HD HomeRun w/ HTPC w/ control4 Need a matrix? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-23-2013, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm piecing the hundreds of threads together hopefully I think I'm rounding the corner. hoping you guys can help.

I'd like watch liveTV & record, as well as have an interface to watch all my movies (MKV files) as well.

I'm pretty sure I'll be buying an Assassin HTPC although I haven't picked a model yet, any suggestions would be great.

Windows Media Center seems to be the best UI to do live tv, what's been recorded, and TB's of movies.

Now I have 3 TV's, how do I get the content to all 3 TV's with 1 HTPC? Is it possible to watch 3 different things on 3 different screens? And can I use iPads to watch the content from the HTPC like live tv etc? or is that only possible on Android?

I believe HDHomeRun is what I need for liveTV and recording right? if so, which one? I was thinking of cutting the cord, but really want HGTV for the wife, and occasional ESPN so I might have to keep the FIOS via cable card. If I do that, is it a different HD homerun?


I was also going to do control4 for the house. does that complicate things? does each HC-250 at each tv need to do anything different?

Any help would be great!

thanks!
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-23-2013, 10:29 AM
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You need an HDHR Prime for FiOS.

You can use extenders such as an Xbox 360 or ceton echo to mirror the experience at each location of if your content is not marked copy protected you can just have a small HTPC at each location. Either way you most likely need wired ethernet at each location.

I use WMC with Media Browser 2.6 for playback of Blu-rays ripped to mkv on my HTPC but the echo struggles with that content right now. Hopefully ceton will get that hammered out sooner than later.
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post #3 of 10 Old 05-23-2013, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

You need an HDHR Prime for FiOS.

You can use extenders such as an Xbox 360 or ceton echo to mirror the experience at each location of if your content is not marked copy protected you can just have a small HTPC at each location. Either way you most likely need wired ethernet at each location.

I use WMC with Media Browser 2.6 for playback of Blu-rays ripped to mkv on my HTPC but the echo struggles with that content right now. Hopefully ceton will get that hammered out sooner than later.

Wow, didn't even know about the ceton echo! If the HTPC w/ windows media center is the main system sitting at the rack, and the ceton's sitting at each tv, is it doing any decoding of the MKV files? I only have MKV 1080p rips.

I actually have each tv with home runs back to the main media rack HDMI's. so I can just put everything in the rack. With the new Xbox coming out the old Xbox's seem pretty inexpensive on ebay now. But which Xbox do I need?

xbox?
xbox 360?
xbox 360s?
xbox 360 core, premium, elite?

So do I setup a MacMini/assassin HTPC as the main media server? then have each tv w/ a xbox hdmi'd directly to them? Or do I even need the mac mini? I currently have everything on a synology file server, albeit running out of room, I was just going to daisy chain more storage to it.
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-23-2013, 05:44 PM
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Windows WMC Extenders are connected to your home network via Ethernet, not HDMI I hope you didn't spend too much on that. HDMI is not really the way to do it due to dstance constraints and the fact that you have to watch the same thing on all screens.

Extenders rely on the host HTPC to do the splitting so if you plan on having a few of them plan on an i5 with 1 GB RAM per screen + 2GB. The echo and the Xbox struggle with Blu-ray mkv rips right now but ceton is trying to get it to work usingNan android solution on the echo. IDK what Microsoft is doing with the Xbox in this regard.

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post #5 of 10 Old 05-23-2013, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Windows WMC Extenders are connected to your home network via Ethernet, not HDMI I hope you didn't spend too much on that. HDMI is not really the way to do it due to dstance constraints and the fact that you have to watch the same thing on all screens.

Extenders rely on the host HTPC to do the splitting so if you plan on having a few of them plan on an i5 with 1 GB RAM per screen + 2GB. The echo and the Xbox struggle with Blu-ray mkv rips right now but ceton is trying to get it to work usingNan android solution on the echo. IDK what Microsoft is doing with the Xbox in this regard.

I meant I have HDMI so that the extenders can sit in the rack vs. having to be at the TV. I know the extenders would be network connected, just trying to declutter the TV spaces. thus if i had to use xbox 360's it's fine since they'll be in the closet. Albeit I hear the power on these are pretty dramatic at 250watts!!

I think I get it now. The extenders basically mirror whats on the HTPC right? Why would the xbox or the ceton struggle w/ MKV's if the HTPC is doing the decoding of the MKV file?
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-24-2013, 09:34 AM
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We have TV's running off 1 HTPC and 5 extenders. All 6 can tune/view idfferent content from each other and the HTPC it self.

