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post #121 of 142 Old 06-14-2014, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I posted a picture from photo bucket (the old way) and an attachment. The photo bucket thing isn't working because this new/old software sucks. If anyone can tell me how to make it work then let me know! And I just noticed that my attachment is upside down. This site sucks now.
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post #122 of 142 Old 06-14-2014, 09:04 AM
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Okay, I posted a picture from photo bucket (the old way) and an attachment. The photo bucket thing isn't working because this new/old software sucks. If anyone can tell me how to make it work then let me know! And I just noticed that my attachment is upside down. This site sucks now.
\First click on the paper clip to attach files.
upload files and they will appear in blue below your text screen.
click on them and they will appear in a new window on your browser.
copy one at a time and then go to insert image and paste.
Do that last step for each picture.

I know it sucks, but this is the way that works best so far.

MY THEATER......The Thompson Theater 11.9 channels

"Is not love not unlike the unlikely not it is unlikened to?"
- Leon Phelps
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post #123 of 142 Old 06-14-2014, 09:07 AM
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Here I did it for you.

Also, do you have you Lumagen set up correctly? NLS should not have cut off the sub titles in GOT.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Shelf Panels.JPG (94.8 KB, 227 views)

MY THEATER......The Thompson Theater 11.9 channels

"Is not love not unlike the unlikely not it is unlikened to?"
- Leon Phelps

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post #124 of 142 Old 06-14-2014, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Here I did it for you.

Also, do you have you Lumagen set up correctly? NLS should not have cut off the sub titles in GOT.
Cool, thanks! I've got it set up exactly the way Lumagen suggests. I hit NLS and everything seems fine except for the subtitles. I may have the projector zoomed in too much. I'll check it when I sober up.
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post #125 of 142 Old 06-16-2014, 05:28 PM
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JVoth... I was watching GOT last night and subtitle came up. There is no way you should be getting those cut off in NLS mode. Either you had it in 2.35 mode or you don't have something set up correctly. Could be something in your projector, processor , or the lumagen for that matter. Have you tried figuring it out yet? I would hate to see you give up on the scope screen.
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post #126 of 142 Old 06-16-2014, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
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JVoth... I was watching GOT last night and subtitle came up. There is no way you should be getting those cut off in NLS mode. Either you had it in 2.35 mode or you don't have something set up correctly. Could be something in your projector, processor , or the lumagen for that matter. Have you tried figuring it out yet? I would hate to see you give up on the scope screen.
Haven't had time just yet. I think I might have had my lens shifted too low on the screen. I adjusted it last night when I watched the finals and it wasn't cutting anything off when I switched to NLS. I know during GOT I had it on 16:9 NLS. I should be able to check it tomorrow night and I'll let you know for sure.
As far as the scope screen, I do love it. I'm a long ways away from changing that out. If I did go bigger, I wouldn't be able to get much bigger than 100" wide, maybe 105" at most, due to my throw distance. And 5 more inches on a scope screen isn't enough to go through all that trouble. If I got a 16:9 screen I would definitely get the masking system from Carada and leave it deployed all of the time so I would have the scope look. I can't imagine that happening though because I would have to redo my rack, screenwall panels, etc. It would be one hell of a project not to mention the cost of everything ($5000 or more).

I'll let you know about the NLS and I may need some help on media server/htpc stuff. I'm shopping around for stuff now. I'm thinking about starting small. Just a basic htpc with an Intel i3 with a few terabytes for storage. I'll rip some blu-rays and get the feel for it and then eventually I would build a server like what you have with Flexraid and the whole nine. What device are you using for your front end?
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post #127 of 142 Old 06-17-2014, 05:30 AM
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What do you mean for the front end? If you are talking about a media streamer, I am using PCH A-400. I don't use a HTPC, but I could see myself using one in the future. Right now, everything is where I want it and I am happy with my setup. When new technology comes out or I just feel the upgrade bug, I will change then.

