Design me a HTPC below $300 to do what I need. - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 60 Old 09-07-2013, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Skylark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 15
I want to build a HTPC for our bedroom. The primary goal is to play avi and ripped DVDs from an external hard drive that's connected to my Win7 PC in the living room, using a remote control. Being able to play videos from the internet will be welcome but would just be a bonus (we have fiber optic cable).

The HDTV set will be used for all video and sound. There will not be another monitor or computer speakers attached to the HTPC. I will need a wireless keyboard and wireless mouse (for my use). I've ordered a Sanoxy MCE remote control for my wife's use (mainly to use with the laptop described below but could be used for the new HTPC).

I just need a single spinner hard drive, no SSD required. Do you guys install an optical drive in your HTPCs?

My setup is:
External USB2 HDD > Win7 i5 PC > Belkin F5D8233-4V3 router >....... wireless or wired ...... > Bedroom HTPC > HDMI > HDTV set.
(Distance from the router to the bedroom HTPC as the crow flies is about 40 feet.)

I currently use a Dell Studio 1537 laptop in the bedroom via wireless to play avi and ripped DVDs per the "setup" above. Wireless signal strength is strong but video playback pauses occasionally. I think that's because after I upgraded the laptop from Vista to Win8, it seems that the wireless speed is slower. Unfortunately, I never tested this setup before when the laptop was running the Dell installed Vista. If wireless will be able to play the avi and DVD videos smoothly, then that's great. If not, I can run a 100 foot cat5e cable from the router in the living room to the bedroom. ..... I'm connecting from the laptop to the Win7 PC using Windows "Home Group".

I have an old Dell Optiplex GX260 that I could strip out the old parts from. The GX260 case is 4-1/4" wide, 15" tall and 16-1/2" deep.

The space in the bedroom is very limited so I need a 4" wide vertical case which is why I'm planning to gut the Optiplex case instead of using a typical 8" wide tower case. I have a new Antec Earthwatts 500w ATX power supply that I could use (my spare psu) and I can make it fit in the Optiplex case.

Can I run the HTPC you design with a free OS and still connect to the Win7 "Home Group"? If not, I'm willing to buy Windows 8 and install the free Classic Shell.

Thanks,
Skylark

PS: I was thinking of buying a Dell Inspiron 660s i3 PC but just learned today from a chat with a Dell tech that it does not support audio via its HDMI port.
Skylark is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 60 Old 09-07-2013, 02:40 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Mfusick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Western MA
Posts: 22,840
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 166 Post(s)
Liked: 827
Asrock mobo
G1610 CPU
4gb ddr3

Reuse your case and PSU

Total cost $130. Buy windows 7 pro key for $49 and burn an ISO

-

"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
Mfusick is offline  
post #3 of 60 Old 09-07-2013, 06:42 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Skylark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Asrock mobo
G1610 CPU
4gb ddr3

Reuse your case and PSU

Total cost $130. Buy windows 7 pro key for $49 and burn an ISO

I was reading customer reviews on amazon for the G1610 CPU. One review says:

"This processor is perfect if you are considering a build with a dedicated gpu. If you arent getting one & you are using a 1080p monitor, then I would recommend getting a Core i3 over this Celeron, as the integrated gfx here is the only downfall of this processor. At 1080p it plays choppy Youtube videos. "

I do want to be able to play 1080p videos perfectly smoothly. Do I need to buy an i3 CPU instead?

Thanks,
Skylark
Skylark is offline  
post #4 of 60 Old 09-07-2013, 06:45 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 Skylark View Post

I was reading customer reviews on amazon for the G1610 CPU. One review says:

"This processor is perfect if you are considering a build with a dedicated gpu. If you arent getting one & you are using a 1080p monitor, then I would recommend getting a Core i3 over this Celeron, as the integrated gfx here is the only downfall of this processor. At 1080p it plays choppy Youtube videos. "

I do want to be able to play 1080p videos perfectly smoothly. Do I need to buy an i3 CPU instead?

Thanks,
Skylark

No. The reviewer is incorrect.


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 #5 of 60 Old 09-07-2013, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Skylark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

No. The reviewer is incorrect.

