Assassin's Simple/Beginner HTPC Buying Guide - Page 430 - AVS Forum
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Home Theater Computers > Assassin's Simple/Beginner HTPC Buying Guide
assassin's Avatar assassin 08:25 PM 05-02-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Your guides are pretty incredible.

I thought they were incredible 6 months ago, and it seems they get better and better.

How do you find the time to do this?

Thanks.

Added my thoughts on the current IVB CPUs over at my blog.

Motherboard recs coming soon.
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mariob33's Avatar mariob33 09:50 PM 05-02-2012
Has anyone here had any success with a product called videoredo for managing WTV files and a commercial removal tool. I have been using for a few days and it's awesome. Allows rip/removal of ads in a 1 hour show In 8-10 minutes flat. It's pricey but IMO well worth it.
StardogChampion's Avatar StardogChampion 09:59 PM 05-02-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariob33 View Post

Has anyone here had any success with a product called videoredo for managing WTV files and a commercial removal tool. I have been using for a few days and it's awesome. Allows rip/removal of ads in a 1 hour show In 8-10 minutes flat. It's pricey but IMO well worth it.

I liked it quite a bit but I didn't end up buying it.
mariob33's Avatar mariob33 10:09 PM 05-02-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post


I liked it quite a bit but I didn't end up buying it.

Yeah it's pricey but does a greatjob and end result is bit for bit.
LastButNotLeast's Avatar LastButNotLeast 07:57 AM 05-03-2012
I use DVRMSToolbox and the paid ($10) version of ComSkip. Cuts about 18 - 20 minutes of junk from a one hour show, takes about 10 minutes, and uses LOTS of CPU power!
assassin's Avatar assassin 08:29 AM 05-03-2012
Ivy Bridge H77 recommendations are up at my blog. Enjoy.

Z77 coming soon...
StardogChampion's Avatar StardogChampion 09:37 AM 05-03-2012
ASUS P8H77-I LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131841

Yay.
Hamilcar Barca's Avatar Hamilcar Barca 10:31 AM 05-03-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Your guides are pretty incredible.

How do you find the time to do this?

Hyperthreading!
Zon2020's Avatar Zon2020 11:46 AM 05-03-2012
Assassin, just wondered if you had ever used a SilverStone SG05B for a mini-ITX build or had any thoughts about it.

Thanks.
assassin's Avatar assassin 01:00 PM 05-03-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

Assassin, just wondered if you had ever used a SilverStone SG05B for a mini-ITX build or had any thoughts about it.

Thanks.


I haven't. I have always been intrigued by those cases though and to me the design makes a lot of sense.
assassin's Avatar assassin 01:45 PM 05-03-2012
Ivy Bridge section now complete.

Enjoy.
Lars99's Avatar Lars99 01:51 PM 05-03-2012
Good stuff!
rec head's Avatar rec head 02:53 PM 05-03-2012
Assassin, I have read the guides and saw the part about "Changing Audio Streams in WMC" but I don't quite understand it. Maybe I should back up a little bit and say that I go the guides because I am preparing to build an HTPC so I have not tried it. Maybe it would make more sense if I had hands on.

My real question is about using HDMI for WMC and optical for almost everything else (to play in zone 2 like you mention.) So first of all can I have both HDMI and optical live at the same time? That would be perfect because I would like zone 1 to be HDMI all the time. The Audio Renderer Updater you use in the guide appears to switch out as WMC opens and closes. I would like to leave WMC open all the time.

I'm sorry if this has been covered before but I have not found good search terms to bring up answers.

Thanks
assassin's Avatar assassin 03:13 PM 05-03-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by rec head View Post

Assassin, I have read the guides and saw the part about "Changing Audio Streams in WMC" but I don't quite understand it. Maybe I should back up a little bit and say that I go the guides because I am preparing to build an HTPC so I have not tried it. Maybe it would make more sense if I had hands on.

