Your Universal Remote Control Center
RemoteCentral.com
HTPCs & Media Servers Forum - View Post
Previous section Next section Up level
Up level
The following page was printed from RemoteCentral.com:

Login:
Pass:
 
 

Topic:
Help with HTPC
This thread has 5 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Thursday August 9, 2012 at 16:03
Arkitekt
Lurking Member
Joined:
Posts:
August 2012
4
With the expensive internet and TV prices through Shaw and Telus We have been contemplating getting rid of everything but high speed internet and instead setting up a HTPC instead.

I am leaning towards an Acer Revo RL100 for the main HTPC. It will most likely use XMBC as the main HTPC interface, unless someone else can suggest a better way to go (I would like to keep it total cost around $500 or less for the HTPC itself).

The issue I have is that we have 2 other TV's in the house and I am looking for a way to stream content from the HTPC to each of those TV's, independent of each of the other TV's. I have looked at Apple TV, LG Smart TV Upgrader, WD TV Live, and Roku.

The main criteria that it must have is the ability to connect to Netflix, and the ability to connect to the HTPC to stream content. I should also note that we do not own any other Apple products.

Which product would suit my needs best? I should also note that I live in Canada. I would like cost to remain around $100 for each product, if someone else has a better solution.

Thank you
Post 2 made on Thursday August 9, 2012 at 17:58
BizarroTerl
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
October 2002
402
Since you're starting out I recommend you plan on keeping your cable for a while. HTPCs typically require an immense amount of time to configure. If you're not PC savvy you're in for a possibly painful process.

Netflix can be a problem. They are forced by the TV/Movie groups to actively protect their streams. This means that any free software such as XBMC (inherently insecure - anyone can download the source) will not be able to use Netflix. There are addons and some of those may be able to do Netflix, but I wouldn't count on it as a reliable source for video.

I use XBMC and I found that it works really well for content I already have (ripped movies, downloaded shows, etc). It hasn't had the ability to act as an over the air DVR though work is progressing in this area. You can set up a central MySQL database that all your XBMC clients can use, so putting a client at each TV is very doable. XBMC doesn't really work as a streamer to other devices such as trying to watch a show on your phone. Again, work is happening on this, but if that's a important need XBMC isn't what you want. Look to Plex for that.

As for dumping cable - this really depends on what you watch and what you're willing to do to get it. It has taken me about a year to finally convince my wife we can do without Directv. We want to watch stuff as soon as it comes out and sometimes that stuff isn't available for weeks if ever on Hulu/Netflix/etc. After all that there are a few obscure shows we will end up doing without.

I now have several programs I've written involving a seedbox, Tivo DVR, NAS, etc to collect content in a central location. Even though it is automated, it still requires a significant amount of maintenance and monitoring.  
OP | Post 3 made on Thursday August 9, 2012 at 19:28
Arkitekt
Lurking Member
Joined:
Posts:
August 2012
4
I am somewhat tech savvy, however it has been a few years since I built a PC from scratch. As for Netflix, on my main TV I will be using my Xbox to connect to Netflix, I just require a streamer box for the other two tv's that can also connect to Netflix, so that my kids can watch Netflix.

Not looking to do any OTA PVR'ing, so no TV tuner is need. Just wish to watch ripped/downloaded movies/tv shows, as well as stream that media content to the streamer devices. Other then XBMC, I have been looking into MediaPortal and Mediabrowser as a HTPC frontend.
OP | Post 4 made on Thursday August 9, 2012 at 23:40
Arkitekt
Lurking Member
Joined:
Posts:
August 2012
4
As for Plex, I was looking into that a bit. Now that Roku has a Plex channel would that be a suitable route to go? Have Plex to stream to my other TV's through a Roku box, as well as to my mobile devices? Does Roku devices in Canada have Plex and Netflix?

Would XBMC be a suitable frontend if I have Plex? or would MedalPortal or Mediabrowser be better? I originally was leaning towards XBMC because I plan to use things like sickbeard and couchpotato and ShowRSS+ access NZB's and torrents, and there are a few guides out there to have them work quite nicely with XBMC, along with a few mobile apps for XBMC remotes as well (I own a Windows Phone 7, and plan to own a WP8 in the future as well as a Microsoft Surface)
Post 5 made on Friday August 10, 2012 at 11:23
BizarroTerl
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
October 2002
402
Plex is XBMC. It is a "branch" that has focused on central management (server) and the ability to stream videos. Many of the XBMC addons should work with Plex but you should inquire in the Plex forums before you count on them working.  Due to the differences though you'll need to use the Plex vesion of XBMC for your front ends, at least I think so.

I can't say about what's available in Canada (I'm in the US).

Another alternative is JRiver Media Center.  It is a pay application, but you get a lot for your $.  They are Windows based which does end up costing a little more.  They support a central server where all clients can stream from.  They support a ton of devices, netflix, etc.  About the only thing they don't support is cable card.  Their support forum is located at [Link: yabb.jriver.com]; If/when you have questions you can post in the forum and you'll get quick answers, often from the developers themselves.  I've posted about a bug and had a fix within 48 hours. (yes, 48 hours!).    Or you can open a support case in which you get direct support.  This is the best supported HTPC software there is.  On the down side it can be intimidating to set up.  It started as a music player and evolved into a full blown media player.  This evolution has left it being extremely flexible/feature laden which in turn makes it complicated to set up.
OP | Post 6 made on Friday August 10, 2012 at 12:48
Arkitekt
Lurking Member
Joined:
Posts:
August 2012
4
Thanks for the explanation on Plex.

JRiver sounds almost perfect, except that I am wanting to get small devices (such as a Roku) to act as a streamer set-top box to my other TV's. Unfortunately I don't think something like the Roku 2 XD or LG Smart TV Upgrader would work with JRiver, which is why I was looking into Plex. If Plex can be a decent front end then that should be a decent solution.


Jump to


Protected Feature Before you can reply to a message...
You must first register for a Remote Central user account - it's fast and free! Or, if you already have an account, please login now.

Please read the following: Unsolicited commercial advertisements are absolutely not permitted on this forum. Other private buy & sell messages should be posted to our Marketplace. For information on how to advertise your service or product click here. Remote Central reserves the right to remove or modify any post that is deemed inappropriate.

Hosting Services by ipHouse