PCWorld's Article: "Build the ultimate Windows 8 home-theater PC for under $500" - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 83 Old 09-23-2013, 12:53 PM
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Build the ultimate Windows 8 home-theater PC for under $500

That's the title of the article. Windows 7 and GPUs (or other expensive not totally necessary components) need not apply.

I'd imagine the people who pay PC World to run ads want them trumping up Windows 8.

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post #62 of 83 Old 09-23-2013, 12:56 PM
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yeah I have no issue with the choice of windows 8 - it's the newest and most popular OS available today. Putting that on it - I have zero objections about. It makes sense for a myriad of reasons. (even if I still use win 7 pro x64 tongue.gif )

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post #63 of 83 Old 09-23-2013, 01:01 PM
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yeah I have no issue with the choice of windows 8 - it's the newest and most popular OS available today. Putting that on it - I have zero objections about. It makes sense for a myriad of reasons. (even if I still use win 7 pro x64 tongue.gif )

The problem with the choice of Win8 is that 1) he didn't factor in the cost of the OS; 2) he didn't factor in the cost of the WMC add-on upgrade; 3) he didn't factor in the cost of the Pro version of Win8 that allows WMC to be installed. For the reason of keeping it under $500 then he should have went with Win7.

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post #64 of 83 Old 09-23-2013, 01:03 PM
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The problem with the choice of Win8 is that 1) he didn't factor in the cost of the OS; 2) he didn't factor in the cost of the WMC add-on upgrade; 3) he didn't factor in the cost of the Pro version of Win8 that allows WMC to be installed. For the reason of keeping it under $500 then he should have went with Win7.

yeah. But that is why the author and the article suck though... that's what we are saying biggrin.gif

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post #65 of 83 Old 09-23-2013, 01:07 PM
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yeah I have no issue with the choice of windows 8 - it's the newest and most popular OS available today. Putting that on it - I have zero objections about. It makes sense for a myriad of reasons. (even if I still use win 7 pro x64 tongue.gif )

Not to get too far off track but I have been reading about how horrible the Win8 launch was and I was curious to see how it was being adopted as of late.

Looks like its still being crushed by Win7 and XP but very slowly improving. Still a fairly big disappointment for M$ though. Likely multi-factorial with the downward trend overall in desktop PC sales.



http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/09/02/windows-8-jumps-past-os-x-for-74-market-share
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post #66 of 83 Old 09-23-2013, 01:21 PM
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Well - also WINDOWS 7 has been sold for how many years? And windows 8 for how long ? I am pretty sure that when windows 8 is the age of windows 7 it should have more market share. Many people with windows 7 just are not "upgrading" or replacing their windows 7 machines just yet.

Windows 8 is a pretty poor reason all alone to purchase a new PC (or HTPC) in my opinion. I'd much more likely do it (and have) to get better hardware or performance and not just to get WIN8. Many windows 7 owners just are not ready yet. But windows 8 was different enough that many hardcore 7 users like me are hesistant to make the jump. I think if they kept the start menu and the traditional feel of 7 even if it was just a "win 7 mode" it would have increased the adoption rate.

It really is a pretty modern and high performance OS. Many windows 7 people bash on it because it's too different or they are not ready to upgrade but I don't think it's anywhere near as bad as some people say. It seems legit to me. I just hate being the early adopter because drivers and programs and such are PITA at first launch. I jumped into win7 after a year- and I am basically ready to jump into 8 anytime now but I am just not seeing a good deal on it yet. Plus I am really comfortable with my win7 and there is nothing to be gained with win8 from what I can see. Time will change things. I remember when people were still on XP when windows 7 came out.

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post #67 of 83 Old 09-23-2013, 02:14 PM
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The use of "Ultimate" really is just to get you to click on the link biggrin.gif

and cause an argument to get more press biggrin.gif

 

 

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post #68 of 83 Old 09-24-2013, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Well - also WINDOWS 7 has been sold for how many years? And windows 8 for how long ? I am pretty sure that when windows 8 is the age of windows 7 it should have more market share. Many people with windows 7 just are not "upgrading" or replacing their windows 7 machines just yet.

Windows 8 is a pretty poor reason all alone to purchase a new PC (or HTPC) in my opinion. I'd much more likely do it (and have) to get better hardware or performance and not just to get WIN8. Many windows 7 owners just are not ready yet. But windows 8 was different enough that many hardcore 7 users like me are hesistant to make the jump. I think if they kept the start menu and the traditional feel of 7 even if it was just a "win 7 mode" it would have increased the adoption rate.

