Guide to Building a HTPC, Workstation and Server - Page 650 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #19471 of 19501 Old 10-14-2015, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by duder1982 View Post
Are these build guides still up to date or are there better ones?
To be able to access a NAS once built.
To be able to stream Netflix, and Sling TV,
To hook up an HD Antenna to record some local programing.
HDMI out to my receiver.
Currently, streaming stinks on HTPCs. If you use it like a computer that's one thing, but as an HTPC (appliance) it just does not work very well.

Let's go bottom to top:
To record, Windows Media Center is currently still the best option. So, you are on Windows. Netflix has been stripped out of WMC, and Amazon streaming was never there, and of course none of the other services like Sling or HBO Go or MLB, etc. are there. So, you are better off with a set top box such as a Roku or NVidia Shield TV to sit beside the HTPC.

Just about anything can access a NAS, depending on what you have at the NAS end. WMC or Kodi can stream files natively, and Kodi can run on a stand-alone PC, or Kodi can be installed on a NVidia Shield. If you run Plex or Emby on the NAS, this opens up a lot more doors, but you have to look at how powerful your NAS is.

Some of this will change really soon, and some "soon". The NVidia Shield is getting very good at a lot of things. It can even view live TV if you have a SiliconDust HDHR device. But until SiliconDust releases the PVR application, it will not be able to record.
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post #19472 of 19501 Old 10-14-2015, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TornadoTJ View Post
Currently, streaming stinks on HTPCs. If you use it like a computer that's one thing, but as an HTPC (appliance) it just does not work very well.

Let's go bottom to top:
To record, Windows Media Center is currently still the best option. So, you are on Windows. Netflix has been stripped out of WMC, and Amazon streaming was never there, and of course none of the other services like Sling or HBO Go or MLB, etc. are there. So, you are better off with a set top box such as a Roku or NVidia Shield TV to sit beside the HTPC.

Just about anything can access a NAS, depending on what you have at the NAS end. WMC or Kodi can stream files natively, and Kodi can run on a stand-alone PC, or Kodi can be installed on a NVidia Shield. If you run Plex or Emby on the NAS, this opens up a lot more doors, but you have to look at how powerful your NAS is.

Some of this will change really soon, and some "soon". The NVidia Shield is getting very good at a lot of things. It can even view live TV if you have a SiliconDust HDHR device. But until SiliconDust releases the PVR application, it will not be able to record.
Do you all work for this SiliconDust, I have seen it in a couple of threads, maybe its time I look into it.

My purpose is to get away from cable, I don't mind using a HTPC like a normal computer if its simplified. I need to make this fairly easy for my wife and kids, so my Harmony one will have to be able to control it and I prefer one box.

I currently am able to run Netflix and access a form of a nas from my ps3, when I ran my computer as a nas I ran plex, it works great.
If what you are saying, is save 300-400 on building a HTPC and spend 100-200 on a couple of devices, then I could just use my phone for sling tv and some sort of device to watch local channels such as good old rabbit ears.

I guess I thought if I could build one thing that would accommodate all, then I would be set.
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post #19473 of 19501 Old 10-14-2015, 04:02 PM
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Wow really other than sling tv there is no reason why my ps3 wouldn't work for everything i want.

That hdhr prime would stream live local tv to the ps3.

Sent from my SM-N920P using Tapatalk
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post #19474 of 19501 Old 10-15-2015, 11:27 AM
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No, I don't work for SD.

The PS3 will stream from an HDHR. Just remember there is no TV guide. And if you have a lot of channels, it's quite a task to get to the channel you want (lots of scrolling). And PS3's are not exactly energy efficient. I'm not knocking them, I have two myself, they are just not the best for using for live TV. Plex on PS3 isn't all that great, either. If you want to use a console to do this, get an NVidia Shield TV.
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post #19475 of 19501 Old 11-02-2015, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jvinhj240 View Post
I check secure boot, its not on. also some people says this mobo won't support any size bigger than 2TB, is this true?
The biggest thing with drives larger than 2TB is you CAN boot from them, but you need to Initialize the drive differently, MBR only supports up to 2TB drives, use GTP instead of MBR in the Initialization procedure in the Disk Management (Windows), you can then format in NTFS as normal and yes, the machine can boot from it. But I wouldn't recommend keeping your data on such a large drive with your OS, the better suggestion would be an SSD (120-240) for the OS and software and put a 3TB drive in as your storage for your stuff, as it makes backing the boot drive a lot easier so in the event it gets turtled, you can unturtle just the OS drive and not cause issues with your recordings.

