Help Pull Me Back From This HTPC Cliff - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 28 Old 06-23-2012, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
rbrinson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13

Hello, Everyone.

I have been thinking about building an HTPC for about a year now, and I finally decided that I would go that route last November when I cut the cord with DirecTV. I got an indoor OTA antenna from which I pull live HD broadcast. Given my proximity to a major city in my state, I get quite a bit of high quality digital broadcast TV. At the time, I upgraded our living room to a 3D HDTV, 3D Blu-Ray player, and AV receiver/sound bar with 3D HDMI pass-through. This put a dent in the wallet. So, I ended up getting a TiVo Premiere to suffice for DVR and access to Netflix and YouTube.

I've been reading several articles on Missing Remote and Tom's Hardware and posts here in this forum, and I've finally started putting pencil to paper to design two HTPCs, one for the living room and one for the master bedroom. After generating my list of needed parts and doing some online pricing, I'm quite a bit worried about the final cost of this project, especially after reading the posts over at the Cheapest HTPC Ever discussion. I think I might be over designing. I don't mind spending a little extra for quality and stability. However, I don't want to spend money needlessly. I'm hoping that by listing my requirements and the components that I have selected some compassionate soul will show me some areas where I could cut the cost down without sacrificing smooth operation of the HTPC for years to come. Also, I want to use stable components, as my wife is not exactly excited by technology and quickly becomes irritated with technology that does not just work.

I do not plan to start this project for a few months. So, I have some time to plan and tweak as necessary. I plan to use Assassin's guides for build and OS/software configurations when the time comes.

My overall desire is to have a NAS that houses rips of our DVD and Blu-Ray discs, family photos, and home videos. I though about building this too using FreeNAS, but decided that the two HTPCs would be enough to handle at this point. So, I'm leaning heavily towards the Synology DS212j NAS with 2-2TB HDDs in Raid 1. So here are the list of requirements:

 

  • Both HTPCs need to be able to access online content. (Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Pandora)
  • The two HTPCs would look to the NAS for the ripped media and pictures.
  • The living room HTPC would have the TV tuner card for watching/recording live TV and DVR functionality.
  • The living room HTPC would share these recordings with the master bedroom HTPC and any other PC in the house.
  • I would keep the standalone Blu-Ray player in the living room for Blu-Ray disc playback (Netflix). I've read poor reviews on Blu-Ray software and how they require you to upgrade each year to get the new keys.
  • Bedroom HTPC needs to be able to play DVDs (Netflix)
  • None of my other PCs have a Blu-Ray drive. So, one of the HTPCs needs to be able to rip our DVD and Blu-Ray collection.
  • The only games played are flash-based kid games that you find on Nick Jr and Disney web sites.


As far as software goes, I've pretty much decided to NOT go with Windows 8; I'll use Windows 7 64bit Home Premium. I'll use Windows Media Center as the hub with Media Browser, WMC Netflix plugin, Hulu Desktop, and I'll have to see what Assassin recommends for Pandora. I have used Media Center Studio to add a launcher for IE in kiosk mode pointing to Pandora's web site. I have also done this with YouTube.

Finally, the list of hardware for each HTPC that is causing me some financial concern:

Living Room HTPC


Subtotal - $1,081.73

Bedroom HTPC


Subtotal - $829.84

Grand Total - $1,911.57

That does not even include the Synology NAS and its 2 HDDs! Any ideas on how to trim the costs without sacrificing the responsiveness of the HTPC and smooth video playback?

One other question was concerning networking. The living room TV has the cable modem and wireless n gigabit router right next to it. So, all living room components are hard wired. My printer does not do 802.11n. So, I would not let it on the wireless network. I got a couple of powerline adapters to extend the wired network to that room. These seem to work fine. You don't need a lot of bandwidth for printing. However, I have plugged a laptop into the powerline adapter and did not notice an appreciable difference pinging the router via the powerline adapter or wirelessly. So, for the bedroom HTPC, should I use the 802.11n PCIe card I mentioned above or should I get an additional powerline adapter to extend the network to the master bedroom?

Thank you so much for reading what I know is a long post, and I appreciate any insights others might be able to provide.


