Assassin's Simple/Beginner HTPC Buying Guide - Page 22 - AVS Forum
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post #631 of 15956 Old 02-06-2011, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Okay, finally got the screenshots to work. Enjoy.










Hey Assassin...looking good Chico!

I am using the pearl theme as well and I have a few questions re: your setup.

1. In your first screenshot you have the custom icons with a cool background. How/where does one insert a backdrop in the media browser entry screen.

2. I have used the icon selection component in MB configurator. However the config does not have an option to select an icon for the trailers plugin like it does for the music plugin. Is there a way to do this manually?

3. In your screenshots 2 & 3 your movie covers look angled. What pearl option are you using for this?

BTW did you figure out a way to prt scr with your lenovo? ( I have one as well).

EDIT: Found a good link that explains question 1 here: http://community.mediabrowser.tv/per...ackdrop-images
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post #632 of 15956 Old 02-06-2011, 01:08 PM
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Well I completed my build yesterday, and overall it went pretty flawlessly. Way less painful then I had envisioned. If it wasn't for this thread I probably would have gotten an off the shelf pre-built, but I'm sooooo glad I did the build. I'm now working through the fun of the software loads and configuration. I don't have much media at the moment, so I'll have to do some ripping and such as well.

Love your media browser screenshots Assassin. Hopefully I can get my setup to look sweet like yours. Having the music section with album artwork is a nice bonus.

Couple questions - I have is with the nMediaPC 5000 case and putting the HTPC to sleep. Is it standard for the blue led around the power button to blink? If so, did anyone find a way around this?

Also my LG Blu-Ray came with PowerDVD - is that a decent program or should I just go ahead and get TMT which seems to be the preferred software for blu-ray?
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post #633 of 15956 Old 02-06-2011, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Hard2Port View Post
Hey Assassin...looking good Chico!

I am using the pearl theme as well and I have a few questions re: your setup.

1. In your first screenshot you have the custom icons with a cool background. How/where does one insert a backdrop in the media browser entry screen.

2. I have used the icon selection component in MB configurator. However the config does not have an option to select an icon for the trailers plugin like it does for the music plugin. Is there a way to do this manually?

3. In your screenshots 2 & 3 your movie covers look angled. What pearl option are you using for this?

BTW did you figure out a way to prt scr with your lenovo? ( I have one as well).

EDIT: Found a good link that explains question 1 here: http://community.mediabrowser.tv/per...ackdrop-images
1. I figured out how to do it by following the instructions over at mediabrowser.tv. I then made custom folder icons on photoshop that fit the color scheme. I can safely say that no one else on earth has a setup quite like mine.

2. I am not sure about question #2. I don't use trailers or the trailers plug-in.

3. I use the cover art plug in. There are dozens of ways you can make your posters look using this plug in.

4. I used the built in virtual keyboard. Its a part of Windows 7.
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post #634 of 15956 Old 02-06-2011, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cwill2480 View Post
Well I completed my build yesterday, and overall it went pretty flawlessly. Way less painful then I had envisioned. If it wasn't for this thread I probably would have gotten an off the shelf pre-built, but I'm sooooo glad I did the build. I'm now working through the fun of the software loads and configuration. I don't have much media at the moment, so I'll have to do some ripping and such as well.

Love your media browser screenshots Assassin. Hopefully I can get my setup to look sweet like yours. Having the music section with album artwork is a nice bonus.

Couple questions - I have is with the nMediaPC 5000 case and putting the HTPC to sleep. Is it standard for the blue led around the power button to blink? If so, did anyone find a way around this?

Also my LG Blu-Ray came with PowerDVD - is that a decent program or should I just go ahead and get TMT which seems to be the preferred software for blu-ray?
Excellent. Glad you enjoyed the guide and very glad that you decided to build your own. I hope that everyone who is thinking about building vs buying reads these posts and realizes that they can build one using this guide.

Also happy that you like my new mediabrowser look.

I don't remember about the blue led light. Its been a few months since I did a build with that case. If the light drives you crazy you can always just disconnect it (or cut it) at the button. Or perhaps you can pull the light out of the button housing. The less lights the better, imo.

TMT is pretty much the standard on here for bluray playback.
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post #635 of 15956 Old 02-06-2011, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I havent found a great solution to my massive mp3 collection. I actually just use winamp for now.

