Hello all. This is my first post here at AVS Forum.
I'm a huge fan of HTPC's and I'm not quite sure why I've never registered at any HTPC related forum. This site has been a huge resource for me in recent years so thought I'd make this my home. I'm from Dallas, TX, I'm a CAD designer, I have a wife and one daughter and I love and still play hockey as a 31 yr old adult living the dream. So... I'd like to take this time to update the community with what I'm rockin' these days....
(1) WHS 2011
(1) Xbox 360
I've been fiddling with HTPC's since about 2006. I've only in recent years finally put forth some real effort to get a setup going the way I want... partly due to money situation finally coming around, and I bought my own house a couple years ago so it's okay to cut holes in walls and what not.
Alight, now for the details. I've read the posting FAQ and I don't wanna stir anything up so I'll say this once and only once... Microsoft Windows 7 and WMC just "works". Period. All three of my HTPC's have AverMedia dual tuner's (OTA ATSC & ClearQAM) and it cannot be any easier, nor any better with plug-and-play that includes a EPG and DVR/PVR. Not only that, Xbox 360 interfaces seamlessly with WMC Extender.
I'm a fan of a centralized server, which is why I went with WHS, although I plan on buying a NAS soon for further benefits. I did myself the liberty of networking my entire home with gigabit eithernet that's ran to a 16 port unmanaged switch, completely installed with wall plates, keystone jacks, etc. This is integral to a complete solution with recorded TV in WMC which can be shared throughout the house.
My main HTPC is decently stout with an AMD proc/mobo, SSD, BluRay ROM, gaming card and full ATX Silverstone HTPC case. Just for looks in the living room. My bedroom HTPC still impresses me to this day: an AMD embedded solution, the ASRock E350M1 APU, ITX Mobo, Adata high-end SSD, 1TB WD Green, 8GB RAM and that thing is still tickin'. Best bang for the buck IMHO. Third HTPC is a crappy old computer in the guest room. I have the Xbox 360 in my daughter's room as a device to play her little kiddo videos on Amazon Prime and with WMC Extender, watching TV in her room is a seamless breeze with gigabit connection. I'm no gamer, it's really for the nephews when they come over.
I run $11 set of bunny ears to all the HTPC's but each antenna is in the attic with a coax that's running down the wall and has a coupling to the face plate. It's amazing what a small initial investment can give you in terms of a complete media solution, without spending $200/mo for cable or satellite. Although, I must confess, my wife still makes me have at least a basic cable package, haha. She's gotta have her cooking shows and I'm too lazy to set up a scrapper download setup.
All my HTPC's are obviously running XBMC, due to the native integration to WMC, and well, XBMC is simply the best HTPC software out there. ArcSoft TotalMedia for the BluRay, which again integrates into WMC (using 50% off promo codes). Netflix which comes installed with WMC. Live OTA TV and EPG with WMC. Extender for Xbox 360 with WMC. I love me some WMC for "set it, and forget it" plug and play. All using remotes and a registry override to nix "explorer.exe" and start right into WMC. I've spent countless hours using EventGhost and this plugin, that plugin, this automagic thing, yadda yadda and I've relinquished those types of efforts.
I like to call my setup "wife approved". When I first embarked on the HTPC journeys my wife would give me "the look" from time to time. Jump ahead to present day, and let an HTPC be down and you'd bet your mamma's sweet apple pie I'll be getting a text while I'm at work... "Hey the HTPC isn't working... what can I do?"
Alright, my beer is almost done. Time to wrap up. To anyone who actually read through all this, thanks! Or, my apologies in advance, lol. I find HTPC's interesting and a total cost saver overall. I'm looking to get connecting with other passionate individuals, and I'm soon about to look into a wall mounted touch screen system that automates my whole house (upstairs, downstairs and back patio area) and this is where I may need to finally collaborate and pick the brains of others. My media room upstairs will be my eventual pride and joy for a middle class budget, with 24bit/192khz 5.1 surround for my musical and movie experiences. Have a good one!
Tannar Z. Frampton | HTPC Goodness
Last edited by tzframpton; 07-06-2014 at 10:02 PM.