My real question is about using HDMI for WMC and optical for almost everything else (to play in zone 2 like you mention.) So first of all can I have both HDMI and optical live at the same time? That would be perfect because I would like zone 1 to be HDMI all the time. The Audio Renderer Updater you use in the guide appears to switch out as WMC opens and closes. I would like to leave WMC open all the time.

I'm sorry if this has been covered before but I have not found good search terms to bring up answers.

Thanks

Not possible in windows 7 using just wmc. This is a limitation of the software and not the hardware.

Changing the streams refers to 2 audio streams in one container (english and french or dolby digital and truehd, for example).
rec head's Avatar rec head 06:15 PM 05-03-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Not possible in windows 7 using just wmc. This is a limitation of the software and not the hardware.

Changing the streams refers to 2 audio streams in one container (english and french or dolby digital and truehd, for example).

Any other solution?
assassin's Avatar assassin 06:23 PM 05-03-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by rec head View Post

Any other solution?

Sure. Use HDMI for WMC and 7.1/5.1 digital surround sound.

Then use WMP with analog output.
rec head's Avatar rec head 06:40 PM 05-03-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Sure. Use HDMI for WMC and 7.1/5.1 digital surround sound.

Then use WMP with analog output.

So I can't have WMC using HDMI and another program using optical? Can I just assign which output each program uses? I don't actually need one source going to both HDMI and optical. I don't listen to tv/music in the other zones but I do listen to my FLAC library with MediaMonkey and podcasts through itunes. Using the optical for the music is especially important.

Sorry for the PITA questions but I want to be able to set up everything from the start to work how I need it to.
assassin's Avatar assassin 06:41 PM 05-03-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by rec head View Post

So I can't have WMC using HDMI and another program using optical? Can I just assign which output each program uses? I don't actually need one source going to both HDMI and optical. I don't listen to tv/music in the other zones but I do listen to my FLAC library with MediaMonkey and podcasts through itunes. Using the optical for the music is especially important.

Sorry for the PITA questions but I want to be able to set up everything from the start to work how I need it to.

Some programs can do this. But not WMC which is what you asked about.

JRiver and maybe XBMC are a few.
rec head's Avatar rec head 06:59 PM 05-03-2012
So using the method in your guide I would need to exit WMC (which would use HDMI) to allow the other programs to use the optical out? Would WMC still record tv shows in the background?
mariob33's Avatar mariob33 07:05 PM 05-03-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by LastButNotLeast View Post

I use DVRMSToolbox and the paid ($10) version of ComSkip. Cuts about 18 - 20 minutes of junk from a one hour show, takes about 10 minutes, and uses LOTS of CPU power!

This is what's great about videoredo no encoding/rencoding to rip out commercials..it's fast and not resource intensive.
assassin's Avatar assassin 07:09 PM 05-03-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by rec head View Post

So using the method in your guide I would need to exit WMC (which would use HDMI) to allow the other programs to use the optical out? Would WMC still record tv shows in the background?

I don't really understand what you are asking.

Recording doesn't use anything. You setup what you want to record and it records it to your hard drive. You don't even need a HDMI cable or HDTV connected to record. It is not until you watch what you recorded that you are actually using the HDMI output.
rec head's Avatar rec head 07:14 PM 05-03-2012
I understand that about how recording works. My concern is that I exit WMC so I can listen to music via MediaMonkey and then don't start WMC when I'm done listening to the music and a show doesn't get recorded.
assassin's Avatar assassin 07:16 PM 05-03-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by rec head View Post

I understand that about how recording works. My concern is that I exit WMC so I can listen to music via MediaMonkey and then don't start WMC when I'm done listening to the music and a show doesn't get recorded.

No, WMC does not need to be open or running to record. Your computer need to be on or asleep.