I don't have any problems with my music. Then again when I ripped it all 10+ yrs ago I used MP3Tag Studio to create complete ID3 tags on each mp3 file and file away all the music in a really nice folder structure. The built in music function on W7MC actually works pretty well with it. I don't play music that much but when I do it's pretty easy and quick to play a particular album or artist. I think it all comes down to how good are your ID3 tags and/or your folder structure.

Scott
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post #636 of 15956 Old 02-07-2011, 04:37 AM
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Have built the suggested HTPC. Works great, except:

Have a problem. Have not tried running a DVD yet but when I watch NetFlix after some period of time the system shuts down and restarts. Have a monitor and my HDTV(hdmi) connected at the same time so I can see what's happening. What is happening is that Windows 7 actually shuts down and then does a restart.

It is not the power saver as that is set at never shut down.

Any suggestions?

Thanks.
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post #637 of 15956 Old 02-07-2011, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by cwill2480 View Post

Couple questions - I have is with the nMediaPC 5000 case and putting the HTPC to sleep. Is it standard for the blue led around the power button to blink? If so, did anyone find a way around this?

My case (same as yours) the blue led is solid all the time while it is on. Waking from sleep it goes right to solid blue. Putting it into sleep it is solid blue. No blinking for me.

PSN- Velillen
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post #638 of 15956 Old 02-07-2011, 03:14 PM
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Let me know how that Netgear works out. I just moved into a house and the upstairs isn't wired for internet and I've been looking for a good solution other than running 50 feet of Cat5.


I will definitely let you know how these work. I wasn't able to build this weekend since the mobo shipped from a back east newegg warehouse and won't be here until tomorrow

I have a concert to go to Tues night and work is crazy this week so I may not get to it until this weekend.
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post #639 of 15956 Old 02-07-2011, 04:56 PM
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I will definitely let you know how these work. I wasn't able to build this weekend since the mobo shipped from a back east newegg warehouse and won't be here until tomorrow

I have a concert to go to Tues night and work is crazy this week so I may not get to it until this weekend.

Check out post #606 to read about my experience with the Netgear powerline adapter.
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post #640 of 15956 Old 02-07-2011, 07:53 PM
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Trying to build now.

Can someone with the Ausus P7H55-M Pro motherboard tell me where I should plug the IEEE 1394 into the motherboard?

Does it go into the COM1 slot? I'm pretty sure it doesn't go in one of the USB slots?
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post #641 of 15956 Old 02-07-2011, 08:11 PM
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Awesome post. I am just starting to plan my HTPC build and this is exactly the info I needed.

Question for you. Do you have an alternative for the Lenovo remote that uses IR? I will be putting my HTPC in the basement in my media closet and distributing it via HDMI over Cat5 so 10 meter RF is not possible for me. I can do IR though since I have an IR blaster that I can use.
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post #642 of 15956 Old 02-07-2011, 10:12 PM
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Nice thread thanks.
Could you also recommend an AMD build?
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post #643 of 15956 Old 02-08-2011, 02:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MrR0boto View Post

Trying to build now.

Can someone with the Ausus P7H55-M Pro motherboard tell me where I should plug the IEEE 1394 into the motherboard?

Does it go into the COM1 slot? I'm pretty sure it doesn't go in one of the USB slots?

Consult the manual. It should tell you exactly where it should go.
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post #644 of 15956 Old 02-08-2011, 02:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by latenight View Post

Awesome post. I am just starting to plan my HTPC build and this is exactly the info I needed.

Question for you. Do you have an alternative for the Lenovo remote that uses IR? I will be putting my HTPC in the basement in my media closet and distributing it via HDMI over Cat5 so 10 meter RF is not possible for me. I can do IR though since I have an IR blaster that I can use.

There really is nothing like that lenovo remote out there a far as I know. Some people use the more expensive dinovo but I am not sure if it has ir.
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post #645 of 15956 Old 02-08-2011, 02:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Nice thread thanks.
Could you also recommend an AMD build?

I am not going to turn this thread into an intel vs. amd flamewar. I have already answered this question but it needs repeating. Imo I don't think amd has a direct competitor to the clarkdale at this time. The new zacate shows promise so if you are dead set on getting amd look there. My intel build definitely is not the cheapest route you can go but I think of all the options its your biggest bang for the buck. To get an equivalent amd htpc you would need to add a discrete graphics card which would negate any money savings. But the intel i3 would still come out ahead as it uses much less power, especially if you are using a discrete graphics card.

