Who else has built a ridiculously overpowered HTPC? What's your story? - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 330 Old 04-22-2014, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

I actually do something similar smile.gif:
  1. rip ISO to a temp folder on the SSD (ImgBurn batch script with AnyDVD HD running in background)
  2. rip main movie only with MakeMKV
  3. run Media Center Master to download metadata and artwork
  4. clean up metadata and artwork
  5. copy ISO+metadata to unRAID server for backup and MKV+metadata to Windows 7/FlexRAID server for actual use with MB/Plex (robocopy script)

I use teracopy smile.gif

I basically do it the way you do it. Rip the movie. Use MediaCentermaster on it all. I keep the ISO in it's own collection, I keep the MKV in another section (of MKV's)

I keep the ISO in case I want the menu and special features, and it works good for 3D too. I have enough space to allow some duplicity smile.gif I manage by having a login for MB3 that includes or does not include the ISO section - so I don't have to suffer duplicates. I don't use the ISO very often, but it's nice to have it for those times when I do. Since MB3 theater handles and plays ISO so well I find myself using them more, also it seems like a good option for 3D playback too which I seem to have more of these days.

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post #182 of 330 Old 04-22-2014, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post


You can avoid such issues on a Win7 PC by installing the Concurrent RDP "Patch" that will allow you to remote in from another PC...  For two drivers with dissimilar sizes I would recommend just keeping them separate, or if you wanted to see them as one drive letter just use disk spanning if your version of windows supports it. (disk spanning will not add redundancy or any performance benefits, it is simply for convenience)

Thanks ajhieb.  I have all three of my machines (gaming desktop build, gaming laptop and HTPC) as Win8.1, likely wont do the remote in option that does sound interesting though.  

 

I like the idea of disk spanning.  That way a 4tb addition would yield a 5tb drive with the same folder.  If not I can just keep it as a separate drive (additional drive letter) and then do what Mfusick recommended with the Flexraid.


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 #183 of 330 Old 04-22-2014, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jhughy2010 View Post

Thanks ajhieb.  I have all three of my machines (gaming desktop build, gaming laptop and HTPC) as Win8.1, likely wont do the remote in option that does sound interesting though.  

I don't have much experience with 8.1 but it appears there is a patch available for concurrent rdp session on that OS as well, but I can't speak to it's effectiveness. I would assume it works, but as always with that sort thing, make sure you get it from a trusted source, scan for viruses, etc. I can't imagine doing administration on my HTPC without it.

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post #184 of 330 Old 04-22-2014, 09:48 PM
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@Mfusick that's a lot of incredible information!

 

Ok so I have three machines that I want to talk to one another through my homegroup/network (whatever you call it).  I have a powerful gaming laptop, a powerful homebuilt gaming desktop and than the newly built HTPC.  All machines are running Win8.1 I thought I would do this to eliminate any guess work in communicating with each other.  

 

Just a bit of background on the HTPC (just finished and completely been up and running for a month or so).  I took on the adventure of the HTPC idea because I wanted to play Battlefield 4 on my big screen with the 5.1 surround and the monstrous PSA XV15.  I also wanted to completely get rid of cable TV once and for all and the expensive DVR box, go OTA and install an antenna (became a hobby I guess).  Anyhow, I ended up with a relatively decent gaming HTPC that can be on all day without consuming too much energy.  

 

I had originally thought that I would just stick with WMC to run everything.  This became kind of a let down as I discovered that WMC sucks at Netflix as compared to the Metro app (or any other streaming device for that matter).  I bought PowerDVD 13 Ultra (ignorantly) thinking that it'd play all my BD that I buy and rent.  Long story short, it has failed to play several Disney flicks.  This failure led me down the road of ripping.  I started about three weeks ago ripping movies with DVDfab.  Once ripped to MKV (passthrough) I was able to play them flawlessly via PowerDVD (all of a sudden the titles that didn't work with PowerDVD now work because they are ripped to MKV).  After I ripped several, I tried to add them to the movie library in WMC.  It neither worked (lack of codec likely) or would have been pretty once it did work.  I remember reading on AssassinsHTPCblog about MB classic.  So I downloaded it and gave it a try.  It worked ok in WMC but some movies wouldn't play and others would play just fine.  Then I discovered MB3 and MBserver.....

