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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok guys, this is rather lengthy, but I have been accumulating this data, in the hope that I am giving all the information needed.

I have been thinking about this for sometime, the timetable is moved due to the circumstances of my current employment...(or recent lack thereof), but I feel forced to finally cut the cord. I hate TWC, and The Great Cable Ripoff 2014, but it is our only option in NC. Maybe I can lessen the pain to my wallet.


All accumulated over a long time in dabbling with PC's and HT.

Currently paying around 170 a month in cable/phone/TV bundle

Dropping 2 of the 3, will save me about a hundred a month.


Current setup:

Time Warner Cable 20 down and approx. 2 up service

TP Link Gigabit router/Gateway in basement theater

Linksys WRT 54G with DDWRT as access point for upstairs wireless reception doubling as a wired switch for SMART TV and Living Room 360


1 Samsung SMART TV//Living Room

2 (possibly 3) Xbox 360's//Living Room//Theater

1 Windows 7 Desktop (Upgraded Dell)...wired connection w/WMC//bedroom TV as monitor

1. Pentium 3 2.8

2. 32 bit

3. 4 gig RAM

4. 1TB HDD

5. older upgraded DVI card

6. No Remote for WMC


1 Windows 8.1 (Home) Desktop Celeron wireless connection (can be hardwired) in middle child's bedrooom

1. 4 gig RAM

2. 320 gig HDD

3. Onboard Graphics

4. no WMC


2 Windows 7 Laptops w/WMC/no HDMI out


1. 64 bit (upgraded Toshiba) wireless connection (my surfing/research/main connection to the outside world)

2. 64 bit purchased Toshiba Wireless connection (in oldest daughter's bedroom)



2 WHS 2011 machines both are in rack area in my theater.


1. HP Microserver...64 bit AMD Turion Duo Core 1.5 ghz/4 gig's of RAM//Wired Gig connection. Upgraded video (HD 5450, because it is connected to my projector) 4 bays, one is the 250 gig OS drive, one is empty, one 2TB WD Green, one Seagate 3TB... All media stored on this machine All shares on homegroup point to this machine. Also is a PLEX Server.


2. HP Proliant ML 350 G5 64 bit Xeon E5410 Quad core 2gigs of Ram//Wired Gig connection. SAS Controller/6 bays, only one installed SATA ...re-purposed older WD 320 gig OS drive...Onboard VGA video only...added older sound card, for audio. Serviio Console, and Mediabrowser Server.

All have Shark 007 installed, with the exception of the Win 8.1 machine.


Various Tablets and Phones//all Android. (Although very little media from servers are played over these devices, other than music, so transcoding is less of a concern...)



Looking at a bit of an investment to get this going...


Needs:

Antenna, I am about 60 miles from Metro area to the south, (Greensboro) and 30 miles from a smaller town to the north (Martinsville,VA).

Tuner Card(s), or HD Dual (probably 2)

Hulu plus for content not avb OTA

At least one more HDD, probably a 3TB for DVR capabilities

Upgrade Video for Pentium Machine, currently, it stutters with HD playback of network (NBC, ABC...) shows

WMC remote?

VOIP for phone, (currently thinking OOMA, talk me out of it)



Questions:


Does the WMC PC need to be on all the time to record all shows, and access DVR (WMC) capabilities. Either for viewing around the house, or Extender capabilities? (The reason I ask is, Server 1 has all shares set up as well as for “Home Server TV Archive” in WMC)

Considering HD Homerun Dual (possibly a pair), Drawbacks?

How does the Dual scan for channels? If I scan to the south, then rotate the antenna north, will I be able to save the channels scanned, to add the other new channels?


1. Does the Dual standalone? Handle all the recording...etc..., and I just tell it to push recordings to Server 1//Server Folders//Recorded TV?

2. How does the Dual get it's schedule/guide? (From WMC?) Again will the PIII machine need to be “on” all the time?


How do I access the guide/recorded content?

Since the older PIII machine is upstairs, and connected to a TV, It will be the easiest to manage, but may be harder on it's older hardware?