So use whatever program you like outside of WMC for your audio.
rec head's Avatar rec head 07:17 PM 05-03-2012
Thanks
Shanndogg's Avatar Shanndogg 02:39 AM 05-04-2012
Finally getting my HTPC parts in, but I really need your help on my server build to go along with it. I got the template from the Renethx guide and am going with unRaid. Here's what I'm thinking so far for a 20 drive build:

Case: Antec Twelve Hundred V3
HDD Cages x4: ORCO SS-500 5 Bay
PSU: PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W
CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 Sandy Bridge 3.2GHz
Motherboard: Supermicro X9SCM-F MBD-X9SCM-F-O LGA 1155 Intel C204 chipset microATX with IPMI
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM KVR1333D3E9SK2/8G DDR3-1333 ECC CL9 2 x 4GB Kit
HBA x2: SUPERMICRO AOC-SASLP-MV8 PCI Express x4
Cable x4: 0.5m SFF-8087 to Four SATA Forward Breakout Cable (3ware CBL-SFF8087OCF-05M)
Flash Drive: SanDisk Cruzer Fit 4GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive

My question is mainly regarding the CPU. Originally I had it as a Xeon E3 1225 as in Renethx's guide, but I was recommended the E3 1230 instead since the motherboard already has a video chip. Furthermore, since I don't plan on running a virtualized served, I could save some cash and go with an i3.

Considering this will be paired with my HTPC as seen here, and that I want to do transcoding of full bluray files using Plex to Android phone/remote computers, what processor should I go with (or should I make any other changes)?

I am planning to do the transcoding from the server, but if it makes more sense to do it from the HTPC please let me know. I know a lot of you do what I am trying to set up so any insight would be great.
Tyfoon2's Avatar Tyfoon2 02:40 AM 05-04-2012
I'm currently using a setup where my HTPC is acting as server and HTPC. It's getting a bit dated and lacking some performance especially when e.g. downloading/decompressing and playing HD content (or even navigating WMC). Also the HD setup is not the best.

A good time to replace everything.

The setup needs to:
a) Actsas the media server for the bedroom system (WMC), sonos etc.
b) is on 24/7 (as it also is used to manage all downloading, decompressing etc.). Have a 100mb optic fiber connection.
c) Is the DVBlink server (IPTV) for bedroom system and other devices (like Ipad etc.)
d) directly connected to my Receiver/TV (HDMI) running WMC (win 7) and used for live TV and all other Media (so core entertainment system)

So in short it's kind of a combo of a mediaserver and normal HTPC. No need to be perfectly quit or beautiful, just to be efficient, powerful (sometimes the un-rarring/parring of files and watching a 3d H264 movie hits the max perf of current system) and reliable (!).

I'm now selecting the hardware and will be using Ivy Bridge I5 3750.
  • I want to protect everything better (had some HD failures in the past). Already purchased FlexRaid to handle this (incl. pooling)
  • wil use approx 8-10 T of HD space max. So thinking of using 4x2T (WD green) of 3x 3T(Seagate)

My main question is with the harddisk setup:
What is the best way to configure this all knowing the usage scenario (especially the combo of being the main HTPC and downloading/unrarring/unparring). Do I put them all in a flexraid config? Do I use a seperate physical HD for the downloading part? Shout I put the OS on a SDD etc?

Any tips are very welcome!
LastButNotLeast's Avatar LastButNotLeast 07:32 AM 05-04-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariob33 View Post

This is what's great about videoredo no encoding/rencoding to rip out commercials..it's fast and not resource intensive.

