your EPG guide to look nicer, you can add channel logos for each of the channels.
You can easily find channel logos for example by Googling for “channel name logo wikipedia”. Then, save images into “C:ProgramDataARGUS TVChannel Logos” folder with naming convention “channel name.png”.
Scheduling your recordings
Once Argus TV Recorder is ready to start recording your TV shows, let’s use the Argus TV scheduler and create schedules for the recordings.
You can schedule your recordings either via the Argus TV Scheduler Console or Web Access (http://localhost:42080).
In this guide, I will use the Argus TV Scheduler Console, but you can do these same steps via Web Access as well.
Manually schedule and record TV shows
First, let’s do an easy manual recording to get familiar with the Scheduler.
|Launch Argus TV Scheduler console application. Go
to Programs > Electronic Program Guide. Choose an
upcoming TV show on a channel, right click, and
select record. Click “Save” on the following screen.
|Now, go to Programs > Upcoming Recordings to see
your recording. Repeat the step 1 for any TV show
you wish to manually schedule for recording.
Automatically schedule and record all TV shows on a channel
Next, I will show you a more advanced way to automatically record all TV shows on a specific channel. Using this method, you don’t even need to remember to schedule your favourite TV shows.
Let’s create custom schedules so that all the TV shows will be automatically recorded on selected channels.
|Launch Argus TV Scheduler console application. Go to
the Schedules > Recordings and click “Create Schedule”.
Give a “Name” to the recording, e.g. channel name.
Set the “Pre-record” and Post-record” to “0:00:00”.
Choose “Keep 14 or 31 Days” depending on your HDD space.
Tick boxes “On days Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fr, Sa and Su”.
Select Channels on the drop down menu and press << to add channels. You can see upcoming shows at the bottom.
|Go to Recordings > Active Recordings to verify that
the recorder has started recording all scheduled channels.
Modify the naming convention of recorded files
As the last step, in the Argus TV Schedule Console, go to “Administration” > “Recording File Formats” to modify the naming convention of recorded files. I’m using the following naming convention to help Plex Media Server to identify correct metadata, but you can choose whatever fits to your needs.
This naming convention means that each TV show will be recorded into a separate folder with the Title and episode name, season and episode number and date and time stamp: e.g., “The FlintstonesThe Flintstones (Son of Rockzilla – 24) – s04e24 – 2015-05-16_16-00”.