HTPC
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 SP1/WMC/MediaBrowser
GD05B-USB3
Core i3-2120/GIGABYTE GA-B75M-D3V
8 GB G.Skill Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1333
ASUS GeForce GT 430
WinTV-HVR-2250
Lite-On 12x BD-ROM ihes112-04
Samsung 830 Series 128GB SATA III SSD
Seasonic 430W S12II (OS/Apps)
AZIO KB338BP BT KB/Trackpad

rbrinson is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 28 Old 06-23-2012, 12:06 PM
Member
 
KevBel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 114
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 14
CPU - $219.99 - 3rd Gen Intel Core i5-3570K
You can save a bunch right here by going with an i3 2100 (110$) in the living room (to get 3D support) and a G620 (64$) in the bedroom.
Savings : 110$ + 155$ = 265$

Motherboard - $108.99 - Intel DH77EB
You can save a bunch here too, why not this board? ASRock H61M 60$ It has everything you need as far as I can tell...
Savings : 50$ * 2 = 100$

Memory - $46.99 - 8 GB (2x4GB) G.Skill Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1600 MHz
8gb is overkill, you'll be perfectly fine with 4gb, like say this : G.Skill 4GB (20.50$). You can always order an extra 4gb stick if you find you're lacking ram later on.
Savings : 26.50$ * 2 = 53$

OS SSD - $94.00 - Samsung 830 Series 64GB Sata III
From the Cheapest HTPC Ever thread : OCZ Agility 3 120gb SSD (70$)
Savings : 24$ * 2 = 48$

Total savings : 466$


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Cutom user-styles, for a better new-AVS!
KevBel is offline  
post #3 of 28 Old 06-23-2012, 12:11 PM
AVS Special Member
 
dj4monie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Reseda, CA
Posts: 1,311
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Any reason you have to have a Synology NAS? They aren't any more powerful than WD My Book Live, Buffalo Drivestation and other connected NAS type external drives and you can do many of the same things with them.

Since your not pressing this into service, I didn't have that luxury since its my only TV, go ahead and do as much as you need. Hulu Desktop with the Integration tool (Google for it) works as it should and I have used Media Browser in the past and it works well, when setup property.

Windows Media Center just works, especially with OTA broadcast, no fears there and I like the interface better than Tivo. I haven't used a Tivo in awhile they haven't changed UI very much.

A. Thomas -

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
: djfourmoney

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
12.74@106 in the 1/4
PSN - DJFourMoney
dj4monie is offline  
post #4 of 28 Old 06-23-2012, 12:15 PM
AVS Special Member
 
hirent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: In my imagination!
Posts: 1,648
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 14
CPU-Motherboard is where you can obtain the most savings.
Typically, I would say a CPU-MB combo shouldn't be more than $200. Heck mine was an open box MB + a low-power AMD CPU for $105. Add in a $20 HD5450 and for $125 you have CPU-MB-Graphics combo.
The Intel CPUs have an onboard audio & video chip, so you should be fine there.

Look for a Microcenter store nearby, they usually have great deals on CPU-MB combos. Buy two of the same model (as you have listed), this will help you troubleshoot in case any part doesn't work.

Memory is overkill; 2GB is sufficient for normal HTPC usage, 4GB is overkill (best option though) and 8GB is just wasted money.
Go for 1333 memory, it will be cheaper than 1600 and you won't obtain any appreciable performance difference. You can get 8GB of 1333 memory for $20 or less AR. Use one stick each in your builds.

64GB SSDs should cost around $50-$60 in deals, unless you are looking for top-of-the-line performance. Again a $30 difference in price will not gain you a lot of performance versus an 'average' SSD.

Tuner: get the SiliconDust HDHomeRun DUAL. Its a network tuner so you can use it from any PC connected to the network, plus its the same price.

Don't buy any NAS now, save your money. Simply install drives in your HTPC and share them over the network. Better deals will keep coming up as the year goes on.

Get a deal on the Windows OS: sometimes I have seen 3 licenses advertised as a package deal for $99.
Don't wait for Windows 8 since it won't have Media Center, you will have to buy it as an add-on.
If you don't want to purchase anything now, you can download a free copy of Windows 8 (trial version - expires in January) and install the MC add-on (all of it is free). So for six months at least, you can keep looking for deals.