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Well, you're the guru. I've been using 5 of their dual tuner OTA tuners and 3 of their 3 tuner CableCard Prime units for quite a while now and they're absolutely rock solid, extremely reliable products. If you're worried about connecting a few more devices to your network, then it's time to re-examine your network architecture. But what do I know...

The only other comment I'll make is that SageTV is now open source. It might be worth looking at or not. I have no idea since I'm not a guru and have no idea if it will be satisfactory to you. It has a very strong, loyal, user base. But they aren't all gurus either.

Good luck with your project.
Well, I went with NextPVR (there are some quirks, the author is working them out), just received my new Aerb 2.4GHz Air Mouse remote just today (it's a refurb and all shiny new looking, almost looks like a return). Anyhow, I went this route with my HTPC: i5-4460, 8GB, ASUS H87M-E, 2 x Hauppauge 1229 WinTV-HVR-2255 Dual TV Tuner / Encoder - OEM, 240GB Kingston SSD, Win 7 Home Premium-64, ASUS BluRay RE drive, Antec 650 Platinum PS (93% efficiency) in a SilverStone ML03 case.

After a week of usage, it's running cool (board sits around 90F and CPU at 104F under load), the only bad thing is, the Antec 650 Platinum's fan isn't quiet, in fact, it's the only fan I can hear, once the machine boots from cold, the fan goes up and down to "Normal" and I can't hear it, well, not over the power supply fan. I don't seem to have a tweak for that PS fan, would love to slow it down since all it's doing is cooling itself and the temp out the back was 72F after the first week. I can live with the soft noise of it with it saving all that hydro. Actually this whole thing uses less hydro and is cooler than the PHD-VRX2 it replaced. Sadly, at 4x the cost, but the ease of use is nicer.

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post #19476 of 19501 Old 11-05-2015, 09:06 AM
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Possible to stream music services through networked pre-pro?

I have a Bryston SP3 audio processor that's connected to my home network. I'm able to use Windows Media Player to stream music from my PC to the Bryston. Does anyone know if there's a way I can stream music services (like Spotify, etc.) from my PC to the Bryston as well? I'm currently on Win7, but I can upgrade to Win10 if it's supported there.

I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, so please redirect (or ignore) me if this is the wrong place. Thanks!
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post #19477 of 19501 Old 11-14-2015, 07:22 AM
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Will GT720 work with 4K TV?

our HTPC has 300w PSU and GT720, is there a graphics card that will work well without changing PSU?

case is Silverstone SG05.

thanks
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post #19478 of 19501 Old 11-16-2015, 05:58 PM
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http://www.geforce.com/hardware/desk...specifications

It says 4096x2160 at 24Hz supported over HDMI
And it should work with your PSU

EDIT: but I am not sure wether you need HDMI 2.0 or only 1.4. Doesn't hurt to try if you already have it
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post #19479 of 19501 Old 11-22-2015, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by donktard View Post
http://www.geforce.com/hardware/desk...specifications

It says 4096x2160 at 24Hz supported over HDMI
And it should work with your PSU

EDIT: but I am not sure wether you need HDMI 2.0 or only 1.4. Doesn't hurt to try if you already have it
Thanks, I have an gt720 in there at the moment. What if the content was 60fps?

He has not bought the set yet.

This is for a close Friend. I am leaving the country and do not want to risk it not working. Anything over that might require more PSU?

Thanks for the help.
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post #19480 of 19501 Old 11-22-2015, 01:20 PM
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That GPU naturally produces 50-60 Hz content on your standard computer monitor (depending on its frequency), I don't see why should it have any problems. Its quite a weak card and is not really designed for gaming so power consumption is minimal.
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post #19481 of 19501 Old 01-12-2016, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by mingus View Post
Will GT720 work with 4K TV?

our HTPC has 300w PSU and GT720, is there a graphics card that will work well without changing PSU?

case is Silverstone SG05.

