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post #1 of 33 Old 12-13-2013, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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It seems that most of the stickies are showing their age and others threads are either H/W based, too specific or fragmented. So I would like to propose a software themed "cheat sheet" detailing essential S/W for someone just beginning down the path of HTPC and media servers. So would anyone be so kind and break down what pieces are in your household and the software installed on each and it's purpose? Just a simple format like below would work to get started, thanks.

Here's my example scenario:

Server
Windows 8.1 - OS
Windows Media Center - DVR
FLEXRAID - drive pooling + parity
MediaBrowser3 classic (server)- Cataloging/Streaming/Transcoding
MPC-HC - External player
LAV - Audio/Video Codecs

Workstation
Win8.1 - OS
MakeMKV - Ripping media collection

HTPC
Win8.1 - OS
MediaBrowser3 classic (client) - front end GUI
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post #2 of 33 Old 12-13-2013, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spec4 View Post

It seems that most of the stickies are showing their age

This is definitely a problem in this forum but the Mods have declared no changes will be made to the stickies - so most anyone who had even a mild passion to create better or new ones has abandoned the idea of doing so.


I can think of 5 great threads that would be ideal replacements for the current stickies. Almost all of the current ones are out of date and useless.

The sad part is I think some people come into this forum and see it and get the idea that AVS is "out of date" and head over to other forums (especially the forums for the front ends or other PC hardware forums)

I'd do a MB3 to replace the MB thread that was created years ago on an outdated version. Darkslayer has offered generously to see if he can fix up the old XBMC thread. I'd be happy to have made a hardware thread too- but I think there is enough advice going around for that.

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post #3 of 33 Old 12-13-2013, 11:49 AM
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Software:

Windows 7 x64 PRO
MB3 classic (inside WMC)
MB3 Theater (with MadVR and VSfilter)
MADVR
VS filter
VLC media player
MPC-HC
XBMC
PLEX SERVER
PLEX HomeTheater
TeraCopy
MediaCenterMaster
VPN client
MakeMKV
Adobe reader
Adobe Flash
Adobe Air
itunes
Dropbox
PeerBlock
MS Office (I own it but not really needed for HTPC)
FireFox
Thunderbird email client
Chrome
FOOBAR
Jriver
mediainfo
SHARK007 CODECS


That's a good start.

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post #4 of 33 Old 12-13-2013, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I feel your pain and it's hard for someone new to get a grasp of the concept of HTPC, media streaming, etc. because it's fragmented amongst various threads, out of date and overwhelming. If this thread gets legs, along with your front end shoot-out, then maybe they can be incorporated into a starting point for those interested. I envision something that gives a broad overview of categories like hardware, software, infrastructure, etc. and then links to seperate threads/discussions that elaborate on certain topics. Just a thought...
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post #5 of 33 Old 12-13-2013, 12:26 PM
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I think the best available right now is Assassin's guides. They used to be "paid" on this forum where you paid (paypal) him $25 for access to them. But recently they are made free to all.

A great resource for someone starting out. They are on his blog. There is sections for MB, XBMC, PLEX, Hardware, Windows etc...

http://assassinhtpcblog.com/

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post #6 of 33 Old 12-13-2013, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spec4 View Post

I feel your pain and it's hard for someone new to get a grasp of the concept of HTPC, media streaming, etc. because it's fragmented amongst various threads, out of date and overwhelming. If this thread gets legs, along with your front end shoot-out, then maybe they can be incorporated into a starting point for those interested. I envision something that gives a broad overview of categories like hardware, software, infrastructure, etc. and then links to seperate threads/discussions that elaborate on certain topics. Just a thought...

It's not my pain. tongue.gif It's newer folks. I've walked through the fire at this point. I found great value in some of those stickies, and some of the older posters. I also found value in Asassins Guides. (I paid for it)

At this point I'd guess I've set up 50 HTPC's so it's become pretty routine for me. I made that list above from my head. But I am sure I forgot lots of stuff. lol. eek.gif

I could set up a HTPC in a few hours at this point, but it took me hundreds of hours practicing and learning to be able to do it. If it was my first HTPC- There is just no way. Stickies are good because they archive and organize knowledge so it doesn't get lost. The problem is with PC hardware tech it goes out of date quickly so if a thread is stickied and it's a few years old - it's pointless.