There's no re-encoding here either, it just reads the video file and writes a file that "marks" the commercials so WMP can skip them. If it had to transcode it, it would take a whole lot longer (and keep in mind I'm using a G530, so an i7 probably wouldn't have to work as hard ).
assassin's Avatar assassin 07:40 AM 05-04-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanndogg View Post

Finally getting my HTPC parts in, but I really need your help on my server build to go along with it. I got the template from the Renethx guide and am going with unRaid. Here's what I'm thinking so far for a 20 drive build:

Case: Antec Twelve Hundred V3
HDD Cages x4: ORCO SS-500 5 Bay
PSU: PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W
CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1230 Sandy Bridge 3.2GHz
Motherboard: Supermicro X9SCM-F MBD-X9SCM-F-O LGA 1155 Intel C204 chipset microATX with IPMI
Memory: Kingston ValueRAM KVR1333D3E9SK2/8G DDR3-1333 ECC CL9 2 x 4GB Kit
HBA x2: SUPERMICRO AOC-SASLP-MV8 PCI Express x4
Cable x4: 0.5m SFF-8087 to Four SATA Forward Breakout Cable (3ware CBL-SFF8087OCF-05M)
Flash Drive: SanDisk Cruzer Fit 4GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive

My question is mainly regarding the CPU. Originally I had it as a Xeon E3 1225 as in Renethx's guide, but I was recommended the E3 1230 instead since the motherboard already has a video chip. Furthermore, since I don't plan on running a virtualized served, I could save some cash and go with an i3.

Considering this will be paired with my HTPC as seen here, and that I want to do transcoding of full bluray files using Plex to Android phone/remote computers, what processor should I go with (or should I make any other changes)?

I am planning to do the transcoding from the server, but if it makes more sense to do it from the HTPC please let me know. I know a lot of you do what I am trying to set up so any insight would be great.

I am going to have to disagree with Renethx's recommendations for a server if you are using this just for your own personal use. You can go MUCH cheaper and have a fantastic server.

Now if you are if you are setting up Shanndogg.com and have a ton of server traffic that's different.

Also, I would consider FlexRaid over unRaid at this point.
assassin's Avatar assassin 07:43 AM 05-04-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyfoon2 View Post

I'm currently using a setup where my HTPC is acting as server and HTPC. It's getting a bit dated and lacking some performance especially when e.g. downloading/decompressing and playing HD content (or even navigating WMC). Also the HD setup is not the best.

A good time to replace everything.

The setup needs to:
a) Actsas the media server for the bedroom system (WMC), sonos etc.
b) is on 24/7 (as it also is used to manage all downloading, decompressing etc.). Have a 100mb optic fiber connection.
c) Is the DVBlink server (IPTV) for bedroom system and other devices (like Ipad etc.)
d) directly connected to my Receiver/TV (HDMI) running WMC (win 7) and used for live TV and all other Media (so core entertainment system)

So in short it's kind of a combo of a mediaserver and normal HTPC. No need to be perfectly quit or beautiful, just to be efficient, powerful (sometimes the un-rarring/parring of files and watching a 3d H264 movie hits the max perf of current system) and reliable (!).

I'm now selecting the hardware and will be using Ivy Bridge I5 3750.
  • I want to protect everything better (had some HD failures in the past). Already purchased FlexRaid to handle this (incl. pooling)
  • wil use approx 8-10 T of HD space max. So thinking of using 4x2T (WD green) of 3x 3T(Seagate)

My main question is with the harddisk setup:
What is the best way to configure this all knowing the usage scenario (especially the combo of being the main HTPC and downloading/unrarring/unparring). Do I put them all in a flexraid config? Do I use a seperate physical HD for the downloading part? Shout I put the OS on a SDD etc?

Any tips are very welcome!

Put the OS on a separate SSD or Hard Drive. You can't pool or include the OS drive in parity in FlexRaid.

I download right to a folder in one of my pooled drives. No issues at all except you should stop your downloads when you want to take a snapshot of the array.
Tyfoon2's Avatar Tyfoon2 07:53 AM 05-04-2012
Are there no performance hits in read/write traffic when e.g. unrarring/parring and at the same time moving (or playing) from the same pooled drive? Sorry but I'm new to this polling thing.

p.s. I used to unrar/unpar all to a seperate drive from the ones actively recording TV from and from the one actively playing HD content. This created better overall performance but is also nor very practical.
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