Alan’s Build Log: Episode #7

Some people take the phrase build log just a bit to seriously. I may be one of those people. Though in my case I was building with sheets of plywood rather than logs. The start to this round of building was installing a built-in desk to give me the desk space I want for working on various projects including testing for Pictures will follow once I add the trim and get my hardware choices in line with what I want to achieve.

This takes me to my second paragraph of this build log… extenders. My goal now is to replace my stand-alone HTPC with extenders. This is easier said then done in today’s extender environment. As a few of you know, I moved on to the CableCard platform that leaves me with only a few choices for extenders. The problem here is that Microsoft based extenders can not stream Blu-ray rips. However, the SageTV extender can. Does that mean I have to go with two different extenders? Pretty much! At this point I plan on getting two extenders for my the main viewing area (Sage + Xbox 360) and one MS extender for the upstairs TV. What is the logic? Well a SageTV extender is cheaper then a stand-alone player.

The plan here is to back up my own DVDs/Blu-ray for streaming throughout the house. The standard def will be converted to DVR-MS files and should be accessible through both extenders.

Q. Does the SageTV extender playback DVR-MS files? I know SageTV added support sometime ago in their software, however I am not sure if the extender will work with these files.

On the Blu-ray front, I plan on ripping to a .mkv container. There has been some success to this on SageTV forums and will be following thier guidelines. 

As you can imagine, ripping a couple of hundred DVDs, and a handful of Blu-rays, setting up SageTV, and setting up the extenders will be rather time consuming. I will keep you updated as the process proceeds.

Another project I am working on is moving my WHS server to an actual server box rather then an OrigenAE S16V case. Lets face it, it is a nice case but it really doesn’t work in a server environment. With that, I will be adding a couple of hard drives, with sizes yet to be determined.

Lastly, I am working on a complete upgrade to my main PC. Something modern but realistically priced. I plan on playing the occasional game as well. The call to World Of Warcraft is strong but I will have to find another, less time consuming game to fulfill my gaming desires.