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Windows 7: WMC extenders, can an extender be another windows 7 pc?


28 Feb 2014   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
WMC extenders, can an extender be another windows 7 pc?

I have a windows7 pc with a tuner recording tv shows.

Can that one be controlled from a LAN networked windows pc with WMC?

If so, how to set that up.
Idea is to watch Live TV from the other windows 7 pc on the Lan and switch channels, etc...

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Mar 2014   #2

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

What type of tuner(s) do you have in the PC with the tuner card(s) doing the WMC recording?

Watching "live" TV through an HTPC requires availability of a tuner dedicated to that HTPC (either locally installed or "network shared" from another HTPC that contains multiple tuners). Or, you can use a true "extender".

A second Windows PC is NOT an "extender" and cannot be used as one. Only a true "extender" (e.g. Linksys DMA2100, XBox, Ceton Echo, etc.) can be used as a true extender, i.e. to allow watching (live or recorded) copy-protected content delivered from the HTPC with the cablecard-enabled tuner to the extender and then watched on the HDTV connected via HDMI to the extender.

However if the recorded content is NOT marked copy-protected but is instead marked copy-freely (e.g. from an OTA/ATSC tuner), then you can use either Windows Media Center or Windows Media Player on the second Windows 7 PC to PLAY the WTV program content recorded by the primary HTPC.

But in order to watch live TV on the second PC you must be able to use one or more of the tuner(s) located on the primary HTPC. And that requires a TV tuner card which supports "network sharing of tuners", as the Ceton tuner card/drivers do. This allows one or more tuners in the HTPC to actually be controlled by WMC running on the second PC, as if those tuners were physically installed into the second PC.

If you don't have a Ceton card then I can't say, as it's a function of whatever TV tuner card you have in the HTPC as to whether or not "network sharing" of tuners is available.

But ignoring the issue of watching "live TV" and being able to control tuners to change channels from the second PC, for sure the second PC can be used to PLAY recorded WTV content on the primary HTPC if that content is copy-freely. If it is copy-protected (e.g. from a cable channel, recorded through the Ceton cablecard-enabled tuners) then you CANNOT play it on the second PC. For that you DO need a real "extender".

Note that the Silicon Dust HDHomeRun devices ("network-based tuners") support network sharing, to one or more computers running WMC.

Also, when configuring "shared network tuners" (to allow "live" viewing and control of channels) those tuners are allocated uniquely and permanently (until reconfigured) to a specific PC, one at a time. They cannot be shared among multiple HTPC's running WMC, thus cannot be used "on-demand" by whichever PC needs them at the moment.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2014   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks for that info.

I was thinking HDHR networked ethernet tuners were dynamically available but you say they are not?

So they lock onto the configured PC?

I got an ATI wonder HDTV pci card used off ebay for $12
If the HDHR are not dynamic, then to me the advantage is not so good over a pci or usb.

I knew I could watch recorded TV, was not sure about these tuners.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Mar 2014   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 (1), Win7 Pro X64 / WinXP Pro x86 on (2)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sdowney717 View Post
Thanks for that info.

I was thinking HDHR networked ethernet tuners were dynamically available but you say they are not?
To be honest, I've never done this myself using my own Ceton InfiniTV4 PCIe internal card. And I don't own an HDHR, so I don't know what their drivers support in terms of "tuner sharing/pooling" and static vs. dynamic tuner allocation.

But I did just check the Ceton site, and it appears that with their new InfiniTV 6 ETH (which is a network-based set of 6 tuners, so I guess it's similar to what HDHR kind of is) they DO offer "dynamic pooling of tuners, available as-needed to multiple PCs".

Tuner Sharing!

Unlike the PCI Express and USB versions of InfiniTV, InfiniTV 6 ETH is an Ethernet-connected tuner that plugs into your home network and not to a specific PC. This makes it a great solution if you want to share tuners with other PCs on your network. You can assign specific tuners to specific PCs – for example, assigning tuners 1 to 4 to one PC and tuners 5-6 to another. We’re also adding dynamic tuner pooling to InfiniTV 6 ETH, which will automatically allocate the 6 tuners between different PCs as needed. Dynamic tuner pooling is currently available in beta firmware through the Ceton Diagnostics Tool.


But be very careful: network-based tuners depend on reliable high-bandwidth in your home LAN, especially when multiple tuners are being used simultaneously for recording or live-viewing of HD content.

And if you add additional bandwidth for extender/PC viewing of HD content, well you're easily now above 10/100 network capability. And it's not just going out and buying a gigabit router that will solve your problem. You truly do need to have Cat5e or Cat6 cabling from the router to other locations around your home (where there might be other PC's with gigabit NIC's, or gigabit switches to support multiple attached ethernet devices around that "node").

In my own opinion, wireless is not good enough or reliable enough for my own HDTV needs. A few years ago I simply bit the bullet and pulled new Cat6 cabling to where I needed it, as well as buying a handful of Netgear GS-105 switches for various locations around the house, to connect to my Netgear WNDR4000 router. I also added a Netgear WN604 (10/100 wired) wireless access point plugged into my kitchen ethernet port, since I was not reaching the kitchen with wireless from the router located in the back bedroom.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2014   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

yes, gigabit Ethernet is so much better.
I also switched to gigabit using a 5 port switch, I have 4 PC's conecting to the switch at gigabit speeds.
I have a 100 wireless router for the IP's.
My wire is most all Cat5e and works ok at gigabit. the switch has lights for 1000 or 100 so easy to see.

As soon as you start moving multi gig files, you will want gigabit eternet.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 WMC extenders, can an extender be another windows 7 pc?




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