Examples:

XBMC thread that doesn't even talk about the most recent XBMC release
How to build a HTPC from years ago- every piece of hardware recommended is out of date and replaced with new parts.
Mediabrowser2 - really should be a MB3 set up guide instead.

Who seriously needs that how to upscale to 1080p thread?? lol. Perhaps a modern MadVR thread.

The MPC-HC advanced set up thread is pretty good. MINDBOMB does a great job with that one.

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post #7 of 33 Old 12-13-2013, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Software:

Windows 7 x64 PRO
MB3 classic (inside WMC)
MB3 Theater (with MadVR and VSfilter)
MADVR
VS filter
VLC media player
MPC-HC
XBMC
PLEX SERVER
PLEX HomeTheater
TeraCopy
MediaCenterMaster
VPN client
MakeMKV
Adobe reader
Adobe Flash
Adobe Air
itunes
Dropbox
PeerBlock
MS Office (I own it but not really needed for HTPC)
FireFox
Thunderbird email client
Chrome
FOOBAR
Jriver
mediainfo
SHARK007 CODECS


That's a good start.

Excellent, now are all of those installed on your HTPC and what about your server or workstation? Now I'm aware that not everyone will have the same scenario, but in your opinion what would be the essential "core" S/W that you suggest for a beginner? I'm guessing most don't need VLC and MPC-HC or Chrome and FireFox installed? I guess the purpose of this thread was to categorize what's needed on an HTPC. For example, would I need MB3, PLEX, Jriver and MediaCenterMaster on one machine if they are in the same "Media Cataloging/Streaming/Transcoding" category? I agree Assassin's guides and blog are great resources and would be the next step in setting up your machine.
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post #8 of 33 Old 12-13-2013, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Software:

Windows 7 x64 PRO
MB3 classic (inside WMC)
MB3 Theater (with MadVR and VSfilter)
MADVR
VS filter
VLC media player
MPC-HC
XBMC
PLEX SERVER
PLEX HomeTheater
TeraCopy
MediaCenterMaster
VPN client
MakeMKV
Adobe reader
Adobe Flash
Adobe Air
itunes
Dropbox
PeerBlock
MS Office (I own it but not really needed for HTPC)
FireFox
Thunderbird email client
Chrome
FOOBAR
Jriver
mediainfo
SHARK007 CODECS


That's a good start.
Ditch Adobe reader for Foxit: smaller, faster, lighter. I'd rather hammer nails through my forehead than use itunes.
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post #9 of 33 Old 12-13-2013, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

Ditch Adobe reader for Foxit: smaller, faster, lighter. I'd rather hammer nails through my forehead than use itunes.

I do a lot with PDF for work. I have double monitors at work and deal with them constantly. I am always looking for a good solution. Thanks.

Know any good program to edit PDF's ??

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post #10 of 33 Old 12-13-2013, 04:18 PM
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Htpc: mediaportal and any flavor of windows

Server: raid card and any os you care for

Simple and done 😊 practically plug and play.
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post #11 of 33 Old 12-13-2013, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Software:

Windows 7 x64 PRO
MB3 classic (inside WMC)
MB3 Theater (with MadVR and VSfilter)
MADVR
VS filter
VLC media player
MPC-HC
XBMC
PLEX SERVER
PLEX HomeTheater
TeraCopy
MediaCenterMaster
VPN client
MakeMKV
Adobe reader
Adobe Flash
Adobe Air
itunes
Dropbox
PeerBlock
MS Office (I own it but not really needed for HTPC)
FireFox
Thunderbird email client
Chrome
FOOBAR
Jriver
mediainfo
SHARK007 CODECS


That's a good start.

I'm a little confused by this list. Is this just what you have on your HTPC? Is this what you recommend for a dedicated HTPC? Is this what you recommend for a GP HTPC? You seem to have a lot of overlap and things that have no real purpose on a dedicated HTPC.

