DVR for basic cable channels via TWC/OTA - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 90 Old 08-20-2014, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
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DVR for basic cable channels via TWC/OTA

Im cutting my DTV service off with whole home DVR service and dropping down to Basic (20 local channels) no boxes at all from TWC to mess with and a dramatic monthly savings.

I was curious what my options are out there (low end and high end) to record local channels with my own DVR these days and at the same time which ever DVR would work with TWC coming in would it also work with an OTA antenna as well (which is what I am working towards) ??

Thanks for any help.


Jumped the gun on my post (again) looks like its pretty detailed in the below thread I just found...The 557 looks like the one to go with for now.

Magnavox 557, 537, 535, 533, 515, 513, 2160A, 2160, 2080 & Philips 3576, 3575

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post #2 of 90 Old 08-21-2014, 07:05 AM
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None of them will work since Time Warner Cable already encrypts or will encrypt everything, and most non-local channels are copyright protected.

So, what may work today, most likely will not work later and the money will be wasted.

You need a CableCARD solution, which can be a Samsung box (no DVR), TiVO or a Windows 7 computer.

A single CableCARD will enable you to view/record 6 channels at once, and will only cost you $2.50/month from TWC.

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 #3 of 90 Old 08-21-2014, 08:31 AM
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Low end.
With just basic, you can get by with one cable box. Get a standard one, not a tuning adapter, with A/V (line) output. No long term way around it, Cable - you need a box.

Connect your outside antenna to the DVR tuner and the box to a line input. Overlapping cable shows and you will need more cable boxes but as long as you record network shows OTA, that should not happen often.

Get the latest model DVR possible. Best firmware with updates. Largest storage capacity. Available new, not used or refurb.

Your recordings will be portable and not locked inside the recording device as with a cablecard. Burn to disk for archive and transport. Use the RF (ch3) output to distribute a low res signal to other TVs in the house. IR remote extenders will also allow control from other locations.

Obviously with these solutions, your picture will ONLY be DVD quality due to the encoders used.

In the Middle.
Put a tuner/capture card in a computer. Do not use Windows Media Center or cablecard. Connect your antenna and cable box the same way as with the DVR. You will then be able to record OTA in HD. You will probably want a media streaming box that can access network shares or a DLNA client software; but that would allow you to view your recordings (in HD from OTA) on any TV set.

High end will get expensive, complicated, and your recordings may not be portable or possible to archive or share, and an electronic failure of a device may lose you all of your recordings permanently.

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post #4 of 90 Old 08-21-2014, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post
None of them will work since Time Warner Cable already encrypts or will encrypt everything, and most non-local channels are copyright protected.

So, what may work today, most likely will not work later and the money will be wasted.

You need a CableCARD solution, which can be a Samsung box (no DVR), TiVO or a Windows 7 computer.

A single CableCARD will enable you to view/record 6 channels at once, and will only cost you $2.50/month from TWC.
Humm ?? So what your saying is a DVR that has a cable card slot will work but need to rent the card from TWC ? And this is all needed just for local channels from them ? I'm just subscribing to the starter cable package which is 20 channels , mainly all local and no special channels at all ? Thats not an issue if thats what will need to be done but just trying to get my head around the whole process/options out there. I was under the assumption with a DVR like the 557 from walmart for $299 I would be ok without having to get a card, but if getting the card is needed for $2.50 a month thats fine, I would rather do that then the $24 a month they want to rent a DVR from them....

Am I understanding this correctly right now ? Basic 20 channels with no box is what I have set-up to receive from TWC right now, and go with coax right into any of my TV's for just the basic local channels, If I get a DVR of my own to record basic local channels I would need a cable card ready type DVR and then rent the card ?

Can you elaborate on a "Samsung box" that you mentioned ? Is that just another type of DVR from samsung or ??
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post #5 of 90 Old 08-22-2014, 02:32 AM
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The Samsung box isn't a DVR, it's just a cableCARD ready tuner (basically a cable box you can buy) with some stuff like Netflix streaming and other functions that may or may not appeal to you.

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post #6 of 90 Old 08-22-2014, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadking00 View Post
Humm ?? So what your saying is a DVR that has a cable card slot will work but need to rent the card from TWC ? And this is all needed just for local channels from them ? I'm just subscribing to the starter cable package which is 20 channels , mainly all local and no special channels at all ? Thats not an issue if thats what will need to be done but just trying to get my head around the whole process/options out there. I was under the assumption with a DVR like the 557 from walmart for $299 I would be ok without having to get a card, but if getting the card is needed for $2.50 a month thats fine, I would rather do that then the $24 a month they want to rent a DVR from them....

Am I understanding this correctly right now ? Basic 20 channels with no box is what I have set-up to receive from TWC right now, and go with coax right into any of my TV's for just the basic local channels, If I get a DVR of my own to record basic local channels I would need a cable card ready type DVR and then rent the card ?

Can you elaborate on a "Samsung box" that you mentioned ? Is that just another type of DVR from samsung or ??

Like Tulpa said, samsung is just a cable box that you can buy at Walmart
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Samsung-GX...p-Box/32478996

It has CableCARD capability.

To answer your question, the 557 may work today, but may not work tomorrow with Cable. All US based cable TV providers are slowly encrypting everything. There is no ClearQAM, or will be no ClearQAM.

It sucks for the paying customers like your self. Cable companies appealed to the FCC that people who were only paying for the internet were illegally connecting TV's and stealing ClearQAM cable feed, which FCC required them to keep un-encrypted.

FCC, allowed the cable TV providers to encrypt everything to prevent cable theft.

If you do go with the 557, once cable is encrypted, you may be able to use with an antenna. I find that TV signal from the antenna is slightly better quality than what you get through cable anyway.

