I've got a few questions I was hoping someone could help me out with. Total newbie here - I built my own HTPC, and I (somehow) managed to get all the parts installed and everything seems to be booting up and such.
I have Windows 7 Home Pro, and I have a Hauppauge 1229 WinTV-HVR-2250 dual TV tuner.
I have installed XBMC for Windows, and my TV Tuner also came with a program called "WinTV". I had planned on installing MythTv, but I am not entirely sure if MythTv and WinTV are comparable or what the differences are. I did a fair bit of Googling on WinTV but did not find very much information online.
As far as TV setup - I do not have cable and just an over the air digital antenna
The things I am trying to do are (in general order of importance)
1) Record TV
2) Put my DVDs / pictures / movies / music on my HTPC and play them
3) Stream Netflix
4) Put my Wii games on the HTPC so the kids stop scratching all the discs :-)
I was wondering if anybody had any pointers, and/or could point me to some good tutorials / guides on the best way to proceed.
Which version of Windows do you have, Home Premium or Professional? There is no "Home Pro" version. It probably doesn't matter, but just for the sake of clarification.
According to Microsoft's web site, both versions of windows (Home Premium and Professional) include Windows Media Center (WMC). This provides nearly (if not entirely) the same functionality as XBMC and WinTV. Personally, I wouldn't install either program and just use WMC.
You can certainly try out XBMC as I understand it may have a preferable user interface (and probably better support), but I've never found it necessary. With WMC, I can watch/record TV and stream Netflix. I can certainly play DVD's, Blu-Rays*, downloaded movies, pictures and music using WMC. I have no idea if it's even possible to put Wii games on a PC.
* Blu-Ray playback requires a blu-ray drive and separate blu-ray software. Windows Media Center does not support Blu-Ray natively. Starting playback of a blu-ray from within Windows Media Center will minimize WMC and start the Blu-Ray player software separately.
Thank you for your advice. I'll take a look at WMC. To answer your first question, I checked and I have Windows 7 Home Premium.
So, and I realize this is a very newb question, and may be obvious once I take the HTPC into the room where the TV is, but do I just connect the antenna straight into the PC with a coax cable and then connect the HTPC to the TV with the 3 red/yellow/white cords (or maybe an HDMI cable)?
With the build is complete, just connect the coax cable (assuming it's connected to the antenna) to the ATSC input of the Hauppauge card. Then connect the HDTV to the PC, preferably using an HDMI cable from the graphics card/motherboard.
Once booted up with all components connected (HTPC, HDTV, Antenna), then you will need to go into WMC set up and configure the TV Tuner/Scan for channels. Once that's complete (you may also need to configure your remote control), you should be able to start watching/recording TV.