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Thread: Extenders -my opinion

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    North Lawrence, NY
    Posts
    827
    I have 4 PC clients and the main server is NPVR tower in the livingroom.

    I get away with it in the livingroom because the tower PC is behind the large flat panel TV in a cabinet designed for an old style tube TV. Plenty of depth and it hides the noise such that it is virtually silent.

    Two client PCs are in my daughter's rooms and are my old PCs. I put a little $ in upgrading them to use for homework/tv/media/a computer. Really, with just 19" displays on them it's plenty with a low-end video card and they do double-duty as mentioned. Space saver in their own way.

    The den PC and bedroom PCs are a couple of machines I got for less than $140 from eBay when MPC (who bought Gateway's business machines) went out of business. A couple of old video cards cast-offs from my gaming PC that were gathering dust on a shelf were more than enough horsepower.

    I generally have few problems with the clients, mostly it's LiveTV client/server issues I've posted off and on about; but that's getting better. Recordings are perfect as well as playing back Video from my ripped DVD collection and MusicBox is just plain awesome (I look forward to trying those other media plugins recently posted too!)

    I got SO TIRED of codec hell, oh folks, the stories I could tell. I settled on dealing with ONE file type (container), one video codec, and ONE audio type. I use .mkv with H264 and AC3 almost exclusively. Anything that doesn't meet that gets converted. No bloody avi, xvid, aac, or goodness knows what.

    I also standardized on "Hama" remotes, generally $15 each on eBay with IR receiver, and the free LMRemote to drive them.

    Because of standardizing on the above two items, I can usually go from zero to a full client PC build in just a few hours.

    Finally, I prefer my client PCs over extenders because, as the Sage folks found out, if sub folds up shop one day, I can reuse these PCs to run ANYTHING I want. I'm not locked into extenders that may or may not be useless with "what's next".

    Now, I do have an advantage being in education - I get Windows 7 CHEAP as part of our campus agreement. Embarrassingly so.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    4,488
    Quote Originally Posted by Elmo Putney View Post
    "That was the deal breaker for my wife."

    bingo...me too.
    Seriously guys???

    I'd trade my wife in for one who could handle a simple few second pause on a shutdown of the PCH rather than replace the PCH itself.

    Besides, if my wife can't be bothered to go through the process, she just puts the TV into standby and leaves the PCH running an 'invisible' SSPanel screensaver - no harm done IMO.

    I admit I find it a niggle myself and miss the way the MVP would just drop to standby immediately but it doesn't come anywhere near being a deal-breaker for myself or my wife.

    Cheers,
    Brian

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,215
    Well off the sidelines for me... I started with gbpvr specifically because of an article I saw on byopvr. It was an MVP based user experience with the PC as a server only running GBPVR. Actually, that was the only way you could do it since PCs did not have nice things like HDMI outputs. (most did not even have composite). The MVP was great, but had it weaknesses. (remember ...contacting servers.....) I had 2 mvps and then digital came along and messed everything up with good quality recordings. I moved to watching TV with the server at the main TV, then to a PCH, then back to a server, then pulled out the PCH, then back to the server. The PCH was good, but for some unknown reason, the WAF was not there. The prementioned boot process was distracting and sometimes it just was glitchy. Playback and the interface was fantastic, but it was more trouble than at the server.

    As most of you know, I have mainly moved to WMC7 since I have a heavily drm'd cable card tuner. I much prefer the simplicity and great features of NPVR, but I am kind of stuck with WMC7. The WAF for WMC7 is not that great either, but she is warming up to it. I sold off my PCH (and yes there are many available on the used market and they bring good prices so someone must like them). I am getting an Xbox as an extender for WMC7. I am hoping it is a smooth working system and the WAF comes back. I hate fan noise so a quiet extender is important to me. I also would love to give the cable company another STB back and move to an extender instead.

    Bottom line- I would love to have a server in the office with extenders all around the house and no STBs. But to do this, the extenders would have to work as simply, quickly, quietly and reliably as a STB but with the added benefit of being able to record, use comskip, etc. PCs are also good to have in some rooms, connected to the TV since they have saved my butt several times when I have a failed recording or forget to set up a new show. I can see having a small, micro PC (non-windows) just for internet activities hooked to the TV along side an extender for all the other features. Again, it just depends on the mix of cost, performance and simplicity that the PC or extender can offer.
    Server= Asus M3A78-EM, 4 gigs ram, AMD A64 5200+, Windows 7 home premium 32, 1 HVR-1800, 1 PCH A-100, Test Rig, Biostar 880g+, AMD X2 260, 4 gb ram, Windows, 7 Home Premium 32, 1 DCR-2650 cablecard tuner

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Sunninghill, UK
    Posts
    2,544
    This is such a great thread!

