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Old 11-25-2012, 07:58 PM   #1
TorquinDSL
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Tivo for a media server?

I read a few old threads on this and didn't get all the answers I am looking for.
Currently I have a DirecTV Tivo and have been very happy with it for years now. I am thinking though, that it's time for a change, since there are so many services online to get programming from.
What I am looking for is a Tivo that will download programs from the Internet, from whatever service, and store them to watch, in addition to being able to stream directly from the Internet. Not as concerned about YouTube as services like Netflix or Hulu. The reason I want the Tivo, or whatever media server, to DL the programming and store it is because I want to be able to watch TV when the Intenet is down, as it does fall down around here from time to time, and then the computer is down too.
I would also like to be able to feed every TV in the house, as many as six, from this media server, each being able to watch a different channel.
I am looking to cancel DirecTV and only have my cable internet connection, no Cable TV. I'll get local news over the air, hopefully through the Tivo also.

Is there a Tivo, or other "media server" that will accomplish this?

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:05 PM   #2
lrhorer
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Not really, no. Most of the Internet services have DRM strictly applied to their streaming content. Some, like Amazon VOD and NetFlix, allow you to download, rather than stream content, so the content is available for a short while after downloading, but transferring (or even streaming, usually) to other devices is not allowed.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:33 AM   #3
igirl
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What you're looking for is a HTPC solution. You build a library of (compatible) video on HDD, and use hardware and media server software to bring it to whatever screens you like.

This of course means you have to have a home network set up... wired or wireless.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:51 AM   #4
lrhorer
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An HTPC will not, in general, do what he wants as I understand it. Most content cannot be downloaded. Any content which can be downloaded can be streamed from the HTPC, but not in general copied.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:14 PM   #5
Chris Gerhard
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I dropped DirecTV a few years ago and use the PlayLater DVR which can be installed on a Windows PC, I use a Windows Vista PC, and it will record Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, and many many other streaming sites to play at your convenience. It is standard definition only and with PlayOn, the recordings can be played throughout the house using a DLNA client but proper trick play functions only work for me when playback is done with the PC used to make the recordings. There are some restrictions regarding what can be done with the recordings but I haven't bothered to figure out what that is, all I do is play the video, then delete, the same thing I do with TiVo OTA which also restricts what can be done with the recordings.

PlayLater is rudimentary, no way to schedule recordings, just select what is to be recorded and all selections will queue and execute, one after another. It works very reliably for me and is particularly useful with programming that won't be available for long on Hulu or the other sites I use it with, otherwise I would often miss those programs. Promotions at special prices are often available, I have a lifetime license and as far as I know it is a perfectly legal program, a DVR for internet streaming.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:51 PM   #6
TorquinDSL
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Thanks for the replies.
The Western Digital WD TV Live Media Center looks pretty good, except that it doesn't have a TV tuner, and cannot record TV signals, so that's the big drawback with that. Plus I don't know if it will download the Internet content for later watching.
I will investigate the other options mentioned here to see if any of them fit my desire.
If anyone can suggest other places to research this further I'm all ears.


Thanks,
Chris
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:52 PM   #7
TorquinDSL
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One of the other things I was thinking about was a Roku box, but it doesn't even have internal storage.

Thanks,
Chris
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