With the expensive internet and TV prices through Shaw and Telus We have been contemplating getting rid of everything but high speed internet and instead setting up a HTPC instead.
I am leaning towards an Acer Revo RL100 for the main HTPC. It will most likely use XMBC as the main HTPC interface, unless someone else can suggest a better way to go (I would like to keep it total cost around $500 or less for the HTPC itself).
The issue I have is that we have 2 other TV's in the house and I am looking for a way to stream content from the HTPC to each of those TV's, independent of each of the other TV's. I have looked at Apple TV, LG Smart TV Upgrader, WD TV Live, and Roku.
The main criteria that it must have is the ability to connect to Netflix, and the ability to connect to the HTPC to stream content. I should also note that we do not own any other Apple products.
Which product would suit my needs best? I should also note that I live in Canada. I would like cost to remain around $100 for each product, if someone else has a better solution.
I've been in the HTPC game for a while, and I've settled on using Microsoft's platform (Windows Media Center + Xbox 360 "S" as extenders).
My previous systems were PC only (Sage TV server and clients, Beyond TV server and clients). The reason I moved to the Xbox at all my other TVs (that aren't where the HTPC is) is that the latest version of the Xbox dashboard software + apps is pretty strong, especially when kinect is added to the picture. You can get the little chatpad keyboards that attach to controllers (which I believe are mandatory whenever you are typing the name of a movie you want to watch).
And things are getting even better for using a Xbox as a TV device. The top three hits for the next iteration of the Xbox dashboard software are:
1 - You can search for a movie or TV show and it will do a federated search across all the content providers (Netflix, Hulu, Zune, etc) and show you all the different places you can watch the content, and how much it would cost in each case.
2 - Xbox Smart Glass looks very cool. It's great that they're writing client apps for iOS and Android tablets/smartphones in addition to the Windows stuff.
3 - The Xbox 360 browser looks like it will be very nice (leveraging Smart Glass), especially if your focus is finding and watching video from the web.
All while you can still leverage Windows Media Center to act as a DVR for OTA TV content.
I do already have a Xbox 360S, however I would like to stay away from purchasing another one for use by my children. This is why I was looking into a network streaming device that includes netflix access in Canada. The additional costs of an extra xbox or 2, plus increased costs of a family XBL membership is something I would like to stay away from.
As for NextPVR, I am no sure what that is, but I plan to cancel my TV service and strictly access TV/Movies through the internet (Netflix, Zune, Full episodes available online, etc).
The one thing I like about the Acer Revo RL100 is that it has a large enough hdd for our needs (for now), and that it has the wireless keyboard that can be stored within the device. I would like whatever HTPC solution I end up going with to be able to fit within the cubby that my current set-top box resides in.
I don't mind building my own if in the end it is cheaper with better specs, not to picky about 1080p, 720p would be fine for me. I was just planning on either installing the XBMC linux build, or Windows 7 with XBMC, or maybe something like MediaBrowse (which i seem to believe does pretty much the same thing as XBMC?)
I have selected Intel only because I do not know anything about AMD, it was easier for me to search for an select an Intel CPU and Mobo. If someone has a better cost effect method that is AMD please let me know
I have chosen a SSD for OS and programs, the HDD will be for media storage. Any help on making this better suited for my needs and cheaper will be greatly appreciated, currently this set up would cost approx. $550 CAD not including OS cost.
I have been looking at building a Llano based system with a A6-3500. Haven't decided whether or not to get a A55M motherboard or a A75M. Is SATAIII and USB3.0 worth the little bit extra?
OTAJuncqui, not sure why none of the links are working, I can't seem to edit that post either so I can't check or fix the links. And yes, no TV tuner, not for now at least. I don't know that much about tuners, but don't you need to have some sort of cable service with them? I will be cancelling my cable service. Also, my current cable service is IPTV.
Connecting an antenna to the TV antenna input will determine what channels are available. A DIY antenna will do the job and it's cheap to make a prototype. A simple UHF loop is really easy to make. I also suggest building a SBGH or DBGH (without reflector) using some 14/2 copper house wiring cable. It can be held together using a short piece of 1x4 and some screws and washers.