Cheapest way to build extender ???? What you guys doing ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 45 Old 01-07-2013, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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hack apple TV and run XBMC ? Build a cheapo extender from parts?

I already have a serious and semi serious HTPC, as well as server and desktop and laptop.

I'm just looking for something I can put on my wifes LCD on the wall in basement above treadmill. It will get used for exercise videos or viewing while on treadmill.

I have a spare Athlon X2 64 machine. (two actually, one 3800 X on Asus A8n SLI deluxe with 4DB DDR2 800 and also an HP mediacenter desktop with Athlon X2 6000 3GB DDR2)
I also have a 6450 Radeon and a 5770 Radeon that are not being used that could go into these machines.

Think they could boot directly into XBMC and work ? Do I need an OS?

I could build a full SSD HDD in them and run windows if needed - But I would rather the cheapest and most simple fool proof for this location. I don't want to maintain it like I do our main HTPC.

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post #2 of 45 Old 01-07-2013, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd like to avoid buying a windows license too. I already have like 8.... lol.

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post #3 of 45 Old 01-07-2013, 12:19 PM
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Try one of the generic builds of OpenELEC with the 6450

If that doesn't work try XBMCbuntu

Is there a wired connection going there?

Plex on an Android stick would be so cheap and a perfect fit for this application, but I don't know how well Plex works with any of those Rockchip android HDMI dongles

Also, don't add the full library, just load up the things she would want and you'll save yourself a lot more grief smile.gif

AppleTV remote would be pretty slick for this simple of an operation, but there's still no ATV3 jailbreak and the jailbreakable ATV2s are suffering high markups on ebay
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post #4 of 45 Old 01-07-2013, 12:27 PM
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WD's boxes are loved by many for being able to play basically any format video. Should be able to pick one up for dirt cheap.

Might be worth seeing if you have an old xp license that you could use on a "leftover" computer for her. Just tell her you're avoiding the fiscal cliff.

They do make xbmc for linux but if you're not a Linux lover then you might end up buying another license b/c of the experience.

If you have currently unused windows licenses Microsoft will normally let you use it on a new machine, even the OEM licenses. Just have to make the 5 minute call that the activation process tells you to. Easy as pie.


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post #5 of 45 Old 01-07-2013, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Try one of the generic builds of OpenELEC with the 6450
If that doesn't work try XBMCbuntu
Is there a wired connection going there?
Plex on an Android stick would be so cheap and a perfect fit for this application, but I don't know how well Plex works with any of those Rockchip android HDMI dongles
Also, don't add the full library, just load up the things she would want and you'll save yourself a lot more grief smile.gif
AppleTV remote would be pretty slick for this simple of an operation, but there's still no ATV3 jailbreak and the jailbreakable ATV2s are suffering high markups on ebay

Thanks!

Yes Wired connection is possible. It's a drop ceiling in basement and easy run.

6450 is better than 5770 ? I thought the 5770 was more powerful ?

I have a non backlit Lenovo remote as a spare. I was going to use that as remote. I do have a few mediacenter remotes spare too but I need an IR sensor for those.

What do you mean by "ut I don't know how well Plex works with any of those Rockchip android HDMI dongles"

?????


Where would I go to learn about OpenELEC or XBMC Unbuntu ???

I've never done that yet. Consider me noob and guide me please.

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post #6 of 45 Old 01-07-2013, 01:15 PM
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Plex is made for this sort of thing. I would just get a Roku or Google TV. OpenELEC is also great but you will likely spend more money.
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post #7 of 45 Old 01-07-2013, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macks View Post

WD's boxes are loved by many for being able to play basically any format video. Should be able to pick one up for dirt cheap.
Might be worth seeing if you have an old xp license that you could use on a "leftover" computer for her. Just tell her you're avoiding the fiscal cliff.
They do make xbmc for linux but if you're not a Linux lover then you might end up buying another license b/c of the experience.
If you have currently unused windows licenses Microsoft will normally let you use it on a new machine, even the OEM licenses. Just have to make the 5 minute call that the activation process tells you to. Easy as pie.
Don't listen to Mfusick... He's lying!


Or I could open command prompt as Admin and type: SLMGR -REARM resetting the windows activation time period smile.gif

I'm looking for even simpler. if possible.

I'm not noob at Windows 7 HTPC's but I am noob at the cheaper simpler alternatives that seems more what I want.

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post #8 of 45 Old 01-07-2013, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Or I could open command prompt as Admin and type: SLMGR -REARM resetting the windows activation time period smile.gif
I'm looking for even simpler. if possible.
I'm not noob at Windows 7 HTPC's but I am noob at the cheaper simpler alternatives that seems more what I want.

