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What am I looking for? HTPC + Video streaming services

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi guy I hope you can help me decide the service I am looking for.

I currently pay $60/month for dish network. My family rarely watches anything else, we dont use the HD or recording service and all we really do is watch local channels.

Now, we have a theater room which is usually dedicated to watching movies and TV shows/series. My wife also has an iPad / TV she uses to watch some of her foreign TV shows on (via youtube usually).

I currently own Amazon Prime hence I have Amazon Video on Demand.

I want to cut my dish network service and invest in more streaming solutions in my house.

My question is:
- What can I do to get just basic local channels on my TV's? HD or SD does not matter.

- What is the best solution to stream HD sports?

- I own briteview cinematube and a PS3 in my theatre room to play/stream my media...can I use this to watch Amazon Video on Demand via PlayOn?

- What devices should I buy...PlayOn or HTPC?
(I want to have my content playing on atleast 3 devices (My bedroom, living room, and theatre room).)

- What streaming services should I get? I have Amazon VOD...it seems that PlayON gives you a **** load of more services too...and I hear people like VUVU here. If I wanted all 3 would a HTPC be better or playon?
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post #2 of 6
For local channels - All you need is an antenna assuming your TV has a ATSC tuner(all modern TVs do)

HD Sports - You'll get your local game broadcasts in HD from the antenna, if you want more games, you'll have to pay for ESPN/WatchESPN/ESPNGo, NFL Sunday Ticket, MLB, etc. I watch all my sports through my set top box, so someone else might have better options.

Cinematube/PS3 - Both should work with PlayOn since they are listed as compatible devices.

PlayOn/HTPC - PlayOn is not a device, it is a service that needs to run on a computer and then a compatible device needs to be connected to the TV such as your PS3. HTPC can do everything but typically costs more than a stand-alone device and may need tweaking to get just right for what you want. You would need a device in each of your three rooms for each TV. I built HTPCs for my rooms because it gives me the most options and allows me to play games.

Service - What service to get depends on what you want, not all movies/shows are on every service. PlayOn doesn't give you everything, if you look at its list, you'll see that you will also have to pay subscription fees for say netflix, etc. Check what shows your family is watching and then see which service provides those shows.
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonowxeno View Post

For local channels - All you need is an antenna assuming your TV has a ATSC tuner(all modern TVs do)
HD Sports - You'll get your local game broadcasts in HD from the antenna, if you want more games, you'll have to pay for ESPN/WatchESPN/ESPNGo, NFL Sunday Ticket, MLB, etc. I watch all my sports through my set top box, so someone else might have better options.
Cinematube/PS3 - Both should work with PlayOn since they are listed as compatible devices.
PlayOn/HTPC - PlayOn is not a device, it is a service that needs to run on a computer and then a compatible device needs to be connected to the TV such as your PS3. HTPC can do everything but typically costs more than a stand-alone device and may need tweaking to get just right for what you want. You would need a device in each of your three rooms for each TV. I built HTPCs for my rooms because it gives me the most options and allows me to play games.
Service - What service to get depends on what you want, not all movies/shows are on every service. PlayOn doesn't give you everything, if you look at its list, you'll see that you will also have to pay subscription fees for say netflix, etc. Check what shows your family is watching and then see which service provides those shows.


Thanks.

Can you tell me what set-top-box you use to watch your games? And how much it costs you? I mainly only watch football and occasionally basketball.

Also how is your internet speed? Will mine be enough (this is the best in my area):
http://www.speedtest.net/result/1848126746.png
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i5 750 GA-P55A-UD3 (rev. 1.0) 5770 12gb RAM(A-DATA Gaming Series 4GB AX3U1333GB2G8) 
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post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by woox View Post

Thanks.
Can you tell me what set-top-box you use to watch your games? And how much it costs you? I mainly only watch football and occasionally basketball.
Also how is your internet speed? Will mine be enough (this is the best in my area):
http://www.speedtest.net/result/1848126746.png

I meant the default set top box from Time Warner, I haven't fully cut the cord and live sports is one of the reasons. I don't know what just cable costs cause it's packaged with my internet + phone. I currently use a Ceton CableCard($2 per month) in my main HTPC to record stuff then serve it out to other tvs/pcs. This doesn't help with cord cutting, live sports is the one thing I haven't been able to find an good alternative yet. If I want to watch a certain game, it may not be available in my area and I have no control of local blackouts, but hopefully there'll be more and more services available.

Mine can peak at 20Mbps down, never had issues with streaming internet videos. Yours should be fine too, but for certain videos, maybe let it buffer a little in the beginning before you start so it doesn't pause.
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post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
For ceton do you have to have existing cable service to use?

We dont have cable-tv or internet in my area on dish network :/
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i5 750 GA-P55A-UD3 (rev. 1.0) 5770 12gb RAM(A-DATA Gaming Series 4GB AX3U1333GB2G8) 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 750 GA-P55A-UD3 (rev. 1.0) 5770 12gb RAM(A-DATA Gaming Series 4GB AX3U1333GB2G8) 
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post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by woox View Post

For ceton do you have to have existing cable service to use?
We dont have cable-tv or internet in my area on dish network :/

Yes, you still would need to pay for the Cable sure in order to use the Ceton Tuner because it uses a CableCard. Not sure what you would use with satellite service.
Main PC
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Main PC
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500k Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z MSI 6950 2gb Unlocked Ref GSkill Ripjaws X 8GB CL8 
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Crucial M4 128GB Windows 7 Ult Samsung 24" ToC Das Professional Silent 
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Seasonic X750 Corsair 650d Logitech G700 
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