New HTPC or MOXI HD DVR? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-09-2009, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I am looking at the following options: Getting a MOXI HD DVR or building a new HTPC to do everything. Here is a little background of what I have right now:

I am a college student (going to be a senior) and have a small apartment. I have a Samsung series 5 1080p 32" HDTV, Samsung BDP-1500 Blu-Ray player, an Onkyo 700W 5.1 Home theater system, Xbox 360 w/HD-DVD, and an HD-DVR (Scientific Atlanta) through Time Warner, all controlled by a Logitech Harmony 550 remote.

I am looking at getting rid of the Time Warner DVR and getting either the MOXI or a HTPC to replace it. The reason I am now considering the HTPC is the recent release of a utility that allows you to install a cableCard tuner in any PC. Since this is now possible, I would build the system around Windows 7. Both would ultimately end up costing me the same (except MOXI is now offering the financing for their device, whereas I would have to pay upfront for the HTPC components).

Please let me know what you guys think I should do.
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-09-2009, 08:39 PM
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I wouldn't count on cablecard tuner for home built HTPC yet. You have to jump through alot of hoops to get it working. Probably cheaper to keep your cable dvr at this time.
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-09-2009, 09:54 PM - Thread Starter
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actually from what I have read, you can reliably do it now. all you need to do is use a utility that a user over on "the green button" forum developed to make your mobo OCUR compliant.
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-10-2009, 01:07 PM
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More to it than just your motherboard. Read through this thread. Still not worth the hassle.
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-10-2009, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I have already made one of my machines OCUR compliant using the utility and it was very simple. I guess I should wait until people start posting about their own experiences using this new method.

That aside, how do you feel about the MOXI HD DVR?
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-10-2009, 08:42 PM
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Haven't read much about it here. It does look interesting. Found a thread here about it, probably get better help there. I am thinking about this since I already have the hardware to use it.
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-10-2009, 10:17 PM
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Engadget basically trashed the Moxi DVR in it's current state and have made some very valid points that could be fixed via software updates.

http://www.engadgethd.com/2009/04/21...l-impressions/

As far as CableCard goes, I just made one machine OCUR complaint and another I had (The MSI diva board) came from that factory already OCUR compliant. Making any maching OCUR compliant is not too much harder than installing a program (That's all you basically have to do). One guy even tried it on his Mac (Running Windows) and also passed the OCUR checker utility. I bought a DCT off ebay, hooked it up, and everything worked no problem at all with the public key. It can't get much easier than this.

It could not have been made much easier now. Definitely check out the cable card. $800 for a set top DVR is a bit steep considering all the bugs/shortcomings of it. I put together a quad core (AMD Phenom II 9650, 4GB ram, 1TB hard drive, DVD-RW, Coolermaster 360 Case/PSU, ASUS mobo) HTPC with a DCT for just a hair under $600. Even then, that system is kind of overkill for what it is used for and could have been made bit cheaper. Quiet, stable, and very flexible with what it can do. Add more extenders, add more tuners, add a bluray drive, add more hard drives, playback MKV/any kind of media.

You really need to know what you want to get out of this and decide whether or not you are going to be able to easily get that from an HTPC or just go with a DVR. HTPCs can be very fickle and require constant tuning, that is, if you are constantly trying new things, changing settings, and trying to make Media Center do things that it was not necessarily originally intended for. If you just install Windows, the cable cards, and leave it at that, you won't have any issues with tweaking. Once you start messing around with codec packs, media browsers, unsupported containers, and more and more 3rd party plugins, things start to get exponentially complicated. Now, you can get most things working fairly reliably. Vista Codec Pack is unbeatable for MKV/etc support in media center. Media Browser is an excellent movie browser. However, there is always going to be tweaking with this kind of thing. Movies not showing up properly, hardware acceleration not working requiring better hardware, plugins randomly crashing if you use Vista TV Pack Update.

Windows 7 Movie Library along with encoding all my movies into WMV format have allowed me to build a PC, install windows 7, and NOTHING else. No 3rd party variables to tweak. No Bluray players to mess with, etc.

It's all in what you want to get out of the HTPC and how much you are willing to do to get that. If you want a good STB DVR replacement and a good DVD rip/music jukebox, than an HTPC will be great for you. If you want to run 3rd party software involving gaming/emulation, media browsing/rss torrents/etc, or anything else, it can be done, but WILL require hours of learning and tweaking.

