AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
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I use my HTPC for all kinds of stuff. In fact, my HTPC is actually composed of multiple machines. I almost cut the cord completely; I just have limited basic cable from Comcast (locals plus Discovery, SyFy, WGN).
With this setup, I can play rips. I also have a DVR for shows that Hulu doesn't have or record just in case. I will even watch live TV. HDHomerun lets me do both. Plus, with Windows, I get a EPG at no additional costs.
I also watch a lot of sports--NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MotoGP. I hardly use stuff like Justin.tv because the quality is not reliable; I use here and there. I just buy the online passes. I use a VPN and don't worry about things like blackouts.
Hulu is actually a nice experience with the desktop app they have. Netflix, it's way behind on the PC compared to other devices such as the PS3, 360, Roku, and so forth. It's ok, but the HD content is limited, and no 5.1DD audio (as of yet). And as mentioned before, I use some sites direct from the content provider such as AETV and CBS.
Heck, I even use my HTPC to play some games; although it is limited to only OnLive.
On occasion, I will watch BR disc directly off a USB BR drive. I prefer to use Plex.