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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone.


I am been wanting to build a HTPC/Media server for quite sometime. I finally decided to do some research and go for it.


I just have a few questions that I am hoping can get me moving in the right direction. I am just a little unsure of how to go about this and what parts I will need.


The setup:


I have my main home theater in my living room. 42" Plasma, full 7.1 surround. It resides in a builtin that came with the home. Its nice, but as I look at this, I am not sure how or even if I can, put a PC in this area. Right now, i will say not possible.


In the Den is where I have my computers (2 PC's, 1 iMac). Now, my house is wired for cat 5e, so I have a Ethernet connection behind my TV in my family room. I have a switch in my den, so I should be able to connect everything wired.


What I want to do:


I'd like to basically, record stuff from my DVR onto my PC for the extra space. My current DVR has 80gig drive and that fills up really fast. It would also be nice to be able to record stuff from my DVR and then burn it to a DVD if I chose to.


I'd also like to rip my movies and store them on my PC so I can call them up and view them on my 42" plasma.



So I am really not quite sure how to go about this and was hoping to get help here and what I need.


Lastly, is it possible to get HD type quality, 720p/1080i?


I looked at some wireless solutions and although they looked ok, the fact that my house is wired, I figured I could just go with a wired solution instead.


I really appreciate the help.


Much obliged.


_Jason


EDIT: I hope this is the right place to post. I apologize if it is in the wrong forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Ok...*think* i figured it out.


Perhaps I just need one of these:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/win...extenders.aspx


This way, I just plug it into my TV, and since I have a ethernet jack by my main TV, I can just plug it in there?


Then, I could use something like:

http://www.asciiexpress.com/webguide/

http://www.snapstream.com/products/beyondtv

http://www.sagetv.com/


Not sure, but hopefully, I am on the right track.

Then, just use my PC/Media Server to record shows on my DVR and rip/store movies on it for viewing.


Hope im on the right path.
 

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I have been dealing with the same issue on my friend's setup. His main concern is being bale to watch recorded shows in other rooms (extender), and also be able to burn them to DVD.


My problem is that MCE does the extender perfectly but has a horribly non-portable file format, so burning DVD's are a pain.


Sage and Beyond both have great encoding support, but do not have as robust extender support as MCE.


In my opinion I would go the MCE extender route (especially if by some chance you have a XBOX 360). I know being able to burn DVD's of recorded shows are great, but honestly I have not had too many friends actually use this feature that often, myself included. Its kinda like a smimming pool, its great to have, but how much do you actually use it.


Also I have never liked how you need to buy two seperate pieces of software for extender support on both Sage and Beyond. In the end, it does not matter as the programs work fine. I just don't like having to pay twice for something I already paid for with Vista.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by somail /forum/post/15537768


I have been dealing with the same issue on my friend's setup. His main concern is being bale to watch recorded shows in other rooms (extender), and also be able to burn them to DVD.


My problem is that MCE does the extender perfectly but has a horribly non-portable file format, so burning DVD's are a pain.


Sage and Beyond both have great encoding support, but do not have as robust extender support as MCE.


In my opinion I would go the MCE extender route (especially if by some chance you have a XBOX 360). I know being able to burn DVD's of recorded shows are great, but honestly I have not had too many friends actually use this feature that often, myself included. Its kinda like a smimming pool, its great to have, but how much do you actually use it.


Also I have never liked how you need to buy two seperate pieces of software for extender support on both Sage and Beyond. In the end, it does not matter as the programs work fine. I just don't like having to pay twice for something I already paid for with Vista.

Appreciate your help very much.

So, if I ended up going with MCE extender route, let me ask a few additional questions.


1.) Don't have a XBOX 360, but I am guessing, one of the other devices would work as well?


2.) Could I still turn my PC into a media server of some sort? The idea being that I could rip my DVD's, store them on my PC, catalog them and view them whenver I want? Could I listen to music, look at photos as well?


3.) What type of setup do I need to do in order to record stuff on my cable?


4.) What about quality? How do I go about getting the best quality?



I dont need to go wireless for an extender since I have a wired jack behind.


Anyways, just looking for my options.


I am very excited and look forward to getting started on this.


