Advice for HTPC purchase - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-18-2012, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

Im looking to buy a HTPC used to download and watch movies, and I would like some advice on good hardware (and software potentially). I prefer a PC/mac over than a Roku or equivalent, as they can't always decode all formats and they may be underpowered for some HQ streams. THe ability to control by remote is required, as well as HDMI connection, and small form factor is a bonus.

I was looking at the Zatoc Nano plus, which is ok, but one review said it struggles with very high bitrate content. Mac mini is not bad, but the remote may interfere with my appleTV, and Im not sure about the software (ok there is plex, xbmc, but I think they only understand the concept of a "static" movie collection, whereas I delete movies as soon as Im done watching them. A pain to update all the time).

Besides these 2, any other PC worth mentioning on the market? Note I don't necessarily something brand new, as even older Core 2 Duos can happily decode 1080p.

Any comments on software, especially windows media center and its ability to handle a organic movie collection, are also more than welcome.

-a
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-18-2012, 01:13 PM
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What's an organic movie collection?
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-18-2012, 03:11 PM
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You need to read the sticky thread above entitled "Assassin's Simple/Beginner HTPC Buying Guide" and his hardware guide at http://assassinhtpcblog.com/?page_id=160, and it's worth the $25 investment for his paid guides which will walk you through the setup.

And if you want it to actually work, you don't want a Zotac Nano.

If you want software that has an easy delete, then consider J. River Media Center. Just delete it and it's gone.

And I don't like chemicals or preservatives in my movie collection either.
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-18-2012, 03:15 PM
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It is a bit of work to rip a Blu-ray to your HDD only to delete it after you watched it. You may as well just use a Blu-ray player..

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post #5 of 14 Old 05-18-2012, 07:28 PM
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Where exactly are you going to download these movies from?? I would also like to know what an organic movie collection is??
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-18-2012, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagojago View Post

What's an organic movie collection?

organic in the sense that it;s not really organized, it just grows organically.
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-18-2012, 09:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

And if you want it to actually work, you don't want a Zotac Nano.

Thanks for the tips. You have experience with the Zotac? THe reviews seem to be decent?!
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post #8 of 14 Old 05-18-2012, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xgt36 View Post

Thanks for the tips. You have experience with the Zotac? THe reviews seem to be decent?!

Zotac is junk. Better off with a hp (yikes). Firsthand experience with many of their products.

Build your own.
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-19-2012, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Zotac is junk. Better off with a hp (yikes). Firsthand experience with many of their products.

Build your own.

Advice from the master himself ! I feel blessed

Ill think anout building, but I'm more looking for the least effort/simplest way. I'd rather pay more and save time, but most importantly, it has to work! So zotacs out, I'll check HP .
How about a Mac mini then? Any downside?
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-19-2012, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xgt36 View Post

Advice from the master himself ! I feel blessed

Ill think anout building, but I'm more looking for the least effort/simplest way. I'd rather pay more and save time, but most importantly, it has to work! So zotacs out, I'll check HP .
How about a Mac mini then? Any downside?

I was kidding.

HP is almost as bad.
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post #11 of 14 Old 05-19-2012, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I was kidding.

HP is almost as bad.

Roku or WD TV live would be so perfect for me, why can't they handle all codecs perfectly??
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post #12 of 14 Old 05-19-2012, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by xgt36 View Post

Roku or WD TV live would be so perfect for me, why can't they handle all codecs perfectly??

You really do get what you pay for.

There is a streamer section at AVS as well.
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post #13 of 14 Old 05-19-2012, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
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When you say zotac or HP is bad, in which way exactly? Like they're gonna break down in a matter of months? Because in terms of features, I can't really see why they'd be bad, they're just windows PCs at the end of the day. As long as the processor/GPU has enough horsepower, everything else is just a matter of software, i.e. finding the right one for one's needs.

Or so I think at least
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post #14 of 14 Old 05-19-2012, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xgt36 View Post

they're just windows PCs at the end of the day

Welcome to AVS. I encourage you to read some of the great and valuable information here to educate yourself.
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