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post #128 of 142 Old 06-17-2014, 06:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, by front end I mean't the Popcorn Hour. I read through your thread last night and pulled as much info from Mfusick's posts as I could. That was a lot of info he provided you (and me) for sure. For your server, I'm assuming it's Windows 7 or Home Server with Flexraid, correct? See, I'm having trouble deciding if I want to go ahead and build a dedicated server and buy a separate front end like Popcorn Hour or Dune, or just build a server/htpc in one box. I have no need for streaming all over the house or anything like that. It will be a one room system which is why I'm thinking I can just build an all in one htpc/server and be satisfied. I guess a few years down the line I can build a dedicated server with hot swap drives and all that kind of crap if the needs of the system grow past 8 terabytes. But the other problem I'm having is that I don't want to be just kind of satisfied. I didn't build a dedicated theater so I could say, "eh, yeah that's okay." So I may build a dedicated server still. But if I do that, I'm not sure if I go with Popcorn Hour or Dune for the front end and then the back end is a whole other issue. My Movies, Windows Media Center, Zapitti, JRiver? Damn this HTPC thing is like a whole new addiction within an addiction. It's stressing me out.
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post #129 of 142 Old 06-17-2014, 06:52 AM
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I have heard many good things about jriver but I Have no experience with it. The reason why I built the server is mainly for protection in case a hard drive fails I wouldn't loose all of my data. Another perk is not waiting to load a disk or having to get up to load a disk. When I finish tuning my subs, I always go demo my favorite scenes from movies. I can jump in between different movies in a flash. But like I said before, protection was the main priority. Every morning my server emails me letting me know everything is good. That keeps me at ease.

I use WHS with flexraid and computer parts that don't use a lot of power and generate heat such as a dual core processor. You don't need a fancy mobo or processor for a server. I do put it on a ups though because I'm scared of the power going out when it updates or verifies the hard drives. I have no idea if that would cause an issue or not but I'm not willing to take the chance.

If you DIY your server, you can save a HUGE amount of money and have more options than say a Synology system.

By the way.... MFusick is super cool for showing me the way. He has helped out so much. If you have any questions just ask him. He is very generous with his knowledge.
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post #130 of 142 Old 06-17-2014, 09:25 AM
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Jriver is nice from an audio and video quality perspective. It's got good features and has a focus on high end quality; you'll get better picture and sound quality with something like Jriver over somthing simplistic like xbmc because Jriver supports MadVR advanced video processing (Jriver calls this red October) and has a plethora of great audio features to go with it. The internal audio and video processing in something like Jriver is better than something you get in a standard player freeware. You can obtain the same functionality (or better) as Jriver with some plugins and add ons with some freeware, but there is a little more set up involved. Currently MB3 Theater supports MadVR, reclock, Vs filters and LAV audio so that's probably the most direct comparison to Jriver on the freeware side of things. If you wanted to use something else you can set it to use an external player and then use MPC-HC as your player (which supports madvr). There is a really good set up guide as a sticky in the top of the HTPC forum; Advanced MPC-HC Setup Guide

The reason people don't like Jriver is probably because it's not free. It's paid software. Also it's not a slick as the others and lacks the eye candy aspect a little. (xbmc and mediabrowser3) If you really want to make it look and feel awesome and show it off Jriver can't hang with XBMC or MediaBrowser3; they are just cooler looking on the big screen and have a lot of extra features. The trade off is a tad more set up involved, but there is guides to help.

If you want to do more than one room you'll want to design the system a bit differently. A lot of people want a media server but want to use it to enjoy their media in many places and on many devices. In my house my media server doesn't just feed my dedicated HTPC, it also feeds a couple cheap and easy to set up ROKU3 boxes where we use the Mediabrowser app and PLEX app on ROKU to browse movies and tv shows and playback in other rooms. I also use my ipad3 often for viewing, or to browse the library as a remote control. My Flexraid server feeds my brother at his house and also my parents, and I have it set up to stream on my laptop/phone/ipad when I'm traveling. I love to be able to sync content locally too so I can use it without wifi like on a plane, then with a couple clicks on ipad I can delete it and sync something else for the ride home. This is simple stuff I'm talking about, the core features are built into plex and MB3; you don't need to go to school to do it or set it up.

