STICKIES - Lots of knowledge in this forum, needs a little better structure - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 46 Old 09-24-2012, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
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As the discussion around HTPC usage and economics of those choices have become more convoluted, so has this sub-forum. Anyone new to the game doesn't have a great path to follow in the stickies, and users who have been around much longer than me seem to ignore the stagnant stickies for some reason.

There used to be two hardware guides, one is now a link to a different site while the other is dependent upon a member who needs more donations to keep it going. Essentially the Guide to Building a HD HTPC (renethx guide) needs a "when he's here" disclaimer of some sort. Assassin's guide is essentially a knowledge base for those requesting Assassin's troubleshooting skills at this point, while the hardware guide is linked over to his blog.

The upscaling standard dvd movies sticky is completely invalid (for months now) unless someone would care to host the files elsewhere
- I realize that with custom wares (even makeMKV) sometimes there will be distribution issues, but the discussion and use of ffdshow had been stagnant for a while before it went completely dark. Does this mean it will remain trapped in sticky-land permanently?

The Guide to Building a Media Storage Server is not a guide. It's not really much of anything other than a mess. This is a interesting topic that seems worthy of it's own subforum, but it would seem there's plenty of room here since it's closely tied to our HTPC choices. A lot of the conversations seemed to start mentioning servers after Assassins server guide was published, but there is not really a good thread or sticky around here for server choices. Pros, cons, and considerations of server choices, in my mind, need a sticky as much as XBMC, Mediabrowser, WMC, etc and the existing sticky doesn't meet the mark. I wouldn't mind collaborating on a guide in this area, but I only have experience with the WHS and W7 network share approach. There's more I would like to learn around FreeNAS, linux servers, plex as a server, etc, and I think it would be helpful to others as well.

The NOTICE!! Everyone please read this before posting! sticky seems like a decent deterrent for OS trolls to steer clear of this forum, but it doesn't really prevent trolling and it adds very little value to the sticky list. Still plenty of AMD/Intel flaming and "never need anything more than a atom, celeron, etc" without any real discussion but an excess of passive-aggressive ad-hominem
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post #2 of 46 Old 09-24-2012, 01:50 PM
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I'd just like to see the presentation of the stickies done better. it used to be you could easily see when a thread had been posted to, now its just the thread title, so you have no idea if something has new content or not.
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post #3 of 46 Old 09-24-2012, 03:00 PM
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Couple day's ago I received an invitation to fill out a survey from AVS . Of course it was very prying and quite personal as asking yearly income and my age and such and quite frankly , I found it a bit insulting .

However , there was an " improvements / comment" section at the end of the survey and trust me when I say that I WORE IT OUT !!!

I don't agree with the O.P. 100% as some of the issues he / she points out in my opinion are not true or at least not to the stated extent . I do feel though that a fair amount of the post is accurate and commendable !! Thank You .

I actually feel as though the entire presentation of the " new" forum look and feel is .... well , terrible. For an AVS forum it is very convoluted and lacks any pizzaz considering what the nature of our interests are. Plain and boring seems to sum it up and YES, a LOT of the stickies seem to be abandoned or worse yet , partially abandoned then the author steps in after day's or longer and makes a post and then leaves again for an untold amount of time which really is rude.

I also notice that a lot of prominent members are at about 10% capacity these day's but find them posting and heavily active in other forums that are similar to this one. I smell the coffee burning ! I wonder if AVS does ?

My $.02
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post #4 of 46 Old 09-24-2012, 03:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flocko View Post

I don't agree with the O.P. 100% as some of the issues he / she points out in my opinion are not true or at least not to the stated extent . I do feel though that a fair amount of the post is accurate and commendable !! Thank You .
I actually feel as though the entire presentation of the " new" forum look and feel is .... well , terrible. For an AVS forum it is very convoluted and lacks any pizzaz considering what the nature of our interests are. Plain and boring seems to sum it up and YES, a LOT of the stickies seem to be abandoned or worse yet , partially abandoned then the author steps in after day's or longer and makes a post and then leaves again for an untold amount of time which really is rude.
I also notice that a lot of prominent members are at about 10% capacity these day's but find them posting and heavily active in other forums that are similar to this one. I smell the coffee burning ! I wonder if AVS does ?
My $.02

Re-reading my post I see that I really only did a lot of complaining without asking any questions. Since there is no suggestion sticky I guess it's borderline acceptable (a lot of others do it in any case), but I do have a valid question coming out of all this. Who moderates this area? Most forums will display the moderators of each subforum somewhere, but I've never seen any indication of who fills that role here.

