Originally Posted by CaveTec
You may very well be right about the demographics...we are just trying to get a better understanding how many people use home theater setups for live TV viewing of sports and news - which are more easily accessible via cable than via online streaming.
We wanted to use this thread as more of a technical Q&A rather than discussing pricing, since we wanted the discussion to be more informational than promotional, although we do offer a free 30-day trial. There are a lot of details on our website which can be found with a Google search on CaveTec. System requirements are listed there, but beyond the tuners mentioned above, the most critical component is a dedicated video recording drive, preferably optimized for recording multiple HD video streams - such as a WD Purple/Red Series or Seagate Surveillance/Video Series. Other hard drive models will work, but may produce periodic stalls during error correction, which is generally undesirable for video recording.
3rd generation and later Intel Core i3 (dual-core, hyperthreaded) CPUs are generally powerful enough to handle ~4 HD recordings while playing back 4. Beyond 4 recordings, CPU utilization gets pretty high on a dual-core. For 8 or more recordings quad-core Core i5 or i7 CPUs are generally recommended. Integrated Intel HD graphics is fine, although dedicated graphics cards will work also - more typical of a gaming rig. RAM requirements are modest with 4GB minimum and 8GB recommended.
Please provide feedback if you think these system requirements are out of line with a "typical" HTPC system, assuming there is such a thing.
In the interest of feedback...
I think qz is mostly correct with target audience. I don't think there are a whole lot of people out there using an HTPC explicitly for that sort of non-standard way of viewing content, but that said, may pique interest with some that may not have thought about that type of use.
As a single example of a long time HTPC user, just my use and thoughts, which I think is at least similar reasoning with a lot of users, but only speaking for myself here....the 2 biggest attractions to me is A) simplicity and B) cost effectiveness.
First is with hardware. Instead of a rented box at each tv, some sort of media player at each tv, even more tuners and outlets if I wanted tv on the computers, etc....I can have a single networked source for typical tv content (HDHomerun Prime) available to all my capable devices including normal pc's, tablets, phones nevermind televisions/htpc. The HTPC, besides replacing the rented boxes, also can play everything thrown at it, so replaces an additional external media player as well as being more capable then most external players AND keeps everything available in one device in one menu ecosystem. Anything extra beyond the functionality level of a typical rented box and external media players, as well as better looks and all is just bonus.
The next aspect is cost. It doesn't take much for a lot of people since HTPC's don't need particularly powerfull components. Myself, and maybe a fair number of other people I would imagine, pretty much use cycled out internals from a main PC, meaning you only need a few odds and ends to get an HTPC started. As much as equipment rentals are these days from a provider, even starting from scratch and spending a fair amount up front will pay for itself relatively quickly....especially given that tv service isn't typically something you get for a year or 2 then drop and never mess with again.
Of course there is much much more that an HTPC is capable of and that you can do with them, but that stuff is why my home is set up that way and not the usual rented box at each television like most people...not so much to do things in ways normal equipment cant, but to at least do the same stuff more efficiently and a little cheaper.