I've currently got my nice shiny new PC, on which I play WoW and occassionally Crysis, specs are in my sig. I feel like I am vastly underusing this piece of equipment, and would like to use some of the untapped hard drive space and processing power to give me some added value in my TV-viewing. How do I go about using the hard drive space on my PC to augment my DVR cable boxes and give my TV access to online content? I already am using both of my video card's outputs for my two monitors. I can upgrade the PC if necessary (additional ram, SLI video card, more hard drive space, whatever) but would prefer not to. In my home i have 3 DVR cable boxes from Comcast, each is a dual tuner and rarely is more than one in use at a time. One thing I would like to do is allow each of my TVs to 'see' the DVRs from the other rooms, but my primary goal is to increase my total recordable space (120 gb isn't a lot especially in HD; I've got most of my 750 gb HD unused and can allocate a fair portion of it for this purpose). What can I do?
If I understand you correctly, you want to save the tv shows and view 'em later on different tvs? My idea would be to use a pc as a central HTPC server and ($$$) add as many lightweight pcs as you need as a player. Or get some of these media players.
That sounds about right, I definitely don't have the cash to add more PCs, the idea is to use the one PC i have now for storage and connect each television to it one way or another. What exactly does the item you've linked do? Also, what do I need to do to my PC to make it work this way?
All the standalone media players are uPNP compatible. uPNP is built into Windows. You can use MS' media player to enable uPNP (media sharing) so that other computers or devices or players can read the media files. Or you can use one of the many free server programs to do that.
Think of a media player as a MP3 player with the exception of using network to get files.
You need a HTPC with a HD TV tuner and PVR software to schedule recordings. I can't help you with this as I RARELY watch TV. Only 2 shows interests me and it's off season. I believe the PVR is very easy to use like point and click. It MUST be Windows as the free bundled software all runs on Windows.
So you get a HTPC server and a few other media players. Wire 'em up with a switch (as many devices as supported) /router (up to 4 devices).
p55 - i guess my main question is what differentiates a HTPC from the one i'm currently using? is there any reason that I cannot use this one as BOTH a PC and HTPC? Additionally, is there any way to use the DVR cable boxes I have from Comcast to do my recording scheudling, rather than an HDTV Tuner in the PC? maybe i just don't get the concept very well, but that's why i'm here.
None other than functionality. Oh sorry I missed that you already have a rig. So you just need a TV tuner card. You'd contact comcast about recording shows on a computer. If no luck, stop. I think some cable companies are encrypting their signals.
definitely dealing with an encrypted signal, so does that mean that i'd need the tuner card and pvr software, with the media player you linked above; and the cable boxes become useless other than additional tuners?
I haven't called yet so don't quote me, but let's assume that Comcast uses encrypted signal and I'm not interested in gray-area legality. Is there a way that I can use a cable box (non-DVR, just a digital box) to provide the HD Tuner Card with digital cable and not just a direct coax feed? Also, where do I get this software, is it free?
Recording digital cable with a computer gets a little messy. It can be done, but you have to use an IR Blaster to control your digital cable box. The TV tuner just intercepts the signal between the cable box and the TV, but the cable box is still required to decode the signal.
it sounds like unfortunately what i WANT to do isn't really possible ... what that is, is essentially what everyone is telling me with with the ability to incorporate a CableCard into the mix so i still get full channel lineup and full HD