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post #1 of 18 Old 07-09-2014, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Where should I place video card and cable card

So I have had one htpc for about 6 months now. It was primarily because I'm stationed in Korea so this was the only route for American TV. Fast forward nine months and my wife loves it. She wants another one and we're looking into the cable card route as well

Now that we're spending more money I'm trying to figure out if my video card is good in the pc holding our shos or should it be in the htpc itself? After seeing the uhd 4k curved tvs here we're going to be getting a few. Don't know if I can afford multiple video cards after purchasing a few of those tvs though. What are the ups and downs of the video card being in the media server pc versus being in the HTPC?

Can I put the cable card in the Media Server pc and access the functions across all the HTPC's?
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post #2 of 18 Old 07-09-2014, 09:13 AM
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Every PC needs a "video card" to do any more than connect a very basic PC monitor. Games, video decoding, etc required the card. In the past this meant a discrete add on card was needed.

Now AMD and Intel processors are advanced enough that the CPU chips themselves contain "video card" processing abilities. For HTPC duty all you need is a CPU chip from the last 3 or 4 years.

I suspect you may be confusing "video card" and "tv tuner." The tv tuner is what the cable card plugs in to. If you are asking if you need a tv tuner card for each PC the answer is no. You can buy them in PCI-e card format, USB format, or ethernet format. The ethernet based ones are naturally available on all computers on your network. PCIe and USB models can be set up to be shared throughout your network.

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post #3 of 18 Old 07-09-2014, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post
Every PC needs a "video card" to do any more than connect a very basic PC monitor. Games, video decoding, etc required the card. In the past this meant a discrete add on card was needed.

Now AMD and Intel processors are advanced enough that the CPU chips themselves contain "video card" processing abilities. For HTPC duty all you need is a CPU chip from the last 3 or 4 years.

I suspect you may be confusing "video card" and "tv tuner." The tv tuner is what the cable card plugs in to. If you are asking if you need a tv tuner card for each PC the answer is no. You can buy them in PCI-e card format, USB format, or ethernet format. The ethernet based ones are naturally available on all computers on your network. PCIe and USB models can be set up to be shared throughout your network.
What if i want true 1080p? Can I achieve that with the CPU as well or will I need a video card within my HTPC at that point? I have Radeon HD5770 but its within my Server PC and not my HTPC currently.

I do know the difference between a video card and tv tuner card. the reason i called it a cable card was because im talking about the periphial you put a cable card from a cable company in. Im wondering if i can slap just one of those in my server pc and access it from all my HTPC's within the house with WMC or does each HTPC need one.
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post #4 of 18 Old 07-09-2014, 09:44 AM
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You're definitely in luck. The newer CPU chipsets are more than up to the task of 1080p. I don't have a discrete video card in my machine either. I'm using and AMD A10-5800k (which is much more powerful than I needed) and I can easily do 1080p - I play some games on the machine too.

Haswell is Intel's current line of CPU (though I'm sure a replacement is right around the corner). But this article will give you a good idea of just what it can do in an HTPC (including 4k since you mentioned UHD televisions) http://www.anandtech.com/show/7007/i...-perspective/7

And as for the cablecard tuner you can connect it to whichever PC you want, including getting the popular ethernet models and attaching it to your router, allowing any PC to connect to it.

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post #5 of 18 Old 07-09-2014, 03:10 PM
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And whichever video card is in your server has no effect on the picture coming out of the HTPC. I would take that 5770 out of the server and put it in one of your other computers. You can either run the server headless, or just use a cheap vid card, since it will not be doing anything intensive anyway.
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post #6 of 18 Old 07-11-2014, 12:23 PM
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Are you still in Korea? Are CableCARDs supported there by your provider?

Are you saying that your wife wants to connect another TV? If so, then you only need 1 HTPC, and an extender, to extend HTPC functionality to another TV screen. Since you mentioned CableCARD, Windows Media Center which comes for free with Windows 7 is probably the easiest route, and the only route if your provider copyright protects its content.

There are dedicated extenders from Ceton, Linksys, D-Link, and HP, as well as your good ole' XBOX 360 that will act as an extender with a Media Center remote.

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 18 Old 07-11-2014, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post
Are you still in Korea? Are CableCARDs supported there by your provider?

Are you saying that your wife wants to connect another TV? If so, then you only need 1 HTPC, and an extender, to extend HTPC functionality to another TV screen. Since you mentioned CableCARD, Windows Media Center which comes for free with Windows 7 is probably the easiest route, and the only route if your provider copyright protects its content.

