Please recommend a Windows Media Center Extender - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 70 Old 01-03-2014, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Kjkr1021 View Post

Now to the ceton. I have been using one of the echo's on a network running WMC with no problems so far. Over a year and going. The remote is not that good, but I am happy with the echo itself.

You have sure, as have others. But for some it locks up all the time or has crappy playback on some channels. That's why it's called a crapshoot.

The Xboxes, on the other hand, just work and can be had for roughly the same price.
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post #62 of 70 Old 01-03-2014, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm the OP and this is an update. Unfortunately, I gave up on this project as I just couldn't get it to work (could not stream HD using wifi). Here is what I tried:

I ended up sharing the folder on my HTPC which had the recorded shows (recorded shows using off-air antenna). I set-up a 2nd computer (a laptop) in the bedroom with Windows 7 and WMC. I pointed WMC to the shared folder on my HTPC. The video is choppy as my wifi can't handle streaming HD (I believe 1080i). I moved my computer in the hallways (which is close to my router) and then it played fine. It was about 20 feet away from my router. But when I put the computer in the bedroom (about 40 feet from the router, and separated by walls), it gets choppy.

Looks like my only solution is to run a long cable around all the walls and underneath carpet. A project that I'm not looking forward to!

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post #63 of 70 Old 01-03-2014, 12:12 PM
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I still think power line is worth a shot if you want to avoid cables. My Actiontec ones required weekly reboots, but I've heard other brands are more reliable. Otherwise, they streamed HD fine.
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post #64 of 70 Old 01-03-2014, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

I still think power line is worth a shot if you want to avoid cables. My Actiontec ones required weekly reboots, but I've heard other brands are more reliable. Otherwise, they streamed HD fine.

Is this the kind of thing Slingbox sells (or used to sell) to deliver ethernet over your AC power lines?

I've always been intrigued by this... heard mixed reviews of it in practice. At this point, with the quality of N-Routers, I think these kind of work-arounds are going to become less-and-less necessary (until we all go to 4-K, and then once again wires will have a distinct advantage over wireless, I'm sure).
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post #65 of 70 Old 01-03-2014, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by HowardV View Post

I'm the OP and this is an update. Unfortunately, I gave up on this project as I just couldn't get it to work (could not stream HD using wifi). Here is what I tried:

I ended up sharing the folder on my HTPC which had the recorded shows (recorded shows using off-air antenna). I set-up a 2nd computer (a laptop) in the bedroom with Windows 7 and WMC. I pointed WMC to the shared folder on my HTPC. The video is choppy as my wifi can't handle streaming HD (I believe 1080i). I moved my computer in the hallways (which is close to my router) and then it played fine. It was about 20 feet away from my router. But when I put the computer in the bedroom (about 40 feet from the router, and separated by walls), it gets choppy.

Looks like my only solution is to run a long cable around all the walls and underneath carpet. A project that I'm not looking forward to!

If you are now going to run a wire, keep an eye out for Ceton Echo price drops. I've had one for over a year, and was able to add a second and a third one to my arsenal over the holidays, each at $99-$100 a pop on Amazon. I just checked for you, and they're currently back up to $161... but just keep an eye out.

A lot of people on here have had a lot of problems with them... you can see some of that documented in this thread. But I think the majority of their complaints (and maybe I'm wrong about this, but I'll let them correct me if I'm wrong) have to with the Echo's inability to stream 1080p video / lossless audio from blu ray rips in various file formats. If your use-needs are still as they were in the OP (720p / 1080i .wtv recordings), I have three Echos, and all three of mine do this quite well, in a small form factor that looks nice and uses very little power. The remote that comes with is total garbage, though... you'll want to either buy yourself something like a Harmony, and/or pay $5 for the Ceton My Media Center smartphone/tablet app...

