Originally Posted by bryansj
For the extender, you don't need a Xbox 360 with a hard drive. I recommend a new 4GB Slim model which retails for $200. You can probably grab one for $150 between now and Christmas. The new slim models are very quite and use much less power than the older versions. The older ones are very loud which is annoying when using it as an extender. Plus using the 360 allows you to actually use it as a gaming console.
I just swapped out my two old model ones with Slims. Got a 4GB for $150 and a 4GB with Kinect for $200 on Black Friday.
I don't really need access to the HTPC from the other TVs so buying an xbox for each TV is not going to happen. However, the slims are really nice, I had my original xbox die a few months out of warranty and replaced it with a slim.
I'm thinking I'll put the HTPC in the closet that's between the front living room and the front bedroom. Then I'll feed a TV in front living room using the HTPC and hdmi. The back living room has an xbox so I'll use that as an extender. One bedroom will use the free stb that Verizon gives me and the bedroom close to the HTPC could do with just OTA. We hardly ever watch in that room anyways.
I plan on having a unRaid box in the near future as well so that would go either in the closet or in the garage. The garage is a nice option because it's right at the service feed for the house. I would run Cat6 and coax to each room from the garage. Two runs of each to each room.