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Discussion Starter #1
I wanted to play my ota htpc signals on a downstairs tv and I didn't know how. Thanks to here I learned media extenders do the job.

Oh, here's where I am now. I have a mostly functioning laptop htpc (with all the needed parts in a box for a desktop htpc build), a 32" lcd tv, an xbox pro (60gb), a reliable 'g' network, and time.

I have done a lot of reading here. Honestly guys, my eyes start glazing over though when things like h.262 and fsb and phenom and pcie+ and all these others number pop up.

Now what I don't know is the significant differences between having say, xbox or WD thing. My understanding. The WD type devices allow you to play all types of media easily on a variety of output sources. The xbox does the same. The WD can standalone to display media without a computer running. The xbox can't.

Both are remote controlled. Both can operate wirelessly. Both are well supported with communities behind them.

Can someone who owns both highlight the major differences for me or correct my understanding of this? I don't want to own both if just one meets my needs. Thanks
 

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it depends on what you're recording with

if you're using Windows, your only real choice for a live tv extender is the XBOX


if you're using something else (myth, sage, etc) you can setup another box (appliance or PC) as the extender
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Since I'm using Windows I guess that spells it out for me. The xbox will be my extender and I can ignore buying a WD or similar appliance.
 

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the nice thing with the xbox, is that you can give yourself exactly the same media center experience as the main HTPC

it basically just operates a remote desktop session, but does some of the heavy lifting codec wise
 

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A couple of things to clarify for you:
- The Xbox also plays files standalone from a USB stick, but the number of formats supported is generally weak.
- If you're planning to view Live TV from Windows Media Center, XBox is your only option
- If you're planning to view Live TV from SageTV running on Windows, Sage Extenders are your only option

Which I suspect will lead you to Sage vs Media Center questions, here's my input:
- Sage will support the most formats and options, but the UI (even in the newest version) isn't great for non-technical people. Sage will be easier on you as the administrator.
- Media Center/XBox supports less formats and options, but I can put anyone in my family in front of the UI and they are happy. MC will be easier on other people who are using it to watch TV and movies.

Last point: You'll need to upgrade your network to wireless "N" for OTA high definition. G won't cut it.

Can I also ask why you don't just plug your HTPC directly into your TV? That would be the easiest and most flexible option.

Have fun!

Pete
 

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Well, with costs and everything factored in...can't forget that the extender users are the kids and wife...it looks like the xbox is the clear winner here. And with that thought...

I bought a cheap xbox just for extending purposes as the oldest son keeps his 360 at his father's place. Well, it turns out he's having a friend live with his mom and I for a semester. Yes, his friend has a 360. Add the oldest son's 360 and the cheap 360 I bought...

We're suddenly awash in extenders. Haha. Oh well, I read WMC can handle 4 extenders (IIRC) so we're good.

Pete, my pc is 12 ft. from my tv. I could just plug my htpc into it but learning about the extenders and whatnot was fun. I may still just move the htpc close enough to plug into the tv but I still need to extend downstairs for the boys tv.

I'm going wired on this one. I'm getting a gb router (dd-wrt compatible) as I'm also throwing a moderate 4.5 tb NAS into the mix. Add in a dedicated pc to strip out commercials and I can see a lot of data moving around my little network. Enough data to swamp n.
 
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