Also, I know Xbox 360 requires an Xbox Live account to use Netflix... I think (but am not 100% certain) it might require said-subscription for WMC Extender use as well? I still have an Xbox... it works too. If you aren't doing Blu Ray rips, and you aren't using (and don't intend to upgrade to) Windows 8, I think the Echo does everything the Xbox does, while smaller, quieter, and while using less power. On the flip-side, if you see yourself wanting to stream Blu Ray rips, and/or you see yourself upgrading to Win8, the Xbox is the clear choice. JMO.
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post #66 of 70 Old 01-03-2014, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by psuKinger View Post

Is this the kind of thing Slingbox sells (or used to sell) to deliver ethernet over your AC power lines?
Yes. MoCa (or DECA) over coax is better, but won't work in an apartment, I think. I use DECA myself ($20 for a transmitter/receiver pair on ebay, 200Mbps, rock solid).
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Originally Posted by psuKinger View Post

If you are now going to run a wire, keep an eye out for Ceton Echo price drops...

Also, I know Xbox 360 requires an Xbox Live account to use Netflix... I think (but am not 100% certain) it might require said-subscription for WMC Extender use as well?
Same here. I have several Echos I got on the cheap. 100% reliable for me for live and recorded TV. Any universal remote will work. I use a $3 JP1 remote with mine, backlit so I can see it at night.

On Xbox, WMC is free. Netflix requires Live.

Using a second PC rather than an extender seems needlessly complex and expensive to me.
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post #67 of 70 Old 01-03-2014, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Yes. MoCa (or DECA) over coax is better, but won't work in an apartment, I think.

I'm pretty sure all you need is a MoCa filter on your incoming line and MoCa should work fine. I'm not sure if there is an equivalent for DeCa.

If I had a signature, this is where it would be.
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post #68 of 70 Old 01-03-2014, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. I'll keep my eyes open for a Ceton Echo. And if I find a cheap ethernet over A/C line, I'll give that a shot too. If it works, it'll save me a lot of trouble over running a Cat5 cable in my apartment.

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post #69 of 70 Old 01-04-2014, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post


Using a second PC rather than an extender seems needlessly complex and expensive to me.

 

I find this not to be the case after using a NUC for a couple of months. I have invested roughly $200 in the NUC (Celeron, 4GB RAM, 8GB flash drive and IR sensor). It boots OpenELEC in seconds and XBMC runs like a champ including HD audio and video. Regarding WMC the ServerWMC and WMC add-on works wonderfully... you have access to WMC in seconds.

 

https://googledrive.com/host/0ByNnAMYBoWvfTk8tRWJXYko1T2c/index.html

 

Outside of HDHomeRun tuners I refuse to "invest" in hardware dedicated to WMC as I see very little resell value or life expectancy. The exception to the rule is a Xbox 360 E I grabbed at $99 via Amazon for the wife... if she ever finds a cabinet in the Hearth room.

 

Complex? Roughly 10 minutes to "build" the NUC and another 10 minutes to install OpenELEC and the add-on. Recently, I purchased a 32GB mSATA ($40) drive for the NUC as insurance should I wish to run Windows down the road. The NUC does a great job and can easily handle WMC and Windows in general. Nice to know when I drop WMC or it drops me. :) 

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post #70 of 70 Old 01-04-2014, 12:39 PM
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I have two NUCs that I use as extenders. I paid about $320 apiece in hardware costs to get them up and running. I'm on FIOS so I can share recordings between PCs without worrying about the copy once flag. I use a SD HDHomeRun Prime for live TV signals to the NUCs. I have the RecordedTV folder on my primary HTPC set up for sharing with the NUCs so any recorded shows on the main HTPC show up in the NUC RecordedTV folders and are playable on the NUCs. The best part about using individual PCs for extenders is that I can stream any type of video content from my server without the limitations inherent with every extender currently available. I also don't have to deal with the lame washed out UI on the extenders.

My recommendation for a WMC extender is not to use one. I have tried most of them and they all suck. I've used the Linksys DMA2100, HP x280n, XBox 360 slim, and the Ceton Echo and didn't like any of them. I would always get network errors with each and every one of them, but when I ran the network diagnostic it would always pass with flying colors. The only network problems I've ever had is when I used extenders. I use a Dell PowerConnect 2724 unmanaged 24-port gigabit switch with direct connections from each device in the house to the switch.
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