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post #31 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious Andre View Post

So, if I'm getting this right, you are only using the Homeruns as devices for live tv and the ceton card for all your recording?

That is correct.
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post #32 of 51
Thread Starter 
Alright, so here is my last question. I certainly hope it isn't a redundant one. I have seen videos out there (as well as Kyle mentioning a little about it) about link aggregation. I have no idea if there are going to be any more TVs added in the household later on. From the box that will hold all of my content do you think it would be wise to get a 2-4 port gigabit NIC and use link aggregation for the uplink or is that just asinine? I don't know if I am allowed to say this or not, but everyone who participated in answering my questions deserve some rep (the ipad 2 wouldn't allow me to do that, but now I am on my computer).
post #33 of 51
I think one of the network savvy members are going to have to answer that. I honestly don't know what link aggregation is. If it's something that has to be set up manually I can guarantee I'm getting away without using it wink.gif
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post #34 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kylepdalton View Post

What you want to do is quite easy really. I do almost exactly what you are trying. I have a GigE based network and it works just fine for streaming to multiple places. I have a central PC with two cable cards as well as a HD Homerun. I can record 5 or 6 cable streams at once to the main PC. That machine is running W8 with WMC . The W8 machine holds the recordings for a bit and then shifts them off to my homeserver. Once there, any machine on my network can watch recorded stuff and they can access the networked homerun for live TV if they want. I don't have any extenders and have never used one either so I can't quote on that. I just have a bunch of mini PCs around for my TVs.

??? When I built my HTPC I first tried W8 and W8Pro. There are 2 limitations with what you have described. With W8 first you have to have W8Pro to have WMC, second W8Pro only has the capability to run 1 Tuner. So how are you able to record on the other Tuners?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious Andre View Post

I was hoping someone would bring up those ceton cards. I have been looking at those for quite a while. About two months ago my mom started to complain about the cable bill she was paying every month. Through some research I was able to cut the phone out of the bill that really only saved $22. I got an ObiTalk. We went down to a Comcast service center to see what we could do about locking in a new price. Our old price was $149 base + all the rental fees came out to $197. The new one came out to $79 + tax and rental fees at $135. I had no idea that we were going to be saving $1020 on the cable bill per year for the next two years. If I can build a central DVR I could help her save another $516. We were paying about $2500/year and if I could cut the DVR rental fees out of the picture ($43 per month, crappy ones at that) I could get them down just shy of $1100/yr. I have no idea why I just told you all of that, but I figured I could show you what a little tenacity could do.

I run the Ceton Card in my HTPC, which due to the limitations mentioned earlier forced me to roll back to W7. It works pretty dam good for the most part and keeps the wife off my back until this past Sunday. I have 1 of 2 choices with my current HTPC either I have to rebuild it as it is no longer able to download the Guide listings for channels outside of OTA, or put in a separate solution. I currently utilize XBOX 360's as the extenders and am using a MoCA (Ethernet over COAX) to run the extensions to the upstairs, I did this so I didn't have to worry about sheetrock patches since I already had COAX upstairs. I have not seen any chopping or degradation of the signal for streaming with this. The downside of this total solution is the running cost. While it is true I am saving from having to pay Verizon the additional $44/month for all the Set top boxes the running cost for the electricity has increased.

My electric used when I had the Verizon set tops was 2.736 kw/hr @ $0.10474 totaling $8.50/month. When I switched to my current setup using an A6-5400k AMD APU and 3 XBox's the electric usage went up to 8.808 kw/hr @ $0.10474 totaling $27.37/month this gives a net effect of $18.87 additional for electric. The total upfront costs for the HTPC and 3 xbox 360's was ~$1200 once taxes and/or shipping were figured in. Now figuring the total cost to recoup the initial buy in costs savings from having to pay the additional costs to Verizon minus the additional running costs. It will take 48 months of running the system to recoup before I see the total savings, to bring to actual running costs to $27.37/month.

