Building a PVR Home Entertainment Center

Discussion in 'Computers' started by SmallTownUSA, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. SmallTownUSA

    SmallTownUSA Auditioning

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    Hi All; While I am not a novice with computers, I AM a novice with video. I would like to cancel my DirecTV HD-DVR service and build me a PVR system which would allow me to download HDTV (or SDTV) content over the net and play it on my HDTV. I would also like to play HD (Blue Ray) content as well as sometimes project pictures from my computer. What do I need to start this process. My home computer equipment consists of a relatively high end workstation, an IBM T60 laptop, ethernet throughout the house as will as wireless router system. I have two HDTVs in the house in different room. The house is also wired with Coax. Is there anyway I can use my workstation as a central system to download the TV content (say from Netflix) and play it on either/both of the HDTVs? We never watch "live" TV or the local stations. We always watch pre-recorded HDTV or SDTV obtained from DirecTV. Hence the desire to get rid of DirecTV. Any info here would be greatly appreciated. I am also more than willing to read a lot to educate myself. thanks, Harold
     
  2. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Harold:

    What do you have loaded on your workstation as far as an OS? If you don't have it already I would load Windows Vista Home Premium or higher onto the work station. Then I would put a Media Center extender at each one of your HDTVs. That way you download content to the workstation and then stream that video to either HDTVs. As far as watching Blu-ray your best bet would be to put a player at each TV as streaming HiDef content over wireless can be really hit and miss.
     
  3. SmallTownUSA

    SmallTownUSA Auditioning

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    Parker: thanks for the reply. I am running XP Pro. I will look into the specs, etc for a Media Center Extender on each. Any suggestions on the type of media extender?
     
  4. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Harold:

    You will need to have Vista on your workstation as it is required for HiDef for complaince with HDCP.

    Two of the Media Center Extenders that people like are the HP Media Center Extender and the Linksys Media Center Extender.

    After CES and then CEDIA I am sure there are going to be even better extenders with more functions and better performance with HD streaming so you may want to wait and see what is coming out.
     

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