streaming tv over the LAN

justin33234
justin33234 used Ask the Experts™
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Greetings, I currently have ATT Uverse and 3 roommates, we have a 4 bedroom house, not everyone has a tv, but naturally we all have high powered gaming computers... naturally... :D

I'm currently setting up a media server to go in the living room to connect to our U-Verse box so we can watch youtube, etc etc on the tv. My question is this...

I'm trying to figure out how to make the media server do what the slingbox does, and make it so the TV is basically streamed through the network so we can all watch TV from our computers without monopolizing the TV in the living room.....

I know I'd need a tv capture card, but would i need 4 of them if we all want to watch tv at the same time ? Also, what software can i get that'd let me stream it over the LAN ?

And would it be cheaper to just buy a slingbox, and would it let multiple people watch different channels at the same time ?

Thanks.
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Most Valuable Expert 2011

Commented:
4 capture cards?  No.  the will conflict with each other.  One card per PC,...there is only one master PC,...therefore only one card is possible.

Slingbox?  No.  Only on persona can view Slingbox at a time.

Solution:  Buy 3 TVs,...now you have 4,...on in each room,...not only that but you actually get real quality in the video.



Most Valuable Expert 2011

Commented:
I don't know if they are still around anymore but I thought I have seen transceivers for doing this.  You placed a transmitter at the master TV and place receivers at the remote tvs and it would re-broadcast the signal from the master to the remotes,...but as far as I know everyone had to watch the same channel.
Most Valuable Expert 2011

Commented:
Back to the WIndows Media Encoder.  Yes, if you a capture card WMEnc can stream the video to multiple Clients as a multicast stream.  But I am not aware that it can take different sources from different capture cards and run multple streams off of that.  I doubt that it will,...but I am not a big expert on WMEnc.

Sorry not to get it all in one post,...I kept thinking of more things after I send the post.  Hopefully I got all I can think of this time.
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You CAN have multiple capture cards in one PC..

Since you're obviously a house of geeks, you can handle this...  I've got a PC at home running "SageTV"  software:   http://www.sagetv.com/

My Sage Server has two Hauppauge cards, each with dual tuners in it (One OTA digital and one standard cable)  (http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hvr1600.html) plus one USB based Hauppauge HD-PVR connected by component to a dedicated set top box in the computer room.  So, from one PC running SAGE, I can simultaneously record 2 things from an OTA antenna, 2 standard def unscrambled cable shows, and one high-def show through the Comcast box/HD-PVR.

In my case, I have two standard def TVs connected to the network via Hauppauge media-mvp extenders (http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_mediamvp.html), and one High-Def TV connected to a Sage high-def extender (http://www.sagetv.com/hd_theater.html).  I also run the sage client from any PC in the house, and the sage "PlaceShifter" from any PC on the Internet, so that I can watch any live, or recorded TV from any room I want, or any PC anywhere...

It all works very well...  Not free, but it works well...

Let me know if you have any questions, but I also recommend the sage website..  Also, if you have a decent tuner card already, you can load a demo copy and test it for yourself..

-Steve
One other thing I forgot to mention..   Aside from recording 5 things at a time, Sage also lets you see some online content through add-ons, although I haven't played extensively with this, and it also knows how to play decrypted DVD content from VIDEO_TS file format directories..  So, for example, if I want to watch a DVD, I have it all on my 4 tb NAS, and the sage just lets me choose it from a menu and watch it...  It's REALLY cool..

-Steve
Most Valuable Expert 2011

Commented:
You CAN have multiple capture cards in one PC..
I cannot possibly be aware of every product (millions?) on the internet "is" and "does". :-)

Since you're obviously a house of geeks, you can handle this...  I've got a PC at home running "SageTV"  software:   http://www.sagetv.com/
Sounds like a valid solution.
Most Valuable Expert 2011

Commented:
Does buying all of that (cards, software, PC capable of holding that many cards) all total less cost than buying 3 TV?

What kind of slots do those cards takes,...so how many free slots does the PC needs for all that?
Well, I guess it would depend on the type of TVs you're talking about, and how much PC hardware you have laying around, and how many tuner cards you want...  For example, if you dont care about watching LIVE tv on 3 different stations at once, but you want to be able to watch different pre-recorded stuff, then you may only need one tuner card...  If you dont need high-def, you dont need the high-def encoder..    When I started, I already had a PC I could use, and an encoder I had previously used in a MS MCE server, so my startup cost was FREE for the duration of the demo license... Then once I committed to it, I bought a couple used media-MVPs off of ebay and the software license from Sage...  Later, I added the high-def..  It's all scalable...  You can even use "HDHomeRun" to do two network based tuners..

Besides the original question was about "can it be done", and the object was to AVOID buying 3 TVs..  If nothing else, it keeps you from having to run RG6 all over the place, since with this setup, all of your TVs or PCs are connected ONLY by Ethernet (or even wireless)

-Steve
Oh.. and you asked about slots..  My internal tuners are PCI, so for example, mine has 2 different tuners/encoders in one card, so for each of those, I need one PCI slot, but my high-def one is USB, so presumably you're pretty flexible with USB ports...  Also, the HDHomeRun I mentioned is network attached  [http://www.silicondust.com/products/hdhomerun_home_atsc] , so that doesn't take any slots..

I guess a simple answer to the original question may be just to get the HDHomerun also..  It's kinda like a slingbox with a tuner built in..   I think it has the capability to talk directly to any PC on the LAN, but in the config I'm talking about, the tuning and recording would be done by the sage server, which then becomes the central repository for all the recordings, which can then be watched live or delayed from any sage client.
-Steve

Most Valuable Expert 2011

Commented:
Ok, so generally is sounds like a valid solution.  I doubt I would want to do it myself (I'd just buy 3 TVs), but the guy asking the original question may like it,...that's all that matters.
Yeah..  Well, there are some advantages, but admittedly, I probably have $1000 invested in it by now..

I like the ability to have all the media stored in one place though, and have the recording schedule centralized, unlike having 4 separate Tivos, and having to go to another room to schedule that second prime-time show to record over there, then have to copy it between tivos if you want to watch them both in the same place...  

The Sage is really meant to be a PVR...

-Steve

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Commented:
Perfect! Thanks!

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