Hey guys, not sure if this is the right place to post this, but here goes...
So I have just gotten myself an hdhomerun prime and I am currently using my Windows 8.1 with Media Center as a server for an XBOX 360 extender. I am considering getting another XBOX 360 for another room, but I am a little worried because in my research of extenders I discovered that the XBOX One no longer acts like a windows media center extender. With media center already being a separate add on from the main windows distribution as of windows 8 and the lack of availability of media center extenders I worry that Microsoft is killing off this product. This is especially worrying since there is no other way at this time to record or watch encrypted content.
Do you guys share similar concerns? Have you heard anything about media center in the next version of windows? Any other software that supports encrypted content at this time?
HD Homerun prime
network hard drives
Xbox 360s to be used as extenders. (if a service needs internet connection like showtime anytime does you will need xbox live account to use it here) all local streaming does not require xbox live
computer with win 7/ WMC/media browser 3 server/PlayLater/PlayOn/OpenServer WMC and a few other things installed like handbrake/auto rip & compress/Haali media splitter/channel icons/AnyDVD HD
In reality your system is what you make of it. I like the Roku 3 interface far better then most as it is clean and crisp and can be navigated with the simple Roku remote or even an app on a cell phone. Once you have the system setup you will only need one coaxial cable going into your house with a single splitter on it to have a cable to go to your modem and another to go to your hd homerun prime. All the televisions will get their signals over cat 5e or cat 6 cable. The most impressive part of having an HTPC is the library you populate it with. That is what you will spend most of your future time working on. Once you save all your DVDs and Blu Ray discs to network hard drives you can also add to your collection by downloading from Netflix or other subscription services you may be paying for. The idea of populating television series along with home photos and your music collection all in a central location is a great thing.
I am glad that things are working out for you, it seems like you are able to find a good compromise between streaming services and unencrypted network channels. For my needs I could actually get rid of cable altogether, but in my house much of what the DVR is used for is sports which are usually on encrypted channels (if i'm not mistaken even ESPN is encrypted in my area). With a new version of Windows around the corner and no Xbox one WMC app it may be the end of anything resembling the homebrew DVR in the U.S market (for most customers anyway).
My solution at the moment is not very integrated with my HTPC or anything, it is mostly just to avoid the costly DVR rentals from the cable company (nearly $400 a year for 2 rooms). Can I purchase DVR boxes other than the Tivo? I have seen some on craigslist but I wonder if I can actually use them or if these guys just stole them from their cable company and I won't be allowed to use them. Any other money saving alternatives?
[For Comcast customers]
I am a Comcast subscriber and it turns out that Comcast's policy is only to encrypt premium channels. I now have 2 DVR backends. The Windows Media Center and MythTV. MythTV does almost every channel I'm subscribed to and it integrates nicely (though could be nicer) with Kodi / XBMC using the pvr plugin. I only subscribe to one premium channel that I know of which is Encore, which comes with my cable package. Since there's one user in the house that loves encore westerns I keep XBOX 360s in the two rooms where that person watches so they can continue to watch it. Basically, if you're a Comcast customer and you don't care about premium channels, you'll probably be fine when WMC is finally retired, which brings me to my next point...
[The future of WMC]
So I recently upgraded my Windows 8.1 computer running WMC to Windows 10. During the process I was informed that WMC is no longer supported and would be removed during the upgrade. So it's pretty much official. Windows Media Center's days are numbered.