Personally I think trying to put together a list/guide for a GP HTPC is a fruitless endeavor. If it isn't a dedicated box then you might as well include Visual Studio, SQL Server, Adobe Creative Suite and Minecraft, as they're just as likely to show up on a GP machine as anything else.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #12 of 33 Old 12-13-2013, 04:49 PM
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It's just things I use on my PC and HTPC. He wanted a list. Not a minimalist list. Yeah you can certainly use only 1 of the things that all do the same thing. I actually do use all these (and more)

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post #13 of 33 Old 12-13-2013, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
I'm a little confused by this list. Is this just what you have on your HTPC? Is this what you recommend for a dedicated HTPC? Is this what you recommend for a GP HTPC? You seem to have a lot of overlap and things that have no real purpose on a dedicated HTPC.

Personally I think trying to put together a list/guide for a GP HTPC is a fruitless endeavor. If it isn't a dedicated box then you might as well include Visual Studio, SQL Server, Adobe Creative Suite and Minecraft, as they're just as likely to show up on a GP machine as anything else.

And herein lies the problem that the term "HTPC" is too generic of a term.

To often, someone wants to build a "HTPC" that can also be used for gaming, housing their 800 BluRay rips, have the power to hack into the NSA, using all the best components available, cost less than $500, and be dead silent. mad.gif

It's these types of scenario's that making an all in one list virtually impossible.

Personally, i almost think it's better for someone to post a list of hardware/software based off of the research they've already done, and then ask for advice on tweaking come of the components based on the desired purpose.

As Mfusick stated, with Assassin's guides now being free, that's the best place to go right now for anyone looking to build their first "HTPC"

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post #14 of 33 Old 12-13-2013, 05:02 PM
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Here's what I'm running:

HTPC
Win7 Home Premium x64
Media Browser 2.6.2
Shark007 Codec Pack
My Channel Logos XL
Security Essentials

Server
Server 2003 R2 x64
That's it.
No more.
Nothing else.

Workstation
Shark007 Codec Pack
MPC-HC
Media Center Master
MakeMKV
Handbrake
VirtualDub
MKVToolnix*
MKVtoMP4*
TSMuxerGui*

*I forgot to include these great remuxers earlier

Since my HTPC and Server are dedicated machines, I try to keep the installed software at a bare minimum. This makes for very stable machines that I don't have to lay hands on very often. I simply don't ever touch the server. Once configured it's been headless for several years, and I've connected via RDP maybe 5 or 6 times since then. If I need to do something that can'r be done within WMC/MediaBrowser, then it doesn't get done on the HTPC, and is done on my workstation instead. Simple as that. All of my ripping, transcoding, remuxing and other media manipulation happens on my workstation. Metadata is also handled on the workstation. I know I could set everything to automatic and let MCM run in the background on my HTPC, but I haven't found it to be stable/reliable enough to be left to its own devices.

As of right now I'm not doing any media streaming per se, but if I was, I'd have Plex installed on the server, or possibly the HTPC (I haven't looked at Plex enough to see what would make the most sense) I'm probably going to be retiring the old server soon and going with something that has a little more storage and probably going to go with WHS 2011, but I'll probably be starting a separate thread for that build soon.

It all depends on your priorities, but I'm a "no frills" guy. I'd rather sacrifice some of the bells and whistles for the sake of usability and reliability.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #15 of 33 Old 12-14-2013, 12:17 AM
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Here's my software lists:

 

Backend Server

 

Windows 8 Pro x64

 

Media Browser 3 Server - Serves up media to my MB3 clients

 

Media Center Master - Metadata Scraper

 

Drive Bender - Disk Pooling Software, pooling 11 various HDDs into a single speedy 19 TB drive with fault tolerance, file balancing

 

Stardock Start 8 - Easily boots in to the desktop and provides a real start menu

 

LAN Speed Test Server and Client: Used to test disk transfer rates between systems on my home network

 

CrystalDisk: Used to test disk transfer rates, locally

 

MKV Merge: Removes and/or adds subtitles and English language tracks directly in/out of MKV files (I prefer this over SRT tracks in folders)

 

HTPC:

 

