Windows Media Center vs TiVo Premiere - Page 25 - AVS Forum
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post #721 of 895 Old 03-20-2014, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tluxon View Post

I'm putting two PCs into service with WMC for a short time in order to record all the NCAA Tournament games. All the games are broadcast live on 4 different networks and there are several times when I have other programs I want to record at the same time.

I'm wondering if there is a way to view a consolidated program guide or something that lets me know what all the tuners are scheduled to do at any time to help me avoid conflicts. Anybody know how to handle this or have suggestions?

Thanks!

Check out this post at TGB, might do what you're looking for. Haven't tried it myself, I use extenders and the easier way to do this is with extra tuners on one PC but I know you're just doing this temporarily.
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post #722 of 895 Old 04-05-2014, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Well I switched my WMC Server around again. Fry's is closing out the older NUCs for as low as $119 for an i3 and I upgraded my Celeron NUC in the dedicated room to an i3. With OpenELEC it takes about five minutes for installation and it was running XBMC's new beta with the WMC Add-on. So boring I decided to add another this time one of the newer models which has space for a 2.5" drive (I installed a Seagate 2TB I ripped out of its external case). I was going to replace the NAS I just sold but said what the heck I'll replace it with a NUC.

 

It also has a built-in IR sensor what works great with WMC and XBMC. I threw Windows 7 Home Premium on it and the worse part was entering my 32 series for recordings. I installed WMCServer and it streams to the two XBMC boxes without an issue. Overall I'm very happy with it as my biggest complaint being I wish they keep them black... although the bare metal doesn't look bad. I know it shouldn't but the HD video appears a little more detailed. Might be the Adaptive Contrast Enhancement now working fairly well.

 


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post #723 of 895 Old 04-06-2014, 08:44 AM
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Very cool. I've used mcBackup several times with good success. So you can avoid re-entering your recording schedule in the future. Just be sure to turn off the part that restores the channel lineup. That will cause problems that are very hard to fix.

Sorry to get OT, but is that a Marantzm nr1403 I see? How do you like it? I'm thinking about replacing my 20 year old receiver with one.


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post #724 of 895 Old 04-06-2014, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Sorry to get OT, but is that a Marantzm nr1403 I see? 

 

This thread is never off topic unless people are complaining about WMC in a rather silly way... :) Yes, that's the NR1403. I have used many a Marantz and overall I like them very much. In this case I happened to sell the receiver in the den and needed something rather fast and Best Buy had it for a good price. I need a receiver without any lights or display so the selection is rather small. Plus, if it's mostly plastic I try to avoid it as well.

 

It's rather dated without Internet access however if you don't care for such it does have a nice sound. I would probably recommend the Denon AVR-E400 at $349. Everyone is blowing them out right now and it's beyond a bargain. The next model down (AVR-E300) basically has the same features other than being 5.1. It's at a blow-out price too... great deal on both.


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post #725 of 895 Old 04-06-2014, 11:02 AM
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Thanks. That 400 looks like exactly what I need, and the price is right. I've been having trouble finding an affordable multi-zone, and would have to jerry-rig the Marantz for that. It even has component with HDMI conversion, which I still need as well.


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post #726 of 895 Old 04-06-2014, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Thanks.

 

I'm not sure what's happening with the price. The new models haven't been introduced yet and typically Amazon and such are $550-$600. I wouldn't be too surprised to see it go back closer to that (until close-out) so I'd jump if interested.


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post #727 of 895 Old 04-15-2014, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Well my 2TB drive ended up being defective. Luckily for me when I ripped it out of its external case I didn't damage the case. I snapped it back together and it looked brand new. Ended up going with a SSD instead since my (new) NAS is up and running. Certainly wasn't fun installing the software all over but what the heck. Digging through the Windows Event Logs I noticed the BIOS was stepping down the CPU to save power. Not sure which NUC setting fixed it but I noticed a difference once the throttle was removed.

 

I love the NUC's form factor but in this case the new models with their state-of-the-art outputs (Mini HDMI and Mini DisplayPort) my adapters take up more room than the computer itself. I also use extender cables for the IR's remote and keyboard. Only the receiver is exposed to the room... so it's actually not that messy. :)

 


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post #728 of 895 Old 04-23-2014, 07:44 AM
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Anyone have experience with the new HDHR tuners?