 

This has been an adventure (forgive the noobness).  MB3 classic within WMC is awesome.  I love it... I have only ran into two movies out of my 45 movie collection so far that aren't playing (I have no idea why this is) but overall it is way better than the MB classic from before.  I installed MB server, read through their setup and then installed MBclassic, to which I discovered that everything worked as advertised (except the two movies that don't play... I press play and screen goes black like the movie is going to start, when I move the mouse the time bar says like 155 hours or something but 0 elapsed).  Anyhow, I also installed MB theatre just to give it a shot.  It works well too.  

 

So anyhow, everything on the HTPC is coming along.  I kind of thought that I would use the HTPC as a home server too, simply because when I am home the HTPC is on, when I'm away it is off but I cant see myself needing to use it while away for a server at this current stage in my life.  What I would like to do is figure out more of this ripping stuff and the best way to do it.  All of you guys seem to be taking extra steps in the ripping process than I have so far.  I now use MakeMKV (DVDfab trial stopped on me... the web says its some court thing) and I simply rip the main movie to my media library (against recommendations I guess lol) and than I rename it.  When I go into MB3 classic or theater all the fancy cover art and stuff is already populated on the movie.  I never thought to rip ISO (don't even know what that is) or make it so I get the menu and special features.  

 

Some things I'm just clueless at right now.  For instance, what is the difference with all these different movie players??? PowerDVD looks good, WMC seems to play the movies in the same quality (using MB3) and the MB3 is a separate video player, it seems good.  Which is best?  PowerDVD has the truetheater, I saw that MB3 has boxes I can check called subfilters and madVR... what are those?  I know I need PowerDVD to play the physical disc... but what about once I rip?  Which is the best for quality and video playback?

 

Ok so for now I am getting the homegroup set-up.  I have all the machines showing up under Network and will figure out how to make it so that they're all on the same homegroup.  I don't think that they are... I'm going to disconnect all of them and then reconnect starting with the HTPC and see if I can get them all on the same password.  


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 #185 of 330 Old 04-22-2014, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post


I don't have much experience with 8.1 but it appears there is a patch available for concurrent rdp session on that OS as well, but I can't speak to it's effectiveness. I would assume it works, but as always with that sort thing, make sure you get it from a trusted source, scan for viruses, etc. I can't imagine doing administration on my HTPC without it.

I guess the idea or remoting in is probably a good one considering right now I sit on the floor while working on my HTPC so that I can see the tiny words (my couch is 10 feet away from the TV which is only going to get worse cause I really want a 4k).  

 

If I were to remote in, would I be able to do it without interrupting the functionality of the HTPC?  In other words, is it a screen mirror or will I get to mess with the internals without interrupting someones movie or TV watching?


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 #186 of 330 Old 04-22-2014, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jhughy2010 View Post

I guess the idea or remoting in is probably a good one considering right now I sit on the floor while working on my HTPC so that I can see the tiny words (my couch is 10 feet away from the TV which is only going to get worse cause I really want a 4k).  

If I were to remote in, would I be able to do it without interrupting the functionality of the HTPC?  In other words, is it a screen mirror or will I get to mess with the internals without interrupting someones movie or TV watching?

I'm basing this off my experience with Win7. I'm under the impression it is the same for Win8.

Stock RDP will log the console user (whoever is watching TV) off the machine so it is probably a little too intrusive to be used for management of an HTPC that is frequently used. The concurrent RDP patch will allow concurrent multiple logins at once, including the console login, so you can work in the background without interrupting TV viewing. That is the biggest selling point of RDP for me.

I also just recently discovered that MS has an Android RDP client, so I can even use my smartphone to login to my server and manage items.

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post #187 of 330 Old 04-23-2014, 12:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jhughy2010 View Post

Ok so for now I am getting the homegroup set-up.  I have all the machines showing up under Network and will figure out how to make it so that they're all on the same homegroup.  I don't think that they are... I'm going to disconnect all of them and then reconnect starting with the HTPC and see if I can get them all on the same password

You don't need to connect them to a single homegroup or use homegroup sharing at all, just turn off password protected sharing in advanced network and sharing settings
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Step 1. Create a home group and network share your machines. Set a home group password in Windows, make all machines join the home group.
This is unnecessary, and ends up sucking later on if you want to let a mac, linux, android, or iOS device access your shared storage since you have to remember the computer's user name and password (which still is not a guarantee that non windows file browsers will accept or not screw up)

Turn off password protected sharing and ignore the homegroup nonsense, save your sanity
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

I don't have much experience with 8.1 but it appears there is a patch available for concurrent rdp session on that OS as well, but I can't speak to it's effectiveness. I would assume it works, but as always with that sort thing, make sure you get it from a trusted source, scan for viruses, etc. I can't imagine doing administration on my HTPC without it.

