Cutting the cord, simple approach. Couple questions

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs' started by WindWalker, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. WindWalker

    WindWalker Senior member

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    Tired of paying AT&T and/or TWC for TV, looking to send them out to pasture

    Current infrastructure is wireless-N. House is 2 story-good coverage/speed-can stream roku and Sony box to upstairs TVs(x3). Downstairs is 1 TV. No plans to wire house.
    Have 10mb internet-(it test out at close to pipe paid for)

    Hooked up an old Hauppauge 950Q with the small included antenna to my laptop and able to pull in 15 channels

    Needs
    -Very simple operation-must have strong WAF(wife acceptance factor)
    -ROI in < 6 months(currently paying T around 130/month-internet and TV(u200 and Whole house DVR)
    -local Network Channels
    -Cartoon Network
    -MTV
    -Nick and Nick Jr.
    -A&E
    -relatively quite

    Have
    ("Deals" I've bought and never gotten around to using, just stacked up in the basement for now)
    -couple of the Hauppage 950 tuners
    -Couple MCE3000 remotes
    -Asus M2A-VM motherboard
    -AMD BE2300
    -Various hard drives both SSDs and SATA
    -16GB PC2-6400 memory
    -Both an HD4350 and a HD5450 video card
    -Antec Case(bigger than I'd like for this-mid size ATX)
    -triple back of Win7 licences

    Would guess the above parts would/should work for 1 TV

    Also have these get used some
    (1)Roku 2XD
    (1)Sony SMP-N100
    (1)WD Live(flashed)
    (1)Blueray player

    To Buy
    If the above will work, I'll need to buy 2 Systems and 1 additional Tuner
    Thinking of this for new systems
    -Foxconn RM3-H2 Barebone system($69)
    -Intel G540 CPU($49)
    -4GB RAM*($20)
    -will use drives I have for now
    -so cost of around $150 for systems x2=$300
    -Walmark Yagi Antenna($40)
    -Haupagge Tuner($50)
    ** Total Cost of around $400 **

    Plan
    -Buy above stuff
    -assemble and install OS
    -Install Antenna in attic and run lead to current cable splitter box
    -Hook them all up
    -Teach Wife and kids how to use
    -Hope for the best
    -Sign up for Hulu Plus and Netflix. These will be used for both non-network channel access and as back-up DVR for network access

    I believe my ROI would end up being around 3 months when all is said and done

    Questions[/b}
    -Seem Do-able?
    -The Android/Ubuntu TV-sticks intrigues me. Hauppage I believe has drivers for Ubuntu. I wonder if I could install the tuner into the USB port on one of these devices and get that to work. Anyone tried this or know someone who has? Talk about quite and low-power draw
    -would I be better off just buying something like the Digiwave DTV-5000 from summitsource($129) or maybe a PHD-VRX from epvisin($229)

    Input and thoughts welcome
     
    #1 WindWalker, Dec 22, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
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  3. assassin24

    assassin24 HTPC Moderator

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    Where are you going to be getting these channels from?

    -Cartoon Network
    -MTV
    -Nick and Nick Jr.
    -A&E
     
  4. NutBucket

    NutBucket Lifer

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    Yeah, you're not going to get that content online unless you're getting old episodes (Netflix, hulu) or getting recent episodes from less ethical/legal sources.
     
  5. WindWalker

    WindWalker Senior member

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    -Cartoon Network on cartoonnetwork.com
    -MTV-hmmm, thought that was on hulu
    -Nick and Nick Jr. square bob on hulu and/or netflix
    -A&E on aetv.com/

    Would plex and playon help with channel selection?
    Seems like most of what we'd miss would be for the 13 yo
     
  6. NutBucket

    NutBucket Lifer

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    That's OK, just get the 13 yo outside more. TV is the debbil after all:p

    And I truly believe watching MTV makes you dumb.
     
  7. SMOGZINN

    SMOGZINN Diamond Member

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    I have a 10 year old boy and a 17 year old girl. They use to sit and watch junk TV, mostly reruns of those terrible live action shows on Disney, all day long.

    Then I cut the cable, and there was about a three week adjustment period in which they complained, and I was not a favorite person, but after that they found other things to do.

    Now they watch the 2 or 4 new episodes of recorded or streamed shows a week, the rest of their time they spend on hobbies and doing more active and social things. Killing the endless pipe of empty content was a great change in my house, it seems the simple act of having to choose to watch the next episode made for drastic change.
     
  8. ecosmartpc

    ecosmartpc Member

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    I can't wait until our contact is up and I can dump those Disney shows. Man do they suck.
     
  9. WindWalker

    WindWalker Senior member

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    Should the hardware I mentioned in the OP be up to the task?
     
  10. Binky

    Binky Diamond Member

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    My suggestion would be to build the initial system and test the WAF with that. It will only get more complicated once you add the other systems, so if she rejects that initial system, you're screwed. Your proposed system is slightly low-powered. I'd prefer to use an Intel system there with maybe a pentium/celeron or i3 processor.

    You will need a lot of HD space since 1 hour HD program takes about 8GB of space.

    Also, the secondary systems will be able to play the content recorded by the primary system, but they will not be able to change the recording schedule. If you used an xbox360 as an extender at each end point, you would have full access to the programming schedule. There are pro's and cons to having a full computer as an extender vs an xbox360 so you might want to look into this before building the other systems.
     
  11. WindWalker

    WindWalker Senior member

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    a very good idea
     
  12. master7045

    master7045 Senior member

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    OP, hows the project going? I"m thinking about doing the same thing as you. I'm using a HDHomeRun Dual + a 360 as an extender. I also have a ROKU for our other TV. Only 2 TVs in our house though.
     
  13. notposting

    notposting Diamond Member

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    I know it's a little older of a post, but here's my take on it:

    To save money, you will be sacrificing things at some point. As mentioned above though, less TV may not be a bad thing ;)

    In our case, we have a 7MC setup, streams from an HDHR (Comcast Limited Basic, aka the networks) and our WHS, and we have Netflix and (regular) Hulu plugins integrated within MC. Only thing I really miss is not having an Amazon Instant Video plugin. Having a toddler limits how much TV we watch anyway, but in the end we don't miss anything too much.