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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 2012-01-02, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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Hauppage WinTV PVR

First off, sorry, i'm a complete newb with this stuff!!

I'd like to set up a system whereby I can create a centralized HD PVR which i can then read from any tv in the house, rather than have standalone PVRs at each TV.

I was playing around and found the Hauppage WinTV PVR device which looks like it will do this for me. I didn't notice if it has its own harddrive in it, so i'm not sure if the data resides on that box, or if I can store it on a computer instead.

I was then thinking if i had a media player of some sort on each of the TVs hooked up to the network (i'd run wired ethernet for this), then they could each access that media library?

Could I stream live TV this way too? Since it's going to be satellite-fed (expressvu), i assume i'd only get one feed at a time since it's only a single-tuner device.

Am I running down the correct path? Or is there a better/easier way?

Thanks - and again my apologies for what may be silly questions.. just starting to learn all this stuff!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 2012-01-02, 10:58 AM
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maybe try an hdhomerun?

http://digitalhome.ca/forum/showthre...60#post1368960

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 2012-01-02, 11:28 AM
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Any Hauppauge device (I think) is basically a tuner for a PC. The PC does the
work of recording the TV, storing it, and serving it to the clients.

You could "centrally" locate a PC with as many "tuners" as you need, or MCE can handle. For satellite though, that means more than one receiver, capture device, and IR blaster.

You would use an Xbox 360 or small HTPC as an extender from that.
You should be able to access live TV that way.

If you live where you can get digital antenna channels, you can add an HD-Homerun, or even a dual tuner card to that PC, and get some channels through that.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 2012-01-02, 02:11 PM
 
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I have the similar Colossus, so the stand alone box may operate slightly differently:

All the Hauppage does is record the video fed into it. I don't believe it is a tuner, and it certainly can't decode digital channels. Basically, you set it up like you would a VCR. Tell it the time you want to record and what channel. It will switch the channel on the cable/satelite box with the IR blaster at the appropriate time and start recording. It will pass through the signal it receives to the HDTV.

The software is a little dicey, but the results are quite good. The software for the TV guide included with the Colossus doesn't work in Canada, so you may have to use WMC or something else.

There is a gigantic thread at AVS forums that is worth looking at.

I use my Colossus to record HDTV onto my media server. This can be then accessed by any DLNA device that supports the .ts files created.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 2012-01-02, 03:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jay-c View Post
First off, sorry, i'm a complete newb with this stuff!!

I'd like to set up a system whereby I can create a centralized HD PVR which i can then read from any tv in the house, rather than have standalone PVRs at each TV.

I was playing around and found the Hauppage WinTV PVR device which looks like it will do this for me. I didn't notice if it has its own harddrive in it, so i'm not sure if the data resides on that box, or if I can store it on a computer instead.

I was then thinking if i had a media player of some sort on each of the TVs hooked up to the network (i'd run wired ethernet for this), then they could each access that media library?

Could I stream live TV this way too? Since it's going to be satellite-fed (expressvu), i assume i'd only get one feed at a time since it's only a single-tuner device.

Am I running down the correct path? Or is there a better/easier way?

Thanks - and again my apologies for what may be silly questions.. just starting to learn all this stuff!
Satellite and HD cable are a challenge because you really need a digital to analog converter (e.g Hauppauge Colossus) AND a TV tuner card. OTA HD, ATSC ClearQam, and SD cable are much easier with just about any Hauppauge TV tuner. For recording TV, you may as well go with Windows 7 Home Premium because all you need is built in. I have a Hauppauge HDPVR and I found it very unreliable to the point of turning it off. Fortunately, I get 15 HD OTA channels, and have cable clearQAM so recording HD cable is not an issue.

If you use Win 7, distribution of recorded TV around the house to TV's is best suited by an extender, and the only one supported is the XBOX 360 ([email protected] this week at FS). You can use another computer or laptop (or iPad) to watch recorded TV from Media Center.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 2012-01-02, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danno100 View Post
Satellite and HD cable are a challenge because you really need a digital to analog converter (e.g Hauppauge Colossus) AND a TV tuner card. OTA HD, ATSC ClearQam, and SD cable are much easier with just about any Hauppauge TV tuner. For recording TV, you may as well go with Windows 7 Home Premium because all you need is built in. I have a Hauppauge HDPVR and I found it very unreliable to the point of turning it off. Fortunately, I get 15 HD OTA channels, and have cable clearQAM so recording HD cable is not an issue.