Windows 8 Pro x64 with Windows Media Center pack

 

Media Browser 2.6.x: Reverted back to 2.6.x for now, will upgrade to MB3C in a few months, and is using the Neo theme, CoverArt and few more plugins

 

Sharks Codec Pack: Configured with LAV Video and Audio, Haali Splitter, EVR and Icaros

 

My Channels Logos XL: Cool icons for the Live TV Guide in WMC

 

LAN Speed Test Server and Client: Used to test disk transfer rates between systems on my home network

 

Hulu and Netflix Plugins: Still find these very useful and fun

 

 

 

 


Case:Fractal Design Node 605
APU:AMD Richland A10-6700
RAM:8GB AMD 1866
Board:ASUS A88XM Plus
Storage:OCZ 256 GB Vector
Optical:Panasonic Slim BDR
PS:Silverstone Strider 550 Gold SFF
Software:WMC8+LAV+madVR+MPC-HC
Input:Logitech K400 mini KB/trackpad+Harmony 720
Output:Sammy 55" S6 LED LCD+Yamaha soundbar
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post #16 of 33 Old 12-14-2013, 03:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

It's not my pain. tongue.gif It's newer folks. I've walked through the fire at this point. I found great value in some of those stickies, and some of the older posters. I also found value in Asassins Guides. (I paid for it)

At this point I'd guess I've set up 50 HTPC's so it's become pretty routine for me. I made that list above from my head. But I am sure I forgot lots of stuff. lol. eek.gif

I could set up a HTPC in a few hours at this point, but it took me hundreds of hours practicing and learning to be able to do it. If it was my first HTPC- There is just no way. Stickies are good because they archive and organize knowledge so it doesn't get lost. The problem is with PC hardware tech it goes out of date quickly so if a thread is stickied and it's a few years old - it's pointless.

Examples:

XBMC thread that doesn't even talk about the most recent XBMC release
How to build a HTPC from years ago- every piece of hardware recommended is out of date and replaced with new parts.
Mediabrowser2 - really should be a MB3 set up guide instead.

Who seriously needs that how to upscale to 1080p thread?? lol. Perhaps a modern MadVR thread.

The MPC-HC advanced set up thread is pretty good. MINDBOMB does a great job with that one.

Feel free to jump in my thread and give me your opinions http://www.avsforum.com/t/1505441/critique-my-htpc-build-plan
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post #17 of 33 Old 12-14-2013, 08:27 AM
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Feel free to jump in my thread and give me your opinions http://www.avsforum.com/t/1505441/critique-my-htpc-build-plan

Ok- WILL DO biggrin.gif

Check it out. I even posted some pictures wink.gif
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post #18 of 33 Old 12-16-2013, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spec4 View Post

It seems that most of the stickies are showing their age and others threads are either H/W based, too specific or fragmented. So I would like to propose a software themed "cheat sheet" detailing essential S/W for someone just beginning down the path of HTPC and media servers. So would anyone be so kind and break down what pieces are in your household and the software installed on each and it's purpose?

Here's my setup

Server/HTPC - Living Room
  • Windows 8.1 - OS
  • WMC - DVR scheduling / tuner setup / free guide data
  • MyChannelLogos - add channel logos to WMC 7, 8, or 8.1 (in my case 8.1)
  • FLEXRAID - drive pooling + parity
  • MakeMKV - ripping
  • Passkey Lite - *most* blu-ray decrypter, allows playback of BD in drive within XBMC, MakeMKV complains but doesn't ever give actual issue with this installed
  • ServerWMC - taps into WMC and provides live tv, recording scheduling/management, recordings list (for playback), and guide data for any XBMC frontend
  • Plex server - Transcoding to Android (mine and wife's phone + N7) as well as remote Plex HT viewing on laptop
  • MySQL - Synchronize XBMC libraries
  • XBMC - feels like it needs it's own sublist
    1. Metadata scraper
    2. Artwork downloader add-on (gets everything imaginable, runs in background if configured)
    3. Youtube add-on (haven't used in a while, some people say it's not working recently)
    4. Youtube "trailer" search builtin to video info screens, works well
    5. Rom Collection Browser - browse/launch/play emulators, standalone, steam games
    6. WMC.PVR - addon to make use of ServerWMC (only one instance of ServerWMC needs to be running on your LAN, but each XBMC client needs a compatible WMC.PVR app - not yet available on android AFAIK)
    7. With Passkey Lite, BD can be played back in drive from the Main Menu's Play Disc option
    8. Iso playback without mounting or clone drives (decrypted or encrypted if you're running anydvdhd or passkey)
    9. Aeon MQ5 - slick XBMC skin to make everything look nice and add various niceties to XBMC

