HTPC to stream from main HTPC? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 03-01-2012, 06:15 AM - Thread Starter
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guys,

i have an HTPC in my dedicated media room downstairs which has all my video and music libraries. this is my main viewing room, however somtimes i like to see a quick flick from my living without having to run downstairs.

so i am thinking of building a smaller, cheaper htpc with the sole purpase of streaming media from my main HTPC downstairs to the plasma TV in my living room. but before i do that, i like to know if there's already a prebuilt solution in the market that is already built for this purpose? cheap, small, and stream effieciently via wireless?

if so, i love to hear about them. i really appreciate your feedbacks/responses. thanks
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-01-2012, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by smokarz View Post

guys,

i have an HTPC in my dedicated media room downstairs which has all my video and music libraries. this is my main viewing room, however somtimes i like to see a quick flick from my living without having to run downstairs.

so i am thinking of building a smaller, cheaper htpc with the sole purpase of streaming media from my main HTPC downstairs to the plasma TV in my living room. but before i do that, i like to know if there's already a prebuilt solution in the market that is already built for this purpose? cheap, small, and stream effieciently via wireless?

if so, i love to hear about them. i really appreciate your feedbacks/responses. thanks

I was just going through this decision process myself, and I thought that an xBox would be the perfect solution. I bought one from walmart just to try it out, with full intentions of just taking it back when I was done testing. Turns out it mimics the WM7 interface perfectly, and plays recorded TV shows over my network flawlessly. It also allows me to watch live TV, and control the scheduled recordings. That I thought was very cool, but the major problem came in streaming other media like avi, mkv, dvd rips and other stuff. Lots of them it wouldn't even play, and the ones that would play ended up being really crappy quality. I believe it has to do with the fact that the xbox has a very limited number of file types that it can transcode, so it forces the media center to do it on the fly.

Anyway, we watch a lot of media like that, as well as our home videos which are very high bitrate avi files. So that wasn't going to work. I took it back. About 8 years ago I probably would have gone with it, and tweak whatever needed to get it work, as it sounds like others have crossed these bridges, but I've got three kids now, and it's all the time I can afford just put this setup together.

I think other media center extenders will behave the same way.

My other solution is like what you're looking for, a small, cheap PC with windows 7 on it, that I can use to steam media over the network from my main media pc. This will do all the things that the xbox can't, but won't do the one thing that it can do. Since you can't register another PC as an actual extender, you won't be able to watch live TV or control the recordings. But it seems like that's about the only drawback. You can still watch previously recorded shows, as well as any other content from the media center.

So I think that's going to be my solution. I've actually priced out a build for a small form factor media center for my bedroom for about $261, but it uses a HDD I already own, so you'd have to add on the price of a hard drive. I think you can probably build a cheaper one, or even find a pre built cheaper one, but this one includes a sandy bridge chip. Here's the build I'm planning on, but be weary, I haven't done full compatibility research on it:

Raidmax Case+PSU for $52
Remote for $14
Memory for $33 (can be found cheaper watching slickdeals)
motherboard for $94
CPU for $52
This DVD Burner was $16 a few days ago. They can be found really cheap.

All you'd need is a hard drive on top of that. Let me know what you come up with. Good luck!
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post #3 of 11 Old 03-01-2012, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paqmanbiker View Post


I was just going through this decision process myself, and I thought that an xBox would be the perfect solution. I bought one from walmart just to try it out, with full intentions of just taking it back when I was done testing. Turns out it mimics the WM7 interface perfectly, and plays recorded TV shows over my network flawlessly. It also allows me to watch live TV, and control the scheduled recordings. That I thought was very cool, but the major problem came in streaming other media like avi, mkv, dvd rips and other stuff. Lots of them it wouldn't even play, and the ones that would play ended up being really crappy quality. I believe it has to do with the fact that the xbox has a very limited number of file types that it can transcode, so it forces the media center to do it on the fly.