If you are planning on sharing uncompressed Blu-Ray movies across your network, wireless is not going to cut it. You better have wired network, Gigabit is better but it even works with 100 LAN.
hirent is offline  
post #5 of 28 Old 06-23-2012, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
rbrinson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13

KevBel and hirent, these are some great suggestions! I'm definitely going to have to rethink my MB/CPU combination. As your suggestions have shown, there is definitely some money to be saved there. smile.gif

 

hirent, I have thought about a NAS with RAID 1 for a while as a means to help protect irreplaceable files, like family pictures and home videos. I thought putting the disc rips on there would be good as well for a centralized location and to help protect the data with mirroring. I suppose the NAS could be a separate future project for which I could save up for the hardware and use FreeNAS. Your suggestion of HDHomeRun Dual intrigues me, as that solution would allow the bedroom HTPC to watch live TV as well. The only question I have is does it generate a lot of network traffic. So, if I'm watching live TV in the bedroom and the kids are watching Netflix in the living room, does the LAN start to get bogged down?


HTPC
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 SP1/WMC/MediaBrowser
GD05B-USB3
Core i3-2120/GIGABYTE GA-B75M-D3V
8 GB G.Skill Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1333
ASUS GeForce GT 430
WinTV-HVR-2250
Lite-On 12x BD-ROM ihes112-04
Samsung 830 Series 128GB SATA III SSD
Seasonic 430W S12II (OS/Apps)
AZIO KB338BP BT KB/Trackpad

rbrinson is offline  
post #6 of 28 Old 06-23-2012, 12:55 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
assassin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 12,961
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Liked: 241
2GB (or even 4GB) is not sufficient if you are using multiple extenders. Also DDR3 1333 is not always cheaper than 1600.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

assassin is offline  
post #7 of 28 Old 06-23-2012, 12:57 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
assassin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 12,961
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Liked: 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbrinson View Post

KevBel and hirent, these are some great suggestions! I'm definitely going to have to rethink my MB/CPU combination. As your suggestions have shown, there is definitely some money to be saved there. smile.gif

hirent, I have thought about a NAS with RAID 1 for a while as a means to help protect irreplaceable files, like family pictures and home videos. I thought putting the disc rips on there would be good as well for a centralized location and to help protect the data with mirroring. I suppose the NAS could be a separate future project for which I could save up for the hardware and use FreeNAS. Your suggestion of HDHomeRun Dual intrigues me, as that solution would allow the bedroom HTPC to watch live TV as well. The only question I have is does it generate a lot of network traffic. So, if I'm watching live TV in the bedroom and the kids are watching Netflix in the living room, does the LAN start to get bogged down?

Don't use the RAID1 or any NAS/Server for irreplaceable files. Use Crashplan instead as its the best solution.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

assassin is offline  
post #8 of 28 Old 06-23-2012, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
rbrinson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13

Hi, Assassin.

 

Thank you for your comments. I'll definitely have to pay attention to the RAM prices as I rethink the motherboard. As far as extenders, I don't have an XBox. Are there other items that are considered extenders that you saw in my plan? Thanks!


HTPC
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 SP1/WMC/MediaBrowser
GD05B-USB3
Core i3-2120/GIGABYTE GA-B75M-D3V
8 GB G.Skill Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1333
ASUS GeForce GT 430
WinTV-HVR-2250
Lite-On 12x BD-ROM ihes112-04
Samsung 830 Series 128GB SATA III SSD
Seasonic 430W S12II (OS/Apps)
AZIO KB338BP BT KB/Trackpad

rbrinson is offline  
post #9 of 28 Old 06-23-2012, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
rbrinson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13

Or, perhaps the HDHomeRun is considered an extender?


HTPC
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 SP1/WMC/MediaBrowser
GD05B-USB3
Core i3-2120/GIGABYTE GA-B75M-D3V
8 GB G.Skill Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1333
ASUS GeForce GT 430
WinTV-HVR-2250
Lite-On 12x BD-ROM ihes112-04
Samsung 830 Series 128GB SATA III SSD
Seasonic 430W S12II (OS/Apps)
AZIO KB338BP BT KB/Trackpad

rbrinson is offline  
post #10 of 28 Old 06-23-2012, 01:22 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
assassin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 12,961
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Liked: 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbrinson View Post

Hi, Assassin.

Thank you for your comments. I'll definitely have to pay attention to the RAM prices as I rethink the motherboard. As far as extenders, I don't have an XBox. Are there other items that are considered extenders that you saw in my plan? Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbrinson View Post

Or, perhaps the HDHomeRun is considered an extender?

