HTPC Haters: Talk Me Out of a HTPC - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 76 Old 01-21-2012, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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My current rudimentary AV components do not meet my needs. While I can access everything, my wife and daughter lack the interest to learn the menus and idiosyncrasies of my clunky interfaces. I can purchase a bunch of new boxes, or I can piece together a HDPC. A HDPC seems to be the most elegant solution, but it seems that the internets are strewn with former HDPC users. Should regular Joe's use HDPCs?

I can't find a device that will meet all of my AV needs:
-Easy to use interface
-Quick
-Is not expensive
-Access' my NAS
>easily finds and plays my DVD and MP2 rips (find by criteria)
>plays my home videos
>views my home photos
-Plays and records OTA network broadcasts, DVR-style
-Streams internet video and music content
-Plays DVD/BD disks

Most of these needs can be met by purchasing the equipment below for around $600. However, the interface for music and home videos will be lacking and the user experience will not match what I have seen of HDTVs with WMC.
-Keeping my current Roku player
-Purchasing a Dune player for NAS access and BD disks ($300)
-Purchasing a TiVX ($269) for an OTA DVR

I have assembled my own PCs for the last 15 years, so assembling a HDTV wouldn't be a big issue (however, I have learned that components don't always fit nicely together). I have priced components at Newegg for a pretty good system running at $870 (with exactly the case and components I want).

My biggest fear though is getting all the media applications to work right and stay working right. I have experienced the pleasure and pain of spending hundreds of hours tweaking custom remote controls and computer systems. It is not so bad if you have the time; but tremendously frustrating if you don't. I want to avoid this.

Getting a turn-key system from Assassin with OS/application already setup is also a consideration. I think I would have to spend about $1,250 for this option (though, I don't like all the parts he uses). Obviously, this is the most costly course of action....but it should idiot proof the system...right?

A well set up and functioning HTPC would do everything I need. But, I'm concerned that I will not be able to get it set up right. Then, I'm concerned that follow-on glitches and bugs will prevent me from using it in the future. Should I fear this? Thank you for taking the time to help.

Lars
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post #2 of 76 Old 01-21-2012, 10:32 AM
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I'm not sure what your question is other then, I built one of Assassin's i3 builds with ease, all for around $500. If you have building computers for 15 years it will be easy.
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post #3 of 76 Old 01-21-2012, 10:38 AM
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they cause cancer.
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post #4 of 76 Old 01-21-2012, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkstaack View Post

Getting a turn-key system from Assassin with OS/application already setup is also a consideration. I think I would have to spend about $1,250 for this option (though, I don't like all the parts he uses). Obviously, this is the most costly course of action....but it should idiot proof the system...right?

A well set up and functioning HTPC would do everything I need. But, I'm concerned that I will not be able to get it set up right. Then, I'm concerned that follow-on glitches and bugs will prevent me from using it in the future. Should I fear this? Thank you for taking the time to help.

I encourage you to build your own.

However if you don't want to do that Assassin HTPC does offer completely custom builds.

I also have step by step illustrated guides located at my blog (link in sig) that I highly recommend for software and setup.

I really am trying to get anyone into HTPC however and as easily as possible.

Oh, wait --- you were wanting me to talk you OUT of a HTPC. Whoops.
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post #5 of 76 Old 01-21-2012, 11:33 AM
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Why would an htpc hater even be in this section? To troll?
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post #6 of 76 Old 01-21-2012, 11:42 AM
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What media applications are you planning on using with your HTPC? That will help us help you in determining if they will help with your needs. Building the hardware is the easy part. Getting all the software setup "just-so" can be a little tricky, but the main advice I can give you is once you have it setup the way you like it.... don't tweak it.