I'm still curious why people (not just yourself) patch RDP for concurrent sessions instead of just using VNC clients. You get the exact same end result
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post #188 of 330 Old 04-23-2014, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

I'm still curious why people (not just yourself) patch RDP for concurrent sessions instead of just using VNC clients. You get the exact same end result

For me it is a few things...

For starters, the last time I worked with VNC (which has been several years) it utterly lacked the functionality that the Concurrent RDP Patch provides in the first place. (ie, it only provided screen mirroring, not multiple concurrent logins)

I'm also inclined to leverage functionality that is built into the OS as opposed to installing additional software that consumes additional resources.

And finally (this is based on old experience) VNC was downright awful in terms of bandwidth usage. I don't think I ever used it on a gigabit network (that's how long it's been since I used it) but on a 100mbit connection I seem to recall screen redraws seeming sluggish at times.

Just out of curiosity, when did VNC add the concurrent session functionality?

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post #189 of 330 Old 04-23-2014, 02:41 AM
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The iTunes (on a NAS/Server) one doesn't matter as much as you think. File explorer is a great app that sorts out the (non-iTunes) media on the iPhones, but granted.. an iPhone 3gs may struggle? I've tested from the 4s onwards though. I'm sure mediahouse on the nexus works fine in the same way but would need to double check. If you have movies purchased in iTunes, like we have, we just download them and put them in a iTunes folder on the NAS, and then add that folder to iTunes on the HTPC. As far as the iTunes purchases for the phone goes, we just stream over the net... but we only do this for the kids, we soon put a stop to iTunes movie purchases with all it's limitations.

 

Having your eggs all in one basket was something i wanted to avoid, so i use goodsync which sync's my NAS with a hard drive in the HTPC - i don't need loads of storage like others on here have though. 

 

As far as ripping goes, i moved my blu ray drive into the htpc for obvious reasons - so any compression ripping i do happens over night. This doesn't interrupt the HTPC 'experience'. In fact, if i don't want to use the slightly better handbrake, and use one core (thread) with pavtube, i can still rip my movies and watch on the HTPC.. i3 4130 and a 650ti (which i don't believe is ridiculously over-powered).

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post #190 of 330 Old 04-23-2014, 07:49 AM
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Another benefit that I'm not sure has been mentioned with a multiple PC setup (Server, HTPC, workstation) is that fact you can test out new software and see how it works before forcing upon your unsuspecting family (ie wife and kids). Example I've been using XBMC for a long time now and that's what my family is used to. I've been reading alot on this thread an other places about MB3. So I've downloaded it onto my workstation and can play around and tweak things until I feel it's ready for the family. Just my 2 cents.
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post #191 of 330 Old 04-23-2014, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by pm240sx View Post

Another benefit that I'm not sure has been mentioned with a multiple PC setup (Server, HTPC, workstation) is that fact you can test out new software and see how it works before forcing upon your unsuspecting family (ie wife and kids). Example I've been using XBMC for a long time now and that's what my family is used to. I've been reading alot on this thread an other places about MB3. So I've downloaded it onto my workstation and can play around and tweak things until I feel it's ready for the family. Just my 2 cents.

This is way underated IMO. I always test and perfect on my desktop before I employ anything on my HTPC. By the time it gets to the real HTPC I have figured out what I am doing tongue.gif

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post #192 of 330 Old 04-23-2014, 07:56 AM
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@Mfusick
 that's a lot of incredible information!

There is a lot more information, but this thread isn't the place for it if we want to stay on topic smile.gif

You really should consider starting your own thread, try to be detailed in what you want to do - and your budget. Bullet points often work best. PM me a link when you do it I'll help out best I can. There is plenty around here that can walk you through basic networking and setting permissions for read and write.
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post #193 of 330 Old 04-23-2014, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Dark_Slayer View Post

I'm still curious why people (not just yourself) patch RDP for concurrent sessions instead of just using VNC clients. You get the exact same end result

VNC does concurrent sessions? I thought it only did shared sessions.
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post #194 of 330 Old 04-23-2014, 09:05 AM
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Yes a new thread for this project is needed. Perhaps there is already an MB3 thread I can post some questions. I'll do a search later today.

To add to the discussion of rediculously overpowered HTPC's. I just put a Noctua cooler on my i5-4440 and I plan to over clock it. Why? No reason whatsoever! smile.gif

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 #195 of 330 Old 04-23-2014, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

when did VNC add the concurrent session functionality?