The XBox is the only extender that you can currently buy brand new in box. But there are discontinued ones you can buy used. And ceton plans on adding another new extender. If you are planning on adding an extender in your future then its worth getting a little extra RAM.

BTW 4GB ram is $20-$30 and your savings over 2GB is pretty minimal.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

assassin is offline  
post #11 of 28 Old 06-23-2012, 01:39 PM
Newbie
 
hersch001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I would add that Newegg has $20 off Windows 7 Premium 64bit until June 28th using coupon code "EMCNDHH76".
hersch001 is offline  
post #12 of 28 Old 06-23-2012, 03:03 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Zon2020's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,716
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 28
The 3570K is a good cpu, and it does come with HD4000 graphics (which is nice if you want to use MadVR) but it is a "luxury" item here. I built a desktop system with one, but my HTPC works just fine with an 13-2100. I echo the view that if you have a Micro Center nearby, you'll save about $50 on each CPU (the i3-2100 will only be $90; the 3570K will only be $190 and you'll get $50 off a Z77 motherboard). So because of the HD4000 I won't call the 3570K overkill, but I will say it's the first place to save a LOT of money by cutting back.

I frankly don't find that motherboard to be overkill, although you can find cheaper ones.

4GB of sdram per system is fine, but DDR3 1600 won't cost you much if any more than 1333.

You can certainly get cheaper SSDs. If you act by tomorrow you can get great rebate deals on the Intel 330 models at Newegg and Amazon which makes it a great buy for an excellent SSD.

You can save on some components, but it's up to you whether you want to buy a couple $900 htpcs or try to build some budget $400 ones. Other than the CPUs, I don't see anything there that's particularly extravagent, although you can save money on almost every item by shopping more carefully.
Zon2020 is offline  
post #13 of 28 Old 06-23-2012, 03:25 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
assassin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 12,961
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Liked: 241
Ivy Bridge i3 is launching tomorrow FWIW.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

assassin is offline  
post #14 of 28 Old 06-23-2012, 03:53 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Zon2020's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,716
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Ivy Bridge i3 is launching tomorrow FWIW.

Wow. That's good news. Now I hope it actually becomes available, unlike the i5-3475S that was "launced" three weeks ago and is not available anywhere except in some HP "all-in-ones", which is a big disappointment to me.
Zon2020 is offline  
post #15 of 28 Old 06-23-2012, 04:13 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
assassin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 12,961
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Liked: 241
That's why I carefully chose the word "launching" and not "available".


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

assassin is offline  
post #16 of 28 Old 06-23-2012, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
rbrinson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13

Assassin, that's great news! I found some data on the Ivy Bridge i3 a while back (http://us.generation-nt.com/core-i3-ivy-bridge-zoom-1235661,3465751.html). I'm not sure how accurate it will be against the released product. Although the TDP values were low, I was disappointed that none of the desktop processors had anything greater than HD 2500 graphics. We'll have to see how they price them.


HTPC
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 SP1/WMC/MediaBrowser
GD05B-USB3
Core i3-2120/GIGABYTE GA-B75M-D3V
8 GB G.Skill Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1333
ASUS GeForce GT 430
WinTV-HVR-2250
Lite-On 12x BD-ROM ihes112-04
Samsung 830 Series 128GB SATA III SSD
Seasonic 430W S12II (OS/Apps)
AZIO KB338BP BT KB/Trackpad

rbrinson is offline  
post #17 of 28 Old 06-23-2012, 06:15 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
assassin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 12,961
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Liked: 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbrinson View Post

Assassin, that's great news! I found some data on the Ivy Bridge i3 a while back (http://us.generation-nt.com/core-i3-ivy-bridge-zoom-1235661,3465751.html). I'm not sure how accurate it will be against the released product. Although the TDP values were low, I was disappointed that none of the desktop processors had anything greater than HD 2500 graphics. We'll have to see how they price them.

There is an i3 Ivy with HD4000. i3 3225.

The reference you posted is inaccurate.

http://www.cpu-world.com/news_2012/2012032702_Revised_Ivy_Bridge_launch_schedule_confirmed.html


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

assassin is offline  
post #18 of 28 Old 06-23-2012, 06:58 PM
Advanced Member
 
ljo000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 785
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 18
A couple $$ saving suggestions:

1. Why 2 HTPCs? Just build one and use an xbox as an extender or the Ceton Echo when it comes out.

2. Why have a BluRay drive in both machines? Just rip your BR disks from one of the machines to your NAS or to one of the computers and share over the network.

