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352 posts

Ultimate Geek


Topic # 55674 7-Jan-2010 23:48
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Hi all.

I want my next HTPC to be smaller, cooler, quieter.

From the looks of the new motherboards, I won't be needing a separate graphics card.
That leaves the two DVB-S cards.

Ideally, I would have 3 or 4 DVB-S cards, but that makes my HTPC big, and I want it small.

I want to pull those DVB-S cards out of the HTPC, and plug them in my server, so the cards get accessed over the network.

I'll be running Windows 7 Media Center (because I'm running it now, and it's solid). I also have a MC Extender, but I don't consider it an option for my next HTPC.

I've come across DVBLink (from dvblogic.com), which might do the job. Anyone have experience with this product?
I can't get DVB-T where I live, so I don't think HomerunHD is an option.

What is the Microsoft way of doing the same?

I'm keen to read any options before I commit myself. Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks
Rob

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87 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 289458 12-Jan-2010 22:43
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Hey Rob

 - So you want W7MC on your small HTPC,
 - DVB-S Tuners on the Server feeding into your HTPC, via ethernet?

Sounds like a DVBLink TVSource setup would get you almost there (see: http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=84&TopicId=50103). Problem is DVBLink is designed to be used on the same PC as MC is running on. It may be possible but I think this would be a question for the dvblogic forums.

An alternative, have you considerd using external USB DVB-S tuners? You could "hide" these in your MC cabinet (assuming you use one - maybe not?)? If the run was short you could even take them (USB tuners) out of lounge altogether via the USB cables. Or another thought are there devices such as USB-to-Ethernet convertors? <yup, here's an Apple one: store.apple.com/nz/product/MB442Z/A>

Got to ask though - what is wrong with a XBOX360 extender? Cheap option at NZ300 for a Jasper model.

RE: The Microsoft way - W7MC & XBOX360 only. Extender devices were dropped with VistaMC.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 289501 13-Jan-2010 07:00
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My only suggestion would be to serioualy look at your TV software. If you like Windows MCE nothing comes close in terms of the user interface but other applications such as GB-PVR and Media Portal have supported recording multiple channels on a single MUX for a long time now, something MS don't seem to have any plans for.

With 2 tuner cards you can record every Freeview channel simultaneously. You may have other needs which dictate a greater number of tuners but I don't see most people needing more than 2 if you can record multiple channels at the same time with a single card.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 289515 13-Jan-2010 08:29
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Duh! That link I included above (to Apple) was dumb! This is what I was thinking of:
http://www.usbfirewire.com/usb_extensions_repeaters_comparison.html




352 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 289545 13-Jan-2010 09:55
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Thanks argo. The USB option looks pretty good. The WinTV Nova S USB is pretty big though. I probably could go this route, so long as I was able to hide 4 of them. I'll need to research compatibility with Win7-x64 too.
I've kind of said no to the 360, just cause they're so noisy. Is that still the case?

Thanks Steve. I'm not interested in anything other than WMC right now (WAF), even if it means the extra tuners for other channels on the same mux. It is indeed a pity MS have no plans to implement this feature.

Secretly, I was hoping someone might pop in and say softsled is confirmed, but I hope and dream.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 289689 13-Jan-2010 15:49
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Doesn't WHS allow you to stream TV to a PC with MCE? Probably not the cheapest peice of software but should work well with MCE as they're obviously both Microsoft applications.

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