Flocko, I have to agree that I mixed what could be concrete issues with personal opinion (which is only really important to me), but thanks for the quasi-thanks
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some of the issues he / she points out
biggrin.gif It's he, but kudos to not assuming every poster in a tech forum is a he

I'm not sure where this goes from here, but I would beg that this not be another "New AVS sucks" place to vent.

At the very least the improved server guide information would help a lot of people, and I think there is plenty for all of us to learn on the subject. I don't know where to start as far as getting one stickied or the sticky updated, but I don't mind taking point on some of the content. It would take a while, but I'm already exploring ways to tweak, improve, or rebuild my current WHS 11 setup.

Also, which forums are people heavily posting at now?
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post #5 of 46 Old 09-24-2012, 05:11 PM
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The layout of the sticky threads is wholely inadequate. It was far superior before the upgrade.

I found the HTPC section of avs a year and a half ago. Back then I was full of questions. Now I find I am answering more than I ask mostly from stuff I've learned here.

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post #6 of 46 Old 09-24-2012, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncarty97 View Post

I'd just like to see the presentation of the stickies done better. it used to be you could easily see when a thread had been posted to, now its just the thread title, so you have no idea if something has new content or not.

what he said...
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post #7 of 46 Old 09-24-2012, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

There used to be two hardware guides ... Assassin's guide is essentially a knowledge base for those requesting Assassin's troubleshooting skills at this point, while the hardware guide is linked over to his blog.

So?

You have no idea what a complete PITA it was to update my guide here at AVS.

Kept timing out. Repeatedly. It would sometimes take me hours to get it to "stick" probably because of the size of the guide. So it either needed to move or I was going to abandon it.

BTW I have said repeatedly that Renethx should get better compensated for what he provides to the community. It takes money and a heck of a lot of time to do what he and I do. Take a look at how many "voluntary" donations I received in a 18 month period. I have them listed at the beginning of my hardware guide. Amounted to about $15 a month.
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post #8 of 46 Old 09-24-2012, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

So?
You have no idea what a complete PITA it was to update my guide here at AVS.
Kept timing out. Repeatedly. It would sometimes take me hours to get it to "stick" probably because of the size of the guide. So it either needed to move or I was going to abandon it.
BTW I have said repeatedly that Renethx should get better compensated for what he provides to the community. It takes money and a heck of a lot of time to do what he and I do. Take a look at how many "voluntary" donations I received in a 18 month period. I have them listed at the beginning of my hardware guide. Amounted to about $15 a month.

I probably should have omitted the guide details. FWIW, I could do without a dedicated "Hardware guide sticky" due to the amount of Rate my build, build suggestions, and current deal threads and crosstalk posted each week. It's a great starting point for someone completely new
Stress the word "Sticky" in my above feelings, because by no means do I think that the Asssassin's beginner . . . thread is useless. Nor would I try to give you grief about the link to your blog site. I'm, in fact, a subscriber to your HTPC guides. I just remember that it was confusing to me back when I first saw the redundant hardware sections, and I'm sure it remains the same for newcomers today.

As far as the upscaling std DVDs and Guide to Building a Media Storage server, those definitely need to come off of the sticky page. Furthermore, it would be better for the forum would if the sticky authors could pass the baton when they are overwhelmed, or request that there thread be archived. I don't know the exact solution, but I thought it was worth a conversation
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post #9 of 46 Old 09-24-2012, 07:10 PM
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and the back button still doesnt work
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post #10 of 46 Old 09-24-2012, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

I probably should have omitted the guide details. FWIW, I could do without a dedicated "Hardware guide sticky" due to the amount of Rate my build, build suggestions, and current deal threads and crosstalk posted each week. It's a great starting point for someone completely new
Stress the word "Sticky" in my above feelings, because by no means do I think that the Asssassin's beginner . . . thread is useless. Nor would I try to give you grief about the link to your blog site. I'm, in fact, a subscriber to your HTPC guides. I just remember that it was confusing to me back when I first saw the redundant hardware sections, and I'm sure it remains the same for newcomers today.
As far as the upscaling std DVDs and Guide to Building a Media Storage server, those definitely need to come off of the sticky page. Furthermore, it would be better for the forum would if the sticky authors could pass the baton when they are overwhelmed, or request that there thread be archived. I don't know the exact solution, but I thought it was worth a conversation

The sticky's here aren't going to be improved. Its a limitation of the new forum software.

