Originally Posted by skro
Since I'm considering returning my netgear ntv550 day an starting the process of building an HTPC instead, would you mind (very briefly) describing the nature of the issues you are having? I'm curious if it is crashing software, hardware problems, or integrating all the software to work together?
Before I answer some of your questions, I was going to reply to your other post regarding the new Sandybridge cpus. I was going to wait for Sandybridge as well, but when I saw the i3s weren't being released until late Feb, I decided to build something now.
I would just go with the current i3 which has excellent video playback and has HD audio built in. If you decide to go the 3D route at some point in the future, you can always buy a 3D capable GPU. They are pretty inexpensive ($100-150) and will only get cheaper with time.
Now, regarding my issues. It's mostly on the software side. I'm trying to test different software versions and making sure all the settings are correct. For instance, the current 10.12 ATI driver has known audio issues, so most people are using older driver releases. There were also some bugs with TotalMedia Theater 5, but it seems some of the bugs have been fixed with the latest patch.
Hardware wise, my system is running like a champ. No crashes, no blue screens, etc., and it's running cool and quiet. I can bitstream HD audio and playback Blu-Ray with no issues.
Basically, the hardware is the easy part. It's configuring all the software settings based on your A/V equipment that's the challenging and time-consuming part of building an HTPC. At least this is/was my personal observation.
Here's a list of software that I'm using:
Frontend: WMC 7 x64
Blu-Ray Playback: Total Media Theater 5
Movie Library: Media Browser (may uninstall as I'm having too many playback problems)
DVD Playback: Media Player Classic - HD (may uninstall as I'm having too many playback problems)
Codec: None atm, but will install Shark pack shortly
Sorry for the long post