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VNC does concurrent sessions? I thought it only did shared sessions.

It does not

That was just a case of me not understanding what everyone was referring to with concurrent sessions, and thinking they were no different from shared sessions

A concurrent rdp session sounds wildly useful, I will surely look into it. Thanks
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post #196 of 330 Old 04-25-2014, 01:04 AM
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Your PC can but the NAS can't. You're confusing streaming (or just general network access to files) to transcoding and then streaming. In the former, sure, the NAS box can probably serve/stream multiple HD files (or even the same file) to different PCs, no problem. However it can't transcode them and send them because the NAS CPU isn't powerful enough to do even one transcode, never mind all the other things it has to do. And in the case of just network access, you probably don't need to do any transcoding at all because the PC on the other end is handling whatever format it is, just fine as well.
I'm not really sure what you're on about (???) but even though you keep saying you know what the differences are, it sounds more like you don't know what you're talking about at all, lol. In any event if a NAS works for you, as I said, that's all you need to have. If you needed a server you would probably know it, and know why you needed one (instead of just saying "I know" but then not really knowing). I wouldn't worry too much about it.

I think I will drop my 0.3 cents...

Having tinker with more than few NAS devices as well as HTPC & of course desktop computers, I can say that you forgot to mention about differences between different platforms:

1. NAS isn't just simple box, it can be a very powerful computer. How much it depends on your imagination or needs: if you talk about dumb NASes based on ARM, where HDD is mere storage for files, then yes, it will only serve files over the network and nothing else, they are design to be like this: low power and low expectations, but if (like me) build NAS box with >16GB ECC memory (for safety), AMD FX 4100 4 core CPU, 6x2TB HDDs in ZFS on RAIDZ2 using NAS4Free OS... then you can stream or transcode or do whatever you want. It is enough power to burn a hole in your movies.

2. I don't understand this mass "transcoding" mess to mobile devices... I watch movies on my android phone or bluray player WITHOUT any sort of "transcoding". It just simple see SMB share from windows or NAS and reads it & play it. and it's only ARM A9 1.6GHz with 5W power requirements... I dunno, maybe Iphone is just so dumb that cannot do it without feeding it dumb down version of those movies or what? Funny enough everything else doesn't have this problem. 1GBit connection is more than enough to feed typical few BD movies in mkv format at the same time, why transcoding... DLNA has soo many incompatibilities, it's just stupid.

3. All NAS boxes have it's own OS. Otherwise it wouldn't be Network Attached Storage... it would be just HDD.

4. NAS IS a server by all definitions. If you have a HTPC with anything shared, this is ALSO a server.

5. I wanted to build all in one, but never did. I value my data and having media player with storage device in the same box... especially using windows...hehehe. This is asking for trouble down the line. For many people it's working setup, for me... No thanks.

6. Just please don't say NAS is weak or cannot do this or that. It all depends on design, OS and its destination. If it is just a waki paki storage, then it will be low powered simple because there is a NEED for it. If someone need power then slamm there 4,6, 8 core CPU and tons of ram and hdd space and... you are sorted.
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post #197 of 330 Old 04-25-2014, 05:23 AM
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Transcoding isn't just about matching the video and audio format to the device for optimum playability (although this is very nice).

Transcoding is also for shrinking the bit rate or data rate/file size so to travels well over wifi or the internet. Most people don't have ultra fast upload speeds so of they want to stream something over the internet shrinking the file down to something like 720p @ 4mbps works incredibly well and offers a decent quality comparable to most other video streaming services.

My internet service won't support a full bit rate MKV or ISO so I do this, and it requires a decent CPU and Internet connection to get good results.

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post #198 of 330 Old 04-25-2014, 07:12 AM
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I have a old Samsung tablet which has rather limited video playback capabilities (only H.264 baseline profile), which means it doesn't play 99% of my content, which is where transcoding is really handy to solve the problem.
I've been meaning to get a new one, which would probably mean I could switch to as-is video instead, but all in due time i guess.
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post #199 of 330 Old 04-25-2014, 08:03 AM
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It's definitely true that only some of the recent (late 2013 and 2014) tablets and smartphones have a decent enough wifi chipset to handle 4.5 MBps locally. Unless you live in Japan and use ntt docomo LTE, then your cell data speed is definitely not going to be capable of playback without lowering your bitrates
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post #200 of 330 Old 04-25-2014, 09:21 AM
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The other aspect of transcoding is the flexibility. You don't have to use it- I much prefer direct play without any transcode whenever possible but I am also appreciative of having it when I need it. I don't think it matters very much why. It might be for going over the internet, or it might be for compatibility with a certain device like NevCairiel just explained; It could even be for a device you don't even have yet. No telling what the future will hold. The best choice whenever possible will always be not to use transcoding- it's easier on your CPU and the quality is best. But when you need it, it certainly has it's purpose. It's nice to cover all your bases. In today's digital world that can be hard to do.

