Who else has built a ridiculously overpowered HTPC? What's your story? - Page 12 - AVS Forum
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post #331 of 346 Old 08-09-2014, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Gadgety1 View Post
This is my first post here on AVS. I'm posting here because I've got a powerful PC that could be utilized for home theatre, gaming and such. I was going to post in the "Anyone ever wish they did their HTPC right the first time? or (better)" thread but it had been closed. So, this is a story in the making.

I've got dual CPUs, triple GPUs on an SR-2 mobo. This has been my first computer build. Essentially it's a workstation and it's on at least 17 hrs a day, mainly used for CAD, 3D modelling, rendering and such. I work from home. Even so, a lot of the time resources go unused so it could easily be allocated for other stuff.

HTPC
Because of this I've contemplated using this build as an HTPC for media and possibly gaming, rather than building a separate pc. Of course it's not going to be energy efficient, but the build is already a sunk cost. In addition for a HTPC I saw the possibility of madVR NNEDI3 upscaling which would require high end hardware, so I might as well allocate money for future GPU upgrades to this PC, since they will also serve multiple purposes. The money to build another PC could instead be used for energy, and because this unit is likely to be on a lot anyway, I figured the energy issue isn't such a big deal. I was thinking of getting a projector and screen and route sound to my home audio system.

GAMING
Because we have kids in the house it's likely to become increasingly more interesting for them to game, and I've briefly looked into the possibility of using software such as MiniFrame SoftXpand to enable virtualized gaming.

CHALLENGES
Challenges exist and choices have to be made:
  • As this has been my first PC build, I'm still a beginner in learning mode.
  • Cabling and wiring. I gather madVR requires cabled transfer. I need the PC in the office for day to day work. The home theatre would be in the basement, probably some 15 ft away or so. Connecting the TV screen in the living room would also be nice.
  • Currently the PC is not on 24 hrs a day, so I'd probably need a small unit that could function as a PVR of broadcast TV.
  • I also need a better NAS
  • For the audio I want gapless 24/96 FLAC
  • The kids want 3D
  • Software for DVD/Bluray and media browsing. Not an easy choice, I find. I guess AnyDVD HD and MakeMKV are obiquitous, but the rest...3dTV.at's StereoScopic; MPC-HC, XBMC JRiver, TotalMedia Theatre, VLC, Plex. Some of these do not go with madVR, I realize.

My friends tell me the HTPC route will take too much effort, the quality will be variable, problems will appear when there are software updates, it will be hard to calibrate the picture quality, and DVD/Bluray software will have to be subscribed to on an annual basis. Their advice: just get an Oppo.

Any advice and suggestions are welcome.


YOu really should start a new thread

Theater set-up:  

AVR:  Pioneer VSX-820

Speakers:  5.1 consists of four NHT Classic Two bookshelf and an NHT TwoC center

Sub:  PSA-XV15

HTPC - ridiculously over-the-top, home-built gaming PC that I tinker with daily!

OTA antenna:  Winegard HD7698P

HDTV:  Sharp LC-60SQ15U

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post #332 of 346 Old 08-09-2014, 10:08 AM
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OK.
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post #333 of 346 Old 08-09-2014, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Gadgety1 View Post
OK.
Post back in here the link to your new thread when you start one
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Theater set-up:  

AVR:  Pioneer VSX-820

Speakers:  5.1 consists of four NHT Classic Two bookshelf and an NHT TwoC center

Sub:  PSA-XV15

HTPC - ridiculously over-the-top, home-built gaming PC that I tinker with daily!

OTA antenna:  Winegard HD7698P

HDTV:  Sharp LC-60SQ15U

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post #334 of 346 Old 08-11-2014, 09:33 AM
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Quote:Originally Posted by wiley165 

You'd be better off simply stating "HERE !", then drop the microphone, and walk off stage.


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Hey, it looks awesome though, I'm hoping it's efficiency matches it looks!! I'm sure it does


I still have to test the water loop for leaks and get a copy of windows 7 before I can go any further. I did put the finishing touch on the physical build today with a window (you gotta show off that jewelry right?).






VERY COOL!

You like the Ryobi Jig saw? I almost grabbed one the other day. I need a new one.
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post #335 of 346 Old 08-11-2014, 02:20 PM
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VERY COOL!