An alternative to building an HTPC and getting media center extenders is to just get the TiVo. If you get the TiVo Premier 4 and 3 TiVo mini's bringing the upfront costs to ~$1400, however the running costs are significantly lower as this solution will only utilize 1.488 kw/hr @ $0.10474 totaling $4.62/month. Now the total running to recoup costs is 32 months, before I saw the actual running costs of only $4.62/month. The TiVo also gives the capabilities to add additional storage via eSATA. I have never been a huge fan of TiVo but after running all the numbers they come out ahead especially if you figure a 5 year refresh cycle,meaning after 5 years you replace whichever solution for an upgrade.

The total life cycle cost of the HTPC solution is $2842.14 (keeping electric costs static for those 5 years).
The total life cycle cost of the TiVo solution at $1777.42 (again keeping electric costs static).
The Verizon set-top boxes 5 year life cycle is $3150.09 (keeping electric and Verizon monthly rental costs the static).

So before you just jump out and start buying do you total homework and figure the total costs.
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post #35 of 51
Whoa Bratas, that is a lot of electricity! I agree the Xbox's use a ton of electricity and are loud, so those are not good solutions. However a low power machine uses next to nothing for electricity. My two satellite HTPC's have dual core Athlons and onboard graphics. It's enough to stream TV or run XBMC for sure. The Cox DVR I had pulled 40w constantly, even turned off. I think my satellite pc's pull maybe 15-20, and of course nothing when they are in sleep. Also I haven't tested multiple recordings on my W8 machines but multiple tuners do show up. Do they all show up for you and you just can't use them all?
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post #36 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavey00 View Post

Whoa Bratas, that is a lot of electricity! I agree the Xbox's use a ton of electricity and are loud, so those are not good solutions. However a low power machine uses next to nothing for electricity. My two satellite HTPC's have dual core Athlons and onboard graphics. It's enough to stream TV or run XBMC for sure. The Cox DVR I had pulled 40w constantly, even turned off. I think my satellite pc's pull maybe 15-20, and of course nothing when they are in sleep. Also I haven't tested multiple recordings on my W8 machines but multiple tuners do show up. Do they all show up for you and you just can't use them all?
Only 1 Tuner is available with the Ceton card.

Only 1 Tuner is available with the Ceton card.


My HTPC consists of the following
AMD A6-5400k APU (No OC)
2 sticks of DDR3 for 8GB RAM
1 Green 1 TB Drive
1 Ceton card
1 DVD-RW
This thing never shuts down and consumes 155w/hr = 3.72kW/day costing $11.56/month

There are 3 xBox's in the house at idle they draw 140w/hr each or 175w/hr (in use) each. Not all are used constantly so I calculate at 3840w/day = 3.84kW/day costing costing $11.93/month
This brings the total to $23.49/month in electricity used.
This is with a pretty dam power efficient computer, even if you got an Ivy-bridge (i3-3220T) or Haswell T sku (35w TDP) you are still looking at 139w/hr.
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post #37 of 51
Hmm. Good reason to keep my Ceton bearing HTPC on 7 for now. My W8 machines recognize the HDHomerun tuners (all 3 of them) with no issues. I'm not sure how to calculate total watts per hour of my HTPC's but the draw at the wall measured with a killawatt is less than that of a cable DVR, and it goes to sleep when it's not in use or recording. The power usage is negligable when compared though. The main draw for me was 2-3 times the amount of tuners, a hard drive to record onto that was as big as I want, and a cable bill that was $25 less a month. I've had the Ceton card for over two years (paid $350 for it back then) but I feel I've made my money back on it.
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post #38 of 51
Thread Starter 
I'm glad someone brought this up. When I was presenting the idea it sounded great and all. I know that the initial cost of implementing this setup will take a year or two. And you nailed what I was thinking. We no longer are paying money to comcast, but there is that little doubt in the back of my mind. I have no idea how to test the power (probably because I never thought to look into it (most likely would have searched OC to find info)). I do think about how to handle the power management on the htpc (no experience). What about you Cavey, did you notice a difference using the homeruns instead of using an xbox (not assuming that you used an xbox)? These are really good points to take into consideration. I had a feeling the ceton used a lot of power. Someone earlier did mention that it gets hot. To be able to calculate your costs is pretty impressive. Thank you Bratas.
post #39 of 51
I think you might be confused as to what my HDHomerun is. It's not an actual media player. It's basically a cable card reader that is accessable over your network from any pc running windows 7 or windows 8 Pro. The Ceton doesn't really consume much power, it's the PC that you have it in that is consuming the power. I don't know the exact specs but it's really low, considering it's bus powered. The HDHomerun unit doesn't consume much either. Maybe 1-2 watts. I guess the difference being the HDHomerun is always on and the Ceton is only powered up when the pc it's in is powered on. This is still a very small amount of electricity and can probably be compensated for by changing a few light bulbs in your home from incadescent to CFL's (I actually did this to make up the power difference. Two coach lamps on the front of my house had 60 watt bulbs in them, and are on all night. Replaced by two CFL's which consume 11 watts. Do the math.) I live in the desert so pc's really are the smallest of my concern. The air conditioning is the killer.
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post #40 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by bratas View Post

