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Help with HTPC and FIOS

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hi All, I am looking to sign up with Verizon Fios and I want to build a HTPC to go along with it. I have two concerns, will I have any lag or interruption in the picture when I watch a live feed while having a program record in the background? Also, This will be setup to one tv, do I need a quad tuner or something like that?

Thanks
post #2 of 28
First you need to call Verizon and ask if they provide M-Cards for cable tuning in your area.

Any lag or stuttering will be dependent on the hardware/software choice for your HTPC.

To watch other TV's in the house you will need to use media extenders (Xbox 360, additional computers, etc.

A quad tuner is a good choice if you plan to use more than one TV simultaneously.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
I will call them tonight, so I don't need a quad core to record multiple shows at once? I would like to record up to 3.
post #4 of 28
I'm no expert on recording because I have DirecTV but I'm sure someone here can steer you in the right direction.
post #5 of 28
No you don't need a quad core to record multiple shows. Recording is pretty light on the cpu. My htpc has an i3-550 dual core and it handles it just fine. I often record 4 shows at once.

If you want to use multiple tv's you can also look at the Silicon Dust HD homerun Prime. It has 3 tuners. It hooks to your router and is accessibleb from any pc on your network. This
would of course require an HTPC at each tv you want to use.
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post

No you don't need a quad core to record multiple shows. Recording is pretty light on the cpu. My htpc has an i3-550 dual core and it handles it just fine. I often record 4 shows at once.
If you want to use multiple tv's you can also look at the Silicon Dust HD homerun Prime. It has 3 tuners. It hooks to your router and is accessibleb from any pc on your network. This
would of course require an HTPC at each tv you want to use.

Opps, I meant a quad tuner. Sorry
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viperlx View Post

Opps, I meant a quad tuner. Sorry
You need a tuner for every channel that you want to record or watch at once.
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viperlx View Post

Hi All, I am looking to sign up with Verizon Fios and I want to build a HTPC to go along with it. I have two concerns, will I have any lag or interruption in the picture when I watch a live feed while having a program record in the background? Also, This will be setup to one tv, do I need a quad tuner or something like that?
Thanks

The logic is very simple, the number of tuners will determine how many channels you can record/view at the same time. If you want to record 1 while watching another, you will need 2 tuners, if you want to record 2 while watching another, you will need 3 tuners, if you want to record 3 while watching another, you will need 4.

You can do a permutation of the above... i.e. record 4 and view previsourly recorded content.

Verizon FiOS does provide CableCards at $3.99/month that are cabapble of decrypting 6 streams at once.

The lag or interruptions will mostly be determined by the hardware you choose for the machine. Go cheap, and you will pay for it. Go overboard on your hardware, and you are just paying for something you don't need. The trick is to find the perfect balance of cost vs. benefit. That is something you will have to determine, since you know what TV you have, and whether you will be connecting it to the sound system...
post #9 of 28
In Charterland the tuning adapter is the laggy piece, not any hardware I can buy to change that. Channel changes are about 1 to 2 seconds, which may seem like a lot but is not really noticable. I'm willing to bet that FiOS is faster because of the higher thourougput of fiber to the premises.
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

...
Verizon FiOS does provide CableCards at $3.99/month that are cabapble of decrypting 6 streams at once.
...

Where can I get a tuner capable of using all 6 streams?
post #11 of 28
SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime or the forthcoming Ceton.
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime or the forthcoming Ceton.

The prime will require two cablecards.

I do pretty much exactly what you are wanting to do. I have FiOS and get all premium channels. I use a CableCard with a Ceton InfiniTV 4, but also use two AverTV duets to do OTA as well. My HTPC is only an AMD A4 3300 with 4GB of DDR3, which basically has the equivalent of a Radeon 5450 for graphics. I have no problem at all with lag, even while recording 7 streams and watching 1 live or if recording all 8 and watching something recorded or a blu-ray or mkv. No lag if streaming Netflix or Hulu either. Just make sure your signals are good from the wall, and that your HTPC has enough cooling if you're going to go with an internal card. I should also mention that my boot drive is a 60gb SSD, so that could make some difference. The most difference I noticed was obviously boot speed, and menus are always zippy. Will also note, that I mainly built the setup for the football season as I hate missing any college games and I've had no problems recording 7 games at once. Even thinking of going with another InfiniTV before the season starts so there's no conflict with primetime TV since I'm now feeding the whole house. Will probably drop another 4GB of RAM for WAF points. But pretty trouble free setup.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayMPSU View Post

Where can I get a tuner capable of using all 6 streams?

If you are lucky, Ceton InfiniTV6, or Ceton Q appliance.

Just because CableCard is capable or decrypting 6 streams at once, you are still able to decrypt 4 if you use InifiniTV4.
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

In Charterland the tuning adapter is the laggy piece, not any hardware I can buy to change that. Channel changes are about 1 to 2 seconds, which may seem like a lot but is not really noticable. I'm willing to bet that FiOS is faster because of the higher thourougput of fiber to the premises.

FiOS does not use SDV, all of the channels are "there" at all times. with SDV only a handful of channels are "there" at all times (ones that you don't need TA for) and the rest are only served on request.

