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Old January 19, 2011, 11:39 AM
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Default 3 receivers, 1 server, multiple PCs/TVs

Here's the deal... I don't have enough receivers to feed everything I'd like to feed in the house.
I'd like to be able to watch TV on my TVs and on my computers.

Where do I start?



Getting the signal from each receiver to the server should be fairly simple. I was thinking
  • 3 TV-tuner card(or whatever they're called).
  • Each card individually hooked up to a receiver.
So that gives me 1 "server" with 3 satellite signals coming in. Everything sits in the basement by the patch panel. My network is wired cat6. I have yet to find a nicely priced gigabyte hub, but that's beyond the point. Lets pretend the network runs at 1gig. There is no wireless in my house.

Now... how do I get those satellite signals to individual PCs in the house?
I don't know what the hell I'm talking about and I don't know what I'm getting into, so I don't know what to ask for

For reasons XYZ, I can't add more receivers.
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Last edited by blaze_125; January 19, 2011 at 11:46 AM.
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Old January 19, 2011, 11:49 AM
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First if you are using Shaw Direct/Starchoice you can't use TV Tuners. You need capture cards. Now this is how it could be done.

You have all three receivers in the same room w/ a Hauppauge HD PVR connected to each. All of them are connected to the same PC. That PC then runes SageTV. Then you would require a PC (or a SageTV HD Theater 300) connected to each TV) running a SageTV client. How this definitely won't be cheap. Each HD PVR is ~$200. Then SageTV server costs about $80 (or $100 w/ one copy of SageTV client). Then additional copies of SageTV client are $40. So all in all if I would go by your diagram expect to be paying $850 for just software and the HD PVRs.

EDIT: I guess I should have done some more thinking. I don't see why you need three receivers anyways. That is assuming you require to be recording/watching three different shows at the same time. I can record almost every show I watch (and I watch like 30 hours of specific shows each week). With two receivers/HD PVRs you could almost record damn near every primetime show.
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Old January 19, 2011, 12:01 PM
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Why the PVRs? I don't usually record anything. If ever I was to record something, couldn't I just record it directly from the server that gets all the feeds? Or even record from whatever computer gets the feed from the server?
I need 3 receivers because I like to watch hockey, she likes to watch her "shows", and my son(althought still pretty young) will also want to be able to watch his own crap shows.

edit: After a quick read through the "SageTV" website, I think you recommanded the PVRs for recording, and the ability to pause/rewind live TV. Those are nice options, but I can live without them for the moment.

Last edited by blaze_125; January 19, 2011 at 12:09 PM.
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Old January 19, 2011, 12:18 PM
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Well that really is your only option besides getting additional receivers. You could possibly get cheaper non-HD capture cards but that is really the only way to do it.
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Old January 19, 2011, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowfat View Post
Well that really is your only option besides getting additional receivers. You could possibly get cheaper non-HD capture cards but that is really the only way to do it.
I think I'm getting confused between DVRs and PVRs.

The PVR would be my "capture card"? And those PVRs would let me feed the server with 1080p signals?
Am I getting it right?


Since StarChoice/Shaw only provide 1080i, I could get away using something like this instead of a PVR?
Newegg.ca - AVerMedia AVerTV HD DVR MTVHDDVRR PCI-Express x1 Interface
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Old January 19, 2011, 12:40 PM
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PVRs are DVRs. They are pretty much the same w/ a different name. That AVerMedia card may work, but you would want to double check that it is compatible however you still need an IR blaster to change the channels of the receivers.
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Old January 19, 2011, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowfat View Post
however you still need an IR blaster to change the channels of the receivers.
Yeah I know, I started looking into that a few weeks ago and I stopped looking when I realized I had no clue what I was doing It may seem stupid, but just making the drawing I made for the OP made everything a little more clear to me.

Now add your posts into the mix and now I think I'm getting somewhere
I think the SageTv thing might have been the keyword.
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Old January 19, 2011, 01:37 PM
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Not sure what your receivers are like, but I know with some satellite ones they're actually all networked, so if you record a show on one, you can watch it on the other.

It seems like a rather costly setup though just to be able to watch TV on PCs? I can only assume you already have a receiver on each TV...

Have you considered Netflix? I believe they offer TV shows.

It's also possible you could steam the shows for free, depending on what you watch. For example there's Rogers On Demand Online that has some shows (looks the same as Hulu IMO but with less selection), or you can go directly to say Global's site and stream some of their shows.
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Old January 19, 2011, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD View Post
Not sure what your receivers are like, but I know with some satellite ones they're actually all networked, so if you record a show on one, you can watch it on the other.
I'm rocking some rather old receivers. They're HD receivers but they don't have network capabilities than I'm aware of(other than connecting a phone line to it for PPV...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JD View Post
It seems like a rather costly setup though just to be able to watch TV on PCs? I can only assume you already have a receiver on each TV...
The "Hauppauge HD PVR" are quite costly indeed. But I strongly beleive they are not required for the setup I'm trying to acheive here. The external PVR sure does allow for 1080p, but my provider only feeds 1080i. So a capture card should be able to replace the external PVR. If I was to get the Capture Card I posted above, I'd need 2 for my 3 receivers since each card has 2 inputs. That right there cuts the price tag by a few folds.
ExternalPVR @ ~ 200$ X 3 ~ 600$
Capture Card @ ~ 100$ X 2 ~ 200$

Then there's the SageTV software. I'd have to see if there are other "ways" to get the software
SageTV server + 1comp @ ~ 100
5 extra clients @ ~ 40$
For a bottom line of approx. 300$ for software only
I like the first line of this paragraph better for some reason


Quote:
Originally Posted by JD View Post
Have you considered Netflix? I believe they offer TV shows.
It's also possible you could steam the shows for free, depending on what you watch. For example there's Rogers On Demand Online that has some shows (looks the same as Hulu IMO but with less selection), or you can go directly to say Global's site and stream some of their shows.
That's the sad part. I don't even watch stupid TV. I watch the news, I watch hockey, and I watch whatever happens to be on TV when I decide to actually watch it lol But when I watch it, I want to be able to stand up, go into another room and keep watching.
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Old January 19, 2011, 05:25 PM
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Are you positive that the cards can capture from two inputs at the same time? And that SageTV would support that as well?

And it seems like you'd need a fair amount of CPU power, or a boat load of HDD space depending on how much or how little compression you use when recording. Even to directly steam, I'm guessing you'll need a fairly powerful server.

On the software front, I'd suggest looking into MediaPortal. It's hardware support is a bit more limited I think, but at least it's free and open-source. If I recall, it does have a TV Server as well which I'm guessing is similar to SageTV. I use MediaPortal myself for playback of media but I don't bother with capturing/streaming TV.
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