Is there anything such as Ultimate Streaming Box ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 12-28-2012, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi...been member for a long time, but quite self sufficient so wasn't posting much.

History:
Running HTPC with around 3TB local storage on a main floor last 7-8 years. It used to be just XP Desktop, then XP MCE, Vista MCE and then Win7 MCE.
In the mean time I run Xbox360 MC as an extender to bedroom (hdmi connection).

Present:
Just got E550 Samsung series plasma for basement. It will be run through AVR 2600 HDMI. I do have another XB360 which I use right now as an extender (also PS3). I am not really happy with XB being extender since it doesn't stream more then 2 channels of sound, and it can't really stream nicely ripped 720p or 1080 rips (stored upstairs). It's all hard wired btw. I tried the Samsung's smart capabilities in order to stream movies, but pause doesn't work (which is essential, even though I am used to much more then pausing only).

What I know it would work:
So far, I only see one option and that is to replace my other desktop (this one is in basement) which is my torrent client and iTunes server (running speakers on the deck) operated by Apple Remote and accessed by VNC with another HTPC which will keep doing the same job, but it will also stream content from upstairs. I was thinking about replacing this existing PC with WinHomeServer which would do bunch of automatic backups and essentially replace my DNS-323 (which I can't stand since it keeps disappearing off network last 5 years) as a final destination of all our photos/home videos.


What I would like to be able to do:
Since I don't know much about extenders, I wonder if there is such a box which would allow streaming content from main floor HTPC and provide me with original file's sound, would not hiccup when heavy duty decoding is encountered and look pretty doing it ?


All these components in the basement are stored in furnace room, out of sight and my ears (fat PS3 and original XB360 are really loud) and they both run bluetooth controllers which allow me great deal of control over content through walls. This is great connivance, and I would almost think about actually playing only the original discs, but they do get scratched.
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post #2 of 18 Old 12-29-2012, 05:46 AM
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My suggestion is step away from Microsoft, Windows Media Center and Windows Home Server are both dead in the water, I know that new extender came on the market (beginning with C cant remember the name) but MS has singled their own products have no future.

Go with XBMC or Plex as replacements running under linux or on top of Windows/OSX. Most importantly XBMC is open source and has a future.

* XBMC not only does media playback but also does TV too same as WMC and Xbox extender if thats what you've been using it for.
* Plex is a bit easier for multiple clients, in fact there is one for Samsung smart TV's which might be available for yours.
* You can get XBMC based set top boxes now like the Pivos XIOS DS though it is in beta development so there are still some rough edges.
* You can get a good set top box Plex client for GoogleTV devices like the Vizio Co-Star.
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post #3 of 18 Old 12-29-2012, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I did go away from MS, running hackintosh + iMac as my desktop PCs, and basically the only MS OS I run is W7 MCE for my HTPC. XB extender just cemented W7 choice for HTPC (and yes, I do run analog TV into HTPC).
The reason I wanted to try Win Home Server is because I heard nice things about it, although mostly about (I think older) version that supports adding extra drives (not sure what this feature is, or what it does but noticed reference to it few times). My NAS box is just waste of money so far...I suspect green WD are not compatible with their green nature of shutting down. Also I believe it should be easier to get WHS to monitor some folders and copy/mirror them so it would be just a second location of most of our family stuff.

I do believe in Linux, I used it extensively before getting iMac. I used PCLinuxOX and Ubuntu but OsX does same things just better.

As far as streaming goes, I will probably give technology and software another 4-5 years to mature. I will probably either use another HTPC for time being or keep using XB/PS3 playing physical media with the full sound.
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post #4 of 18 Old 12-29-2012, 03:44 PM
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I started playing around with a WD TV Live to stream media from my PC to my theatre setup. It appears to support a broad range of files (streaming without transcoding I believe) and will stream 5.1 sound as well. These boxes are inexpensive and, along with your other gear, may fill the gap.
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post #5 of 18 Old 12-30-2012, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok thanks.

I believe a friend of mine has a box I can borrow. Although it might be an older one and as such without all bells and whistles of more modern models.
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post #6 of 18 Old 12-30-2012, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkesha View Post

Ok thanks.
I believe a friend of mine has a box I can borrow. Although it might be an older one and as such without all bells and whistles of more modern models.

Try to try the newer version, the WDTV Live SMP, as it is quite a bit different to the older version. Between a HTPC and a WDTV LiveSMP you have most things covered.
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post #7 of 18 Old 12-30-2012, 06:20 PM
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Speaking of this, is there any solution out there (WMC or other) that will allow the "extenders" in other rooms access to a networked tuner like the silicondust prime? From what I've read, maybe the only solution is an xbox.. at least for WMC. I'd like for the other rooms to have separate access to the networked multi-tuner. Would a separate PC in each room be required?

Thanks-
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post #8 of 18 Old 01-02-2013, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Not sure what sillicon dust prime is and where is installed or how it works, but i have hauppage tv card which i feed with analog cable feed and i am able to control it from both xboxes on two different tvs. All options are supported as it was just a local wmce htpc....recording, scheduling, guide...the picture sucks, but thats another story.
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post #9 of 18 Old 01-03-2013, 03:23 PM
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Thanks for the reply- the silicondust is a networked tuner. Basically what I am looking to do is essentially duplicate the features of the traditional cable company supplied DVR and STBs with an HTPC and extenders- or another similar solution so that I can avoid the equipment fees altogether, and be as flexible as I want to be in terms of using cable or just OTA brodcasts.