You could just buy a broken Xbox with working ethernet you can them on ebay for about 20.00. Or go to your local Goodwill and look for some stuff there.
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post #9 of 45 Old 01-07-2013, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Thanks!
Yes Wired connection is possible. It's a drop ceiling in basement and easy run.
6450 is better than 5770 ? I thought the 5770 was more powerful ?
I have a non backlit Lenovo remote as a spare. I was going to use that as remote. I do have a few mediacenter remotes spare too but I need an IR sensor for those.
What do you mean by "ut I don't know how well Plex works with any of those Rockchip android HDMI dongles"
?????
Where would I go to learn about OpenELEC or XBMC Unbuntu ???
I've never done that yet. Consider me noob and guide me please.

There are very slick mini computers that run android and look like an HDMI dongle http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/kimdecent-mk806-android-mini-pc-25-10-2012/
If it would run plex, you'd be pretty set since you'd be locally transcoding (or direct streaming) all your content. Wireless could handle it just fine

I don't know how many different android devices you've ever tried, but outside the nexus lines they have varying app compatibility. Apps can be set to scale just fine, but the SoC gpu can make or break the ability to run apps on said device. Essentially, Android 4.1 is not a compatibility statement for the Android app market. A device may be capable of running 4.1 while at the same time not-capable of running apps in the play store. This is when you get the lovely "This app is not compatible with your device" warnings. Sometimes those mean that it really won't work, not just something thrown in there because Verizon, AT&T, etc want to leverage their contracts with handset makers to limit your app choices (sorry that part was a long tangent related to tethering and google wallet)

There are open questions in the Plex forums about the compatibility of the android app with these hdmi android mini sticks, but nobody seems to have tried them and verified that it works. If there was one that ran off of a Tegra processor I'd say it's likely to work. Since the Nexus 10 uses the mali gpu, it seems more likely that the mali-400 in the MK806 dongle will see a lot of app compatibility, but I can't say for sure
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post #10 of 45 Old 01-07-2013, 01:54 PM
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The 5770 is indeed more powerful, but most of the drivers bundled with OpenELEC target newer hardware

Plus, while not "powerful" the 6450 is adequate

I thought you were looking for a lower-end set
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post #11 of 45 Old 01-07-2013, 01:59 PM
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Your best bet for openelec is the generic builds

First look through the wiki http://wiki.openelec.tv/index.php?title=Main_Page
Make sure to look at FAQ page

Then the forums
http://openelec.tv/forum
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post #12 of 45 Old 01-07-2013, 02:04 PM
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I'd also like to find out more about the new Netgear Google TV set ($130)

The remote they bundled with it is like a response to one of my "included-manufacturer-remote" rants, I'd pay $30-50 for the remote alone

Still a lot of details to be seen http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/02/netgear-neotv-prime-gtv100-googletv-fcc/

There seem to be a lot of rumored android set top boxes. Just have to wait and see if any have solid plex performance
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post #13 of 45 Old 01-07-2013, 07:26 PM
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Maybe a Raspberry Pi running RaspBMC.

"Man, I told you we shouldn't have shot Niedermeyer"

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post #14 of 45 Old 01-08-2013, 04:51 AM
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I second the recommendation to give OpenELEC a try. You don't need an SSD/HDD...a good USB stick will work just fine.

As for the android sticks, I have been watching them but I don't see them as a good solution yet. XBMC for android needs work, the existing android OS (ICS or JB) don't lend well to using a remote for navigation, and they don't have hardwired ethernet so you are forced to use wireless. It looks like there are some capable android boxes starting to come out, just need the software.
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post #15 of 45 Old 01-08-2013, 06:23 AM
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Basically your cheap options boil down to:

1. Plex
2. htpc
3. Openelec
4. WD TV
5. Appletv
6. Raspbmc(need plex?)

Plex - Some people love it some people hate it.

htpc - Can be a pain to setup but is the best option once you go through all the hard work. Probably overkill.

Openelec - Easy to setup htpc but more limited(appliance-like) Compatibility between amd/ati and Linux is suspect.

WD TV - The only media streamer that I believe exists that you won't feel the need to use with Plex(Plays back basically any format).

I would go with the htpc or openelec since they will be free to you.
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post #16 of 45 Old 01-08-2013, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimo View Post

You could just buy a broken Xbox with working ethernet you can them on ebay for about 20.00. Or go to your local Goodwill and look for some stuff there.

I have one now it has been turned in in two years. It works perfectly.

It's just poor performance as a HTPC.

Too slow...

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post #17 of 45 Old 01-08-2013, 07:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

Your best bet for openelec is the generic builds
First look through the wiki http://wiki.openelec.tv/index.php?title=Main_Page
Make sure to look at FAQ page
Then the forums
http://openelec.tv/forum
Thanks !

