Dell Zino HD - New mini HTPC - Page 83 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #2461 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ralphkaz View Post

I have the same machine - 3250dualcore/4330 and netflix works flawlessly. Same thing with Hulu - no problems. I'm still having some sound issues (no ability to control volume while watching TV) but I'm very happy with this little box.

Its now in my family room running my TV w/HDHomerun dual tuner & comcast.

Are you connected through Ethernet 10/100/1000 or Wireless G or N on your home network to the Internet? and How is your computer connecting to the HDHomerun box?
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post #2462 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by rjwilson37 View Post

How is your wireless-n working out performance wise. Someone earlier stated that there wireless-n does not perform up to par at all.

Both of my boxes with wireless-n stream without any issues. I have watched Hulu, ESPN360, Youtube and a couple of television network websites, and I get no stuttering at all. I have tested them in a room that is about 15' from the router and through one wall.
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post #2463 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by scJohn View Post

Acer has stopped manufacturing the Revo R3610. Not sure why. So if you find someone that has one in stock - grab it.

They have not stopped making it. They have added a new SKU that includes a mounting bracket that attaches to the back of your HDTV. Retailers are just starting to get this new SKU in, so they should go back on sell soon. Or so the intertubes tell me =)
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post #2464 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by kevm14 View Post

This reminds me a bit of a car analogy, where you are the dealer or other brand representative. Car owner brings the car in for running too hot (the needle is significantly above the "middle" range on the gauge, but not in the red). Dealer/brand representative says "well the temperature light comes on at 255°, so you are not over heating." Should the car owner be satisfied with a 240° coolant temp in that case? I'd certainly argue no. It's not good for the engine...

Are you suggesting that I am just blowing this off? Frankly, that bothers me a little.

I was trying to provide some factual data about what the max allowable temp spec is for the part. I was also trying to suggest that you should not expect this small form factor design to operate at the same temps you might see if a full size tower with much more airflow and more elaborate cooling designs.

This is a very small box with limited airflow, you must expect it to ru hotter than a typical desktop computer. There is no where near the same amout of air running through it. You should also expect that it is going to behave differently based upon workloads and that the ambient air inside the chassis is also going to be hotter than a large chassis with more air.

Lastly, not every chip is going to operate at the same temp. Our thermal labs run significant testing on numerous chips from each model and characterize them to come up with the specs for a given model. Then they take a conservative average and that becomes the spec for the device. If the data sheet says 85C, then that is what it should be able to handle without issue.

Does prolonged higher temps reduce the life of the chip? Perhaps, but maximum allowable temp is factored into the overall FIT rate and therefore, I would not expect any significant impact on the lifespan of the chip as long as it remains inside the defined specs.

Furthermore, those temps most are posting are under load. It is not always going to be at those temps. Mine at idle is around 30C.

Now, for those reporting 70C while idle? That would be more concerning because I would not expect those temps when there is no load on the CPU. That to me indicates there is some other problem going on. Therefore, I would start checking the thermal interface, fan, etc. to figure out why it is running so hot at idle.



I am personally not overly concerned about temps running up to 70C or so because that is still well within the operating parameters of the chip.

For those that are concerned, the best option is to find a way to get more airflow through the chassis.

Regards.
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post #2465 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by keepntabs View Post

I don't know how many you consider to be "too many people", but out of the 4 Zinos that I have only one has a fan noise that is noticeable to where I can here it more than 10 feet away. I called Dell today, and they will have someone out within 3 days to fix it. I have all of the posts, and I think there are only a handful of people who have experienced problems with fan noise, and in my opinion all of them can be fixed easily.

I too have an HP Slimline, and the Zino is quieter than it. I am not going to try to sway you one way or the other, because I think that the 1501 will fit your needs also based upon what you've said.

Agreed. Of the 4 Zino's I have tested, all were very quiet. Of course, noise is somewhat subjective.

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post #2466 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 01:37 PM
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What is Dell's return policy? When I receive my Zino, and if the noise is too loud my liking, can I return it? If so, how many days do I have to make this decision?

Thanks
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post #2467 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by wmaster View Post

can anybody please confirm if the USA power supply is compatible with a 240v AC power source.

thanks

Can somebody please do us a huge favor and check your power supply for me?
I'm from australia and want to import one.
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post #2468 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 01:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Java Jack View Post

Are you suggesting that I am just blowing this off? Franky, that bothers me a little.

