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Giving up on HTPC -- or have I missed options? - Page 2

post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

Since when can SageTV playback copy once material?

R5000-HD modded cable/sat boxes are not the same as a CableCard tuner. The recordings done with an R5000-HD are not copy protected.
post #32 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

???confused.gif I'm not sure where this statement is coming from. We've had the ability to play Blu-Rays on our PCs for several years at least. You can go back to PowerDVD 10 and earlier versions of TMT for the ability to play Blu-Rays. The Asus Xonar HDAV 1.3 gave us the ability to play HD audio via HDMI back around the end of 2008, IIRC.

I meant, a player hack for VLC that works well.
post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShoutingMan View Post

I've been looking at building an HTPC the past year, and lately thinking I could build it the next few months. But I'm instead concluding that I have to give up on the idea.

I have two basic goals:
* Whole house DVR (centralized programming of 4+ tuners on master device, with DVR / playback in other rooms)
* Whole house Movies / TV series (centralized storage of DVD & Blu-ray rips with playback of movies and special features, at original disc quality, in other rooms)

These two desires are at odds with each other. For the DVR, I need to use extenders (Xbox or Echo). I can't use satellite HTPCs; they require dedicated tuners, individual programming and storage. Worse, they can't stream recorded shows to each other (assuming the copy-flag is set by the cable providers. But for movie streaming, I need satellite HTPCs, since extenders can't play ripped discs (or even high bit rate transcodes).


My disc watching is apparently unconventional, but easy to explain: I enjoy special features and commentaries.
Specifically: I've got three seasons of Community on DVD, unopened. I want to feed those into a (hypothetical) HTPC in the basement. I'll watch them in the bedroom, episodes, and then with commentaries. I also have Band of Brothers and The Pacific on Blu-ray, unopened. I want to feed those into a basement HTPC, and watch in the living room, through the SVS speakers; and then watch the historical, making-of, etc. special features. The only solution I've found with 7MC is full disc rips and satellite PCs.

The Ceton InfiniTV and Echo are on sale for $50 off (bundled) right now. I'd buy if I knew I could make that combo do what I've described. Unfortunately, as it is, I see the HTPC being more dream than reality for my interests.

I could build a movie / disc-only solution with prime and satellite PCs. But it's a lot of money and effort for half a solution, and I'm still spending a big chunk to upgrade the Tivos to get a 4 tuner system.

Is my assessment correct? Or are there solutions I've missed or misunderstood?

You're a pretty tough customer!

I have a windows home server with ~8 Tb of disk space. It hosts (among other things) a ceton infinitv that is network bridged (meaning, I can assign each of the infinitv's 4 HD tuners just about anywhere on my network. I assign two tuners each to each of two different HTPC's (I will not use extenders. I never liked that idea). Both the HTPC's have an auto archive feature that moves recorded content back to the server so shows are watch-able on anything with a screen (not necessarily the HTPC's). This solution works well for casual TV watching & DVR activity.

I have a movie collection on a network share on my server, and the movies (stripped of extra features) are available anywhere on my network. Outside of the movie extras, I think I do just about everything you're looking for. I'd love to see a pause-in-one-room-and-continue-in-another feature, but that's just me fantasizing.
post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajkrishock View Post

I'd love to see a pause-in-one-room-and-continue-in-another feature, but that's just me fantasizing.

Extenders do this. If this is absolutely a necessary feature, then extenders are the way to go. I don't mind fast-forwarding to get back to where I was, but I usually don't change rooms before I'm done with a program/movie. Though this feature does work through Netflix, which is kind of neat.
post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

I meant, a player hack for VLC that works well.

Info on this ?
post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

Looking at the size of the files being played on the Raspberry Pi it's pretty clear that they're been highly compressed. They may have started out as 1080p files but I have no idea what they are in the video. When you take a 30-40GB file and reduce it to 140MB, something has got to give.
...

