Since Internet research can only get you so far, looking for advice from the crowd here..
Not ready to quite go the full HTPC route (especially since I already have a nice reliable desktop - Dell XPS, quad core processor, 9 GB of RAM), but looking to make better use of my PC to record and watch/archive shows, mostly sports events, been doing that for years on a DVD recorder, but of course SD just doesn't cut it anymore. I have a Hauppauge HD PVR which is awesome, but of course that's limited to whatever my cable box puts out, and obviously that limits what I can watch while I'm recording. So I'm ready for an upgrade, especially now that my holiday bonus at work finally kicked in.
I watch/record a ton of sports, so multiple tuners are a must, especially for something like the NCAA Tournament, and then over the summer for the Olympics where I'm totally the guy trying to watch everything at once. I experimented with an internal QAM card with little success although I do have a USB stick, even though I don't even get all the locals on that.
I've looked at HDHomeRun, Ceton, and the Hauppauge CC tuner. Which one(s) should I get? Ideally, I'd like to have a minimum of 4 tuners for busy sports days, even if that means mixing and matching tuners. Plus I have an Xbox 360 that I'd love to set up with a TV in another room and/or ditching my cable box altogether.
Also, somewhat related.. 1 of my favorite features of TME with the HD PVR is that I can set the bit rate on recordings, useful since I burn a lot of stuff to disc, especially now that blank BD-R's are getting more and more inexpensive. Can that be done in Windows Media Center? Or is there another add-on program where I can set the bit rate, even if that drive me to 1 of the tuners or another?
Thanks in advance for the advice. Sorry for being a little long-winded.. brevity is not 1 of my strong points.
This is television. It has nothing to do with people, it's to do with ratings! For fifty years, we've told them what to eat, what to drink, what to wear. So what do we do? We give 'em what they want!