One HTPC, 3 TVs, is there a way to stream wirelessly to the TVs? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 09-01-2012, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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The title says it all. I want to build an HTPC. I want to find a device (something that works like appleTV) that will let me watch what I have saved, recorded, use the internet, from my HTPC in another part of the house.

Does this exist?
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post #2 of 31 Old 09-01-2012, 12:31 PM
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You would need another PC or media player (Like WD Live) on each TV., and probably PLEX at a minimum serving from the Main HTPC or media server. If you want to share 1080p content, wireless may not cut it. You might consider windows media center and extenders
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post #3 of 31 Old 09-01-2012, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DanPackMan View Post

You would need another PC or media player (Like WD Live) on each TV., and probably PLEX at a minimum serving from the Main HTPC or media server. If you want to share 1080p content, wireless may not cut it. You might consider windows media center and extenders

Ok checked out WD Live which is kinda what I am looking for, maybe I don't quite get it. What I want to do is be able to control my PC from another part of the house, so this might mean I need a radio remote. I want to be able to watch, record, pause live tv from another TV in the house, have one fancy antenna that my PC is hooked up to and be able to control it elsewhere. Watching my recorded shows, and media I have saved on the hard drive is good and what I think WD Live does, but I want full functionality. Not sure if this is possible. Basically I have 3 TVs in my house and I want them all to be a monitor for my HTPC when I turn them on, and be able to control the HTPC from each of them.
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post #4 of 31 Old 09-01-2012, 02:07 PM
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Your problem is getting the video output from your HTPC to >1 TVs around the house. Unless you have an HDMI switch and can run HDMI cables to each TV, I don't think there is any other practical solution. HDMI signal over wireless is pretty much out of the question, IMO.
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post #5 of 31 Old 09-01-2012, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Hummmm, ok monoprice 100 ft, $100 for hdmi. I could do that, is there a radio controller keyboard that can control through walls from 50 to 75 feet away? Anyway to have two different stations on two different monitors?
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post #6 of 31 Old 09-01-2012, 10:36 PM
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Is money an issue? Why are u not looking at a main HTPC then building extenders to manage at each other TV? Not telling u to buy from here but go to assassinhtpc.com. They have extenders which could give you the idea...

Just another thought. This is what I have in my house for my 3 TV's, let me know if u would want more detail...
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post #7 of 31 Old 09-02-2012, 05:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caliskier View Post

Hummmm, ok monoprice 100 ft, $100 for hdmi. I could do that, is there a radio controller keyboard that can control through walls from 50 to 75 feet away? Anyway to have two different stations on two different monitors?

Theoretically you could build a system that does what you want, but there are no pre-packaged solutions that meet your requirements. You would need to become a very astute HTPC builder/configurer to achieve what you describe. From your questions I am assuming you have not been dabbling with an HTPC much to this point (forgive me if that is wrong). I have been messing with computers for 40 years and don't think I could easily achieve what you want, particularly when you add the "2 different stations at a time" feature.

I recommend starting simple. If you think you would benefit from an HTPC on one of your TVs for starters, just start there. You will learn enough from that experience to help you determine a practical path forward. Many threads on this board and instructions to get you going.
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post #8 of 31 Old 09-02-2012, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by DanPackMan View Post

Theoretically you could build a system that does what you want, but there are no pre-packaged solutions that meet your requirements. You would need to become a very astute HTPC builder/configurer to achieve what you describe. From your questions I am assuming you have not been dabbling with an HTPC much to this point (forgive me if that is wrong). I have been messing with computers for 40 years and don't think I could easily achieve what you want, particularly when you add the "2 different stations at a time" feature.
I recommend starting simple. If you think you would benefit from an HTPC on one of your TVs for starters, just start there. You will learn enough from that experience to help you determine a practical path forward. Many threads on this board and instructions to get you going.

DanPackMan, how was what I suggested not a pre-packaged solution? There are places you could buy a fully configured HTPC and the extenders, no? I would think that would give him all the functionality he's looking for and some. Text prolly makes it seem like I'm attacking your expertise (which I'm not at all) but I really just want to know why you felt like that would not work?
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post #9 of 31 Old 09-02-2012, 11:55 AM
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Sorry, my post must have not been worded very well, I absolutely was just trying to help. There may be something out there that suits your needs. It sounds like a challenge to me, but that doesn't mean you can't make it work. There are some threads here that have discussed playing 2 different videos from a single box, search a bit and maybe you can get a better sense of what it requires. Sounds like you are determined, that's good start.