I don't get where you got that information about the file size. The Raspberry Pi XBMC works similar to the PC version. You have to tell it where the media is, which is not likely going to be on the Pi, but else where on the network such as NAS or PC with shared drive.

This explains about the XBMC on the Pi

here's another one with 1080p video being played:

Granted, these are you Youtube, so I wouldn't expect it to be the same as playing 1080p locally since the frame and birrates will be lower.
post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKANET View Post

Its really too bad SageTV extenders and R5000 modded cableboxes/Dish Network boxes are so hard to find.  SageTV solution still does have everything the OP needs; without any weird limitations whatsoever.  Dont have to deal with "copy once" protection BD ISO/ripped directories work great.  Never had issues with DVD commentaries.  In fact, I just received an update for SageTV Gemstone GUI just recently (makes SageTV use XMBC style menus; even for TV).

This is not option not because the extenders are hard to find, but he can't even get the software. I checked SageTV.com and they still have the message about Google purchasing them. I don't know when that was, but I assume it now has to deal with GoogleTV. Speaking of which, that could be an option as well for set top boxes. I'm not that familiar with it. Doing a quick search, there is Plex client for it (the one for Android), but looks like it's kind of picky of what videos it supports because GoogleTV doesn't support or enable HLS. You may be able to install XBMC since it has a Android client too. Theirs is still in beta. I couldn't find anything quickly if any of the Google TV devices were media center extenders. I thought the device could play DVR recordings; I wasn't able to find anything to confirm it was possible.
post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd View Post

R5000-HD modded cable/sat boxes are not the same as a CableCard tuner. The recordings done with an R5000-HD are not copy protected.

Is this saying that there are mods to Sage R5000-HD's that allow it to record and playback copy-protected CableTV content? I hadn't read this before.
post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovekeiiy View Post

This is not option not because the extenders are hard to find, but he can't even get the software. I checked SageTV.com and they still have the message about Google purchasing them. I don't know when that was, but I assume it now has to deal with GoogleTV. Speaking of which, that could be an option as well for set top boxes. I'm not that familiar with it. Doing a quick search, there is Plex client for it (the one for Android), but looks like it's kind of picky of what videos it supports because GoogleTV doesn't support or enable HLS. You may be able to install XBMC since it has a Android client too. Theirs is still in beta. I couldn't find anything quickly if any of the Google TV devices were media center extenders. I thought the device could play DVR recordings; I wasn't able to find anything to confirm it was possible.

A few things here:
-AFAIK, Google used the SageTV code for it's Google Fiber set top boxes, not Google TV
-Most if not all of the Google TV boxes have HLS support
-I'm not sure if anyone has gotten XBMC to run on a Google TV box yet
-There aren't any Google TV boxes that are also WMC extenders
-Google TV devices can play live TV and DVR recordings by interfacing with your existing cable/satellite TV set top box
post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Is this saying that there are mods to Sage R5000-HD's that allow it to record and playback copy-protected CableTV content? I hadn't read this before.
The R5000-HD is a product of NextCom Wireless, not SageTV. They just happen to support SageTV. The R5000-HD is a daughterboard upgrade to your existing cable/sat set top box that allows it to be used as a tuner. Any channels to which you subscribe will be streamed unencrypted from the STB to your PC and saved as a recording. See http://www.nextcomwireless.com/R5000/home.htm

Note: it is almost impossible to find a compatible STB anymore for the R5000-HD mod. Cable boxes with firewire ports are not compatible.
post #41 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShoutingMan View Post

I've been looking at building an HTPC the past year, and lately thinking I could build it the next few months. But I'm instead concluding that I have to give up on the idea.

I have two basic goals:
* Whole house DVR (centralized programming of 4+ tuners on master device, with DVR / playback in other rooms)
* Whole house Movies / TV series (centralized storage of DVD & Blu-ray rips with playback of movies and special features, at original disc quality, in other rooms)

These two desires are at odds with each other. For the DVR, I need to use extenders (Xbox or Echo). I can't use satellite HTPCs; they require dedicated tuners, individual programming and storage. Worse, they can't stream recorded shows to each other (assuming the copy-flag is set by the cable providers. But for movie streaming, I need satellite HTPCs, since extenders can't play ripped discs (or even high bit rate transcodes).


