Hi while I’ve built several regular PC’s, I have not yet built an HTPC. But with Verizon wanting to charge me $30/ month for my Whole Home DVR, I figured now might be the time. I really don’t use the whole Home DVR feature too much and watch 98% of recorded content on the primary TV. Also I’ve heard that Verizon won’t allow Cable Card recording of premium channels, but I don’t even subscribe to HBO, Showtime etc. so I don’t care. However I would like to able to record Sports, News, and documentaries mostly. I’m thinking about building a NAS to store these recordings as well as backed up movies from DVD/Blu-Rays. Then I might go with Win 7 Media Center and a Ceton quad tuner with FiOS cable card. I might use the “AMD Llano HTPC Builders Guide” (http://www.anandtech.com/show/5906/amd-llano-htpc-builders-guide
) for the basic hardware setup.
Some questions regarding the HTPC though:
1) Can I use the HTPC like a STB where I can see a channel Guide and watch live TV? If so with what Hardware/Software?
2) With the DVR can I easily set it up to record TV series? One nice feature about the Verizon DVR is that I can tell it to only record 1st run episodes only. If so what software does this?
3) With the Recorded content will I be able to move it around to other machines to view it, or can I only view it via the HTPC? I guess I am asking if these recordings have DRM on them.
4) Will I be able record HD content such that is saved as HD quality?
5) I don’t know how the NAS to HTPC configuration works. What software will be able to play a variety of formats such as .iso, .mkv, .divx, .mov etc?
6) What other tips can you make for making it wife/family easy to use.