When I had my house built, I went to the trouble of trying to create a video distribution system that would allow one Tivo/DirectTV receiver to be controlled and broadcast throughout the house.
While the system worked in theory, it was plagued with problems, mostly relating to the IR repeaters being eternally flawed. Eventually, I gave up on the system and put DirectTV boxes with all the essential TVs.
Over the weekend, I was able to revisit the video distribution system using the following components:
-Mac Mini – This is the hub of the whole system with SlingPlayer, VLC, iTunes, DVD player, and Firefox.
-Video modulator – sends a video source over channel 35 to every TV in the house.
-iPod Touch, iPhone, and laptop (for remote control of the Mac Mini over wifi. No more IR repeaters)
-Slingbox – This is already installed in my home office and connected to my home office DirectTV receiver.
With the Mac Mini, I am able to tune into my slingbox and watch DirectTV content, use VLC to watch content stored on network attached storage devices, use iTunes to stream content from my iTunes library, play DVDs with the built in DVD player, and use the web to hit content sources like Hulu and Joost.
Whatever the Mac Mini is playing is set to channel 35 throughout the house, which is perfect for TV’s that I have connected to DirectTV service.