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post #201 of 330 Old 04-25-2014, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Transcoding isn't just about matching the video and audio format to the device for optimum playability (although this is very nice).

Transcoding is also for shrinking the bit rate or data rate/file size so to travels well over wifi or the internet. Most people don't have ultra fast upload speeds so of they want to stream something over the internet shrinking the file down to something like 720p @ 4mbps works incredibly well and offers a decent quality comparable to most other video streaming services.

My internet service won't support a full bit rate MKV or ISO so I do this, and it requires a decent CPU and Internet connection to get good results.

There you go... This is what i mean: do you really need x86 to transcode down to 720p and 2.0 sound @1.5 - 4 mbps? I don't think so. Many dumb down NAS boxes with A9 @1.2GHz dual/quad core can do that. Quality wise it may not be great, but it definitely works. I can do DLNA @ 1080p from my Galaxy Note 1 (1.4 quad core) and play on my OPENElec media box.

Also, the idea of streaming my movies via GSM network in UK is rather expensive. I only use my 1GBit local connection, sometimes 130 MBit WiFi (25MHZ, single channel, N type, 2R2T setup). My network can transfer files @ 80-100MB/s via ethernet, so 75Mbps it's only about 9.375MB/s. This is another reason I ditched BD player (100MBit connection, worked fine for normal mkv but shutter at BD rips) and assembled my Media Player (E8400 3GHz dual core, 2GB RAM, 1GBit ethernet). For my Galaxy Note, if I ever watch any movie it will be normal mkv @ 1.5-4 Mbps only because it use 1R1T N type antenna that can reach only 65MBit, so unless I do buffering of that movie, I will not watch full BD rips. ONLY, because of transfer and not because of playing hardware. If my mobile had 2R1T antenna it could reach around 130 MBit, so it would be fine for full rips.

CPU is not as much of a problem (especially when hardware decoding is on), the connection is.
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The other aspect of transcoding is the flexibility. You don't have to use it- I much prefer direct play without any transcode whenever possible but I am also appreciative of having it when I need it. I don't think it matters very much why. It might be for going over the internet, or it might be for compatibility with a certain device like NevCairiel just explained; It could even be for a device you don't even have yet. No telling what the future will hold. The best choice whenever possible will always be not to use transcoding- it's easier on your CPU and the quality is best. But when you need it, it certainly has it's purpose. It's nice to cover all your bases. In today's digital world that can be hard to do.

True, I would never use it, if I didn't have to. Compatibility is one of those problems, but as I've learned from the past: if something is not working quite right now, it will just get worse with time, so I just replace it until I find model that will work perfectly. Typical example is movies in AVIs XVID/DVIX format... not that many peoples use it now...
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post #202 of 330 Old 04-25-2014, 09:58 AM
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1. NAS isn't just simple box, it can be a very powerful computer. How much it depends on your imagination or needs: if you talk about dumb NASes based on ARM, where HDD is mere storage for files, then yes, it will only serve files over the network and nothing else, they are design to be like this: low power and low expectations, but if (like me) build NAS box with >16GB ECC memory (for safety), AMD FX 4100 4 core CPU, 6x2TB HDDs in ZFS on RAIDZ2 using NAS4Free OS... then you can stream or transcode or do whatever you want. It is enough power to burn a hole in your movies.

See, your build, I'd consider a server instead of NAS. When I say NAS, I refer to premade boxes with underpowered ARM CPU's. rolleyes.gif

Quote:
There you go... This is what i mean: do you really need x86 to transcode down to 720p and 2.0 sound @1.5 - 4 mbps? I don't think so. Many dumb down NAS boxes with A9 @1.2GHz dual/quad core can do that. Quality wise it may not be great, but it definitely works. I can do DLNA @ 1080p from my Galaxy Note 1 (1.4 quad core) and play on my OPENElec media box.

