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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
we are starting the process of building a new house. In the process of all the decisions, I am debating how to set up everything. What I want is a single box connected to every tv that pulls everything from a server. Is this too much to ask:


1. Live TV with access to shared recorded content. (Cablecards from a main box that streams across the network to the clients).

2. access to a variety of movies on a shared has - dvd rips, mkv, avi, h.264, blu-ray rips (iso or ripped to folder).

3. ability to do 3D (TV and Blu-ray) in the future

4. support for HD audio formats & 7.1

5. a solid parental control system

6. network connection over ethernet

7. support for podcasts, amazon video, netflix, etc

8. support for multiple TVs (lets say 10 plus or minus).

9. clients that are very quiet, have low power consumption and don't double as a furnace.


Currently I have a WMC7 connecting to an xbox as an extender. So far it has been working well, but I really want something that scales up higher, and has better support for blu-ray rips without having to convert everything to MKV.


I don't know, maybe I am asking to much, but I can hope, right? Can a MythTV with xbmc clients support this or is WMC7 a better route? I am open to suggestions.
 

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The single box thing solution is not really realistic especially if you want TV PVR capability at each display.


So really, you need full blown HTPCs at each TV.. if your choice of live TV is Digital Cable you will be running WMC at each HTPC. i3 Sandy Bridge HTPCs can be built around $350 each assuming you don't go crazy on the HTPC cases. These can be 40 watt or lower devices depending on component selection.


If you want them to be higher perofrmance for highest quality playback, add discrete Nvidia GPUs, Consider SSDs for the Operating Systems if you want near instant on. You will need some kind of Window Media Center Remotes or Harmony Remotes that can control WMC at each display.


1 GB ethernet to each box is a given.


I have pretty much those kind of clients HTPCs throughout the house, plus an i3 Notebook, a fairly robust Atom Ion HTPC looking to come back off the reserve players bench and lastly an HP MediaSmart Windows Media Extender.


Oh yeah, one more HTPC with a Core Duo that needs a GT 430 or better GPU to go back in service. Realistically, I have a couple more HTPCs than displays due to upgraditis. I use the Notebook in the Kitchen as an audio jukebox and for Digital Cable and OTA TV usually cable news.


Depending on content I use either WMC or JRiver Media Center. I have 2 HD Homeruns Dual Tuners for ATSC and a Ceton 4 Tuner card for Digital Cable which for the most part gives me both cable and live TV at each display. I could use a couple more digital cable tuners. Not because I ever have that many in use at one time but the Ceton tuners are statically assigned and at any one time there are at least 6 video display that need HD cable available to them and since the Cetons tuners are statically assigned 4 won't cover 6. I may add a Hauppage Dual Cable tuner to the stable as those tuners can be dynamically assigned.


This weekend added a WHS2011 server with 5 TB for HTPC client backup and media streaming with a 2TB External Raid deicated for Server back up.


If Digital HD Cable TV is part of your equation you can pretty much forget about centralized recorded TV as a single store for all recordings as the DRM attached to many stations will only allow those protected channels to be replayed on the PC that recorded them. Non protected content recording can go to WHS and be played back on any Win 7 WMC box in the Home Group.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the ideas. We have fiosTV, which as far as I am aware means that all the channels are currently marked as copy freely.


I am still digesting some of your comments, but if I understand the basics, you have a statically assigned a each media center a slot on the ceton card, then save all the recordings to the home server so that any media center can access them. Is that correct?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmcxiiad /forum/post/20855501


if I wanted something that streamed full blu-ray rips (either to a folder or iso's) is there anything capable of that? assuming live TV wasn't part of the equation.

Wirelessly? If yes then you are opening a whole new proverbial can of worms. Very very tough to do even with the most robust wireless networks and fastest PCs. Its the quality of the network that can be an issue with dropped packets due to interference (wireless phones, florescent lights, microwaves, other networks, etc etc etc).
 
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