HTPC / DVR / Personal Computer -- Please help.. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 05-04-2014, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello, So I have decided, I want to make my own HTPC - DVR. But I would like to use my beast of computer to do it with. I have a few question about this. I use this computer more as a server like type services and remote into it while I am traveling and at times I do use it as a personal computer. A few questions now...

 

1. Is there anyway to run a HTPC/DVR at the same time as I am using it as a personal computer / server / remote into it. (of course I would need two video cards I understand.. one for my monitor and one for my TV...)

 

2. What is the best HTPC - DVR software to use. (I do have a Xbox 360 that I was thinking about having it work with it. so I know that Microsoft has a media extender but does other software allow the capabilities in one way or another to us my 360?) I also want to be able to use a guide and watch live tv through it onto my TV.

 

3. What is the cable card that will allow me to record up to four programs at one time and is the best one for my use. All help please! I want to start this project as soon as I can. Today is honestly my birthday and I want to make this a birthday gift to myself.. Thank you so much in advance.

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post #2 of 4 Old 05-04-2014, 08:34 AM
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If you want to record premium channels with a cable card I think you are locked into Windows Media Center these days.  It's not the cable card that limits the number of programs you can record at one time but the tuner.  Silicon Dust and Ceton both make tuners capable of recording multiple shows at one time.  I've never found a need to record more than two at a time because of staggered scheduling and multiple showings by most stations so I've stuck with Hauppage 2650 tuner that can do two shows at a time..

 

I see no reason why you could not use your computer to do other work while a show is recording in the background.  HTPC activities are not very resource intensive.  I regularly watch Netflicks, HBO Go or Amazon Prime shows on Firefox while a show is recording in the background and my system is an i3-3225 running Intel HD with 4GB of RAM so this should give you a clue.  I also don't think you need two video cards but just a video card with separate ports for your monitor and computer.  I suspect you will either be watching TV or doing work but not both!;)

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post #3 of 4 Old 05-04-2014, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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I do want the premium channels.  Right now I am a bit frustrated with just the cable into my Samsung TV which provides me with no guide and half the channels now show what channel it is... at the same time I want the DVR capabilities too. 

 

I really do want something that I can record four things at one time because it won't be just me who is recording things... also my girlfriend... while I am on the road, I miss a lot of my shows that I want to watch.  So between the two of us, I can see conflicts in recordings with only being able to record two things at one time (plus watch tv).  

 

I found this one on amazon... which seems to be a few years old and I don't know if they have a updated version of it...  Is this something worth looking into?

Ceton InfiniTV 4 PCIe - 4-channel Internal Cable TV Tuner Card for CableCARD

http://www.amazon.com/Ceton-InfiniTV-PCIe-4-channel-CableCARD/dp/B003B4VLJQ/ref=sr_1_3?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1399146840&sr=1-3&keywords=tv+tuner+cablecard

 

I don't really necessarily be using the computer itself, but mostly remoting into my files either via the network while I am at home or by using Logmein while I am away (which is every week).  Will I be able to do that without interrupting my recordings or viewing TV?  Also, is there a way to view these recorded or live shows remotely while I am on the road or any addons to allow this?

 

Thank you for the quick reply and the help.  I am really excited to make this move.  The setboxs that are made these days feel like they are so old.  DirecTV has the most attractive and most features but where I am living now, I am not able to use them anymore... So this options, IMO, is the best bet plus I feel like I have more control and customizing it as well...How customizable is Windows Media Center?  Add-ons? 

 

Thank you again!!

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post #4 of 4 Old 05-04-2014, 09:16 AM
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I think youre a great candidate for WMC and a cablecard tuner if this system will primarily be a DVR.

You will set up the tuner and software on your pc and stick use the Xbox 360 as an extender on your main tv. After that you really don't need to do anything on the pc. the recordings all just happen in the background while youre using it for other things. you can watch on it too.

the xbox 360 will need to be hard wired to your router. on it you will have access to nearly everything you see on your pc.

where this idea could go wrong is if you plan on ripping bluray discs to watch on the 360. they would have to be ripped in a very specific manner that will limit the quality of the files.

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