VDR Plugin Survey 2008 - Results part 1

It took quite a while, but finally here is part one of the results from the VDR Plugin Survey 2008.

570 VDR user participated in this survey. Only 493 of them also rated the plug-ins in the second part. The first part of the survey was about the VDR in general.


80% of the survey participants (457) stated, that they use the VDR on a dedicated machine.

Slightly more than half of the participants use a single VDR system, while a quarter of the users has two VDR's and 10% have three VDR's in use. 5% own four or five VDR's and two Power users even manage 6 and 7 VDR systems.

number of vdr systems in use


It's no surprise, that most users run VDR with DVB-S(2). DVB-T and DVB-C are neck and neck, which I haven't expected (Maybe because the DVB-T radio reception is pretty bad, where I live.). At least 7% of the participants also use online sources (IPTV).

number of vdr systems in use

The most common combination seems to be DVB-S/DVB-T.

number of vdr systems in use


First of all I must say, that the survey might be biased towards Debian/c't VDR, because e-tobi.net only hosts Debian packages and might have attracted relatively more Debian users for the survey.

The "market share" of the top ten distributions from the survey looks like this:

number of vdr systems in use

The major players seem to be Debian/Ubuntu/c't-VDR (these three distributions actually use more or less exactly the same package base), EasyVDR and Gentoo/Gen2VDR.

The complete list of the number of users per distribution can be found in this OpenOffice-Document. Keep in mind, that there might be an intersection between some distributions, like e.g. ct'-VDR and Debian, where one distribution is just a specialization of the other.

When focusing on the number of users compiling VDR and VDR plug-ins themselves, then reelbox and mld seem to satisfy their users the most, as nobody seems to have the need for self compiled packages and is happy with the ones provided by the distribution. But there are just not enough user to support such a statement.

Looking at the distributions with a broader user base, LinVDR seems to deliver the best "out-of-the-box" experience. Only 17% of the LinVDR users are running their VDR system with self compiled / customized VDR or plug-ins. For c't-VDR it's a quarter of the users, that is not completely satisfied with the offered packages. For EasyVDR and Gen2VDR a third of the users runs self compiled packages instead of the provided binaries. The exact numbers can be found in this OpenOffice-Document.

The reasons why some users prefer to compile VDR themselves range from an increased flexibility and more control over details, to the need for plug-ins and patches that are missing in the distribution and last but not least the fun of doing things yourself.

A list of all comments for each distribution can be found here.

General comments about VDR

From the 145 comments which the survey participants gave, the major part is positive feedback (especially from the long term users). But very negative comments couldn't be expected here, because nobody who doesn't like the VDR in some way would have an interest in participating in a VDR survey.

Here's a small excerpt from the comments:

Excellent application, I've been using it since 2003 IIRC

Changed my way to consume TV forever :)

Love it :) I try MythTV now and again, but it's a huge oaf and I always come back to VDR.

it rocks :)

Very nice peace of software and I'm using it for about 6 years now

I couldn't bear to be without VDR anymore!

it's easy and it's fun

Respekt in erster Linie an Klaus und auch alle die Ihr Zeit für VDR opfern.

great!!! waf >= 100%

Es ist ein geiles Hobby. Ich wünschte, ich hätte mehr -zeit -verstand -geld für hardware Ich hoffe, vdr wird nie fertig!

Geniale Software. Hat bei mir den klassischen Fernseher im Wohnzimmer ersetzt.

I am not the first to say so and hopefully not the last, but this is one of the greatest projects I ever came upon. I use it now for 5 years, I think 1.1.26 was the version I started with and I do hope for many years to come.

beste Erfindung seit geschnitten Brot ;-))

But there have also been some more critical comments and feature requests. Many VDR users are waiting for HD support:

Yes I'd like to see more work done in the direction of HD and Soft Decoders. As great as the Nexus-x is, it's time to move on. Barring that anything that can be done to make the upcomming TT-S2 6400 as eays to use as the cuurent Nexus-x would be just as useful for me

Waiting for HDTV/DVB-S2/H264 support in prebuild packages.

Die simplicity and stability of VDR gets praised, but is a point of criticism as well:

Better media playing functionalities and support for modern software based UI would be great. The UI looks old and ugly but it is highly functional

Some people are concerned about the slow development:

vdr is nice and stable. However it's a very limited peace of software. I can't wait to see it being forked ! Klaus just have simple needs. vdr architecture needs a lot of reworking to handle more complex needs/setups. I'd like to see a public repository and a lot more people able to commit. channels handling is very basic and limited ! some patches are need when you have a complex dish+cards setup. you need to run 2 vdr instances (+streamdev) if you have a multiple card setup and want to have independant frontend+osd.

Weiterentwicklung wird leider spürbar langsamer

need more development like in past years :(

You can see all comments about the VDR in general here.

Published on 18/11/2008 at 23:53 by , tags

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