Originally Posted by fishcrazy
I also need to address the issue of my other tv having access to the media center tv to watch the recorded content. I understand that XBox is the only extender currently unless you get one of the discontinued units on ebay. Any inputs on the pros and cons of either method would be appreciated as well as any thoughts of using another HTPC on the other tv which would be connected to the network and possibly share the hard drives. Is that possible and feasable? What exactly is it that the XBox allows the remote tv to see anyway? Is it just the recorded media on the HTPC or can the tv use the tuners to watch live tv and schedule recordings from that remote tv. Thanks again for the help.
Using a real media center extender will have the remote TV act just as if it were connected to the HTPC. The extender "extends" the HTPC experience to another television. You will have the same TV guide/recording definitions (season passes), the same access to live tv through the HTPC tuners, the same access to the recorded TV, the same access to your media libraries setup on the HTPC and more. The only downfalls to using an extender is that many plug-ins that work on a real HTPC will not work on the extender, and some media files will not play without transcoding.
If you put another HTPC on the remote TV then you will not
have access to the same TV guide/recording definitions (season passes), nor will you have access to live tv unless you have a networked tuner or a tuner card in the remote HTPC. You will have access to the same recorded TV, the same access to your media libraries setup on the HTPC, and you will have access to all plug-ins possible on a HTPC (Netflix, ESPN3, Hulu, MSN TV, Boxee, and more).
So the trade off between extenders and a secondary HTPC is mainly that extenders do TV very very well, and a real secondary HTPC does everything else very very well.