My disc watching is apparently unconventional, but easy to explain: I enjoy special features and commentaries.
Specifically: I've got three seasons of Community on DVD, unopened. I want to feed those into a (hypothetical) HTPC in the basement. I'll watch them in the bedroom, episodes, and then with commentaries. I also have Band of Brothers and The Pacific on Blu-ray, unopened. I want to feed those into a basement HTPC, and watch in the living room, through the SVS speakers; and then watch the historical, making-of, etc. special features. The only solution I've found with 7MC is full disc rips and satellite PCs.

The Ceton InfiniTV and Echo are on sale for $50 off (bundled) right now. I'd buy if I knew I could make that combo do what I've described. Unfortunately, as it is, I see the HTPC being more dream than reality for my interests.

I could build a movie / disc-only solution with prime and satellite PCs. But it's a lot of money and effort for half a solution, and I'm still spending a big chunk to upgrade the Tivos to get a 4 tuner system.

Is my assessment correct? Or are there solutions I've missed or misunderstood?

So, why not use WMC and Media Center extenders. Rip your BDs/DVDs into a format that is supported by your choice of Media Center Extender. Assuming you don't have a house full of 80" LCD/Plasma TV's, you don't need full 1080p, besides, most of the commentaries and extras are not in 1080p anyways.
post #42 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Info on this ?

There was a supposed hack for VLC to play blu-ray discs. You added a couple of files to the VLC folder and supposedly you were good to go.
post #43 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovekeiiy View Post

I don't get where you got that information about the file size.
The file size was displayed in the video of the Raspberry Pi demo.
post #44 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

The file size was displayed in the video of the Raspberry Pi demo.

Gotcha. I didn't notice it, obviously. I was trying to finding something that showed XBMC overall on Pi. I was really hoping to see if someone had setup the DVR/PVR of XBMC and maybe see a library of recorded TV.
post #45 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Is this saying that there are mods to Sage R5000-HD's that allow it to record and playback copy-protected CableTV content? I hadn't read this before.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd View Post

The R5000-HD is a product of NextCom Wireless, not SageTV. They just happen to support SageTV. The R5000-HD is a daughterboard upgrade to your existing cable/sat set top box that allows it to be used as a tuner. Any channels to which you subscribe will be streamed unencrypted from the STB to your PC and saved as a recording. See http://www.nextcomwireless.com/R5000/home.htm
Note: it is almost impossible to find a compatible STB anymore for the R5000-HD mod. Cable boxes with firewire ports are not compatible.

So you still have to pay to rent a STB if you do this set up? Two years of owning the SD HDHR Prime covers that in my case and it works plus I have no idea if Charter's STB's are compatible and I'd have to by the R5000-HD too.
post #46 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

So you still have to pay to rent a STB if you do this set up? Two years of owning the SD HDHR Prime covers that in my case and it works plus I have no idea if Charter's STB's are compatible and I'd have to by the R5000-HD too.
And purchase SageTV licences (no longer possible) because their MCE driver was not reliable from the reports I've seen.

The R5000-HD may be great for those who already have it but it is not a viable option for a new setup.
post #47 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

I guess this depends on your needs. ..

Multiple HTPCs work best with a network based tuner like the HDHomerun Prime, not the InfiniTV4. Let me see if I can explain the difference...

..

I know this is long-winded, but does this help?
Yes, very informative. I didn't appreciate there were two different tuner-card approaches.

(I've been getting unpacked and installing all the new-house stuff, and am now catching up the thread smile.gif )
post #48 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovekeiiy View Post

It definitely can be a PITA setting up all those MKV files. Thus, the rhetorical question of how often you actually watch them.
ill watch just once. I've got 50-100 unwatched DVD and blu-rays on shelves. My goal was to rip these and be able to watch the movies and special features as desired. By ripping to a master system, I could watch anywhere in the house as desired.

