Last Christmas I was given a TV HAT and have been struggling all year to build a system that will reliably decode TV. There must be some configuration I'm getting wrong somewhere, so please help!

I have mainly been using a specific Pi3B+ but have also tried other Pi3B+'s and a Pi4, also a second TV HAT and multiple PSUs, hence I don't think there is an issue with the hardware or horsepower. I always change the video memory to be 256 or 384Mbytes.

I have tried using Raspbian+Kodi, LibreElec and OSMC but none of them seem reliable. I have always been using TVHeadend as the backend.

I can easily set up TVH to tune to all of the muxes available in my area and select programs to be recorded ok via the broadcast guide data. I can set up Kodi to use TVH and get the correct channel list and guide data. I can tune to broadcast channels (both SD and HD).

Where I start having issues is the long term stability of the system. If I tune to a channel and then leave the Pi alone (turning off the TV), the Pi will stop decoding the channel anywhere between 3 hours and 3 days later. Sometimes the system will crash completely, else it may just stop decoding (freeze frame) and perhaps start up again some time later.

Does anyone have a stable system that will decode live TV for hours/days? If so, how did you manage it??

I was aiming to use OSMC (preferably, else Raspbian+Kodi) as a replacement for my aging PVR, with a second Pi adding another tuner for dual decoding capability (a Pi0 networking to the first Pi over USB). But I can't do that until I am satisfied that the system is reliable, obviously.

A few things that I have tried are:

  • In the TVH Config -> Stream -> Stream Profiles, set “Restart on error” for htsp and pass
  • In raspi-config, select GL2 Fake KMS graphics driver
  • Set Kodi to use PLL to maintain AV sync
  • Explicitly set the memory cache size used by Kodi in advancedsettings.xml

Any help appreciated.

  • So you want to run TVHeadend + Kodi on 1 system? I have the TVHat + TVHeadend on a PiB+ and OSMC on a Pi2B and it runs without problems...
    – Dirk
    Oct 5, 2020 at 15:51
  • is the system stable without the TV Hat? .... is the system stable with the TV Hat, but without the decode program being active?
    – jsotola
    Oct 5, 2020 at 16:11
  • @Dirk: Yes, I want to have TV HAT + TVH + Kodi on the same Pi. But I have also tried the TV HAT and TVH on one Pi and Kodi on another without success. Good to hear that it works for you - gives me hope.
    – WhyNine
    Oct 5, 2020 at 21:19
  • @jstola: Yes, I believe so. I have not had any problems with those Pi's when doing anything else. I haven't tried it without decoding, will give it a go. But I still want it to work with decoding active, as that is a real possibility in real use.
    – WhyNine
    Oct 5, 2020 at 21:20
  • I understand it is old. i had a Pi3B+ running OSMC with TVH without any issues at all. EPG data was captured and recordings were made without issue. I have a HDHomerun tuner and I think that box times out after a couple hours of no switching. I am currently using a Vero 4K+ from OSMC and it works great.
    – wbeard52
    Dec 31, 2022 at 23:27

1 Answer 1


Have you checked the temperature? When a pi is hot the stability drops to 0. For tv recording, a fan is a must.

My setup:

  • Allows concurrent recording of two shows and watching a third with no crashes. This allows fast forward past commercials.
  • Raspbian buster desktop with Pi4, with video memory default at 76MB.
  • External powered USB3 drive
  • sudo apt install kaffeine smplayer.
  • Disabled daily updates, daily crontab running shell script to download tv guide data.
  • kaffeine 2.0.15 automatic recording using tv show names.

Configure smplayer to remember location so you can close the app and restart in the same place. Also, deinterlace on hd tvs using linear mode. Anything else uses too much CPU, i.e. temperature rises and pixelation occurs, if not becomes too hot, and makes watching aweful. I have had issues when the tv antenna signal is weak that causes me to disable deinterlace.

Warning: About 6 weeks ago, a kaffeine bug started to prevent automatic recording from adding shows that appear in the guide from being added to scheduled recording list; to do that my work around is to open the "Automatic recording" screen and click the Ok button.

  • Thanks, I'll give it a try. I know the Pi wasn't overheating with Kodi but maybe I'll have better luck with kaffeine.
    – WhyNine
    Mar 1, 2021 at 15:56

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