If you are considering extenders, then that's easier, in my opinion. An easier path to success., I think.
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post #10 of 31 Old 09-02-2012, 12:02 PM
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Lol thanks DPM. I've built 300+ HTPC's and 100+ extenders so if someone was saying it would or wouldn't work I would want to know why so I can share the knowledge. Glad you didn't take it as disrespect...
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post #11 of 31 Old 09-02-2012, 01:16 PM
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No problem. It was certainly the 'no extender with one pc playing different content on multiple tvs' approach that I was being critical of,, rather than a networked pcs/extenders approach. I think i mixed up your response with the OP's.
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post #12 of 31 Old 09-02-2012, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank both of you guys. I am a total noob, I have built a PC before and know a little about it, but have never done anything like this. I am looking into the assissinhtpc option but do not want to spend too much. Need to do more research. Ultimatly I am a cable cutter, I am trying to build a catalack and maybe I just need a honda.

I want to be able to:
Record Rewind Live TV
Watch Hulu (the free version, not plus) and any other internet content (apple tv / ipad restricts hulu and flash)
Watch Netflix
Be able to view content on my HTPC on 2 other TVs

I will look more into your suggestions, thanks a lot!
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post #13 of 31 Old 09-03-2012, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Bbaskety View Post

100+ extenders

How do you build MCE extenders? I don't think that is possible without having an extender to begin with.
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post #14 of 31 Old 09-03-2012, 05:17 PM
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Yraen- we've done testing on how to build a less expensive very small PC that is optimized to work as a WMC or XBMC extender. Can work over wired or wireless connection...

Calisker- call assassin HTPC and ask for Alex. They may be able to customize something in your price range to fit your needs.
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post #15 of 31 Old 09-03-2012, 06:24 PM
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You could setup small boxes and use the new wireless standard (802.11ac) to remote in without much latency.

If you get a motherboard with dual lan ports you can team them together and setup the same with a compatible router to give you enough bandwidth to run multiple 1080p streams at once from a central location.

If I were you, I would setup a SSD array if you have no limit. Samsung 830 drives, such as the 256gb drives I use in raid for my main drive, or Crucial M4, 256gb drives that I use for my media scratch/storage disk, are fantastic performers and scale well with the right controllers. Such as the Z77 chipset or an LSI-equipped Asrock Extreme11 (if you want to make a full fledged workstation that doubles as the central computer for everything).

Alternatively, you can cheaply setup a hard drive array with raid. 3TB drives can be had for $140 or less. You can even get a lot of external drives, but you'll run into issues if multiple accesses are done for large files on the same drive. Especially if you get something other than thunderbolt (waste of money imo) or usb 3.0. USB 3.0 3tb drives are going for $130.

You just need to make sure you have for 1) the network bandwidth from the source to the router, and then enough to each access point. You will have latency if it is live TV, but if it is recorded it doesn't matter since it doesn't need to be synced with an ongoing event being broadcast. With a central system and the Ceton InfiniTV 4 card you could do everything you wanted and then branch it out to different points. With the Ceton Companion app or other alternative XBMC like apps you can do remote management of where you want sources to play and then use your phone as the remote. The Ceton app they said on twitter was supposed to be released around tomorrow or this week.

The other side approach to this matter is you have 1) hdmi / displayport cables to each location (35ft really should be your max length, 100ft cables may have signal degradation effects that can appear as artifacts in the image, however, large cable runs can be done with large thickness and a strong source or repeaters). 2) WirelessHD (aka WiHD) which also has very little latency. (Likely the choice you are looking for).

You could get a receiver with multiple HDMI outputs and zones which will allow you to accomplish this as well. But the best is likely the following:

1 central system with storage array of some sort -> WiHD if you want direct output to another display and then use a wireless keyboard such as a DiNovo Edge (my personal favorite). Otherwise, use something like an Xbox on one of them because if you have comcast, you'll be able to access not only all your media center setup, but also the live tv and xfinity on demand. You'll then also have the netflix on there as well. I would just try to find a used one for cheap since you won't need much storage locally. You can also get other extenders for cheap (there are so many that as long as it is Media Center 7 capable and is HDCP compliant and you are able to get it working with at least 802.11n or 802.11ac you are ready to go).
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post #16 of 31 Old 09-03-2012, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by SunDevil2012 View Post

snip...

I think the OP mentioned that they didn't want to spend much, and here you are suggesting $600 motherboards and multiple SSDs in RAID arrays... tsk tsk.

For 3 TVs, even for full BluRay streaming, 3 x 54Mbps is well under Gigabit Ethernet so no need for teaming, at that bandwidth, well under what a HDD can handle (so no need for SSDs)

The live tv part is the only tricky part.

Also, not sure if OP has specified, but how many of these TVs will require simultaneous access? It sounds to me like you only want 1 TV operating at a time (the whole each TV being a monitor for the main PC part). If so, just need to get a video splitter and feed each of the TVs and have the main PC in a central-ish location. You can then use a tablet/phone over wireless to emulate a keyboard/mouse. This way, all TVs display the exact same thing and you can stop using one and continue using another in a different room.
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post #17 of 31 Old 09-04-2012, 09:46 AM
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We have 5 TV's in the house with one HTPC and they all play independantly, but yet together. All done with HTPC runing WMC7 and Linksys Media Center Extenders.

