Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
502 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Not sure if I have the above terminology correct but here is my question.

I have a Windows 7 PC with Windows Media Center (WMC) and an ATSC tuner card. I would like to stream the live HD TV video over my home network from the WMC to a small laptop running Vista Home Basic . (So that I can follow the hockey anywhere in the house ;) )

When I do a google search for a WMC extender I get lots of hits for an XBox 360 etc, but that is NOT what I am looking for.

I don't want to use my limited Internet Bandwidth to stream the video either - one of the solutions I already had going through the orb website, the orb application and WMP.

I guess there must be software somewhere that I could install on the laptop that would let the small laptop act as a Media Extender for WMC similar to what a XBox would be.

It is clear that I am missing something somewhere.

Anyone ideas will be appreciated.

(Sorry if this question has already been discussed - the forum search did not find any hits for WMC)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,131 Posts
The most obvious solution would be to upgrade the laptop to Windows 7 Home Premium. There are a number of free media players available. You could check out the usual suspects, such as VLC (videolan.org) and XBMC (new release candidate) which are free. Not sure if they work with Windows Media Center but it's worth a try since they are both excellent media players. Windows Media Player may work but I haven't tried it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
275 Posts
If you're set on WMC, you have to upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium or greater to do what you are planning on doing. Windows Vista uses a different file format than Windows 7 in Media Center, so your 7 files won't play on Vista Home Premium.

I have Windows 7 Pro, so I'm not too sure of the network limitations in Home Premium. Windows 7 Pro works well over the network and saves mapped drives and passwords so it is seemless to stream video from my HTPC to my laptops.

With HD, you need a good wireless router or hard wired connections. I know my router is not good enough, but maybe there are some that can maintain the 19 mbps stream necessary for HD video. I use hard wired connections to watch TV on my network for smooth performance.

As mentioned there are other options, by I'm personally a fan of WMC, it has a very high WAF in my house, so if the budget allows, go for a Windows 7 upgrade (if your PC has the horsepower too).
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,996 Posts
What you're looking for is the mythical creature known as 'softsled'. WMC users have been pining for a software extender for Live TV since Windows XP MCE. It hasn't happened, and I long ago accepted it never would. Every chance Microsoft gets to create something like that (Windows 7, Windows Phone 7, etc) they pass, and nobody knows why.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
704 Posts
TorontoColin is correct, there is no way to view live TV from a PC based media center extender client.

You can share recorded TV, but not live TV.

Other windows PVR apps will do what you're looking for, including SageTV. But for the cost of the software you could probably get an XBox 360 or used Linksys DMA-2100 extender off of eBay.

Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
833 Posts
Check out MediaPortal. It's a free, open source media center that has DVR functionality, soft clients, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
275 Posts
TorontoColin is correct, there is no way to view live TV from a PC based media center extender client.

You can share recorded TV, but not live TV.
The workaround for that is to start recording the program you want to watch on the main PC. I have the HDHomerun network tuner so I wouldn't have even thought of that before. In order to avoid tuner conflicts with other recordings, I often get things to record on my HTPC, then watch them on my laptop pretty much live. It's on, running and recording so it's not that big of a deal. Having to boot up your other PC and get it to record is just an extra step in the process.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,131 Posts
Check out MediaPortal.
Since it's free, MediaPortal is worth a try. It is a PITA to set up though. SageTV has a 3 week free trial but is expensive to purchase. If you have Nero 9/10, they also have a media server called MediaHome. (It often goes on sale for half price around the holidays.)

I have Windows 7 Pro, so I'm not too sure of the network limitations in Home Premium.
Win7 Home Premium will work fine for home networking. . Win7 Pro is required to connect to a business class server.

With HD, you need a good wireless router or hard wired connections.
An N router and N card (dual band recommended) are usually required for HDTV. G might work if the signal is very good and there are no other PCs using it. G should be OK for SDTV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,334 Posts
I personally recommend SageTV as it has software clients - both a "thin-client" model called Placeshifter (which also works over the internet) and a "heavy-client" model (SageTV Client) and it also has hardware extenders which can be very useful as they are cheap ($150), quiet and much easier to maintain than PCs. It also has versions for Linux and Mac. Sage is also much more Canada-friendly than MS has shown itself to be as it officially supports ATSC in Canada and doesn't care about flags such as CGMS-A which can cause problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
502 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks to all who have responded. MUCH appreciated:) Does not sound that it will be a solution without throwing in some $ and I am now second guessing the horsepower available in the small laptop (it is already pushed when running some other applications like skype etc).

Again, thank you very much for taking the time to respond
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top