I am no where done tweaking with the software and trying to get everything working perfectly. This is just a post to document what I have done so far. Until I have a better internet connection, I will not be playing with streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu.
I’ve decided to go with Windows 7 Ultimate. This version comes with Windows Media Center by default, which I will get into later. I know this is surprising to everyone that knows me, since it’s not Linux. The reason that I’ve done this is because Linux doesn’t allow the DVR to meet it’s needs. I wouldn’t be able to stream netflix or many other websites through boxee. In addition, it does come with DVR software for free that provides listings for free.
I’m using Windows Media Center for the DVR software. It does decent, but is free with Windows 7 and comes with free listings. It does a good job of setting up with the tuner card. It allows for some plug-ins also. I haven’t spent much time trying to tweak it, but I need to find a way to modify the main menu to remove a lot of junk I don’t want. The movie section also leaves a lot to desire, as it does not break things down by folder and just displays all files it finds regardless of which folder it is in.
I have it setup so that when the DVR starts up, that WMC will startup in full screen. With this setup, there is no need for a mouse or keyboard.
Air Video can stream videos in almost any format to your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. You don’t need to copy your videos to the device just to watch them. The program runs in the background and starts automatically when the DVR starts up. With the recent Beta version of the server, it can stream the drm laden wtv format without having to convert them first.
This is only a minor plug in, but it adds nice Broadcaster logo’s to the channel listings. It’s a minor touch, but a nice one.
I use this for accessing, organizing, and viewing my shows on the remote server. If you loved how XMBC populated information about shows and movies, you will love this plug-in for watching all your backed up media. It will key off the title, download all the information about the media, and also pictures. Much better than the stock movie lister that came with WMC
I’ve used this for setting web access to the DVR. It allows for viewing the listings and setting up recordings using a web browser. It also allows you to stream already recorded shows to windows and os x web browsers that support silverlight. This doesn’t include the implementation on linux though.
A new feature that I haven’t had time to test out is streaming to iOS devices. I might try it out in the next couple weeks and update this post. Currently, it does not support native mode on the iPad.