Can bluray player function as a 2nd (and 3rd and 4th) HTPC? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
mteastham's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 61
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Sorry if something similar has been asked before.

I've already built my "primary HTPC" and I love it. It has cable access for all of my clear-QAM channels (thinking about buying a homerun prime to have all cable channels available via network, though, allowing for more channels). It has movies and TV shows stored on it (in either MKV or whatever WMC recorded TV files are) or can access my NAS for others. It can access netflix and hulu and amazon prime streaming videos. It's got a blu-ray player so it can play any disc I put in. I'm sure we all know all the wonderful things that a "real" HTPC can do......

Anyway, it's all wonderful.....in front of that ONE TV in my family room. But what about the TV in my upstairs living room, or in the bedroom, or in any other room in my house? I'd love to be able to watch all my TV channels by accessing the homerun prime (so not having to pay the cable company for a separate cable box for each TV monthly), as well as access all the stored movies and TV shows on the primary HTPC, as well as stream netflix and hulu, and play blu ray movies.....I just don't want to have to buy/build/tweak a 2nd and 3rd HTPC.

I know stand alone bluray players can obviously play blurays and DVDs, and most if not all can now stream netflix and hulu. Can any also (via DLNA or similar) "go in" to my HTPC or NAS to play/stream all those files (both audio and video) and possibly even access a HD homerun prime to view all my cable channels?

Any cost under $150 each?!

Thanks for any help you can give!!!
mteastham is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 09:02 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Sammy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 9,846
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 123 Post(s)
Liked: 190
You need a Media Center Extender.

Sammy2 is offline  
post #3 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
mteastham's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 61
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Can I get one that will also play bluray discs for under $150? I believe the answer is no, but not 100% sure. Anything like that on the horizon?
mteastham is offline  
post #4 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 09:22 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Sammy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 9,846
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 123 Post(s)
Liked: 190
Why? You can burn your discs to your PC/HTPC/server and then never bother with taking them out of the box again. Of course current extenders have problems with playback, though. The echo might solve this problem with the implementation of android.

A direct answer to your question is that there isn't a Blu-ray player that will do what you want to do.

Sammy2 is offline  
post #5 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
mteastham's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 61
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked: 11
First off, thank you Sammy for your help not only with my questions, but with other's questions that I've seen you answer before. Your insight has been very helpful to many people.

That's what I thought, thank you. I ask about the blu ray playback as with netflix mailers and redbox nightly rentals, I often have a disc I just want to watch - not rip/convert/store, whatever.

On the extenders, though, will they "directly" be able to communicate with a HD homerun prime, or would they have to access TV channels "through" the HTPC? Wouldn't that mean that the HTPC will have to be on 100% of the time, or can the extender "wake" the HTPC when it wants to access a channel?
mteastham is offline  
post #6 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 09:31 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Sammy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 9,846
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 123 Post(s)
Liked: 190
The ceton echo uses Windows Media Center currently but that may change when they update it to android; who knows but them. It can wake the HTPC from sleep.

The Xbox 360 (I don't have one) also uses WMC but I don't think it has WoL.

I leave my HTPC on 24/7 anyways but power down the drives. It pulls about 25 watts in this configuration and I don't have to worry about waking it. One day I'll mess with sleep settings.

Sammy2 is offline  
post #7 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 11:12 AM
Senior Member
 
signcarver's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 329
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 18
Though I believe most will fair better with windows media center and media center extenders, with the prime and "project connect" which is what they termed their dlna initiative you could use a bluray player or PS3 to access live tv... To see what some of the devices that work are, I suggest checking out their forum topic on project connect. For me, all my content except locals is protected (just because it is encrypted does not necessarily mean it is protected... comcast and verizon usually mark all but premiums as copy freely so they are not protected) so I don't use much dlna in my house... I try it from time to time to make sure things are working.