3. As others have said, i5 is overkill. Go with i3 or celeron or AMD A6-3500. I wouldn't spend more than $120 on mobo and APU together for HTPC personally.

4. If you're doing a NAS to house a shared media library, HTPC 1 doesn't need a 2TB HDD. If you think you'd want an HDD for some local media, get something smaller & cheaper.

Otherwise what you're trying to do sounds pretty standard and reasonable. I second the HDHomeRun suggestion - the dual if you're sticking with OTA or the Prime if you think you'll go back to cable at some point.
ljo000 is offline  
post #19 of 28 Old 06-25-2012, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
rbrinson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljo000 View Post

A couple $$ saving suggestions:
1. Why 2 HTPCs? Just build one and use an xbox as an extender or the Ceton Echo when it comes out.
2. Why have a BluRay drive in both machines? Just rip your BR disks from one of the machines to your NAS or to one of the computers and share over the network....

 

Hi, ljo000.

 

Thank you for the suggestion of the Ceton Echo. That was actually looking like a viable option for the bedroom. I did some reading about MC extenders, and I understood that it would require a heftier HTPC to serve up to the extender device, which I was OK with. However, according to Microsoft's Media Center FAQ, the extender device must have the proper codecs to playback the desired media. So, in my case, I would need MKV format support for the ripped DVDs and Blu-Rays, and the Ceton Echo Tech Specs do not list MKV as a supported format. Am I wrong in this conclusion?

 

Concerning a Blu-Ray drive in both boxes, I am starting to lean towards Blu-Ray physical discs from Netflix will just have to be played in the standalone player in the living room. The discs we own can be ripped and served up as you suggested. I have read too many issues with Blu-Ray software and keys for discs to trust consistent PC Blu-Ray playback. Popping a Blu-Ray in the bedroom HTPC and having it not work will not please my wife. smile.gif Indeed, it should displease consumers. If you have paid for a Blu-Ray drive and commercial software to play DVDs and Blu-Rays and you keep the software updated, then barring disc defects or drive failure, it should just work.


HTPC
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 SP1/WMC/MediaBrowser
GD05B-USB3
Core i3-2120/GIGABYTE GA-B75M-D3V
8 GB G.Skill Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1333
ASUS GeForce GT 430
WinTV-HVR-2250
Lite-On 12x BD-ROM ihes112-04
Samsung 830 Series 128GB SATA III SSD
Seasonic 430W S12II (OS/Apps)
AZIO KB338BP BT KB/Trackpad

rbrinson is offline  
post #20 of 28 Old 06-25-2012, 08:57 AM
AVS Special Member
 
StardogChampion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Posts: 3,008
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Liked: 125
I don't know what your network and coax infrastructure is like at home, but take a look at a network tuner. One of the nice things about a network tuner is it makes it more possible to cut down on the coax run from your antenna depending on where everything's located. Another nice thing is it shares the tuners over the network without needing a PC to do it so let's say your living room HTPC is down for some reason, it doesn't mean all the other PCs are without TV too.

I have one of the networked CableCard tuners but it's the same principle as the network OTA tuner. I was able to put my tuner right where the feed comes into the house and then run Cat6 to my network switch. Once it's converted by the tuner to the network I no longer had to worry about signal strength on the feed. My coax run is much shorter not having to go throughout the house to individual tuners at each PC. It's something to think about, especially with OTA.

 

 

StardogChampion is offline  
post #21 of 28 Old 06-25-2012, 09:18 AM
Advanced Member
 
ljo000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 785
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 18
With the Ceton Echo not actually out yet, I'm hesitant to get into the details as they are likely to change from what's been drip fed so far. If I were you, I'd start with 1 HTPC and see how it goes. Then perhaps the Echo will be out and you can decide on the extender vs second computer.

For BD playback the consensus seems to be: stand-alone player for playing from disk, BD rips for playing from HTPC. You'll have a lot less headaches this way and higher WAF. Plus foregoing the cost of software goes towards offsetting the hardware costs.
ljo000 is offline  
post #22 of 28 Old 06-25-2012, 09:28 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Sammy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Right next to Wineville, CA
Posts: 9,835
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 115 Post(s)
Liked: 189
Yup. Mine is right off the drop from the pole with one splitter to the Cable modem and Tuning Adapter.