I don't generally rewatch movies, so the aspect of taking time to transcode a movie without special features just for multiple viewings doesn't help me .
post #49 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

So, why not use WMC and Media Center extenders. Rip your BDs/DVDs into a format that is supported by your choice of Media Center Extender. Assuming you don't have a house full of 80" LCD/Plasma TV's, you don't need full 1080p, besides, most of the commentaries and extras are not in 1080p anyways.
It's a question of how to I'd it, and what's the UI for then watching? How do I rip the movie, commentaries, and features and deleted scenes? Do they go to a single file or ripping them individually? How's this process scale to 110 discs?

Does Media Browser understand all these individual files as being special features separate from the main movie? Is there a better UI for handling special features?

Disc rips are the easiest and most elegant solution. Also the fastest, since im not transcoding everything. Except it doesnt work with extenders. frown.gif
post #50 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShoutingMan View Post

ill watch just once. I've got 50-100 unwatched DVD and blu-rays on shelves. My goal was to rip these and be able to watch the movies and special features as desired. By ripping to a master system, I could watch anywhere in the house as desired.

I don't generally rewatch movies, so the aspect of taking time to transcode a movie without special features just for multiple viewings doesn't help me .

Given you're going to be a watch once situation, I would just use MakeMKV and just rip everything. I'm not aware of any online database that has metadata for the special features of the disc, so you're just going to be file name or the same movie title over and over with something like Plex. XBMC may be easier since it has a file explorer kind of thing. I would just put the movie in it's own file directory under your movie or TV show directory. When you're done watching, delete the directory. Plex and XBMC should both update their libraries. If not, having either do a library update rescan should resolve any content listed that has been deleted. It works fine for me with my DVR library in Plex for my Media Center recordings.

Then again, if you use XBMC, I believe it can handle ISOs; I haven't used it in over a year and there have been changes. I'm assuming they haven't removed it. But I still hold to the rip, watch and delete. Disk space shouldn't be an issue overall unless you rip all the DVDs first than watch. Heck, I would just go with one or two terabyte USB drive. That will hold quite a few DVDs, assuming about eight to ten gigabytes per disc rip (mkv or ISO). And I figured you can pick up that kind of drive for hundred or less by now. USB is fast enough for DVD since I've done streamed full blu ray MKV rips.

Basically, I'm suggesting to handle your rips like you would a DVR recording. I had assumed you were wanting to keep your rips for multiple viewings.
post #51 of 52
Thread Starter 
I will have to think about that, and try to demo it. There are workable options, but not a single clean solution.
post #52 of 52

It's the only option for people who are currently spoiled with what SageTV can do.  I have considered other newer technologies; and, honestly, the thought scares me; a huge step backwards... I would have a pile of different technologies and unlike interfaces such as directTV Whole-Home DVR, PLEX, DNLA, XMBC, GoogleTV, or AppleTV, Slingbox, Airplay, etc to take the place of a fully integrated sageTV "network".

 

Ive heard that Sony will joining the racks of Comcast, DirecTV, and Dish later this year.  I have a feeling they may be the first multi-service-operator to integrate "real" TV AND media AND online streaming services all integrated into the same system (on any device); just like sageTV does. If that does become available, I will finally have something to upgrade to!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovekeiiy View Post


This is not option not because the extenders are hard to find, but he can't even get the software. I checked SageTV.com and they still have the message about Google purchasing them. I don't know when that was, but I assume it now has to deal with GoogleTV. Speaking of which, that could be an option as well for set top boxes. I'm not that familiar with it. Doing a quick search, there is Plex client for it (the one for Android), but looks like it's kind of picky of what videos it supports because GoogleTV doesn't support or enable HLS. You may be able to install XBMC since it has a Android client too. Theirs is still in beta. I couldn't find anything quickly if any of the Google TV devices were media center extenders. I thought the device could play DVR recordings; I wasn't able to find anything to confirm it was possible.
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