I'm curious as to opinions on the quality of the HDHR Plus' on-the-fly recoding of the MPRG-2 input stream to H.264.

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #729 of 895 Old 04-23-2014, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

I'm curious as to opinions on the quality of the HDHR Plus' on-the-fly recoding of the MPRG-2 input stream to H.264.

 

I keep checking my local Fry's and they haven't shown up yet. Amazon has them in stock but their reviews are bundled with the older models so it's hard to get a take. I'm not in the market or I would be following a lot closer... Also, since I'm a time shifter viewer (even for live TV) the concept itself doesn't play for me until the DVR aspect is addressed.


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post #730 of 895 Old 04-24-2014, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

I would probably recommend the Denon AVR-E400 at $349. Everyone is blowing them out right now and it's beyond a bargain. The next model down (AVR-E300) basically has the same features other than being 5.1. It's at a blow-out price too... great deal on both.
I managed to snag an E400 for $299 at Frys biggrin.gif . Now I'm off to wade through the hundreds of discrete codes I found to put on my remote.


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post #731 of 895 Old 04-25-2014, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post


I managed to snag an E400 for $299 at Frys biggrin.gif .


I see Fry's has it on sale again this week. Denon must really have a lot of these to blow out. Amazon is still at $349 and has been at $299 off and on. Definitely, a great bang for the buck. They had the AVR-E300 for $199... same sound just less (quite a few) features if one doesn't need them. 

 

For anyone reading along and happens to try iSCSI (with WMC). I might have found a solution to my intermittent recording issue. On a rare occasion WMC would begin four recordings (not sure I have ever seen it with one or two... perhaps three) at once and create the initial 512k file as usual. However it would stop recording at that point without any error being reported. I could still view previous recordings.

 

At first I thought it was NAS related and their iSCSI support or lack of however trying various brand NAS devices I saw the same issue. Which led me to believe it was Microsoft's iSCSI driver. Although I didn't see it with my latest NAS and I was hoping I was good to go. Well after a couple of weeks it happened again and I was ready to give up using iSCSI.

 

Doing another Google round at the issue I ran across a post stating someone with a similar issue using rendering software (I presume a heavy writing activity) found a solution. He was getting Disk Full errors the same as I would get when it occured if I tried to start a recording manually. A reboot of the PC would always correct the issue.

 

His solution was to disable Microsoft Defender and sure enough I'm using it was well. I excluded the iSCSI virtual drive as well as WMC itself and so far so good... knock on wood. I really hope that's it as otherwise I love iSCSI. If not I'll punt as I don't love it enough miss recordings or babysit WMC.


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post #732 of 895 Old 04-27-2014, 04:55 PM
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I'm a newb and have been planning to build and HTPC running WMC via HD Homerun Prime(s) and have been reading through threads (including this one) trying to figure it all out.

Just yesterday I thought that maybe a TIVO might be a better and cheaper solution for me. All I really want to do is replace my two Comcast DVR's with a cablecard device and record and watch TV at two locations. I don't have a big media collection and no real interest in ripping content such as Blu-Ray discs for later viewing. I'm pretty much a watch-it-once and delete it viewer, although I do have a couple dozen Blu-Ray's of musical performances that I'll re-watch occasionally.

TIVO Premier XL/4 boxes with lifetime subscriptions are available for $400-600 and Roamio's for somewhat more. My understanding is that a Premier XL/4 is REQUIRED in order to add one of the TIVO Mini extenders. Four tuners should be plenty.

Any gotcha's or things I'm overlooking? I was actually having fun figuring out an HTPC setup, but it looks as though I can accomplish what I not for quite a bit less going the TIVO route.

TIA for any input.

STP

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post #733 of 895 Old 04-27-2014, 05:41 PM
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Any gotcha's or things I'm overlooking? I was actually having fun figuring out an HTPC setup, but it looks as though I can accomplish what I not for quite a bit less going the TIVO route.
If the price of a used Premier XL4 with lifetime approaches $600, it would be better to buy a Roamio Basic+lifetime for $650. It's newer, faster and also has OTA capability should you ever discontinue cable in favor of an antenna.