I was trying to provide some factual data about what the max allowable temp spec is for the part. I was also trying to suggest that you should not expect this small form factor design to operate at the same temps you might see if a full size tower with much more airflow and more elaborate cooling designs.

This is a very small box with limited airflow, you must expect it to ru hotter than a typical desktop computer. There is no where near the same amout of air running through it. You should also expect that it is going to behave differently based upon workloads and that the ambient air inside the chassis is also going to be hotter than a large chassis with more air.

Lastly, not every chip is going to operate at the same temp. Our thermal labs run significant testing on numerous chips from each model and characterize them to come up with the specs for a given model. Then they take a conservative average and that becomes the spec for the device. If the data sheet says 85C, then that is what it should be able to handle without issue.

Does prolonged higher temps reduce the life of the chip? Perhaps, but maximum allowable temp is factored into the overall FIT rate and therefore, I would not expect any significant impact on the lifespan of the chip as long as it remains inside the defined specs.

Furthermore, those temps most are posting are under load. It is not always going to be at those temps. Mine at idle is around 30C.

Now, for those reporting 70C while idle? That would be more concerning because I would not expect those temps when there is no load on the CPU. That to me indicates there is some other problem going on. Therefore, I would start checking the thermal interface, fan, etc. to figure out why it is running so hot at idle.



I am personally not overly concerned about temps running up to 70C or so because that is still well within the operating parameters of the chip.

For those that are concerned, the best option is to find a way to get more airflow through the chassis.

Java Jack, what program did you use to measure that 30 deg C temperature? Could you please list your idle and under load temps for the different CPUs (or whatever you have now) ?

Thanks for all your help.
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post #2469 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by AlexNC View Post

What is Dell's return policy? When I receive my Zino, and if the noise is too loud my liking, can I return it? If so, how many days do I have to make this decision?

Thanks

I am not trying to rude, but you should contact Dell directly to find out their return policy, and not rely upon someone else's comments. I am sure that information can easily be found on Dell's site, and if not, then you can probably do a web search to find Dell's page with the return policy.
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post #2470 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rjwilson37 View Post

Are you connected through Ethernet 10/100/1000 or Wireless G or N on your home network to the Internet? and How is your computer connecting to the HDHomerun box?

Every PC in my house is hard wired via Cat5 or 6 to 100 routers/switches except a laptop i use for web surfing. The HDHomerun is plugged into the same switch as the Zino. So far this setup is worked very well. I haven't fully tested recording two HD shows while trying to watch something that was pre-recorded yet.
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post #2471 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Java Jack View Post

Now, for those reporting 70C while idle? That would be more concerning because I would not expect those temps when there is no load on the CPU.

Exactly! Mine idles at 68-70C and can get close to 80C under load. Of course, that's assuming that the program I'm using to monitor is accurate. However, based on the fact that at these temps the fan(s) are really cranking up tends to make me think it's pretty close.

I will probably take mine apart and just make sure everything seems to be making contact, and also to see if I can't quiet the fan down some. When playing a movie, the fan noise is a bit too distracting during quiet scenes.
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post #2472 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by wmaster View Post

Can somebody please do us a huge favor and check your power supply for me?
I'm from australia and want to import one.

I just contacted Dell's online sales support, and was told that the power brick accommodates input voltage 100-240vac. So, you should be able to get by with just changing the lead so it works with your power socket.
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post #2473 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by jfischer View Post

Exactly! Mine idles at 68-70C and can get close to 80C under load. Of course, that's assuming that the program I'm using to monitor is accurate. However, based on the fact that at these temps the fan(s) are really cranking up tends to make me think it's pretty close.

I will probably take mine apart and just make sure everything seems to be making contact, and also to see if I can't quiet the fan down some. When playing a movie, the fan noise is a bit too distracting during quiet scenes.

Yep, my guess is that there is a bad interface between the chip and the heatpipe.

Perhaps it was not tightened down all the way. It is not a complex design at all so there are only a handful of things it could be.

Regards.
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post #2474 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by scsnospam View Post

Java Jack, what program did you use to measure that 30 deg C temperature? Could you please list your idle and under load temps for the different CPUs (or whatever you have now) ?