thanks
I have a question regarding your PSU, is it 80+ at 300w? I don't know of one (Antec had an 80 Bronze 320, but they're rare now). That supply must be generating a ton of heat with it being near max and if it's not 80+, it's going to be costing a lot more in hydro (unless you don't pay it and it's included in your location). There is room for any supply, though a modular 80+ one would probably be a better fit for that chassis, would reduce heat on it as well if it's inside a cabinet (where I put mine under the TV, so heat was a worry). The closer you push to the limit of the supply, the more stress it will be under (and the shorter lifespan) and more stress means more heat and more power consumption outside. From a PC standpoint (which it is), reducing stress is better, as if that power supply fails, a few things can happen, none of them are nice. I've seen burned/scorched supplies, seen them shoot flames and sparks out as they burned up, scorching the other side of the case internally (which could have caused a fire). Now I'm not trying to scare anyone, just letting everyone here know that a low watt supply isn't the best choice, spend the extra $$$$ on an 80+ higher watt supply, that will be comfortable in performing, it'll last longer, cost less to operate and run cooler.

The SG05 you have, the supply being in the middle and on the top, will radiate heat on the sides that are not fanned and will add to the ambient temperature (as no supply can cool the walls of itself where the fan flow won't necessarily touch). Your CPU fan will pull air in from the top (which actually defeats the supply's air flow direction) and pushes it through the fins of the heatsink and out along the sides, which is in most cases, so what will happen is the heat will circle in the back of the case, warming the supply up as well, but with the supply adding to that temperature, it'll literally cook itself faster. I'm actually quoting out machines right now and doing the very same thing, matching a case with a 80+ supply for use with basic systems (general usage, web surfing, light game playing, that sort of thing) to make sure the machine will be quiet and as cool as possible while not being harsh on hydro, those are all "I want" points from most people.

Oh, and a side note: Power supplies that fry, STINK! Wow, that smell takes a while to go away...

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post #19482 of 19501 Old 01-12-2016, 06:49 AM
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I have a Q: LEDs, 2 of them up front, unused, unwired...

The Air Mouse sadly won't "wake" the PC from sleep, so I have to manually turn the thing on each time I want to use it (currently with the commercial wifi I have, there's an issue with it from the firmware that the manufacturer is being "duh" about, that's damaging packets outside of regular web surfing, a repeat of another issue I had in 2001 with NetBUI packets being mangled by another manufacturer's firmware, but they resolved it with my help). So, I can't wake that PC in any way with the remote (I would have to buy a wireless mouse or keyboard just to wake it up), therefore I have to open the cabinet, push the power button and watch the BluRay drive flash it's LED (the only working LED at the moment).

I'd plug the power one in if it didn't FLASH all the time it was on, like watching TV and seeing that LED blinking 24-7 would probably annoy the hell out of anyone (like that Update Manager on Apple, bouncing up and down like mad until you deal with it). Has anyone seen a circuit or a project that lets us use those 2 LEDs for things like, "recording" LED or "ON" LED? Having that recording LED come on would be fantastic, as with NextPVR the only notification it's recording (without the UI going) is the tray icon goes red.

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post #19483 of 19501 Old 01-12-2016, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by GuruSR View Post
I have a Q: LEDs, 2 of them up front, unused, unwired...

Has anyone seen a circuit or a project that lets us use those 2 LEDs for things like, "recording" LED or "ON" LED? Having that recording LED come on would be fantastic, as with NextPVR the only notification it's recording (without the UI going) is the tray icon goes red.

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http://slicksolutions.eu/ledsdriver.shtml
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post #19484 of 19501 Old 01-13-2016, 02:06 PM
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That supply must be generating a ton of heat with it being near max
Why would it be "near max" ? Depending on the specs of the machine in question, it may only be drawing 150w - that 300w PSU could be operating at 50% load.
What's more, if it's an 80+ PSU, then it should be at least 80% efficient at 20% and 50% and 100% of load - so it doesn't matter one jot whether it's running "near max". Efficiency barely drops at higher loads if it's a decent PSU.
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Originally Posted by GuruSR View Post
and if it's not 80+, it's going to be costing a lot more in hydro (unless you don't pay it and it's included in your location). There is room for any supply, though a modular 80+ one would probably be a better fit for that chassis, would reduce heat...
The 80+ certification simply means the PSU has been certified to be at least 80% efficient at various loads.


