Originally Posted by Mark_H
Ignore money, that's a red herring.
I have multiple PCs in my house, all doing different things and all are, in their own ways, a pain in the arse; they require constant attention from me to keep them running.
The Lumagen (or any other video scaler for that matter) on the other hand "just works", day in, day out, with 100% reliability which is *precisely* what I want.
Yes, everything it does could be done with a PC (both are just computers, after all). but a PC requires a much larger investment in time and effort than I'm willing to give.
Anyway, we've derailed this thread long enough. Time to move on.
An HTPC works for you, great. It doesn't work for me.
I know you said to move on, but I just wanted to add another opinion to what I consider an important topic with the hopes of shedding more light on the subject of HTPCs. It's important that others don't end up with the misconception that HTPCs require constant attention and are a pain to maintain. I think those days are over with OS and hardware improvements. I have to agree with Dylan (seegs108) that they've come a LONG way in simplification for running high quality applications for HT use. They are not that expensive anymore. As Dylan points out, you can build one for around $600. If you want better performance (RAM, i7, SSD, video card), you can spend more, but that's your option if you want better performance. An HTPC does so much for so little money with the right software (gaming, Internet, video/audio menus and playback of SACD, DVD, DB, CDs, rips, iso files, etc. in 2K and 4K, etc.). You'll spend more than that for a game system, BD player, and/or video processor, especially when you factor in 4K. And none of these stand alone solutions provide the diversity of an HTPC. A game system comes the closest, but for a little more, an HTPC can beat it in every area.
I built my HTPC last year and love it thanks to JRiver software which takes the pain out of playback software and codec. Of course, it and the HTPC can be tweaked further if you're so inclined. Window 7 and later are very stable and require almost no attention at all. I rarely reboot and only when I apply updates every few months to stay current with software, drivers and security. This is my choice as you can have the OS automatically install these, let you decide when, or not at all. There's no "constant attention" any more than there is having to update my firmware on the Lumagen. It's my choice. The hardest part of owning an HTPC is choosing what hardware to buy and then assembling it. If you can turn a screwdriver and can do the research and read "how-to" guides, it's not that hard at all. Much easier and cheaper than years ago. An you can always spend a little more and have one built for you to your specification. That's just a search away. As I say, mine works fine and provides excellent playback of my audio and video from my NAS. And it does this while using the audio and video off a high quality MB for 1080p. Now that I want 4K, all I need to do is add a video card. Which one is my choice, based on my needs. Flexibility and decent upgrade path is a pretty nice feature too. I can't do that with my Lumagen or Projector. Both require expensive upgrades.