How will the Win 8 machine access the recorded content? (No WMC) Can it?


Xeon// Server 2w/ has the most [email protected], but less RAM, If I am streaming with this machine (MB, etc) the quad core won't stutter, but will the RAM be overloaded? (RAM for this machine is ridiculously priced)



I am sure I will have additional questions, please let me know if I am missing anything, that more experienced cord cutters have run in to.

Thanks for all the help, as always.
 

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Quote:
Does the WMC PC need to be on all the time to record all shows, and access DVR (WMC) capabilities. Either for viewing around the house, or Extender capabilities? (The reason I ask is, Server 1 has all shares set up as well as for “Home Server TV Archive” in WMC)

Considering HD Homerun Dual (possibly a pair), Drawbacks?

How does the Dual scan for channels? If I scan to the south, then rotate the antenna north, will I be able to save the channels scanned, to add the other new channels?
You can have the WMC PC go to sleep after X amount of minutes. It will wake up on it's own for viewing scheduled recordings and for viewing Live TV and Recordings on the Xbox 360.
Quote:
Considering HD Homerun Dual (possibly a pair), Drawbacks?

How does the Dual scan for channels? If I scan to the south, then rotate the antenna north, will I be able to save the channels scanned, to add the other new channels?
I don't have any experience with the HD Homerun. I'm currently using a few Avermedia A188's (with MediaPortal not WMC). I wouldn't recommend rotating the antenna. What if you set up a recording and the antenna is facing the opposite direction? You're better off getting a couple of antennas along with a Antenna Combiner .
 

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Quote:
1. Does the Dual standalone? Handle all the recording...etc..., and I just tell it to push recordings to Server 1//Server Folders//Recorded TV?

2. How does the Dual get it's schedule/guide? (From WMC?) Again will the PIII machine need to be “on” all the time?

No. The Dual sends the signal to the WMC machine and the WMC machine does the recordings. The WMC machine also downloads the guide.
Quote:
How do I access the guide/recorded content?

Since the older PIII machine is upstairs, and connected to a TV, It will be the easiest to manage, but may be harder on it's older hardware?
You would save yourself a lot of headaches by using a more powerful machine as your WMC PC and go with XBOX 360's everywhere else. This way you would be able to have access to Live and Recorded TV everywhere.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin g.  /t/1520373/another-cord-cutting-thread-long-winded#post_24423868


Questions:
A few thoughts...

 
  • WMC server - virtually any PC can handle recording 4 concurrent streams and streaming to various clients. I used a extremely low-end Celeron NUC (running at laptop speeds) and it had zero issues.
  • You can sleep or hibernate the WMC server and it will typically wake itself without issue and go back to sleep. Based on your PC's BIOS and network card/configuration you may or may not be able to hibernate or sleep and still have clients or other PCs wake it up. Often sleep isn't an issue but with hibernation some PCs will wake with only Magic Packets and not other network traffic.
  • WMC will allow you to manually add channels although you need a matching channel in the guide to have schedule data (you redirect the guide from the other channel to it). It uses zip codes for scanning and lists (those it deems to be appropriate) channels automatically.
  • You can share recordings on the WMC server with other PCs. There are a few restrictions but you simply share the folder and add it to the other PC's WMC directory.
  • You need Media Center installed on Windows 8 to use WMC which requires you to upgrade to Pro and then purchase Media Center. 

 

I would suggest taking a look at the thread linked in my signature as it will explain the process to a large degree. Don't worry about the details at this point... grasp the concept and the details will fill in themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzo90017  /t/1520373/another-cord-cutting-thread-long-winded#post_24426172


You can have the WMC PC go to sleep after X amount of minutes. It will wake up on it's own for viewing scheduled recordings and for viewing Live TV and Recordings on the Xbox 360.

I don't have any experience with the HD Homerun. I'm currently using a few Avermedia A188's (with MediaPortal not WMC). I wouldn't recommend rotating the antenna. What if you set up a recording and the antenna is facing the opposite direction? You're better off getting a couple of antennas along with a Antenna Combiner .