And you don't have those LOUD commercials that Cable TV operators insert during the commercial breaks. OTA sound levels seems to remain uniform whether it is a national broadcast program or the local commercial.

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 90 Old 08-22-2014, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Like Tulpa said, samsung is just a cable box that you can buy at Walmart
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Samsung-GX...p-Box/32478996

It has CableCARD capability.

To answer your question, the 557 may work today, but may not work tomorrow with Cable. All US based cable TV providers are slowly encrypting everything. There is no ClearQAM, or will be no ClearQAM.

It sucks for the paying customers like your self. Cable companies appealed to the FCC that people who were only paying for the internet were illegally connecting TV's and stealing ClearQAM cable feed, which FCC required them to keep un-encrypted.

FCC, allowed the cable TV providers to encrypt everything to prevent cable theft.

If you do go with the 557, once cable is encrypted, you may be able to use with an antenna. I find that TV signal from the antenna is slightly better quality than what you get through cable anyway.

And you don't have those LOUD commercials that Cable TV operators insert during the commercial breaks. OTA sound levels seems to remain uniform whether it is a national broadcast program or the local commercial.
Ok, so I'm still a bit confused here (no surprise lately) get the whole Samsung is just a cable box thing, not a DVR, but is cable card ready..that's the part I don't get, not sure what the benefits are for having a cable card at all if we are just subscribing to the basic 20 channel line-up? From what I understand it allows viewing of local channels HD content (which may be beneficial?), and PPV on demand extras through TWC if so desired ,which in our case we will not need, any movies are via BD or stream through netflix via a smart TV,my AVR or my Roku box.So I must be missing something here and I'm hoping its something simple and right in front of my eyes...

Its sounding like my DVR options for basic cable TV shows are getting slim or may turn into something pricey on the front end (tivo or something) and not very user friendly/simple for the wife to use, compared to just renting a HD/DVR for $23 a month + taxes,fees blah blah.. (which I really don't want to do) from TWC ?

Thanks for all your help with this stuff guys, I just don't have any experience with this cable card stuff and /or DVR options (yet) and I really appreciate the help/advice.
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post #8 of 90 Old 08-22-2014, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by roadking00 View Post
Ok, so I'm still a bit confused here (no surprise lately) get the whole Samsung is just a cable box thing, not a DVR, but is cable card ready..that's the part I don't get, not sure what the benefits are for having a cable card at all if we are just subscribing to the basic 20 channel line-up? From what I understand it allows viewing of local channels HD content (which may be beneficial?), and PPV on demand extras through TWC if so desired ,which in our case we will not need, any movies are via BD or stream through netflix via a smart TV,my AVR or my Roku box.So I must be missing something here and I'm hoping its something simple and right in front of my eyes...

Its sounding like my DVR options for basic cable TV shows are getting slim or may turn into something pricey on the front end (tivo or something) and not very user friendly/simple for the wife to use, compared to just renting a HD/DVR for $23 a month + taxes,fees blah blah.. (which I really don't want to do) from TWC ?

Thanks for all your help with this stuff guys, I just don't have any experience with this cable card stuff and /or DVR options (yet) and I really appreciate the help/advice.
Right now, there is no reason you can't use a non-CableCARD equipped DVR, however, it is a short term solution. That is what I am trying to say. What works today, may not work tomorrow because of the FCC allowing providers to encrypt everything, INCLUDING local TV rebroadcasts.

If I were in your shoes, I would put that Windows 7 PC to work. It is already loaded with the most powerful DVR you will ever find, Windows Media Center. Just connect the PC to the TV using HDMI or VGA cable. You will get the same TV guide listings as you would with the Cable provider's box.

Set up is easy and intuitive, just follow the step by step prompts. Operation is even easier with a remote.

All you will need is a CableCARD capable tuner. They come in a number of flavors, ATI DCT is a single tuner, Hauppauge is a dual tuner, SiliconDust is a triple tuner, Ceton is a quad or a hex tuner.

With a single tuner you will only be able to view or record 1 program, with dual you will be able to view or record 2 programs, with 3 you will be able to view or record 3, same for 4 and 6.

So, depending on how many programs you think you will want to view/record at the same time will determine how many tuners you will need.

If you have multiple TV's in the house, all you would need to do is add an extender (it can even be an XBOX360) over your home network and enjoy all of your recorded and live TV on another screen. You can pause in one room, and resume in another. You can schedule recordings from any TV in the house, and watch them on any TV in the house, or take them on the go with your laptop or tablet.

IF the technology changes later on, you will just have to buy a different tuner, not the whole new DVR. We went through analog to digital transition, and all we had to do is replace $30 tuners with digital ones. The rest of the DVR was fine.

Then when Digital Cable came along with CableCards, we had to replace the tuners (we also upgraded the hardware/software since it was 10 years old by then)

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 #9 of 90 Old 08-22-2014, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Right now, there is no reason you can't use a non-CableCARD equipped DVR, however, it is a short term solution. That is what I am trying to say. What works today, may not work tomorrow because of the FCC allowing providers to encrypt everything, INCLUDING local TV rebroadcasts.

If I were in your shoes, I would put that Windows 7 PC to work. It is already loaded with the most powerful DVR you will ever find, Windows Media Center. Just connect the PC to the TV using HDMI or VGA cable. You will get the same TV guide listings as you would with the Cable provider's box.

Set up is easy and intuitive, just follow the step by step prompts. Operation is even easier with a remote.

All you will need is a CableCARD capable tuner. They come in a number of flavors, ATI DCT is a single tuner, Hauppauge is a dual tuner, SiliconDust is a triple tuner, Ceton is a quad or a hex tuner.

With a single tuner you will only be able to view or record 1 program, with dual you will be able to view or record 2 programs, with 3 you will be able to view or record 3, same for 4 and 6.