Thanks much for the confirmation. Continuing with my search for parts.
Skylark
Skylark is offline  
post #6 of 60 Old 09-07-2013, 08:20 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Skylark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Buy windows 7 pro key for $49 and burn an ISO

I've been searching for "Windows 7 pro key" and "Windows 7 $49" and can't find the deal. Could you provide more info please?

Thanks,
Skylark
Skylark is offline  
post #7 of 60 Old 09-08-2013, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Skylark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 15
While doing more research, I learned about the Pentium G3220 CPU and I'm thinking about using it for our bedroom HTPC. Here's the configuration I came up with so far:

1. Intel Pentium G3220 CPU ($79.99)
2. ASRock B85M-ITX LGA 1150, Mini ITX motherboard ($69.99)
3. Crucial 4GB Kit (2GBx2) DDR3 1333 MT/s (PC3-10600) CL9 Non-ECC, Unbuffered, 240 pin RAM ($35.62)
4. Hard Drive: A used one I have
5. Windows 8 Pro Upgrade ($77.99 on amazon) (I have an unsed copy of WinXP)
6. Wireless keyboard and mouse not sure which one yet (estimate $30)
7. Case: Try to use old Dell Optiplex GX260 plus a spare power supply I already have. If unsuccessful buy a 4" wide case.

Total cost: $295.59

8. Case (If item-7 unsuccessful): APEX DM-387 Black Steel Micro ATX Media Center / Slim HTPC with 275 watt pwr supply. ($41.99)

Total cost with case: $337.58

I plan to use a Samsung HDTV set via HDMI for video and sound. No other monitor or speakers. See any problems or improvements for this configuration?
Skylark is offline  
post #8 of 60 Old 09-08-2013, 07:45 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Mfusick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Western MA
Posts: 22,840
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 166 Post(s)
Liked: 827
That's good ! ^

-

"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
Mfusick is offline  
post #9 of 60 Old 09-08-2013, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Skylark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

That's good ! ^

Hi Mfusick,

Thanks for confirming my G3220 HTPC configuration.

Regarding the power supply, I just watched a Haswell Buyers Guide video on youtube. The guy said that Haswell CPUs require a Haswell certified power supply that can supply power at extra low levels. The spare power supply I have (Antec Earthwatts 500W) is not certified for Haswell. So I might have to buy a power supply.
.

On another note, I configured a Celeron G1610 system as follows:

1. ASRock DDR3 1333 Intel - LGA 1155 Motherboards (B75M-ITX) ($89.99)
2. Intel Celeron G1610 2.60GHz LGA 1155 Processor BX80637G1610 ($46.74)
3. Kingston Technology HyperX LoVo 4 GB Kit (2x2GB Modules) 4 Dual Channel Kit 1600 (PC3 12800) 240-Pin DDR3 ($46.74)
4. Hard Drive: Used one I have.
5. Windows 8 Pro Upgrade ($77.99 on amazon) (I have an unsed copy of WinXP)
6. Wireless keyboard and mouse not sure which one yet (estimate $30)
7. Case: Try to use old Dell Optiplex GX260 plus a spare power supply I already have.

Total cost without case: $289.71
(The total cost of the Pentium G3220 config above is $295.59 but I'll probably have to buy a Haswell certified power supply.)

In your opinion, would you up the cost of my G3220 config with a Haswell certified power supply or go with a Celeron G1610 config using the power supply I already have?
.

One other thing. Renethx if you're lurking:
I read one of your posts (post #892 of Cheapest ever HTPC that's decent) where you said:

"I am still worry about DDR3-1333 support of G3220 if you are interested in madVR DXVA2. Celeron G1610 (IVB GPU GT1) required DDR3-1600 to play 1080i60 under madVR DXVA2. I suspect the same is true with Haswell GPU GT1. If you are not interested in madVR, you can safely ignore it."

Here you mention using DDR3-1600 with the G1610 which is why I used the 1600 ram in item-3 above. But Intel's G1610 page says it uses DDR3-1333 ram. Could you clear my confusion please?