Without knowing his existing PSU, it could still be 79% efficient - switching it for an 81% efficient 80+ unit won't affect his electricity usage or heat generation. It's also perfectly possibly that his PSU could be over 80% efficient at his chosen load.

Last edited by Nomgle; 01-13-2016 at 02:24 PM.
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post #19485 of 19501 Old 01-13-2016, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by TornadoTJ View Post
I'll have to ask the author of NextPVR if it is capable of sending those events. I figured there had to be something out there. I'll swing by my local supply shop and get a cable header and make a plug platform for it on top of the internal COM port, so I can plug in the cables without wiring them in directly. Thank you for that.

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post #19486 of 19501 Old 01-13-2016, 04:46 PM
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Why would it be "near max" ? Depending on the specs of the machine in question, it may only be drawing 150w - that 300w PSU could be operating at 50% load.
What's more, if it's an 80+ PSU, then it should be at least 80% efficient at 20% and 50% and 100% of load - so it doesn't matter one jot whether it's running "near max". Efficiency barely drops at higher loads if it's a decent PSU.

The 80+ certification simply means the PSU has been certified to be at least 80% efficient at various loads.


Without knowing his existing PSU, it could still be 79% efficient - switching it for an 81% efficient 80+ unit won't affect his electricity usage or heat generation. It's also perfectly possibly that his PSU could be over 80% efficient at his chosen load.
I'll respond to this flame post with this: I was asking the original author why going with such a small supply, as in the past 20+ years, no manufacturer made any effort to go high efficiency on a low wattage supply, simply put, the cost outweighed the usefulness. The lowest I've ever seen was 380watts for decent efficiency and those were discontinued about 2 years ago (if not more). And with your comment of his 300 watt supply running at 150watts, may be nothing to most, but 150watts that could have been 80%+ of that, means you love paying hydro and could care less about being green or the environment. No, I'm not an "enviro", just prefer not to pay my hydro company, when I can avoid it, since they raise the rates enough that I'd rather *not* make them richer when I can "stick it to them" any way I can. Using an efficient supply, larger that will not be anywhere near under load, will run cooler (quieter), as the HTPC cases I've seen, rely on a lot of minimal air flow to stay cool (means the case has a lot of holes in it so natural air movement can happen) and the lower heat levels you can produce in *any* component, the better it'll be in the long run. My HTPC still runs a nice around 90F-100F while the supply (that fans itself) sits around 70F. I know my HTPC won't try to burn my place down with it overheating, now the person I *asked* this question to, may have gotten that 300watt supply with the case (rare these days, though not unheard of if the case is specially designed for that supply).

In any event, I'll wait for that person's reply, as I seriously don't need to be "schooled" on supplies, as I've dealt with them and PC's for the past 20+ years and I know my way around them and their components.

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post #19487 of 19501 Old 01-13-2016, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by GuruSR View Post
Using an efficient supply, larger that will not be anywhere near under load, will run cooler (quieter)
This is absolutely incorrect

Here's why :
Take two 80+ PSUs, one 400W and one 600W.
Let's say the PC you're driving, draws 360W under load.
The first 400W PSU would be operating at a 90% load. Let's say it's 81% efficient at 90% load (it's an 80+ unit remember).
If it's producing 360W of power, at 81% efficiency, then it's wasting an additional 84W of power as heat.


Now consider the second 600W PSU. The same PC is pulling the same 360W. So the PSU is operating at 60% load. Let's say it's also 81% efficient at 60% load (it's an 80+ unit remember).
If it's producing 360W of power, at 81% efficiency, then it's ALSO wasting an additional 84W of power as heat.


It's not producing any more or less heat that the 400W unit.


You should consider a PSU of the correct size for your application. Bigger is most definitely not better - and infact, some larger PSUs are less efficient when running at a low load. An 80 Plus Gold certified 240v PSU, will run at least 92% efficiency at 50% load - but this drops to 88% efficiency at 20% load.


