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Windows 7: Replace TiVo with WMC, What Case/System?

14 Aug 2013   #1

Windows 8 Pro x64
Replace TiVo with WMC, What Case/System?

So I keep going back and forth. I want to replace my TiVo with WMC. Do I,

1) Add WMC to my PC in my home office, add a 4x TV Tuner Card and some more storage


2) Do I build out a new PC near the main TV we watch 95% of the time with a 4x TV Tuner Card and a external drive array.

I think the second option right? I only have wireless to use between my home office and the TV area. So I am worried about watching content that would be stored in the home office.

However to put a PC in my entertainment center I worry about:
  • Space - I dont have much, its a shallow enclosed cabinet barely big enough for a stereo receiver.
  • Heat - The door would be closed on it, would it be able to run in this type of condition
  • What to Buy - Based on the stuff above any recommendations?

I also worry Microsoft really seems to hate WMC, am I jumping in too late?

BTW I would want to install another two Nettops in other rooms to be able to watch the programming (and live TV) from other rooms, is that possible?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Aug 2013   #2
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 10, 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)

I'm no expert in this area, but I just did #2. I installed Plex Media server on the rig and have all my DVD movies on it. I can watch any movie by just selecting it. Plex also has a Plex desktop application. Any networked computer with the plex desktop can watch the movie on the HTPC as long as the computer is on and the server is running. You can use the plex server or WMC whichever you prefer. Add the movies to WMC and just choose which you want to use. With the TV tuner card and WMC you should be able to record TV. As far as equipment, if you want a true HTPC (which I didn't do but may later) There are several options. The one I liked was the Silverstone GD08. You have to chose your components wisely, but it has pretty good airflow for an HTPC and will hold up to 8 Hard drives. It is a very nice looking case that works perfectly with an entertainment center. If you can network all of your PC's in the home, the majority of your questions can be done easily. I am using wireless and have had very few problems, so far. That was my concern too, but streaming inside the network so far has been no problem. I hope this helped. The best answer I can give is do a lot of research on the components. My philosophy was that anything a smart TV can do, a computer can do it better and faster. After about a week of trying it, I still have the same opinion, but I'm still experimenting.

If you establish a network and give the right permissions, WMC is all you really need. But, the Plex adds a little pizzaz to the process, and does not deter you from using WMC if you prefer. Again, I'm no expert on any of this, it was my first attempt at doing something like this. So far I'm very pleased.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2013   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

If you want to get ideas from people who are really experienced with Windows Media Center, go to TheGreenButton

If you want an example of a small, powerful, HTPC, see my post here:
View topic - My new thin mini-ITX build!

However, I will say that you need to have enough room around the HTPC for ventilation, and the cabinet needs to have enough openings to allow the hot air to escape, and cool air to be drawn in to replace the hot air.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Aug 2013   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Eric2XU View Post
BTW I would want to install another two Nettops in other rooms to be able to watch the programming (and live TV) from other rooms, is that possible?
The answer will almost universally be that you need to use extenders for Windows Media Center. You will get the best experience this way. Examples of extenders are:

Microsoft XBox 360
HP X280N
Linksys DMA-2100 or DMA-2200
Ceton Echo (I personally do NOT recommend this one)

And... in order to have the best experience on extenders, you will need a WIRED network, not wireless.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Replace TiVo with WMC, What Case/System?

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