But, it won't work over wireless, has to be wired, or powerline at the least.

It is very easily achievable, and you don't need 100's of years of experience, as long as you have common sense, and can read directions.

The cost was under $1000 for set up all 5 TV's with the ability to watch encrypted cable. OP does not want cable, so the cost will be lower, probably $500 for 3 TV's.

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 #18 of 31 Old 09-04-2012, 10:13 AM
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A pc with extenders was the original suggestion, the OP was trying to see if it could be done with one pc connected directly to 3 tvs and no extenders. That would be a challenge.
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post #19 of 31 Old 09-04-2012, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbaskety View Post

Is money an issue? Why are u not looking at a main HTPC then building extenders to manage at each other TV? Not telling u to buy from here but go to assassinhtpc.com. They have extenders which could give you the idea...
Just another thought. This is what I have in my house for my 3 TV's, let me know if u would want more detail...

Looking at his site, it appears his 'extenders' are just additional HTPCs. If so, I am guessing that they don't extend encrypted LiveTV from your main HTPC (obviously could do a networked tuner, but that's a different animal).

I've been trying to do a similar thing to the OP in our house. We have an HTPC in the living room with a projector. Works great. My wife's art room is on the other side of the wall from the HTPC. She wanted to be able to watch movies as well as live TV in there. I went through the following progression in trying to make this work:

1) Added a new video card to my HTPC that had a DVI (with sound) and HDMI out and could handle two monitors. Discovered that the audio signal will only go out to one of them.
2) Looked at getting a splitter, but seemed like there might be an issue since the TV in the art room is only 2.1. Never got a clear answer if a swtich would make it so that the audio going to our AVR would be downgraded to 2.1 as well.
3) Bought an XBox 360 to use as an extender. Works awesome for live and recorded TV. Doesn't play ripped Blu-Ray/HD-DVDs/DVDs (which almost all of our collection is in)
4) Bought a new AVR (needed one anyway) with a built in splitter. Discovered that it won't both play audio and pass through audio on HDMI to the second TV. Set it up to be pass through to the second TV when the power was off, but that seemed to freak out WMC and make it crash
5) Went back to the dual output from the HTPC, but built a macro with AutoHotKey and EventGhost to switch the audio.

I'm still at #5 which seems the most promising, but a few issues have popped up:
1) I added a second IR receiver to the HTPC that is locate in the art room. EventGhost doesn't seem to pick up its events though
2) In order to get the audio to switch, you have to exit 7MC. Not the end of the world, but a bit annoying (I made a macro in EventGhost that does it all at once)
3) PlayReady seems to have issues with having the dual displays and I off and on get a notice saying that my PC is not ready for encrypted TV. Tried running through the set up again, but didn't help.

I was planning to do a rebuild anyway soon, so I'm hoping that if I do the initial PlayReady setup with both monitors attached, it will stop freaking out and this solution will work. I'm sure I can get EventGhost to start trapping events from both IR receivers, I haven't played with it much so far though.

I told my wife though that this is the last straw. If this doesn't work, I'm building a new basic HTPC to put into the art room and I'll add a network tuner so she can get live TV. That will cover everything outside of the stuff she records on encrypted channels like AMC and Starz, but there is nothing I can do about that.

It really shouldn't be this complicated.
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post #20 of 31 Old 09-04-2012, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

We have 5 TV's in the house with one HTPC and they all play independantly, but yet together. All done with HTPC runing WMC7 and Linksys Media Center Extenders.
But, it won't work over wireless, has to be wired, or powerline at the least.
It is very easily achievable, and you don't need 100's of years of experience, as long as you have common sense, and can read directions.
The cost was under $1000 for set up all 5 TV's with the ability to watch encrypted cable. OP does not want cable, so the cost will be lower, probably $500 for 3 TV's.

Do your extenders play ripped DVDs and Blu-rays? The XBox makes a great extender for live and recorded TV, but miserably fails on the ripped stuff.
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post #21 of 31 Old 09-04-2012, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by ncarty97 View Post

Looking at his site, it appears his 'extenders' are just additional HTPCs. If so, I am guessing that they don't extend encrypted LiveTV from your main HTPC (obviously could do a networked tuner, but that's a different animal).

This is correct. Works great for playing 1080p/720p ripped material or recorded TV that isn't flagged. Can also obviously use with a network tuner for live TV assuming you have Win7 and WMC installed on it.


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post #22 of 31 Old 09-04-2012, 11:49 AM
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This is correct. Works great for playing 1080p/720p ripped material or recorded TV that isn't flagged. Can also obviously use with a network tuner for live TV assuming you have Win7 and WMC installed on it.