Thanks.
Skylark
Skylark is offline  
post #10 of 60 Old 09-08-2013, 10:36 PM
AVS Club Gold
 
renethx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 16,191
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 209 Post(s)
Liked: 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark View Post

Regarding the power supply, I just watched a Haswell Buyers Guide video on youtube. The guy said that Haswell CPUs require a Haswell certified power supply that can supply power at extra low levels. The spare power supply I have (Antec Earthwatts 500W) is not certified for Haswell. So I might have to buy a power supply.

....

One other thing. Renethx if you're lurking:
I read one of your posts (post #892 of Cheapest ever HTPC that's decent) where you said:

"I am still worry about DDR3-1333 support of G3220 if you are interested in madVR DXVA2. Celeron G1610 (IVB GPU GT1) required DDR3-1600 to play 1080i60 under madVR DXVA2. I suspect the same is true with Haswell GPU GT1. If you are not interested in madVR, you can safely ignore it."

Here you mention using DDR3-1600 with the G1610 which is why I used the 1600 ram in item-3 above. But Intel's G1610 page says it uses DDR3-1333 ram. Could you clear my confusion please?

You don't have to worry about PSU. Just disable C6/C7 state in BIOS and any PSU will work fine with Haswell (afaik C6/C7 state is disabled by default in most motherboards). Difference? These states will save a few watts at idle, that will result in a few dollar electricity saving per year (not really worth bothering to me).

Pentium / Celeron Haswell's GPU is GT1 with 10 EUs, while GT1 (as in Celeron G1610) in Ivy Bridge has only 6 EUs. As a consequence madVR DXVA2 upscaling works fine with Pentium / Celeron Haswell + DDR3-1333 (I actually confirmed with Pentium Haswell). Pentium G3220 is highly recommended if you don't need 3D, otherwise go with AMD A6-6400K.

BTW to use DDR3-1600, you will need either

1. Pentium G3420 or higher, or
2. A Z87 chipset mb (supporting DDR3-2400 or higher with any Haswell CPU).

-
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.
renethx is offline  
post #11 of 60 Old 09-09-2013, 12:52 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Skylark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

You don't have to worry about PSU. Just disable C6/C7 state in BIOS and any PSU will work fine with Haswell (afaik C6/C7 state is disabled by default in most motherboards). Difference? These states will save a few watts at idle, that will result in a few dollar electricity saving per year (not really worth bothering to me).

Pentium / Celeron Haswell's GPU is GT1 with 10 EUs, while GT1 (as in Celeron G1610) in Ivy Bridge has only 6 EUs. As a consequence madVR DXVA2 upscaling works fine with Pentium / Celeron Haswell + DDR3-1333 (I actually confirmed with Pentium Haswell). Pentium G3220 is highly recommended if you don't need 3D, otherwise go with AMD A6-6400K.

BTW to use DDR3-1600, you will need either

1. Pentium G3420 or higher, or
2. A Z87 chipset mb (supporting DDR3-2400 or higher with any Haswell CPU).

Hey, thanks a lot Renethx. Disabling C6/C7 is a good thing to know. In addition, I was thinking that as long as the spinner hard drive is set to never sleep, that power draw should overcome the Haswell deep sleep mode even if it was enabled, and allow a standard power supply to work.

Thanks for sharing your confirmation with Pentium Haswell regarding the DDR3-1333 with all of us. Plus the DDR-1600 info too.

In your opinion, is the ASRock B85M-ITX LGA 1150, Mini ITX motherboard I selected a good one or do you recommend a better one for a G3220 CPU? I need a mini-ITX or smaller mobo. I will only use the HDMI port to a HDTV set for video and audio.

Thanks,
Skylark
Skylark is offline  
post #12 of 60 Old 09-09-2013, 01:11 AM
AVS Club Gold
 
renethx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 16,191
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 209 Post(s)
Liked: 372
B85M-ITX is a good choice. Another option is H81M-ITX (~$10 cheaper). The differences are: 1. PCIe 2.0 x16 vs PCI3 3.0 x16; 2. 2 x SATA6 Gbps vs 4 x SATA 6Gbps; 3. 0 internal USB 3.0 connector. vs 1.

