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Old 05-15-2013, 10:51 PM   #31
HarperVision
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Not much different than the choices you have for TiVo though.
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:59 AM   #32
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Thanks!

Picked up two Mini's at Best Buy last night and they matched the price drop. Sweet. I used the saved 24.00 to buy the 4-year extended warranty for $19.99. Only brought one warranty, since the warranty is not attached to any Mini in particular. I guess if both Minis malfunction, I'm screwed.
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:07 AM   #33
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It's pretty easy to build a 4-tuner HTPC with a couple of extenders (used Xbox slims or Linksys DMA2100s) for $900 or so. An equivalent lifetime XL4 + 2 Mini setup would be $1300, and as you go past 2 extenders the HTPC is way cheaper because the used extenders are readily available for $100 or less. You would have new Minis vs. used PC extenders of course.
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:48 AM   #34
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It's pretty easy to build a 4-tuner HTPC with a couple of extenders (used Xbox slims or Linksys DMA2100s) for $900 or so. An equivalent lifetime XL4 + 2 Mini setup would be $1300, and as you go past 2 extenders the HTPC is way cheaper because the used extenders are readily available for $100 or less. You would have new Minis vs. used PC extenders of course.
Interesting.

To me it looks like a MCE WHDVR solution (with used extenders) has a cheaper startup cost compared to TiVo, but TiVo (if you can sell your equipment 5-7 down the road for near the cost of Lifetime) might be the same cost (or a little less expensive) in the end.
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:51 PM   #35
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Don't forget about power. A TiVo XL 4 draws about 19W and a Mini only draws about 6W. Even a low power HTPC will draw about 40W and an XBox 360 draws about 175W. The Ceton Echo is on par with the Mini drawing about 6W.

If you consider that then an HTPC will probably cost you an extra few dollars per month compared to a TiVo.
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:52 PM   #36
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The current 360's draw less than half that. But still, that is alot more than a Mini or XL4.
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:56 PM   #37
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It's pretty easy to build a 4-tuner HTPC with a couple of extenders (used Xbox slims or Linksys DMA2100s) for $900 or so. An equivalent lifetime XL4 + 2 Mini setup would be $1300, and as you go past 2 extenders the HTPC is way cheaper because the used extenders are readily available for $100 or less. You would have new Minis vs. used PC extenders of course.
What's the HTPC worth in 3-4 years? Those tivos probably still worth $600 or more.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:33 PM   #38
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Got to admit that the DIY part of me likes the idea of building a MCE WHDVR. I'm fairly sure my housemates would move out if I did, but it does sound like a fun project!
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:17 PM   #39
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Thats mainly why I did it a few years ago. Because I like to tinker. But in practice I didn't care for the UI so it got very little use. Eventually I dismantled it and used the parts to build a computer for my Sister.
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:11 AM   #40
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Don't forget about power. A TiVo XL 4 draws about 19W and a Mini only draws about 6W. Even a low power HTPC will draw about 40W and an XBox 360 draws about 175W. The Ceton Echo is on par with the Mini drawing about 6W.

If you consider that then an HTPC will probably cost you an extra few dollars per month compared to a TiVo.
Don't forget that HTPCs can sleep when not in use, and the Xboxes have WOL capability to wake them up when you want to watch something. The power use of a sleeping PC vs. a Tivo is probably in favor of the PC overall, but the Xboxes are going to draw a lot more when in use.

Power really isn't the main issue here, it's how you like the experience of WMC vs. Tivo. I have both and prefer using Tivo, personally, but I don't have any Minis yet and won't until I can get one for less than $200.
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:56 AM   #41
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Power really isn't the main issue here, it's how you like the experience of WMC vs. Tivo.
I also have both and agree. I personally prefer the TiVo experience over the WMC experience on my TV but again that is just a personal preference. What I like about WMC is being able to share networked tuners thus not need to run coax everywhere. I have a Win 7 HTPC attached to my TV and a Win 8 PC with WMC in my Office that I like being able to use.
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:17 AM   #42
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I also have both and agree. I personally prefer the TiVo experience over the WMC experience on my TV but again that is just a personal preference. What I like about WMC is being able to share networked tuners thus not need to run coax everywhere. I have a Win 7 HTPC attached to my TV and a Win 8 PC with WMC in my Office that I like being able to use.
Agree completely. I built a win7 MC PC and while it was great in some aspects, my wife grew tired of telling me to "reboot the TV."

Some things just need to be simple and straightforward. There is a point of diminishing returns on technology. Drive a BMW 7-series and then get back in your car. You'll be amazed at how easy it is to turn up the AC or change the radio. Sometimes complexity is the enemy.
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:42 PM   #43
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I don't have any Minis yet and won't until I can get one for less than $200.
You can get one right for $88.... if you pay for monthly service.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:03 AM   #44
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