I started piecing my 1st HTPC together back in March and have just completed my second one. I'm still tweaking my first one as a hobby/experimental box, but the new one is strictly a DVR/DVD server-player/music jukebox for the living room. So far everything is looking to work beautifully and couldn't be happier. I've used Tivo, DirecTivo, DirecTV HD DVR, Fios HD DVR, and now Vista/7 Media Center. So far this is the best set up by far.
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-10-2009, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Well if I am going to get a new DVR, it will be the MOXI. I have done research on it and feel that it will suit my needs just fine (anything is better than the crappy boxes from Time Warner).

BUT, I can't decide if I want to do the MOXI or build a HTPC. If I do the HTPC, I already had a Blu-ray drive that I am not using (plus I can sell my Samsung BDP-1500 standalone player becasue I can just use the HTPC). I can also watch Hulu and Netflix right on there. I can build the HTPC I want right now for for just under $600 without the digital tuner. It would be a Phenom X4 with 4 GB RAM, 1 TB HD, Asus graphics card with HDMI (dont remember the model number but I already have it and have used it in a HTPC-esque setup), and a Moneual case, all running Windows 7. Enabling OCUR is dead easy, I have already done it on my laptop (Dell Latitude D820).

As for codecs, I dont usually mess around with them too much, just have to make sure I can play mkv files and I'm set. I have built several machine before, but this would be my first true HTPC.

Were the tuners you got internal or external? The case I'm looking to get will only accept the smaller pci cards and as far as I know I wouldnt be able to use an internal digital tuner. I'm just curious to know if the external ones work as well as the internal ones.

I'm glad I checked back on this thread, I was just about to pull the trigger on the MOXI, but after reading this I'm leaning more towards the HTPC
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-10-2009, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Also, where did you get all of that for under $600? Thats a great machine for that price!
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-11-2009, 12:52 AM
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I picked up all my parts at a local computer show (MarketProShows.com). They run them every Sat/Sun in different areas of the NY/NJ area. Basically you pay $6 to get in and the prices are about on par with that of say Newegg or better many times. Though, the selection isn't always the greatest, depends on the show and what vendors go, but you can always get great deals and save on shipping and sometimes tax.

As far as external tuner vs. internal tuner, they are identical inside. If you open up the external tuner, the boards are EXACTLY the same as the internal's and the only differences are the surrounding bracketry/wiring/housing. They're both USB based and require a power source. The internal card only sits in the PCIe slot and doesn't actually use it for anything besides physical support. I got an external one to start with for versatility sake, but I will be getting 3 more DCTs and two of which will probably be internal ones for the living room machine.

As for MKV playback, just install Vista Codec Pack from Shark007 (Or the Win7 version depending on your OS). Not only will it install all the necessary filters for MKV/h.264/Divx/Flac/everything, it will also do the all important task of registering these file types as valid media within Media Center so they will show up. Media Browser is by far the best alternative to MyMovies or just using the "Videos" tab.
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post #11 of 16 Old 05-11-2009, 06:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richboy455 View Post

Also, where did you get all of that for under $600? Thats a great machine for that price![IMG]http://www.******************/storage/411.jpg[/IMG]

For me, I think it is expensive.
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post #12 of 16 Old 05-11-2009, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot, I really appreciate the advice. I will definitely keep you posted on the build!
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post #13 of 16 Old 05-11-2009, 12:26 PM
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Why would you get a MOXI over a TivoHD?
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post #14 of 16 Old 05-11-2009, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I like the MOXI more than the TivoHD.

Regardless, I just order the components for my new HTPC from Newegg, so it doesn't make a difference, since I wont be ordering a MOXI after all. I plan on building the system and in a month or so I will order the tuner.
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post #15 of 16 Old 05-13-2009, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Well all my components are ordered, but I have another question: What software should I use under Windows 7 for the best Blu-ray playback?
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post #16 of 16 Old 05-13-2009, 11:13 PM
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I can't vouch for Win7 BR playback since I haven't used BR under Win7, but I have used it on another machine with Vista and TMT3 worked pretty well within Media Center.
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