This is where things have changed the most recently. Before people were only concerned with single room solutions, and that was easy. The most popular option was probably just buy a NAS box and feed something from it. It works great. But the problem is a NAS box is dumb, it's a dumb (dumb as in it's only purpose is to serve data) little server box that's weak and can't do much other than serve data over LAN. It's not a good option for feeding a tablet over wifi, a ROKU in a bedroom, a streamer HTPC in the theater, a few friends, and content over the internet for traveling. You can kind of force the issue and functionality by having it feed a more powerful HTPC and having that HTPC do the rest of the work, but in hindsight you'd have been better off just building an all in one or a dedicated media server that was better suited for the tasks.

There's nothing wrong with the simple approach of xbmc off a NAS box for a single room, but I think a lot of people start out with that mentality and then discover and learn they actually want more. It's like anything else you get sucked in. If you can make a list of the must have features, a list of non priority like to have features, and clearly identify the list of do not need features it will greatly help you choose the right solution for your budget. Getting the wrong solution initially and then piecing together a less ideal solution with what you are working with is less desirable and upgrading or replacing stuff prematurely ends up costing more money, more time, and more trouble in the long run.

A DIY solution is also much cheaper than a MFG made solution so that's an area of cost savings without a performance compromise, or giving up functionality. In most cases it's more powerful, has more features, more performance, and costs a lot less. NAS boxes are overpriced significantly and it offends me. You can reverse engineer one or DIY for $200, but they charge $999 or more for the same thing. NAS boxes under $1000 are pure crap too. You can't really get a NAS box that does transcoding, especially under $1500, while in comparison an all in one unit for $1000 is really nice, or a more advanced HTPC + Mediaserver combo for the same price of $1500 is spectacular. PC hardware is both cheap, and very powerful. A $35 Intel CPU is more powerful than 99% of the NAS boxes on the market. You just need to put it together yourself, which is often the sticking point for most folks.

I think the main difference between solutions now is the recent trend and emergence of a "server" program and a separate "client" program. This has really shaken things up. Before you could do a simple NAS box or streamer server (low cost, low power) to feed your client and run something like XBMC which is everything in all one and made for a pretty nice single room solution. The trouble is if you pause a TV show because the kids are crying, and then want to resume it in the bedroom - or you want to know how many episodes of Season 2 you've watched and what episode you are on now - it becomes really complicated because each room is it's own solution and they don't function together as a unit or single device divergent solution. That is why the "server" programs have gained so much in popularity and functionality. With more advanced solutions like PLEX or MB3 you have a "server" program that runs on your media server. This program manages your meta data and library, is your organizational hub, and it feeds all your clients. It makes it easy to watch on the ipad, then click a button and pick up from the same point on your ROKU. Or use your ipad to browse your library and then play back on your theater screen, or use the tablet as a remote. You can share servers with friends, sync content for local playback, and set up remote video streaming while you are away. This is easy to do when the functionality is built into the platform like with PLEX server or MB3 server. If you watch something it's easily kept track so if you watch Season 3 Episode 6 on the bedroom ROKU and you want to watch the next episode the next day in the theater you don't have to remember what episode you watched, the theater system will show you the last watched episode even if it was on a different device.

The bottom line is you can take things really far, or keep them really simple. You can go MFG made and save the set up trouble and keep things simple, or you can go DIY and gain a lot of additional features and functionality while saving costs. You can go anywhere in between. I think the best solution for someone starting fresh is to plan for or spec out a solution that will allow you to take things far, this doesn't cost that much more $ and in comparison to a MFG made it's way cheaper. Just because you have a solution of system that can let you take things far doesn't mean you can't initially set it up to be very simple like a one room solution either. I'd avoid under estimating your desires if possible, I did that and I upgraded my HTPC 3 times, my desktop 3 times, and my server 3 times since 2010. It was fun and I enjoyed it, but I am not sure folks that don't share the same hobby would like it as much as I did. I thought initially I was doing great with a $200 HTPC and a $250 Flexraid server with cheap parts but I ended up replacing every part so in the long run it cost me more money than if I just went with a more advanced solution up front.

