I am posting this for someone else in my family, who asked me about these things but I don't know the answers offhand, so if any of you do, your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Even links to other threads or sites that discuss any of these things would be helpful.
The background: He has been a satellite TV subscriber for many years but is seriously considering switching to cable. The cable company in our area is Charter so if you know anything specific related the them, please include that. He asked:
1. If he goes with the HDHomeRun Prime he would use two or three of them, and he wants to know if that is too much for the network or the backend computer to handle. Right now he's using a repurposed Mac Mini running Mythbuntu as a backend, but he plans to build a new backend PC (see next question). He's concerned that three HDHomeRun devices streaming HD content into the backend, plus two streams going out to the media extenders as people in the home are viewing content could simply overwhelm the network or the network interface on the backend computer. Everything is Gigabit stuff but still, would that be too much to expect the network to handle? (Basically 3 boxes streaming HD content in and maybe 2 streams going out to the stuff he's watching all on one 1000mb card in the machine at the same time!).
2. For this type of setup, which would be better - a system based Windows Media Center, or one based on MythTV as has now? He's been using XBMC on the devices next to the TV's, so that's why he started out with MythTV, but wonders if he'd have a better all around experience by just using WMC as the basis of his system.
3. Which would be the best equipment to use in this situation - two or three HDHomeRun Primes (each with 3 tuners sent to the backend computer over the network), a couple of Ceton InfiniTV 4 PCIe cards (4 tuners in the computer), or one or two of the new Ceton InfiniTV 6 models with six tuners (either the PCIe card or the ETH standalone ethernet model)? While he would be interested in general overall comparisons of these units, it would be probably more instructive to know specifically if they will work reliably with Charter cable.
4. When you have a device such as one of the ones mentioned above, can they record content off of premium channels such as HBO, Showtime, etc.? And is that at all dependent on which cable company provides him with service?
5. Finally, he asked how fast a machine he'd need to support 8-10 tuners, recording off say 8 at a time, and watching back 2 pre-recorded shows on media extenders.
I know this is probably a lot to ask but this seems like the best place to ask it, and I'm fairly clueless about this stuff, so any answers on any of these questions would be appreciated!