It really is a pretty modern and high performance OS. Many windows 7 people bash on it because it's too different or they are not ready to upgrade but I don't think it's anywhere near as bad as some people say. It seems legit to me. I just hate being the early adopter because drivers and programs and such are PITA at first launch. I jumped into win7 after a year- and I am basically ready to jump into 8 anytime now but I am just not seeing a good deal on it yet. Plus I am really comfortable with my win7 and there is nothing to be gained with win8 from what I can see. Time will change things. I remember when people were still on XP when windows 7 came out.

I think the first reaction most Windows 7 or XP users have when trying Windows 8 is "WTF? How do I get to this or do that?" The complete overhaul in the UI has alienated a lot of desktop users and probably scared off potential customers due to it's total lack of intuitiveness. The thing about every previous Windows versions is that migrating to a new version may take a little orientation to learn the new features, but you could usually find your way around the system without too much difficulty. Windows 8 made us start over from scratch. It doesn't matter all that much how well it performs or how modern it looks if nobody can figure out how to use it. Replacing the Start button with the "Charm Bar" (dumbest name ever, BTW) was a major faux pas, IMHO. They needed to keep some familarity for current Windows users. I know there are 3rd party apps that will restore the Start button, but Microsoft should never have removed it in the first place.

With regards to Media Center, there is no difference for either OS version aside from the fact that Microsoft made every existing media extender obsolete except theirs. I thought this was a pretty cheap shot seeing as how Microsoft is dropping support for Media Center in upcoming releases. Other compatibility issues make me want to stick with Windows 7 for Media Center.

I bought a copy of Windows 8 for $40 from Staples the day it hit the stores. After using it I can honestly say I wouldn't pay more than $40 for it. Apple has been selling their OS software for a reasonable cost for quite some time. Considering Microsoft has the larger market share and almost holds a monopoly on desktop operating systems for the business community they could easily sell copies of Windows for under $50 and still make huge profits.

I'd like to see Microsoft take a step back and not try forcing a new OS on the public every few years. Most people don't switch operating systems for at least 5-6 years or even more. I tend to skip OS versions and install every other release.
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post #69 of 83 Old 09-24-2013, 08:32 AM
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With regards to Media Center, there is no difference for either OS version aside from the fact that Microsoft made every existing media extender obsolete except theirs. I thought this was a pretty cheap shot seeing as how Microsoft is dropping support for Media Center in upcoming releases. Other compatibility issues make me want to stick with Windows 7 for Media Center.

There is a huge difference in price though, HTPC users should go win7 on this alone.
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post #70 of 83 Old 09-24-2013, 09:57 AM
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Not even my 2007 Panasonic plasma has a VGA input and my old Onkyo amp had at least S/PDIF.

Our 2012 60" LG has VGA, 2010 24" Sceptre has VGA, 2009 19" RCA has VGA, 2008 24" Dynex has VGA, 2007 42" Dynex has VGA, 2000 Denon amp had analog inputs for all 5 channels, and 2012 Denon has HDMI, TosLink, SPDIF, but only stereo analog.

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 #71 of 83 Old 09-24-2013, 10:32 AM
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Our 2012 60" LG has VGA, 2010 24" Sceptre has VGA, 2009 19" RCA has VGA, 2008 24" Dynex has VGA, 2007 42" Dynex has VGA, 2000 Denon amp had analog inputs for all 5 channels, and 2012 Denon has HDMI, TosLink, SPDIF, but only stereo analog.

I am not sure what your point is as it relates to the "Ultimate HTPC" article. Do you believe having no HDMI in a modern HTPC is preferable or on par with HDMI?. Is VGA preferred? Is two cables (VGA + RCA) is better than one? What is it?

It's clearly an omission on the author's part -- an oversight. What makes you want to defend it?

 

 

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post #72 of 83 Old 09-24-2013, 10:46 AM
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There is a huge difference in price though, HTPC users should go win7 on this alone.
That all depends on when you bought Windows 8 and what you paid for it. Lots of people got in on the $15 deal with a free license for WMC when Windows 8 first came out. I bought my copy for $40 and got five free WMC license keys, which I'm told still work (I gave one away recently and was told as much).