If you want a few good links or threads to get started let me know. I think this one was pretty good recently talking about "overkill" on HTPC vs not enough. Lots of viewpoints from different people so it might give you a good idea of how serious or how simple you wish to make things. Who else has built a ridiculously overpowered HTPC? What's your story?

If you want some picture examples of the difference between basic video playback and advanced video playback with MadVR, or you want to see some screen shots of picture quality differences this thread has some good ones: **** So you've built your HTPC-NOW WHAT IS NEXT ?? How to get the "ULTIMATE" picture and sound quality from your HTPC !!!! (MADVR? SVP? XBMC? Mediabrowser? Jriver? )

Larry M from this forum (firepower theater) did a HTPC build that was a nice all in one solution (media server + HTPC) earlier this year you might want to check out Critique my HTPC build plan

If you want some cool ideas about different front ends and configurations you can check this out: HTPC FRONT END SHOOTOUT: Show us your eye candy !
Just don't remind me I never posted up my updated screen shots, it's on my to do list for a long time but with the twins birth I seem to find a million reasons not to do it. If you want modern MB3 screen shots you can check out the MB3 forums, the project has really improved and changed a lot since that thread started. http://mediabrowser.tv/

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Last edited by Mfusick; 06-17-2014 at 09:29 AM.
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post #131 of 142 Old 06-17-2014, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Excellent and thorough advice as usual. I'll put together a list of wants later today and maybe you can help me out again?
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post #132 of 142 Old 06-17-2014, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Stuff I don't care about:
MadVR - I have a Lumagen Radiance so I'm set for high quality video processing.

Whole house streaming - I only want a single room solution. We have Netflix, HBO, and Hulu - the holy trinity of streaming video services in my opinion. Plus I'm not fishing Cat6 through walls.

Music Server - I can Bluetooth ITunes from my phone to my Sherbourn Preamp. I don't do any critical listening so I'm good with what I have.
TV Tuner

What I do want
- I would like a single box htpc solution..
- Controllable with IRule on my IPad - I think there are drivers for WMC for IRule called MCE or something like that.
I don't envision needing 40 TB like you have MFusick. I do buy movies but not like some of you guys.
The ability to play new movie trailers and crap like that.
I'm thinking WMC + MB3. I'll start with 8 TB of flex raid storage.
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post #133 of 142 Old 06-17-2014, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
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By the way, is Windows 7 Pro recommended? The PC I'm buying comes with Windows 8 but I've heard 7 is better.
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post #134 of 142 Old 06-17-2014, 02:52 PM
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Excellent and thorough advice as usual. I'll put together a list of wants later today and maybe you can help me out again?
Sure. I will try my best I missed your post I went for a walk with the babies and wife for ice cream. We have the final class on breast feeding multiples tonight , but I am usually around. I should catch your posts at some point usually, but feel free to PM me if you really need help, or start a thread in the HTPC section and link me up. More minds are better than one, sometimes it takes a village.


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By the way, is Windows 7 Pro recommended? The PC I'm buying comes with Windows 8 but I've heard 7 is better.
Most people build the PC because you get a lot more horsepower and modern features for the money. The MFG made computers these days are built with the mentality of hitting a price point and making maximum margin. It's a price war at retail so the quality of some of the parts in a retail machine is not as good as some of the enthusiast level parts. There is also a strong market for HTPC related PC parts which function particuarly well for HTPC duties- this includes motherboards with advanced audio and video system support and features, CPU with great video GPU, cases with attractive form factor that fit well in AV racks, and power supplies and fans that are extra quiet for HTPC use so you don't hear them during a movie. There is even hard drives designed to be cool and not require a lot of cooling - and remain very quiet even during video playback.

I'd caution that for about the same money the DIY route is better suited for HTPC- especially when you catch a good sale on the right parts. If you want help with a build list I'd be more than happy to help.