The biggest problem you will have would be with protected content as currently their isn't a recording solution for protected content, in theory someone could get the proper licenses, etc. to make the pc a device that will support copy once content, but currently that is limited to WMC and not dlna. The advantage of doing it this way is for "live" tv viewing that you won't need a pc on. Protected content will require a device that supports dtcp-ip as well as mpeg2 (for most TV)... later this year they are supposed to release a version of the prime that will transcode the mpeg2 stream from the cable company into h.264 which is what most dtcp-ip compatible devices are compatible with... the only dtcp-ip compatible device that I am certain supports mpeg2 is the ps3. Keep in mind the interface for dlna is very crude and to get to an hd channel will probably require pressing the down arrow hundreds of times (one for each channel... some do offer page down capabilities that may mean you hit page down 35 times then navigate to the channel you want to view.

For unprotected content, recording isn't a problem and currently even my WMC recordings (as long as they are not protected) will play back in my old sony bluray player (WMP can act as a dlna server on the pc so nothing "extra" to install... there are other dlna servers (software for your pc) you can use that I think offer more features but I have had to tweak heavily to get it to work with certain devices less powerful ones, including those built into NAS devices also seem to connect well with most devices. I might check out jriver later this year as I heard it could function as a DMC which may make the interface better.

One thing to note is that the prime is a certified dlna device and as a result, must obey certain requirements to maintain that certification... one of these requirements is to drop a connection when a range tag is sent in the request... most of my google tv / android equipment that used to work, no longer does as they all now send these range requests but non-seekable content such as "live" tv can not respond to a range request (as it is "live")... most implementations of dlna simply discard the request but that is because most implementations are not certified.

As I began this post, for most, WMC and extenders will work better, but there is a lot to be learned and to play with doing things the "new" way.
signcarver is offline  
post #8 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
mteastham's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 61
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Lots of great information there! I guess what I'm looking for isn't quite out there yet. I had heard that the HD homerun (or similar devices) would put all of your cable channels on your network and you can then watch them (wasn't sure about the interface to do so) on a "DLNA equipped blu ray player". I was hoping that this combination would allow me to eliminate separate cable boxes at all of my TVs - as well as possibly allow me to watch anything stored on my NAS or HTPC on any of my displays, and allow easy viewing of any disc at any location instantly (which will greatly add in the wife approval factor of all of this).

Having this unit be "identical" on the 2nd and 3rd and so on displays would also help in the WAF as it would be the same controls across any of those TVs.

I was thinking of going this route for a potential new house that may not have proper wiring to all locations - so that I'd only really have to worry about cat5/6 cables rather than coax lines.
mteastham is offline  
post #9 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 11:42 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Sammy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 9,846
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 123 Post(s)
Liked: 190
There's not only an issue with DNLA not being able to record but that it cannot "pause LiveTV" either. For me that is a no go from the get go.

Sammy2 is offline  
post #10 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
mteastham's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 61
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked: 11
I can do both from the "main" HTPC, though - which is where I do a majority of my TV watching. I don't do a lot of live TV viewing anyway, just record to the HTPC and then view it later on any TV that I want, and I can pause it.
mteastham is offline  
post #11 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 12:28 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Sammy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 9,846
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 123 Post(s)
Liked: 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by mteastham View Post

I can do both from the "main" HTPC, though - which is where I do a majority of my TV watching. I don't do a lot of live TV viewing anyway, just record to the HTPC and then view it later on any TV that I want, and I can pause it.

The DLNA solution from SiliconDust will not work for you in this scenario.

Sammy2 is offline  
post #12 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
mteastham's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 61
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

The DLNA solution from SiliconDust will not work for you in this scenario.

The main HTPC has a TV tuner card, though.
mteastham is offline  
post #13 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 12:50 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Sammy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 9,846
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 123 Post(s)
Liked: 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by mteastham View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

The DLNA solution from SiliconDust will not work for you in this scenario.

The main HTPC has a TV tuner card, though.

The DLNA solution from SiliconDust only works on the Prime with the latest f/w and does not include any way to record which is required to do what you want to do so it will not work to do what you want to do.

Sammy2 is offline  
post #14 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
mteastham's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 61
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

The DLNA solution from SiliconDust only works on the Prime with the latest f/w and does not include any way to record which is required to do what you want to do so it will not work to do what you want to do.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but I'm not looking to record on anything but the main HTPC which I already have which has a TV tuner card (coax connection) already. Wouldn't that be able to pull any channels I want over the coax feed and record them and store them, and then "sling/stream" them to a DLNA equipped blu ray player?

