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My Crzay Idea


byronomo
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I'd appreciate any isight that anyone can offer on this situation.

 

First, the "problem":

I run WHS on my network and have a number of Media Center PCs attached. Additionally, on all of my TVs in the house I have SlingCatchers. The reasons that I have the slingcatchers are twofold: 1)Primary reason is that I have a SlingBox located in Japan and my wife/kids are able to watch Japanese Programming on any TV in the house via the SlingCatchers & 2)Before I recently started to add small form factor HTPCs (Lenovo Q150) to my network, I was able to "sling" the Windows Media Center interface from my Slingbox attached to my "main" Media PC (i.e. the one w/ the tuners) to any TV in the house. I am able to view "near HD" quality (1280X540, i believe) streaming from Japan to my US-based SlingCatchers or PCs "glitch free" about 90% of the time. If I drop down to 640X480 (quite watchable), the streaming is glitch free around 98% of the time.

In a "perfect" world, I would be able to access programming from Japan from within Media Center in the US. In my current setup, I must select the SlingCatcher as my input to my AV Receiver and view from within the SlingCatcher interface. The source in Japan is connected to a HD-DVR, so I further have to access those menus via SlingCatcher. In recent months, SlingMedia ceased selling SlingCatchers, and now they sell on eBay for $400-$500. Also, in recent months the price of "capable" HTPCs has dropped (Q150 costs around $350). So those 2 things caused me to wonder if, going forward, I could replace the SlingBox/SlingCatcher functionality and move to a Media Center (and possibly WHS) based system.

 

Some ideas (questions, really):

1)Since Media Center can access networked tuners, I wonder if I configured a HTPC in Japan w/ a Tuner and added it to my network in the US (via VPN like Hamachi or something) and have programming record from the Japan-based tuner to the hard drive of a US-based media PC which would then be copied automatically to my WHS so that the content could be viewed from any HTPC in my house in the US. Could this work?

2)If it is not possible to network the tuner in this fashion, perhaps I could add the Japan-based HTPC to my WHS network (again via VPN or similar) and have it record programming locally and then enable the setting to have all content copied to my WHS (US-based). Given the time difference between Japan and the US, a lot of the recording/copying would happen while I we are sleeping and we rarely have a need to watch Live programming from Japan. Is this an option?

3)I don't really know anything about "Live Mesh" , but could that product (in it's new incarnation) offer any paths to accomplish something like this?

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that is a good question and one that I have no experience with. I would run a test or vm box before you pay for any hardware. I may not completely understand the issue either.

 

What your trying to do is (correct me when I am wrong)

 

1 have a pc set up in Japan to record programing in that country.

2 have the recorded programing moved to your US based WHS for viewing with your clients.

 

Is that the jist of it?

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that is a good question and one that I have no experience with. I would run a test or vm box before you pay for any hardware. I may not completely understand the issue either.

 

What your trying to do is (correct me when I am wrong)

 

1 have a pc set up in Japan to record programing in that country.

2 have the recorded programing moved to your US based WHS for viewing with your clients.

 

Is that the jist of it?

Yes sir...you pretty much nailed it...with the added caveat that I'd like to access/control everything from media center.

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This is a very interesting project. Although I have never tried it, in theory your could record to the local drive/HTPC in Japan, and playback thru a VPN here in the states. The transcoding and media playback features of Vail may be able to help as well as another alternative. You could easily test here. I do not do any recording on my HTPC's at all otherwise I would test the concept but maybe if you or anyone does a VPN could be tested. As near I can see (although I have no recording to test with) Vail might be your best bet? Anyone have other thoughts?

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byronomo - what is the ave size of the recordings on the HTPC? I am thinking of some type of sync option to stay away from vpn.

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byronomo - what is the ave size of the recordings on the HTPC? I am thinking of some type of sync option to stay away from vpn.

well, using my US Shows as a proxy, the size of the files should be 1-3GB in size.

 

Is there a way to Sync w/o a VPN (or similar) since this would basically involve moving files across a LAN network?

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The transcoding and media playback features of Vail may be able to help as well as another alternative.

 

Well, in my theory, since I'd be recording and playing back via Media Center, there shouldn't be any issues with transcoding (.wtv format) I don't think. But, of course, I don't know this for sure.

 

From a layperson's (meaning me) perspective, it seems like this should be a VPN issue (whether or not it works just like a local LAN) + a bandwidth issue (whether or not the time it takes to move the data via VPN makes the solution viable or not).... I'm sure there most be other potential roadblocks too.

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yes but your not moving files over your LAN you will be receiving the files from overseas via the internet correct? If you VPN the two systems then you cold network share and sync with MS tools.

 

Let me know I am still thinking of ideas and maybe something I can test on my VM tonight or tomorrow.

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yes but your not moving files over your LAN you will be receiving the files from overseas via the internet correct? If you VPN the two systems then you cold network share and sync with MS tools.

 

Let me know I am still thinking of ideas and maybe something I can test on my VM tonight or tomorrow.

 

Hmmm...i guess in all honesty, I'm just not sure.

 

My initial line of thinking was as follows:

1)currently in my network in the US, all recordings are automatically moved from client PCs to the WHS and viewable by all clients. However, to do this, the PCs must be part of my LAN.

2)Then I thought---hey, how could I make a PC in Japan part of my LAN to do the same thing?? And the VPN idea popped into my mind.

 

 

That being said, if there's a better/easier way to skin this cat, I'm all for it. So if the MS tools will basically get me to the same place, then I'm completely indifferent.

 

I really appreciate your taking the time to give some thought to how to accomplish this because I am only a relative novice at this type of thing.

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You can move those files from the Japanese side on a schedule via VPN by using RoboCopy and a Scheduled task but it will be slow due to the encryption. I move some files between my WHS here in Iraq and one back in the states. Slow as mud, mainly because of the connection here, but with true high speed on both your ends, you should be okay.

 

 

Nice Avatar by the way, I remember going to Doak Campbell when the south end zone had metal bleachers.

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