It will go a long way in the wife and daughters eyes if it just works, and you don't have to constantly tinker with it. If you declare to your family that it is your new hobby, and they will just have to live with it... then you may get a little more leeway.
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post #7 of 76 Old 01-21-2012, 01:42 PM
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I am not a hater, but not that big of a fan either despitea pretty massive investment in time and money. I will offer up something of a critque... anything short of full member in the Man/HTPC society will get you a lot of hate mail here. So expect me to get egg thrown.

If live TV is your gig and you do watch some SD content expect PC output not to be on par with something like a Tivo HD running in native mode. Especially when compared against native processed by a high quality Video Processor.The PC is really so so here.

PCs have some color gamut problems.. and mostly HTPC believers are almost always promising nirvana in single box when in fact you never really get there. Also I am not wild about the PC as a source with a rear projector. I like them much better with LCD/LED. If you are in a mixed environment with CE devices and PCs you will need a full separate calibration for the PC as it is not likely to render colors identical to CE devices. People will argue with me but I also am not impressed with the overall look of PC based video as compared to a good CE based device.

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post #8 of 76 Old 01-21-2012, 05:46 PM
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Buy a Mac Mini server edition and save yourself a lot of time. Best of both worlds - you get all the capabilities of HTPC and you don't waste you life trying to troubleshoot etc. Hell you can even run Windows 7 on it.
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post #9 of 76 Old 01-21-2012, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Osamede View Post

Buy a Mac Mini server edition and save yourself a lot of time. Best of both worlds - you get all the capabilities of HTPC and you don't waste you life trying to troubleshoot etc. Hell you can even run Windows 7 on it.

No. Don't do this.
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post #10 of 76 Old 01-21-2012, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

No. Don't do this.

+1. If you really want someone to talk you out of an HTPC then head on over to the Tivo Community Forum and start a thread there. That's where the real HTPC haters hang out. The downside is that everyone will try and tell you how much better Tivos are than HTPCs. If you're really looking for the HTPC experience but your family doesn't want to deal with computers you might want to wait for the Ceton Q to hit the streets. It might be exactly what you're looking for. It's more of a DVR than a PC, but it will potentially have many of the benefits and features of an HTPC without the headaches.
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post #11 of 76 Old 01-21-2012, 06:56 PM
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Uh ya ... Tivo , u gotta be kidding me . I love it !

Personally , I love the building part of htpc and all the head aches it brings . I got into this mostly due to the fact that I wanted the challenge of being able to say "I did it " . I want folks to see the htpc and say .. wth is that and where did you get it ? Yes i am that vein . I love the fact that it drives me into insanity at times and other times gives me the most satisfaction. Most of all i really wanted to learn something new from a more software perspective as that is a weakness of mine.

@ the op . I honestly have to give you a "face palm" if you had the time to type that new thread (book) but don't think you have the time or inclination to do a htpc. Oh ... one more thing . I really like the idea that the wife and kids may find the new htpc a bit mystifying. Gives me the power over the REMOTE !! Ha . It also gives them a reason to learn something new as well .

After all , what are we if we are not learning ? Dead !

-flocko
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post #12 of 76 Old 01-21-2012, 07:43 PM
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My wife is happier using XBMC (via openelec) than using the TiVO! In fact, recently when I was looking at tv cabinets she said lets just ditch the TiVO (and DVD player). So, in my home, my HTPC has a high WAF. That said, it took a bit of tinkering to get it up to scratch, and I think there is a lot of truth in the "don't tweak it" advice from Puwaha. Once its set up, stop messing with it!
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post #13 of 76 Old 01-21-2012, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ascl View Post

My wife is happier using XBMC (via openelec) than using the TiVO! In fact, recently when I was looking at tv cabinets she said lets just ditch the TiVO (and DVD player). So, in my home, my HTPC has a high WAF. That said, it took a bit of tinkering to get it up to scratch, and I think there is a lot of truth in the "don't tweak it" advice from Puwaha. Once its set up, stop messing with it!

My wife loves WMC/MB and XBMC both.