MKV support is spotty, but our collection is either XVID, DIVX, or MPEG4, no problems there.

We only have 1 large (55") TV, where high quality video files are required, the rest of the TV's are 1x 42", 2x 24", and 2x 19" where you can throw anything on them and not see much of a difference.

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 #7 of 10 Old 05-24-2013, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Windows WMC Extenders are connected to your home network via Ethernet, not HDMI I hope you didn't spend too much on that. HDMI is not really the way to do it due to dstance constraints and the fact that you have to watch the same thing on all screens.

Extenders rely on the host HTPC to do the splitting so if you plan on having a few of them plan on an i5 with 1 GB RAM per screen + 2GB. The echo and the Xbox struggle with Blu-ray mkv rips right now but ceton is trying to get it to work usingNan android solution on the echo. IDK what Microsoft is doing with the Xbox in this regard.

I meant I have HDMI so that the extenders can sit in the rack vs. having to be at the TV. I know the extenders would be network connected, just trying to declutter the TV spaces. thus if i had to use xbox 360's it's fine since they'll be in the closet. Albeit I hear the power on these are pretty dramatic at 250watts!!

I think I get it now. The extenders basically mirror whats on the HTPC right? Why would the xbox or the ceton struggle w/ MKV's if the HTPC is doing the decoding of the MKV file?

First off, you will run into restrictions on length of HDMI runs unless you get into an expensive and exotic solution such as Redmere cables or HDMI over Ethernet. You would run them off your network and use a router and/or switch to connect them all to the HTPC. From there, you can use HDMI to get the signal to each TV. It is more efficient and cost effective to use ethernet to the location of the TV and you will need an ethernet to HDMI converter there anyhow. Just put the extender there and be done with it.

Secondly, the extender doesn't just mirror the screen, it is it's own WMC screen that appears the same as that in the host HTPC but it can play different content. For example, you can be watching different channels or RecordedTV on one and LiveTV on the other.

Thirdly, the WMC extender protocal does not work well with mkv because splitting mkv's on any Windows PC requires the proper set up of third party codecs to work and this does not work well on an extender, especially if there is a variable or high bit rate stream with subtitles or maybe HD Audio in the stream.

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post #8 of 10 Old 05-24-2013, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

First off, you will run into restrictions on length of HDMI runs unless you get into an expensive and exotic solution such as Redmere cables or HDMI over Ethernet. You would run them off your network and use a router and/or switch to connect them all to the HTPC. From there, you can use HDMI to get the signal to each TV. It is more efficient and cost effective to use ethernet to the location of the TV and you will need an ethernet to HDMI converter there anyhow. Just put the extender there and be done with it.

Secondly, the extender doesn't just mirror the screen, it is it's own WMC screen that appears the same as that in the host HTPC but it can play different content. For example, you can be watching different channels or RecordedTV on one and LiveTV on the other.

Thirdly, the WMC extender protocal does not work well with mkv because splitting mkv's on any Windows PC requires the proper set up of third party codecs to work and this does not work well on an extender, especially if there is a variable or high bit rate stream with subtitles or maybe HD Audio in the stream.

1. yeah, my runs are all redmere HDMI with backups of cat6 of which i'll run baluns if I have to, so that's not an issue. But yes if the extender works locally i'll just use the cat6 that's run there instead and put it on the back of the TV


2. thank you, now I understand it is it's own WMC screen.

3. bummer. I was hoping the main HTPC which was going to be a mac mini w/ windows media center would transcode on the fly the MKV's so the extender isn't doing much "work". For example for Plex if I run plex media server on the mac mini then run roku boxes as the local client running Plex, all the work is done at the mac mini and thus all mkv files run smoothly etc.
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-24-2013, 11:25 AM
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Ceton is trying to get mkv playback right by using android on their echo but we are yet to see it. Unfortunately this is the state of affairs right now. We still don't have one box that does it all, not even the Xbox One; except for HTPC's but there is other issues with sharing recordings of copy protected content or having a unified whole home PVR.

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post #10 of 10 Old 05-24-2013, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Ceton is trying to get mkv playback right by using android on their echo but we are yet to see it. Unfortunately this is the state of affairs right now. We still don't have one box that does it all, not even the Xbox One; except for HTPC's but there is other issues with sharing recordings of copy protected content or having a unified whole home PVR.

well my stuff is needed in August, so hopefully the next 2 months things get figured out smile.gif??
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