HTPC newbie here... few questions on replacing STB with HTPC - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 03-25-2012, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Guys...

I'm pretty new to HTPCs but have been doing a lot of reading and am very interested in setting one up to replace my cable box. Because i still need cable (mostly for live sports) I wont be cutting the chord, but it will replace the STB. I have a few questions and again, please bare with me... some of these questions might seem stupid.

1) Based on what i've read there are two options that i would consider since i need to use cableCARD the Ceton or the SD HDHR Prime. For the HDHR it seems I can just hook it up to the network and multiple machines can use it to tune to the TV network, as for the Ceton i need to have it installed in PC which is always on in order for other TVs in the house to be able to tune to cable... Is my understanding correct? I think i'd pick the HDHR for sure in this case...

2) If i want to replace the STBs in two rooms, do i need to build HTPCs for both rooms? I couldn't really figure out what exactly is a MCE (i know the xBox serves as an MCE) other than that it allows for me to stream media off of a network device... Can someone clarify this for me? Most my TVs do that with DLNA already so I'm not sure if this is the same or not. I would like to control all of my devices using iRule and if i want to do it over IP then I'm guessing i need to build HTPCs for each TV?

3) Does the HTPC DVR shows to the NAS or to the local drive?

Well i'm sure this is just the start of many questions im going to have... thanks so much for your help. Great community here.
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-26-2012, 02:41 AM
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Originally Posted by shortskoolbus View Post

Hi Guys...

I'm pretty new to HTPCs but have been doing a lot of reading and am very interested in setting one up to replace my cable box. Because i still need cable (mostly for live sports) I wont be cutting the chord, but it will replace the STB. I have a few questions and again, please bare with me... some of these questions might seem stupid.

1) Based on what i've read there are two options that i would consider since i need to use cableCARD the Ceton or the SD HDHR Prime. For the HDHR it seems I can just hook it up to the network and multiple machines can use it to tune to the TV network, as for the Ceton i need to have it installed in PC which is always on in order for other TVs in the house to be able to tune to cable... Is my understanding correct? I think i'd pick the HDHR for sure in this case...

2) If i want to replace the STBs in two rooms, do i need to build HTPCs for both rooms? I couldn't really figure out what exactly is a MCE (i know the xBox serves as an MCE) other than that it allows for me to stream media off of a network device... Can someone clarify this for me? Most my TVs do that with DLNA already so I'm not sure if this is the same or not. I would like to control all of my devices using iRule and if i want to do it over IP then I'm guessing i need to build HTPCs for each TV?

3) Does the HTPC DVR shows to the NAS or to the local drive?

Well i'm sure this is just the start of many questions im going to have... thanks so much for your help. Great community here.

First off ... Welcome to the wild world of htpc

Second , the best advice I can give you is to read this about 25 times and get the paid guides if you want to save about two months in some bad head aches http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1302559

I use the Ceton pci-e card and yes , if you want to use it to tune other tvs in the home you will need a Media Center Extender such as an xbox or another computer at each tv . FYI , Ceton makes a usb version of it's tuning card . I have never used HDHR prime so I can't comment on it's function , like or dis likes . I do love my Ceton though !

Question #3 . I record all my "stuff" to the largest drive . Yes you could off load your recordings to a server and then play them back over the network , if that is what ur asking . Keep your recordings off the o.s drive if possible.
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post #3 of 19 Old 03-26-2012, 07:30 AM
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So far in my experience since Christmas of having Ceton pci-e in main HTPC and one remote in the kitchen I wish I went with the Prime for sharing. If you want your PC to sleep when not in use you have to wait a minute or so to get the host to wake up and find tuners, etc. It has been difficult on not only me, but family. I intend to add 3 more remote units so may get the Prime later.
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post #4 of 19 Old 03-26-2012, 08:03 AM
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The HTPC I'm getting has a 1TB drive with Windows 7 installed. It's from Assassin HTPC but I don't know if they partition the drive or if it comes as just one. I plan to use that drive for the DVR function. Would I be able to create a partition after the fact without messing up the current Windows install or would I have to reinstall Windows and create the partition at that time. Also, what effect would using the OS drive for DVR recordings have on anything?

Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand.
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post #5 of 19 Old 03-26-2012, 08:49 AM
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The HTPC I'm getting has a 1TB drive with Windows 7 installed. It's from Assassin HTPC but I don't know if they partition the drive or if it comes as just one. I plan to use that drive for the DVR function. Would I be able to create a partition after the fact without messing up the current Windows install or would I have to reinstall Windows and create the partition at that time. Also, what effect would using the OS drive for DVR recordings have on anything?