You like the Ryobi Jig saw? I almost grabbed one the other day. I need a new one.
Yeah I was really pleased with the saw, it went through that 1/8" steel like a hot knife through foam rubber. If I had to use my old B&D I would probably still be working on that hole.
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post #336 of 346 Old 08-11-2014, 02:25 PM
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One rig to rule them all... I just use my gaming rig to double as my HTPC. It's powerful as heck for gaming / but is just perfect for managing my music and movie catalog as well. It's basically the heart of my entertainment system.

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post #337 of 346 Old 08-12-2014, 09:51 PM
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post #338 of 346 Old 08-13-2014, 02:03 AM
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Post back in here the link to your new thread when you start one
Overpowered HTPC?
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post #339 of 346 Old 08-13-2014, 10:13 AM
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What is your specific question ? (without all the background stuff)

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post #340 of 346 Old 08-13-2014, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post
What is your specific question ? (without all the background stuff)
Cabling and wiring distance is my main concern. I need the PC in the office for day to day work. The home theatre would be in the basement, probably some 15 ft away or so. At least. It depends where I install the projector.

Q 1.: I gather madVR requires cabled transfer so wireless HDMI wouldn't work, right?

Q 2.:HDMI cabling 15 ft is on the limit, correct?

The alternative is
DisplayPort. I've seen the specs on the offcial site say max 7 feet for full bandwidth transmission, WQXGA, but that it is cable dependent. Then, tonight I saw somewhere else 49ft is OK, giving at least at least 1920×1080p60 at 24 bits per pixel. I think Wikipedia said go optical cable.

Q 3.: 1920×1080p60 at 24 bits per pixel would mean HD TV, but not gaming, and of course no future 4K, correct?

Q 4.: a) Anyone here with experience of long cables? b) Any specific recommendations for type of cable?

Q 5.: Seems at least the low end projectors aren't using DP. Just get a DP to HDMI converter?
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post #341 of 346 Old 08-16-2014, 09:18 AM
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Yes you can run HDMI 15 feet no problem for 1080p resolution. Buy a good cable if you can, but even the mono price premium ones work great @25feet. I've used them.
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post #342 of 346 Old 08-16-2014, 09:29 AM
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I run a 45ft HDMI cable at 1080p without a problem, however, with a caveat. My projector has a setting for HDMI cable "length", which maps to the HDMI signal sensitivity. At it's max vale (10-20 meters), it works with the 45ft cable with no issues. The cable was a relatively decent (but nothing special) cable from Amazon. About $20 if I recall correctly.

If your TV/projector has a setting similar to this, try playing with that.
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post #343 of 346 Old 08-16-2014, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadgety1 View Post
Cabling and wiring distance is my main concern. I need the PC in the office for day to day work. The home theatre would be in the basement, probably some 15 ft away or so. At least. It depends where I install the projector.

Q 1.: I gather madVR requires cabled transfer so wireless HDMI wouldn't work, right?
MadVR isn't relevant. It's processing is done prior to the output, so the determining factor for wireless hdmi is going to be what resolution/color depth/refresh rate, you're running. That's before you get into the environment of your house (is anything interfering with the signal, etc)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadgety1 View Post
Q 2.:HDMI cabling 15 ft is on the limit, correct?
Nope. I'm not sure what the official limit is in the spec, but you can run cable far in excess of 15". The longer the cable run, the heavier gauge wire you'll want to use (if not using some amplifier technology like RedMere) and the max you can run will be effected by how strong of a signal your output device is sending. But 15" should be doable with normal consumer grade equipment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadgety1 View Post
The alternative is DisplayPort. I've seen the specs on the offcial site say max 7 feet for full bandwidth transmission, WQXGA, but that it is cable dependent. Then, tonight I saw somewhere else 49ft is OK, giving at least at least 1920×1080p60 at 24 bits per pixel. I think Wikipedia said go optical cable.
I would go with DisplayPort (at least not because of cable length issues)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadgety1 View Post
Q 3.: 1920×1080p60 at 24 bits per pixel would mean HD TV, but not gaming, and of course no future 4K, correct?
Current specs allow for a handful of 4K resolutions, but I wouldn't plan on your HDMI 1.4 being able to run all of the 4K resolutions possible.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadgety1 View Post
Q 4.: a) Anyone here with experience of long cables? b) Any specific recommendations for type of cable?
Well, 15" isn't really considered long, but I have a 15" Monoprice RedMere cable that I take on the road with me. (I went with RedMere because the cable is much smaller for travel, the length wasn't a factor) It has served me well for a few years. The PC in my bedroom is currently connected to my TV via a 25" Monoprice cable. I've also had no issues with it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadgety1 View Post
Q 5.: Seems at least the low end projectors aren't using DP. Just get a DP to HDMI converter?
Again, I wouldn't suggest DP just becuas eof cable length concerns, but if you're looking at it for other reasons, yes, you should be able to use an adapter.