??? When I built my HTPC I first tried W8 and W8Pro. There are 2 limitations with what you have described. With W8 first you have to have W8Pro to have WMC, second W8Pro only has the capability to run 1 Tuner. So how are you able to record on the other Tuners?

? Is my response. I am running W8 Pro and there are no limitations. I have 2 Hauppauge 2250's which are dual tuners. I can record 4 streams from these and the HD Homerun Prime with 3 more. I don't remember doing anything special with it either. I just tried it for the heck of it and yeap 5 shows recording at once. I mean the HD Homerun Prime is W8 certified. The Ceton InfiniTV 4 has W8 drivers and installation instructions (http://cetoncorp.com/infinitv_support/)

(Ok so I had to double check this. The Ceton InfiniTV 4 and 6 PCIe and USB are W8 compatible. None of the Ceton Network tuners are W8 compatible though. The HD Homerun Prime is compatible with W8. The only network one I can find actually. Glad I went with the Prime when it was on sale for $110.) (Hauppauge Network tuners are W8 compatiable)


Power Concerns (Too much to quote)

Xbox's are not known for power saving. I have 3 Zotac HD-11's (64 Gb SSD's and 4 Gb Ram) around. I've never tried to monitor them for a long period of time but running Prime95 they pulled 35w. Just running W7 with WMC or XBMC (I can PXE boot either) they never pulled more than 18w. Granted I live by myself and never have more than two running even with friends over so negligible for me. My servers are up 24/7 anyways for media distribution and more importantly data analysis. The difference between my power bill for three months without the setups just cable directly into TV and power bill now is less than $15. Still important though if you have a lot of people using the systems 24/7 it could add up. Just depends on how you go. My other systems far outweigh the media system in power consumption.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious Andre View Post

Alright, so here is my last question. I certainly hope it isn't a redundant one. I have seen videos out there (as well as Kyle mentioning a little about it) about link aggregation. I have no idea if there are going to be any more TVs added in the household later on. From the box that will hold all of my content do you think it would be wise to get a 2-4 port gigabit NIC and use link aggregation for the uplink or is that just asinine? I don't know if I am allowed to say this or not, but everyone who participated in answering my questions deserve some rep (the ipad 2 wouldn't allow me to do that, but now I am on my computer).

Unless you plan on streaming 10+ full 1080p streams then not really a need. Add the cost of a managed layer-2 switch and then it becomes mehhh...If I'm not mistaken you can only do TLB (Transmission Load Balancing) with a dumb switch. Now that said I would still have good quality NICs in anything serving up media. Intel Pro's are my preferred brand. Ebay Intel Pro dual port are $30 usually. I would go with those and leave the switch out for now. If you see it maxing out then all you would need is a switch ($150-$400). The dual ports could actually be used for LAN access and the other for WAN access if you get to that point. (if you ignore security issues). At any rate I would hold off for now.

(All my recommendations are under the assumption you are trying to save money. If that isn't an issue then yea go for it. It is fun to play with.)

EDIT: I just learned something new about W8 and tuners.
EDIT2: Learned a little more.
Edited by Kylepdalton - 6/5/13 at 9:29pm
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