Windows 7 or 8 both work. Windows 7 is just more mature and cheaper.

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Stuff I don't care about:
MadVR - I have a Lumagen Radiance so I'm set for high quality video processing.
Video picture quality is more complicated than that. If your HTPC does the conversion and resolutions changes already sub optimally then the damage is done. I don't discredit the idea the lumagen might make the best of it - but there is complicated things happening in the algorithms and lots of factor to consider like 16-235 consumer scale vs 0-255 full scale and how the resolution of a video file is being determined. I am not that familiar with the lumagen but I would suspect if you want it to work the best you would feed it "native" information which is easier said than done with a HTPC that has a fixed screen resolution (like 1080p) on the output. If your screen resolution is set to output 1080p and you playback a 720p TV show or a 480p DVD all the conversion already takes place in the PC. The only way to really control or maximize that process is with tools and plugins like MadVR. For the HTPC you might be better off just doing it internally and digitally and then spitting out HDMI. MadVR isn't all that hard to set up and use.

In comparison you'll probably have just as much trouble figuring out how to get your player like WMC to output 0-255, or figuring out how to get your Nvidia or Intel GPU to do it. It requires a quick registry hack, but my point is if you are going to go through the effort to feed the lumagen optimally you might as well just set up madvr. Might be a nice test though. I know madvr hangs with most video processors and gets compared to stuff like Sony's DRC all the time and does pretty well in the match up with the right settings.

Quote:
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Whole house streaming - I only want a single room solution. We have Netflix, HBO, and Hulu - the holy trinity of streaming video services in my opinion. Plus I'm not fishing Cat6 through walls.
I hear you. With wireless AC you can do wireless FYI, and there is also powerline adapters that use your powerlines and cost about $40. Anyplace you have a power recpetable you can easily make a CAT6 plug there without running wires. http://www.amazon.com/b?node=1194444
That is always an easy option just as an FYI.

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Originally Posted by JVoth View Post
Music Server - I can Bluetooth ITunes from my phone to my Sherbourn Preamp. I don't do any critical listening so I'm good with what I have.
Bluetooth sucks for sound quality but it is great for convience. Lots of AVR now have airplay or some version of it that uses WIFI - IMO WIFI is a much better solution than bluetooth. The coverage area is much better and so is the sound quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JVoth View Post
TV Tuner
You do or do not want live TV or TV tuner ?

Quote:
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What I do want
- I would like a single box htpc solution..
- Controllable with IRule on my IPad - I think there are drivers for WMC for IRule called MCE or something like that.
I don't envision needing 40 TB like you have MFusick. I do buy movies but not like some of you guys.
The ability to play new movie trailers and crap like that.
I'm thinking WMC + MB3. I'll start with 8 TB of flex raid storage.

Single HTPC solution does sound like it would work well for you, and that also saves you money. You can control it with irule or any other IR or WIFI system, there is tons of options in the remote control area with tutorials. The apps for some of the clients also feature remote functions- there is solutions for Mediabrowser, PLEX and XBMC- also Jriver too.

You can probably start with just a few hard drives and save costs. If they fill up and you run out of space add another. That is how I started. I started with 6TB. You can grow as you go.

Movie trailers is supported in XBMC or Mediabrowser, but I have yet to see it work with PLEX. I believe this is a popularly requested feature so that might change. For XBMC or Mediabrowser all you do is download the plugins. Mediabrowser has two plugins- one for downloading the trailer locally on your hard drive inside your movie folder and fetching them- and the other is a trailers plugin that just streams them from the internet from places like youtube.

WMC + MB3 is a good choice if you want to use a TV tuner but there is support for TV tuner now in MediaBrowser server so you can bypass WMC if you wish. Not a lot of people are doing the TV tuner thing anymore, a lot of that is being replaced with streaming and downloading. If you don't need live TV and TV tuner card you might like MBtheater better with MadVR. You can also use XBMC and have it feed from MBserver to pick up the MB3 family of features, or you could just use XBMC solo. XBMC supports external players too so you can use madvr if you wanted as well.

