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Media Centers and Extenders to replace with Dish setup

851 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  brainchild356
I currently have a basement, bedroom, and kitchen that I watch TV in (just wife and I with a little girl on the way). I have the Dish VIP-622 receiver. I generally keep it in single mode so every TV displays the same thing, which is fine since my wife and I usually watch TV together if either is watching. The basement is where all my AV equipment is and my projector serves as the primary TV (TV1). The bedroom TV has a coax cable that currently is running from the TV2 out from the Dish receiver, and the kitchen TV has a wireless repeater that sends a signal from the RCA out TV2 connection from the Dish receiver. So in dual-mode the kitchen and bedroom display the same video (and that is no problem).

I am about to cancel Dish in a couple months. I have an OTA antenna connected to both my Dish receiver and my HTPC, and I get my locals in HD. That is all I really need (along with my $8 Netflix sub), especially now that football season is nearly over (next fall I might subscribe to the local cable basic package for ESPN). I pay $1,000 per year to Dish and would rather save it and/or spend it on equipment that is mine. I already have a HTPC with decent specs that has a TV tuner and plays HD DVD/ Blu-ray. I have 1.5TB of space on this PC. I would like to either buy two media extenders for the other two rooms or buy another HTPC for the bedroom and media extender for the kitchen. I have alot of archived TV and movies or various formats as well.

I would like some recommendations from you folks on how to achieve these goals:

- DVR functions at each TV (all TVs have access to all recordings)

- Access to archived music, videos, and DVDs (I realize HD DVD and Blu-ray isn't an option for this currently)

- Ease of use for the wife (REQUIREMENT

I can have a wired solution from the basement to the bedroom for sure, but the kitchen might have to be wireless (but it also doesn't have to be Hidef there). I think the budget would allow for a second HTPC and media extender or two media extenders at this point. I eventually would like to build a dedicated server also (I realize the main PC handling everything along with HD DVD and Blu-ray isn't the best situation), but I think that would be the next step after getting this started.

I have looked at a few of the media extenders and really don't know what would be best for me. I know very little about SageTV but enough to know that it would probably be the best option for my situation. I've searched some on this subject but wanted to get some feedback for my particular needs.

Sorry for the LONG post. I appreciate any suggestions. Thanks! (BTW - every TV I have is an HDTV and has HDMI if that makes any difference)
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Assuming you have Vista Media Center or Windows MCE 2005 you could use a Linksys media center extender:


Or if you are interesting in gaming at all an XBOX 360 also can act as a media center extender.
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