Any way you want to do it will be fine. The hardware will be able to handle whatever you want to do with it.
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post #6 of 19 Old 03-26-2012, 09:16 AM
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Cool, Last I spoke to Ben he said that if the build team completes the HTPC and it passes certification that it should ship today. Hopefully that happens so I can get everything set up and cancel DirecTV this month before my next billing cycle. Once the PC ships, how long on average does it take to reach your customers? I'm in Georgia if that helps. I guess I will create a partition that splits the drive in half and use that for the DVR function. Gotta do some research on creating partitions without affecting a current Windows install on the same hard drive.

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post #7 of 19 Old 03-26-2012, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe 6 Pack View Post

Cool, Last I spoke to Ben he said that if the build team completes the HTPC and it passes certification that it should ship today. Hopefully that happens so I can get everything set up and cancel DirecTV this month before my next billing cycle. Once the PC ships, how long on average does it take to reach your customers? I'm in Georgia if that helps. I guess I will create a partition that splits the drive in half and use that for the DVR function. Gotta do some research on creating partitions without affecting a current Windows install on the same hard drive.

Yours should come with an OS partition already done assuming you got a build without a SSD.
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post #8 of 19 Old 03-26-2012, 09:31 AM
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Yup, no SSD. Damn, you guys think of everything.

Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand.
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post #9 of 19 Old 03-26-2012, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by flocko View Post

First off ... Welcome to the wild world of htpc

Second , the best advice I can give you is to read this about 25 times and get the paid guides if you want to save about two months in some bad head aches http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1302559

I use the Ceton pci-e card and yes , if you want to use it to tune other tvs in the home you will need a Media Center Extender such as an xbox or another computer at each tv . FYI , Ceton makes a usb version of it's tuning card . I have never used HDHR prime so I can't comment on it's function , like or dis likes . I do love my Ceton though !

Question #3 . I record all my "stuff" to the largest drive . Yes you could off load your recordings to a server and then play them back over the network , if that is what ur asking . Keep your recordings off the o.s drive if possible.

Thanks for the information.

How is having another computer serving as a MCE different than another HTPC? Is it basically the same thing?

I guess the one part i'm really confused about is how a MCE is any different than what DLNA already offers.
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post #10 of 19 Old 03-26-2012, 10:27 AM
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Thanks for the information.

How is having another computer serving as a MCE different than another HTPC? Is it basically the same thing?

Incredibly a Microsoft HTPC is not considered an official extender by Microsoft.

Only the Xbox. (There were others but they are no longer made)
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post #11 of 19 Old 03-26-2012, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortskoolbus View Post

Hi Guys...

I'm pretty new to HTPCs but have been doing a lot of reading and am very interested in setting one up to replace my cable box. Because i still need cable (mostly for live sports) I wont be cutting the chord, but it will replace the STB. I have a few questions and again, please bare with me... some of these questions might seem stupid.

1) Based on what i've read there are two options that i would consider since i need to use cableCARD the Ceton or the SD HDHR Prime. For the HDHR it seems I can just hook it up to the network and multiple machines can use it to tune to the TV network, as for the Ceton i need to have it installed in PC which is always on in order for other TVs in the house to be able to tune to cable... Is my understanding correct? I think i'd pick the HDHR for sure in this case...

2) If i want to replace the STBs in two rooms, do i need to build HTPCs for both rooms? I couldn't really figure out what exactly is a MCE (i know the xBox serves as an MCE) other than that it allows for me to stream media off of a network device... Can someone clarify this for me? Most my TVs do that with DLNA already so I'm not sure if this is the same or not. I would like to control all of my devices using iRule and if i want to do it over IP then I'm guessing i need to build HTPCs for each TV?

3) Does the HTPC DVR shows to the NAS or to the local drive?

Well i'm sure this is just the start of many questions im going to have... thanks so much for your help. Great community here.

1) I would check with people who have HDHRon how it handles SDV from your provider, if they use SDV, and if you need a tuning adapter.

2) If you can build an HTPC for under $150, then go for it. $150 is what XBOX 360 will cost you when you catch it on sale. Media Center Extenders can be found on ebay for under $100

3) It will record where ever you tell it to record. However, by default, live TV buffer has to be local. But, don't fret, there is a hack for that too, as long as you are sure that your remote drive can sustain the constant speeds.

Other things to consider are:

A) How are you connecting the 2 TV's? Wireless won't work, unless you have absolutely perfect signal.