I am a MB3 fan and I think it's a great product but the only real way to tell what you will enjoy the most is try it yourself. You can download them and play around on your existing laptop or PC now and see how they work. Make a few dummie movie folders and set up a fake library. Or rip a single movie quick and try it out.

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Last edited by Mfusick; 06-17-2014 at 02:55 PM.
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post #135 of 142 Old 06-18-2014, 04:56 AM - Thread Starter
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No TV Tuner cards for me. There is nothing more simple than the cable/satellite providers' DVR's. And most of the time you can get those for free for a year or so from them.
As far as buying a pre built PC as opposed to building one, I found a Dell with an i3 and 8 GB of memory for $479. Not to mention it has extra 3.5" spaces inside for more drives. That's pretty competitive with building one yourself but now I would get a warranty also. I'll research a little more online and see what I want to do. I still may build one myself from scratch. I haven't been into the PC thing since 2002. I was actually an MCSE and Cisco Certified but back then but there wasn't any money to be made in that field so I moved on to something else. It looks like I should have stuck around in that field because it seems to have bounced back but a $7.75 an hour tech support job wasn't gonna feed 2 kids. I don't think I'll have much of a problem getting back into the swing of things on the hardware side. The software is where I'm having a hard time deciding. The way you talk about JRiver and MadVR and it's audio and video capabilities makes me wanna go all in and build a really nice htpc as opposed to a basic movie server. More decisions for me I guess. I feel like I'm gonna turn into the Brolicbeast of the htpc world with all of my indecision. Hopefully I can keep it entertaining like he does.
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post #136 of 142 Old 06-18-2014, 05:57 AM
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Hi JVoth,

Very nice build thread.

A couple comments:

1. I feel your frustration with Irule. It is much as you describe in that your on your own to make it work. Its kinda a tweakers paradise but I still to this day learn basic functions which should have been easier to integrate.

2. Irule will work with WMC, I use it to control mine. There is a tutorial on Irule support just search over there for MCE control.

3. I Use GC100-12s all over my house and have not noticed the problems you describe. Admittedly though I don't use serial for any control but have done numerous simultaneous feedbacks over IP and Network gateways. I use all IR and IP control so maybe that was it. All my firmware is old to so IDK.

4. Get the HTPC. I recently built mine and have since cut off my directv and never looked back. Just realize you will likely need a suite of programs running on the PC to make it completely versatile and sling the content across multiple platforms (Roku, Chromecast, Smart TVs, Apple products, etc).

I use Plex Server to sling to my Apple products and PS3s since it transcodes so nice and has an app that just works.

I use WMC and Mediabrowser 3 for a front end to browse.

I use MPC-HC for MKV playback and BR playback.

MCE Controller to control WMC over IP with Irule. Irule does good at light browsing through libraries and Netflix but really at some point your gonna need/want a full keyboard and mouse in addition.

For some tasks I have found the Mobile Mouse App to be the best for control of the HTPC and it has a full keyboard quick launch from Pinned programs etc. I setup an app launch widget in Irule so it just pops up.

Keep up the good work!
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post #137 of 142 Old 06-18-2014, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi JVoth,

Very nice build thread.

A couple comments:

1. I feel your frustration with Irule. It is much as you describe in that your on your own to make it work. Its kinda a tweakers paradise but I still to this day learn basic functions which should have been easier to integrate.

2. Irule will work with WMC, I use it to control mine. There is a tutorial on Irule support just search over there for MCE control.

3. I Use GC100-12s all over my house and have not noticed the problems you describe. Admittedly though I don't use serial for any control but have done numerous simultaneous feedbacks over IP and Network gateways. I use all IR and IP control so maybe that was it. All my firmware is old to so IDK.

4. Get the HTPC. I recently built mine and have since cut off my directv and never looked back. Just realize you will likely need a suite of programs running on the PC to make it completely versatile and sling the content across multiple platforms (Roku, Chromecast, Smart TVs, Apple products, etc).