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post #734 of 895 Old 04-27-2014, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
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If I was starting from scratch (right now) I would go with TiVo Roamio/Mini. I had TiVo for roughly a decade and dropped them more or less just to try something different. And at this point I wouldn't trade TiVo for my WMC installation. That's just me... although typically I would say you'd be better served with TiVo. Why? It's simply plug and play and any extra cost would disappear over the years of use.

 

In my case WMC works better for several reasons. I do want HTPC access via my den and dedicated room. Mainly the ability to play HD audio/video and the occasional browser/streaming usage in the den. As such my only actual WMC cost is $120 (for two dual HDHomeRun tuners). I record everything to my NAS so storage is free and I already had the PC in my Den (I use dual display) and I use a NUC in the dedicated room for Windows/XBMC/WMC backup should I ever need it.

 

Now I'm not saying WMC requires any great deal of effort to setup or maintain. It's exactly the opposite. However if an issue does arrive it's up to you to resolve not TiVo. Reliability wise I think both are pretty even. I can count on one hand the number of recordings I have missed.

 

Regarding which TiVo hardware I would go with the new stuff. What little extra it costs would probably be offset if you ever punt via its resell value. If you don't punt more than likely it will last longer and pay for itself.

 

Overall if you want to stick to TV and streaming apps (those TiVo supports) TiVo will be your best bet. The moment you want to expand WMC offers a nice solution. It's DVR features are on par with TiVo.

 

Relative expense wise WMC requires very little horsepower. Any NUC you can configure ($300+) will more than handle its duties. For the second viewing area the Xbox 360 at $150 will work like a champ. Only other expense is the tuners... $110 for three (supports cable) at Amazon right now. 


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post #735 of 895 Old 04-28-2014, 04:41 AM
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Yep, after Comcast finally activated Xfinity on Demand for Tivos in the ATL and my Win7 HTPC suddenly decided out of the blue to break my Linksys DMA2100 extender, I bit the bullet and got a Roamio Plus and a couple of Minis. I'm going to ditch WMC for good - selling my old Tivo Elite and one of my Xboxes + the Linksys + the HDHomerun Prime tuner should get a good chunk of the almost $1k that I spent on the new setup back.

And I'll also save $7.45 a month by returning the extra Cablecard that I'll no longer need.

For anyone interested in going whole house with a Roamio + Minis, there's a couple of sellers on fleabay advertising discount codes that will save you a ton of money. Just search for Tivo discount code there and offer them $30 or so for a code when you're ready to buy. Roamio Plus w/lifetime is $600, Minis are $174 and you can throw a bigger drive in the Roamio by yourself (only difference between Plus and Pro is 1TB vs. 3TB drive).
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post #736 of 895 Old 04-28-2014, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

If the price of a used Premier XL4 with lifetime approaches $600, it would be better to buy a Roamio Basic+lifetime for $650. It's newer, faster and also has OTA capability should you ever discontinue cable in favor of an antenna.[/quote

Kelson,

Thanks for the input. I'm going work out the costs and then make a decision.

RE the Roamio Basic--I was told by a TIVO tech support person that it would handle both OTA AND cablecard, but only one at a time. Another tech told me that the Series 4 XL would handle both simultaneously. I really would like to retain OTA capability and maybe cut the Comcast TV out entirely. Right now, Comcast is my only source of broadband and their basic digital starter TV package + broadband equals the cost of broadband alone. Plus there are a few channels that we watch that aren't available OTA (as far as I know).

Can you comment on the ability of the Roamio vs Series 4 doing simultaneous OTA and cable?

Best,
STP

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post #737 of 895 Old 04-28-2014, 11:39 AM
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Can you comment on the ability of the Roamio vs Series 4 doing simultaneous OTA and cable?
A series 4, Premier XL (2-tuners) is different from a Premier XL-4 (4-cable tuners). With the introduction of the 4-tuner Roamio Basic you can set it up to use either cable or OTA but not both simultaneously like you could with the 2-tuner Premiers. However, the 4-tuner Premier XL-4 is a cable-only DVR and has no OTA capability. If you want 4 tuners and at least the option of using OTA at a future date you need to buy the Roamio Basic.