Would installing a SiliconDust eliminate my current HTPC from being able to watch and record from cable?
mteastham is offline  
post #15 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 01:15 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Sammy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 9,846
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 123 Post(s)
Liked: 190
The DLNA solution does not record. I don't know if you can playback previously recorded content using it as it streams directly from the tuner to the playback device.

If the content is not copy protected it can be played back if the Blu-ray player supports wtv file format or if you transcode it to something else like mkv using VideoReDo and the player supports mkv.

If the content is copy protected then an extender is the only solution.

You can still record with the SiliconDust HDHR Prime on your HTPC in any case.

Sammy2 is offline  
post #16 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 01:33 PM
AVS Special Member
 
pittsoccer33's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Pittsburgh (East Liberty)
Posts: 2,004
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 150 Post(s)
Liked: 214
the DLNA player has to have a licensed MPEG2 decoder that is available to it. just because it can decode MPEG2 off a dvd/bluray does not mean it can via DLNA. this is usually impossible to find out from the specs.

My HTPC front end set up
Integration for whole home ATSC, CableCARD, FM radio, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, DVD, VHS control & capture, video games, and archived & streaming media playback
Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
pittsoccer33 is offline  
post #17 of 17 Old 07-02-2013, 02:08 PM
Senior Member
 
signcarver's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 329
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 18
The dlna interface to the prime is just a list of channels (actually two lists... one that includes the protected channels and requires dtcp-ip, and one for the non-protected ones)... There is no guide, there is no search, there is no typing in a channel, just an up/down and select (I suppose once it gets the list some devices might allow a search in that list and you could search for channel 1005... but that isn't how I normally see it). It is, to put it mildly, "painful" to use. I would only wish this on individuals that understand this and implement it themselves... I would never expect me to implement it and expect another user to actually use it. And as I mentioned before, many implementations of dlna, won't work with the prime because of the range tag being sent.

As far as recorded content goes, the first question you need to ask is what content is protected. If you don't know, if you mention your provider someone here might be able to tell you, but some providers vary by market. If the content is not protected... what you record is available to dlna devices however, these devices list all the content whether protected or not so somethings just won't play... if the content is protected (and with a cablecard tuner that can even include some of your clear qam stations if they don't turn on copy freely on the clear qam as cablecard tuners must obey other forms of protection that most other tuners ignore and the CCI will trump other forms) it will not play via dlna. I have no problems doing this with .wtv files of my local stations however some devices won't list those files as they expect a .mpg file (in some cases this may depend on if the device opens the file directly, or connects via dlna as some devices offer both methods to play content off your computer. So depending on the device, it may or may not work with what application you recorded with without additional file processing.

For instance my locals are now marked copy freely, so anything I record from them (including recordings made in WMC) my bluray player can access. However I have 16-20TB of files and there is no order to the files on my bluray player... its not alphabetical and is not by date. If I have a good file management structure of folders, it is manageable, but most people who record just record into one folder. When I first got my cablecard tuner (as well as occasionally with other qam tuners) my locals were not marked copy once and any program could be flagged using cgms as copy never and as a result, there would be some programs I couldn't record or play back on anything. Any program recorded that is protected (copy once) also will not play over dlna (this will hopefully change some day with dtcp-ip compatible recorders that adhere to enforcing copy once).

Just because a player may state its dlna compatible doesn't always mean it can handle all your content... however many dlna servers will transcode into something it can handle (occasionally on my bluray player, it negotiates to transcode it to sd... if this happens I stop it and request it again and it is in HD. If you like to play with things, you could set up xbmc and use a device like the raspberry pi to access it but you will need to understand setting up both the front and backends of xbmc... to me this is far too much work for most people and it is far easier to continue using an xbox as an extender to your WMC machine for most live tv and recorded content... unfortunately most also chose another device for streaming services and perhaps another for your mkvs... to me the "necessity" of all these different devices is what inspires most to build another htpc. But I do encourage people to give it a try and see what they can get working.
signcarver is offline  
Reply Home Theater Computers

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off