Look at the zacate. I have never used it as it is brand new. Personally I think its a little underpowered for a primary htpc.
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post #646 of 15956 Old 02-08-2011, 04:27 AM
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Great guide Assassin. I've been wanting to set up an HTPC for some time now and your guide is the best thing I've found that puts it all together and explains how and why. Super job.

I ordered all of the pieces and parts last night so I should be able to do the build next week. I couldn't get the i3-550 (out of stock) so went with the i3-560 ($20 more). I understand that even the i3-550 was overkill but the i3-560 should still work, right?

Thanks again for the guide. Great job!

-Doug
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post #647 of 15956 Old 02-08-2011, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I am not going to turn this thread into an intel vs. amd flamewar. I have already answered this question but it needs repeating. Imo I don't think amd has a direct competitor to the clarkdale at this time. The new zacate shows promise so if you are dead set on getting amd look there. My intel build definitely is not the cheapest route you can go but I think of all the options its your biggest bang for the buck. To get an equivalent amd htpc you would need to add a discrete graphics card which would negate any money savings. But the intel i3 would still come out ahead as it uses much less power, especially if you are using a discrete graphics card.

Look at the zacate. I have never used it as it is brand new. Personally I think its a little underpowered for a primary htpc.

I just completed an AMD build, but your info was still very helpful when I did my research. I won't clutter up your thread with details if you prefer to keep it specific to your i3 recommended system(s).

In my case, the CPU + GPU was still cheaper than the i3 alone. I do agree there is a tradeoff with power consumption and heat, but I took the up-front cost savings!
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post #648 of 15956 Old 02-08-2011, 05:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bswiz View Post

I just completed an AMD build, but your info was still very helpful when I did my research. I won't clutter up your thread with details if you prefer to keep it specific to your i3 recommended system(s).

In my case, the CPU + GPU was still cheaper than the i3 alone. I do agree there is a tradeoff with power consumption and heat, but I took the up-front cost savings!

You can post your build. I like giving people alternatives, too.

I just don't want to turn it into an argument. Both AMD and Intel have their pluses and minuses. Personally I guess I am an Intel guy for now --- at least until the new line of AMD CPUs come out and I may reconsider.
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post #649 of 15956 Old 02-08-2011, 05:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by flyback View Post

I couldn't get the i3-550 (out of stock) so went with the i3-560 ($20 more). I understand that even the i3-550 was overkill but the i3-560 should still work, right?

Thanks again for the guild. Great job!

-Doug

Looks like there are a few places that may have the i3 540.

Buy.com http://www.buy.com/prod/intel-core-i...213443210.html

Mwave http://www.mwave.com/mwave/SKUSearch...iteria=BA26115

Here's the i3 530

Buy http://www.buy.com/prod/intel-core-i...213443211.html

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Processo.../dp/B0030DN1GO
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post #650 of 15956 Old 02-08-2011, 08:45 AM
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Can someone with the Ausus P7H55-M Pro motherboard tell me where I should plug the IEEE 1394 into the motherboard?

Does it go into the COM1 slot?
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Consult the manual. It should tell you exactly where it should go.

Either the manual doesn't say or I'm too ignorant to find it. The only thing the manual says about 1394 is "never connect a 1394 cable to the USB connectors".

Anyone know where it goes? I'm still guess Com1. The case manual states that some mother boards don't have 1394 connections.
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post #651 of 15956 Old 02-08-2011, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MrR0boto View Post

Can someone with the Ausus P7H55-M Pro motherboard tell me where I should plug the IEEE 1394 into the motherboard?

Does it go into the COM1 slot?


Either the manual doesn't say or I'm too ignorant to find it. The only thing the manual says about 1394 is "never connect a 1394 cable to the USB connectors".

Anyone know where it goes? I'm still guess Com1. The case manual states that some mother boards don't have 1394 connections.

It looks like that board doesn't have firewire.

http://ixbtlabs.com/articles3/mainbo...h55-m-pro.html
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post #652 of 15956 Old 02-08-2011, 10:03 AM
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Thanks, assassin
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post #653 of 15956 Old 02-08-2011, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by latenight View Post

Awesome post. I am just starting to plan my HTPC build and this is exactly the info I needed.