Now, if you bought Win 8 Pro at the current retail price plus the $10 for WMC, it would depend on which version of Windows 7 you wanted to use. Newegg currently has the retail copy of Win 8 Pro upgrade for only $70 with free shipping if you have a .edu e-mail address. Otherwise, the 64-bit OEM version is $140. I've seen Home Premium for about $70 so that would probably be your best deal. I don't know if the deal offered in the bulk purchase thread is still available, but that also looks like a good discount if you can get it.
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post #73 of 83 Old 09-24-2013, 12:32 PM
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Replacing the Start button with the "Charm Bar" (dumbest name ever, BTW) was a major faux pas, IMHO. They needed to keep some familarity for current Windows users. I know there are 3rd party apps that will restore the Start button, but Microsoft should never have removed it in the first place

I agree with this for most users. It doesn't really seem to matter for an HTPC (at least the way I use one). For me it didn't make any difference at all as my main htpc/server/general computer since I haven't used the start menu since XP. I typically don't even ask programs to install a start menu shortcut (when given the choice). If I'm looking for a new program I'll use the desktop shortcut, and move that to the taskbar or delete it if I don't really use it. Everything is a taskbar shortcut for me. If it's not there, I fire up explorer (win+e) and start looking in the program files folders. Now if only they didn't have to x86 and 64 folders separately . . .

P.S. - I think you mean start screen? When you press the window key in W8 you are taken to the start screen. The charms bar is for settings and shutdown
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post #74 of 83 Old 09-24-2013, 12:46 PM
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Win8 would be super cool for HTPC if the Metro/Modern UI was remote control friendly. I'd like to give a try on a 10' interface with the new Logitech keyboard that has a trackpad (supposedly) optimized for Win 8 gestures. A Live TV metro app and a Guide metro app would be enough for me to no longer care about WMC.

 

 

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post #75 of 83 Old 09-24-2013, 02:22 PM
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Win8 would be super cool for HTPC if the Metro/Modern UI was remote control friendly

I always wonder what is meant by this statement? What part needs to be remote friendly?

For example, I mapped the "win" key and "alt+esc" to my Flirc remote's "green" and "exit" buttons. I left back mapped to "backspace"

If you use "alt+esc" to exit you are returned to your previous running app (which is always XBMC for me)

The win key lets me bring up the start screen which can be navigated through with the arrow keys

I've also always had "tab" and "alt+tab" mapped to my remote in addition to "win+1" which is where I have the XBMC shortcut on my taskbar. I strive to never use keyboards/mice with my HTPCs. I use my laptop for normal computer stuff (ripping, webui mgmt, browsing, etc)

The only place I found myself needing a keyboard for HTPC usage was Youtube, so I have yatse installed on our Nexus 7 (quasi HTPC remote and browsing device for the house). I have all youtube links set to open with "Yatse" rather than the Android browser or Youtube app. Then I just hand it to whomever is looking for a youtube video (usually visiting family/friends) with the browser open to a google video search of youtube, and I tell/show them that clicking any link opens that video on the bigscreen
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post #76 of 83 Old 09-24-2013, 02:26 PM
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I always wonder what is meant by this statement? What part needs to be remote friendly?

For example, I mapped the "win" key and "alt+esc" to my Flirc remote's "green" and "exit" buttons. I left back mapped to "backspace"

If you use "alt+esc" to exit you are returned to your previous running app (which is always XBMC for me)

The win key lets me bring up the start screen which can be navigated through with the arrow keys

I've also always had "tab" and "alt+tab" mapped to my remote in addition to "win+1" which is where I have the XBMC shortcut on my taskbar. I strive to never use keyboards/mice with my HTPCs. I use my laptop for normal computer stuff (ripping, webui mgmt, browsing, etc)

The only place I found myself needing a keyboard for HTPC usage was Youtube, so I have yatse installed on our Nexus 7 (quasi HTPC remote and browsing device for the house). I have all youtube links set to open with "Yatse" rather than the Android browser or Youtube app. Then I just hand it to whomever is looking for a youtube video (usually visiting family/friends) with the browser open to a google video search of youtube, and I tell/show them that clicking any link opens that video on the bigscreen

Being able to map a remote's buttons to keyboard shortcuts is not the same as an app/interface being remote friendly. Being remote friendly means it is completely usable with what you would find on a non-programmable MS WMC remote - everything could be done with the Up, Down, Left, Right, Enter keys - or any additional keys that would come standard on a regular WMC remote. Using a programmable remote with keyboard shortcuts is in essence the same as just using a keyboard instead of a remote - just a weird form factor keyboard.
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post #77 of 83 Old 09-24-2013, 02:45 PM
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Being able to map a remote's buttons to keyboard shortcuts is not the same as an app/interface being remote friendly. Being remote friendly means it is completely usable with what you would find on a non-programmable MS WMC remote - everything could be done with the Up, Down, Left, Right, Enter keys - or any additional keys that would come standard on a regular WMC remote. Using a programmable remote with keyboard shortcuts is in essence the same as just using a keyboard instead of a remote - just a weird form factor keyboard.

