100% htpc use since 2009; single box for everything.
Windows 7 MC
hdhomerun (dual OTA)
I might add dish network 211K receiver with a hauppauge colossus to the mix soon.
I have an update on the watchindia.tv service. This service is crap and is not recommended. This watchindia.tv service & their box is a scam. Stay away from this crap at all costs and customer support at its absolute worst.
Where do I start with this colossal fail...Poor quality and buggy software on the box, that crashes all the time.Horrible buffering issues even on a 20Mbps comcast internet account. Their servers simply cannot handle the load.Box required constant...
Cat 5e/6 Ethernet will give you a good base for a good HD streaming setup. Wireless n, powerline etc are a crapshoot, no guarantees.
Its also worth considering an xbox 360 as an extender and hide the old pc in the closet for just recording & streaming duties. This works well for live tv and the task of rendering HD will be on the xbox. Not to mention perks like gaming, kinect, high quality netflix etc.
Servers can do many things without putting a burden on an htpc....
An htpc as a client pc is generally smaller & more power efficient, since most of the storage disks are moved away from it. Unlimited storage expansion is desirable, especially if you store 50GB blu-ray disks on the server. For e.g. A 2TB HDD will run out of space at around 40 blu-rays.
Auto archiving of recorded tv shows
WHS allows simpler backup & remote access to all the PCs in the house