Signal strenth is consistantly at or near 100%.

Sammy2 is offline  
post #23 of 28 Old 06-25-2012, 09:36 AM
AVS Special Member
 
blueiedgod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Amherst, NY
Posts: 1,555
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Liked: 68
Get and extender for the bedroom. Even if you get the most expensive extender available, XBOX360 4Gb, you will only pay $150 (on sale) $200 regular retail over the $800 that you estimated for the bedroom HTPC.

Ditch expensive Intel, and get an AMD that will just if not just as well, but much better with an integrated or discree ATI video card.

We have a single HTPC with an AMD Phenom II x4 (Quad core) that I bought from MicroCenter for $50. You can get a decent AMD motherboard for under $50 with HDMI out. And all over sudden, you have quad core system for only a $100 for the mobo and processor. Since you will only be using 1 extender, you can get away with a dual core processor for $40...

Ditch Silverstone case in favor of nMediaPC, once assembled, you won't be able to tell the difference, 50% savings right there.

Ditch the samsung SDD for OCZ or similar at half the price for the same or larger capacity.

Ditch Hauppauge dual Tuner in favor of Magyca USB tuners, and you can get 4 of them for the price of the dual Hauppauge.

There are always lower cost, same high quality components available...

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
blueiedgod is offline  
post #24 of 28 Old 06-25-2012, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
rbrinson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13

Hi, Sammy2.

 

You mention that you use a network TV tuner; I assume it is the HDHomeRun. Could you share your experience with that product as it relates to network traffic? The concern that I have is that streaming live TV over the network and any other streaming, such as Netflix from the Internet or a Blu-Ray rip from local storage on the LAN, would either cause lost packets resulting in poor quality video playback or cause the LAN to be bogged down. Any thoughts?


HTPC
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 SP1/WMC/MediaBrowser
GD05B-USB3
Core i3-2120/GIGABYTE GA-B75M-D3V
8 GB G.Skill Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1333
ASUS GeForce GT 430
WinTV-HVR-2250
Lite-On 12x BD-ROM ihes112-04
Samsung 830 Series 128GB SATA III SSD
Seasonic 430W S12II (OS/Apps)
AZIO KB338BP BT KB/Trackpad

rbrinson is offline  
post #25 of 28 Old 06-25-2012, 10:46 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
assassin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 12,961
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Liked: 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

Ditch expensive Intel, and get an AMD that will just if not just as well, but much better with an integrated or discree ATI video card.

Psst. AMD is actually the expensive one.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

assassin is offline  
post #26 of 28 Old 06-25-2012, 11:35 AM
Senior Member
 
snappjay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 241
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 16
I went from 2 GB RAM to 16 GB (maxed) and the difference is night and day for my extenders (360). It's as smooth as being in front of the main, all four running at once.
Not bad for $50 USD.
snappjay is offline  
post #27 of 28 Old 06-25-2012, 05:44 PM
AVS Special Member
 
dj4monie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Reseda, CA
Posts: 1,311
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Don't use the RAID1 or any NAS/Server for irreplaceable files. Use Crashplan instead as its the best solution.

Or something I found on Hack5 -

http://www.expandrive.com/



Again I find it hard to believe tax records, birth certs and family photos are bigger than a few gigs at most.

MS SkyDrive, Google Drive are all a few Gigs each and free. No less secure than Crashplan or Mozy. Cloudberry works with WHS 2011...

A. Thomas -

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
: djfourmoney

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
12.74@106 in the 1/4
PSN - DJFourMoney
dj4monie is offline  
post #28 of 28 Old 06-25-2012, 05:52 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
assassin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 12,961
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 50 Post(s)
Liked: 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by dj4monie View Post

Again I find it hard to believe tax records, birth certs and family photos are bigger than a few gigs at most.
MS SkyDrive, Google Drive are all a few Gigs each and free. No less secure than Crashplan or Mozy. Cloudberry works with WHS 2011...

Much bigger than a few GBs actually. I have home camcorder movies and family photos that take up >80GB alone.

What kind of tiny pictures are you taking?


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

assassin is offline  
Reply Home Theater Computers

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off