GIGABYTE announced four Hawswell-based BRIX (29.9 x 107.6 x 114.4 mm). Among them GB-BXi3-4010 is a good buy. Core i3-4010U 1.7GHz 2C/4T is fast enough to decode even MVC (BR 3D codec) by brute force. (Of course the integrated graphics Intel HD Graphics 4400 can decode MVC.)

-
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.
renethx is offline  
post #13 of 60 Old 09-09-2013, 03:52 AM
Advanced Member
 
adam1991's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 761
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked: 27
Why a whole Windows PC just to do what you've said?

Why not something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Streaming-Media-Player-Wi-Fi-1080p/dp/B005KOZNBW
adam1991 is offline  
post #14 of 60 Old 09-09-2013, 05:22 AM
Advanced Member
 
tman247's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 865
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 29
Careful with the Optiplex GX260 case; it's very 'plasticky' and doesn't have much expansion potential. You should also know that Dell do not use standard form-factor motherboards, and the power connectors from the PSU's are not industry standard either. If you want to fit a standard mATX motherboard, you'll probably struggle. Might be easier to get yourself a cheap 'standard' case.
tman247 is online now  
post #15 of 60 Old 09-09-2013, 06:40 AM
AVS Special Member
 
bryansj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 6,291
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 47 Post(s)
Liked: 178
For keyboard and mouse you might consider the Logitech K400 which is $25 on Amazon. Not sure about the range you require, but that would be the same issue with pretty much any RF keyboard and mouse.

bryansj is offline  
post #16 of 60 Old 09-09-2013, 06:41 AM
AVS Special Member
 
StardogChampion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Posts: 3,010
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Liked: 125
Looking at Haswell mini-ITX motherboard specs, the ASUS H81I-PLUS looks like a winner. It's the least expensive one I've found with 2 x USB2 headers which is great if your case has front USB2 ports and you want to install an internal USB IR receiver as well. On paper, Pentium G3320 + H81I-PLUS is looking like the new champ of 2D HTPC mobo/CPU combos. I am going to grab one soon and see how it works out in my mini-ITX cases.

 

 

StardogChampion is offline  
post #17 of 60 Old 09-09-2013, 07:10 AM
AVS Club Gold
 
renethx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 16,191
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 209 Post(s)
Liked: 372
I wish optical S/PDIF is not omitted.

-
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.
renethx is offline  
post #18 of 60 Old 09-09-2013, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Skylark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

B85M-ITX is a good choice. Another option is H81M-ITX (~$10 cheaper). The differences are: 1. PCIe 2.0 x16 vs PCI3 3.0 x16; 2. 2 x SATA6 Gbps vs 4 x SATA 6Gbps; 3. 0 internal USB 3.0 connector. vs 1.

GIGABYTE announced four Hawswell-based BRIX (29.9 x 107.6 x 114.4 mm). Among them GB-BXi3-4010 is a good buy. Core i3-4010U 1.7GHz 2C/4T is fast enough to decode even MVC (BR 3D codec) by brute force. (Of course the integrated graphics Intel HD Graphics 4400 can decode MVC.)

Thanks for confirming the B85M-ITX. I'll go with that mobo. The BRIX is interesting.
Skylark
Skylark is offline  
post #19 of 60 Old 09-09-2013, 12:40 PM
AVS Special Member
 
StardogChampion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Posts: 3,010
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Liked: 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

I wish optical S/PDIF is not omitted.

Right, you have to go H87I-PLUS for that.

The issue with ASRock leaving off the CIR and only have 1 x USB2 header is any case with USB2.0 front panel now has nowhere to plug an internal IR receiver into an ASRock mini-ITX motherboard. It's frustrating because ASRock used to have it all: 1 x USB2, I x USB3, CIR, eSATA and Optical.

 

 

StardogChampion is offline  
post #20 of 60 Old 09-09-2013, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Skylark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post

Why a whole Windows PC just to do what you've said?

Why not something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Streaming-Media-Player-Wi-Fi-1080p/dp/B005KOZNBW

My previous research indicated that streaming media players seem to all have some restrictions on streaming every video container, especially with subtitles.

But your post gave me an idea. I have a friend that received a WD streaming media player a year or two ago as a gift. She doesn't use it now so I'll ask her if I can borrow it and see if it can access the hard drive on my tower PC and play all of the videos with subtitles. My laptop can do it so I know the subtitles work.