Maybe, but the mappings I mentioned aren't totally necessary for usage. They just help the remote out greatly. I consider it remote-"unfriendly" when you literally cannot complete an action without a mouse - i.e. web browsing, mediabrowser config, etc. People have been overriding standard WMC remote keys since there were standard WMC remotes
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post #78 of 83 Old 09-24-2013, 02:51 PM
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I haven't tried it but I *think* proper interaction with the Metro/Modern UI is going to require more than even a keyboard can provide -- gestures like swiping for instance. With the way it's done via a scrollbar when using the mouse it's super-awkward. I wish they'd done more like Google Maps does -- let you hold the mouse down and swipe that way instead of needing to use the scrollbar to swipe when not using touch. I thought I read the new Logitech K400 keyboard touchpad lets you swipe. Hopefully, the interactions needed for each app will gel better in the future. It seems each app has its own rules for now. There's not much consistency.

I could imagine a remote would have an accelerometer built-in that lets you swipe by swinging the remote in your hand (like you'd swing a paddle). Or, something like a Wii remote where it shows a little hand on the screen.

 

 

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post #79 of 83 Old 09-24-2013, 02:57 PM
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Maybe, but the mappings I mentioned aren't totally necessary for usage. They just help the remote out greatly. I consider it remote-"unfriendly" when you literally cannot complete an action without a mouse - i.e. web browsing, mediabrowser config, etc. People have been overriding standard WMC remote keys since there were standard WMC remotes

But the Metro interface is just not usable with only Up, Down, Left, Right + Enter - or any of the other default keys on a standard non programmable WMC keyboard is my point. Thus, that is why it is considered non-remote friendly. And if you override the default WMC keys - then it's no longer a standard WMC remote. The Average Joe, or mom and pop, are not going to - or even know how/that you can - reprogram default WMC remote keys.
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Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

I haven't tried it but I *think* proper interaction with the Metro/Modern UI is going to require more than even a keyboard can provide -- gestures like swiping for instance. With the way it's done via a scrollbar when using the mouse it's super-awkward. I wish they'd done more like Google Maps does -- let you hold the mouse down and swipe that way instead of needing to use the scrollbar to swipe when not using touch. I thought I read the new Logitech K400 keyboard touchpad lets you swipe. Hopefully, the interactions needed for each app will gel better in the future. It seems each app has its own rules for now. There's not much consistency.

I could imagine a remote would have an accelerometer built-in that lets you swipe by swinging the remote in your hand (like you'd swing a paddle). Or, something like a Wii remote where it shows a little hand on the screen.

Yeah, some Metro apps you need a mouse/trackpad or touch interface no matter what.
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post #80 of 83 Old 09-25-2013, 05:05 AM
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P.S. - I think you mean start screen? When you press the window key in W8 you are taken to the start screen. The charms bar is for settings and shutdown
It's actually the Start Menu and not a screen. The comparison between the Start button/menu and the Charm Bar is mostly for the Shutdown option. The way it's implemented in Windows 8 is seriously lame. I can never seem to find the right place to wave the mouse cursor to get the Charm Bar displayed and it makes me feel like an idiot waving the mouse around.
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post #81 of 83 Old 09-25-2013, 06:02 AM
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It's actually the Start Menu and not a screen. The comparison between the Start button/menu and the Charm Bar is mostly for the Shutdown option. The way it's implemented in Windows 8 is seriously lame. I can never seem to find the right place to wave the mouse cursor to get the Charm Bar displayed and it makes me feel like an idiot waving the mouse around.

The top or bottom right corners.

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post #82 of 83 Old 09-25-2013, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

It's actually the Start Menu and not a screen. The comparison between the Start button/menu and the Charm Bar is mostly for the Shutdown option. The way it's implemented in Windows 8 is seriously lame. I can never seem to find the right place to wave the mouse cursor to get the Charm Bar displayed and it makes me feel like an idiot waving the mouse around.

I don't think that shutdown was remote friendly before

I also rarely shutdown, but for an easy workaround you can hit "Alt+F4" (the same as exit on a WMC remote??) until all apps are closed and once more from the desktop to bring up the shutdown menu (from which arrow keys and enter work)
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post #83 of 83 Old 01-28-2014, 04:07 PM
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The comments section was hilarious

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