HTPC
  • OpenELEC Intel x64 - Embedded Linux Entertainment Center (All the XBMC, none of the underlying OS to worry about)
  • MySQL library sync (Movies / TV Shows / Music) - this requires an advancedsettings.xml available in the wiki to be added to a windows-network browsable shared folder named "userdata" (have to edit the xml in notepad to add the IP of your MySQL server machine)
  • WMC.PVR add-on
  • I run the Amber skin on this machine, just for a change in scenery
  • Bare-metal install to completely setup is about 15 minutes tops (counting the OE installation tar.gz d/l)


Other hardware niceties are
  • Flirc w/ learning universal remote (all device IR commands can be learned, and unused IR buttons can be mapped to your heart's desire with Flirc)
  • X360 wireless controller w/ recharge kit and PC-usb dongle
  • Pulse-eight HDMI-CEC USB adapter (had some issue with this for a short while, but working great now - keeps OE box power sync'd with TV power and uses TV remote commands through TV's IR->HDMI-CEC->XBMC-OE smile.gif )
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post #19 of 33 Old 12-16-2013, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

Here's what I'm running...

Since my HTPC and Server are dedicated machines, I try to keep the installed software at a bare minimum. This makes for very stable machines that I don't have to lay hands on very often. I simply don't ever touch the server. Once configured it's been headless for several years, and I've connected via RDP maybe 5 or 6 times since then. If I need to do something that can'r be done within WMC/MediaBrowser, then it doesn't get done on the HTPC, and is done on my workstation instead. Simple as that. All of my ripping, transcoding, remuxing and other media manipulation happens on my workstation. Metadata is also handled on the workstation. I know I could set everything to automatic and let MCM run in the background on my HTPC, but I haven't found it to be stable/reliable enough to be left to its own devices.

It all depends on your priorities, but I'm a "no frills" guy. I'd rather sacrifice some of the bells and whistles for the sake of usability and reliability.

This is what I was looking for, thanks. Is it necessary to have Shark007 codecs on both the HTPC and the Workstation? Is this because you use the workstation as your transcoding, remuxing machine? My HTPC should be able to handle that duty, but did you choose this approach because of H/W limitations on your HTPC or am I missing something? Definitely liking the minimalist approach both you and Dark_Slayer have used.
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post #20 of 33 Old 12-16-2013, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spec4 View Post

This is what I was looking for, thanks. Is it necessary to have Shark007 codecs on both the HTPC and the Workstation? Is this because you use the workstation as your transcoding, remuxing machine? My HTPC should be able to handle that duty, but did you choose this approach because of H/W limitations on your HTPC or am I missing something? Definitely liking the minimalist approach both you and Dark_Slayer have used.

My workstation is my everyday PC (which unfortunately is down at the moment... grrrr) so that's why I have Shark007's pack on it. But from a media management/playback standpoint, no it isn't necessary to have it it installed. (actually, I have Shark007 installed on every PC I have except the server) My main tools for muxing and transcoding are pretty much self contained so Shark isn't necessary for that (VirtualDub relies on the X.264 vfw codec, but I think that's about it) Also not, I need to make a few edits to my list above.