THanks,


Jason
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Heck, if I could just turn my PC into a server that will allow me rip my DVD's and view them on my TV, I am all good with that.


Recording stuff on the cable box is just a bonus, if possible.


Anyone have suggestions? Help me out?

Thanks.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason.williams14 /forum/post/15535825


I'd like to basically, record stuff from my DVR onto my PC for the extra space. My current DVR has 80gig drive and that fills up really fast. It would also be nice to be able to record stuff from my DVR and then burn it to a DVD if I chose to.

Was going to ask if you wanted to do HD, but you answered it here:

Quote:
Lastly, is it possible to get HD type quality, 720p/1080i?

yes but currently the only cheap, reliable solution is the HD PVR from hauppauge, http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hdpvr.html


it is a component video capture device that allows you to record HD video from any component video device such as a HD DVR cable/sat box.


Quote:
I'd also like to rip my movies and store them on my PC so I can call them up and view them on my 42" plasma.

that is too easy, read the forums plenty on how to do that.



- Josh
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason.williams14 /forum/post/15539089


Appreciate your help very much.

So, if I ended up going with MCE extender route, let me ask a few additional questions.


1.) Don't have a XBOX 360, but I am guessing, one of the other devices would work as well?

if you want to be able to rip dvd's and play them back, MCE is NOT your answer. One thing MCE does do, its TV. IF all your looking for is an extender to play back recorded TV to any tv in your home, MCE is the choice, but if you want added things like native ripped DVD playback on any extender, SageTV and the SageHD extender is what you want.

http://www.sagetv.com/


here's the extender: http://www.sagetv.com/hd_theater.html

Quote:
2.) Could I still turn my PC into a media server of some sort? The idea being that I could rip my DVD's, store them on my PC, catalog them and view them whenver I want? Could I listen to music, look at photos as well?

it doesn't really need to be a "server" per se. all you really need is a pc that stores the content and can "feed" the content to the extenders if that is what you want to do.


However if you want to be able to record tv, from your cable box, whatever you have, the "server" in which the tuner card, in this case the HD PVR needs to be next to the cable box.


However if you are using the extenders you can move the cable box out form where the tv is, move it into your den, and have the DVR directly connect to the HD PVR tuner/capture box and then you can "stream" live or recorded tv from the "server" to the tv where the extender is.


That is what a lot of ppl here do, is they will get a HD cable box or two, then directly connect them to their server running SageTV with one or two HD PVR's and through the server will stream live or recorded tv to multiple extenders through out their home.


I do the same thing, except I am using Vista Media Center with Linksys media center extenders on each of my tv's.


Quote:
3.) What type of setup do I need to do in order to record stuff on my cable?

again, SageTV and the HD PVR. that's if you really want to do HD. SD is no problem at all. Just HD is the big issue.



- Josh
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by umdivx /forum/post/15539695


if you want to be able to rip dvd's and play them back, MCE is NOT your answer. One thing MCE does do, its TV. IF all your looking for is an extender to play back recorded TV to any tv in your home, MCE is the choice, but if you want added things like native ripped DVD playback on any extender, SageTV and the SageHD extender is what you want.

http://www.sagetv.com/


here's the extender: http://www.sagetv.com/hd_theater.html




it doesn't really need to be a "server" per se. all you really need is a pc that stores the content and can "feed" the content to the extenders if that is what you want to do.


However if you want to be able to record tv, from your cable box, whatever you have, the "server" in which the tuner card, in this case the HD PVR needs to be next to the cable box.


However if you are using the extenders you can move the cable box out form where the tv is, move it into your den, and have the DVR directly connect to the HD PVR tuner/capture box and then you can "stream" live or recorded tv from the "server" to the tv where the extender is.


That is what a lot of ppl here do, is they will get a HD cable box or two, then directly connect them to their server running SageTV with one or two HD PVR's and through the server will stream live or recorded tv to multiple extenders through out their home.


I do the same thing, except I am using Vista Media Center with Linksys media center extenders on each of my tv's.





again, SageTV and the HD PVR. that's if you really want to do HD. SD is no problem at all. Just HD is the big issue.



- Josh

Thanks Josh. That was awesome. Cant thank you enough for all the great information.

Cheers,


Jason
 
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