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Topic # 222514 15-Aug-2017 11:54
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Hey Team,

 

 

 

Holy crap.. 10 years here!

Back, back in the day i built a HTPC using WMC, it was glorious but over the years the support stopped coming and eventually when i got married MySky took over for ease of use.

 

Im about to buy my first home with the wife and am wanting to get away from Sky..

 

Looking for peoples opinions and recommendations on the best way to go about this..

 

 

 

Ideally, im looking to put a HTPC in the office and have it record freeview programmes and deliver recorded programmes, live freeview TV (multi channel at once) and internet streams to different TVs in the house (bedroom 1, bedroom 2, lounge, study, garage).  Would be great if i could also easily access my stored media (movies, mp3s etc) on any of these TVs.  Needs to have an easy to use UI that esentially replaces the Sky offering for the wife..

I will also look to turn this into a gaming PC i can casually game from the lounge with..

 

 

 

Are there any solutions for me?

Any info or help greatly appreciated!

 

Cheers,

 

Alex.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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491 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1846975 15-Aug-2017 12:05
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Have a look at Emby (used to be called MediaBrowser).

 

It support Live TV and playing your own media. You could have that Emby Server running on a computer somewhere. Live TV would work off some DVB-T tuner running in the computer or alternatively use an HDHomerun.

Then you can use all sorts of clients (some smartTV, Roku, Shield, AppleTV, etc...) to stream your content (and Live/Recorded TV) around.

 

With a bit of setup and some basic piece, it can be a really powerful system


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  Reply # 1846977 15-Aug-2017 12:08
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I used to build HTPC's back in the day.  Windows XP MCE and then Vista and Windows 7.  It was fun times.  To be honest the services that are around these days make a HTPC redundant for me anymore.  I use Plex on most of my devices, and where I don't use that there's Netflix and Lightbox and YouTube, all with apps on the same devices.  For the last few years before getting a Smart TV my "HTPC" was just a Raspberry Pi blutacked to the back of the TV running RasPlex.  


 
 
 
 


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1846980 15-Aug-2017 12:17
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I still use a Windows 7 HTPC running MCE and it's still going strong but when the time comes I don't think I'm going to go the effort of replacing it. I'll be watching this thread with interest...


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  Reply # 1846993 15-Aug-2017 12:32
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Yeah my media centre(s) sit pretty idle now.  

 

Also toss up if the effort in setting up a networked recording machine is outweighs the cost and effort of putting media devices in all the locations and using ondemand sevices/live streaming.  You may find you a, don't record a lot at all, b, don't need a recording machine as ondemand is sufficient.

 

 





Previously known as psycik

NextPVR/OpenHAB: 
Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,OpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, Raspberry PI temperature Sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors,HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 2012 
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex




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  Reply # 1847014 15-Aug-2017 13:12
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davidcole:

 

Yeah my media centre(s) sit pretty idle now.  

 

Also toss up if the effort in setting up a networked recording machine is outweighs the cost and effort of putting media devices in all the locations and using ondemand sevices/live streaming.  You may find you a, don't record a lot at all, b, don't need a recording machine as ondemand is sufficient.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interesting.. A few people making simular sort of comments.  We do record a lot of local shows (the missus gets into Shortland St, The Block, Home & Away etc.. honestly, its the missus...) which is why ive held onto MySky really.  The ease of use for her is the number one criteria in any system, but to pay $70odd a month or whatever for the pleasure is a bit crap.

To be able to have recorded freeview tv available at each of the TVs would be a great step-up, and to have an all in one system the ideal..  Will be replacing most of the TVs with new ones, none of ours are smart atm.




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  Reply # 1847018 15-Aug-2017 13:22
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gehenna:

 

I used to build HTPC's back in the day.  Windows XP MCE and then Vista and Windows 7.  It was fun times.  To be honest the services that are around these days make a HTPC redundant for me anymore.  I use Plex on most of my devices, and where I don't use that there's Netflix and Lightbox and YouTube, all with apps on the same devices.  For the last few years before getting a Smart TV my "HTPC" was just a Raspberry Pi blutacked to the back of the TV running RasPlex.  

 

 

 

 

I played around with Plex a few years ago, and now see that XBMC which i also had am play with is now Kodi which is cool.  The problem i found was always with getting everything working together, EPG and easy to access streams were the biggest bugbears, and lots of fiddling required which when things went wrong was a gamekiller for the wife.


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  Reply # 1847019 15-Aug-2017 13:23
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loryda:

 


To be able to have recorded freeview tv available at each of the TVs would be a great step-up, and to have an all in one system the ideal..  Will be replacing most of the TVs with new ones, none of ours are smart atm.

 

 

Plex and emby would give you a tuner based solution that would do this...and afaik, most smart tvs should have clients for box (plex I know for sure, emby I can't comment on)......but then smart tvs would also have tvnz ondemand and tv3 ondemand apps....which may negate the need to record at all.  