Question for you. Do you have an alternative for the Lenovo remote that uses IR? I will be putting my HTPC in the basement in my media closet and distributing it via HDMI over Cat5 so 10 meter RF is not possible for me. I can do IR though since I have an IR blaster that I can use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post


There really is nothing like that lenovo remote out there a far as I know. Some people use the more expensive dinovo but I am not sure if it has ir.

I tried the Lenovo and took it back. Still too many missed characters for me when typing. If you have a iPod touch or iPad, I highly recommend The Mobile Mouse App. It runs off the network flawlessly. It also displays what you are typing on the iPad/iPod screen so you don't have to constantly look at the screen to make sure you are typing correctly. You can also hide the keyboard, making the iPad a giant mouse pad. Highly recommended! Thanks Assassin for a great thread!
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post #654 of 15956 Old 02-08-2011, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by chappy16775 View Post

Nice thread thanks.
Could you also recommend an AMD build?

you could check this for sample AMD build, if still insist on AMD
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...php?p=18816470
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post #655 of 15956 Old 02-08-2011, 10:37 AM
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One more build question: I've installed windows on an SSD. Now, I'm going to install the Samsung 2 TB hard drive for pure storage. With this extra SATA hard drive, do I need to set jumpers to 'slave' like we used to have to do with IDE drives, or is that no longer necessary with SATA drives?
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post #656 of 15956 Old 02-08-2011, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrR0boto View Post

One more build question: I've installed windows on an SSD. Now, I'm going to install the Samsung 2 TB hard drive for pure storage. With this extra SATA hard drive, do I need to set jumpers to 'slave' like we used to have to do with IDE drives, or is that no longer necessary with SATA drives?

Hey Roboto

I just built my HTPC last week and I did not need to do any slave / master switching. I am using the Gigabyte GA-H55M-USB3 board, Kingston SSD (for the O/S) and a WD 2TB EARS HD.

The only thing I did do (it's optional) was set the drives as ACHI rather than IDE Mode in the bios. Supposedly it is supposed to give some performance benefits although whether it is perceivable or not for this type of application is up for debate.

YMMV

Cheers
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post #657 of 15956 Old 02-08-2011, 10:56 AM
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I haven't built one with it, but would the AMD Sempron 140 45w be enough for a build? They are cheap, and adding an ATI 5450 wouldn't be a large expense. Off the top of my head it seems like it would be enough for an HTPC, wouldn't use a lot of power and wouldn't generate a lot of heat... Might be an option for an AMD builder?
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post #658 of 15956 Old 02-08-2011, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badgerpilot View Post

I tried the Lenovo and took it back. Still too many missed characters for me when typing. If you have a iPod touch or iPad, I highly recommend The Mobile Mouse App. It runs off the network flawlessly. It also displays what you are typing on the iPad/iPod screen so you don't have to constantly look at the screen to make sure you are typing correctly. You can also hide the keyboard, making the iPad a giant mouse pad. Highly recommended! Thanks Assassin for a great thread!

I went with the Lenovo and did not care much for it at the beginning. Now that I have been using it for a week I am starting to get used to it. Only real complaint is the lack of back-lighting.

I also use Hipporemote on my iPhone and it comes preconfigured with a bunch of customized setups including WMC and XBMC. It was painless to setup and drop dead easy to use. The only problem is my iPhone goes with me when I leave the house. My lovely wife phoned me one day asking how to watch a movie on the new HTPC and I was thankful I had the Lenovo there as well. So I guess I would recomend a backup to iPxxx or smartphone remote control setups unless you have one dedicated to the HTPC.

My 2 cents :-)
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post #659 of 15956 Old 02-08-2011, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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post #660 of 15956 Old 02-08-2011, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I will release a recommended AMD zacate build once the Asus E35MI-I Deluxe becomes available.



At this time I think that if you are wanting to have a lower budget or use AMD this is your best option. I think this system will have a base of around $350 without the OS.

My build will likely consist of....

The Asus E35MI-I Deluxe mini-ITX motherboard + APU/CPU (?? $150 ?? )
SSD or 2.5" hard drive depending on budget ($40 - $130)
4GB RAM ($45)

One of the following 2 cases...
Case: Antec ISK 300-150 - $80


Case: Lian Li PC-Q09FB Black - $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-293-_-Product


Optional slim DVD or blu-ray drive. ($100++)

Again if you are looking for the absolute cheapest route to go then you probably don't want my advice - I build on what I believe is your "best bang for the buck". If I was going to build anything outside of the i3 Clarkdale or Sandybridge the above system is one that I would consider.
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