Excellent, that helps...(good points, all) especially the antenna situation. I guess I'll get the 60-70 mile, and point it in one direction. Possibly add the second later
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzo90017  /t/1520373/another-cord-cutting-thread-long-winded#post_24426190


No. The Dual sends the signal to the WMC machine and the WMC machine does the recordings. The WMC machine also downloads the guide.

You would save yourself a lot of headaches by using a more powerful machine as your WMC PC and go with XBOX 360's everywhere else. This way you would be able to have access to Live and Recorded TV everywhere.

I was worried about this, thanks...but this is about the effort to save money, and a new PC isn't in the cards, unless one dies. I can't justify the additional cost, with everything else going on.

That's why I thought I could use the Xeon server, but it runs WHS, so there is no WMC on it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R  /t/1520373/another-cord-cutting-thread-long-winded#post_24426337



A few thoughts...
  • WMC server - virtually any PC can handle recording 4 concurrent streams and streaming to various clients. I used a extremely low-end Celeron NUC (running at laptop speeds) and it had zero issues.
  • You can sleep or hibernate the WMC server and it will typically wake itself without issue and go back to sleep. Based on your PC's BIOS and network card/configuration you may or may not be able to hibernate or sleep and still have clients or other PCs wake it up. Often sleep isn't an issue but with hibernation some PCs will wake with only Magic Packets and not other network traffic.
  • WMC will allow you to manually add channels although you need a matching channel in the guide to have schedule data (you redirect the guide from the other channel to it). It uses zip codes for scanning and lists (those it deems to be appropriate) channels automatically.
  • You can share recordings on the WMC server with other PCs. There are a few restrictions but you simply share the folder and add it to the other PC's WMC directory.
  • You need Media Center installed on Windows 8 to use WMC which requires you to upgrade to Pro and then purchase Media Center. 


I would suggest taking a look at the thread linked in my signature as it will explain the process to a large degree. Don't worry about the details at this point... grasp the concept and the details will fill in themselves.

Very informative, Charles, I skimmed through your thread, and I will have some reading. thank you.
  • I did a search for WMC Server, and could not find anything. I am familiar with ServerWMC, but I don't have the patience for XBMC. (sorry if I'm missing something here...)
  • The only machine that will not hibernate is the Microserver
  • I am familiar with setting up the shares in WMC, so all my folder locations should be fine.
  • I am also aware that my version of Win 8 will not support WMC, but are there ways I can play the files on my daughter's 8.1 machine? (WMP...PLEX, MB?)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin g.  /t/1520373/another-cord-cutting-thread-long-winded#post_24427541

 
  • I did a search for WMC Server, and could not find anything. I am familiar with ServerWMC, but I don't have the patience for XBMC. (sorry if I'm missing something here...)
  • The only machine that will not hibernate is the Microserver
  • I am familiar with setting up the shares in WMC, so all my folder locations should be fine.
  • I am also aware that my version of Win 8 will not support WMC, but are there ways I can play the files on my daughter's 8.1 machine? (WMP...PLEX, MB?)
 

I simply refer to the PC doing the recordings as a WMC server. In the vain of client/server. For me TV (DVRing) should be dependable and easy and as such I take the path of least resistance. Of course others have different needs and or desires so another approach works best. With this in mind I won't mess with other apps to view files, convert them to another format or other such hassles.

 

For other users (as in anyone but the WMC admin - us) I would really recommend an extender. Xbox 360s were $99 over the Holiday and are bound to drop before long as its replacement takes over. Used is another avenue if cost is a deciding factor. Regarding XBMC it takes zero patience if you use OpenELEC of which I do with a NUC. You can run off of a USB flash drive and literally within ten minutes you are streaming HD audio/video. If you install the WMC Add-on in another five minutes you are watching live TV or recordings. Its interface isn't quite as slick as a traditional extender but pretty close and has virtually all of the features. Plus, you get the XBMC features to boot.

 

Using a PC with WMC installed as an extender (for OTA) works very nice as well. Outside of live recordings aren't as slick to view it's pretty much the same experience.