 

Of course plex/emby can take other media as well, but it's not an either/or decision.  The main bit is deciding if you can do without recording and utilise ondemand (with the obvious internet usage).  Maybe see if what you want for "recording" is available on ondemand readily enough, and that navigation is easy enough for all involved.    Flicking between different services can be a punish I know from my own experience, what with using lightbox for one series, netflix for another, plex for another, hayu for another.....it can be annoying remember what is where.





Previously known as psycik

NextPVR/OpenHAB: 
Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,OpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, Raspberry PI temperature Sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors,HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 2012 
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex


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  Reply # 1847238 15-Aug-2017 18:55
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My thoughts on the HTPC:

 

  • Plex or NextPVR on the HTPC, with some tuners (a twin or quad terrestrial tuner, possibly plus a twin satellite tuner) to record live TV.
  • If you are keeping the MySky, add an HDCP stripper and capture device, to stream/transfer material off the MySky box.
  • An SSD as the boot drive, and a Raid5 array for recording storage using an external enclosure connected using eSata or USB3, to provide enough space for stored recordings, adequate read-write for multiple channel recording, and drive fault tolerance.
  • MCEbuddy, to automatically strip the commercials from recorded Freeview programmes.

That is roughly the build I toy with from time to time, finances and time permitting.

 

Then for client computers on the network, I would actually be tempted to go with NUC-form pre-built windows PCs, plus media remotes. Braswell ones can be had very cheaply (circa $400 new with 32GB SSDs and including Windows). They will run the Plex client happily. They will also allow a drive to be added if you want more storage (I added a cheap 750G laptop drive to mine), and also allow install of Netflix, Lightbox etc clients if you want.


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  Reply # 1847240 15-Aug-2017 18:58
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(Can't quote as mobile)

How do you control your HTPC though? Do you get a remote going (for higher WAF) or get everyone to mouse and keyboard?

I find these to be factors.




Previously known as psycik

NextPVR/OpenHAB: 
Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,OpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, Raspberry PI temperature Sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors,HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 2012 
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex


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  Reply # 1847243 15-Aug-2017 19:04
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davidcole: (Can't quote as mobile)

How do you control your HTPC though? Do you get a remote going (for higher WAF) or get everyone to mouse and keyboard?

I find these to be factors.

 

 

 

Logitech Harmony FTW


IcI

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Reply # 1847301 15-Aug-2017 21:49
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loryda: ..., but to pay $70odd a month ...
Ahh yes, the perennial question. Pay the monthly affordable price or take a one off hit in the walltet. Over three years, that $2300 could buy you a very decent set up right now.


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1847367 16-Aug-2017 08:30
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I second Emby. I have this set up with the Emby server on a small NUC in the cupboard. I use another NUC for the main Media center, an Xbox one for another and a MIBOX for a third.

 

Emby can use a network tuner like HD Homerun but recently I have found that it can also deal with streams of TV from M3U playlists. So I can watch freeview and NASA TV with no tuner at all.

 

Definitely worth a look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1847384 16-Aug-2017 09:14
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I've got a multitude of HTPCs around my house.  I now utilise Tvheadend as the recorder source as this has native Sky grabbing and autoupdating of channels etc. and this feeds the HTPCs via Kodi.  I'm slowly replacing these with AndroidTV devices with either Kodi or the TVH client for android which allows me to have the apps on these devices, the simple use and a simple tvfrontend of TVH and plex or kodi for movies side of things.... I've realised over time that I have no real need for the full blown HTPC anymore as a have a bunch of centralised servers running virtual machines for storage and the like.


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  Reply # 1847390 16-Aug-2017 09:23
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Personally use Emby on the main PC and Fire TV's on our extensive collection of 2 TV's. Send ripped Blurays and DVD around to the TV's and android phones fine so far. TV also, though not used much. Works OK for Chromecasts and Apple stuff though no personal experience. Think its also on Sony Android TV's and some LG and Samsung ones, though that might (or might not) be US only and depend on model. Also interfaces with Kodi so that you use the Kodi interface but the Emby database.

 

You aslo have to pay for it but you can try it out to some extent for free and  / or pay for a month or two to see if its worth it.





rb99




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  Reply # 1849588 21-Aug-2017 07:46
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Thanks for all the replies team!

I think ive decided on a few things, and just wanting some guidance on some others with more experience.

Ill be running a NUC as the media server with PlexPass Server, and will want to run a quad DVB-T tuner for live freeview & PVR.

 

- Any suggestions on NUC boxes or Quad Tuners that would suit?

Clients i am undecided about, ideally something small and can be hiden behind the TV mounted to the wall.  Am thinking for consistancy and ease of use for the wife of using the same client on all the TVs.

 

- Any suggestions on clients?

 

I will use a Harmony One remote in the lounge, and have a keyboard and mouse available for when needed.  Will also have an Amazon Echo hooked up with Alexa, but am wondering about remote control for the other TVs.. Needs to be easy to use remotes

 

- Any suggestions on remotes or client interface?


Sorry for all the questions, thanks in advance for your help!
Alex.


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