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post #738 of 895 Old 04-28-2014, 11:41 AM
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I used to have a Series 4 XL. I could record any combination of any 2 cable or OTA channels at the same time. I don't know how Roamio works. Since you ultimately only want to do one or the other, it wouldn't matter. Keep in mind, only the dual tuner Premieres had OTA, not the quad tuner ones. For a whole home solution, I'd go with Roamio and Minis. Each Mini with lifetime is another couple of hundred bucks. That's a pretty good chunk of change up front

EDIT: From the looks of our simultaneous posts, Kelson and I agree.


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post #739 of 895 Old 04-28-2014, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
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One thing worth noting is if I dropped WMC (for TiVo) I would sorely miss the ability to use WMC on my PC. I'm at it for untold hours and I often take advantage of viewing various content either in the background or for more or less dedicated viewing. Oh, I know I could transfer recordings and view them via one method or another. But that's not the same... having unlimited and instant access to live TV and recordings is something you quickly take for granted. Much like when I went from two to four tuners... you can't go back.

 

 

 


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post #740 of 895 Old 04-28-2014, 02:40 PM
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Thanks for all the input--especially for clarifying the OTA capabilities of the various Tivo boxes. I'll have to make sure to check anything I hear from Tivo tech support here before I take the plunge.

I haven't decided which way to jump yet. I'm going to re-read this entire thread and then try to put together a cost-comparison, but before I do that I need some help clarifying the networking involved in either solution.

To summarize the current setup: Comcast cable signal coming into home office via a Surfboard DocSys 3.0 cable modem which I own. Cat 5 cable to 8.11n router in office. Powerline adapters carry Ethernet to home entertainment center in living room. Bedroom relies on wireless. Each location has an AVR, Roku box and BD player and living room also has a Logitech Squeezebox Touch--which rarely gets used because it's clunky interface to music library on PC. Everything currently works fine. I can stream and record simultaneously on both systems without any drop in quality--at least that I notice.

The networking issue that I don't have my wits wrapped around yet is how to wired access to the two locations. My HTPC-based plan had me running Ethernet cable to the two locations. I had a couple of local guys over to estimate the cost of putting in two drops and they kind of surprised me with a ballpark figure of around $1K--based on a full day for a 2-man crew. I thought that was kind of ridiculous--but what do I know? Our house has a flat roof with only a craw space over the garage--so I can guess that it might take some work to get up there and get cables strung.

Adding $1K to my budget-which I was figuring would be about that amount TOTAL, wasn't appealing at all, so I started researching Powerline adapters again. The latest/greatest appears to be Homeplug AV2 with a marketing rating of 500 Mbps, which various forums report translates to 20-140 Mbps--numbers are all over the place. Some people report no problem at all streaming HD audio/video, others warn against even trying it. TP-Link also announced a 1 Gbps adapter at CES in January, but it isn't on the market yet--"Q2 2014..." IF Powerline is a viable option, then I have a relatively cheap option.

Now comes my confusion/ignorance. The house does have 3 (or possibly 4) "live" coax cables now--the two current DVR/settop boxes are obviously hooked up to them. I've heard and read the MOCA adapters could be a cheap solution, but I don't understand exactly how they work and whether I would have to convert my whole network to MOCA, or if putting a MOCA adapter at the router and another at each of the other two coax cables and then a switch at the other end would give me a hybrid type network? I also was told by TIVO techs that any Tivo MINI has to have a physical connection to the coax. I had been thinking that a Mini would act like an Xbox or Ceton (or other) extender and would talk to the "main" Tivo just like an extender to the "main" HTPC. I don't get why the mini needs to be connected to the coax.

Anyway, I can feel my own confusion when I try to explain it!

One other tangentially related question: if I go with Ethernet I was planning to upgrade my router and two switches to gigabit also. Does the speed of the WAN port on the Surfboard cable modem come into play? IOW, does it have to be gigabit also--or does it not matter since all it is doing is transporting the cable signal to the router?