Thanks for all your help.

For consistency, I downloaded the coretemp that everyone else was using.

I don't know how accurate this tool is, but I wanted to be consistent with what everyone else was using so at least there was a relative comparrison.

Keep in mind, I have only had 1 unit at a time with only a rare exception of having 2 boxes at once a couple of weeks ago.

I tested the core temp on my wife's box (6850e + 4330). It hit 66C after about 15 mins of hulu playback and 30C staring at the desktop.

My work units keep coming/going as our marketing dept. keeps taking them to different shows/events. When they are in town, I high jack them so I can keep testing.

There is no way my wife will let me steal her system for too many lab experiements, she hates it when I am constantly messing with her system. So I have to leave that one alone most of the time.

Regards.
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post #2475 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 02:32 PM
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What Windows version did it ship with?

I had Win7 64 and the HDMI monitor settings were buried.

Mine shipped with Win 7 64-bit.
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post #2476 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jfischer View Post

Exactly! Mine idles at 68-70C and can get close to 80C under load. Of course, that's assuming that the program I'm using to monitor is accurate. However, based on the fact that at these temps the fan(s) are really cranking up tends to make me think it's pretty close.

I will probably take mine apart and just make sure everything seems to be making contact, and also to see if I can't quiet the fan down some. When playing a movie, the fan noise is a bit too distracting during quiet scenes.

Mine has made it up to 77C. Here's a shot with W7MC from playing windowed Live TV from an HDhomerun:



And here it is idle 5 minutes after full-screening it & then shutting down W7MC after the previous measurement.



The fan noise was *loud*.
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post #2477 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 02:49 PM
 
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Java Jack, my temps are reported by Coretemp, are similar to marcjordan and jfischer ie they are roughly TWICE !! those that you are seeing at idle. No wonder the little fan is going nuts trying to cool this thing down, and getting noisy in the process.

I believe if my temps were in the 30s at idle, I would be very satisfied with the zino's noise. So now what? Contact Dell Support? Do you think I can point them to this board to describe the issue?

marcjordan, jfischer - thanks for your input. I guess we have to get our units looked at by Dell. Too bad.
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post #2478 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 03:01 PM
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Not sure how to fix this but I'm getting a really high pitch sound when I close something and audio is still playing. The only way to stop the high pitch sound is to play something else - anything.

Would it be the ATI drivers considering the fact that I'm using HDMI for video/audio? If so, what are my options besides the drivers that came with the system. I tried modding the regular ati drivers but that messed things up and couldnt get the control panel up
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post #2479 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by keepntabs View Post

Both of my boxes with wireless-n stream without any issues. I have watched Hulu, ESPN360, Youtube and a couple of television network websites, and I get no stuttering at all. I have tested them in a room that is about 15' from the router and through one wall.

All those internet sources have much lower bitrates, and even then the players you're using buffer before playing. If you can, try streaming a 720 or 1080 video file (like an apple movie trailer, for instance) directly from another computer on your network.

I also have no problems streaming internet media...but I have major issues with streaming HD video on my local network.
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post #2480 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 03:33 PM
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All those internet sources have much lower bitrates, and even then the players you're using buffer before playing. If you can, try streaming a 720 or 1080 video file (like an apple movie trailer, for instance) directly from another computer on your network.

I also have no problems streaming internet media...but I have major issues with streaming HD video on my local network.

I'll give it a try when I get home tonight, and post my results.
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post #2481 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by scsnospam View Post

Java Jack, my temps are reported by Coretemp, are similar to marcjordan and jfischer ie they are roughly TWICE !! those that you are seeing at idle. No wonder the little fan is going nuts trying to cool this thing down, and getting noisy in the process.

I believe if my temps were in the 30s at idle, I would be very satisfied with the zino's noise. So now what? Contact Dell Support? Do you think I can point them to this board to describe the issue?

marcjordan, jfischer - thanks for your input. I guess we have to get our units looked at by Dell. Too bad.

If it were me, I would pull it apart a bit and make sure the heatsink is properly seated and screwed down all the way (until the screws stop).

It's unlikely that the CPU's normal idle temp would be 60+ if the heatsink were properly interfaced to the CPU.

The other possiblility is a bad fan and it is not moving enough air across the heatpipe fins.