So, depending on how many programs you think you will want to view/record at the same time will determine how many tuners you will need.

If you have multiple TV's in the house, all you would need to do is add an extender (it can even be an XBOX360) over your home network and enjoy all of your recorded and live TV on another screen. You can pause in one room, and resume in another. You can schedule recordings from any TV in the house, and watch them on any TV in the house, or take them on the go with your laptop or tablet.

IF the technology changes later on, you will just have to buy a different tuner, not the whole new DVR. We went through analog to digital transition, and all we had to do is replace $30 tuners with digital ones. The rest of the DVR was fine.

Then when Digital Cable came along with CableCards, we had to replace the tuners (we also upgraded the hardware/software since it was 10 years old by then)
Thanks a bunch blueiedgod, I'm just now starting to read through a bunch of threads about HDHomerun plus/prime as an option to go with, a complete new learning curve for me but looks like the way to go to simplify things hopefully enough that my wife and I can operate easily, I guess after the learning curve and set-up it will become rather simple like most things, its just getting to that point.....I have an old desktop tower that can be upgraded but going to read up on some more of this HDhomerun stuff and see if its an easier option with getting into DLNA and home wifi/wired network stuff rather then having a tower running all the time in my media closet? All of our PC usage these days are laptops via wifi, but I am in the process of wiring alot of my whole house to get up to date so Cat5e/6 along with RG6 is in the process anyhow....so many dam options with this route to look into and get familiar with (I can spend week reading thread after thread)

Thanks again for your explanation of things, eventually things will start to sink in a bit better....
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post #10 of 90 Old 08-22-2014, 10:48 AM
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No problem.

Come on over to the dark side. The water is warm :-)

If you want DVR and don't want to teach your wife how to use it, Windows Media Center is the way to go. The key is to use remotes, not keyboard or mice. The GUI was designed for remote use. They are cheap, $10 - $15 on sale on newegg. Or you can use universal remotes and just program them with Windows Media Center code, and they will control your TV and AV gear, as well.

To the end user there will be no difference in operation.

Quote:
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Thanks a bunch blueiedgod, I'm just now starting to read through a bunch of threads about HDHomerun plus/prime as an option to go with, a complete new learning curve for me but looks like the way to go to simplify things hopefully enough that my wife and I can operate easily, I guess after the learning curve and set-up it will become rather simple like most things, its just getting to that point.....I have an old desktop tower that can be upgraded but going to read up on some more of this HDhomerun stuff and see if its an easier option with getting into DLNA and home wifi/wired network stuff rather then having a tower running all the time in my media closet? All of our PC usage these days are laptops via wifi, but I am in the process of wiring alot of my whole house to get up to date so Cat5e/6 along with RG6 is in the process anyhow....so many dam options with this route to look into and get familiar with (I can spend week reading thread after thread)

Thanks again for your explanation of things, eventually things will start to sink in a bit better....

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 90 Old 08-22-2014, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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No problem.

Come on over to the dark side. The water is warm :-)

If you want DVR and don't want to teach your wife how to use it, Windows Media Center is the way to go. The key is to use remotes, not keyboard or mice. The GUI was designed for remote use. They are cheap, $10 - $15 on sale on newegg. Or you can use universal remotes and just program them with Windows Media Center code, and they will control your TV and AV gear, as well.

To the end user there will be no difference in operation.
Sounds like a plan, sometime I think I was born to be on the dark side of most things....

Are there a few specific threads you can point me in the direction to start getting learned up on what I really need to learn/understand rather then digging through a ton of threads that usually end up with details I really don't need to learn at the moment (which is usually what happens in the beginning stages for me )

Like I mentioned , I have a media closet that holds all of my equipment (AVR,BD,Modem,WiFi) and all home wiring is or will end up in this central location, I current have a Harmony remote/hub just for my living room set-up, when you say the GUI is designed for remotes I'm assuming it would be programmable with the harmony and/or purchase seperate RF capable remotes for the regular other rooms basic TV operations ?

Like I said, a huge learning curve for me but more then willing to learn/pull wire and eliminate the fees that go along with the crooks out there selling service....

I welcome the dark side, just need a little early guidance....
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post #12 of 90 Old 08-22-2014, 11:44 AM
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You can start here
Windows 7 Media Center : Setup Guide, Knowledge Base & Support

But, it is way too much for someone wanting simple DVR functionality.

I think your first step is to see if you can run Windows 7 on your machine. Then, make sure you are within specs for WMC (i.e. number of CPU cores and amount of RAM for expected number of TV's. 1 CPU core and 1 GB of RAM per TV)

Open WMC from the start menu, and it will walk you through.

First step will be running Digital Cable Advisor, which will determine if your machine is capable of CableCARD support. If not, it will tell you what needs to be done. In most cases, it is the requirement for HDCP compliant video card. Which, since you will be only watching local broadcasts, is not going to be needed, since they are encrypted, but not copyright protected, yet. However, the system won't let you activate CableCARD without passing this requirement. There are work arounds, but they can lead to confusion.

Once pass DCA, you will need to connect the tuner, and follow the prompts.

Once tuner is set up, you will Insert CableCARD into it, and follow on screen prompts (zip code, service provider, etc) and it will give you the number to call, which is your Cable TV provider's CableCARD service to pair the card to the tuner. It will give you the host ID and other numbers needed for the pairing process (probably not even needed if all you plan on watching is local TV)

Once activated, it will download the guide, and you will be all set.


There is no need for RF remote. The extenders connect to your main PC over your home network and everything is controlled by the remote on the extender, which fetches and delivers TV over network.

Harmony has codes with windows media center, you will just need to get an IR dongle so that the computer can "see" the remote.