Will post results,
Skylark
Skylark is offline  
post #21 of 60 Old 09-09-2013, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Skylark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tman247 View Post

Careful with the Optiplex GX260 case; it's very 'plasticky' and doesn't have much expansion potential. You should also know that Dell do not use standard form-factor motherboards, and the power connectors from the PSU's are not industry standard either. If you want to fit a standard mATX motherboard, you'll probably struggle. Might be easier to get yourself a cheap 'standard' case.

Yes, you're right. It will take some work to adapt the GX260 case. That's one reason why I need a mini-ITX mobo so it will fit with enough room for an ATX power suppy. I may have to cut a hole in the side where the CPU fan is and mount a grill over the hole if I determine that the airflow without it is not sufficient. I do have a grill that I removed from a dead power supply. Then again, I just might toss this idea and buy an Inwin BP mini-ITX case for about $50.

I'm retired though so I do have time to tinker ... wink.gif.
Thanks,
Skylark
Skylark is offline  
post #22 of 60 Old 09-09-2013, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Skylark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

For keyboard and mouse you might consider the Logitech K400 which is $25 on Amazon. Not sure about the range you require, but that would be the same issue with pretty much any RF keyboard and mouse.

I've had my eye on that keyboard with touchpad. Just not sure how well the touchpad works though.
For folks who have one, how do you like the operation of the K400's touchpad?

Thanks,
Skylark
Skylark is offline  
post #23 of 60 Old 09-09-2013, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Skylark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

Looking at Haswell mini-ITX motherboard specs, the ASUS H81I-PLUS looks like a winner. It's the least expensive one I've found with 2 x USB2 headers which is great if your case has front USB2 ports and you want to install an internal USB IR receiver as well. On paper, Pentium G3320 + H81I-PLUS is looking like the new champ of 2D HTPC mobo/CPU combos. I am going to grab one soon and see how it works out in my mini-ITX cases.

Not sure if your post was for me or someone else. How does one enable "threaded" mode to see who's responding to who?

In any case, thanks for the heads up on the Asus H811-PLUS mobo. The ASROCK B85M-ITX mobo has one USB2 header (supports two USB2 ports) and one USB3 header (supports two USB3 ports) according to newegg.

Thanks,
Skylark
Skylark is offline  
post #24 of 60 Old 09-09-2013, 06:02 PM
AVS Special Member
 
bryansj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 6,291
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 47 Post(s)
Liked: 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark View Post

I've had my eye on that keyboard with touchpad. Just not sure how well the touchpad works though.
For folks who have one, how do you like the operation of the K400's touchpad?

Thanks,
Skylark

Got my K400 today. It works from at least 15' away with the receiver located on the back of my HTPC. It works better than my old Dinovo Keyboard for Notebooks that started losing key presses. Not bad for $25. The touchpad works as well as expected. There is a extra left mouse click button on the upper left for your thumb or you can do the typical tap and double tap on the pad. Two-finger scrolling works too.

bryansj is offline  
post #25 of 60 Old 09-09-2013, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Skylark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

Got my K400 today. It works from at least 15' away with the receiver located on the back of my HTPC. It works better than my old Dinovo Keyboard for Notebooks that started losing key presses. Not bad for $25. The touchpad works as well as expected. There is a extra left mouse click button on the upper left for your thumb or you can do the typical tap and double tap on the pad. Two-finger scrolling works too.

Thanks for that info. I'm going to order a K400 unless subsequent posts advise against it before I pull the trigger on my HTPC build in a week or so.
Sky
Skylark is offline  
post #26 of 60 Old 09-09-2013, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Skylark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark View Post

My previous research indicated that streaming media players seem to all have some restrictions on streaming every video container, especially with subtitles.

But your post gave me an idea. I have a friend that received a WD streaming media player a year or two ago as a gift. She doesn't use it now so I'll ask her if I can borrow it and see if it can access the hard drive on my tower PC and play all of the videos with subtitles. My laptop can do it so I know the subtitles work.