So, the DVR is taken care of with the HTPC setup. I just need a reliable extender to be able to access the networked tuners and tune live TV in other rooms. I'm not really interested in purchasing multiple xboxes, so I was hoping there was another device out there that would work.

I have heard some interesting things about the Apple TV box running XBMC- may check that out- but if anyone has any suggestions, by all means let me know.
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post #10 of 18 Old 01-03-2013, 04:32 PM
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to use cablecard youre pretty much stuck with media center

I want to die in my sleep like grandpa... not kicking and screaming like the people in his car.
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post #11 of 18 Old 01-03-2013, 07:04 PM
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Thanks Metric-
I've heard that about the cablecard /WMC situation as well- so if I did want to do that, then the same situation still exists- I would then need a WMC extender that is able to access the network tuners- again, not wanting to use xboxes, but preferring to use an extender... from what I have read, most of the extenders that were out there are now discontinued- like the HP x280N and the Linksys DMA2100/2200. Still available on eBay, so I guess I'll pursue that route- again, unless someone has a better suggestion..

Seems like also from what I have read, the WMC/extender solution is kind of out of date... if so, anyone know what the "latest and greatest" solution for this thing is now, or does no one even want to do it anymore?
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post #12 of 18 Old 01-03-2013, 07:39 PM
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SiliconDust has been hinting at a DLNA client for the HDHomeRun Prime. http://www.silicondust.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=47&sid=c6e06b788fd5a1f35e6e368e44418a43
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post #13 of 18 Old 01-03-2013, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradys View Post

Thanks Metric-
I've heard that about the cablecard /WMC situation as well- so if I did want to do that, then the same situation still exists- I would then need a WMC extender that is able to access the network tuners- again, not wanting to use xboxes, but preferring to use an extender... from what I have read, most of the extenders that were out there are now discontinued- like the HP x280N and the Linksys DMA2100/2200. Still available on eBay, so I guess I'll pursue that route- again, unless someone has a better suggestion..
Seems like also from what I have read, the WMC/extender solution is kind of out of date... if so, anyone know what the "latest and greatest" solution for this thing is now, or does no one even want to do it anymore?

Ceton has a WMC extender selling since the end of November. It came ot with a pretty shaky start but the firmware updates are coming very rapidly and the people who have them are starting to be quite upbeat about them. I will buy one pretty soon if I keep reading positive things.I have been using an HTPC for awhile. I have a Tivo HD as a backup but have not accessed in a month or so.

Just another blank signature.
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post #14 of 18 Old 01-04-2013, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradys View Post

Thanks Metric-
I've heard that about the cablecard /WMC situation as well- so if I did want to do that, then the same situation still exists- I would then need a WMC extender that is able to access the network tuners- again, not wanting to use xboxes, but preferring to use an extender... from what I have read, most of the extenders that were out there are now discontinued- like the HP x280N and the Linksys DMA2100/2200. Still available on eBay, so I guess I'll pursue that route- again, unless someone has a better suggestion..
Seems like also from what I have read, the WMC/extender solution is kind of out of date... if so, anyone know what the "latest and greatest" solution for this thing is now, or does no one even want to do it anymore?

Hey ill sell you a dma2100 - its slow as dirt... I was running a WMC with two ceton tuners and used xbox as media extenders. You can convert movies to mpg and they play native on the xbox via the movies menu, it was a pretty nice, integrated setup, cheap but flaky.

Ceton do make a extender - dont know much about it, took too long and they killed the q head end it would appear.

Best "extender" (not wmc) ive ever used was the sage hd300, that thing played everything.

I now run two tivo 4 tuners with 2tb drives in each. My nas is a readynas 3100 i was given, it backs up any shows i mark as keep until deleted, I can then process with videoredo if i want.

I want to die in my sleep like grandpa... not kicking and screaming like the people in his car.
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post #15 of 18 Old 01-04-2013, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradys View Post

So, the DVR is taken care of with the HTPC setup. I just need a reliable extender to be able to access the networked tuners and tune live TV in other rooms. I'm not really interested in purchasing multiple xboxes, so I was hoping there was another device out there that would work.

Whats the reason behind that ?
If it's financial, Xboxes are pretty cheap nowdays and even cheaper if you buy used. All you would need is WMC certified remote in order to have native control.
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post #16 of 18 Old 01-05-2013, 05:30 PM
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Hi Darkesha-

Yes, somewhat financial and somewhat based on reliability and noise, etc. From what I've read about the xbox, it seems to do pretty well as an extender, but there are complaints of noisy fans, etc. Plus, it also seems like they tend to break down alot.. Looking at e-bay it seems like most of them are still going for $120 plus.

This is just what I have read- my son has had one for a couple years now (xbox slim), and it is fine- but I don't think he uses it much.

So, like I said, if the xbox is the best route to go, then I'm willing to take advice from those who know more than me about it. I've just been wondering if there were other options out there.

Thanks for the replies..
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post #17 of 18 Old 01-08-2013, 05:38 AM
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I ran the Xbox slims, I have 4 xboxes lay dormant as I've gone tivo but the new slim is way way quieter than the first design.

I want to die in my sleep like grandpa... not kicking and screaming like the people in his car.
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post #18 of 18 Old 01-13-2013, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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^^^
I got one fatty (gray) and one slim (black) and difference is night and day.
Grey is so loud (god forbid to put DVD in the bay) and I think they were breaking at an alarming rate.
Black is much quitter and I haven't heard much of problems.
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