The trick is setting it up so its easy to use and so they won't break something.
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post #14 of 76 Old 01-21-2012, 08:13 PM
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It sounds to me, when you say "elegant" you really mean GEEK elegant, you don't really mean ez-enuff for your family to use.

So what's really your TOP priority?
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post #15 of 76 Old 01-21-2012, 08:59 PM
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Don't do it. You will waste countless hours tweaking, repairing, troubleshooting etc. Had I not spent so many hours on a HTPC, I could've gone to uni and been a doctor or something.
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post #16 of 76 Old 01-21-2012, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by DeathPoobar View Post

Don't do it. You will waste countless hours tweaking, repairing, troubleshooting etc. Had I not spent so many hours on a HTPC, I could've gone to uni and been a doctor or something.

Not to start something but unless your being sarcastic, you must not know what you are doing in building a computer.
I built my HTPC 3 months ago, leave it on 24/7 and have no problems with it.
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post #17 of 76 Old 01-21-2012, 10:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your responses; you have given me a few things to consider.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fastman View Post

I'm not sure what your question is other then, I built one of Assassin's i3 builds with ease, all for around $500. If you have building computers for 15 years it will be easy.

I'm sure you noticed that the title of my thread was tongue in cheek. I know that assembly will be the easy part. I was hoping to provoke some of the answers I received. I was expecting: "if you don't think you have the time to set it up, don't bother" or, "I gave up on my HTPC because I never got it to perform what I wanted it to do reliably" or, "you'll have to invest alot of time initially, but then you can forget about it" or, "I don't know what the big deal is....I built the box, loaded WMC, set it up for my taste, and now it works perfectly" or, "if you follow Assassin's guide, it will perform flawlessly". Did you use Assassin's guide for WMC plug-ins/setup? Was it "Monkey-See, Monkey-Do" and voila, it works perfectly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puwaha View Post

Getting all the software setup "just-so" can be a little tricky, but the main advice I can give you is once you have it setup the way you like it.... don't tweak it.

Good advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtgray View Post

If live TV is your gig and you do watch some SD content expect PC output not to be on par with something like a Tivo HD running in native mode. Especially when compared against native processed by a high quality Video Processor.The PC is really so so here.

If you are in a mixed environment with CE devices and PCs you will need a full separate calibration for the PC as it is not likely to render colors identical to CE devices. People will argue with me but I also am not impressed with the overall look of PC based video as compared to a good CE based device.

Thanks for your honest assessment; it sounds like you know what you are talking about. It sounds like you are saying that the picture and color balance quality is better with stand alone CE (consumer electronics?) devices. I guess their components would be specialized for the discreet process they perform? But, how obvious is the difference? I'm the guy who can't tell the difference between MP3 and WMA songs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

+1. If you really want someone to talk you out of an HTPC then head on over to the Tivo Community Forum and start a thread there.


If you're really looking for the HTPC experience but your family doesn't want to deal with computers you might want to wait for the Ceton Q to hit the streets.

Maybe I will ask the question at the Tivo forum. I never heard of the Ceton Q until you mentioned it....it sounds like it could be a great device.

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Originally Posted by MrBobb View Post

It sounds to me, when you say "elegant" you really mean GEEK elegant, you don't really mean ez-enuff for your family to use.

An elegant interface to me is one that is intuitive, fast, and efficient. Cool graphics, colors and effects are nice if they don't distract from the process, but are unnecessary. I currently use a WD TV Live to access my NAS media files. What a clunky interface....you have to go up and down menus to execute simple commands. Hey, little WD device; my NAS file locations haven't changed, why do I have to tell you where they are EVERY SINGLE TIME?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathPoobar View Post

Don't do it. You will waste countless hours tweaking, repairing, troubleshooting etc. Had I not spent so many hours on a HTPC, I could've gone to uni and been a doctor or something.