My method isn't for everybody, especially those that like to tinker with everything, but I've found it to be best for my needs. If I was living by myself, I'd probably do things way differently, but since I have a house full of people who are watching TV almost 24/7 I try to keep the tinkering down to a minimum since I get a lot of icy stares when anything goes wrong. I'm planning on some major upgrades after the first of the year, and I'm writing up a plan right now to make sure it goes as seamlessly as possible.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #21 of 33 Old 12-18-2013, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Spec4 View Post

This is what I was looking for, thanks. Is it necessary to have Shark007 codecs on both the HTPC and the Workstation? Is this because you use the workstation as your transcoding, remuxing machine? My HTPC should be able to handle that duty, but did you choose this approach because of H/W limitations on your HTPC or am I missing something? Definitely liking the minimalist approach both you and Dark_Slayer have used.
If you want minimalist then skip shark and get LAV filters.
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post #22 of 33 Old 12-19-2013, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by DotJun View Post

If you want minimalist then skip shark and get LAV filters.

Agreed, it will depend on the method you go for frontends. If you go to mediabrowser classic you will have to use something extra. LAV is minimum

Shark is very fair though, and overall I'd recommend it above klite or ccc or any various others that make me cringe to hear (mostly since I've never used them). The reason I'd recommend shark (and have multiple times) even thought it's a eek.gif codec "pack" is that his config lets you reset to default and his recommended settings are pretty good. I think the only difference between his recommended settings and the settings spelled out in assassin's guide was for the mpeg2 video decoder preference (don't recall why they didn't agree on this), but I've also just recommended people install it to fix the havoc wreaked by other codec installs (using his reset to default). It also has a good uninstall option

I have to admit that it felt nice leaving this all behind with OpenELEC or XBMC. My perspective has changed for someone simply looking for "playback" . . . as *something* is required to be downloaded/installed for playback, why not make that something XBMC as it will playback everything. When you want to keep livetv in the mix, then MBC (or MB 2.6.2) definitely makes sense. Now that ServerWMC and the wmc.pvr addons are a reality in addition to the other workaround in my signature, then there is a good option to keep using WMC for TV/DVR. Many decisions to make, including whether or not you want a bunch of madvr installs or one of the other nice but not as popular around here frontends (mediaportal, meedios, plexHT, mythtv, npvr) from the frontend shootout thread

Also, didn't think to mention it as I use them both very rarely, but I have mkvtoolnix and handbrake installed. Each time (2 total) I've used mkvtoolnix, I opted for the cli
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post #23 of 33 Old 12-19-2013, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post


Shark is very fair though, and overall I'd recommend it above klite or ccc or any various others that make me cringe to hear (mostly since I've never used them). The reason I'd recommend shark (and have multiple times) even thought it's a eek.gif codec "pack" is that his config lets you reset to default and his recommended settings are pretty good. I think the only difference between his recommended settings and the settings spelled out in assassin's guide was for the mpeg2 video decoder preference (don't recall why they didn't agree on this), but I've also just recommended people install it to fix the havoc wreaked by other codec installs (using his reset to default). It also has a good uninstall option

Someone wrote or helped write the guide for Assassin on his blog on Shark007 set up FYI ....so I am not sure why they would not agree. You might mean his guide and Shark007 (codec pack author) did not agree ? I am confused. I think Wilky13 helped author it.... it might have been Wilky13 and Shark007 that didn't agree ?


I took a quick look and the guide doesn't list anything I don't basically do myself. I actually usually just install them- set up LAV AUDIO to bitstream and go. The rest of the settings I do one at a time as I need them. There is not much set up to Shark007. The guides make it all complicated, but if you really only want HD audio in WMC then just set up LAV audio tab and exit. It's simple.

Here is the guide link:
http://assassinhtpcblog.com/wmcandmbsetup/#guide61

Quote:
Originally Posted by DotJun View Post

If you want minimalist then skip shark and get LAV filters.

I think Shark007 is simple. Just uncheck off the crapware or it will hijack your browser eek.gif

The differences are:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark007 View Post

i renamed my releases to better reflect the contents. (as requested by MANY users)

Win7codecs + x64Components addon --- > Advanced Codecs + Advanced x64Components addon (for Win 7 and 8)
Windows 8 Codecs + Win8x64Components addon ---> Standard Codecs + Standard x64Components addon (for Win 7 and 8)

THE MAIN DIFFERENCE
The Standard Codec releases do not contain FFDshow, Haali or the Gabest filters.