I use Plex Server to sling to my Apple products and PS3s since it transcodes so nice and has an app that just works.

I use WMC and Mediabrowser 3 for a front end to browse.

I use MPC-HC for MKV playback and BR playback.

MCE Controller to control WMC over IP with Irule. Irule does good at light browsing through libraries and Netflix but really at some point your gonna need/want a full keyboard and mouse in addition.

For some tasks I have found the Mobile Mouse App to be the best for control of the HTPC and it has a full keyboard quick launch from Pinned programs etc. I setup an app launch widget in Irule so it just pops up.

Keep up the good work!
Nick,
Thank you for the kind comments. IRule has a ton of potential for sure. I would have a better attitude if they would have been a little more straight forward with me about the GC-100's. They were in fact fine for IR but the RS-232 was the hang up for sure. IP control is really good with IRule. I am having another freaking problem with it though but I think my projector is the issue and not IRule this time.
As far as my HTPC adventure, I was very curious about Plex. Is there a Plex app for AppleTV, PS3, Roku, etc.? I was not aware of that. I thought Plex was to stream content from your media server to an IPad or other mobile device, not Playstations and AppleTV's and things like that.
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Paininfliction,
The Lumagen is set up correctly but I went ahead and did a factory reset and went through the whole process again just to make sure it was right. Now, it didn't crop the subtitles completely but it did cut off part of something minor like a lower case p or g. Also, the pause symbol from my Oppo got cut off partially at the top. Nothing major. I re zoomed, shifted and focused the PJ so it is perfect now. I'm happy with the setup. I don't think those subtitles are going to be an issue to be honest with you.
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Nick,
As far as my HTPC adventure, I was very curious about Plex. Is there a Plex app for AppleTV, PS3, Roku, etc.? I was not aware of that. I thought Plex was to stream content from your media server to an IPad or other mobile device, not Playstations and AppleTV's and things like that.
Yes there is a PLEX app. I use the PLEX app on my ipad3 very often and it works well. My wife uses PLEX on the ROKU all the time too (I prefer the MB app, the one that is in beta but due out any day now).

I also have my parents set up to use PLEX on their ROKU at their house. They can browse and watch my entire library and it's easy enough that my 62 year old mom and 66 year old dad can figure it out without needing any support. I even made a library for them called "mom and dad" which I place new movies or movies I think they would enjoy into it so when they go to watch something they don't need to browse my entire 50TB library and struggle with decision making picking something out. I keep about 25 movies in there at a time and update it a few times per year replacing stuff they watched or deleting it. I know I waste a TB or so on this of space.. but at $33 per TB cost I am more than happy to spend the $33 to bring that enjoyment and simplicity to my parents. The ROKU was a gift to my mom for Xmas from me

My brother and sister in law also have HTPC and ROKU3 that also feeds from my plex server.

I recently borrowed my brother's pick up truck to go pick up some lumber, and when I went inside to return it I noticed he was watching one of my favorite shows. I commented "oh you like this too? I have all of them on my server if you want to watch more" and he replied "this is your server, it's the ROKU you gave us". I smiled. On the way home I stopped at my moms house which is on the way home and she was also watching something on her ROKU from my server at the same time. I smiled again. When I got home my wife was watching something else in our house on our ROKU over WIFI at the same time. I smiled again. I then sat down and starting watching something on my ipad with headphones.. and that worked at the same time too! I've routinely seen my set up do 3 or 4 feeds at the same time- and two of them over the internet to my family.

Plex is a great way to achieve this.

So is MB3. I recently began using the MB3 app for ROKU over the PLEX app because it's more intelligently laid out, and I like that I can add additional libraries from different locations and it will combine everything into one. PLEX can't do this. It's a problem if you have newely added content like TV shows where the newest episode might still be on my desktop or in the new folder, but the other episode are on my media server. MB3 has ability to see all of them and combine them for simple playback so I can watch new stuff without needing to copy paste it into my collection on my server first. PLEX can't figure that out.