This is what I fear. I spend close to $1,000 on hardware; spend hundreds of hours trying to get it to perform the way I like; then have it sit in the corner gathering dust because I am the only one in the family that knows the special trick required to get it to play Pandora.

Lars
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post #18 of 76 Old 01-22-2012, 12:10 AM
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I'm just using this PC with a HD Homerun prime I got fairly recently and a couple of media players. Between all that I can watch and do whatever I want pretty much, plus burn hard copies to disks of any flavor if needed.
The main thing I had to sort out was networking and network shares and getting the box here to sleep and wake up properly in win7 64. I now have it to the point it wakes up without crashing, records what I want trough the networked prime and WMC, which was another thing I had to sort out, and only draws 1 watt when sleeping with basically nothing including fans running so I leave it on 24/7 now.
I was really hoping the prime could run standalone but it needs a network and a box on the network to tell it what to do, but that does work great with my media players through the network so I gained that part but just have to have a box running to control it when a capture is scheduled.
If I had known I would end up going this route I would have built a small HTPC to run it that could sit out with the A/V stuff but this setup is way more capable then most tiny boxes used and sleeping it's dead quiet and uses almost no juice.
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post #19 of 76 Old 01-22-2012, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkstaack View Post

or, "if you follow Assassin's guide, it will perform flawlessly". Did you use Assassin's guide for WMC plug-ins/setup? Was it "Monkey-See, Monkey-Do" and voila, it works perfectly?

Did you just call me a monkey? Or is fastman the monkey?

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post #20 of 76 Old 01-22-2012, 06:11 AM
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Here's my reason for not building an HTPC. It's addictive. Once you get a high from the thrill of building it yourself you spend all your time finding ways to tinker with it and make it even more awesome. I just spent a day writing some PHP code to integrate video I download from iTunes into my XBMC library. Why? Because I could.

Wait, now I can't decide if that sounds like a good thing or a bad thing.
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post #21 of 76 Old 01-22-2012, 06:23 AM
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Don`t listen/buy from Assassin, he scams users by replacing internal components of his machines with little guineea pigs that run on threadmills. You need to open up the case and feed them every 6-7 hours or else your machine will crash
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post #22 of 76 Old 01-22-2012, 06:40 AM
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For me there would be two reasons not to have a HTPC.

1. You are not good at PC troubleshooting, and/or do not enjoy it.

2. Your spouse/family is not good at dealing with computer interfaces.

Not much you can do about either, but as to the second, by way of example, my wife isn't great using computers, but she seems to have little problem with WMC and other things we do with the HTPC (other than remembering whether we use Chrome or IE for Netflix streaming). I seem to be in the minority here with mouse use on an HTPC, but I attribute the fact that she can use WMC to not having a remote hooked up to the HTPC.
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post #23 of 76 Old 01-22-2012, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkstaack View Post

I can't find a device that will meet all of my AV needs:
-Easy to use interface
-Quick
-Is not expensive
-Access' my NAS
>easily finds and plays my DVD and MP2 rips (find by criteria)
>plays my home videos
>views my home photos
-Plays and records OTA network broadcasts, DVR-style
-Streams internet video and music content
-Plays DVD/BD disks

Most of these needs can be met by purchasing the equipment below for around $600. However, the interface for music and home videos will be lacking and the user experience will not match what I have seen of HDTVs with WMC.
-Keeping my current Roku player
-Purchasing a Dune player for NAS access and BD disks ($300)
-Purchasing a TiVX ($269) for an OTA DVR

A few comments, firstly you can't find it because it doesn't exist. It's the age-old, cost, performance, ease-of-use, pick any two. You always have to compromise something, so it's up to you to decide which things are least important.

Since you're throwing DVR in there, I think you're somewhat stuck with a PC. I would do a lot of research on the functionality/UI/guide data for something like the TVIX before you jump in, outside Tivo, I don't think much exists with decent guide data and functionality for DVR outside of a PC, at least not for OTA.

