So, I’ve been using this Windows Media Center setup for a year now. Here are some random thoughts about it.
The two TV Tuner Cards had to be placed side-by-side on the motherboard since that was the only configuration it allowed. They get very hot. I purchased an additional internal fan to help keep them cool. Every now and then if it needs to reboot while hot, I get a bluescreen during the boot process. I can only attribute it to heat since it boots fine if I let it cool off a while. (Very annoying when my wife is wanting to watch a TV show!)
Speaking of fans, they said this was a quiet box, but let me tell you, the droning of those fans is incredibly loud in an otherwise quiet bedroom.
On the positive side, the HD signal has been great. The 28” monitor is plenty big for our little room. The DVR features have been just fine.
On the other upside, I’ve seen little market activity around Windows Media Center. Hardly any media extenders available. I did buy a used one from ebay and my wireless network is not sufficient to move video quick enough. I’ve bought a G router but haven’t upgraded all the machines yet. The menuing interface on the extender seemed slow and clunky compared to the PC. I’m sure it won’t go over well to other TV viewers in my home. (My wife.)
Would I do it again? Not sure. The AT&T Uverse looks pretty nice but it’s still not available in my area. If local over-the-air channels are sufficient for you, then this is a great way to do it.