Hmm, can you give me an example of a premade NAS box with ARM CPU that can transcode full 1080p Blu-ray rips to 720p in real time? Because even with the i3-2100 (test box), I was seeing around 50-90% CPU load.
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post #203 of 330 Old 04-25-2014, 10:25 AM
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Hmm, can you give me an example of a premade NAS box with ARM CPU that can transcode full 1080p Blu-ray rips to 720p in real time? Because even with the i3-2100 (test box), I was seeing around 50-90% CPU load.


Synology DiskStation DS214play - $369.99

Quote:
  • 1080p Full HD Video Transcoding on the Fly (Learn more)
  • Dual Core CPU Powered by Floating-Point Unit
  • 111 MB/s Reading, 101 MB/s Writing1
  • Features SuperSpeed USB 3.0
  • DLNA® -Certified Media Server
  • Screwless Drive Bay Design and Hot-swappable Support
  • Running on Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM)


http://www.synology.com/en-global/products/overview/DS214play

For the record, I would agree that the previously mentioned 16GB 4 Core box would qualify more as a server at least in the context of this discussion. That said, I would still point out that transcoding can still be offloaded to your ridiculously overpowered HTPC for the purpose of streaming to your mobile devices. The only time that transcoding on the HTPC isn't really practical is when something like a bad WiFi connection is limiting bandwidth between the NAS and the HTPC in the first place. Of course, in that situation I would say that the issue is your network setup, not your NAS. But in that situation, I would say, yes, build a storage server capable of transcoding everything you need.

If I had a signature, this is where it would be.
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post #204 of 330 Old 04-25-2014, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post

See, your build, I'd consider a server instead of NAS. When I say NAS, I refer to premade boxes with underpowered ARM CPU's. rolleyes.gif
Hmm, can you give me an example of a premade NAS box with ARM CPU that can transcode full 1080p Blu-ray rips to 720p in real time? Because even with the i3-2100 (test box), I was seeing around 50-90% CPU load.

I will just point out that Network Attached Storage beginnings came from enterprise environments, ARM CPU just allowed to use cheaply and low powered at home.

Did I said full BD rip? I said mkv. Don't expect to transcode 75MBps 1080p with DTS HD MA @ 5.1 with ARM... Especially with no hardware support. Not for a while. This is video re encode with sound re encode, come on ;-), but... I know that ARM GFX like MAli 400 has internal hardware encoder for 1080p30, so if linux has proprietary drivers utilising it, then I cannot see why not for <4Mbps and 720p... Unfortunately, linux drivers are nightmare to obtain and licensing is just stupid, so you are left out with CPU only...
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post #205 of 330 Old 04-25-2014, 10:38 AM
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Come on guys. Seriously ?



ajhieb you list a $369 disk station with a measily dual Core 1.6 GHz and 1GB memory and it hold only 2 hard drives.

I could write a book about the reasons why that is completely insufficient but I'll spare everyone the trouble and just say it's not (for me at least).

I have a 50TB Flexraid server running Windows Home Server and 20 hot swap hard drive bays based on an i7 CPU so I can't directly really compare anything personally with a straight face other than say it's worlds apart. We need to keep apples to apples if we are to provide any additional value for anyone- otherwise it's just people defending themselves or their purchase decisions.

You need to compare what a media server at a given price point will provide compared to the NAS at the same price point, which means I'd be comparing my server against a higher line disk station, and for $369 you are probably getting a lot more storage bays and power/ram in a cheap media server build in comparison.

Celeron $35
Mobo $50
Case: $40
PSU: $25
8GB ram: $50
$200.

Plenty of room for SSD if you don't want to go USB stick for the OS, and afford WHS ($40-$50) for the OS if you wanted. Or upgrade the CPU to say i3/i5. Sky is the limit. I think things need to be apples to apples though, otherwise it's pointless.

The value in the Synology is that it's pre built and it saves the purchaser the trouble of spec out a system, building it, and setting it up. The value is in the easier time savings; not the price or the performance. Nothing wrong with that either, if that is important to someone then it's reasonable value there.

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post #206 of 330 Old 04-25-2014, 10:42 AM
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Here is a situation - your watching the movie, the scene is a moment of near silence and your immersed into the movie, the lead actor starts to speak in a low voice !!!!!WHIRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!! the GPU goes into supersonic mode to cool the overheating chip. You miss what the guy says and the whole room is swimming in the sound of the tiny fan spinning at mach 10 desperately attempting to cool down the graphics card. This is the moment where it begins to suck. You have some pc crapping all over the moment.