Quote:


My biggest fear though is getting all the media applications to work right and stay working right. I have experienced the pleasure and pain of spending hundreds of hours tweaking custom remote controls and computer systems. It is not so bad if you have the time; but tremendously frustrating if you don't. I want to avoid this.

This too comes down to you, and what you expect/demand. A lot here are very happy with their HTPC interfaces, but a lot (most?) here are also happy with navigating with a keyboard/mouse. Personally, I am not. When I sit down to veg on the couch, I just want to use a remote to find something, not search the web or windows explorer.

When you try to make a lot of apps easily remote-navigable on a PC, that's when I found things to start getting very frustrating.

Quote:


Getting a turn-key system from Assassin with OS/application already setup is also a consideration. I think I would have to spend about $1,250 for this option (though, I don't like all the parts he uses). Obviously, this is the most costly course of action....but it should idiot proof the system...right?

No offense to assassin, but I don't think so. I think he does the "easy" part, and what I think many people (wrongly IMO) consider the most intimidating part, assembling the hardware and installing the OS/apps. This is easy as you know. There aren't a lot of choices there, you just plug stuff in to the matching slots and run the Windows installer and follow the prompts. Not a lot can go wrong there. The hard part (IMO) is getting all the integration set up the way you want it, and I don't really think someone can do that for you.

Now I saw the Ceton Q mentioned, now that might, but they've put a lot of software engineering into that box, but again, you're going to have to sacrifice something for that, probably price (to an extent) and flexibility.

Quote:


A well set up and functioning HTPC would do everything I need. But, I'm concerned that I will not be able to get it set up right. Then, I'm concerned that follow-on glitches and bugs will prevent me from using it in the future. Should I fear this? Thank you for taking the time to help.

It really depends on how picky you are about integration and the nitty-gritty of video performance. If you don't care to have a 100% remote-navigable system, or you don't watch a wide variety of content, or you don't really care that much about video levels or deinterlacing, then an HTPC is pretty easy.

If you do care about all that stuff, it can be somewhat frustrating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lkstaack View Post

Thanks for your honest assessment; it sounds like you know what you are talking about. It sounds like you are saying that the picture and color balance quality is better with stand alone CE (consumer electronics?) devices. I guess their components would be specialized for the discreet process they perform? But, how obvious is the difference? I'm the guy who can't tell the difference between MP3 and WMA songs.

I think there are basically two thing's gtgray is getting at. First is that it's impossible to get a PC to output video "untouched", you can't play a DVD and get the raw 480i out of a PC and then switch to a Blu-ray and get the raw 1080p24 out. This is a "negative" if you've got a good external video processor.

Now you can get sort of close with automatic resolution switching, but IMO that really only works sufficiently well if you're watching progressive content where deinterlacing isn't an issue, if you're watching interlaced content, then the fact that you can't bypass deinterlacing and pass the raw fields to an external video processor is a knock.

The other is PCs operate in a different world than video, they expect black and white to be different values than video, and as such it's rather frustrating to deal with that, and often leads to calibration issues, especially if you have other sources in your system.

Quote:


This is what I fear. I spend close to $1,000 on hardware; spend hundreds of hours trying to get it to perform the way I like; then have it sit in the corner gathering dust because I am the only one in the family that knows the special trick required to get it to play Pandora.

I think it really comes down to how picky you are and how inclined you are to tinker. If you're not too picky it's quite easy as the little things like "PC vs Video levels", seamlessness switching apps, browsing with a mouse/keyboard may not bother you, and thus you won't feel the need to tinker.

If you are picky, well, then you're going to feel the need to "fix" those things, and that will require time to tinker, and if you've got time and enjoy that, well then you've found a new hobby.