There are dedicated extenders from Ceton, Linksys, D-Link, and HP, as well as your good ole' XBOX 360 that will act as an extender with a Media Center remote.
\


+1 PS3/4 will do that also just turn on DLNA on your existing Windows HTPC/PC /server or whatever to make it visible to your PS3/4 /smart TV / or X bone (alternately you can use Roku with Plex channel and Plex running on HTPC ) or any of these things instead of another HTPC .Decent media center remotes are like ~ $20.00 .

PS I will send you an invoice with my bank routing number for this consultation and split the fee with blueiedgod

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post #8 of 18 Old 07-11-2014, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tubetwister View Post
\


+1 PS3/4 will do that also just turn on DLNA on your existing Windows HTPC/PC /server or whatever to make it visible to your PS3/4 /smart TV / or X bone (alternately you can use Roku with Plex channel and Plex running on HTPC ) or any of these things instead of another HTPC .Decent media center remotes are like ~ $20.00 .

PS I will send you an invoice with my bank routing number for this consultation and split the fee with blueiedgod
I do not use wmc. I find it ugly to look at, a pain in the butt and very awkward to use. I will use it for the cable card but that would be all I used it for. I use plex for all other viewing. Possibly jriver when I get back to the us and really get into it
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post #9 of 18 Old 07-11-2014, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post
Are you still in Korea? Are CableCARDs supported there by your provider?

Are you saying that your wife wants to connect another TV? If so, then you only need 1 HTPC, and an extender, to extend HTPC functionality to another TV screen. Since you mentioned CableCARD, Windows Media Center which comes for free with Windows 7 is probably the easiest route, and the only route if your provider copyright protects its content.

There are dedicated extenders from Ceton, Linksys, D-Link, and HP, as well as your good ole' XBOX 360 that will act as an extender with a Media Center remote.
Won't the extenders be good only for wmc? I have movies too that WILL NOT go wmc. I hate wmc and will not use except for cable if I have to. But jriver htpc software supports several of the cards so I won't need wmc. It's ugly, not very well thought out and very awkward to use.
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post #10 of 18 Old 07-14-2014, 08:08 AM
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Won't the extenders be good only for wmc? I have movies too that WILL NOT go wmc. I hate wmc and will not use except for cable if I have to. But jriver htpc software supports several of the cards so I won't need wmc. It's ugly, not very well thought out and very awkward to use.
If your CableTV provider applies copyright protection to its feed, WMC and its extenders are the only way to view, record and share recorded TV on multiple screens, regardless of whether you like it or not.

AFAIK, JRiver is not CableLabs approved software, so it won't play protected content.

Use the remote with WMC, it is designed for that, not keyboard and mouse.

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 #11 of 18 Old 07-14-2014, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Leon1972 View Post
Won't the extenders be good only for wmc? I have movies too that WILL NOT go wmc. I hate wmc and will not use except for cable if I have to. But jriver htpc software supports several of the cards so I won't need wmc. It's ugly, not very well thought out and very awkward to use.
I can see you're not a fan of WMC. But can you be more specific about the movies that won't play in WMC? With LAV filters, at least 95% of my movies play fine in WMC.

As you've learned in your other thread, copy protected recorded TV will only play in WMC. So you may want to consider giving it another try in that case. There are many things you can do to make WMC look better. I find WMC very easy to use with a remote and very well thought out. Why would you use a keyboard and mouse anyway?
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post #12 of 18 Old 07-14-2014, 10:56 AM
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I can see you're not a fan of WMC. But can you be more specific about the movies that won't play in WMC? With LAV filters, at least 95% of my movies play fine in WMC.

As you've learned in your other thread, copy protected recorded TV will only play in WMC. So you may want to consider giving it another try in that case. There are many things you can do to make WMC look better. I find WMC very easy to use with a remote and very well thought out. Why would you use a keyboard and mouse anyway?
Another option is to convert movies that won't play on the extender of choice to a format that is playable.

We have Linksys extenders, so we are limited in compression formats, but XVID works great! (including skip function). Since only 1 TV is really a TV that a trained eye (not mine) can potentially see the difference between 1080p and 720p, high quality rips with multi-channel audio are reserved for the main TV.

Same files are converted to XVID at slightly lower resolution for viewing on extenders which are connected to 17" (2x), 24" (2x), and 42" TV's, where the TV it self is a limiting factor to high resolution viewing.