One thing I'm not hearing is the value of silence. I built my HTPC to be as smooth as silk. I dislike the flashing lights... and even more is the WHIRRING of fans while watching a movie... during the quite moments of a movie and you hear the GPU spinning up - its terribly annoying. I will admit - I don't do transcoding or anything to the movie files. Every file I have is ripped to very high quality. But I felt its worth mentioning that all this stuff sounds nice, i5 or i7 chips and dual SLI cards, and there is a place for it. I just don't want any of that in my own home theater. I've spent a lot of money to be immersed in the movie, and I have the mediaserver in another room for a reason.


My own HTPC is lower end - AMD something or another 45watt chip with an air cooler, 2gb of ram and a passively cooled ATI card. I watch bluray movies off it, and bluray ISOs or music from the mediaserver. It's very nice and smooth. The most expensive thing in it is prob the case, or the SSD... It is NOT powerful by today's standards by any stretch, but it does do what I need, and it is as silent as my receiver... I should also add that I haven't tinkered with it (other then updates) for 5 years.

You can build your HTPC as a gaming rig, but it comes at the cost of noise, and if it sits in the theater to me it is an unwelcome guest. But there have been times when I wanted to play Crysis 3 on my 150" screen!! But that isn't possible with the HTPC, unless I want to watch a crysis slide show.
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post #207 of 330 Old 04-25-2014, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

Synology DiskStation DS214play - $369.99
http://www.synology.com/en-global/products/overview/DS214play

For the record, I would agree that the previously mentioned 16GB 4 Core box would qualify more as a server at least in the context of this discussion. That said, I would still point out that transcoding can still be offloaded to your ridiculously overpowered HTPC for the purpose of streaming to your mobile devices. The only time that transcoding on the HTPC isn't really practical is when something like a bad WiFi connection is limiting bandwidth between the NAS and the HTPC in the first place. Of course, in that situation I would say that the issue is your network setup, not your NAS. But in that situation, I would say, yes, build a storage server capable of transcoding everything you need.

OK, for your standards, I will say this is massively overpowered NAS box. It only serve files, but it can transcode if need it. Server does more than just serving files, it has other services running as well...
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post #208 of 330 Old 04-25-2014, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by justinjames View Post

Here is a situation - your watching the movie, the scene is a moment of near silence and your immersed into the movie, the lead actor starts to speak in a low voice !!!!!WHIRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!! the GPU goes into supersonic mode to cool the overheating chip. You miss what the guy says and the whole room is swimming in the sound of the tiny fan spinning at mach 10 desperately attempting to cool down the graphics card. This is the moment where it begins to suck. You have some pc crapping all over the moment.

One thing I'm not hearing is the value of silence. I built my HTPC to be as smooth as silk. I dislike the flashing lights... and even more is the WHIRRING of fans while watching a movie... during the quite moments of a movie and you hear the GPU spinning up - its terribly annoying. I will admit - I don't do transcoding or anything to the movie files. Every file I have is ripped to very high quality. But I felt its worth mentioning that all this stuff sounds nice, i5 or i7 chips and dual SLI cards, and there is a place for it. I just don't want any of that in my own home theater. I've spent a lot of money to be immersed in the movie, and I have the mediaserver in another room for a reason.


My own HTPC is lower end - AMD something or another 45watt chip with an air cooler, 2gb of ram and a passively cooled ATI card. I watch bluray movies off it, and bluray ISOs or music from the mediaserver. It's very nice and smooth. The most expensive thing in it is prob the case, or the SSD... It is NOT powerful by today's standards by any stretch, but it does do what I need, and it is as silent as my receiver... I should also add that I haven't tinkered with it (other then updates) for 5 years.

You can build your HTPC as a gaming rig, but it comes at the cost of noise, and if it sits in the theater to me it is an unwelcome guest. But there have been times when I wanted to play Crysis 3 on my 150" screen!! But that isn't possible with the HTPC, unless I want to watch a crysis slide show.

Right on!

So right it hurts eek.gif Oh.. Ouch... ! It hurts all over!

The #1 detriment to an all in one machine is the ability to make it cool, and quiet and easily control the form factor and the WAF factor keeping it appliance like. It's increasingly harder to cool as the case shrinks, and it's also increasingly hard to shrink the case with lots of hard drives or whatever inside. You can make a nice media server do the heavy lifting and hide it away and build a very nice SSD only HTPC to playback from- There is without a doubt value in this strategy from a noise perspective, cooling perspective, or form factor perspective.

