Is There A Solution For OTA Whole House DVR - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 12-09-2011, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Am I missing something or is there really a lack of a good dedicated OTA DVR solution that you can do an whole house client/server installation with?

From what I have gathered through reading here and searching the web is that there are really only 1 or 2 workable OTA DVR solutions to begin with. Channel Master and Tivo. Tivo is way overpriced (IMHO) and has a ridiculous monthly guide fee. Channel Master however does not really have a good/reliable guide and cant do a client/server solution from what I read.

Is there anything beyond having HTPC's setup at every TV that will accomplish the below?

Client DVR
* 2 OTA tuners used to watch live TV and PIP / channel preview
* Schedule to and play recordings from a centralized media server
* Local harddrive to buffer live shows for pause / rewind / fastforward
* Plays all popular video and audio formats that can be streamed from centralized server
* Uses popular "widgets" like Netfix, Blockbuster, Amazon, iTunes, etc
* It would be nice if the unit had a BluRay / DVD player as well.

Media Server
* 4 tuners
* Stores all media and all recordings
* Centrally controlled by other DVR's
* Streams requested content to DVR's
* BluRay / DVD player and recorder

The media server is the easy part as there are many alternatives for that. It appears to be the non-HTPC individual TV clients that are lacking here.

From what I want to do, it appears my only option is the have a centralized media server and then laptops or small media pc's at each location with the needed connections (network, HDMI, digital audio). Would you guys with more extensive knowledge in this subject matter agree?

This is what I am looking for overall:
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images...dianetwork.jpg
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post #2 of 6 Old 12-10-2011, 07:16 AM
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If you use 7MC as the DVR, you could go with Xboxes as the extenders instead of having to use HTPCs. Not a huge difference, but it is an option.

You can also buy discontinued extenders from eBay that will work with 7MC.
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post #3 of 6 Old 12-13-2011, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply and sorry for getting back so late, however, I don't think WMC and xBox extenders accomplish what I would like.

While the extenders would work nice being able to stream live TV, it is my understanding that WMC can only support up to 4 Digital OTA tuners. I think I would need at least 6 to make sure that multiple TV's can be in use along with multiple recordings possibly going without having to worry about "tuner tie up". I don't foresee that as a common issue, but none the less a potential issue I don't want to run into.

Also, though I may be nitpicking here, I want BluRay at the TV's without another device and being that MS has failed in all aspects of that I dont see xBox's being the choice client.

Lastly, xBox's are power hogs.
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post #4 of 6 Old 12-14-2011, 09:28 AM
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There is a free software called Tuner Salad that will allow you to increase the # of tuners up to 12.

Blu-Ray and media streaming is why I went with having a 2nd HTPC instead of an extender, that's certainly an area where the XBox is weak.
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-20-2012, 08:55 AM
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I am looking for the same solution for OTA. I want to get rid of cable but I want the DVR/guide functionality for local channels. With the number of people getting rid of cable these days I am surprised that no one has released a solution for this.
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-05-2012, 10:04 AM
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I have been using Windows media center + 2 extenders in my house for 4 years. To my knowledge, it's the cleanest solution for sharing OTA TV. Even my wife/kids can use them.

The downside is that extenders have limitation with internet streaming services such as netflix.

Using laptop (PC) as a client works for internet TVs but it can't play live TV or schedule TV recording in WMC environment. Google "softsled" for the failed attempted project.
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