Channel changing with SDV is even slower if you use the company provided box. Every time you request a channel, a signal is sent to provider's feed computer to serve that channel to you (which takes time) the channel feed is initiated and fed (which takes time) then it is compared with the programming allowances in the CableCard (which takes time) and then it is displayed on the screen.
post #15 of 28
Yeah the higher thoroughput allows all streams to be on the line whereas with Charter Cable it is only fibre to the node so to keep the bandwidth available for internet and everybody else while still providing decent levels of compression they use SDV which isn't quite as quick as Uverse but the PQ is superior and the internet speeds are much better too. At least Charter has the 0.5 trunk coax on the pole outside my house. Uverse is delvering their junk over a pair of 18 to 22 gage copper wires that are decades old. It is unbelievable how proud (read: high price) Uverse is of that system too.
post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by rantanamo View Post

The prime will require two cablecards.
Yes and two tuning adapters if you need them. Which kills it imo. Its basically two tri tuners in one box.
post #17 of 28
Be aware that Verizon Fios is rolling out the copyright bit on their new update. This means that with the SiliconDust or Centon tuners you can only watch and record on the HTPC and play back on the same HTPC. Verizon did this so that they can sell you their all-room DVR. I have the SiliconDust and had to call Verizon yesterday to reset it due to the update. Before the update I could watch and record on any computer on my network but that's over now per Fios support. :-)
post #18 of 28
Hi,

I am thinking of setting up a HTPC to record FIOS programs. I currently pay extra for the HD set top box.

Can you provide more info about the cablecards that's costing $3.99 per month and where it is inserted. I am thinking of getting the Ceton InfiniTV 4 that has capability to record up to 4 shows.

If someone has recently built a quiet and reasonable priced htpc to record up to 4 channels concurrently, please kindly share the aprts used and cost (including remote controls, etc).

Thanks.
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdro View Post

Be aware that Verizon Fios is rolling out the copyright bit on their new update. This means that with the SiliconDust or Centon tuners you can only watch and record on the HTPC and play back on the same HTPC. Verizon did this so that they can sell you their all-room DVR. I have the SiliconDust and had to call Verizon yesterday to reset it due to the update. Before the update I could watch and record on any computer on my network but that's over now per Fios support. :-)

That's only if they choose to flag content as "copy once" instead of "copy freely" as they have prior. I don't think we know how much content will be flagged, certainly the premium channels will change, but I'd be surprised if it's a blanket change to all channels. I haven't seen any changes here yet.
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by avsuser00 View Post

Hi,
I am thinking of setting up a HTPC to record FIOS programs. I currently pay extra for the HD set top box.
Can you provide more info about the cablecards that's costing $3.99 per month and where it is inserted. I am thinking of getting the Ceton InfiniTV 4 that has capability to record up to 4 shows.
If someone has recently built a quiet and reasonable priced htpc to record up to 4 channels concurrently, please kindly share the aprts used and cost (including remote controls, etc).
Thanks.
The cable card is inserted into the Ceton infinitv4

Take a look at Assassins guide. He has plenty of info and and a pretty basic system can handle dvr duties.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1302559/assassins-simple-beginner-htpc-buying-guide
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdro View Post

Be aware that Verizon Fios is rolling out the copyright bit on their new update. This means that with the SiliconDust or Centon tuners you can only watch and record on the HTPC and play back on the same HTPC. Verizon did this so that they can sell you their all-room DVR. I have the SiliconDust and had to call Verizon yesterday to reset it due to the update. Before the update I could watch and record on any computer on my network but that's over now per Fios support. :-)

It is not different than what Cable companies have been doing for a while now. They are simply honoring the content holder's flagging rights. You can still watch Live TV and record on any machine you choose, it is the playback or recorded content that is affected.

If you want to play previously recorded content elsewhere than the original machine, you need to use the venue that was designed into the WMC since day 1, and use Windows Media Center Extender or XBOX 360. It also eliminates double recording of the same content, and offers unified schedule for all TV's in the house, as well as unified playback.
post #22 of 28
A few questions. First is likely a dumb one.
Does a PC running WMC count as an extender? My plan is to have my main PC be the DVR and a second PC as the HTPC with WMC accessing what's recorded on the first.
Does they all have to be WMC to watch live/recorded tv? Or just the one with the ceton card?
Does the cable card still deliver the music channels?

blueiedgod - Your sig mentions the 3.99. I assume this is just for hardware. Additional charges for content (HBO, ...)?
Thanks
Jay
post #23 of 28
PC's cannot act as extenders.
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

PC's cannot act as extenders.
So does that mean I can't stream live TV and recordings to a second PC? Just when you think you're close, it slips away...
post #25 of 28
I have, as of this past weekend, in the New York metro area and all premium and some (AMC, A&E, History,ect.) have the copy bit set now and if you try to watch a recording on another computer on the network it does not allow viewing. A generic upgrade was done on all m-cards in the New York area because HBO, Cinemax,ect. was complaining it was possible to pirate their programming. This is per Fios tech support.
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayMPSU View Post

So does that mean I can't stream live TV and recordings to a second PC? Just when you think you're close, it slips away...
If the content is flagged copy freely then you could watch it on another PC. Most providers lock it down so you can't. Fios was the best for this but that is in the process of changing.

You can set one of the tuners on the ceton as a network tuner. You then assign it to the other pc. But you would still have the issue of the recordings.They could not be shared. You can also get the Silicon Dust HDHomerun Prime which is a network tuner. It plugs directly into your router and any pc in your local network can access the tuners. Same issue with recordings applies.

As for the $3.99 thing he's referring to rental/dvr fees. Instead of paying for the rental fee on the dvr box, and then the dvr service fee, with cablecard you just rent the card and thats all you need (along with the cablecard tuner in your pc of course)
Whatever you pay for the actual service is going to stay the same.
post #27 of 28
So all in all, not as awesome as I was hoping for. That's what I get for being late to the party. Although I'd probably be more upset losing the functionality.
But think this will still do what I need.
post #28 of 28
You need to get yourself an extender and you will be good to go. The xbox 360 is the only one currently being produced but it has limited support for movie files if you plan to watch those too. For TV it will all you want.

If you can wait Ceton has their Echo extender coming out later this year. Should have better support for media playback.
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