B) Doesn't Assassin build his HTPC with tuners already installed?

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 #12 of 19 Old 03-26-2012, 10:48 AM
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B) Doesn't Assassin build his HTPC with tuners already installed?

Sure, if they want one installed. Otherwise we don't install them and charge for them. That's the whole point of building custom machines.
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post #13 of 19 Old 03-26-2012, 12:25 PM
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shortskoolbus
I suggest that you keep your cable stb, on line and working, for a couple of months, as a backup.
Just in case...

Cheers, Tp

"No lawsuit ever fixed a moron."
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post #14 of 19 Old 03-26-2012, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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1) I would check with people who have HDHRon how it handles SDV from your provider, if they use SDV, and if you need a tuning adapter.

2) If you can build an HTPC for under $150, then go for it. $150 is what XBOX 360 will cost you when you catch it on sale. Media Center Extenders can be found on ebay for under $100

3) It will record where ever you tell it to record. However, by default, live TV buffer has to be local. But, don't fret, there is a hack for that too, as long as you are sure that your remote drive can sustain the constant speeds.

Other things to consider are:

A) How are you connecting the 2 TV's? Wireless won't work, unless you have absolutely perfect signal.

B) Doesn't Assassin build his HTPC with tuners already installed?

So if i understand this correctly

I'll need at least 1 machine running Windows Media Center, and then media extenders for any additional TVs i want to support. The Windows Media Center machine can be configured to do all of the recording of shows and such... now what i don't get is how is the extender different than a DLNA enabled device? I can play any media stored on my network from any of my TVs as it is now, is the extender still required in this case?
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post #15 of 19 Old 03-26-2012, 02:16 PM
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So if i understand this correctly

I'll need at least 1 machine running Windows Media Center, and then media extenders for any additional TVs i want to support. The Windows Media Center machine can be configured to do all of the recording of shows and such... now what i don't get is how is the extender different than a DLNA enabled device? I can play any media stored on my network from any of my TVs as it is now, is the extender still required in this case?

It all depends...I believe some DLNA devices can play .wtv files, however, if your content provider flags the recordings as Copy Once (as Time Warner does on everything except the local channels) then you cannot play recorded TV on anything other than the PC it was recorded upon or an actual extender connected to the computer. Additionally, live TV is not available as a DLNA stream to any device from a MCE box. I THINK silicondust is working on a UPNP solution for the HDHomeRun, but I'm not positive. Rummage around their forums and see if the beta supports it. Again, it's all going to hinge on your content provider, if you're going the CableCARD route.

Ray
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post #16 of 19 Old 03-26-2012, 02:48 PM
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It all depends...I believe some DLNA devices can play .wtv files, however, if your content provider flags the recordings as Copy Once (as Time Warner does on everything except the local channels) then you cannot play recorded TV on anything other than the PC it was recorded upon or an actual extender connected to the computer. Additionally, live TV is not available as a DLNA stream to any device from a MCE box. I THINK silicondust is working on a UPNP solution for the HDHomeRun, but I'm not positive. Rummage around their forums and see if the beta supports it. Again, it's all going to hinge on your content provider, if you're going the CableCARD route.

Its all about DRM. Blame Hollywood --- not your hardware as its plenty capable.
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post #17 of 19 Old 03-26-2012, 04:42 PM
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Its all about DRM. Blame Hollywood --- not your hardware as its plenty capable.

Not blaming the hardware at all...actually, i point the finger at the content delivery company (TWC specifically) Some providers, such as FIOS don't 5c anything.

Ray
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post #18 of 19 Old 03-26-2012, 04:48 PM
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Not blaming the hardware at all...actually, i point the finger at the content delivery company (TWC specifically) Some providers, such as FIOS don't 5c anything.

I was just speaking in general terms.

Also I lump all the providers in with hollywood. One and the same to me.
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post #19 of 19 Old 03-28-2012, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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It all depends...I believe some DLNA devices can play .wtv files, however, if your content provider flags the recordings as Copy Once (as Time Warner does on everything except the local channels) then you cannot play recorded TV on anything other than the PC it was recorded upon or an actual extender connected to the computer. Additionally, live TV is not available as a DLNA stream to any device from a MCE box. I THINK silicondust is working on a UPNP solution for the HDHomeRun, but I'm not positive. Rummage around their forums and see if the beta supports it. Again, it's all going to hinge on your content provider, if you're going the CableCARD route.

Got it, thanks so much. I've got two spare xBox's lying around so i could use those... not sure i like the interface though when compared to some of the screen shots i've seen of the other solutions out there.
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