Personally, I've gotten to the point where I don't enjoy spending time tinkering with video drivers to get my video levels right, fighting with different apps or even single apps which don't use the right video levels all the time, tweaking my remote automation systems to make switching apps seamless, or spending time trying to integrate sources into a frontend so a keyboard/mouse aren't required. But I've also become more picky about those things if anything, so an HTPC as a frontend device is just not a good fit for me anymore.

Note I said frontend device, I still use a PC as my DVR and media server, unfortunately the system I use (SageTV) is no longer sold

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #24 of 76 Old 01-22-2012, 07:41 AM
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No offense to assassin, but I don't think so. I think he does the "easy" part, and what I think many people (wrongly IMO) consider the most intimidating part, assembling the hardware and installing the OS/apps. This is easy as you know. There aren't a lot of choices there, you just plug stuff in to the matching slots and run the Windows installer and follow the prompts. Not a lot can go wrong there. The hard part (IMO) is getting all the integration set up the way you want it, and I don't really think someone can do that for you.

None taken.

I think the best bet for you is to get or build a HTPC and then use something like my guides which show you how to setup most of what you want to do step by step and are illustrated.

But even then there is going to be some sort of tinkering based on the number of things you want your HTPC to do. If this isn't something you are willing to do then HTPC may not be for you.

HTPC is the greatest gadget on earth ever created, imo. But I understand that they aren't for everyone.
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post #25 of 76 Old 01-22-2012, 07:42 AM
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Consider that it's not HTPC that's the problem -- you might just need a new wife and new kids. My daughter had the WMC UI figured out when she was 5. This might be a good time to upgrade.


 

 

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post #26 of 76 Old 01-22-2012, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

None taken.

I think the best bet for you is to get or build a HTPC and then use something like my guides which show you how to setup most of what you want to do step by step and are illustrated.

But even then there is going to be some sort of tinkering based on the number of things you want your HTPC to do. If this isn't something you are willing to do then HTPC may not be for you.

HTPC is the greatest gadget on earth ever created, imo. But I understand that they aren't for everyone.

You know, back when I got into them, and you could do everything in one app, or maybe one frontend that launched TheaterTek for playing back your DVD rips if you were a bit more crazy, I agreed with you.

But then I got my first real SageTV extender which did everything SageTV did, but without the video driver issues, or weird inexplicable, unreproducable but recurring glitches in playback, I realized I was accepting issues I'd sort of tought myself to ignore.

When Blu-ray arrived I almost came back. I built an HTPC for just that purpose (didn't feel like springing for a then-expenive audio-decoding BD player) but frankly Blu-ray just killed the HTPC for me. PowerDVD is about the most horrible software I've ever used and TMT while better has it's own issues. And give I rent a lot of Blu-ray from Netflix, I want something I can just stick a BD in and not have to worry about, and my Pioneer 51FD is that (hasn't ever needed a firmware update to play a BD).

Now if BD licensing were different such that TheaterTek, Zoomplayer, and other Dshow apps could get in on the BD action (I mean real, no-AnyDVD, with full menus BD action) things might have been different for me.

But like I said, HTPC are great for DVRs, and they also make great media-management systems. I'm hopeful (personally that Google releases a new SageTV better than before) that Ceton's Echo extender can bring to WMC users the joy the SageTV extenders brought to SageTV users. This is IMO the perfect system, a PC as a backend doing what PCs do good (media/data aggregation/management) and small, "cheap" hardware devices that actually do the playback at the TV.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #27 of 76 Old 01-22-2012, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post


It really depends on how picky you are about integration and the nitty-gritty of video performance. If you don't care to have a 100% remote-navigable system, or you don't watch a wide variety of content, or you don't really care that much about video levels or deinterlacing, then an HTPC is pretty easy.

I fail to see how watching a wide variety of content or deinterlancing is an issue. It`s very true that you cannot output the native raw data to an external VP, but modern GPUs are designed to be the VPs in the first place, the HTPC was created as an all-in-one box, and most likely this won`t change. Deinterlancing is available with the most advanced algorithms i.e Vector Adaptive and Motion Adaptive on modern GPUs and software.

