Originally Posted by lockdown571
I tried the multiple htpc route for about a day before I realized I had made a huge mistake. Each machine will have its own recording schedule and DVR storage. Obviously each machine needs to be awake while recording too. The whole thing was just too complicated IMO. It makes so much more sense to just have one PC on 24/7 with a single recording schedule and all the hard drive storage.
If extenders don't fully meet your needs then I strongly recommend adding a 2nd device. For instance, I have an extender in each room and then an htpc running OpenELEC.
Originally Posted by gsr
Perhaps the focus on accessing protected content is because that's the most important reason to be using extenders in the first place. But there are, indeed, other reasons. You seem to be assuming that people only want to watch Live TV at the other TV's - and if that's all people wanted to do, your suggestion would be fine. But if one wants to watch a recording while it's still in progress, your solution either requires recording the same thing on each PC you might want to watch it on or deal with restarting playback multiple times during the recording as WMC will stop playback at the point the live tv was when you started playback (so if you start 30 minutes into a show, you'll have to restart playback when you reach the 30 minute point and possibly again later assuming you've been skipping over commercials while watching). And while the TV shows may be available on Hulu, the streaming audio and video quality sucks compared to watching it from the tuners and a lot of the Hulu content isn't free - it seems silly to pay for a cable TV subscription and then pay again to watch the content you're already paying for. Despite some cries of doom and gloom, it does appear that Ceton has been making steady progress with the Echo and this is yet another example of why a private beta might have been a wiser move for them.
Originally Posted by gsr
No, each PC would have its own schedule, which is one of the huge downsides to his suggestion. His suggestion is only practical for watching LiveTV and watching completed recordings (not recordings that are still in progress - see my previous reply to his post) of shows that have no protection on them.
I don't have any copy protected channels, but I believe a lock symbol will appear next to the recording in your list of recorded shows.
Based on your first question, I doubt the approach will accomplish what you're hoping for.
Originally Posted by babgvant
You can't do it currently just using WMC + extenders, but it is possible. Personally I think the Echo + something that supports DVD/BD rips (Dune/PCH/etc) would get it done.
Originally Posted by khubo
I guess I just don't see the point of maintaining the menus and all the extras on a DVD. I have converted over 200 DVD's to .WTV files with full picture quality and the DD 5.1 soundtrack. These play perfectly on both my HTPC as well as my 2 Linksys extenders. This strips the menus out as well as the extras but it does give me full control of FF/RW as well as resume (when used with MediaBrowser). Theonly drawbacks for me with this setup are files size (3-6GB per movie) and I haven't found a good solution for BluRay yet, but since I only own about 4 BR discs I just pop the disc in the player.
This makes my Extenders all-in-one boxes and means I only have to do upkeep on one HTPC. I can't even imagine keeping multiple HTPCs up and running.
Just my 2 cents.
Thanks all for the explanations. I'm learning I can't get what I want from an HTPC: whole house DVR with 4+ tuners, and whole house ripped disc playback. My goal was an HTPC in the basement media room, connected with extenders in the living room and bedroom. I could watch TV (live and recorded) in the living room and bedroom. I could watch movies in the basement, and ripped TV DVDs in the bedroom -- including the fantastic commentaries on Futurama.
If I want give up whole house DVR,, I can stay with my Tivos. Maybe upgrade to the Premiere to get 4 or more tuners in the house.
If I give up Blu-ray quality and bonus features, I can do streaming ripped/compressed movies.
I want ripped disc playback, with menus and special features, first because my wife and I watch the bonus materials. Second because its fast and easy. Hard drive space is cheap. I'd rather buy more drives than spend the time necessary to pick the right set of fussy transcode parameters to maximize quality, minimize space, make it play right on the Xbox, pick the right title to transcode, wonder if sub titles are there for foreign films...and then spend the year of weekends getting all the transcodes done.