If you use Win 7, distribution of recorded TV around the house to TV's is best suited by an extender, and the only one supported is the XBOX 360 ([email protected] this week at FS). You can use another computer or laptop (or iPad) to watch recorded TV from Media Center.
Thanks everyone for your replies.

I have 2 satelite receivers already (Bell 6131) - could i use those to feed a Collossus and then record in media centre? Or is collossus not a tuner and I can't use it to move channels? I think I read somewhere that I can stream live tv through WMC (i'd have to use an xbox as an extender I guess)
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 2012-01-02, 09:47 PM
 
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Take a look at NextPVR media center, it's free and you can set up clients using PCs (XP or W7) on a home network as well as pause live tv and record, play video, music and DVDs from one central PC. The client PCs can connect via S-video to older analogue TVs. Recorded programs can be played automatically skipping commercials. Also consider Media Portal and windows media center.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 2012-01-03, 08:31 PM
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The Collossus is just a capture device for A/V from a box or other video source, not an actual tuner. The way I see it is that it is a PCI-E version of the USB device, plus adds HDMI (for non-protected sources though). Like the USB HD-PVR, the Colossus has an IR blaster.

You would have one Colossus per 6131.


What I mean by saying they are tuners for a PC, is that they are not standalone devices which accept A/V and record it. Whether they are actual tuners like the HVR-2250 cards, or an HD-PVR with a set-top box, they are PC tuners in the scheme of HTPC.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 2012-01-04, 04:05 PM
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I have two Hauppauge HD-PVRs connected to two Rogers HD digital cable boxes, an HD HomeRun which can record OTA and a couple of other tuners. Unlike Danno100 I have not had problems with these HD-PVRs and I have had two working together in a system for over three years (other than the power supplies failiing due to capacitor plague). I run SageTV on my system which works great as it is built with a client-server architecture and you can use standalone extenders or PCs as clients. Unfotunately you can't buy the Sage software or Extenders since the company was bought out by Google last summer.

You could connect two Bell boxes to Win Media Center (MC) but it does not appear that MC supports the Collosus. There are beta drivers that allow the MC to work with the HD-PVR, which is essentially the USB version of the Collosus without HDMI input/outputs (the HDMI is not as useful as it sounds since it won't work if the HDMI signal is encrypted which it almost always is). The problem with that is that these drivers, which have been in beta for a long time, only support one HD-PVR per system.

There is also third-party software called DVB-Link which, I believe, allows multiple HD-PVRs to work with MC.

I think the nextPVR is probably a good option as it looks like MS' support for MC is dwindling and it is not clear how much longer MS will continue with MC although it looks like it will be part of Win8 (we will see when the Win8 beta comes out next month).
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 2012-01-04, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
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but it does not appear that MC supports the Collosus.
The Colossus works even better with WMC than the USB HD-PVR, and is supported with the same drivers.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 2012-01-04, 04:43 PM
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I apologize - I was looking at the third party apps page on the Hauppauge web site and it doesn't mention WMC - although there is mention of it at the bottom of the main product page. Can you use more than one Colossus, and/or one Colossus and one HD-PVR in the same system.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 2012-01-04, 04:45 PM
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To be honest I don't know, I've never tried. All I have is the one Colossus.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 2012-01-05, 11:17 AM
 
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Colossus - Yes. I had it running no problem with WMC. I just found the proprietary format of the recorded files to unweildy (.wtv?) - couldn't be accessed using DLNA and no one-stop editing.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 2012-01-05, 11:32 AM
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I am pretty sure that the WTV files can be edited and converted. VideReDo (not free) is awesome video software that can handle these files. And there are tools that can convert WTV to other formats immediately upon completion of a recording - DVRMS Toolbox,wtvconverter, wtv to ts converter and MCEBuddy.

But using DLNA isn't a great way to go as you generally only have the file name to go by and it is generally a fugly UI. You are better off saving files with names that can be scraped by XBMC or Plex (ie Modern Family-S03E07.mpg). Have you tried Plex - it looks very nice.
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