Want to set up a HTPC with Verizon FiOS

tontod

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
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I would like to get a SFF PC and use our TV screen as a monitor. I would like to get Media Center (for Windows 7) and use that to watch tv/movies/etc. But, I still would like to use all the FiOS services like On Demand, DVR, etc. Is this easily doable?
 
Sep 12, 2004
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The only way to do it with a PC and FiOS is by using a cable card tuner. DVR is no problem but On Demand does not work with a cable card. You would still need a Verizon box to get On Demand.
 

Medikit

Senior member
Feb 15, 2006
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I would like to get a SFF PC and use our TV screen as a monitor. I would like to get Media Center (for Windows 7) and use that to watch tv/movies/etc. But, I still would like to use all the FiOS services like On Demand, DVR, etc. Is this easily doable?
What do you want to use the HTPC for?
 

el-Capitan

Senior member
Apr 24, 2012
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Watch live TV/on demand/movies that are on the PC. Basically just treat the TV as a monitor.
FIOS On-Demand will not work. You need the Verizon set-top box for that.

I am using FIOS with a Ceton InfiniTV tuner. Works well.
 

tontod

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
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FIOS On-Demand will not work. You need the Verizon set-top box for that.

I am using FIOS with a Ceton InfiniTV tuner. Works well.
What about DVR functionality? I'll probably still need the Verizon box to watch recorded shows/movies?
 

tential

Diamond Member
May 13, 2008
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FIOS On-Demand will not work. You need the Verizon set-top box for that.

I am using FIOS with a Ceton InfiniTV tuner. Works well.
How is recording live tv on that? Does it work well?

I want to get one but I'm not sure how the recording is and how to do it well lol. I really want one though because being able to record 4 TV shows at once would be amazing. And I have a 4770k so I should be able to convert them pretty fast to smaller formats.
 

tontod

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
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The only way to do it with a PC and FiOS is by using a cable card tuner. DVR is no problem but On Demand does not work with a cable card. You would still need a Verizon box to get On Demand.
Where would be a good place to start? I'm looking to buy prebuilt. So the TV tuner card/cablecard can take care of the DVR functionality and store them on the PC?
 

Medikit

Senior member
Feb 15, 2006
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I would like to get a SFF PC and use our TV screen as a monitor. I would like to get Media Center (for Windows 7) and use that to watch tv/movies/etc. But, I still would like to use all the FiOS services like On Demand, DVR, etc. Is this easily doable?
Why not just use the devices individually do FiOD is hdmi2 and the HTPC is hdmi3
 

Fallen Kell

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
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Or you can simply use a Hauppauge Colossus or HD-PVR device + FIOS STB and can then watch and record OnDemand and everything else available on FIOS on the HTPC...
 
Sep 12, 2004
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Where would be a good place to start? I'm looking to buy prebuilt. So the TV tuner card/cablecard can take care of the DVR functionality and store them on the PC?
Yes, the tuner card can record programs and store them on the PC. Except for premium channels just about every channel on FiOS is flagged "copy freely" so you can archive those shows, watch them on another system over your LAN, and burn them to DVD. FiOS only charges $2.99 for the monthly cable card rental (vs. $15.99 or so for their HD DVR) so in the long run the cable card tuner pays for itself.

As far as prebuilt systems, I can't help your there. Except for laptops I build all my own desktop and HTPC systems and have for 20 years. I know that the mod of this forum, Assassin, sells prebuilt HTPCs of all varieties. You could check out his stuff. iirc he has a store on Amazon. Another option is to buy a system of whatever form factor you desire, then get an external cable card tuner that connects via ethernet like the Ceton InfiniTV6 ETH or the HD Homerun Prime. There are also external units that connect via USB but, imo, they aren't quite as desirable because they can't do dynamic tuner pooling, a consideration if you plan on adding more TVs in the future.

Hope that helps.
 

tontod

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
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Or you can simply use a Hauppauge Colossus or HD-PVR device + FIOS STB and can then watch and record OnDemand and everything else available on FIOS on the HTPC...
This is what I want, have the HTPC do everything, just need to look into the best solution. So I would need to plug in both the HD-PVR device and the FiOS STB into the PC? I was planning on getting Windows 7 Media Center.
 
Sep 12, 2004
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Read up on the Hauppauge Colossus/HD-PVR to ensure it's really what you want. There are limitations to using those devices for recording from set top boxes. One glaring limitation is that, unlike the cable card tuners, you will only be able to record a single channel at a time and when that channel is recording you cannot watch another channel. Some set top boxes limit component output (which you have to use to record from an STB with those units) to 480p so you might not be getting real high def output. Also you have to use an IR blaster for controlling channel changes on the STB and last, but not least, you'll need to use Hauppauge software (or their beta plugin for WMC).