Storage is cheap, extenders are not. The cost of 1 extender replacement is the same as an additional 4 TB drive.

Our almost 1500 movie title library has 2 sets of files for each movie. I simply labeled them HD and XT. If you are viewing on main TV, you choose HD, if you are viewing on the extender, you choose XT.

As it turns out, most of the cartoons kids watch were never made in HD anyway.

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 #13 of 18 Old 07-14-2014, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I can see you're not a fan of WMC. But can you be more specific about the movies that won't play in WMC? With LAV filters, at least 95% of my movies play fine in WMC.

As you've learned in your other thread, copy protected recorded TV will only play in WMC. So you may want to consider giving it another try in that case. There are many things you can do to make WMC look better. I find WMC very easy to use with a remote and very well thought out. Why would you use a keyboard and mouse anyway?
Because at the moment my only option is a keyboard and mouse. What do you care what I use anyways? What if I liked using a keyboard and mouse? I shouldn't have to use add ons to play other video formats. I will only use wmc for cable and plex for everything else.
I find plex much more fluid an easier to use. I've never been a fan of adding codecs to my computer as I am constantly having to add new ones and they are riddled with junk. Wmc has always been a pain for movies for me.
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post #14 of 18 Old 07-14-2014, 06:26 PM
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Because at the moment my only option is a keyboard and mouse. What do you care what I use anyways?
Most 10' software (WMC, XBMC, Plex, MP, etc) isn't very mouse friendly. It's designed to work with a remote, and a lot of times it's easiest to just use something as it was designed. That being said, I really don't care what you use and none of us are going to stop you obviously. As a suggestion, I'd recommend you learn the necessary keyboard shortcuts at a minimum and just use that (in my opinion well designed frontends only need all four arrow keys, enter , and back for over 90% of what you do). Your keyboard should have the same fluidity as using a remote
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post #15 of 18 Old 07-14-2014, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I know wmc is CURRENTLY the only media center for cablecards but I wouldn't be surprised if that changes sometime in the near future due to wmc no longer being included in windows anymore and I being an additional purchase. I'll use it if I have to but I would prefer not to as I don't like WMC and I use plex media server and Plex HT. I find it much more aesthetically pleasing and prefer its setup to wmc.

HTPC isn't very big in Korea so I don't really have the means to purchase an ir module yet. Not till I go home in October at least.
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post #16 of 18 Old 07-14-2014, 11:35 PM
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No way of knowing what kind of problems you may have with cable, or whether cablecards are offered along with your service from your cableco

There are many other options for decrypted cablecard content as long as the CCI bit in the broadcast is 0x00. A large majority of Comcast and FiOS channels are marked this way in the US, but most of the other providers use 0x01. Cable labs already accepts DTCP-IP for DLNA tuner usage on 0x01 channels, but that's very rare to find also. It's also nowhere near as nice as using wmc. Mediaportal and Myth are nice PVR packages, but you have to purchase your own guide data for about $25/yr. For all it's shortcomings, WMC (especially within W7, free) offers a lot of device compatibility and playback stability to handle switching mpeg video streams on the fly very quickly. ServerWMC is a nice way to use all of this with XBMC and eventually within MBT, but no telling if that will ever come to plex

If you have 0x00 cable and a HDHR Prime, then you could try this method to get your channels working with Plex https://forums.plex.tv/index.php/top...omerun-viewer/
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post #17 of 18 Old 07-15-2014, 09:23 AM
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Because at the moment my only option is a keyboard and mouse. What do you care what I use anyways? What if I liked using a keyboard and mouse?
Because you stated it was difficult to use, which is usually an opinion of someone who is using it contrary to its design.

Try the remote, and then report on how difficult it is to use.

Using keyboard and mouse to operate it is not HTPC, it is just a PC connected to a TV instead of a monitor, IMHO.

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 #18 of 18 Old 07-15-2014, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Because you stated it was difficult to use, which is usually an opinion of someone who is using it contrary to its design.

Try the remote, and then report on how difficult it is to use.

Using keyboard and mouse to operate it is not HTPC, it is just a PC connected to a TV instead of a monitor, IMHO.
And as I stated. I'm going to but I don't currently have the means to get my hands on the ir sensor.
It still won't change my opinion on wmc though. I just don't like it. Just one mans opinion though. Even with the mouse and keyboard I still prefer plex. I'll still prefer plex after I get a ir sensor.

I consider an htpc a pc that is used primarily for viewiing videos. It's what you use it for, not the peripherals you use with it. Just my opinion though. Lol
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