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MCE HTPC w/Media Server

Joshua

Member
I recently bought a Dell with MCE2005, and love it. I actually can't decide whether I like MCE or BeyondTV better, both work very well. I already want to upgrade my system, to support more tv's(bedrooms, kitchen, etc). I think right now though, my best route is to wait until Vista(supposdely there is going to be CableCard support in Vista, so I can get all the HD channels from Comcast).

How many tv's can a 100mbit network handle to stream video? For example, having one powerful system with the tuners then other computers(mini-computers) in other rooms with BeyondTV link or MCE. Would I need to upgrade to a gigalan? Every room in my house already has 2 or more cat5e wall plugs(wire run when was was being built). I don't like the idea of having a full blown htpc in each room(no central location for recorded shows). I want to buy a NAS to have the video backed up nightly or something(wife wasn't happy when our Comcast DVR hard drive died).

We have 9 televisions in my house(3 being HDTV's). Although rarely are there more than 2 or 3 on at a time. I have an idea on the route I want to go, just not sure if carrying video(possibly HD) over ethernet is going to work? I could upgrade to gigalan fairly easily, I would just need to buy a new network equipment, the wiring is already capable. Perhaps my only option for the HDTV's is to have full blown HTPC's at those computers(play content locally rather than over the network).
 

acheslow

Active Member
You need about 20 Mbps for HDTV although it can be compressed down to about 9 Mbps. But if you're planning on distributing HD content from a Vista PC with an OCUR tuner you should be aware that you will only be allowed to distribute that content to an Xbox 360, not to other PCs.
 

Jim Doolittle

Active Member
I need a tuner/capture card for my MCE 2005 PC. I did not buy it with intent of using it as a HTPC but now wish to use it for both HomeSeer and as a HTPC. I would primarily stream to XBox 360. I have no HDTV capabilities now but do not want to lock myself in. I do have one open PCI and one open PCIe slot. I was thinking of getting a PowerColor Theatre 550 for now (hard to locate one) and then add HDTV tuner later.

Any other recommendations for a MCE2005 card for less than $100?
 

jwilson56

Senior Member
Well I use a PVR-500MCE and it works well. You can get a PVR-150 pretty cheap. Its one of the more popular tuner cards for MCE.

For the HDTV I use the VBOX Cat's Eye DTA-150 ATSC Terrestrial HDTV.

Check out

http://www.pcalchemy.com/index.php


Its a good site for info and good prices.

John
 

Jim Doolittle

Active Member
I had seen PVR-500MCE/PVR-150 but was firts interested in TheatreColor 550 Pro PCIe. That would fill up my PCIe slot and still leave a PCI slot for HDTV in future. I have had trouble finding TheatreColor 550 Pro PCIe though. When available, you can get it for around $80.
 

CollinR

Senior Member
DavidL said:
sweethlp,
the Touchtronix UTMA requires a PC to run the special Windows over IP software. What makes it unique is that you don't need a proprietary cable from touchscreen to PC. It uses a standard PC LAN network.

If you don't have a problem running a Cat5 cable from PC to touchscreen location, then I would not recommend the UTMA but recommend a VGA to Cat5 balun set to connect the PC to the "dumb" touchscreen.

If you do have trouble cabling, then look into the Touchtronix UTMA solution.
How much is known about the UTMA stuff?

I have heard it's a PITA to do video...

Can each control have a specific user session on the XP box?

Some software doesn't like running 2 instances in 2 difference sessions but having a different session per display has some major benfits.



I have played with RDP (there are a few HD clients out there) VNC and a few other terminal server apps but never in a keypad.

TIA,
Collin
 

DavidL

Senior Member
I haven't run into an application issue across UTMA sessions.
but, UTMA doesn't have the bandwidth for full motion video in DVD or better quality. But, for a control touchscreen, that is rarely an issue. Webcams and display fine on it. So, for a control system, it works great. Just not as a HD monitor.
 

CollinR

Senior Member
DavidL said:
I haven't run into an application issue across UTMA sessions.
but, UTMA doesn't have the bandwidth for full motion video in DVD or better quality. But, for a control touchscreen, that is rarely an issue. Webcams and display fine on it. So, for a control system, it works great. Just not as a HD monitor.

DavidL, Love your software. I have been researching it but not a dealer yet. Feel free to contact me privately if you like, I'm very interested.
Thanks for the replies guys. :^)

Would you happen to know what or where the limitation is?

You say webcams appear to function okay, I assume you mean VGA webcams?
If so have you tried SD TV programming in ?, MPEG2, Divx or Xvid?
 
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