How do you guys have your HTPC's set up to where you no longer need to use it outside of a remote - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 06-19-2013, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
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I built a HTPC and I want it to sit in a corner and never mess with it again. I have another computer in another room, what I've been doing is ripping movies and then using an external hard drive to transfer them to my HTPC but this is so archaic and dumb. Totally defeats the purpose. How do you guys have your HTPC's set up ?
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post #2 of 17 Old 06-19-2013, 07:25 PM
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Media server in bedroom which connects to a gigabit switch. Luckily the living room is right next door so I ran a Ethernet cable through the wall which connects to another switch. My htpc is an Intel NUC so I have it hanging on the wall behind the TV. All movies are streamed to the htpc from the server.
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post #3 of 17 Old 06-19-2013, 07:32 PM
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My HTPC is in a fan ventilated enclosed cabinet that looks like a piece of any other furniture as the doors are solid. You cannot even see it. I don't remember the last time I even looked at it. It is connected to my gig network which includes about 15 TB of ripped movies, most of them Blu-ray, and an HDHR Prime CableCARD tuner. Most all maintenence is done via concurent RDP session from the PC in my office where I do the ripping as well.

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post #4 of 17 Old 06-20-2013, 09:46 AM
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My HTPC sits in the media cabinet along with the receiver and other electronics. The case has a clean black face with the only thing breaking the smooth front being the IR receiver port - therefore it just looks like another peice of electronic equipment. All interactions are done with a remote control.

The HTPC is connected to the network and accesses the movie collection stored on a NAS. I also use a different PC to rip movies, and then I move them to the NAS.

If you are using local storage on the HTPC you should just share the media folder on the HTPC and copy your rips from your other PC. If the HTPC is not on your home network, well get it on the network smile.gif
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post #5 of 17 Old 06-20-2013, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user4avsforum View Post

My HTPC sits in the media cabinet along with the receiver and other electronics. The case has a clean black face with the only thing breaking the smooth front being the IR receiver port - therefore it just looks like another peice of electronic equipment. All interactions are done with a remote control.

The HTPC is connected to the network and accesses the movie collection stored on a NAS. I also use a different PC to rip movies, and then I move them to the NAS.

If you are using local storage on the HTPC you should just share the media folder on the HTPC and copy your rips from your other PC. If the HTPC is not on your home network, well get it on the network smile.gif

Exactly.

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post #6 of 17 Old 06-21-2013, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamAgain2 View Post

... I've been doing is ripping movies and then using an external hard drive to transfer them to my HTPC...
Quote:
Originally Posted by user4avsforum View Post

... If you are using local storage on the HTPC you should just share the media folder on the HTPC and copy your rips from your other PC. If the HTPC is not on your home network, well get it on the network smile.gif

This is on point. I don't use my HTPC for local storage, but it's the same concept. Just share your drive on the network. If windows, add it to your shared libraries. Then when you're done ripping your movie, just move it to the appropriate drive and directory. It'll take a little longer to do the transfer. Personally, my movies are stored on the PC I do the rips; actually on external drives connected to the machine. Then I just map my libraries for the HTPC to those external drives.
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post #7 of 17 Old 06-22-2013, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovekeiiy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamAgain2 View Post

... I've been doing is ripping movies and then using an external hard drive to transfer them to my HTPC...
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Originally Posted by user4avsforum View Post

how-do-you-guys-have-your-htpcs-set-up-to-where-you-no-longer-need-to-use-it-outside-of-a-remote#post_23449238"... If you are using local storage on the HTPC you should just share the media folder on the HTPC and copy your rips from your other PC. If the HTPC is not on your home network, well get it on the network smile.gif

This is on point. I don't use my HTPC for local storage, but it's the same concept. Just share your drive on the network. If windows, add it to your shared libraries. Then when you're done ripping your movie, just move it to the appropriate drive and directory. It'll take a little longer to do the transfer. Personally, my movies are stored on the PC I do the rips; actually on external drives connected to the machine. Then I just map my libraries for the HTPC to those external drives.

I have a hybrid of this as I have 4TB on the HTPC too. All my drives are mapped network drives with drive root sharing. At one point I ripped to the drives on the HTPC but they are basically full. using makeMKV, I would just rip them straight to those drives. It was a little slower but not noticeably so.

