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What is the best device for me? Not a cable-cutter.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

My wife needs her Bravo HD, I need my CNN HD, and we need our live ESPN HD so we can't rid ourselves of the devil (Time Warner).

I am looking for a device that can offer the following:

-CableCARD + DVR: Device must function as a DVR and give us a fluid and snappy UI. The Time Warner rental DVRs are atrociously slow.

-802.11 b/g/n streaming of 1080p content from my PC.

-Can handle a variety of video codecs in a wide variety of wrappers (H.264, MP4, MKV, etc)

-Two tuners are sufficient.

-Price is no object

-HTPC absolutely out of the question - space is limited.


I don't give a hoot about OTA, I live in a major metro city and even here the selection is dismal.

If we could have one remote control my TV and this device, that would be a "nice to have" but not necessary.

Is there one device that can do all of this? If not, what TWO devices combined can give me this?

Thanks very much!
post #2 of 6
For what you describe, there is no set-top box, so HTPC is the only solution. Subtract the tuners/DVR, then you have lots of choices. The best regarded streamers are Dune, Popcorn Hour and Mede8er. Re: 1080p over wifi, forget it if you'll be streaming 1:1 1080p BD rips, but possible if they're lower bitrate re-encoded files.

As for exactly which streamer to recommend, you'll need to provide some of your expectations for local media. Need HD audio? Okay with a movie/TV show jukebox that necessitates setting up/managing via a PC? Can do w/o Netflix, Amazon, etc.?
post #3 of 6
What you're describing is an HTPC. The good news is that you can build one even smaller than your current set top box. The bad news is...you wont be getting rid of "The Devil". Where do you think the cable card is going to come from?

http://www.quietpc.com/st-fc5od --- This thing is only 2.5" tall X 17" wide. A Logitech Harmony remote can control the PC and all the rest of your equipment.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brajesh View Post

For what you describe, there is no set-top box, so HTPC is the only solution. Subtract the tuners/DVR, then you have lots of choices. The best regarded streamers are Dune, Popcorn Hour and Mede8er. Re: 1080p over wifi, forget it if you'll be streaming 1:1 1080p BD rips, but possible if they're lower bitrate re-encoded files.
As for exactly which streamer to recommend, you'll need to provide some of your expectations for local media. Need HD audio? Okay with a movie/TV show jukebox that necessitates setting up/managing via a PC? Can do w/o Netflix, Amazon, etc.?

You bring up good questions, I should have clarified up front.

-I don't need 1:1 BD Rips. I'm perfectly satisfied with higher bit-rate encodes of BD movies.

-HD Audio is not needed. I'm ditching my HT setup in favor of a less-cluttered soundbar.

-I could care less about Netflix/YouTube, Amazon, etc.

At this point, I am starting to wonder if I should just stream to my Samsung Smart TV and buy a TiVo and call it a day.

My #1 priority is ease-of-use for my wife and flexibility to get MKV/MP4 movies to stream.

Thanks guys
post #5 of 6
Yes you should get a Tivo. Since you are willing to transcode your movies, it can do that too with the help of another PC on your network, look into pyTivo and other similar options. And you'll get Netflix/Amazon/etc, even though you don't want it now, you may decide you like it once you have it. You will not find a simpler solution to do what you are looking for. Can even do it all with one remote, you'll love the peanut remotes.
post #6 of 6
Wifi could potentially be an issue for 1080p MKV playback depending on the network hardware and sharing type (likely SMB shares from a Windows PC I assume?). Powerline ethernet can be a good option. I've been happy with the WDTV HD Live purely for streaming MKV/avi/ISO etc. from my PC over powerline. I use my Panasonic Smart TV Apps for Netflix and we do not have cable.
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