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Douce 2008-05-21 06:07 PM

HTPC Setup Questions
I am in the process of putting together my HTPC and have a few questions.

I currently have a HP Windows Home Server with 2TB of storage that will be used as my "Media Central". Then I plan on building a new HTPC and then getting Windows Media Center Extenders for the three TV's I have in the house (two are HD). I want to be able to watch seperate shows on all three TV's as well as access content (HDTV, NonHD, Pictures, Music, etc.) that will be stored on the Home Server. Questions.......

1. Do I still require a Rogers cable box somewhere in my setup? Trying to eliminate them all.
2. Do I require three tuner cards in my HTPC? Two HD and one NonHD?
3. Do all functions of Windows Media Center work in Canada?

Any tips or better setup suggestions are also welcome.

Thanks so much in advance....

57 2008-05-21 06:53 PM

If you wish to access any of the digital channels (which includes HD) then you'll need a STB since those channels are encrypted and you need a STB to access them. The only way to record HD is via firewire, but it has been problematical. See the following post on Recording HD and see the link to the Rogers firewire thread in there.

There has been some recent discussion on recording via the "analogue hole", that link is also in the above. Other people will have to answer your other questions, but those may also be addressed in the above links.

Please put your location and service provider into your UserCP Profile (location). This helps us help you. Here's a thread useful for newbies to the forum:

Wayne 2008-05-29 12:16 AM

You don't mention which version of Media Center - assuming that you want to use extenders for HD content then you will need to be running Vista MC and have V2 extenders - or Xbox360s. Out of the box Media Center, either XP or Vista, will not allow you to use OTA HD in Canada - but that is fixed quite easily - look for the ATSC Canada hack by Peter Near.

But there is no way to get HD cable into Media Center in Canada - there is the Hauppauge HD-PVR box that 57 mentioned under "Analogue hole". This box is supposed to be shipping this week but it is unlikely to be supported by Vista MC in the near term.

Your best option therefore is to use SageTV and buy the Sage extenders. Sage is supporting the HD-PVR out of the box. Note that these Hauppauge HD-PVR devices cost $250 so you will need one for each HD signal that you want to extend through your house plus one HD cable box - ouch! If you don't need all of the extended signals to be HD then you can just by a regular analog tuner card and an SD cable box which will save several hundred $ per tuner.

Note that you can run Sage on your WHS box so this negates the need for an HTPC.

I have been running XP MCE 2005 for about 18 months with several V1 extenders through my house. I also have a WHS box with 2TB of storage. I am likely to buy at least one of these Hauppauge HD-PVR units and switch to Sage as Microsoft seems to have lost interest in the Media Center concept, especially for Canadians.

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