Sorry for the long posts. Not-well-understood stuff always sounds complicated, I guess. TIA for any enlightenment.

STP

Best regards,

Stephen T. Porter
ABQ, NM
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Moca is designed for carrying cable TV and ethernet on the same wire. That's what I use in my house. Technically I use something a little different since I have no cable TV signals to worry about, only to my main WMC box. The same would be the case for a Roamio plus Minis. Tivo uses Moca natively. People are more likely to have a coax network throughout their home than ethernet, so Moca is a more universal solution.

Power line was very hit and miss in my house. I would have to reboot it every few months. It might work fine for you though. My Moca (Deca actually) has been 100% reliable in the 5 rooms I'm using it in, and very cheap ($8 per node).

I wouldn't worry about the WAN port on your modem unless your internet service is greater than 100Mbps.
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post #742 of 895 Old 04-29-2014, 04:24 AM
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My head is hurting ..... I seem to have wandered into an area where I am definitely over my head regarding MoCA networking. This is definitely a detour from the main subject on this thread, so if anyone has a suggestion where it might be better to post these questions, feel free.

I've been reading everything I can find on the Tivo site about MoCA and still don't have a clear idea of how to set it up and how a combined MoCA / Ethernet network might work. Putting a MoCA adapter at the point where the Comcast coax hits the cable modem and another at the router?

I also ran across several threads on the Tivo Community forums as well as the official Tivo Help Forums, where users are loudly complaining about Tivo support washing their hands of any problems involving networks that uses "switches or hubs of any kind." Here's a relevant example. I'm obviously no expert in this, but the idea of a "switchless" network in a world where consumer-grade routers typically have four ports only is unfathomable. I already have two switches on my home network in order to accommodate the devices I already have. Some posters on these threads counsel just using good quality switches and all should be OK. But, unless Tivo's official policy is being misrepresented, this scares me! Especially after already having received incorrect info on the Series 4's from the telephone tech support.

Back to the books....

STP

Best regards,

Stephen T. Porter
ABQ, NM
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post #743 of 895 Old 04-29-2014, 02:39 PM
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You're over-thinking this. Here's how Tivo explains it:
http://www.tivo.com/my-account/how-to/what-moca#securemoca

I can completely understand Tivo not supporting all the crazy network configs someone could have. They need to ensure their devices can talk to each other on a simple network, that's it. Throw in all the other switches and routers you want at your own risk. It will work fine if done correctly. But Tivo can't and won't fix a bad network. Sure some people are going to have problems of their own making, but not many. My network has one router and 4 switches ranging from 4 to 16 ports on both my Moca and ethernet networks in several rooms. My old Tivo worked fine as does my current WMC/Extender system plus many, many other devices.

When you get your Roamio, plug it into your router. When you plug the Roamio and Minis into your coax, they'll all be talking over Moca. The only additional thing you should do is put in a POE filter where the cable comes into your house.

I don't have Tivo, but I do have Moca (Deca in my case) because I didn't want to drop a grand rewiring my house either, so I use a different topology. But the concept is the same. Something bridges your LAN to your coax network. In your case that your Roamio connected to your router. In mine it's a Moca adapter connected to my router. Then everything on your coax network now has internet access (and LAN) in addition to cable TV signals. Connect any other Moca device anywhere to join your LAN.


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post #744 of 895 Old 04-29-2014, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

You're over-thinking this.

Who? Me??? ;-)

Quote:
I can completely understand Tivo not supporting all the crazy network configs someone could have. They need to ensure their devices can talk to each other on a simple network, that's it. Throw in all the other switches and routers you want at your own risk. It will work fine if done correctly. But Tivo can't and won't fix a bad network. Sure some people are going to have problems of their own making, but not many. My network has one router and 4 switches ranging from 4 to 16 ports on both my Moca and ethernet networks in several rooms. My old Tivo worked fine as does my current WMC/Extender system plus many, many other devices.

When you get your Roamio, plug it into your router. When you plug the Roamio and Minis into your coax, they'll all be talking over Moca. The only additional thing you should do is put in a POE filter where the cable comes into your house.