I would be less concerned about what temp it is reaching under load at the moment and more about what temps are at idle.

It is the high idle temp that is suggesting there is an issue, not the high work load temp.

My guess is that if you figure out the idle temp, you will solve the work load temp issue.

Now, as mentioned, it seems to me to be either the heatsink is not seated or a bad fan.

If heatsink is not seated, the CPU is going to run hotter, the fan is going to spin like crazy trying to cool it back down but it can't because the heatpipe is not drawing the heat out so the fan can cool it down.

If the fan is bad, then it is not spinning correctly (bad bearing or whatever) and making a loud noise and not moving enough air across the heat pipe fins. Therefore, CPU runs hot and the fan keeps trying to spin faster but can't due to a bad bearing or whatever.

Those are the 2 most likely scenarios that I would guess.

As mentioned, no 2 CPUs are going to behave exactly the same, but it is very doubtful you would have 1 CPU that operates at 30C normally and another that operates at 60C normally in the same design.

So if it were mine, I would start with the heatpipe. I think someone else here mentioned that their GPU was overheating due to loose screws not securing the GPU heatpipe fully. It may be something similar with the CPU heatpipe.

Regards.
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post #2482 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 04:13 PM
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Ok not good - while Star Trek played perfectly I'm getting the exact opposite with Hangover. Anyone here also have Hangover on bluray and have tried playing it? It keeps skipping randomly

Specs

6850
4330
3gb RAM
Win 7 Home Premium

Another weird thing is that I notice when Powerdvd is being used that it disables Aero or whatever its called in Windows 7

EDIT - I'm installing Total Media Center to see if that helps. The disc is fine as it plays back ok on my ps3
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post #2483 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 05:21 PM
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I got mine Tuesday, been so busy I have not tested much. But, with the powerdvd that comes with it I could not play my bd rips. It says disk not found. This is playing from the Mkv/m2ts file directly. How should I be playing this? ISO's?
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post #2484 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 05:24 PM
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I got mine Tuesday, been so busy I have not tested much. But, with the powerdvd that comes with it I could not play my bd rips. It says disk not found. This is playing from the Mkv/m2ts file directly. How should I be playing this? ISO's?

You have to install the codecs. Quickest / easiest way to do this is to install Shark007s codec packs
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post #2485 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 05:30 PM
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I see a lot of talk about cpu temps but not the hard drive. I loaded up Speedfan and see the temp is 55C - now thats really high for a hard drive. Has anyone else have temps for their hard drive?
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post #2486 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 05:31 PM
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I apologize in advance, because I have a feeling this post might cause a bit of a stir in this thread...but I'm starting to have second thoughts about my Zino HD; probably more accurately, it is not the Zino specifically that's the issue at all, but more the idea of HTPC and my first...albeit feeble...attempt at it.

I've mentioned before, that while I have been streaming CD, DVD, BD for years, I have always shied away from HTPC in favor of digital media players like Mediagate, XBMC, PS3, and Popcorn Hour (Squeezeboxes for music). My take on HTPC was proponents of them claimed they did and played everything, but at the price of being "futzy" and a lot of work to set-up. Besides that, most of the builds have been DIY jobs, with their own sets of issues related to that.

I've been mostly, perfectly happy with my other media players, but I decided to try my first HTPC because (like a lot of others it seems) I really wanted to try and utilize online sites like Hulu, Fancast, etc., to take advantage of TV-on-demand, and dump my cable provider. Well...even though admittedly I haven't given it much of a chance...my experience so far with the Zino hasn't dispelled my notion of the HTPC as "futzy" and a lot of work to set-up.

I mean, "futzy" and "a lot of work to set-up" are extremely relative; what's a lot of work to one (especially an admitted noobie), is a piece of cake to another. But I haven't even played the first movie yet and here's what I'm up against: first, dump the pre-loaded OS and software and reload. Find the latest and greatest drivers, and try to decipher which are best for you; CCC, 9.11, 9.12, 8.12...are you doing audio over HDMI, 2.0, 5.1. Need to overscan? You'll need this driver, or that chipset. You get the idea.

Then I took a quick run at setting up 7MC just to look at my SD .ISOs for ripped TV-on-DVD. Of course 7MC doesn't play .ISO natively, so someone posts this "easy" hack to get it to work. Allow me to summarize:

-If you want to use a third-party movie library plugins, you need additional mounting software to be installed and running in the background.

