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Some background information on my current home setup:

Living Room

  • 50" Plasma screen
  • X-Box 360
  • Playstation 3
  • DirecTV HD-DVR

Computer Equipment

  • One unused Dell XPS (Pentium P4 3ghz, 2gb RAM)
  • One self-built desktop PC (Core 2 Quad 2.94ghz, 4gb RAM, 2x500gb hard drives) - This computer also has an ATI TV Wonder tuner which I used when I had cable
  • One small desktop pc (Pentium P4 2ghz, 512mb RAM) that is located in living room and is currently outputting video to the plasma screen
  • 2x Toshiba laptops (AMD Dual cores, 2 and 3gb RAM)
  • 4 Western Digital External Hard Drives (2x 500, 2x 320) currently attached to the Quad core pc)

What I am looking for is the best way (if any) of integrating my DirecTV DVR into my home network. I think the most obvious use would be to somehow backup my recorded video (and possibly free up the space on the DVR for more content).

I am open to nearly all suggestions (preferably legal ones). I guess you could already go wild with the other equipment as well (I already use my XBox for a lot of video streaming), so have fun and be creative with it.

I am not going to make it CW because this (I believe) is a real question with some real possibilities for my home setup. I have always thought the DVR was pretty strange sitting outside my network like it was and I would like to include it in my little electronic family here.

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I always thought you weren't supposed to use video game consoles with plasma screens. – Spencer Ruport Jul 17 '09 at 22:20
spencer: The original issue with consoles was that some games that have HUDs that don't move on the screen could potentially cause burn in. Plasmas have become more reliable in this sector than they used to (I've had my plasma for over a year now and have not yet had any negative effects of burn-in, but I also take precautions to prevent it as well). – TheTXI Jul 17 '09 at 22:36
Ah cool. I guess I will begin considering them now when shopping for a large screen. – Spencer Ruport Jul 17 '09 at 22:45
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I've never used them but awhile back I was looking at Sling boxes. I'm not sure if this will completely fit what you're looking for but I think it's a step in the right direction.

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Using TVersity, you can stream content such as movies, pictures, YouTube, and Hulu to your DirecTV receiver using the Media Sharing capabilities of the receiver. Be warned though that the DirecTV receiver does not support "trick play" functions like skip, fast forward and rewind, and that pausing a video only works for 5 minutes before the video starts over again.

I know people that have had great success with SageTV, but you need to purchase a media player device that sits next to your TV. This is a very feature-rich setup, as it gives you full control of all media, as well as Sling box functionality to view content over the internet. However, as my friend put it, it has a very low WAF (wife acceptance factor) since it is not as easily plug-and-play as a DirecTV receiver - reboots, service restarts, reindexing are needed from time to time.

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