I'm looking to put together a setup that works like the whole-home DVR service offered by comcast.
From what I can tell, I'll need:
- A "Master DVR" device - with infinitv4 (or HDHomeRun Prime)
- Any number of client devices (Media Center Extenders) - from what I can tell, only xbox 360 can be a media center extender
OK so for my "Master DVR" I can either use my current desktop which should work just fine (quad core, 4 GB ram, decent nvidia card) or I can use my current HTPC - a Zotac ZBOX HD-ID11-U. Would this ZBOX even have the horsepower to serve as a "Master DVR"?
Specs are: dual core atom 510 @ 1.66 Ghz, 2GB ram, next gen nvidia ION graphics card.
As far as media center extenders, is the xbox 360 really the only device for sale right now that is a media center extender?
I can't seem to find anything else on the market.
For the CableCard device, what are the pros/cons of infinitv4 vs HDHomeRun Prime? I know the following, but was wondering if there is anything I'm misssing...
- infinitv4 has 4 tuners, HDHomeRun Prime has 3
- HDHomeRun Prime dynamically assigns tuners as needed, while infinitv4 assigns tuners permanently to a device
- infinitv4 could only work with the desktop unless I get a usb version
Also, functionality-wise, a few questions:
- Can I be watching live tv on the xbox 360 while also watching live tv on the "Master DVR"? (I assume if the answer is yes, it will use up 2 of the tuners) What about watching a recording on one device while watching a different recording on another device? recording while watching live?
- Can I watch "copy-once" recordings on the xbox 360 that were recorded on the "Master DVR"?
All of this will be running over a gigabit LAN with a wireless-N (5ghz spectrum) bridge that I've tested to perform consistently at 80-90mbps real throughput (tested with iperf)... is this a good enough network to handle this kind of load?
OK and in the spirit of giving, here's the cost-savings I've calculated using comcast's current pricing scheme (which is super complicated)...
Over 2 years, total savings of $28-$328 or about $8-$20 per month.
Over 5 years, total savings of $1276-$1576 or about $21-26 per month.
Savings ranges are varied based on the price of the HTPC/Master DVR setup... range is $350-650 for that. Savings also include buying a DOCSIS 3.0 modem rather than renting one from comcast, but that is a little OT for this forum I think.
Other benefits of course include the fun of setting it all up, having a better DVR interface, having a xbox 360, and of course compounded savings with time... oh and of course the feeling of actually owning your own equipment.
If anyone can provide some feedback to the questions above I'd really love it. If anyone already has a similar setup, I'd love to hear about it too.... I tried a quick search of the forums and didn't come up with much.