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Cutting the cord questions

Fuego

Junior Member
Dec 1, 2014
9
0
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I know there are a lot of other threads, but I think I confused myself and could use some direction.

I recently bought a new PC to act as my media server/DVR. I also have an OTA antenna on order. What I am confused about is the piece in the middle, which takes the OTA signal and puts it onto my computer. I know there is the Happuage tuner, but I was looking at the HDHomeRun line of prodcuts and I would prefer them if they would work, especially since they are also CableCard compatible (future proofs in case we want to go back, but don't want to have to pay for DVR fees).

I would like to be able to record more than 1 show at a time while watching live TV. Would that mean two cards? Also, can I set it up to where I can watch live TV on more than one TV at a time?

Slight aside, but I was looking at the motherboard for the PC I just bought and there is a blue PCI-looking slot near one of the expansion ports in the back. Is this PCI-e? It's been a long time since I looked in a PC and wanted to make sure this was correct.

is there something that I am missing?

Thanks!
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
14,612
315
126
I like the HDHomeRuns personally. Most units are dual tuner, which means you can record one show while watching another. Plus one TV could watch one tuner, while another TV watched a different tuner.
 
May 27, 2008
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The HDHome Run Prime is the cablecard tuner by Silicondust. It does not do OTA. All the other HDHomeRuns are OTA tuners. None of them do cablecard, but they can do QAM if your local cable doesn't encrypt.

There isn't a cable card tuner for PC on the market that can do OTA. I don't know why that is.

There also isn't any OTA tuners that have more then two digital tuners. I don't know why that is. If you want to watch live while recording two other shows you will need three tuners. Two HDHomeRuns for OTA would get you four total tuners.
 

Fuego

Junior Member
Dec 1, 2014
9
0
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Thanks for all of the replies! Is there a specific HDHomeRun that people have used and like over any others? There are several models and I am not sure how to read all of the details to determine which one is best (subjective, I know). To get more than one HDHomeRun hooked up on my system, is there anything special that I should know about? Any gotchas? I am thinking if I buy just one now, and it works well, I can always buy another one to expand the number of streams I can record at once.

I might just have to buy one off of Amazon (or find one locally) and try it out. If it doesn't do what I want, I supposed I can always return and get another one.

I did some more research and it turns out I have one spare PCIe and PCIex16 slot on my motherboard. A little bummed there isn't more, but I guess that is what I get for not building my own (despite it being cheaper to buy one off the shelf!)
 

Fuego

Junior Member
Dec 1, 2014
9
0
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Can any of the HDHomeRuns act as a video capture device? I haven't seen any ports for that, but I haven't look at all of them either. Any suggestions for a good quality device that doesn't break the bank? I am looking to capture some stuff from my DVR before we turn it in.
 

tential

Diamond Member
May 13, 2008
7,363
641
121
Can any of the HDHomeRuns act as a video capture device? I haven't seen any ports for that, but I haven't look at all of them either. Any suggestions for a good quality device that doesn't break the bank? I am looking to capture some stuff from my DVR before we turn it in.
I know you weren't trying to keep cable, but how many cable boxes do you have?

You can significantly cut down your Cable bill with a TV Tuner (No DVR needed since your PC has built in DVR, Don't need multiple cable boxes because you can serve up cable to anything in the house from 1 TV, etc.)

Just thought you might want to know the full features of a tv tuner.
 

Fuego

Junior Member
Dec 1, 2014
9
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Right, that is what I was planning/trying to do Tential. I have 3 dvr boxes, part of the reason the bill is high. I just wanted to try and get some shows (mainly for the kids) that they love to watch and know I need a video capture device of some sort and was wondering what a good one was.
 

Zaap

Diamond Member
Jun 12, 2008
7,175
423
126
HDHomerun is truly amazing. I have one I bought many years ago ( I want to say around 2008 or so) that as I sit here, I *literally* don't quite know where it physically is anymore.

I plugged it in the day I bought it, (dual OTA tuners) stuck it at the back of my AV closet, and forgot about it. Now it's somewhere down behind something at the back of the closet (sure, I could find it if I dug for it)...

... but it's still working strong, serving up HDTV to everything in the house, flawlessly, same as it has been since day 1.

In my book- that's a hell of a device, my kind of plug-n-play!
 

Raincity

Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2000
4,475
12
81
You really need to decide if your sticking with cable and pay tv to work out a game plan. The six tuner Ceton Infinity http://www.amazon.com/Ceton-InfiniTV...ton+infinitv+6 should fill your household cable DVR needs but you will need to have WMC extenders for all the sets in the house. If OTA is in your future. You best bet is to buy some Silly Dust HD boxes and setup a sever to run Myth TV server on the backend and use XBMC/ Kodi on the front end on either HTPC or hacked Fire TV boxes. You can use WMC for ease of setup but its future is spotty right now.
 

Fuego

Junior Member
Dec 1, 2014
9
0
0
I think for the time being, we are going to stick with pay TV (despite my OTA claims earlier) and rent a CableCard. The Ceton you mentioned looks pretty nice (6 streams!), but is almost double the HDHomeRun Prime, which only supports recording 2 and watching 1.

I will be doing this through WMC. Any thoughts? Is the Ceton worth the extra in price? Everything will be going through my PC at this point. How hard is it to set up other TVs to watch? Do I need the Ceton Echo WMC extender, or can I use other WMC extenders (xbox 360, etc)?

Thanks again!
 

Raincity

Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2000
4,475
12
81
I think for the time being, we are going to stick with pay TV (despite my OTA claims earlier) and rent a CableCard. The Ceton you mentioned looks pretty nice (6 streams!), but is almost double the HDHomeRun Prime, which only supports recording 2 and watching 1.