I don't have Tivo, but I do have Moca (Deca in my case) because I didn't want to drop a grand rewiring my house either, so I use a different topology. But the concept is the same. Something bridges your LAN to your coax network. In your case that your Roamio connected to your router. In mine it's a Moca adapter connected to my router. Then everything on your coax network now has internet access (and LAN) in addition to cable TV signals. Connect any other Moca device anywhere to join your LAN.

I've got a better handle on the MoCA adapters and how to hook them up and it looks like it's not that complicated. I can get a Roamio (basic) + Mini with lifetime service for about $700 (new). Another $150.00 for MoCA adapters. In some ways I'd still rather have an HTPC to tinker with....We'll see how it shakes out.



Thanks again for chiming in.

STP

Best regards,

Stephen T. Porter
ABQ, NM
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post #745 of 895 Old 04-29-2014, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Porschefan View Post

 In some ways I'd still rather have an HTPC to tinker with....We'll see how it shakes out.

 

When I switched from TiVo to WMC I had the same desire. TiVo was beyond boring and I was ready for something different if that makes sense. At the same time I wasn't willing to give up reliability. Luckily, WMC is very reliable. Virtually every issue I have had is iSCSI based and I believe I have finally resolved that. Now if you going to use WMC and nothing else I'll get bored very quickly. In my case XBMC and a few other apps let me tinker on my schedule and WMC merrily runs.

 

Virtually any PC with HDMI will run WMC and your only investment would be the tuners. You either have 30-days to return them or sell them later if you decide to punt. That's how I started... after 30-days I wasn't willing to go back. Now it's been almost two years...


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post #746 of 895 Old 04-30-2014, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Porschefan View Post

Who? Me??? ;-)
I've got a better handle on the MoCA adapters and how to hook them up and it looks like it's not that complicated. I can get a Roamio (basic) + Mini with lifetime service for about $700 (new). Another $150.00 for MoCA adapters. In some ways I'd still rather have an HTPC to tinker with....We'll see how it shakes out.
I'm no Tivo expert, but I'm pretty sure Roamio and Mini have Moca built in. No need for any adapters unless your Roamio can't be plugged into your router. It would probably be worthwhile to run at least one cat5 cable from your router to your Tivo to avoid having to buy any adapters.

FWIW, my first HTPC was about $50 plus a couple hundred more for tuners, extenders, memory and storage. I don't like TV enough to pay nearly a grand for it.


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post #747 of 895 Old 04-30-2014, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

I'm no Tivo expert, but I'm pretty sure Roamio and Mini have Moca built in. No need for any adapters unless your Roamio can't be plugged into your router. It would probably be worthwhile to run at least one cat5 cable from your router to your Tivo to avoid having to buy any adapters.

FWIW, my first HTPC was about $50 plus a couple hundred more for tuners, extenders, memory and storage. I don't like TV enough to pay nearly a grand for it.

The Roamio base model lacks MoCA built in, the Plus and Pro models do, but if your using just Mini's and a Roamio will only need one MoCA adapter to extend the network over coax.

The setup would look something like this:

Roamio<->Ethernet<-v
Cable Modem<--->Router<->MoCA adapter<->Coax<->Mini(s)
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post #748 of 895 Old 04-30-2014, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

I'm no Tivo expert, but I'm pretty sure Roamio and Mini have Moca built in. No need for any adapters unless your Roamio can't be plugged into your router. It would probably be worthwhile to run at least one cat5 cable from your router to your Tivo to avoid having to buy any adapters.

FWIW, my first HTPC was about $50 plus a couple hundred more for tuners, extenders, memory and storage. I don't like TV enough to pay nearly a grand for it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles O View Post

The Roamio base model lacks MoCA built in, the Plus and Pro models do, but if your using just Mini's and a Roamio will only need one MoCA adapter to extend the network over coax.

The setup would look something like this:

Roamio<->Ethernet<-v
Cable Modem<--->Router<->MoCA adapter<->Coax<->Mini(s)

I think I'm making progress....slowly.

