Pi video recorder with MiniDVBLinux

Valery Kachaev, 123RF

Home Recording


The Raspberry Pi is commonly used as a media center with programs like OpenELEC and Kodi. The Pi can also be used as an excellent video recorder.

The free and non-commercial software VDR (Video Disc Recorder), [1], from Klaus Schmidinger can be used to convert a traditional PC into a digital TV receiver with an easily programmable video recorder. VDR is also available for Single Board Computers like the Raspberry Pi. The program has a range of useful features. For example, it can be controlled using a TV remote control, a web browser, or a smartphone app. It can also handle time shift and streaming, as well as administering multiple signal sources.

Like most Linux distributions, Raspbian already comes with the packages required for basic video recording. However you're going to have an easier time using a specialty VDR distribution, as installation is simple and they have more extensive driver support for various hardware hardware. The miniDVBLinux distribution MLD [2] which is maintained by Claus Muus, is a great choice. Setting up a digital video recorder doesn't get any easier than it does with MLD. This distribution also has a fork specifically designed for use on the Raspberry Pi (Figure 1).


In theory, you can install VDR on every Raspberry Pi model. In practice however, it's better to use second or third generation Raspberry Pis for this project. The increase in performance between the two models is fairly negligible at first, but the Raspberry Pi 3 is a better choice, as the extra system resources are useful when you start to add plugins.


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