In a system that's mostly idling around the 150W level, then a 500W 80+ Gold PSU (30% load) may generate more heat than a 250W 80+ Gold PSU (60% load).
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post #19488 of 19501 Old 01-14-2016, 07:59 AM
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This is absolutely incorrect
If it's producing 360W of power, at 81% efficiency, then it's wasting an additional 84W of power as heat.
To avoid going off topic on this, the original poster talked about a 300 watt supply, and with *all* supplies, there is a transformer and (at least 1) FET inside it, these two items produce the most heat (the FET[s] are usually heatsinked), under load (50% is the max best performance on most Transformers, going past this will start stressing it and produce less efficiency and more heat). Over the age of the transformer, it's max ceiling (the highest wattage it can maintain) will weaken, and the harder you stress it, the faster this happens and when the load goes past 50% of the transformer's ceiling (after fade), you can start stressing the voltage regulation circuitry on the motherboard itself (which I've seen far too much of when companies put weak supplies in and say it's "fine"). Supplies that offer a wattage don't always deliver the wattage on the "box", a 400 watt supply may produce 360 or 420 when new, 3 years down the road depending on abuse, that could drop by 20% or more. Smaller isn't better, getting your max load to half of the supply is best (you were close there) as it leaves room for the transformer to fade over time and as the transformer fades, it will get hotter to produce the same output as before. That is just common knowledge, anyone who has dealt with transformers knows they do a wonderful job brand new. The spare wattage you posted about, not sure where that comes from as the load being delivered isn't going to be max wattage, next time you've got a battery backup with a digital output (or a monitor to read the actual draw), check a few supplies yourself, see which ones draw the most during the time. I do know for a fact that the smaller (400watt rated) transformers heat up faster than the larger ones (600 watt at the same load level, say 200watts).

The best way to buy a supply for a PC is: at the max power usage, the cpu, board, hdd, optical, ram, etc, should reach about half of what the supply can deliver. In 3 years the supply won't be delivering what it did brand new, in terms of wattage, but with it still being higher than the computer's needs, won't require a replacement and won't damage the board.

If you wish to continue your debate on supplies, do so in private, to avoid this becoming an off-topic argument.

GuruSR.
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post #19489 of 19501 Old 01-14-2016, 08:50 PM
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Smaller isn't better, getting your max load to half of the supply is best
Bingo.


As I pointed out, your original statements of "That supply must be generating a ton of heat with it being near max" and "if it's not 80+, it's going to be costing a lot more" and "modular 80+ one would reduce heat" were nonsense.


You should consider a PSU of the correct size for your application.
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post #19490 of 19501 Old 01-15-2016, 06:48 AM
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As I pointed out, your original statements of "That supply must be generating a ton of heat with it being near max" and "if it's not 80+, it's going to be costing a lot more" and "modular 80+ one would reduce heat" were nonsense.
Some light reading:

http://engineering.stackexchange.com...snt-under-load
http://sound.westhost.com/xfmr.htm

The second one explains how a transformer works. A transformer rated for a 300Watt load running a 200Watt load is above the 50% operating level and will generate more heat & internal stress than a transformer rated for 400Watts running a 200Watt load. All transformers have a threshold before the "melt" (not my words, that is how it's said above, I prefer explode, fry, turn into a Roman Candle, okay that last one was in the electrical shop when we were having fun with how fast we could make one glow [Don't recommend that, doing that is excessively dangerous]). That aside, the PSU uses a transformer to create DC from AC using coils, under load, those coils get hot, with magnetism also affecting the metal of the coils, that too adds to the heat of the internals of the transformer. Smaller transformers means smaller coil wiring (generally not gauge, but length), the core of the transformer pretty much winds up being an induction plate above 50% load and it cannot be cooled externally (well, not the ones used in PSUs). As the core temperature of a transformer rises, it's ability to generate DC on the receiving coil weakens, which in turn adds to the load. As excessive load (+50%) is constantly applied, the coils begin to weaken, reducing the overall strength of their ability to deliver current (on both sides), elevating the heat further and reducing efficiency, and at the end of that slope, is it "melting".

The circuitry after the Transformer (and the AC stepdown) go through voltage regulation, filtering and "buffering" (for the "initial draw" of the machine). Anyone interested should read up on those 2 sites above about Transformers, and I do recommend and will continue to build and sell PCs with the max load at 50% (max, not average, max), as with the transformer in mind, it's efficiency at half it's ability produces about 40% of the total heat it can survive and will last for quite a few years beyond that and will not prematurely fail due to stress induced "meltdown".