When you connect an extender, an 8 digit code will pop up on the screen, you will need to enter that code on the main TV screen to pair up the two. Once paired up, you will see exactly the same screen lay out on the second TV as you did on the main one. You will be able to control them independently from each other, i.e. you can watch live or recorded TV on main TV, and wife can watch different or the same live or recorded TV in another room. You will be able to independently forward or rewind.

You can add up to 6 total TV's to a single computer DVR. All with independent, but unified controls.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadking00 View Post
Sounds like a plan, sometime I think I was born to be on the dark side of most things....

Are there a few specific threads you can point me in the direction to start getting learned up on what I really need to learn/understand rather then digging through a ton of threads that usually end up with details I really don't need to learn at the moment (which is usually what happens in the beginning stages for me )

Like I mentioned , I have a media closet that holds all of my equipment (AVR,BD,Modem,WiFi) and all home wiring is or will end up in this central location, I current have a Harmony remote/hub just for my living room set-up, when you say the GUI is designed for remotes I'm assuming it would be programmable with the harmony and/or purchase seperate RF capable remotes for the regular other rooms basic TV operations ?

Like I said, a huge learning curve for me but more then willing to learn/pull wire and eliminate the fees that go along with the crooks out there selling service....

I welcome the dark side, just need a little early guidance....

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 90 Old 08-22-2014, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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You can start here
Windows 7 Media Center : Setup Guide, Knowledge Base & Support

But, it is way too much for someone wanting simple DVR functionality.

I think your first step is to see if you can run Windows 7 on your machine. Then, make sure you are within specs for WMC (i.e. number of CPU cores and amount of RAM for expected number of TV's. 1 CPU core and 1 GB of RAM per TV)

Open WMC from the start menu, and it will walk you through.

First step will be running Digital Cable Advisor, which will determine if your machine is capable of CableCARD support. If not, it will tell you what needs to be done. In most cases, it is the requirement for HDCP compliant video card. Which, since you will be only watching local broadcasts, is not going to be needed, since they are encrypted, but not copyright protected, yet. However, the system won't let you activate CableCARD without passing this requirement. There are work arounds, but they can lead to confusion.

Once pass DCA, you will need to connect the tuner, and follow the prompts.

Once tuner is set up, you will Insert CableCARD into it, and follow on screen prompts (zip code, service provider, etc) and it will give you the number to call, which is your Cable TV provider's CableCARD service to pair the card to the tuner. It will give you the host ID and other numbers needed for the pairing process (probably not even needed if all you plan on watching is local TV)

Once activated, it will download the guide, and you will be all set.


There is no need for RF remote. The extenders connect to your main PC over your home network and everything is controlled by the remote on the extender, which fetches and delivers TV over network.

Harmony has codes with windows media center, you will just need to get an IR dongle so that the computer can "see" the remote.

When you connect an extender, an 8 digit code will pop up on the screen, you will need to enter that code on the main TV screen to pair up the two. Once paired up, you will see exactly the same screen lay out on the second TV as you did on the main one. You will be able to control them independently from each other, i.e. you can watch live or recorded TV on main TV, and wife can watch different or the same live or recorded TV in another room. You will be able to independently forward or rewind.

You can add up to 6 total TV's to a single computer DVR. All with independent, but unified controls.
WOW, sounds alot easier then it seemed at first thought, I'm at work right now so I will be looking into it with my laptop tonight, When you say tuner you mean any type of tuner box that supports cablecard from TWC like the samsung mentioned above right ? And I am assuming I can have this all set-up on my laptop in my living room via wifi and the tuner/box in my media closet ? Or does there have to be a dedicated PC/Laptop in my media closet next to a router and tuner box all hardwired?

I'll be reading through the link above as well eventually but like you said, I just need to get the basics in my head and required equipment needed to get it up and running then I can add and tweak things as I go.All I will have is 4-6 TV's total in the house eventually on the set-up so if it pays for me to upgrade my laptop to handle things properly that's something that will be on the list , my 7 yr old boy has recently been asking about getting a laptop of his own soon anyway so he would get my hand me down to start with and I'll get what I need to make things happen
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post #14 of 90 Old 08-22-2014, 12:19 PM
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Laptop and wi-fi are a no go for most people. Laptops are not designed for 24/7 operation, and can't dissipate heat efficiently.

Also, many laptops use display port to connect to the monitor, which will not pass DCA test.


Here is a refurb on shell shocker that some people reported working well with 5 TV's
http://www.newegg.com/Special/ShellS...2-_-08222014_2
Should be $169.99 once it goes live.

Previous deal had it with Windows 7, this one has 8.1, which will require the upgrade to Pro and $10 Windows Media Center purchase from Microsoft.

Also, Win 8.1 limits you to only using XBOX360 as the extender. So, if you have a spare win 7 license, you are better off just installing 7 on it, or look for another refurb with 7 already installed. WMC is free in 7, and it supports more extenders, in addition to XBOX360.

Location of the desktop is up to you. If you have HDMI cable from the closet to the TV, then you are all set. You will need to run a USB extention for the IR dongle, since most people intuitively aim the remote at the TV when changing channels.

Depending on what kind of tuner you get, will determine its location. USB connected or internal would have to be close or inside the PC, ethernet attached can be anywhere on the network.

We have our HTPC near the TV, with other AV gear, and the tuner and Tuning adapter are in the basement.

We have 6 TV's running off the system with 12 tuners and 30 TB storage drive (in the basement, as well)

In addition to the home theater PC forum on AVS, visit www.thegreenbutton.tv a forum dedicated to Windows Media Center (green button is what activates WMC on a windows remote)

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Originally Posted by roadking00 View Post
WOW, sounds alot easier then it seemed at first thought, I'm at work right now so I will be looking into it with my laptop tonight, When you say tuner you mean any type of tuner box that supports cablecard from TWC like the samsung mentioned above right ? And I am assuming I can have this all set-up on my laptop in my living room via wifi and the tuner/box in my media closet ? Or does there have to be a dedicated PC/Laptop in my media closet next to a router and tuner box all hardwired?

