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Tivo - Blu Ray - Squeezebox alternatives

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  • Tivo - Blu Ray - Squeezebox alternatives

    Hey anyone have any ideas on the following -

    In my main room I have the following items/purpose:
    Tivo - Record OTA shows - no cable, netflix streaming
    Oppo BDP80 - Play Blu Ray discs, can also stream stuff from the network
    Squeezebox - Play flac music files

    Are there any devices out there that would do all of the above besides a diy htpc?

    Was just trying to see if I could minimize down to 1 device instead of 3 -

    Netflix seems to kill most of my ideas as the HTPC is the only one that fits the bill -

    I read something about using an HDhome(serve as OTA tuner) run with a Popcorn hour 200(server as streamer/blu ray player) as an extender.

    Looking for simple for WAF/kids.

  • #2
    I'm not an expert, but I think an HTPC is your only bet to do all 3 - I don't know of any streaming devices that serve as a DVR.

    You could consolidate to two - Irecently bought a Sony BD player ($68 for a refurb) and it replaced my squeezebox. In addition to playing BD, it streams FLAC's from my computer, as well as Netflix, HuluHD, and a whole bunch of othe junk.

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    • #3
      Ok so a few items I would want to be able to do.

      Watch OTA TV
      Stream Pandora
      Stream all my Flac Files
      Play back MKV shows/movies
      Play Blu Ray DVDs
      Netflix streaming is up in the air as we may be dropping it.
      ESPN3 would be a nice addition

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      • #4
        The only thing that will be able to do all of the those is a HTPC. There are a number or devices that do some or most of those but not all. You might be able to get away with 2 devices but a HTPC is going to be your only current all in one choice.

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        • #5
          Here is what I would do:

          ASRock CoreHT 231B or similar - $660 at Newegg
          Windows 7 32-bit
          Lifetime subscription to AnyDVD HD $165 USD (they have sales often)
          J. River Media Center $50
          HD Homerun Dual $113

          This will give you the following:
          Remote control including on/off with included remote
          Ability to use with a Harmony remote
          Ability to use Android device for remote control
          Ability to use a laptop for remote control
          Watch/Record OTA TV with 2 tuners and set subscriptions
          Playback Pandora
          Playback of FLAC files
          Auto Conversion of FLAC for handheld device
          Streaming of FLAC files to any other computer or Android device
          Play back MKV shows/movies
          Play Blu-ray/DVDs
          One click to Rip Blu-ray/DVD in J. River Media Center and download cover art/info from either themoviedb.org, wikipedia, or rotten tomatoes
          Netflix integration into J. River Media Center
          Ability to perform advanced bass management and send audio out via PCM over HDMI to receiver
          Ability to perform advanced Parametric EQ and send audio out via PCM over HDMi to reciever
          Ability to add additional playback zones for only $100 using the J. River ID
          Ability to access your music library from your work PC
          The use of the latest codecs including LAV filters, LAV Audio, and MadVR
          Low footprint and power consumption

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          • #6
            To add a few questions/concerns -

            1) What one in all remote would work well to control my Audio gear/htpc?

            2) Is there a way to play music from the HTPC without actually turning the TV on? Something similiar to the Gizmo app for android that works with JR Media Center. I did a test with this and really liked it for the music part.

            3) I already own the samsung listed from the 1st page but not sure what you mean by - ***Please note that recent versions of firmware on this drive are blocking usage of this drive to make backup copies of bluray discs. If you are wanting to rip your blurays to your hard drive as a backup copy then consider the next drive instead.

            I didn't have any issues with it using Makemkv in a windows or linux environment.

            4) Which TV tuner would be best to get - hdhome run? also does the 3 tuner one only work with cable tv as I am only doing OTA.

            5) This is a build I did today .........to see the price ..thoughts -

            Case SilverStone Case GD05B (Black) $89.99
            CPU Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz $124.99
            Motherboard Gigabyte Z68 Micro ATX LGA 1155 (GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3) $115.00
            Memory G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 SDRAM 1333 $29.99
            Power Supply Corsair 430 $44.99
            TV Tuner HD Home Run $113.00
            Total $517.96

            6) To play physical blu ray discs what software is req'd for that - I believe wmc won't do it and you need a 3rd party app for that?

            I can do a test run with this on my current quad core PC to see if it fits my needs before moving forward.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mojave
              Here is what I would do:

              ASRock CoreHT 231B or similar - $660 at Newegg
              This looks like it comes with no hard drive/memory so more money would be involved vs my build.

              The think Jriver lacks is ESPN3 as that is something I added to my recent list of wants. Yes I could do this with my sons xbox 360 but at a cost as we don't have a gold subscription.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by cburbs
                This looks like it comes with no hard drive/memory so more money would be involved vs my build.
                Under "Features" you will see that it comes with 4 GB of memory and a 500 GB hard drive. Your build looks good, but I don't see a hard drive listed there either. I love using Silverstone cases and like the look a lot. I just looked at the power supply on Newegg. It is only $24.99 right now with the rebate! I've always used the Corsair modular power supplies for Micro ATX builds since there isn't much space for cables, but for $24.99 I'd make them fit somehow.

                1) What one in all remote would work well to control my Audio gear/htpc?
                I was wrong earlier about other remotes working with the ASRock. It has an RF (radio frequency) remote instead of IR (infrared) remote. If you get a cheap usb receiver for a Microsoft remote you can then use a Logitech Harmony remote to control your entire system. You could buy the J. River Remote and just use the receiver. I have also used a Harmony remote with an iMon Inside receiver. This give the HTPC a nice clean look.

                The Harmony remote is very simple to program for all your devices. You just connect it to a computer with the included USB cable, load the software, input the model numbers of all your devices, and then tell it which devices you use for which activity (watch OTA, watch Blu-ray, listen to music, etc). For "listen to music" you could have it turn on the HTPC and the receiver, but leave the TV off. The up/down arrows would control the HTPC and the volume would control the receiver.

                4) Which TV tuner would be best to get - hdhome run? also does the 3 tuner one only work with cable tv as I am only doing OTA.
                I have the HDHomerun and have had no problems with it. It is nice to be able to record one football game while watching another.

                6) To play physical blu ray discs what software is req'd for that - I believe wmc won't do it and you need a 3rd party app for that?
                You need to buy a program that decodes and plays back the Blu-ray such as TotalMedia Theater 5, Cyberlink PowerDVD 11, or Corel WinDVD 2010. Alternatively, you can buy software such as AnyDVD HD that removes the copy protection. You can then playback in any software that has the correct audio and video codecs. For example, you can setup Media Player Classic Home Cinema to play Blu-rays. J. River Media Center includes all the necessary codecs (one additional file is needed for DTS-HD decode) to decode or bitstream the audio for watching Blu-ray. These codecs are updated weekly in J. River as changes are made by the codec programmers. Regarding your #3 question, it could be that you are trying to copy/playback a Blu-ray without having any software that removes the protection. MakeMKV removes the protection which is probably why it works.

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                • #9
                  I have a few spare 1tb hard drives as I upgraded to 2tb for some.

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                  • #10
                    Some new questions to add on -
                    1) How does netflix look on an htpc compared to other devices. I have a tivo & WDTV live.

                    2) Since this htcp may move my squeezebox out what options are there for music players that can be controlled from an android device?
                    So far I have found Foobar with foobar apps, Jriver with Gizmo. I don't want to have to turn the tv on to just play music.

                    3) What file format does the HDhomerun save files in?

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