Expanding home video distribution w/ HTPC - AVS Forum
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Old 07-18-2014, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Expanding home video distribution w/ HTPC

Hey everyone... I'm not sure if this should go here, but it does involve my HTPC, so I thought I'd start here.

We're getting ready to buy a new TV and move our current screen upstairs into another viewing area. We're Verizon FiOS customers, and currently have their base internet and one HD DVR. Moving this TV upstairs is going to require supplying it with cable service, somehow. From what I can tell, I've got a few options...

My HTPC runs Win7. House is wired with CAT5e and everything is hooked up to a gigabit switch. There is an ethernet port where the TV will be hung on the wall upstairs. I have a HDHomerun network tuner, but it's not a prime, so it doesn't do cable. From what I was told, I would have to have at least one HD FiOS box in order to get a cable card, and the cable card wouldn't be much cheaper than a second box.

I think it'd be fun to do a HDHomerun Prime/Xbox360 combo to supply cable to the tv upstairs, but I'm not sure it's worth it for only having two tvs. Plus, I think at that point, I'd like to use the HTPC as the only TV source for the main set downstairs. At that point, there would be an unused HD DVR sitting around, that apparently, I have to have in order to get the cable card.

Thoughts/suggestions/corrections?

Samsung UN75H6350
Denon AVR-1913
Paradigm Mini Monitors, CC-370 & Atoms (all v.3)
SVS PB12-Plus/2
Win7 HTPC, PS3, FiOS Cable
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Old 07-18-2014, 02:47 PM
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I don't think they can force you to have a cable box in order to get a CableCARD. Try asking a different rep.
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Old 07-18-2014, 03:11 PM
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Assuming you don't want a box, rather than asking them, just tell them you have a Tivo and won't be getting any of their boxes. They can't force a cable card customer to get any boxes, as rc05 said, but they can apparently mislead you into thinking you need a box. It is possible however, that you've gotten some kind of package deal that includes a box. I was in that situation with my cable company. My bundle included a free DVR and free DVR service for 2 years. They wouldn't take the box back without changing my package. So I simply disconnected the box and left it in my closet for 2 years. When my promo ran out, I returned the box.

You could run a Prime and a Fios box if you want, but there's no cost savings there, as you already know. If you go the cable card route, don't get a box from Fios, or if you do, don't keep it for long. I imagine the cost savings would be quite significant since you not only drop the fee for the box but also the DVR service fee, totaling $25 or so, typically. If you keep the Fios box, may as well forget about the Prime and get a second Fios box.
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Old 07-18-2014, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
You could run a Prime and a Fios box if you want, but there's no cost savings there, as you already know. If you go the cable card route, don't get a box from Fios, or if you do, don't keep it for long. I imagine the cost savings would be quite significant since you not only drop the fee for the box but also the DVR service fee, totaling $25 or so, typically. If you keep the Fios box, may as well forget about the Prime and get a second Fios box.
That's kinda what I figured. Seems at this point, that's the easiest way to go. I run Plex on the HTPC, so I can get a FireTV/Roku to get movies up there. Now to figure out where in the world to place the box...

Samsung UN75H6350
Denon AVR-1913
Paradigm Mini Monitors, CC-370 & Atoms (all v.3)
SVS PB12-Plus/2
Win7 HTPC, PS3, FiOS Cable
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:35 PM
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I would put the extra box in a closet as well if that is your situation. Usually the package is cheaper that way for new customers. Running everything through a cablecard tuner isn't always cheaper, but with FiOS you can use serverwmc for your channels except HBO, cinemax, and other premium movie channels

With server wmc you can have live TV in xbmc on the firetv and smartphones/tablets if their WiFi chipset is up to the task. I just tested it on my lg g2 last night for about ten minutes of playback

You can also use more powerful htpcs with Intel or amd processors if you wish. Sky's the limit really on your flexibility if you can give up premium movie channels
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