Will post results,
Skylark

After reading all of the questions and answers on amazon for the linked to "WD TV Live Streaming Media Player Wi-Fi 1080p, model number WDBHG70000NBK-HESN", I learned that it can't play videos from a playlist. This is crucial for my wife since she wants me to set up VLC with a playlist (like a bunch of .avi files) and just have multiple episodes of her Korean Dramas play one after the other. She's not a computer person so is only willing to use a remote control as a VCR control and to go to the next episode.

In addition, although the description for the WDBHG70000NBK-HESN says it can play flv files, a knowledgeable user in another forum said that his unit won't play flv files.

Then there are some other things that it can't do. So I'm going to drop this idea and continue on with my HTPC build.

Thanks for the idea though,
Skylark
Skylark is offline  
post #27 of 60 Old 09-09-2013, 07:34 PM
Member
 
Casper42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Simi Valley, CA
Posts: 93
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Just in case you are not already aware, Home Groups are not the only method to sharing files via Windows at home.
I simply create 4 user accounts on the "server" with a password for each user in my house. Myself, wife and 2 kids.
Each person gets their own password as well. Doesn't have to be rocket science. My daughter's login is her first name, her password is her middle name. My son has the same concept.
Then each person's machine has their own account using the same login name as they have on the server (and mine for easy remote access) with the exact same password(s).
Because the passwords match, you can easily get into shares on the remote machine without bring prompted.
This enables workgroup type file sharing very easily and has been around since at least NT 4.0, maybe longer.

Now you can use folder/file permissions on the server to lock your kids (and wife?) out of your porn or Rated R movies or whatnot as well.
When you setup Sharing, turn off Simple Sharing and use the so-called Advanced mode.
Read = Read Only
Change = Read, Add, Delete, Move (basically anything normal)
Full control = Change + the ability to remotely modify permissions and ownership. You are likely the only one in your house who needs this and even then, you could walk to the other room and tweak the permissions if need be, so Change might be adequate.

Now the side effect under Windows 7 at least (I haven't got 8 anywhere yet) is when you boot up, you have to enter a password to get in.
If you are OK with that, you are done.
If that's a hassle, and for my 3 and 5 year olds, it is. Then you simply turn off the requirement of needing a password by telling Windows to AutoLogon as the user who owns that machine.
Press WIN+R to bring up the "Run" box.
Type in the following and click OK: control userpasswords2
One of the options on that screen will say something like, Require a password to logon.
Click first on the User Account you want to default to, and then uncheck that box.
You will be prompted to enter the password twice, and upon doing so, the password will be encrypted and then stored in the Registry and AutoLogon will be enabled against that user account.
Click OK a few times to make sure it sticks
Reboot and watch as it logs right in as that User.
2 other things you might want to disable. The Screen Saver and Power Management (wake from sleep) will both be set to require a password upon wake. You can simply uncheck those 2 respective boxes and the machine goes back to behaving as if you had no password at all.

Doing it this way also means that non Windows machines can get in as long as they speak SMB.
ES File Explorer, an Android App I use a lot, has a Network feature where I can Add my home Server in and I give it my user and password for the server, and then I can copy files to and from my Windows based server all day long. I've found that for lower bitrate movies, I don't even have to copy them local. I can launch them from the server via ES and the Media Player app (I use Mobo) will effectively stream them over the network. My gut feeling based on limited testing is my tablet's wireless is faster than the NAND is anyway, so theoretically i can probably stream everything thats playable.

I would assume that most flavors of Linux could be setup in a similar fashion as all newer distros speak SMB.

Win7 Media Center
Gigabyte DQ6 / C2D 6600 / 2GB XMS2
MSI GF7600GT Diamond Plus / Silverstone LC16M
SSD Boot / 4 x 1.5TB RAID 5

Beware of
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Casper42 is offline  
post #28 of 60 Old 09-09-2013, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Skylark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Casper42 View Post

Just in case you are not already aware, Home Groups are not the only method to sharing files via Windows at home.
I simply create 4 user accounts on the "server" with a password for each user in my house. Myself, wife and 2 kids.
Each person gets their own password as well. Doesn't have to be rocket science. My daughter's login is her first name, her password is her middle name. My son has the same concept.
Then each person's machine has their own account using the same login name as they have on the server (and mine for easy remote access) with the exact same password(s).
Because the passwords match, you can easily get into shares on the remote machine without bring prompted.
This enables workgroup type file sharing very easily and has been around since at least NT 4.0, maybe longer.