I think Installing SHARK007 pack is much easier than installing everything separate. Even if you don't need them, might as well grab them all in one easy set up. There is more than just LAV audio there, and they are good to have for HTPC (IMO)

All that needs to be set is 2 things for HTPC use...
the [x] SUGGESTED settings checkbox
and a single selection on the audio tab to reflect your audio hardware.

Enjoy. biggrin.gif

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post #24 of 33 Old 12-19-2013, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I think Installing SHARK007 pack is much easier than installing everything separate.

To offer some followup . . .

All that needs to be set in my GUI is 2 things ...
Choose to use the [x] SUGGESTED settings checkbox
and make a single selection on the audio tab to reflect your audio hardware.

This will cover 97% of the people setting up HTPC's.
The other 3% may be seeking some specific result which may require other settings to accomplish.

Use Shark007 Codecs and retain your sanity.
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post #25 of 33 Old 12-19-2013, 11:52 AM
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It'd be nice if there was a Media Network Builds sub section of the Home Theater Computers section dedicated to people posting their Workstation, HTPC, Media Server and network build outs with hardware specifics software specifics and network layout. Newbies could learn a lot from just checking out the details of others networks and those with more experience could surely find better ways of doing things or ideas they haven't thought up.

My HTPC just has Windows 7 Home Premium and Plex Home Theater on it. AMD A6 first gen with 8GB of repurposed RAM and a spare SSD and an Antec Green.
My Media Server has Windows 7 Ultimate with VMware Player, FlexRAID RAID F, LSI Storage Manager and Plex Media Server. The VM runs Windows 7 Ultimate and just records TV via WMC.
Core i7 3770k w/16GB RAM, Corsair AX650, 2 SSD's, 2 Dell Perc H310's w/11 or so HDDs.
My Workstation has Windows 7 Ultimate as well with AnyDVDHD, BDSup2Sub, DVDFab, eac3to, Handbrake, MakeMKV, mkvmergeGUI and a bunch of stuff I'm forgetting...
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post #26 of 33 Old 12-19-2013, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by techmattr View Post

It'd be nice if there was a Media Network Builds sub section of the Home Theater Computers section dedicated to people posting their Workstation, HTPC, Media Server and network build outs with hardware specifics software specifics and network layout. Newbies could learn a lot from just checking out the details of others networks and those with more experience could surely find better ways of doing things or ideas they haven't thought up.

My HTPC just has Windows 7 Home Premium and Plex Home Theater on it. AMD A6 first gen with 8GB of repurposed RAM and a spare SSD and an Antec Green.
My Media Server has Windows 7 Ultimate with VMware Player, FlexRAID RAID F, LSI Storage Manager and Plex Media Server. The VM runs Windows 7 Ultimate and just records TV via WMC.
Core i7 3770k w/16GB RAM, Corsair AX650, 2 SSD's, 2 Dell Perc H310's w/11 or so HDDs.
My Workstation has Windows 7 Ultimate as well with AnyDVDHD, BDSup2Sub, DVDFab, eac3to, Handbrake, MakeMKV, mkvmergeGUI and a bunch of stuff I'm forgetting...

My desktop is 4770k i7 / Asrock Extreme 4 / VECTOR SSD / AMD RADEON GPU - I have a couple velociraptors, a couple 3TB Seagate 7200.14's, and an SSD cache drive.
My server is G860 Pentium 3.0ghz dual core (think old school i3 with only "HD" graphics and not HD2000) on Asrock Extreme3 Z77 / 120GB Vertex3 SSD / 8GB DDR1600. I have two flashed DELL cards for 16 more sata ports, plus the 4 motherboard gives me 20 hard drives in my hot swap NORCO 4220 case.
My HTPC is 3570k i5 / Asrock Pro3 Z77 / 8GB DDR / SSD only

I use windows X64 pro on the desktop and HTPC and WHS + FLEXRAID on the server. I can RDP into all three an bring them up my triple monitors which makes doing something like encoding great. I can do three at once !

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post #27 of 33 Old 12-19-2013, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I have two flashed DELL cards for 16 more sata ports...