I'll be reading through the link above as well eventually but like you said, I just need to get the basics in my head and required equipment needed to get it up and running then I can add and tweak things as I go.All I will have is 4-6 TV's total in the house eventually on the set-up so if it pays for me to upgrade my laptop to handle things properly that's something that will be on the list , my 7 yr old boy has recently been asking about getting a laptop of his own soon anyway so he would get my hand me down to start with and I'll get what I need to make things happen

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 #15 of 90 Old 08-22-2014, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Laptop and wi-fi are a no go for most people. Laptops are not designed for 24/7 operation, and can't dissipate heat efficiently.

Also, many laptops use display port to connect to the monitor, which will not pass DCA test.


Here is a refurb on shell shocker that some people reported working well with 5 TV's
http://www.newegg.com/Special/ShellS...2-_-08222014_2
Should be $169.99 once it goes live.

Previous deal had it with Windows 7, this one has 8.1, which will require the upgrade to Pro and $10 Windows Media Center purchase from Microsoft.

Also, Win 8.1 limits you to only using XBOX360 as the extender. So, if you have a spare win 7 license, you are better off just installing 7 on it, or look for another refurb with 7 already installed. WMC is free in 7, and it supports more extenders, in addition to XBOX360.

Location of the desktop is up to you. If you have HDMI cable from the closet to the TV, then you are all set. You will need to run a USB extention for the IR dongle, since most people intuitively aim the remote at the TV when changing channels.

Depending on what kind of tuner you get, will determine its location. USB connected or internal would have to be close or inside the PC, ethernet attached can be anywhere on the network.

We have our HTPC near the TV, with other AV gear, and the tuner and Tuning adapter are in the basement.

We have 6 TV's running off the system with 12 tuners and 30 TB storage drive (in the basement, as well)

In addition to the home theater PC forum on AVS, visit www.thegreenbutton.tv a forum dedicated to Windows Media Center (green button is what activates WMC on a windows remote)
Ok, getting it ,slowly but surely...I think I will keep an eye on a refurb unit with Win7 rather then try to rebuild the tower I have, and I believe its to old and slow, and maybe a 160GB HD....so a newer up to date desktop would be better I think....And yes I have HDMI cable running to every TV location in the house right now from the closet (currently have DTV with DVR and whole house boxes in the closet) So I guess with that said I may need to use an HDMI switcher to have the single HDMI out of the PC to go to ? Or I would need a separate tuner box for each TV location and keep them all together in the closet? Or would all TV's that have the network capability get what they need through cat5 cable ? Like I said..I'm getting it.. but SLOWLY.... If I'm thinking correctly it sounds like my HDMI runs to each TV location will be a huge benefit to me and would not have to worry about running RG6 to each TV ??

6 boxes with dual tuners in each I'm assuming your running and all 6 boxes are down in your basement ? Any recommendations on good reliable tuners to start with ?
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post #16 of 90 Old 08-22-2014, 01:50 PM
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You are thinking in terms of HDMI, still. With WMC, you don't need HDMI from a central location to the TV's. All you need is network access, and an Extender. The TV connects to the Extender via HDMI, but the extender connect to the PC via network.

When you use the remote to change channel on the extender, the signal is sent to the PC over network, and TV signal is sent to the extender over network and then from extender to the TV via HDMI.

We have 1 PC, 6 extenders (only 5 can be on at the same time), 1x Ceton InifniTV6 (6x CableCARD tuners) and 3x SiliconDust HomeRun Dual (6x OTA tuners).

The CableCARD tuners (single Ceton InfiniTV6 ETH with a single CableCARD) are connected to the cable TV feed in the basement, and OTA tuners are connected to the Coax from the antenna in the attic.

In the basement we have a router, and a 24 port switch uplinked to the router. Everything else connects to the switch.

Tuners connect to the switch
HTPC, and other PC's connect to the switch.
Extenders connect to the switch.

There are no HDMI runs, RF repeater for remote, or HDMI switchers. Everything is done over network, ala IPTV.

It truly is your own little IPTV universe with 6 subscribers...

Here is a diagram of our set up....

We also have 2 way baby monitor cameras on the network (can use phones/tablets/laptop/desktop as baby monitor), additional routers turned AP's to provide uniform wi-fi coverage, and other computers on the network.



Quote:
Originally Posted by roadking00 View Post
Ok, getting it ,slowly but surely...I think I will keep an eye on a refurb unit with Win7 rather then try to rebuild the tower I have, and I believe its to old and slow, and maybe a 160GB HD....so a newer up to date desktop would be better I think....And yes I have HDMI cable running to every TV location in the house right now from the closet (currently have DTV with DVR and whole house boxes in the closet) So I guess with that said I may need to use an HDMI switcher to have the single HDMI out of the PC to go to ? Or I would need a separate tuner box for each TV location and keep them all together in the closet? Or would all TV's that have the network capability get what they need through cat5 cable ? Like I said..I'm getting it.. but SLOWLY.... If I'm thinking correctly it sounds like my HDMI runs to each TV location will be a huge benefit to me and would not have to worry about running RG6 to each TV ??

6 boxes with dual tuners in each I'm assuming your running and all 6 boxes are down in your basement ? Any recommendations on good reliable tuners to start with ?
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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 #17 of 90 Old 08-22-2014, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
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You are thinking in terms of HDMI, still. With WMC, you don't need HDMI from a central location to the TV's. All you need is network access, and an Extender. The TV connects to the Extender via HDMI, but the extender connect to the PC via network.

When you use the remote to change channel on the extender, the signal is sent to the PC over network, and TV signal is sent to the extender over network and then from extender to the TV via HDMI.