If that fits your wants and needs, go for it.
 
Sep 12, 2004
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That one will work fine. Personally I would stay away from the USB-based external tuners and go with the ones that connect via Ethernet because they can do dynamic tuner assignment, an important factor if you want to add more TVs (or WMC capable PCs) to the system in the future. In addition the Hauppauge has 2 tuners and I think you'll soon find that 2 tuners just aren't enough.

I have the 4 tuner Ceton. When I first got it I couldn't imagine needing more tuners than that. Now there are times when all 4 tuners are recording and I want to watch a live program. I've been considering moving to the 6 tuner Ceton but the wife will probably consider an opportunity to record even more of her shows.
 

tontod

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
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That one will work fine. Personally I would stay away from the USB-based external tuners and go with the ones that connect via Ethernet because they can do dynamic tuner assignment, an important factor if you want to add more TVs (or WMC capable PCs) to the system in the future. In addition the Hauppauge has 2 tuners and I think you'll soon find that 2 tuners just aren't enough.

I have the 4 tuner Ceton. When I first got it I couldn't imagine needing more tuners than that. Now there are times when all 4 tuners are recording and I want to watch a live program. I've been considering moving to the 6 tuner Ceton but the wife will probably consider an opportunity to record even more of her shows.
Thanks for the tips. I think triple tuner will be fine, don't want to watch too much TV, hah. Only concern is that this unit will not record in 1080P:

http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_dcr3250.html

These units wont do on-demand, so for that I guess I will need to switch to the STB?
 

tontod

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
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That one will work fine. Personally I would stay away from the USB-based external tuners and go with the ones that connect via Ethernet because they can do dynamic tuner assignment, an important factor if you want to add more TVs (or WMC capable PCs) to the system in the future. In addition the Hauppauge has 2 tuners and I think you'll soon find that 2 tuners just aren't enough.

I have the 4 tuner Ceton. When I first got it I couldn't imagine needing more tuners than that. Now there are times when all 4 tuners are recording and I want to watch a live program. I've been considering moving to the 6 tuner Ceton but the wife will probably consider an opportunity to record even more of her shows.
Is this what you have?

http://cetoncorp.com/products/infinitv-6-ethernet/
 

tontod

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
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Another question - sorry for all the questions, but if I buy a PC with Media Center, does it come with a remote? And the Ceton should come with its own remote? Thanks.
 
Sep 12, 2004
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I have the 4-tuner, internal card. Thinking of replacing it with the 6-tuner external unit. Regarding a remote, it depends on which system you buy. If it doesn't come with one a WMC-compatible IR receiver and remote can be had pretty cheap.
 

tontod

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
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One more thing - anyone know where I can buy a gyroscopic remote control for the HTPC? I went to Gyration's website, but they dont appear to sell remotes any more, just mouse/keyboard combos.
 

Medikit

Senior member
Feb 15, 2006
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One more thing - anyone know where I can buy a gyroscopic remote control for the HTPC? I went to Gyration's website, but they dont appear to sell remotes any more, just mouse/keyboard combos.
I tried using a gyration device but it was buggy as hell and then failed.

Here is an interesting product, but I know nothing about it:
http://www.airflymouse.com/fly-mouse/

It was mentioned in this thread:
http://forums.anandtech.com/archive/index.php/t-2265200.html

If you purchase it then please leave a review, I think it's a cool idea even if it makes my wrist hurt thinking about it.
 

rsutoratosu

Platinum Member
Feb 18, 2011
2,671
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81
I have the 4-tuner, internal card. Thinking of replacing it with the 6-tuner external unit. Regarding a remote, it depends on which system you buy. If it doesn't come with one a WMC-compatible IR receiver and remote can be had pretty cheap.
I am so interested in this now.. :)

So how exactly do you get your dvr shows ? I assume you need a media pc to record them off the ceton box ?
 
Sep 12, 2004
16,852
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I am so interested in this now.. :)

So how exactly do you get your dvr shows ? I assume you need a media pc to record them off the ceton box ?
Yes, you need a PC with Windows Media Center to record shows and watch live TV. There are other media center software packages out now that have some compatibility with cable card tuners but none are yet fully compatible like WMC, so currently it is the only viable choice.
 

tontod

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 1999
3,244
0
71
I tried using a gyration device but it was buggy as hell and then failed.

Here is an interesting product, but I know nothing about it:
http://www.airflymouse.com/fly-mouse/

It was mentioned in this thread:
http://forums.anandtech.com/archive/index.php/t-2265200.html

If you purchase it then please leave a review, I think it's a cool idea even if it makes my wrist hurt thinking about it.
Looks interesting. I already bought a WMC remote, could I also use an air remote (and keyboard) at the same time?
 
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