I've recently rebuilt my workstation and have a few parts lying around to use in either a HTPC or server application. The server is one of the AIC 24-bay TAMS servers with the Xeon CPU. If I were to mod the server, because it is rather loud, with the spare parts that leaves me without a RAID controller card for the various SATA drives. Now I know people have been using the flashed Dell Perc H310 and IBM M1015 cards, but where exactly are these coming from? I've searched briefly and found the Dells come from the Poweredge family, but which ones exactly? I've seen multitudes of used servers on CL and have always wondered if these can be had for cheaper than the jacked up Fleabay prices? If this has been discussed before could someone please provide a link?
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post #28 of 33 Old 12-19-2013, 01:17 PM
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techmattr's signature link above ^

http://techmattr.wordpress.com/

Most people just source them cheap (that is the point). Ebay is usually the best for that. Keep your eye out and grab a deal and flash it. That is the cheapest way.

If you do not want to flash find an expert and just buy a card off them. I bought two cards from Andy Steb here on AVS who offered to help me out. I am sure Techmattr would sell you one too.
Often the extra cost to get one already tested and flashed it worth it to some people who don't want to mess around with such things. They just plug in and work fine. It's really easy. And cost is cheaper than a retail alternative (this is the point of doing it)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-PERC-UCSA-801-H310-taken-from-brand-new-T3600-/191004648582?pt=US_Server_Disk_Controllers_RAID_Cards&hash=item2c78c3a486

http://www.ebay.com/itm/LSI-SAS9220-8i-PCI-E-SAS-SATA-RAID-Card-IBM-ServeRAID-M1015-/161176188107?pt=US_Server_Disk_Controllers_RAID_Cards&hash=item2586d974cb


http://www.ebay.com/itm/IBM-SERVERAID-M1015-ADAPTER-PCI-E-2-0-X8-RAID-CONTROLLER-CARD-46M0861-LOW-P-/310819937396?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item485e4fdc74

It's hit or miss.

Ask Andy or techmattr for a price... save yourself the trouble.

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post #29 of 33 Old 12-19-2013, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spec4 View Post

Now I know people have been using the flashed Dell Perc H310 and IBM M1015 cards, but where exactly are these coming from?
There's not really one thread that everyone talks about it in. There is some discussion spread around planned server build threads, renethx's htpc, workstation, server thread, and mfusick's server thread

flashing guide's are all around, but like mfusick said techmattr's blog is straightforward. Specifically for the h310 http://techmattr.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/sas-hba-crossflashing-or-flashing-to-it-mode/

Also, Andy_Steb, another user here provided a tip that enables a workaround to some mobos that wouldn't otherwise recognize the dell cards as well (techmattr added this with a good picture for reference - crediting Andy as well)


What kind of sucks is that once you hear of their success with different cards the prices start to steadily rise. When I finally heard about the IBM m1015, the going price had already risen to over $100. I snapped up an H310 for $60, but I see that they are heading up in price as well. I don't honestly have the patience to pour over ebay auctions in hopes of winning a well priced card
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post #30 of 33 Old 12-19-2013, 01:39 PM
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Ebay is hit or miss you can grab one cheap, or you can overpay. That's just ebay. Sometimes the cards are hot and the prices go up. Sometimes they are cold and they drop. Unless you sit and search daily there is really no way to monitor the "market" for sata cards. I would not want to do that either.

I'd generally suggest that either under $100 is a fair price. And if you can buy one flashed for $100 or less from a trusted source that is nearly a no brainer. Keep in mind that while we complain something is $100 instead of $79 that is only $20, and it's often not worth $20 for the frustration of agonizing over a finding the ultimate deal. Plus, also keep in mind that a retail alternative is double or more the cost. I'd rather a flashed DELL or IBM over something like a SLP or SLP2.

If you want to buy a retail option: http://www.amazon.com/Supermicro-AOC-SAS2LP-MV8-8-Channel-Adapter-Channel/dp/B005B0Z2I4

But it's not "better" than the DELL or IBM and it's still more $. I would suggest the market is somewhere around $80-$100 on these cards these days. That's just what they cost now.

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