The ipad app for MB3 launches tomorrow. It's supposed to be game changing, with great remote control support. The ROKU app in the beta channel was also completely re-written so it supports advanced remote control support too.

PLEX and MB3 are competing platforms and products but you can run both. I do. There is no reason you can't install and set up both and then decide which you prefer. They basically do much of the same as each other. PLEX just works. That's it's strongest benefit IMO. It's not much fuss to set up and it's easy to use. It lacks a lot of the extra features of the MB3 platform and in comparison MB3 has a lot more options for set up of your libraries and managing your media. Like I suggested earlier the only way to really tell is to try them yourself. Everyone seems to have a different opinion on which is better and why.

I've tried them and used them both for quite some time so I see good and bad about both of them, but mostly both are very good.

MB3 supports: Windows Phone(specific app), ROKU(specific app), Apple, ipad(specific app), Iphone(specific app) Windows(specific app X2 both Theater and Classic) Linux(openELEC port), Windows Home Server(I run server on WHS), Android (specific app) Kindle, and I think I am forgetting some.. but you get the point.

Plex is the same pretty much. They have great support across many devices too.

A lot of this is going back to the first things I said earlier about 1 room vs a total solution. It seems like a lot of people think they want 1 room, but end up wanting a total solution. PLEX and MB3 are a great way to set up and enjoy a consistent solution across multiple platforms and devices. That is one of the core strengths of them IMO.

A single room set up traditionally was something like MediaBrowser2 or XBMC. PLEX and MediaBrowser3 kick things up a notch. A benefit of starting on one of these would be if you ever want to expand past just the one room there will be nothing stopping you.

One thing I have noticed with regularity and near certainty about HTPC front ends is people like what they use; there is some type of reinforcement that their current personal choice is the best choice, and there is some hesitation or resistance to see the good in the alternatives. I'm guilty of this myself I think sometimes. That is why most people that currently use and have used for some time XBMC feel like it's the best and are hesitant to change or experiment with other platforms, or why a PLEX user thinks it's better than MB3 and vice versa. The truth is it takes some time to set up and a bit of a learning curve so usually whichever you do and learn first becomes your favorite and unless you give the second or third option the equal amount of time and love and setup and learning curve adjustment it's just unlikely you'll prefer it. I am not sure what I am trying to say is making sense but basically my advice is to try them all when you are noob before favoritism can establish itself and you'll get a more honest evaluation personally and what you like and why should become obvious. A lot of people that start using something heavily never invest the time to try anything else, and so they never realize if it's better for them or how it's different.

Having used them all, and using both PLEX and MB3 daily on multiple devices I can honestly say both are great and either one would probably serve you well. MB3 clearly has more eye candy and options, but you pay the price with a slightly more difficult learning curve and more possible points of trouble.

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Paininfliction,
The Lumagen is set up correctly but I went ahead and did a factory reset and went through the whole process again just to make sure it was right. Now, it didn't crop the subtitles completely but it did cut off part of something minor like a lower case p or g. Also, the pause symbol from my Oppo got cut off partially at the top. Nothing major. I re zoomed, shifted and focused the PJ so it is perfect now. I'm happy with the setup. I don't think those subtitles are going to be an issue to be honest with you.
Perfect! i'm glad you got that ironed out. Didn't want you to be missing anything.

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Well, I haven't bought an HTPC yet because I'm probably gonna a build a super bad ass server with a Dune front end. As far as room construction goes, I got back from vacation and I haven't had a chance to finish painting. Everything is pretty much done though. I still need to calibrate the speakers. The Sherbourn pre amp has a 7 channel parametric EQ so I need to get on that. I also need to calibrate my PJ and Lumagen again because Calman has a lot of new features that I didn't utilize last time I cal'd. I'm gonna wait on that though because my lamp probably only has a few hundred hours left, if I'm lucky. It's sitting at 2500 right now.

I'm gonna finish painting before the end of the month and have some really nice pictures taken of the room with my DSLR. This thing should be done but I hate painting.
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