However, now I would like to view over the air content via TV tuner, and record the shows on my CPU / Server.
I am finding limited results in my searches for Windows 8, but a lot with Windows 7 and media center. So, since media center is gone with windows 8, what is used? What hardware should I get? I'd like to record potentially up to 5 shows at once, but if all else fails, I'll just record 1-2 and I can manage.
Specially looking for a good interface for the recorded shows, and a remote is a bonus (especially one that would work with windows 8's metro). If not, I can use my keyboard / mouse combo I currently use.
I'd like all price range options as I just don't know white what to expect from this yet, never done it. Also, I will have to buy an HD antenna I'm assuming, correct? I didn't know if the tuners came with one or not.
Media Center is supported in Windows 8 and in most cases the best choice. Another is XBMC via a DVR back-end... not typically your best choice. For details check out the WMC thread linked in my signature... it will answers at least a few questions.
20TB i5 HTPC | Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Server/Desktop with Kodi | Kodi Pi 3 Clients with Titan Skin
You'll want to make sure any hardware you do use supports BDA drivers, which all MCE compatible tuners will be. Most hardware tuner vendors also ship their own desktop app as well, which will work, but won't be anywhere near as slick as MCE.
3rd party media center apps that can also function as a DVR include MediaPortal, NextPVR and I think XBMC.
The TV tuner itself that goes in the computer, or maybe I'm just not quite understanding that portion. Is the HD Homerun the tuner itself? After second look, it appears to be so, and I actually like that a LOT more because it seems to go through my network entirely. I'll have a couple TV's I'd like to eventually view live TV from, and if I just have to get one or two of these guys, that'd be nice.
So, correct me where I am wrong:
I need to buy HD Antenna (any recommendations?)
I go from HD antenna to HD Home Run
HD Home Run goes to my network (gig network)
All computers installed on network with WMC installed will "see" this and then enable TV viewing
For Recording, I'd like to do this on my Theater HTPC, just because it is in the basement and is the most powerful (although that doesnt' really matter), or actually, I'd prefer to do it on my Windows Home Server, but WMC isn't integrated in that I don't believe (that server is on 24/7 is only reason why).
Where I get a little confused is the recording aspect. Can I basically tell any of the computers to do the recording? And, the more HD Home Runs I have the more "tuners" I have, aka, more I can record at once? I am envisioning I would need 4 tuners, 4 shows recorded at once, but would start with just 2.
Finally, do I get WMC for Windows 8 in the windows app store? What does it cost or is it free? I have access to all operating systems fyi. I like windows 8 just because of their Hulu / Netflix apps, they seem to be pretty nice, but I don't know how well they integrate (if at all) into WMC. If they integrate good, I might wipe it clean to do windows 7 instead (having slight annoying issues with windows 8, mainly lack of knowledge).
I see you can on the DVR portion, but what about when I integrate my movies from my server? Will I be able to navigate those? Same with netflix / hulu gadget/widget/app whatever it's called when integrated into WMC.
I'm very excited now, I may just wipe my machine clean tonight!
What about specific web sites like LIfetime and the "crap" wife channels? Will i have to close WMC and go to their individual website to stream content? If so, that's fine, we do this now.
Hulu desktop sucks in a big way, so you should stick with the web site.
If you have an IR dongle, it will work with any universal remote, including harmony.
Movies work great with the MyMovies and Shark Codec pack.
I use a Lenovo DiNovo keyboard, so far so good (had it in the theater room, moved it up to the living room). It will stop typing every now and then, just turn it off then back on and all is good.
Still researching the hd homerun thing and how it works.
While only my laptop has Windows 8.1, I can comment on the Silicon Dust HDHR's. I have two of them hooked to my Window's 7 HTPC. Anything on my wired gigabit network can see them and record from them. They work flawlessly as WMC tuners, my setup see's the two HDHR's as four available tuners and will use them as it needed to record (or watch) up to four stations at once.
You really do want two of the little boxes if your going to use HD Homeruns, since anything less put's you in a bind if your happen to be watching on a PC "live" and have two more shows that you wanted to record that overlap. Another nifty feature is because they are just "copying" a transport stream, almost anything has enough power to be used as a DVR backend for the HDHR's. I've seen PogoPlug conversions that are capable of recording and that is some very low end hardware, so whatever you wish to use as your recording PC will have more than enough horsepower to record four show's simultaneously.
On the antenna front, I went with a very large but fairly cheap 8 bay UHF from Solid Signal. It's a stamped metal job which was actually better than expected and hooked up to a good preamp and quality splitters does as good as can be expected in my location for over the air reception. But I'd highly recommend doing some research on your antenna choice since that IS the most important part of the puzzle for becoming satisfied with your choice to cut the cable.
http://www.antennaweb.org/ - good for identifying what you should be able to pick up
http://transition.fcc.gov/mb/engineering/dtvmaps/ - similar to antennaweb.org
http://www.channelmasterstore.com/Articles.asp?ID=134&Click=24182 – recommendations and some basic information from ChannelMaster, which is a respected antenna manufacturer.
Three great pages from www.hdtvprimer.com on antennas, with as much or as little technical information on antennas as you may want to read:
http://www.tvfool.com/ - similar but more complete information than antennaweb.org plus user forums for questions and answers.
http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=125161 – great site with user recommendations, including an EXCELLENT antenna recommendations chart taken from here: http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=97121
Last, if you are using a compass to aim the antenna, be sure you know whether direction of the broadcast tower reported by these websites is based on magnetic north (which your compass uses) or true north (which is what some of the websites report).
Well, Duncan, he's just this guy, you know?
Well, Duncan, he's just this guy, you know?