Whole House DVR/HTPC Setup - AVS Forum
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
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I've been back and forth over cutting the cord. typically during football season, I would get cable and after dump it again. well this past season the wife stated she wanted to go back to having cable again all the time. I'm fine with this, but with our new home there are going to be 3 tvs, and the cable company is planning to encrypt all the digital within the month. I have 2 HTPCs, and thinking about getting a 3rd.

My current thought is getting a HDHomerun Prime, this seems to be the most elegent solution. $5 bucks a month for 1 cable card, vs $40 for 3 cable boxes with a DVR should really pay off pretty quickly. I have Chartercable, I've read some bits about copy protecting limiting the options as far as the backend for the system. I would love to continue using XBMC, for a complete package, mainly because it will let me eventually dump the HTPCs for android sticks or simlar type devices and just have one main server.

Is a setup like this possible pretty easily? and will it be reliable enough to be Wife Friendly?
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:42 AM
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It is not possible to watch copy once protected content in XBMC, and it probably won't ever be. The only way to watch copy once protected content is Windows Media Center. You can use multiple HTPCs with the HDHomerun Prime, just keep in mind that if you record something on one HTPC, it won't be watchable on another HTPC (again, just talking about copy once content). Also, recording schedules are not shared across multiple WMC machines. So say for instance you like watching Breaking Bad and wanted to be able to watch it on any TV in the house, you would need to set it to record on every single HTPC.

That whole setup is extremely messy IMO, and not worth the effort. A much better option is to use one HTPC, and then use WMC extenders like the Xbox 360 for all the other TVs. WMC extenders are completely immune from all copy once protection, and changes to the recording schedule are reflected on the HTPC and all of its extenders. You also only need to worry about having hard drive space for your DVR at one location (the HTPC).

Unfortunately extenders, while perfect for live TV and DVR, have limitations when it comes to personal media. For instance, the Xbox 360 can't handle a 20+ mb/s blu-ray rip.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
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that was my fear. I guess it would be too good if it was possible to break out of the WMC eco system. I had visions of a whole home DVR system, that could even be accessed on my tablet or phone remotely...yah I could see that giving cable execs nightmares.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:52 AM
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Btw there is one workaround for copy once, and that's using one of these. Unfortunately, you need one of those cards AND one cable box for each tuner (so if you want to be able to record two things at once while watching something else, you'll need to rent three cable boxes and have a tuner for each). Also not worth it IMO, but if you really want an HTPC you can go that route. I don't personally have much experience with those things though.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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another thought to cheapen the cost of the extenders if I went that route. say I just get a couple banned xbox's. read it will block me from using .mp4 videos from my main htpc. I don't really use those, all my videos are typically divx, or h264. and in .avi or .mkv containers. (for storage reason all my content I currently have is in rencoded 720p format.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:31 AM
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How's a banned Xbox going to get you copy once content?

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Old 02-02-2013, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

How's a banned Xbox going to get you copy once content?

They still work as extenders when banned.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
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but I'm trying to remember from when I had an xbox, does codecs like h264 require the optional media download that requires live?

but tbh I I can score some cheap banned slims. I could just get by with that. and do what i've been doing on our secondary tvs and just use plex to serve up media to rokus...I just hate having multiple devices..well I don't mind it my wife does.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Kampo View Post

but I'm trying to remember from when I had an xbox, does codecs like h264 require the optional media download that requires live?.

I know what your talking about. I believe so, but I don't have a 360 to try first hand. So I can't say definitively.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:24 AM
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Thanks for the awesome idea of buying a banned console. Never thought of that. I never play games and get anything off xbox live
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Kampo View Post

another thought to cheapen the cost of the extenders if I went that route. say I just get a couple banned xbox's. read it will block me from using .mp4 videos from my main htpc. I don't really use those, all my videos are typically divx, or h264. and in .avi or .mkv containers. (for storage reason all my content I currently have is in rencoded 720p format.

Linksys DMAs play DIVX, and XVID natively.

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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Old 02-04-2013, 10:51 AM
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I have WMC on my HTPC and my Bedroom PC. Sure, the copy once has occurred. I don't see it as a major issue since most of the content doesn't restrict viewing! And, it's rare I set up a recording in the bedroom... I just add it to the HTPC next it's on. Just my solution.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:25 AM
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I use XBMC as my front end and share via UPNP to 2 WD Live TV streamers. The XBMC does all the heavy lifting, sorting, etc and the WD Live Streamers just connect to it. WD does not have the most elegant interface in the world but w/ XBMC's sorting it is all accessible as well as netflix. I am not sure about .wtv support on a WD TV, though the files are so large you'd be better of using MCEBuddy (or another tool) to encode your WMC recordings to another smaller file with a compatible codec anyway.
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