 

If you like to play around you might consider using iSCSI if any of your servers support it. I use it for all of my recordings (direct to NAS). This way if/when I want to switch WMC servers it's very simple. I disconnect the target drive from the old WMC server and connect it to the new WMC server and I'm off and running. For whatever reason I like not having my recordings an a PC... especially if I decide to play around with it and my wife's favorite show is on. 
 

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You might check out Media Browser 3 as well. You can run the MB3 server on the same pc that does the recording, then run MB Theater on all the other pc's. You can even watch live TV that way. It'll run on a Roku or Chromecast as well.


Sent from my generic not my computer device.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R  /t/1520373/another-cord-cutting-thread-long-winded#post_24427766


I simply refer to the PC doing the recordings as a WMC server. In the vain of client/server. For me TV (DVRing) should be dependable and easy and as such I take the path of least resistance. Of course others have different needs and or desires so another approach works best. With this in mind I won't mess with other apps to view files, convert them to another format or other such hassles.


For other users (as in anyone but the WMC admin - us) I would really recommend an extender. Xbox 360s were $99 over the Holiday and are bound to drop before long as its replacement takes over. Used is another avenue if cost is a deciding factor. Regarding XBMC it takes zero patience if you use OpenELEC of which I do with a NUC. You can run off of a USB flash drive and literally within ten minutes you are streaming HD audio/video. If you install the WMC Add-on in another five minutes you are watching live TV or recordings. Its interface isn't quite as slick as a traditional extender but pretty close and has virtually all of the features. Plus, you get the XBMC features to boot.


Using a PC with WMC installed as an extender (for OTA) works very nice as well. Outside of live recordings aren't as slick to view it's pretty much the same experience.


If you like to play around you might consider using iSCSI if any of your servers support it. I use it for all of my recordings (direct to NAS). This way if/when I want to switch WMC servers it's very simple. I disconnect the target drive from the old WMC server and connect it to the new WMC server and I'm off and running. For whatever reason I like not having my recordings an a PC... especially if I decide to play around with it and my wife's favorite show is on. 

Understood...I agree completely about everything being dependable. Nothing worse than having to work on equipment all the time. I am glad to read that with your past experiences the Duals..."just work".

360's as extenders are a definite. I have 2 (posted above), and working on a third (RROD, Arcade, picked up for free, I have 12 bucks in the repair now...just need to heat the board.)

I don't know...I tried XBMC, and felt like I was always tweaking, and messing with settings...To each his own, and all that...

I will check in to iSCSI, not familiar at all. Either way, all recordings will go to the server drives. It's already set up/mapped.

Thanks for all the assistance Charles. Any other questions I have about setup, I will move to your thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by leebo  /t/1520373/another-cord-cutting-thread-long-winded#post_24428034


You might check out Media Browser 3 as well. You can run the MB3 server on the same pc that does the recording, then run MB Theater on all the other pc's. You can even watch live TV that way. It'll run on a Roku or Chromecast as well.


Sent from my generic not my computer device.

leebo, I have the Xeon machine set up as a MB server, and have classic installed within WMC on both of my main machines.

I have tried Theater, but not much. Are you saying MBT will play my recorded .wmt TV files natively ? If so, I think you may have found my solution for viewing on the WIn 8 machine.


Thanks All!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin g.  /t/1520373/another-cord-cutting-thread-long-winded#post_24430863



leebo, I have the Xeon machine set up as a MB server, and have classic installed within WMC on both of my main machines.

I have tried Theater, but not much. Are you saying MBT will play my recorded .wmt TV files natively ? If so, I think you may have found my solution for viewing on the WIn 8 machine.


Thanks All!

The latest version of MB3 server can stream wmt files, as well as the live TV signal. It's up to the programmers who write the client apps to add it. I use MB Classic within WMC, and also the Roku app. They have not added it to the Roku app as yet, but I believe they did add it to MB Theater.

Go to their forums, or just install it and try it out (obviously you have to set it up in MB Server first, including installing the serverwmc plug in). In theory this may be your solution.
 
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