That's what I figured. It's a shame that MSFT makes it so difficult. Seems like it would be pretty easy to make it so that any PC that's part of your homegroup could access protected content.
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post #23 of 31 Old 09-05-2012, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ncarty97 View Post

That's what I figured. It's a shame that MSFT makes it so difficult. Seems like it would be pretty easy to make it so that any PC that's part of your homegroup could access protected content.

Not so sure that is MS doing though. Remember, protected content means that the one wanting to protect is the one that owns the content. MS is not the content owner and as such have to cater to the various content owners restrictions. Afterall, how far does one get playing protected content on the Mac or a Linux box?
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post #24 of 31 Old 09-06-2012, 09:25 AM
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Do your extenders play ripped DVDs and Blu-rays? The XBox makes a great extender for live and recorded TV, but miserably fails on the ripped stuff.

Linksys extenders play ripped DVDs in MPEG4, Angelpotion, DIVX and XVID formats. Since tha largest TV we have is 42", for now, it has not been an issue. However, should we upgrade to a larger TV where the compression picture quality degradation may become obvious, then I will create 2 copies of ripped movies, one in 1:1 rip, and another to play on extenders. Extenders are connected to a mix of 19", 22" and 24" TV's, so preserving the original 720p DVD quality was not a concern. In fact, XVID rips look just as good on 42" TV as they do being played from the DVD.

Yeah, when we upgrade to that coveted 80" LED TV, we may have to rethink the compresison, but it works for now. With over 1500 movie titles (this project started out in the 1990's, some of the movies were ripped in DIVX 3.11 back then) some of the movies are not even available in 1080p i.e. Herculese in New York undubbed version biggrin.gif

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 #25 of 31 Old 09-06-2012, 09:32 AM
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I haven't done many DVDs since I started using extenders, but when I have I went to .wtv without touching the video or dolby digital audio.

Exactly the kind of coding extenders were designed around and also allows fast forwarding and rewinding.


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post #26 of 31 Old 04-11-2013, 12:25 PM
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So what is the answer to the OP's original question. I don't think you geniuses with over 1000 years of collective experiences have still answered a very simple question. I know You will not fix his specific problem and suggest the name of specific products he should buy but at least suggest an architecture without telling us how great your set up is.

I have 2 TVs, a NAS (with DLNA) and 1 HTPC. If knew how to make it work this is what I would write
1. Connect HTPC to one TV (one problem solved)
2. Attach blah..blah..blah to your HTPC to stream the content
3. Install blah..blah..blah software
4. Buy blah..blah..blah and attach it the second TV
5. Make a wireless connect to HTPC or DLNA device and blah..blah..blah

You guys make absolute sense to anybody who knows how to do this and which case thanks for your expertise. You guys make no sense to somebody who doesn't know how to do it. Any by the way, let me tell me, I just didn't come out of the cave. I work in IT, built my one HTPC and set up my own sound system so don't try to baby me...
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post #27 of 31 Old 04-11-2013, 06:53 PM
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How far did you have to dig in the archives to find this thread.
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post #28 of 31 Old 04-11-2013, 09:48 PM
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So what is the answer to the OP's original question.
MyWirelessTV

What else would you like an answer for that was solved or abandoned 7 months ago?


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post #29 of 31 Old 04-12-2013, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by patnawala View Post

So what is the answer to the OP's original question. I don't think you geniuses with over 1000 years of collective experiences have still answered a very simple question. I know You will not fix his specific problem and suggest the name of specific products he should buy but at least suggest an architecture without telling us how great your set up is.

I have 2 TVs, a NAS (with DLNA) and 1 HTPC. If knew how to make it work this is what I would write
1. Connect HTPC to one TV (one problem solved)
2. Attach blah..blah..blah to your HTPC to stream the content
3. Install blah..blah..blah software
4. Buy blah..blah..blah and attach it the second TV
5. Make a wireless connect to HTPC or DLNA device and blah..blah..blah

You guys make absolute sense to anybody who knows how to do this and which case thanks for your expertise. You guys make no sense to somebody who doesn't know how to do it. Any by the way, let me tell me, I just didn't come out of the cave. I work in IT, built my one HTPC and set up my own sound system so don't try to baby me...

1 HTPC with WMC 7.
Windows Media Center Extenders

Max limit 6 TV's.

Done.

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 #30 of 31 Old 04-12-2013, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

1 HTPC with WMC 7.
Windows Media Center Extenders

Max limit 6 TV's.

Done.
That's for normal people. The OP refuses to use extenders or wires, so must go with some sort of wireless HD video distribution system and live with all TVs watching exactly the same thing at all times. Makes no sense to me, but those are his requirements.


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