Anyway, we watch a lot of media like that, as well as our home videos which are very high bitrate avi files. So that wasn't going to work. I took it back. About 8 years ago I probably would have gone with it, and tweak whatever needed to get it work, as it sounds like others have crossed these bridges, but I've got three kids now, and it's all the time I can afford just put this setup together.

I think other media center extenders will behave the same way.

My other solution is like what you're looking for, a small, cheap PC with windows 7 on it, that I can use to steam media over the network from my main media pc. This will do all the things that the xbox can't, but won't do the one thing that it can do. Since you can't register another PC as an actual extender, you won't be able to watch live TV or control the recordings. But it seems like that's about the only drawback. You can still watch previously recorded shows, as well as any other content from the media center.

So I think that's going to be my solution. I've actually priced out a build for a small form factor media center for my bedroom for about $261, but it uses a HDD I already own, so you'd have to add on the price of a hard drive. I think you can probably build a cheaper one, or even find a pre built cheaper one, but this one includes a sandy bridge chip. Here's the build I'm planning on, but be weary, I haven't done full compatibility research on it:

Raidmax Case+PSU for $52
Remote for $14
Memory for $33 (can be found cheaper watching slickdeals)
motherboard for $94
CPU for $52
This DVD Burner was $16 a few days ago. They can be found really cheap.

All you'd need is a hard drive on top of that. Let me know what you come up with. Good luck!

Not much to add here except a media steamer will do the same thing too. So you could get one to stream and an xBox 360 for live tv for maybe the same price as another HTPC.

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post #4 of 11 Old 03-01-2012, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks guys. my primary goal is to stream media contents from my HTPC (which includes, AVi, DVD rips, blu-ray rips, MKV, MP4, MP3, etc).

i wouldn't care much for live TV since i've already have an OTA attached to my plasma TV. i don't have cable.

also, since my HTPC is setup with W7 MC and Media Browser, I like to keep the interface the same.

i guess the only solution is an a mini HTPC?

btw, does W7MC stream live videos from Amazon, Hulu, etc? i've never messed with that before.
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post #5 of 11 Old 03-01-2012, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokarz View Post

thanks guys. my primary goal is to stream media contents from my HTPC (which includes, AVi, DVD rips, blu-ray rips, MKV, MP4, MP3, etc).

i wouldn't care much for live TV since i've already have an OTA attached to my plasma TV. i don't have cable.

also, since my HTPC is setup with W7 MC and Media Browser, I like to keep the interface the same.

i guess the only solution is an a mini HTPC?

btw, does W7MC stream live videos from Amazon, Hulu, etc? i've never messed with that before.

You could connect your antenna to your HTPC and have a 14-day guide and PVR but the other mini HTPC won't act as an extender. That's something MS could fix in Win8?!

assassin's guides go through set up for Hulu (and netflix); I'm not so sure about amazon.

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post #6 of 11 Old 03-01-2012, 08:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

.....assassin's guides go through set up for Hulu (and netflix); I'm not so sure about amazon.




do you have link to this specific guide for Hulu?

there's so much in that thread.
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-01-2012, 08:32 AM
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It is on assassin's blog page where there is an extensive ToC to the software guides. This is well worth the $25 as it will save you hours of hassle configuring your HTPC.

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post #8 of 11 Old 03-01-2012, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by smokarz View Post



do you have link to this specific guide for Hulu?

there's so much in that thread.

Google HULU integration into WMC.

Or if you are not using WMC, you can run Hulu desktop, it works with WMC remote.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-01-2012, 06:19 PM
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cheap, small, and stream effieciently via wireless?

You'll get two out three, but don't bet on reliable wireless (unless it's a very short distance, or you limit yourself to 480p).
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-01-2012, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
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You'll get two out three, but don't bet on reliable wireless (unless it's a very short distance, or you limit yourself to 480p).

really? even on the 'N' network? and one floor apart?
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post #11 of 11 Old 03-01-2012, 06:55 PM
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