This is seriously cool. IMHO the biggest feature that WHS lacks is built Media Center backend functionality.
WHS should have the Vista Media Center backend built into it so it acts as the home server and then relies on cheap Media Center extenders plugged into each TV. This is the perfect solution! MS have shown that they don't actually understand the Media Center market however, that was completely obvious when they launched Vista Media Center and it didn't even have the functionality to use another Vista PC as an extender!
The new Linksys media extenders are fantastic but unfortunately while they can handle H.264 video they have no support for AAC-LATM audio so will be of no use as a TV extender in New Zealand without the TV server doing some transocoding of the audio stream. I know this is something that guys with Popcornhour boxes are doing.
It's just a a shame that there is still no perfect (IMHO!) solution for TV and audio distribution in a house.
Yes, I really do think, that a server with tv tuners and thin clients to the TV's around the house is they way of the future with digital TV. As sbiddle said unforntunally there is no true thin client that can handle the freeview HD at the moment (please tell me I am wrong tho.. haha). Like I look at mediaportal but the clients still need to be powerful to process the HD channels.
Also I am wondering what sort of bandwidth would be needed to steam lets say 3 HD channels from one server?
not a lot - the channels are only about 10 megabits so a 100 basetx lan will handle it easily. Wireless wont, but wifi is a joke between rooms at the best of times anyway so no point trying unless you have a huge buffer at the playback end.
3 tuners will be enough for nz for now. 2 would do me, but it remains to be seen what else happens on the kordia transmitter. fingers crossed for alt tv here but I am not hopeful otherwise with maori and whatever theres little point in tuning into it.
What is really needed is for consumer gear to get working igmp support so that it can multicast across a home lan so that 4 clients on the same stream will not start to choke the rest of the lan.