I think I've got my wits wrapped around the MocA/Ethernet now. I went to some of the adapter mfgr's websites, re-read the articles on the Tivo site and spent about 15 minutes on the phone with the Tivo tech support line. My understanding now aligns with what Charles O just posted. I also learned that Charles O's comments on the Tivo models is right on. Charles correctly points out that the Roamio Basic lacks built-in MoCA support, so requires two MocA adapters--one at the cable modem to the router and another at the site of the Roamio. Using a Mini for the 2nd location will use it's built-in MoCA support. Another option I hadn't thought of was to get two Roamio's. According to Tivo they will talk to each other via wireless, so nothing further needed. They won't share a single recording database, but each could use the other's. Overall that doesn't make much sense since the Mini is so cheap. The more expensive Roamio's offer streaming to mobile devices too, but that doesn't really appeal to me.

I'm not quite ready to pick HTPC or Tivo yet. But if I understand MoCA correctly, it will provide a solution for EITHER. With a couple of MoCA adapters I will have Ethernet all over the house and I can use that either for Tivo's OR HTPC's. Right? So the expense of getting cabling in for HTPC by running new cables is bypassed.

If I'm right about MoCA turning my existing coax into Ethernet, I think at this point the hardware costs for HTPC or Tivo are roughly the same. I just don't happen to have any older or extra PC's around, so I was counting on spending AT LEAST $500 to get something suitable. The idea of an i3 NUC really has a lot of appeal, but I'm sure I could find something suitable cheaper than that. And I'm not sure whether attaching an USB 3.0 hard drive for storage would work.

Part of the tinkering factor pointed out by Charles R, one of the appeals of the HTPC is the fact that this path can get various HD audio codecs supported. I don't have a lot of source material where that matters, but I do have a nice 5.1 setup in the living room and the HD audio option is a nice one to keep open. (I'm assuming that TV audio is whatever it is, at least at this point, so HD audio isn't really relevant?) Using an extender (Xbox) also cuts out the HD audio, but that's fine, especially for the bedroom system.

I also called Comcast to go over my options and to my great surprise I actually got a great person--pretty unusual in my experience. This wasn't a technical rep, but a sales supervisor from somewhere offshore, but he couldn't have been more helpful, friendly, patient and accomodating. Short story is Comcast extended some promotions that drop my cable bill out of the stratosphere and down to what I consider manageable. When I pick a soluttion and turn in my two DVR's my bill will drop to below $100/month for 25 Mbps internet and the full Premium Plus channel lineup (no difference if I dropped down a tier). This deal goes for 1-year so I'm pretty happy with that and some of the (self-imposed) pressure to get this done NOW, is alleviated.

So I'm going to keep mulling this over and start looking for good deals on components. I find, for me anyway, if I can stand the pain of not knowing what to do exactly and just be patient, the "right" way (for me) will get clearer. Getting though the question of expanding network throughout the house, really opens things up.

Thanks again for the guidance so far. It's been very helpful. And a special tip of the hat to Charles R. for creating the backbone of this really well-done and informative thread.

Best,
STP

P.S. As mdavej points out, this is a lot of energy to put into WATCHING TV.... ;-).

Best regards,

Stephen T. Porter
ABQ, NM
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post #749 of 895 Old 04-30-2014, 07:06 PM
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Wow, talk about complicating things. Some of the posts here are so winded and technical I get dizzy trying to read them.

My WMC setup couldn't be simpler and I couldn't be any happier. I have a nice DVR but hardly use it anymore. The picture quality coming out of the laptop is as good the DVR or my late model flat TV.

HDHomerun tuner bought on sale for $60.

Laptop bought on sale for $350.

USB 3.0 2TB pocket hard drive bought on sale for $70.

Winegard flat wall antenna bought on sale for $22.

VideoRedo editing software bought full price for around $100.

Everything can fit inside a laptop backpack, and I have taken it to different cities on my travel.
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post #750 of 895 Old 04-30-2014, 07:42 PM
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So far the lowest price I've seen for a brand new Moca kit (1 receiver & 1 transmitter) is this one: http://www.meritline.com/mygica-coma-cable-kit---p-68646.aspx
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