All this being said, a power supply's efficiency will reduce as it goes above 50% of it's total load and will generate more heat as it does, those wishing their HTPC to run cooler, get the maximum rating of your computer's wattage needs and find a supply that can meet it at 50% when at maximum load (the transformer's sweet spot), going past it some is fine, but 75% is asking for it to not last and produce amounts of heat that won't be acceptable, not in a closed cabinet anyways. Could explain why my PHD-VRX2 was such a flake, "Easy Bake Oven" in comparison the HTPC I put in there to replace it (directly, it's sitting under other equipment).

Anyone wanting to know more about the supply's transformer which is responsible for the majority of power used inside a computer, read the second link above, the first one was just there as a light read. Knowing how a transformer works and how the heat is created (coils + magnetism) will give you a better understanding on how to make an HTPC with less fans and less noise, also the transformer only draws a load based on the internal resistance of the apposing coil (the DC side), so if that DC side isn't pulling anything (which isn't possible on an ATX supply, they're always pulling voltage), the AC side will pull some, but not that much, there is a calculator for that stuff, not about to bore people with math.

For those wanting an E80+ to reduce power, real world values have shown that even though the manufacturers say a "supply is this efficient at this %", cannot be guaranteed as every transformer is different, will deliver a different amount of DC per AC cycle (your hydro's quality also plays a factor in this), the switching, regulation, filtering, "buffering" all affect it's final output and cannot be guaranteed. The values they list are "expected", not "guaranteed".

GuruSR.

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post #19491 of 19501 Old 03-22-2016, 09:53 PM
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Hi

i am currently building my own HTPC. i would like to connect from PC to power amplifier directly, ie analogue out from sound card to power amplifier. in essence my pc will ac as the preamp, but i would like it to play trueHD, DTS-HD. so far i have not been able to find a soundcard that can do this. the only info i could find is HDMI 1.3 to a decoder/amp. any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
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post #19492 of 19501 Old 03-29-2016, 04:33 PM
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Hi
i am currently building my own HTPC. i would like to connect from PC to power amplifier directly, ie analogue out from sound card to power amplifier. in essence my pc will ac as the preamp, but i would like it to play trueHD, DTS-HD. so far i have not been able to find a soundcard that can do this. the only info i could find is HDMI 1.3 to a decoder/amp. any help would be appreciated.
Thanks
HDMI connections carry lossless digital audio - you simply connect your PC to your AV Receiver directly with an HDMI cable, and it will pass the unaltered audio bits that live within your source video. Then your AV Receiver will decode the digital signal, convert it to analogue, amplify it, and pass it to your speakers. There's no need to use lossy analogue connections from your PC.
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post #19493 of 19501 Old 03-29-2016, 08:18 PM
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HDMI connections carry lossless digital audio - you simply connect your PC to your AV Receiver directly with an HDMI cable, and it will pass the unaltered audio bits that live within your source video. Then your AV Receiver will decode the digital signal, convert it to analogue, amplify it, and pass it to your speakers. There's no need to use lossy analogue connections from your PC.
Lossy analog???

Here's the challenge... Some where along the audio chain, you will be converting the digital bits to analog. This is the task performed by the DAC. The quality of the DAC is one consideration, as is the analog circuitry that follows. Usually the more expensive hardware will provide better performance. A dedicated DAC connected to high quality power amps will usually outperform an integrated AV Receiver. A lot depends on the power requirements of your loudspeakers. A soundcard is basically a dedicated DAC. However there is a wide range in quality. Soundcards that are installed inside the computer may not perform as well as an external soundcard (audio interface) that is connected via USB. The kicker is if you need multichannel or surround playback, which sounds like you do, since you mentioned those multichannel formats, it gets a little more complicated. In that case, you should use a multichannel (8 channel) USB DAC, that has ASIO drivers and run JRiver Media Center to play your music, movies, etc.

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post #19494 of 19501 Old 04-11-2016, 10:19 PM
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Lossy analog???

Here's the challenge... Some where along the audio chain, you will be converting the digital bits to analog. This is the task performed by the DAC. The quality of the DAC is one consideration, as is the analog circuitry that follows. Usually the more expensive hardware will provide better performance. A dedicated DAC connected to high quality power amps will usually outperform an integrated AV Receiver. A lot depends on the power requirements of your loudspeakers. A soundcard is basically a dedicated DAC. However there is a wide range in quality. Soundcards that are installed inside the computer may not perform as well as an external soundcard (audio interface) that is connected via USB. The kicker is if you need multichannel or surround playback, which sounds like you do, since you mentioned those multichannel formats, it gets a little more complicated. In that case, you should use a multichannel (8 channel) USB DAC, that has ASIO drivers and run JRiver Media Center to play your music, movies, etc.

