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Opinions and help requested

1235 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Tikker
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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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!

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