I agree that getting everything 100% remote friendly might be an issue. For example the XBMC Netflix plugin relies on Internet Explorer to do the playback and getting that remote friendly takes some extra steps.. on the Hulu side of things, you need Hulu Desktop since there is no 7MC plugin integrated into 7MC, but there is an XBMC plugin integrated in XBMC for Hulu, 100% remote friendly. So either option requires some tweaking on at least one of the plugin (if you want them both)
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post #28 of 76 Old 01-22-2012, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkstaack View Post

HTPC Haters: Talk Me Out of a HTPC

  • they are big (if you use inappropriate parts)
  • loud (if you use inappropriate parts)
  • hot (if you use inappropriate parts)
  • expensive (if you use inappropriate parts)

Quote:
Originally Posted by lkstaack View Post

Getting a turn-key system from Assassin with OS/application already setup is also a consideration. I think I would have to spend about $1,250 for this option (though, I don't like all the parts he uses).

just a question, but what parts does assassin use that you do not like?
I am not an Assassin HTPC expert, but the couple of builds I have looked at have had a lot of attention paid to picking the appropriate parts for the planned usage... just makes me wonder if you may be planning on using inappropriate parts?

I have been out of the straight up HTPC thing for a while, but what is a HDPC? I have seen that popping up from time to time...
HiDef PC? that would be a tad bit redundant though since all PC's since the beginning of time have been higher def than the standard def of their era... well except for like the TRS80 Color Computer and the Sinclair 1000, they used a TV for a monitor so they were kind of stuck at std def...

I still have a TRS 80 color computer or two laying around somewhere, anyone know of any good HTPC software for them? actually I think I may even have a TRS80 model 1 and/or 4 somewhere too... wonder if they still boot?

NOTE: As one wise professional something once stated, I am ignorant & childish, with a mindset comparable to 9/11 troofers and wackjob conspiracy theorists. so don't take anything I say as advice...
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post #29 of 76 Old 01-22-2012, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenEyez View Post

I fail to see how watching a wide variety of content or deinterlancing is an issue. It`s very true that you cannot output the native raw data to an external VP, but modern GPUs are designed to be the VPs in the first place, the HTPC was created as an all-in-one box, and most likely this won`t change. Deinterlancing is available with the most advanced algorithms i.e Vector Adaptive and Motion Adaptive on modern GPUs and software.

It's still not as good as what you get in good external video processors.

My point about wide variety is you can tweak HTPCs to be good at specific things, like scaling progressive content, or deinterlacing video, but these generally require separate configurations (ffdshow) that must be switched between manually.

If you watch a wide variety of content you really don't want to be doing that all the time, or having to think about if you're going to watch a well-behaved Hollywood blockbuster or some poorly edited indie/import title.

Now MadVR helps, but that introduces it's own issues like being unable to use it in all playback, having to use special players for it to work.

A good external VP (which are often built into displays even these days) can handle all of that without any manual intervention.

Quote:


I agree that getting everything 100% remote friendly might be an issue. For example the XBMC Netflix plugin relies on Internet Explorer to do the playback and getting that remote friendly takes some extra steps.. on the Hulu side of things, you need Hulu Desktop since there is no 7MC plugin integrated into 7MC, but there is an XBMC plugin integrated in XBMC for Hulu, 100% remote friendly. So either option requires some tweaking on at least one of the plugin (if you want them both)

Yeah, so if your goal is to have a system that when friends or family come over they can operate without instruction, without them wondering/realizing it's a PC back there, you end up spending a lot of time chasing automation around.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do, see movies the way they were meant to be seen
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post #30 of 76 Old 01-22-2012, 03:01 PM
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With the prices of BD players...
HTPC connected to hdmi 1
BD player to hdmi 2
Keep them up to date.

"The purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis." Spock, Mark of Gideon, TOS
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