-To run them in 7MC you’ll need a couple pieces of software installed. Download and install both VirtualCloneDrive from SlySoft as well as the plug-in from Mikinhosoft.

-Once inside the native movie library ISO files should now be listed alongside your standard movie listings. Unfortunately, there is an extra step necessary to mount the images themselves once they’ve been listed in the movie library. You will need to bring up the menu for the movie which has been saved as an ISO and select the More option.

-Inside the More menu you should see a new option listed to Mount Image. Selecting this listing from the menu should then successfully mount the ISO image making it available to be played from the movie library.

-Unfortunately, at this time there’s no way to immediately differentiate between ISO files and other media types from inside the library and trying to play an un-mounted ISO file will result in an error. You will need to remember which files need to be mounted before they can be played.

-That’s all there is to it!


I mean I'm sure this seem's like child's play to most of you, but it sounds like a lot of "futzing" to me; you need this in the background, and rather than do the "normal" thing, you need to do this other thing...and then remember which is which, etc., etc. I mean the author says unfortunately twice, and then has the nerve to end with "that's all there is to it!"...lol. And this is like step 2 out of 100.

I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't just try to make due with my existing media streamers, which play my content just fine, and try PS3 for something like Fancast for online content. I mean Hulu sh*t-canning PS3 was a big reason for my going towards an HTPC, but again: will the Zino play Hulu HD? Maybe with hardware acceleration, which you can enable with this driver, and the Flash 10.1, blah, blah, blah

Admittedly, it's also a bad time...and time of year...to be getting into this; I just don't have the time. My other players didn't install themselves, but at least I've been through the set-up with them, and the devil you know...that kind of thing. I guess my only other thought is to hang onto the Zino and just come back to it after the holidays, when I have time to devote to getting it dialed-in just right. The only thing is, if I were going to bail on it, I'd love to let someone who got royally screwed by Dell get mine in time to make someone's Xmas.

Dunno Wanna try and convince me it's not as troublesome as it seems?

CD

FOUNDER - E.S.A.C. (Eastern Shore Audio Collective)
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post #2487 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 05:32 PM
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Btw I did install mpc-hc with haali and every one of my rips played with ha. Load averaged around 30%. I have the 6850/4330 rig with 4 gigs of ram. No stutters etc. Just wondering why pwrdvd won't work the same way
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post #2488 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 06:03 PM
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I see a lot of talk about cpu temps but not the hard drive. I loaded up Speedfan and see the temp is 55C - now thats really high for a hard drive. Has anyone else have temps for their hard drive?

And the bluray disc is pretty hot when removing it from the drive. I'm not sure what to expect here. When playing in my ps3, it's not a prob. Within minutes in this pc it's pretty warm to the touch
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post #2489 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

if I were going to bail on it, I'd love to let someone who got royally screwed by Dell get mine in time to make someone's Xmas.
CD

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post #2490 of 5041 Old 12-18-2009, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by CDLehner View Post

Dunno Wanna try and convince me it's not as troublesome as it seems?

CD

LOL, I feel the exact same way (and you sound way more advanced than I am). I was frustrated at first but I realized I would not be returning it so I would give it my best shot. I have had the Zino for 5 days, of which I spent about 15 hours tweaking & 15 minutes enjoying. I think I had my expectations too high.

My main goal was to dump Comcast and save $125/month. It may just be a little longer before I make the move to cancel. But I think in the end it will be ok with the basics (play DVDs, QAM cable TV, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon VOD). I will know in a few days. I bought PlayOn, downloaded XMBC and I am signing up for the cheapest unlimited Netflix. I will try it all over the weekend and see what happens. I was also trying to figure out the ISO thing (I finally decided I may need to convert them all to another file format - big time investment). Oh, the other biggie, I need to make it easy enough to use where my wife doesn't need to push more the a couple of buttons to watch TV or a movie.

It sounds like everyone has a different idea of what they want an HTPC to do. Maybe it's too much. I dream of a world where I order and HTPC, plug it in and it does everything. Thankfully the Zino is priced low enough (with deals) that I think I can get my money's worth out of it no matter what I end up doing with it.
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