Many DirectShow capture devices should work with Emu Server but the Magewell USB Capture HDMI and the Magewell Pro Capture HDMI both produce good results. For 1080i sources disable the device's built-in deinterlacing using the utility software provided and configure the server to perform higher-quality deinterlacing by supplying the "yadif2x" video profile encoding parameter.
Some satellite receivers and set top boxes use HDCP to encrypt the HDMI signal they output, preventing capture devices from capturing the video. Devices such as the HDFury IV S and Gang-Hu HDMI Splitter can be used to workaround this problem for HDMI 1.3/1.4 sources, while according to this thread on www.curtpalme.com, devices such as the Ligawo 3080001 may help with HDMI 2.0 sources. Further research into these devices is advised before purchase however.
For highest quality encoding use one of the latest generation NVIDIA GTX GPUs such as the 1050. There is no advantage in choosing a 1070 or a 1080 however, as the HEVC encoding is the same on all three models.
The previous generation NVIDIA GTX GPUs also produce good results at considerably lower cost but the HEVC encoding lacks a few of the quality enhancements unlocked by the latest generation.
Alternatively, you can use the x265 software encoder but you will need a fast CPU in order to be able encode in real-time, such as an Intel 4770K, Intel 6700k or Intel 7700k.
At lower bitrates (800kbps and below) the x265 software encoder generally produces better results than the NVIDIA HEVC encoder so if the available upload bandwidth at the source is limited this should be a consideration.
For a more modest setup requiring a less powerful CPU you can use the x264 software encoder but streaming will require signficantly more bandwidth for the same video quality achievable with the HEVC-based encoders described above.
Emu Server is designed to work with the IRTrans Ethernet device. This should include the Universal learning IR receiver module as you will need to teach it the commands used to control your STB. Instructions for doing this are described in the IRTrans documentation.
Alternatively, by installing WinLIRC, Emu Server can be configured to work with any LIRC-compatible transmitter.
Emu Player comfortably plays back a 1080p60 h.265 video stream on an Intel NUC D54250WYK which uses a 4th Generation Intel Core i5-4250U Processor. To get an idea of whether Emu Player will run on your computer you can check PassMark's CPU Benchmarks to see how your CPU compares to the i5-4250U.
A good air mouse for controlling Emu Player is the LYNEC C2. For a more functional system allowing more comprehensive emulation of the STB's own remote control, use an MCE-compatible remote such as the Rosewill RRC-126 and use a tool such as the Advanced MCE Remote Mapper Tool to map buttons on the remote to configured keys inside Emu Player.
For the ultimate system, use a Logitech Harmony Remote configured to operate in MCE mode, mapping the buttons as described above.