In the meantime I have posted at the top of my guide the following disclaimer. It has been there since May 2012...
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Due to limitations with forum software as of 5/01/12 I am moving the updated version of my guide over the my blog located at assassinhtpcblog.com. The guide at my blog will remain free and as time allows I will update my guide here when possible. Due to the size of my guide I am getting multiple timeouts which makes updating the guide incredibly time consuming and the forum software is very cumbersome for these guides. Thanks for the continued support.
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post #11 of 46 Old 09-25-2012, 08:18 AM
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I've always thought the problem with "stickies" is that while at the beginning they're meant to contain some important knowledge -- FAQs, guides, etc. what they evolve into usually has nothing to do with the intent of the thread but a bunch of questions to the author of the thread. It then becomes very long, impossible to follow and more and more useless over time. Meanwhile too, maybe the original author has moved on so now the important part of the thread can no longer be updated.

It'd almost be better if they were wikis instead. Then the knowledge could be somewhat separated from the discussion and be more organized for their intent.

 

 

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post #12 of 46 Old 09-25-2012, 08:30 AM
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Wikis would be a good idea but that needs to be moderated by somebody with knowledge too.

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post #13 of 46 Old 09-25-2012, 09:32 AM
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Yes, definitely. But, at least then they'd belong to a community and not just a single contributor.

But, whatever form it's in, it's a lot of friggin' work. I can't even find the time to keep up with my own blog. It's so out of date in that is has nothing new and I've done a ton of stuff lately. Remembering to take notes and take pictures of everything when it's 1am isn't always a priority smile.gif.

 

 

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post #14 of 46 Old 09-28-2012, 05:46 AM
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The main problem with stickies in forums such as these is that the information they contain tends to become outdated rather quickly. PC technology changes at such a rapid pace that it's a full time job just trying to keep up with it. While someone may offer to take on the task to keep a sticky updated, it just gets overwhelming after a while and some of us do actually have a life outside of these forums. One of the best resources we have at our disposal in addition to whatever stickys may still be relevant are the guides posted on Assassin's Blog.

Hardware guides are darn near impossible to keep current. A motherboard in the recommended list may only be available for a period of 12 months or so before it's discontinued, which is the blink of an eye in the technical marketplace. A list of generic specs to be used as a baseline would be more helpful. There should also be a sticky posted telling folks to stop posting "check my HTPC build" threads which completely clutter up these forums.

Perhaps a collection of popular search topics would also be helpful since the same topics tend to crop up over and over again. It probably wouldn't hurt to divide this forum into sub-forums since there are many specific topics that are discussed but end up getting scattered all over the place, making them difficult to locate.

The new forum software also sucks. Perhaps we should tweet the crap out of the forum owners like the fans did with the NFL so we can finally see some action. There wasn't a thing wrong with the old software. Newer is not always better.
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post #15 of 46 Old 09-28-2012, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

The main problem with stickies in forums such as these is that the information they contain tends to become outdated rather quickly. PC technology changes at such a rapid pace that it's a full time job just trying to keep up with it. While someone may offer to take on the task to keep a sticky updated, it just gets overwhelming after a while and some of us do actually have a life outside of these forums. One of the best resources we have at our disposal in addition to whatever stickys may still be relevant are the guides posted on Assassin's Blog.
Hardware guides are darn near impossible to keep current. A motherboard in the recommended list may only be available for a period of 12 months or so before it's discontinued, which is the blink of an eye in the technical marketplace. A list of generic specs to be used as a baseline would be more helpful. There should also be a sticky posted telling folks to stop posting "check my HTPC build" threads which completely clutter up these forums.
Perhaps a collection of popular search topics would also be helpful since the same topics tend to crop up over and over again. It probably wouldn't hurt to divide this forum into sub-forums since there are many specific topics that are discussed but end up getting scattered all over the place, making them difficult to locate.
The new forum software also sucks. Perhaps we should tweet the crap out of the forum owners like the fans did with the NFL so we can finally see some action. There wasn't a thing wrong with the old software. Newer is not always better.

Indeed, I'm not a fan of the change to the forum software, but that apparently is a battle that has been waged and lost due to the ownership of this forum having changed in the recent past.