We have 1 PC, 6 extenders (only 5 can be on at the same time), 1x Ceton InifniTV6 (6x CableCARD tuners) and 3x SiliconDust HomeRun Dual (6x OTA tuners).

The CableCARD tuners (single Ceton InfiniTV6 ETH with a single CableCARD) are connected to the cable TV feed in the basement, and OTA tuners are connected to the Coax from the antenna in the attic.

In the basement we have a router, and a 24 port switch uplinked to the router. Everything else connects to the switch.

Tuners connect to the switch
HTPC, and other PC's connect to the switch.
Extenders connect to the switch.

There are no HDMI runs, RF repeater for remote, or HDMI switchers. Everything is done over network, ala IPTV.

It truly is your own little IPTV universe with 6 subscribers...

Here is a diagram of our set up....

We also have 2 way baby monitor cameras on the network (can use phones/tablets/laptop/desktop as baby monitor), additional routers turned AP's to provide uniform wi-fi coverage, and other computers on the network.
WOW blueiedgod you just blew it out of the water and made it seem VERY intimidating to me, it will take a bit of time to soak your set up in but at the same time I am SUPER interested in building my set up to hopefully come close to what your running...But like I said its going to take some time for me to figure it all out and go one step at a time... I have TWC coming in on Monday to have my basic set-up of Cable and my internet...it will all be temporarily set up until I get a handle on where to begin.....I still have my DTV and all boxes set up and will eventually withing a week or 2 call to cancel service before another billing cycle starts..but hopefully I will be on my way on this new venture with IPTV....I mainly have 1 plasma in the bedroom I will start the process with I guess....then once I get the hang of things I will tackle my Living room with my Denon 4250 AVR 7.2 set up with my 65" Panny Plasma... But I have to start with the bare bones of the system first and foremost..WiFi router, modem,PC,multiport switch,home network,1 extender(not sure which one?) for bedroom Plasma (wife uses this set most of all)etc. then I can build onto the house set up from there....until then everything else will have just basic cable and that's it....I'll have to run some RG6 for temp TV for some rooms for now....

I'm hoping you don't mind helping me out along the way? At least till I get a little more confident in this technology and have the basics covered You may have to send me a bill if I ask for to much help/guidance?
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post #18 of 90 Old 08-24-2014, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok , so I've been reading a ton of posts about WMC and others about HTPC and still a bit intimidated but yet see know other choice to have the best of both worlds once I get the hang of things...A ton of debate on codecs and software with alot of what seems to be battles by very knowledgeable folks out there about the best route and equipment/software to go with of course depending on so many peoples specific needs, sometimes find it all rather confusing for a noob like myself.

Lots of debate out there with buying a pre-built HTPC for your own specific needs or building your own for a bit cheaper(especially if your a PC guru and/or have some of the parts already ) which I am by no means a guru, allot of the software and how-to's really confuse me....Still trying to figure out if XMBC is the same as WMC ?

All I am looking for at this moment is the basic 1-2 TV set-up through a cable card (if needed) with basic cable from TWC and DVR capabilities but at the same time be able to add to the set up with up to 6 TV's total down the road.And eventually be able to access a 1TB portable drive I have with a bunch of movies on it.

Also not sure if I should start a completely new thread with what I am wanting to do now compared to my title and prior thought process of this one?

Anyhow , I pulled out an older tower from 5-7 years ago and was contemplating on possibly using it or at least what I can salvage from it to upgrade it to an HTPC or if its easier to just purchase a refurb desktop thats pretty much ready and able to do what I need for now but room to upgrade at a later date if needed? or just look into spending a bit more and having one built to suit my specific needs by someone who really knows what is best??

It has a Abit KD7 motherboard


Ever MPT-301 300W power supply

large case (not sure of name)






Other items laying around.

LINKSYS 10/100/1000 Gigabit 8 port workgroup switch
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post #19 of 90 Old 08-24-2014, 08:19 PM
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Rome was not built over night, neither has our "whole house DVR" system.

Start small, but keep in mind that you will be expanding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadking00 View Post
WOW blueiedgod you just blew it out of the water and made it seem VERY intimidating to me, it will take a bit of time to soak your set up in but at the same time I am SUPER interested in building my set up to hopefully come close to what your running...But like I said its going to take some time for me to figure it all out and go one step at a time... I have TWC coming in on Monday to have my basic set-up of Cable and my internet...it will all be temporarily set up until I get a handle on where to begin.....I still have my DTV and all boxes set up and will eventually withing a week or 2 call to cancel service before another billing cycle starts..but hopefully I will be on my way on this new venture with IPTV....I mainly have 1 plasma in the bedroom I will start the process with I guess....then once I get the hang of things I will tackle my Living room with my Denon 4250 AVR 7.2 set up with my 65" Panny Plasma... But I have to start with the bare bones of the system first and foremost..WiFi router, modem,PC,multiport switch,home network,1 extender(not sure which one?) for bedroom Plasma (wife uses this set most of all)etc. then I can build onto the house set up from there....until then everything else will have just basic cable and that's it....I'll have to run some RG6 for temp TV for some rooms for now....

I'm hoping you don't mind helping me out along the way? At least till I get a little more confident in this technology and have the basics covered You may have to send me a bill if I ask for to much help/guidance?

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 #20 of 90 Old 08-24-2014, 08:27 PM
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With socket A motherboard, the fastest CPU you can get is Athlon 3200+, which will struggle running WMC for one TV with one tuner.

I know for sure, because I have an MSI MEGA180 that I revived and it runs, but you can not do much, not to mention that I had to add an AGP video card that has HDMI and HDCP compliant.

If you are intimidated by WMC, XBMC is more difficult to set up, and you still need to run WMC in the background, unless you want to pay for the TV listings guide subscription.