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that is exactly what i want, any recommendation as to which bran/manufacturer?

Thanks
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post #19495 of 19501 Old 04-12-2016, 12:53 AM
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Only cord cutters I know don't watch sports. You still need cable or sat for sports especially with more and more teams aligning themselves with local and national outlets.

One of the reasons my parents switched over to TWC is because of the Dodgers and Lakers agreement with them locally. I also get the PAC 12 channel that I only watch for football games.

I like the idea I can finally use a Cable Card and watch HD content live on my WMC PC. However with support officially over, it's time to move on.

After my switch, I will be exploring server ideas either expanding what my WHS 2011 does, upgrade to the newest version or switch over to Linux since my next PVR will be a Tivo Bolt and it will work with Plex.

It's already bad enough losing NFL Sunday Ticket, I am not about to cord cut and go to a sports bar...

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post #19496 of 19501 Old 04-12-2016, 04:28 PM
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Only cord cutters I know don't watch sports. You still need cable or sat for sports especially with more and more teams aligning themselves with local and national outlets.

One of the reasons my parents switched over to TWC is because of the Dodgers and Lakers agreement with them locally. I also get the PAC 12 channel that I only watch for football games.

I like the idea I can finally use a Cable Card and watch HD content live on my WMC PC. However with support officially over, it's time to move on.

After my switch, I will be exploring server ideas either expanding what my WHS 2011 does, upgrade to the newest version or switch over to Linux since my next PVR will be a Tivo Bolt and it will work with Plex.

It's already bad enough losing NFL Sunday Ticket, I am not about to cord cut and go to a sports bar...
i don't watch sport and live in australia. how about kodi instead of JRiver Media Center? does have all the decoders to convert sound to analogue out at 7.1?
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post #19497 of 19501 Old 04-12-2016, 05:22 PM
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i don't watch sport and live in australia.
That's two things in your favour.

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how about kodi instead of JRiver Media Center? does have all the decoders to convert sound to analogue out at 7.1?
What is the media for your program material? All of my media is on my server: I don't remember the last time I played a spinning disc. So all my program content comes off the server in the correct format. I think you'll be SOL in finding a soundcard, at least a cheapish one that has all the licenses for all audio formats (just scrolled back and read your earlier post).
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post #19498 of 19501 Old 04-13-2016, 07:44 AM
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that is exactly what i want, any recommendation as to which bran/manufacturer?

Thanks
Not really... I tried to start a company to build such a device, but there wasn't enough interested to support the necessary development. You still have a couple options for DACs. You can use the pro audio interfaces like Echo Audio's AudioFire8 (it has a Windows multichannel WDM driver that will work with WMC, but it is a FireWire device), or a few USB devices like the Motu 828 MKIII, Tascam US16X8, etc. However, there isn't a multichannel USB driver (USB Audio 2.0) native to Windows, so you have to find a proprietary driver. I'm not sure if these have such drivers. If they have ASIO drivers (most likely) you can run all your multichannel stuff through JRiver Media Center.

A really nice, but expensive device designed from the ground up for this application is the Exasound E28 Mark II. It uses the ESS Sabre 9018 DAC, which is considered one of the best DACs available. You could also search for 'ESS Sabre 9018' and see if you find any other multichannel products. Most are only stereo. I noticed you are from Austrailia. Try contacting the guy who is building hardware under the name Ackodac. I believe he has something with the ESS9018 under development.

Or, if you want a real soundcard that you install inside your computer, try to find an ASUS Essence STX II 7.1. This is the one with the daughter card that gives it the extra channels.

Please let us know if you find something.

Gregg Plummer
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The Short History of Audio/Video Technology

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post #19499 of 19501 Old 04-14-2016, 01:50 AM
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i am not looking for an external USB, actually i want an inter PCIe card. should any 7.1 do? or a specific one?
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post #19500 of 19501 Old 04-14-2016, 07:33 AM
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What kind of audio gear do you have? Why not just use the sound card built into the motherboard.

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