Well, after having everything set up for half a week and really
using it, I'm sad to say that I'm a little disappointed in the overall quality of SDTV and DVD backups via HTPC. I know, I know, I shouldn't expect a lot of quality from SDTV and SD-DVD but I thought it would be better than what it really is. I was showing my dad the HTPC and we watched a little bit of The Matrix (backed up of course) and we both noticed a good amount of grain in the black areas in the lobby shooting scene.
I really hope that within the next year or two, a better TV capture card will emerge that will decrypt HD signals. So let's review:
1. Be able to watch all analog and digital channels provided by Comcast.
2. Record/Schedule Record TV shows.
3. Play both DVD discs and movies backed up on an internal hard drive.
4. Play backed up music from both my collection and the future wifey's collection.
5. Eventually play HD-DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, or both.
6. Be able to access any content above on any trusted PC/Laptop on my network.
7. Be able to access any content above using XBOX 360's extender.
1. I can only watch analog channels, digital channels are encrypted. Hopefully when everything goes digital, this won't completely screw me over.
2. I can record analog channels only. This is pretty awesome to do, especially when I'm not home to watch certain shows. Vista MCE does a great job with this task.
3. Backed up DVDs work great, with the help of MyMovies and DVDShrink. Quality isn't the best I've ever seen but I've been spoiled by HD programming, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray.
4. I haven't been through my music collection, but this will take some time to accomplish.
5. This is a tough situation. IMO, HD-DVD is right on the verge of being left in the dust due to movie title selection and studio support. I've been doing some research on both the LG hybrid combo DVD drive and Sony's $200 Blu-Ray drive . . . Not sure if I will get one of these or not.
6. This is pretty simple to do. Share the entire drive and map network drives, couldn't be simpler.
7. Everything works great through the XBOX 360 Extender . . . except my DVD backups. MyMovies does not support extenders.
So here's what I wanna know: Do you think this was a good project? Do you think this was worth it lol? I've been questioning myself all day today . . .
Will the analog to digital switch next year screw me with my current setup? I'm pretty sure the answer to this is yes since everyone will need cable boxes or converter boxes. Man, this is depressing.
If anything, I can backup my DVD collection for future usage and use it for backing up other things as well. I don't mind using this just as a backup/storage server once the digital switch hits next year.
What do you guys think?