If you start out with an AM3 or FM2 motherboard, you will have some upgrade path, as you add more TV's and need to up the number of CPU cores. OR just start out with a quad core, and be done with it.


Edit: Save this PC for your future server/NAS. You will need it once you/wife discover that you can record whatever you want...


Quote:
Originally Posted by roadking00 View Post
Ok , so I've been reading a ton of posts about WMC and others about HTPC and still a bit intimidated but yet see know other choice to have the best of both worlds once I get the hang of things...A ton of debate on codecs and software with alot of what seems to be battles by very knowledgeable folks out there about the best route and equipment/software to go with of course depending on so many peoples specific needs, sometimes find it all rather confusing for a noob like myself.

Lots of debate out there with buying a pre-built HTPC for your own specific needs or building your own for a bit cheaper(especially if your a PC guru and/or have some of the parts already ) which I am by no means a guru, allot of the software and how-to's really confuse me....Still trying to figure out if XMBC is the same as WMC ?

All I am looking for at this moment is the basic 1-2 TV set-up through a cable card (if needed) with basic cable from TWC and DVR capabilities but at the same time be able to add to the set up with up to 6 TV's total down the road.And eventually be able to access a 1TB portable drive I have with a bunch of movies on it.

Also not sure if I should start a completely new thread with what I am wanting to do now compared to my title and prior thought process of this one?

Anyhow , I pulled out an older tower from 5-7 years ago and was contemplating on possibly using it or at least what I can salvage from it to upgrade it to an HTPC or if its easier to just purchase a refurb desktop thats pretty much ready and able to do what I need for now but room to upgrade at a later date if needed? or just look into spending a bit more and having one built to suit my specific needs by someone who really knows what is best??

It has a Abit KD7 motherboard


Ever MPT-301 300W power supply

large case (not sure of name)






Other items laying around.

LINKSYS 10/100/1000 Gigabit 8 port workgroup switch

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 #21 of 90 Old 08-25-2014, 05:06 AM - Thread Starter
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With socket A motherboard, the fastest CPU you can get is Athlon 3200+, which will struggle running WMC for one TV with one tuner.

I know for sure, because I have an MSI MEGA180 that I revived and it runs, but you can not do much, not to mention that I had to add an AGP video card that has HDMI and HDCP compliant.

If you are intimidated by WMC, XBMC is more difficult to set up, and you still need to run WMC in the background, unless you want to pay for the TV listings guide subscription.

If you start out with an AM3 or FM2 motherboard, you will have some upgrade path, as you add more TV's and need to up the number of CPU cores. OR just start out with a quad core, and be done with it.


Edit: Save this PC for your future server/NAS. You will need it once you/wife discover that you can record whatever you want...


Quote:
Originally Posted by roadking00 View Post
Ok , so I've been reading a ton of posts about WMC and others about HTPC and still a bit intimidated but yet see know other choice to have the best of both worlds once I get the hang of things...A ton of debate on codecs and software with alot of what seems to be battles by very knowledgeable folks out there about the best route and equipment/software to go with of course depending on so many peoples specific needs, sometimes find it all rather confusing for a noob like myself.

Lots of debate out there with buying a pre-built HTPC for your own specific needs or building your own for a bit cheaper(especially if your a PC guru and/or have some of the parts already ) which I am by no means a guru, allot of the software and how-to's really confuse me....Still trying to figure out if XMBC is the same as WMC ?

All I am looking for at this moment is the basic 1-2 TV set-up through a cable card (if needed) with basic cable from TWC and DVR capabilities but at the same time be able to add to the set up with up to 6 TV's total down the road.And eventually be able to access a 1TB portable drive I have with a bunch of movies on it.

Also not sure if I should start a completely new thread with what I am wanting to do now compared to my title and prior thought process of this one?

Anyhow , I pulled out an older tower from 5-7 years ago and was contemplating on possibly using it or at least what I can salvage from it to upgrade it to an HTPC or if its easier to just purchase a refurb desktop thats pretty much ready and able to do what I need for now but room to upgrade at a later date if needed? or just look into spending a bit more and having one built to suit my specific needs by someone who really knows what is best??

It has a Abit KD7 motherboard


Ever MPT-301 300W power supply

large case (not sure of name)






Other items laying around.

LINKSYS 10/100/1000 Gigabit 8 port workgroup switch
Thanks for putting the brakes on for me man...I do tend to get ahead of myself when something comes up I really wanna do....
Sounds like I'll start looki g for a quad core and be done with it like you said..do it once the first time and add to it...a room , a switch upgrade if/when needed and an extender/tuner as I go....just need the one room for now to transition the wife smoothly..
Gotcha on the NAS build too...thanks..

Any other minimum needed specs I should look for on the PC hunt ?
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post #22 of 90 Old 08-25-2014, 06:50 AM
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Minimum specs?

For a 4 TV set up, I would look for a quad core CPU, basically match the CPU core count to the number of TV's you will have on at the same time.

If you are going to have 6 TV's in the house, but only 3 of them will be used at the same time, then you don't need a 6-core CPU, a 3-core or 4-core will do.

I would look for at least 8 GB of RAM, RAM is cheap, as long as the OS can use it. 32 bit windows can't address more than 4 GB or RAM, so, it will be a waste of RAM to put more than 4 GB in a 32 bit system, but 64 bit system can address more depending on the version you get.

Quote:
Starter: 8GB
Home Basic: 8GB
Home Premium: 16GB
Professional: 192GB
Enterprise: 192GB
Ultimate: 192GB
So, Windows 7 64 bit Premium and up is the way to go.

On board HDMI with HDCP support (newer CPU's have that built into them, they are called APUs) will make life easier since there will be less heat generating components

Since I assume you will keep the HTPC in the wiring closet, the looks of it are of the least importance.