Now you can use folder/file permissions on the server to lock your kids (and wife?) out of your porn or Rated R movies or whatnot as well.
When you setup Sharing, turn off Simple Sharing and use the so-called Advanced mode.
Read = Read Only
Change = Read, Add, Delete, Move (basically anything normal)
Full control = Change + the ability to remotely modify permissions and ownership. You are likely the only one in your house who needs this and even then, you could walk to the other room and tweak the permissions if need be, so Change might be adequate.

Now the side effect under Windows 7 at least (I haven't got 8 anywhere yet) is when you boot up, you have to enter a password to get in.
If you are OK with that, you are done.
If that's a hassle, and for my 3 and 5 year olds, it is. Then you simply turn off the requirement of needing a password by telling Windows to AutoLogon as the user who owns that machine.
Press WIN+R to bring up the "Run" box.
Type in the following and click OK: control userpasswords2
One of the options on that screen will say something like, Require a password to logon.
Click first on the User Account you want to default to, and then uncheck that box.
You will be prompted to enter the password twice, and upon doing so, the password will be encrypted and then stored in the Registry and AutoLogon will be enabled against that user account.
Click OK a few times to make sure it sticks
Reboot and watch as it logs right in as that User.
2 other things you might want to disable. The Screen Saver and Power Management (wake from sleep) will both be set to require a password upon wake. You can simply uncheck those 2 respective boxes and the machine goes back to behaving as if you had no password at all.

Doing it this way also means that non Windows machines can get in as long as they speak SMB.
ES File Explorer, an Android App I use a lot, has a Network feature where I can Add my home Server in and I give it my user and password for the server, and then I can copy files to and from my Windows based server all day long. I've found that for lower bitrate movies, I don't even have to copy them local. I can launch them from the server via ES and the Media Player app (I use Mobo) will effectively stream them over the network. My gut feeling based on limited testing is my tablet's wireless is faster than the NAND is anyway, so theoretically i can probably stream everything thats playable.

I would assume that most flavors of Linux could be setup in a similar fashion as all newer distros speak SMB.

That's some really good info. I'm sure I'll be referring back to your post when I setup my HTPC. Thanks a bunch for taking the time to key-in all of that data!
Sky
Skylark is offline  
post #29 of 60 Old 09-09-2013, 08:50 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Skylark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylark View Post

I've been searching for "Windows 7 pro key" and "Windows 7 $49" and can't find the deal. Could you provide more info please?

Hi Mfusick,

I'm about to pull the trigger on my parts purchase. Could you let me know where I can buy Win7 for $49?

Thanks,
Skylark
Skylark is offline  
post #30 of 60 Old 09-09-2013, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
Skylark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Here's my final parts list that I'm going to order.

1. Motherboard: ASRock B85M-ITX LGA 1150 Intel B85 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ..... $79.99
.… Mini ITX Intel Motherboard

2. CPU: Intel Pentium G3220 Haswell 3.0GHz LGA 1150 54W Dual-Core ..... $69.99
.... Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics BX80646G3220

3. RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 ..... $38.99
.... (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBRM

4. Hard drive: Have used 500 GB Sata drive

5. OS: Win8 Microsoft Windows 8 Pro - Upgrade from Windows XP, Windows Vista or ..... $79.99
.... Windows 7, English Professional Edition

6. Kbd & Mouse: Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 with Built-In Multi-Touch Touchpad ..... $24.99

Total cost: $293.94
(Cost could go down if I can buy Windows 7 for $49.00.)

The G.Skill ram is on the B85M-ITX list of approved ram. I'm going to try to use my old Dell Optiplex GX260 case and a new spare ATX power supply that I have. If unsuccessful, I'm going to buy an InWin BP Mini-ITX case with 200w PS for $50. I received a Sanoxy remote control that my wife can use.

Any problems with my order that anyone can see? Did I miss anything?

Thanks,
Skylark
Skylark 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