HTPC First Build Questions: OTA, Multi-Room

Swan_King

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Sep 18, 2014
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I am looking to 'cut the cable' and build my first HTPC. The myriad options are making me blind, so I have a few requirements as to what I want it to do.


  • Watch local HD OTA channels and tune through the HTPC
    Record programs simultaneously while viewing others
    Have access to live programs, streaming video and recorded programs from three different rooms
    Have remote control access from three rooms
    Play PC RPG games from different rooms
    Be compatible with Hulu, Netflix, etc., and record from those, if possible.
    Connect to a small amp/speaker system in the main room
Can someone give me some guidance with parts and components, e.g. tuner cards, video component requirements for different rooms, graphics cards, etc.? I won't be doing the top level gaming, but I want to run some of the newer games.

Additionally, I would like to keep this priced moderately if at all possible. Thanks in advance for the help.
 

Wolfshadw

Splendid
Moderator
Watch local HD OTA channels and tune through the HTPC
Very easily done using a TV Tuner card like the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250. For more that two channels, you may be able to install more than one of these.

Record programs simultaneously while viewing others
The Hauppauge card I linked above is a dual tuner device that allows you to watch one channel while simultaneously recording another, or record two different channels at the same time.

Have access to live programs, streaming video and recorded programs from three different rooms
Not 100% certain, but with the use of Media Extenders, such as an XBox 360 or a Ceton Echo, you could watch live broadcasts, streaming or recorded video at any TV where the extender is connected.

Have remote control access from three rooms
Each extender could have a remote control.

Play PC RPG games from different rooms
Not possible with just the one PC.

Be compatible with Hulu, Netflix, etc., and record from those, if possible.
Windows Media Center does have a plug-in for Netflix and Hulu (though Hulu runs outside of Media Center). It is illegal to record such content.

Connect to a small amp/speaker system in the main room
I currently have my HTPC connected to my Onkyo HT-S3200 via S/PDIF optical from the motherboard.

My current HTPC runs an Intel Core2Quad Q8400 processor with 8GB of RAM. It has a Ceton InfiniTV4 CableCard tuner (requires cable subscription) and an AMD Radeon HD4670 graphics card. For purely video watching, this system is overkill (use to run on an AMD Athlon IIx2-250 and 4GB of RAM). For a modest gaming system, these specs (using newer components) should be sufficient.

-Wolf sends
 

Wolfshadw

Splendid
Moderator
Watch local HD OTA channels and tune through the HTPC
Very easily done using a TV Tuner card like the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250. For more that two channels, you may be able to install more than one of these.

Record programs simultaneously while viewing others
The Hauppauge card I linked above is a dual tuner device that allows you to watch one channel while simultaneously recording another, or record two different channels at the same time.

Have access to live programs, streaming video and recorded programs from three different rooms
Not 100% certain, but with the use of Media Extenders, such as an XBox 360 or a Ceton Echo, you could watch live broadcasts, streaming or recorded video at any TV where the extender is connected.

Have remote control access from three rooms
Each extender could have a remote control.

Play PC RPG games from different rooms
Not possible with just the one PC.

Be compatible with Hulu, Netflix, etc., and record from those, if possible.
Windows Media Center does have a plug-in for Netflix and Hulu (though Hulu runs outside of Media Center). It is illegal to record such content.

Connect to a small amp/speaker system in the main room
I currently have my HTPC connected to my Onkyo HT-S3200 via S/PDIF optical from the motherboard.

My current HTPC runs an Intel Core2Quad Q8400 processor with 8GB of RAM. It has a Ceton InfiniTV4 CableCard tuner (requires cable subscription) and an AMD Radeon HD4670 graphics card. For purely video watching, this system is overkill (use to run on an AMD Athlon IIx2-250 and 4GB of RAM). For a modest gaming system, these specs (using newer components) should be sufficient.

-Wolf sends
 
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