Originally Posted by xtremehomtheatr
I have had the VPL1000 for two years. I have upgraded it to the VPL1100 with the Puck. Have an Oppo and Lumagen. I like the unit a lot, but am disappointed with the 4K puck quality. I have never seen PC gaming on my system. I am thinking about building a 4k HTPC. Before I take the time and money to do this, I would like to know your thoughts.
- Is 4K from HTPC better than the puck?
- Is there much 4K content available via the Internet?
- Do 4K PC games look better (more impressive) than 4K video?
- Will a low end 4K video card get the job done, or do I need a mid to high grade one?
- Recommendations on components for HTPC setup would be nice.
- Will need a wireless Keyboard and mouse - any recommendations?
1920x1080 PCs can be built very cheaply using a NUC and it's decent on-board Intel graphics. I'm using one in my family room. 4K PCs require a very good video card and therefore the "stuff" that goes around it (case, CPU, MB, memory, SSD, etc.), so it costs more. I don't really see the need for an i7, so went with an i5. Unless you have a need for the top of the line OC gaming machine or other reason, an i5 will do just fine for an HTPC. I can only speak to my video card - the AMD Radeon R9 290, which is a good bargain for 4K video card IMHO. It's extremely stable and displays everything I've thrown at it without any problems. Again, I don't need to OC or have the top of the line. I just tried to find the sweet spot for an HTPC build that would last. I highly recommend going with a SSD for at least the OS. 120Gb should be more than plenty for your needs. However, content takes up room and I recommend storing that outside the HTPC on a RAID. I use Synology for it's stability, expansion capabilities, and features. If you go that route, spend the money on quality HDDs. I went with cheaper 3Gb Seagates. They work when they work, but fail too often. Seagate will send you a replacement quickly for $9.99 shipping and return of defect, but their warranty is now only one year. If I had to do it again, I'd spend more for drives with longer warranty designed for RAID use, probably from WD. As for wireless keyboard and mouse, I like trackballs and use an all-in-one RF solution that has a thumball and buttons located at the top for my right hand. The one that I have for the HT is no longer made. The closest I found to it that I use with my family room NUC HTPC is a SIIG keyboard
for under $50. It's a little on the lower quality side, but seems to work OK for me so far. I guess Logitech would be a good choice, especially if you prefer separate KB and mouse or a trackpad.
I think the 4K coming out of the HTPC is excellent do for the most part because of the software (JRiver and it's use of MadVR, etc). The Radeon 290 helps too.
I think the puck probably looks just as good. The issue with the puck is that it's all based on content. It's limited to what Sony puts on their site and it's a joke since it's only a subset of Columbia (Sony) movies and some shorts. A few of the shorts look great, so the potential is there. I downloaded and watched The Amazing Spider-Man II using the voucher. It looked at least as good as BD, but I'd still call it 4K-lite. The 4K on the puck is only as good as the source. The same is true really for any source including the HTPC. There are some nice shorts and clips for playback from the HTPC, but the available content is very limited too. 4K source is just not here yet which is why we're all waiting for 4K BD.
I'm not a big gamer, so can't really speak much to it. I'd ask others like Zombie about it. What I've seen looks good, but is it more impressive than the best 4K shorts? No.