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post #8 of 17 Old 06-22-2013, 01:47 PM
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I have a media server running WHS 2011 with a InfiniTV 4 CableCARD shared over the network. The HTPC's are always in sleep, but I can wake them up with my MCE remote. The HTPC's auto boot WMC upon awakening, then they have full access to HD cable, 1500 of my HDDVD and Blu-ray rips, 65 different TV series, over 100 3D Blu-ray movies, the latest HD movie trailers, about every pre-1999 emulator game, etc. It is all done within WMC, MediaBrowser, and Hyperspin. I never have to touch a keyboard or mouse. Plus, the HTPC's are all rackmounted in a separate room and I just ran HDMI over CAT6 (for audio/video) and USB over CAT6 (for IR remote and game joysticks) to the HDTV's. If for some reason I need to log into the HTPC's to perform deeper maintenance, I just use remote desktop from another computer on the network.
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post #9 of 17 Old 06-22-2013, 02:21 PM
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I think the fastest way to get to appliance status is to buy assassin's guides for $25 for the HTPC and server guides, respectively. You can also take a look at MINDBOMB's guide as well as renethx's excellent resources.

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post #10 of 17 Old 06-22-2013, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

... I would just rip them straight to those drives. It was a little slower but not noticeably so.

I would do this or similar. I just do my rips on my office PC. The external HDDs are connected to it. It's the PC that's on 24/7. Plus, I do the two rip process--MakeMKV, then Handbrake. Since my eyes are not able to see every fine detail like some, the video quality isn't diminished enough to be significant and I could use the space savings. I also do the DVR/PVR on the office machine.

A lot of items are done on the office PC because it's wired to the network. The HTPC is connected wirelessly. It's works well, but some items, such as PVRing, it shows here and there.
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post #11 of 17 Old 06-23-2013, 05:01 AM
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I try to keep the HTPC drive as uncluttered as possible. I basically have a 128GB SSD for the OS and apps and a 1.5TB drive for miscellaneous file storage and recordings. All of my movies and miscellaneous videos are stored on an unRAID server so they can be shared with other PCs. I do all of the ripping to mkvs on my main PC and then transfer them to the server.
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post #12 of 17 Old 06-23-2013, 06:59 AM
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I try to keep the HTPC drive as uncluttered as possible. I basically have a 128GB SSD for the OS and apps and a 1.5TB drive for miscellaneous file storage and recordings. All of my movies and miscellaneous videos are stored on an unRAID server so they can be shared with other PCs. I do all of the ripping to mkvs on my main PC and then transfer them to the server.

I can see that but I have 2-2TB drives for rips and another 1TB drive for PVR duty in my HTPC. I don't use raid which may not be a good thing but then I'd also have to purchase parity drives too.

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post #13 of 17 Old 06-23-2013, 07:12 AM
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You can actually set up unRAID or FlexRAID without a parity drive, but you lose any protection they would offer against data loss. Then again, just having your rips on a couple of 2TB drives offers zero protection unless you've got them backed up somewhere. You could always put together a server with just a couple of drives initially and then add more drives and a parity drive as your budget permits. UnRAID offers a basic package for free to use three drives and I'm pretty sure FlexRAID has a trial version as well. That's pretty much how I put my server together over the past five years or so and now I'm up to 20 drives with currently about 28TB of storage and plenty of room for expansion.

I've got three TVs with HTPCs attached and several desktops and laptops scattered about the house that have access to the server. While I don't generally watch videos on a desktop monitor, the wife likes to be able to access all of our home movies that I transferred to the server a while back. I also use the server to transfer files between PCs that don't have drives set up for sharing.
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post #14 of 17 Old 06-23-2013, 07:44 AM
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I'm not that anal about losing rips on a drive though. If it happens, it happens. Most of my rips I never watch anyhow! That is why I quit buying drives a year ago.

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post #15 of 17 Old 06-23-2013, 11:18 AM
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I'm more like the OP, but using KISS for the lazy and cheap in my case. I'm replacing my original WDTV box with a 3 year old SU7300 laptop. I can stream to the internal drive during off peak time but end up just rotating a portable drive, two, for music and video. My hats off to some of the other users set ups who are using much better ideas for the OP.
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post #16 of 17 Old 06-23-2013, 11:59 AM
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Having a wired network is about as simple as it gets. Sit down. Hit the remote and pick what you want to play.

No fussing with plugging in an external drive. If I were to do that I'd just plug a Blu-ray into my BD-P2500.

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post #17 of 17 Old 06-24-2013, 10:58 AM
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The plugging and unplugging of drives gets old fast. Setting a drive share is not that hard. You'll spend more time looking for the location to set up the share drive than actually making the changes to it. Windows makes it really easy. Not that it was that hard in the old days, but did take more networking knowledge and a lot more steps to get everything setup Thus, in the end, you end up doing more work keeping the KISS system spoken of earlier.
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