Originally Posted by adam1991
Understood, but I built a cable box--not a computer. That was intentional.
I don't quite understand the distinction you are making here. Call the "box" whatever you want. To me, the issue is whether the user sends IR commands to the TV, or the user sends commands to a "box" that controls the TV. At this point in history, the TV is no longer passive. At least, my next TV will certainly not be.
The TV now contains intelligence. It is essentially a "browser". Which means it is a client that gets its content from a server. The issue is fundamentally a question of which functions are of essence "client" functions and which are of essence "server" functions.
The selection of what to view at any instant belongs in the client and the recording/processing functions belong in the server. DLNA gets this division exactly right.
Setting this up to be stable means, to me from my experience, not having it be a general purpose computer doing a bunch of things. It's a unitasker--albeit with a few layers.
Fair point. However, if I do end up setting up a dedicated media computer, I still don't want it to be the controller. I want it to be a passive server. Which also means I can put it anywhere I can reach via IP with sufficient bandwidth. (Samsung recommends wireless "N" for HDTV. Or at least 100 Mbit if wired.)
The purpose of the Ceton card is to accept a cableCARD. CableCARD brings along decryption of channels that are not broadcast in a clear manner, up to and including premium channels. CableCARD also brings along a superb ease of installation and setup: it handles all the funky channel mapping that the cableco uses, and presents simple channel numbering to the end user. Also, said channel numbering matches up with the guide service directly.
I presently don't pay for any encrypted content, so have not done any research WRT encrypted channels. However, I could go that way in the near future. I am glad I understand that distinction now.
If you're not going to use cableCARD, you can use something like the Hauppauge 2250 that I also have installed. But the clear QAM channel number does not map to any guide service directly, so you spend quite a bit of time manually managing that and keeping it all straight.
I am told that if I have a 2250, all I have to do is tell 7MC where I live and which cable service I use. I read on one website that the location code MC uses is the same as the code Zap2it uses. The Hauppauge site makes no mention of having to do any manual mapping of numbers, nor does 7MC. ???
BTW, I played around a bit trying to get MC to download my Comcast EPG, but it refuses to do so without a card. (I even tried setting up registry keys) Maybe this is related to the channel mapping issue.
I will definitely look into the CableCard question.
I could have stayed with my original standard lineup from my cableco and gotten the clear QAM SD versions of the same channels I used to get analog. I would have been happy. I could still go back and save a few bucks a month.
On analog we got 99 channels. When local Comcast went all digital, they sweetened it a bit by adding about 50 QAM channels above 100. And the price remained the same. Other than the pain and suffering of making my RTVs fit in, I was perfectly happy.
(It is also possible to use an analog TV directly, if you are happy with about 10 local broadcast channels.)
I found that the REAL cost of cable TV was in the equipment rental fees. Thirteen bucks a box per month? And then I'm stuck with individual DVRs that are pure crap, have no space to speak of on them, and don't talk to one another? No way.
I agree totally. Interestingly, last year I got tired of arguing over the telephone with Comcast techs in places like Manila about how badly my Internet bandwidth had deteriorated. I decided to go down to BestBuy and buy a high end broadband modem. Amazing difference. (Now getting in excess of 10 megabits, previously well under 1) The new modem has already paid for itself in terms of monthly fees I saved.
Basically, the only thing you MUST pay them for is the signal on the line.
As I said before, my setup with the Ceton card replicates what my brother is paying AT&T for with their U-Verse--except while I put my money up front in building a setup, he simply pays an extra $50 every month. He also has half the internet speed and significantly less storage space for recorded TV, and of course he's missing the killer app of DVRs: commercial skip.
Haven't looked into it, but it sounds like you're on a good path.
Something else to keep in mind: the industry seems to be going to MoCA, which belies your claim that "extenders are dead".
The exception that proves the rule?
Here is an interesting link from 2008:Linksys discontinues Media Center Extenders, hardly anyone notices
I think what we're going to see in the end is some bastard combination of DLNA and extender technology, where the coax input of the TV will be for TV signal as well as network.
Wrong! Wrong! No way that will that happen! The only reason for an RF input is there will be at least one person in the world that will connect the TV directly to the cable.
Look at the Samsung line LNxxD550.
- Plug it to Ethernet and configure the IP (just like my Replay!) and it will find DLNA server(s) on the local subnet and present a replay guide (like my Replay!)
- Plug in a USB wifi adapter and it does the same as a wired ethernet connection
- Plug a thumb drive or HD into a USB port and it will present an interface to select and play any digital content. (music, video, slides, numerous formats)
- DVI and component video and VGA connections for passive play
- Both analog and digital audio outputs
Higher end models have internet browser functionality and will directly connect to Netflix among other things.
The future TV (actually, the future is now) has the "guide" functionality of the Replay and most of the functionality of an AV receiver. (A subject for another interesting discussion: whither the AV receiver? Mine is going to be relegated to nothing but an amp.)