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So I've been using a PC-based setup for a few years and love it. Win7 Media Center, Cablecard with Ceton tuner. Works great. But I've just moved to a new house and now want to get the signal into a few more rooms. (Up to now it's just been in my family room).


In addition to the main TV in the family room, I've got a little theater room in the basement, plus a TV over the bar, and one in the bedroom.


What's the best way to accomplish this? I've considered using a Ceton Echo, but much of what I watch other than recorded TV is MKV and ripped DVD's in VIDEO_TS folders, and apparently the Echo is terrible at handling these. I've got an Xbox 360 that I could also use as a media extender but it likely will have the same limitations as the Echo.


Should I get a 2nd PC for the theater, running WMC, that will just access the files on the main HTPC over the (wired) network? I'm assuming/hoping that a wired network would provide enough bandwidth that the video will be smooth.


Any advice would be great.
 

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Try the Xbox out. While a few disks have required some audio conversion and re-muxing, I'm very pleased with the results. I have ripped everything to MKV though. If you follow Assassin's guide and software/codec setup everything should work without a great deal of effort.


You should have no problems with a wired ethernet network. If you are setting up for the first time you may as well run Cat6 cable. Depending on simultaneous streams from the media server you can saturate a 100 Mbps network relatively quickly. I also have a Wireless-N network and one Xbox where I did not extend wire and have experienced no dropouts.
 
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