I will be doing this through WMC. Any thoughts? Is the Ceton worth the extra in price? Everything will be going through my PC at this point. How hard is it to set up other TVs to watch? Do I need the Ceton Echo WMC extender, or can I use other WMC extenders (xbox 360, etc)?

Thanks again!
The Xbox-360 works great and is easy to setup as a extender.
 

tential

Diamond Member
May 13, 2008
7,363
641
121
I think for the time being, we are going to stick with pay TV (despite my OTA claims earlier) and rent a CableCard. The Ceton you mentioned looks pretty nice (6 streams!), but is almost double the HDHomeRun Prime, which only supports recording 2 and watching 1.

I will be doing this through WMC. Any thoughts? Is the Ceton worth the extra in price? Everything will be going through my PC at this point. How hard is it to set up other TVs to watch? Do I need the Ceton Echo WMC extender, or can I use other WMC extenders (xbox 360, etc)?

Thanks again!
I'd use the CetonInfiniTV4 + WMC.

My main pc has WMC. It also runs ServerWMC(Which serves the CetonInfiniTV4 to everywhere in the house). It runs 24/7.

Then, it depends on what you have in your house. I have old laptops/PCs. My old laptop is now converted into an "HTPC". So I run XBMC on it. In the LiveTV section, I just added the network location of the CetonInfiniTV4, and now I can watch TV from it. I did this for each PC in the house. Now, if you're at a PC, you can watch live TV.

You can repurpose old laptops for this task if you want, or purchase a Chromebox and run OpenELEC (Boots directly into XBMC and acts like a cable box so you don't deal with updates or anything) and get Flirc (this allows you to program any remote to work with XBMC easily. Makes it nice to keep the same remote you already have. Cheap and works great).

You could also purchase Raspi and use those as your OpenELEC boxes. They're cheap and easy and flirc has a set on their site that includes a box, raspi unit, and flirc remote receiver. It's about $50 I think but not sure if it includes wifi.

If you have Xbox 360s, you can also use those, but I don't know how the wife acceptance factor is on that. I think a Raspi is your best bet for something very cheap to start with to test and see how it works. Not the fastest device, but if you've used a cable box, chances are you aren't used to fast guide usage anyway. My Verizon Cable Box is brand new and after using WMC to scroll through a TVGuide at light speed, I can't live with using a CableBox ever again. Things are horrendous.
There are a lot of options, I'm really bad at explaining them in a nice neat way, but I'm sure someone can explain it better.
 

piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
17,183
60
91
I just decided that cable was not worth paying for. I will admit that there is some programming that is not available on the Internet and it might be quite entertaining, but I just decided It was not worth spending so much money on. Internet access is not that cheap either. If you want to support yourself, your wife, and children on the internet you probably need a better high speed connection than the cheapest DSL option. Remember, you get what you pay for.
 

Fuego

Junior Member
Dec 1, 2014
9
0
0
thanks again all! Those are a lot of good suggestions. I think I am going to get a HDHomeRun Prime to go with my Verizon Cable Card. I do have a 360, so that will work for one TV. I have an Amazon Fire TV Stick. i wonder if that will work for the second TV. I am pretty sure I can get it to work for recordings, though not sure for Live TV. Live isn't that big of a deal, but if it becomes one, I can deal with it then.
 

Fuego

Junior Member
Dec 1, 2014
9
0
0
Update!

Last Friday, the Verizon guy came out and installed a cable card into my HDHomeRun Prime. It took a little over 2.5 hours, but most of that was the tech on hold with Verizon trying to activate the cable card. he hadn't done one before and his software was not playing nicely with the server. (Verizon updated things over the holiday!)

Followed directions from silicondust's website and everything set up smoothly. Getting WMC set up was similarly easy. Like what Zaap said, it is amazing and almost "magic".

Right now, I have one xbox 360 (with a media remote in the mail today for the wife). It works great! haven't played with it a lot yet, but having a hard wired connection is a must!

Got a Fire TV stick and side-loaded Kodi (14.0) on it and streaming works okay with native .wtv files. If I convert to a more compressed .mp4, streaming works almost flawlessly. There are tiny "hiccups" that are only noticeable if you look for them and the scene is moving at a constant pace (like the scrolling sentences at the beginning of Star Wars).

Right now, my plan is to record everything with WMC and then use MCEBuddy 2.3.13 (the last free one) to convert .wtv to .mp4 and strip out commercials. Have only tried one show so far, but works pretty well.

Would it be worth it to donate to get MCEBuddy 2.4.1? Probably, I am guessing, but 2.3.13 is working. I am thinking about scheduling it to run at night to convert/strip commercials because I am worried if it is processing, it might cause issues in my recording of shows. Is this something I should worry about?

I might get some more hardware later on, but I wanted to see what worked right now before I bought more, hence the Fire TV stick.
 

Geofram

Member
Jan 20, 2010
120
0
76
I donated to MCEBuddy just because it was so dang useful I wanted to support its development.

The newer MCEBuddy can use Intel QuickSync for converting, which speeds things up considerably. But I also run it on a different computer than I record on - I just share my "recorded TV" folder on the HTPC and my server PC runs MCEbuddy and grabs off of it, so I don't know what kind of impact it has on watching.

Probably matters what kind of processor the computer has in it, since video converting can be very intense. Before I put a SSD in my HTPC, I could always tell when MCEBuddy was picking up a new show over the network - it didn't screw up recording, but if you were trying to fast forward or rewind a recording you were watching (for me, that was generally watching football), you'd get pretty big delays before it would do it.
 

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