And don't forget... if you're running a display in another room, you're going to need to be able to control the PC remotely from the theater.
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post #344 of 346 Old 08-18-2014, 10:26 AM
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MadVR isn't relevant. It's processing is done prior to the output, so the determining factor for wireless hdmi is going to be what resolution/color depth/refresh rate, you're running. That's before you get into the environment of your house (is anything interfering with the signal, etc)
Thank you for your reply, including specific cable experience. I'm kind of slow, so when you say MadVR isn't relevant, are you saying it's not held back by wireless as long as resolution/color depth/referesh rates can handle it?

PC remote control - Unified Remote for Android?

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post #345 of 346 Old 08-18-2014, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Gadgety1 View Post
Thank you for your reply, including specific cable experience. I'm kind of slow, so when you say MadVR isn't relevant, are you saying it's not held back by wireless as long as resolution/color depth/referesh rates can handle it?

PC remote control - Unified Remote for Android?
Yes, that is correct. If you were using MadVR to upscale to a resolution that WiDi doesn't support, then I suppose you could argue MadVR would make a difference, but for the purposes of this discussion, I don't think it's going to matter.

As far as the remote goes, I suppose an Android app could work for media control, but I'm not sure how it would interact with the primary desktop in your office. I'd say there is a good chance that it will cause applications you're working on to lose focus, among other things.
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post #346 of 346 Old 08-18-2014, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadgety1 View Post
Cabling and wiring distance is my main concern. I need the PC in the office for day to day work. The home theatre would be in the basement, probably some 15 ft away or so. At least. It depends where I install the projector.

Q 1.: I gather madVR requires cabled transfer so wireless HDMI wouldn't work, right?

Q 2.:HDMI cabling 15 ft is on the limit, correct?

The alternative is
DisplayPort. I've seen the specs on the offcial site say max 7 feet for full bandwidth transmission, WQXGA, but that it is cable dependent. Then, tonight I saw somewhere else 49ft is OK, giving at least at least 1920×1080p60 at 24 bits per pixel. I think Wikipedia said go optical cable.

Q 3.: 1920×1080p60 at 24 bits per pixel would mean HD TV, but not gaming, and of course no future 4K, correct?

Q 4.: a) Anyone here with experience of long cables? b) Any specific recommendations for type of cable?

Q 5.: Seems at least the low end projectors aren't using DP. Just get a DP to HDMI converter?

As otheres have pointed out Q1: Everything is done pre-out and has nothing to do with the cabling.

Q2: You will find various notes on this. I know Monoprice "normal/basic" HDMI are rated to 25', not 15'. But the reality is, they are actually good even beyond that (At least, they have been through personal experience.) If you "go big" and get Redmere, you can go even longer without any issue. The length of your cable should be fine.

Q3: I haven't done much with 4K yet, so I will pass on that question. Mostly, I'm waiting on a HDMI 2.0 standard to be established and then released en masse, then I'll worry about 4K. There just isn't enough 4K content to worry about it right now.

Q4: My brother and I use Monoprice cables and had had success with the basic ones up to 40 feet. We haven't tried them longer than that. We have had success with the Redmere up to just over 50 feet. Again, we haven't tried longer. If going over 25 feet, I would probably pay the very nominal extra to go Redmere, otherwise Monoprice basic will do you just fine.

Q5:That depends on the capabilities of your vid card. Is your card able to pass HDMI via DP? They are not the same signal. I've done very little in this realm, so I'm no expert, but I do know that they do not always play well together with just a passive adapter.
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