What would you do ?

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post #18 of 45 Old 01-08-2013, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Thanks !
What would you do ?

Okay, knowing that you have an XBMC installation running already, I'd go ahead with this type of library sharing http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=HOW-TO:Share_libraries_using_UPnP. The guide is almost a joke since there is so little involved, but that comment I had made earlier about tailoring the content is not super easy to do in OpenElec. Mounting network shares can be done, but I've not bothered with it. I believe it's in their wiki

So setting up your main XBMC library as a upnp share is a start. Now to getting XBMC on that screen
  1. Get the Generic build 3.0 RC1 http://openelec.tv/get-openelec
  2. Each build is a tar.bz2 download, extract the contents with 7zip
  3. Get a flash drive you don't mind having wiped (256MB or larger)http://wiki.openelec.tv/index.php?title=HOW-TO:Installing_OpenELEC
  4. Then double click the extracted batch file titled "create_installstick" http://wiki.openelec.tv/index.php?title=HOW-TO:Installing_OpenELEC/Creating_The_Install_Key#Windows
  5. Set the bios to boot from USB
  6. As normal, only leave the media you wish to install OpenELEC onto connected (this could be an additional flash drive)
  7. Be patient, it took a little while for the installer boot to happen. After this use option 1 (I've never gotten any other option to work anyway smile.gif )
  8. When the install is complete it will take you back to the main menu. Now use the reboot option from the main installer window
  9. Remove the installer drive and change the boot order as appropriate in your BIOS
  10. Boot into OpenELEC and check your network settings (should have no problem with wired or wireless)
  11. Go to Settings -> Services -> UPnP and enable UPnP sharing
  12. Go to Videos -> Files -> Add Files -> Browse -> and then add the UPnP share
freetvEE likes this.
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post #19 of 45 Old 01-08-2013, 09:08 AM
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So, I was reminded in another thread about UPnP sharing limitations with a WHS setup

Looks like you'll become familiar with OEs network drive mapping http://wiki.openelec.tv/index.php?title=Mounting_network_shares Check the examples
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post #20 of 45 Old 01-08-2013, 09:20 AM
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I just bought 3 Linksys Media Center extenders for $150 shipped. Can't get cheaper than that.

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!!!
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post #21 of 45 Old 01-08-2013, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks!!! That post above was great Dark Slayer!! Special thanks !!!

I'm on mediabrowser now. I've only messed around with XBMC a little bit. I guess I'm noob at XBMC but I'm generally pretty good at this stuff. I think I'm going to give this a shot !

XBMC seems more wife friendly.

Again thanks !!!

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post #22 of 45 Old 01-20-2013, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I just bought 3 Linksys Media Center extenders for $150 shipped. Can't get cheaper than that.

Where did you buy ?

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post #23 of 45 Old 01-20-2013, 02:33 PM
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That is four year old technology...

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post #24 of 45 Old 01-21-2013, 06:59 AM - Thread Starter
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W
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That is four year old technology...

What is ?

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post #25 of 45 Old 01-21-2013, 09:30 AM
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The linksys extenders. They are out of production and no longer supported by linksys. You're on your own with them. The echo may cost more but is in current development right now. I have one and it is working well for DVR duties finally but there's more to go for mkv. IDK when, but it will be bootable to android ICS some time in the future according to ceton. I'm not sure what that will bring but the options are more or less limitless with that so long as a user interface with a remote can be made to work.

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post #26 of 45 Old 01-21-2013, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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For more than $50 I'd just build a cheap pc though...

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post #27 of 45 Old 01-21-2013, 12:38 PM
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Okay. A couple issues with that. It doesn't provide the whole house DVR solution and you cannot play protected content across platforms. It would cost a lot more than the $160 I paid for the echo to build a PC of that size for use in my kitchen. This thing is small enough to Velcro to the back of my 19 TV in there.

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post #28 of 45 Old 01-21-2013, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't have any protected content to worry about. I just want to playback my media on another TV in the basement. It's LCD mounted for treadmill. A USB stick XBMC machine or even a window 7 machine would be fine but I'm looking at costs.


I don't do protected content. I record that on the DVRs.

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post #29 of 45 Old 01-21-2013, 02:54 PM
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post #30 of 45 Old 01-21-2013, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I don't have any protected content to worry about. I just want to playback my media on another TV in the basement. It's LCD mounted for treadmill. A USB stick XBMC machine or even a window 7 machine would be fine but I'm looking at costs.


I don't do protected content. I record that on the DVRs.

This Foxconn NT A3700 with a $16 stick of RAM, a usb stick and OpenELEC works mighty well in my living room. At $154, the price is right too. Comes with VGA mount for the back of the TV.
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