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Thanks for putting the brakes on for me man...I do tend to get ahead of myself when something comes up I really wanna do....
Sounds like I'll start looki g for a quad core and be done with it like you said..do it once the first time and add to it...a room , a switch upgrade if/when needed and an extender/tuner as I go....just need the one room for now to transition the wife smoothly..
Gotcha on the NAS build too...thanks..

Any other minimum needed specs I should look for on the PC hunt ?

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 #23 of 90 Old 08-25-2014, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
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May have used the words "minimum specs" in the wrong context... Thanks, exactly what I was wondering....looks like I should have enough to go with for the PC..and agree looks don't matter, I should be able to find something in a small form factor Ya think ? Or the larger desktop type may be better ?

Thanks again...the journey begins...cable guy coming this morning ...we'll see how that goes..no one that's lived in the house since built in 79' has ever had cable here...always satalite....fortunately I'm an electrician by trade and cann get any wire where needed:smiley: will be the easiest install this cable guy will probably have...

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post #24 of 90 Old 08-25-2014, 07:28 AM
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May have used the words "minimum specs" in the wrong context... Thanks, exactly what I was wondering....looks like I should have enough to go with for the PC..and agree looks don't matter, I should be able to find something in a small form factor Ya think ? Or the larger desktop type may be better ?

Thanks again...the journey begins...cable guy coming this morning ...we'll see how that goes..no one that's lived in the house since built in 79' has ever had cable here...always satalite....fortunately I'm an electrician by trade and cann get any wire where needed:smiley: will be the easiest install this cable guy will probably have...
Sometimes they are not sure what to think, or do. We had TWC come over to "install" cable. Since our installation is not the norm, the installer asked where the box is going, and I told him "nowhere. Look at you ticket, it is a cableCARD install"

The guy gave a "deer in the headlights" stare. He did not have the cableCARD with him, nor could he understand how one can get cable without the box.

Another guy came over with the cableCARD, and asked where the TiVO was. Once again, I told him we did not have a TiVO. Showed him the Ceton InifniTV6 ETH on the rack in the basement. Took the card and inserted it in.

I now had 2 pairs of "deer in the headlights" staring at me....

It took over 2 weeks to get cable TV working with TWC. They did not have the tuning adapter, without which, you can not get anything but the locals with the CableCARD. The one that they mailed to me (charged me $10 for it too) was provisioned for a town 100 miles away.

I had to post on Facebook to get someone to fix it. They also gave us 1 free month "for the troubles"

Verizon is coming in 2 weeks to switch us back to FiOS. Can't wait!

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 #25 of 90 Old 08-26-2014, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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You weren't kidding...the tech was baffled when I only wanted basic cable and no boxes,I mentioned I'll be getting a cable card possibly soon and mentioned a PC in the mix and the glare got even worse...LOL..
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post #26 of 90 Old 08-26-2014, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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This refurb don't seem to bad for the price but doesn't list HDMI with HDCP support ?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...9SIA42J1GP0548
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post #27 of 90 Old 08-27-2014, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
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This refurb don't seem to bad for the price but doesn't list HDMI with HDCP support ?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...9SIA42J1GP0548
It has nVidia Quadro FX1800. Looking on newegg site, it appears to have HDMI, but no mention of HDCP support. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814133272

nVidia site does not mention it either, and it does not look like it supports 1080p
http://www.nvidia.com/object/product...x_1800_us.html

If you like the PC, you can replace the card with a $10 after rebate Radeon 5400 and be on your way. Looks like Quadro sells for about $130.

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 #28 of 90 Old 08-27-2014, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post
It has nVidia Quadro FX1800. Looking on newegg site, it appears to have HDMI, but no mention of HDCP support. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814133272

nVidia site does not mention it either, and it does not look like it supports 1080p
http://www.nvidia.com/object/product...x_1800_us.html

If you like the PC, you can replace the card with a $10 after rebate Radeon 5400 and be on your way. Looks like Quadro sells for about $130.
I'll continue looking around a bit, so many dang choices out there and all seem to have a couple things needed but missing something or I come across some that seem to be overkill or overpriced for what I need.....the search goes on...a buddy of mine at work is telling me just get the parts from Newegg and build what I want....but then that price seems to jump up a bunch and then the time to assemble OS etc.
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post #29 of 90 Old 08-27-2014, 12:56 PM
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I'll continue looking around a bit, so many dang choices out there and all seem to have a couple things needed but missing something or I come across some that seem to be overkill or overpriced for what I need.....the search goes on...a buddy of mine at work is telling me just get the parts from Newegg and build what I want....but then that price seems to jump up a bunch and then the time to assemble OS etc.

I prefer to build, because that way I control the quality of components and features I want.

There have been some barebone kits from newegg recently that were really worthy of HTPC. A buddy of mine got in on one in July, with an SSD and 1 TB drive, quad core APU, motherboard, case, and PSU for under $300.

However, for HTPC duties, I would look for military grade components, solid capacitors, and go from there.

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 #30 of 90 Old 08-27-2014, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I prefer to build, because that way I control the quality of components and features I want.

There have been some barebone kits from newegg recently that were really worthy of HTPC. A buddy of mine got in on one in July, with an SSD and 1 TB drive, quad core APU, motherboard, case, and PSU for under $300.

However, for HTPC duties, I would look for military grade components, solid capacitors, and go from there.
I here ya, I would as well but just not familiar enough with the exact components needed let alone looking into the "military grade" parts/pieces...But completely get your preference, maybe I'll keep browsing the bare bones kits deals on newegg and something like your buddies deal will pop up, after all I'm in NO rush, still have some RG6 to run for now and some cat5e cabling terminations for my network set-up and my 8 port switch and wifi router to finish setting up where I want them plenty to do...
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