The stickies need an active moderator to clean them up and fix/maintain them. Failing that, a wiki really would work better, as there is far less work for one or two people to do in maintaining something like that. Honestly, an all-encompassing AVS wiki would be an amazingly valuable resource, but that would take a huge amount of work to get off the ground.
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post #16 of 46 Old 03-20-2013, 03:27 PM
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I agree

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post #17 of 46 Old 03-20-2013, 06:50 PM
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(1) Nice necrobump.
(2) I've been told the current AVS forum software does have wiki capabilities. I didn't bother to look further into the details so I can't say how functional it is.

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post #18 of 46 Old 03-20-2013, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

So?

You have no idea what a complete PITA it was to update my guide here at AVS.

Kept timing out. Repeatedly. It would sometimes take me hours to get it to "stick" probably because of the size of the guide. So it either needed to move or I was going to abandon it.

BTW I have said repeatedly that Renethx should get better compensated for what he provides to the community. It takes money and a heck of a lot of time to do what he and I do. Take a look at how many "voluntary" donations I received in a 18 month period. I have them listed at the beginning of my hardware guide. Amounted to about $15 a month.

appreciate you and Renethx... your depth of knowledge has helped me many times...

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post #19 of 46 Old 03-20-2013, 07:20 PM
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this HTPC forum is one of the best on the interwebs.

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post #20 of 46 Old 03-20-2013, 07:46 PM
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I agree the forum is far less useful then it once was. On the other hand we have come to a point where pretty basic hardware configuration does a darn worthy job of providing HTPC duties. Sure they can be enhanced, with a dicreet GPU but look how little discussion there really is over GPUs these days. Most of it is how powerful a card does it take to run madVR at high settings.

Other than builing servers, the ramshackle way the forum operates is largely rescued by how highly functional entry level hardware is out of the box. If you choose a path beyond WMC like JRiver this is not the place to get. If you need Ceton support well, the user provided discussions are not much better or worse than anywhere else it is available.

Sadly when solid walk throughs are sold is going to be necessity create an inherent conflict for the folks who want to be thought leaders and curators... I don't have a gripe against anyone who wants use the forum as the front door of their business but it does contribute to the hap hazzard nature of this forum as an information source. The much smaller display calibrations forum where there is fierce and sometimes testy competiton between vendors is an example of information sharing and truth seeking at its best.

That is a place where what doesn't kill you makes you better.. There may not be anything really new or terribly useful there for days at a time, but when it is rolling, real solutions are being made market, debated, dissected and the greater good is served.

Sometime sheer size gets in the way of usefulness.. I happen to think that the SNR in the HTPC forum has gone way down in the last year or two for some of the reasons I suggested. Basic intel stuff works pretty much like a champ. The ways their stufft is broken, 23.976 etc is not really fixable so what is their much to talk about. SSDs are cheap and they don't break once a week. Win 7 WMC is a static mature piece of software and Windows 8 is mostly a curiousity. Except for the exotic and esoteric there is not much here of novelty and the bread and butter expert level expertise except for that provided by Renethx is pretty much not here any more.

Just another blank signature.
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post #21 of 46 Old 03-21-2013, 04:29 AM
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I've been involved in so many forums over the years that I've lost track of all of them. The thing is, with technology such as this, it changes so quickly that it's almost impossible to keep anything organized and up to date. The main problem is finding someone that has the time and patience to go through everything in this forum and put it into some coherent format. By the time this gets accomplished, it's already outdated. Keeping things current is a full time job, and most of us here already have full time jobs.

One thing that could be done is to break up the HTPC forum into sub-forums that deal with specific aspects of Home Theater Computers. There are certainly enough subcategories that could be addressed individually as well as some that have a broader coverage. For instance:

Basic Hardware
Motherboards
CPUs
Heat sinks and fans
Hard drives
SSDs
Memory
Cases

Video Hardware
Graphics cards
ATSC/QAM tuners
Cablecard tuners
APUs

Human Interface Devices
Mice/keyboards
Remotes
Smartphones and tablets

Media Center Front End Software
Windows Media Center
XBMC
MythTV
JRiver
Plex
etc.

Media Playback Software
PowerDVD
Total Media Theater
VLC
MPC-HC

TV Recording Software
WMC
MythTV
etc.