Additionally, The all important WAF factor of being appliance like. The HTPC needs to be appliance like. A dedicated HTPC that only does one thing can accomplish this easily. I don't even have a keyboard or remote on mine. All in one machines becomes very hard to do and keep it appliance like. Let a server be a server and let an HTPC be an HTPC. If I was to skimp on anything power wise I would be tempted to do it on the HTPC rather than the workstation or the server in my own case.

My i5 runs ultra quiet though because I never overclock it, I set it up in a good case with adequate cooling- and it never struggles. Most of it's life is spent under it's stock clock speed, saving not just energy but heat and noise too. A faster overpowered CPU will run cooler and quieter at 25% load than a under powered dual core will at 90% load doing the same tasks. The more powerful quad core will kick on the turbo boost and make quick work of whatever needs to be done and drop back down in clock speed before it ever gets a chance to heat up in the real world- while an underpowered CPU is going to heat up and stay heated initiating faster fan speeds and higher temps just trying to keep it's little head above water in it's processing duties. Even if a weaker CPU might barely get the job done, do you want it ?
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post #209 of 330 Old 04-25-2014, 11:15 AM
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You can build your HTPC as a gaming rig, but it comes at the cost of noise, and if it sits in the theater to me it is an unwelcome guest. But there have been times when I wanted to play Crysis 3 on my 150" screen!! But that isn't possible with the HTPC, unless I want to watch a crysis slide show.

You are DA MAN ;-)

I have AVR, so connecting my 43" LCD to play battlefield 3 is nothing more than pressing PC on my AVR remote control ;-)

Yes, I have the same vision: HTPC needs to be quiet, doesn't have to be powerful, for that I have desktop... and NAS need to have a reasonably safe STORAGE.

My current NAS:

RAM: 5GB NON ECC (£25)
CPU: G1610 2.6GHz @ 1.6GHz (more than I need) (£32)
MB: Asus P8H61-I (£80)
HDD: 4x 500GB Raid10 ZFS (£120 for all of them)
CASE: Cooler Master Elite 120 Mini ITX (£35)

It idle around 60W all in, 30W with HDD sleeping...

So... ~£300, for all. It can do anything I want with it with expandability you will never get from all in one solutions, but I will replace it onto AMD build with ECC memory and 2U case, additional £150 if I keep old CPU+MB, less if I flog it... lessons learned ;-)
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post #210 of 330 Old 04-25-2014, 11:30 AM
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Right on!

So right it hurts eek.gif Oh.. Ouch... ! It hurts all over!

The #1 detriment to an all in one machine is the ability to make it cool, and quiet and easily control the form factor and the WAF factor keeping it appliance like. It's increasingly harder to cool as the case shrinks, and it's also increasingly hard to shrink the case with lots of hard drives or whatever inside. You can make a nice media server do the heavy lifting and hide it away and build a very nice SSD only HTPC to playback from- There is without a doubt value in this strategy from a noise perspective, cooling perspective, or form factor perspective.

Additionally, The all important WAF factor of being appliance like. The HTPC needs to be appliance like. A dedicated HTPC that only does one thing can accomplish this easily. I don't even have a keyboard or remote on mine. All in one machines becomes very hard to do and keep it appliance like. Let a server be a server and let an HTPC be an HTPC. If I was to skimp on anything power wise I would be tempted to do it on the HTPC rather than the workstation or the server in my own case.

My i5 runs ultra quiet though because I never overclock it, I set it up in a good case with adequate cooling- and it never struggles. Most of it's life is spent under it's stock clock speed, saving not just energy but heat and noise too. A faster overpowered CPU will run cooler and quieter at 25% load than a under powered dual core will at 90% load doing the same tasks. The more powerful quad core will kick on the turbo boost and make quick work of whatever needs to be done and drop back down in clock speed before it ever gets a chance to heat up in the real world- while an underpowered CPU is going to heat up and stay heated initiating faster fan speeds and higher temps just trying to keep it's little head above water in it's processing duties. Even if a weaker CPU might barely get the job done, do you want it ?

My HTPC is ONLY for video and music play and I have ONLY E8400 @ 2.6GHz underclocked. Why? Because in case it really struggle for longer, it will never reach more than 45 centigrade( thats why I don't like the T modes with lower TDP, same CPU with lower frequency and costing more). There is also NVidia 610 GT doing decoding of my movies... Guess what: CPU barely see 5% usage with 80W (including 4 quite slow fans and an old HDD 80GB IDE, ATX MB, Nvidia 610... no matter I'm doing with it.



My Kiddy is watching now, BTW ;-)))
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