So it’s been about a month since my S1Digital Media Center arrived and I couldn’t be happier with it.  Like every other review I’ve read about their systems this thing is just rock sold!  I meant to get this post written sooner but IKE had other plans for me, including no power for a week!

In my last post I said I’d go into some detail into my tuner setup.  The machine shipped with 2 Internal CableCard tuners, I added 2 additional external CableCard tuners and 2 HDHomeRun units, for a total of 8 tuners.  This is working quite well.  The HDHomeRun tuners are setup as QAM tuners, natively supported by the TV Pack upgrade, no more tricking Media Center into thinking the signal is ATSC. 

The TV Pack only automatically adds QAM channels that also have their station ID in the stream, scanning found 6 here in Houston.  Adding the missing channels is pretty easy, I used a combination of the SiliconDust Channel list, and where I found discrepancies I fired up  VLC and went to to identify the channel by what was currently playing.  After I got all the channels I wanted added I combined them with the guide listings I already had for that channel from my CableCard tuner.  Doing so eliminated the duplicate channels that I found annoying in my last setup (cablecard and hdhomerun also) where for example I would have two HD NBC’s one on the CableCard tuners and one on the HDHomeRun tuners, now I have 1 HD NBC and Media Center can use any of the 8 tuners that are free to record the show.

Hardware wise I’ve only added an LG HD DVD/Blu-ray reader via the e-Sata port by using the Addonics Zebra enclosure, I only wish the Intel e-Sata chipsets supported port multipliers so I could run more then one device off the e-Sata connection.

Software/Plugin wise I’m running mControl, Total Media Theater, myTV, My Movies, and HeatWave all of which run just fine with the TV Pack.  myTV has a small issue currently where after a show ends or you press stop you’re left at a frozen frame of what was playing and going back to play a 2nd show crashes the app but I’m sure this will be worked out in the next beta release.  Additionally I’ve used MC Menu Mender to create a custom strip with all my plugins on it and removed them from the other strips.  Also removed the sports strip as I’m not a sports fan.

I’ve also have 2 DMA-2100’s, 1 DMA-2200 and an Xbox 360 hooked up to the system, and even with them all fired up and the machine recording all of mine and the wives shows the box doesn’t break a sweat.

So anyone looking for a true Media Center with official TV Pack support from an awesome OEM give S1Digital a serious look before you buy elsewhere. (if you don’t want/need official tv pack support hit me up, I’m selling my old velocity micro cablecard media center.) ; )

I think since my blog is called “Mike’s Digital Home” in my next post I’ll start detailing everything I’ve got going on here from home automation to homeserver to a dedicated home theater room and how they’re all integrated together.

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