Servers and Media Distribution
Server Hardware
Server Software
Media Extenders
Portable Devices


And so on... There are certainly enough specific topics that they could be broken down and organized. The list above is just a rough breakdown that would need to be further refined and tweaked. Anything older than 12 months could be put in an archived forum whereas anything posted within the past 12 months could be placed in the appropriate sub-forum. It's all a matter of finding someone with the time and determination to take on the task. There should still be stickys at the top describing basic aspects of HTPCs, such as the various video formats and the codecs required to play them. A list of links to manufacturers, vendors, wikis, HTPC hacks and tweaks, and anything else HTPC related would be a great resource to have.
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post #22 of 46 Old 03-21-2013, 05:01 AM
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I think what this forum needs more than anything is a sticky describing the different HTPC frontends. It took more forever to discover JRiver and some other options. WMC seems to be the biggest focus here, despite developing ending a while ago. I've always felt that hardware is the easy part. The hard part is finding a frontend that best suites your needs. I've thought of creating a thread myself, just been busy lately :-/
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post #23 of 46 Old 03-21-2013, 05:31 AM
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I would be cautious about changing the HTPC forum into a General pc forum.

Imo, the htpc-centric nature of this forum is what sets it apart. I have said this often (full disclosure I am the htpc moderator at anandtech).

Not sure how you can expand this forum yet keep this aspect of avs intact.
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post #24 of 46 Old 03-21-2013, 06:04 AM
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I agree^.

One forum that's home theater centric makes sense.

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post #25 of 46 Old 03-21-2013, 07:31 AM
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IMHO, a lot of the reason it's hard to keep information relevant/up-to-date is because this is a discussion forum. FAQ/guide/spec type information is better suited to a wiki where there's a community of people contributing and the page you're looking at represents the latest information. An AVS HTPC wiki would be nice. Long threads don't make for good FAQs/guides.

 

 

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post #26 of 46 Old 03-21-2013, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtgray View Post

I agree the forum is far less useful then it once was. On the other hand we have come to a point where pretty basic hardware configuration does a darn worthy job of providing HTPC duties. Sure they can be enhanced, with a dicreet GPU but look how little discussion there really is over GPUs these days. Most of it is how powerful a card does it take to run madVR at high settings.

Other than builing servers, the ramshackle way the forum operates is largely rescued by how highly functional entry level hardware is out of the box. If you choose a path beyond WMC like JRiver this is not the place to get. If you need Ceton support well, the user provided discussions are not much better or worse than anywhere else it is available.

Sadly when solid walk throughs are sold is going to be necessity create an inherent conflict for the folks who want to be thought leaders and curators... I don't have a gripe against anyone who wants use the forum as the front door of their business but it does contribute to the hap hazzard nature of this forum as an information source. The much smaller display calibrations forum where there is fierce and sometimes testy competiton between vendors is an example of information sharing and truth seeking at its best.

That is a place where what doesn't kill you makes you better.. There may not be anything really new or terribly useful there for days at a time, but when it is rolling, real solutions are being made market, debated, dissected and the greater good is served.

Sometime sheer size gets in the way of usefulness.. I happen to think that the SNR in the HTPC forum has gone way down in the last year or two for some of the reasons I suggested. Basic intel stuff works pretty much like a champ. The ways their stufft is broken, 23.976 etc is not really fixable so what is their much to talk about. SSDs are cheap and they don't break once a week. Win 7 WMC is a static mature piece of software and Windows 8 is mostly a curiousity. Except for the exotic and esoteric there is not much here of novelty and the bread and butter expert level expertise except for that provided by Renethx is pretty much not here any more.

Anyone esle feel like they just got called an idiot?
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post #27 of 46 Old 03-21-2013, 07:46 AM
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Agreed. A wiki makes perfect sense.
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post #28 of 46 Old 03-21-2013, 07:49 AM
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That would be true not only here but in some of the other sub-sections of this forum too.

How to get the forum owners to add a wiki??

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post #29 of 46 Old 03-21-2013, 07:54 AM
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When I had my guide on AVS it was an absolute nightmare. At first it was fine but as it grew it would timeout constantly. Often times I would have to update it at odd hours to get it to accept the updates and "stick". It would take me sometimes literally days to apply updates as the forum software just wouldn't cooperate. This is what ultimately led me to create the guide at my blog.

What I am saying is that if someone takes this on a Wiki is mandatory (assuming the AVS forum software can handle it) given these issues or you need to create it outside of AVS. The forum is not really setup for this type of thing (unless there is somesort of Wiki function of course).

Either way having researched, created, maintained and updated my guides let me tell you that it is a mountain of work.
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post #30 of 46 Old 03-21-2013, 08:06 AM
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I realize it is a mountain of work. An open wiki can be inaccurate if a person with erroneous information edits it too.

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