    Always so interesting to see how disparate the views are on thin client versus PC extenders.

    Am sure the gap is lessening as PC's become smaller and quieter but if you are running 4+ NextPVR clients around the house I still can't see the logic of having 4 separate PC's (and as someone has pointed out you need a remote, that is extra with a PC, an NMT comes with one?) and even providing you avoid codec hell, and driver hell by buying identical PC's, and are lucky enough to work in education and have access to Win7 etc (I used to work in education so know the joys of free O/S's, hence why I'm still all on XP!).

    I still cannot see how you can beat the price, ease of set up etc etc of a PCH even if you may have to hang around on ebay to pick one up.

    I would love to see a picture of someone's installed PC in their Kitchen or Bathroom to help persuade me otherwise.

    And as for the double tap to turn the PCH off. Annoying yes, but deal breaker? Surely not? Much more preferable to shut down a whole PC or put it into standby? Ah OK just one click to do that. And it would have to be standby anyway, if shutdown I would have to wait a long time in the morning for my PC to boot up NextPVR before I could even listen to Web Radio!

    cheers

    steeb

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Hamilton New Zealand
    Posts
    4,511
    the popcorn hour can stay on it uses so little power on or in standby mode
    all my stuff auto turns off when the tv is off for more than 30 seconds anyway
    Specs
    Server:Cpu-Intel i3,ATI Radeon HD 5670 ,OS-Windows 7,2gig ram. 2xHvr4400,Nova-s plus(dvb-s SD),hvr2210(dvb-t HD)
    Client:Cpu-AMD am2,Gpu-Ati HD2100 integrated ,OS-Windows 7,2gig ram
    Client:Cpu Intel 2 gig ram ,Nvidia 9400
    Client:Popcorn Hour A110
    Client:Samsung [NZ][DVB-s][2012]BD-E5900x2
    Client:Samsung [NZ][DVB-s][2013]BD-F6500

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    SE England
    Posts
    573
    the popcorn hour can stay on it uses so little power on or in standby mode
    all my stuff auto turns off when the tv is off for more than 30 seconds anyway
    Problem is I'm using a monitor not a TV, so no remote and it only goes into standby if the is no video signal.
    Elmo Putney

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    East Yorkshire, England
    Posts
    4,259
    I'm a confirmed extender user.
    My only negative is with leaving the NMT powered up with my HDMI tv it seems to get upset. I, power it off, but the family just seem to switch the TV off so the NMT needs a little button pushing to get the HDMI handshaking up.

    The closest I got to a PC at the TV was an Acer Revo, which worked OK, but I don't like having to have a mouse/keyboard around and never got round to sorting a remote out for it.


  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    nl
    Posts
    750
    Even though I am not using my rig very often, I still am a great fan of extenders. I still do love the MVP for its originality and simplicity. That I hardly use GBPVR has more to do with the low quality of TV programs in this country, than with the software that I still admire.

    For my music setup I have decided for Logitech Touch and radio, which I serve from my Synology DS207+ NAS. The same collections can be accessed through the PVR as well. So my original extensive efforts of MP3 tagging are now paying of.

    As mentioned in an other post I did recently acquire an Egreat 34A. Maybe some time if I get courageous and I might upgrade to Win 7 and NPVR on the old rig.

    Pieter

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    2,368
    Quote Originally Posted by martint123 View Post
    My only negative is with leaving the NMT powered up with my HDMI tv it seems to get upset. I, power it off, but the family just seem to switch the TV off so the NMT needs a little button pushing to get the HDMI handshaking up.
    I got so pee'd off with this, I switched to component...

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    East Yorkshire, England
    Posts
    4,259
    Quote Originally Posted by ACTCMS View Post
    I got so pee'd off with this, I switched to component...
    So did I, but I switched back to HDMI (and can't remember why I had to!!).
    (I have Component and HDMI as options on the html nmt menu)


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