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Compton Household First Ever HTPC

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I wanted to thank Assassin for his guides. I also want to thank everyone else who has helped me along the way with the subs. I can't say I purchased his premium guides because the basic was more then enough to get me going. Either way I am very pleased.






The specs -

MSI Z68A-GD45 (G3) (got it half off with a $60 rebate)
Intel i3 2120 (was same price as 2100 )
Crucial m4 128GB SSD
3TB WD Green
Antec EarthWatts 500 (incase I get a graphics card later, Diablo 3 on 55"?)
LITE-ON Black 12X BD-R iHBS112
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 2x4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600 (PC3 12800) (was on sale for less then 2x2BG)
SilverStone LC13B-E
Logitech diNovo Mini

Pioneer VSX 1121-K
Samsung UN55D7000
SP-FS51-LR (pair)
SP-BS21-LR (pair)
SP-C21
Epik Legend

If you noticed all the games in media browser, that's because I have the game browser plug in. I use a XBox360 to PC Wireless controller and a wired usb SNES controller, but I'm spoiled with wireless now. If anyone knows how to edit the meta data on it let me know because I have box art showing up from Sega and DOS, but it is all SNES.

Anyways, I really enjoyed building it and setting it up. It took quite a bit of time getting everything to mesh together correctly. I ran into a bunch of problems to begin with because the board was not stable running a bootable 3TB HDD on UEFI, even though it claims it should be. No big deal though because it gave me an excuse to get a SSD that I wanted anyways. Also the other gripe would be to get the full diNovo. Not having F keys and some of the others is a pain in the toockus, hence the full keyboard and mouse under the TV for now.

Media browser is awesome and I love what it does. It really brings up the wife acceptance factor, especially after using media center master to load all the meta data, posters, and back drops.

To do list:

-Cut the cord, got to convince the wife or talk about it enough that she says ok to get me to shut up

-Get extenders for the other TVs, looking at WD Live or Boxee Box.

-Tuners and an antenna for OTA, although OTA sucks where I live (literally it's the butt hole of America, if you look at my pictures close enough and know a bit about America you can figure it out easily), so maybe when I move in a few months to Washington I'll tackle that beast.

-Play with picture and sound settings and get them juuuuuust right

-Learn to set up playlists for the kiddos (no more commercials, no more request for stupid freak'n toys or places)

-NAS, maybe...sounds like too much work right now, and I don't really know if I need one.

This is my first home theatre too. I am very pleased with the speakers, TV, AVR, and HTPC. This little foray first started when I bought the AVR on woot.com because my HTIB was pooping the bed. Next thing I know I'm here researching subs and speakers and getting ready to spend way too much on toys.

BF3 really blows me away more then anything else. My book shelves sit right behind my head. Every time I get shot at and hear that snap, I smile a little. Then I get giddy when something explodes and the bass erupts. The room and it's opening are oddly shaped because it opens to the kitchen, dining room, stair well, and laundry room, but the main room is probably about 1000 cu. ft. and the epik legend just kicks it's ass. I live in a duplex and the neighbors bedroom is as far as could possibly be from it, and they think we have parties every night.

I would really like to give kudos to the community here once again, you guys are great. Knowledgable, friendly, and fun. It helps when forums aren't run by cliques that are 1337 and flame n0ob$ for trying to learn and ask questions (extreme obnoxious intended to drive the point home).

If anyone has any suggestions on improvements, tips, or plain old friendly advice let me have it. I don't quite feel like I have it where I want it yet.
post #2 of 14
Those pioneers really are quite something...aren't they? Almost went for them...bought JBLs instead.

While setting up the JBLs...this doesn't even show the height speakers...



Lights off...

post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ComptonHPD View Post

I wanted to thank Assassin for his guides. I also want to thank everyone else who has helped me along the way with the subs. I can't say I purchased his premium guides because the basic was more then enough to get me going. Either way I am very pleased.

Congrats on the build!

FYI my guides at my blog don't have any hardware at all in them. All 80+ focus on nothing but setup, tweaking and software.

I leave the hardware here at AVS completely free and update it regularly.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
@Kapone - They really are especially for the price. Picked them up for 280 I think. It's my first real set up too, so I would have been happy with anything. I really like the projector. I'm shooting for a man cave project next year. I'm thinking either projector or a Mitsubishi DLP. They have this years mid-grade model for just under a grand on tiger direct right now.

@Assassin - I think I might get the guides. I was looking at them and saw some stuff that interested me. You have a direct email? A) I have some question about things that I wouldn't post on AVS. B) If I had questions about things that aren't covered in your guides.
post #5 of 14
Yep. My email is on the main page at the blog.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ComptonHPD View Post

Media browser is awesome and I love what it does.

Looks good.

A Harmony remote (even one under $100) really helps with WAF.

So, you are using Windows 7, MC7, and Media Browser? If you have a newer video card, check out XBMC and setup DXVA2 . I use AMD but I think it also works with nVidia.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesla1856 View Post

and setup DXVA2

Why? Is there any definitive proof that this really does anything?

I know the XBMC forum absolutely loves to talk about DXVA and on older hardware where you are trying to offload the CPU this makes sense. But I am not sure for him it would make a bit of difference.

What am I missing here?
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Why? Is there any definitive proof that this really does anything?

I know the XBMC forum absolutely loves to talk about DXVA and on older hardware where you are trying to offload the CPU this makes sense. But I am not sure for him it would make a bit of difference.

What am I missing here?

Night and day difference.

Before, dual-core couldn't handle 1080p without skipping (processor maxed out).

After, dual-core handles 1080p, using only 10-20% processor (with plenty to spare).

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=118224

But the decision to go to XBMC is really more about a much more feature-rich HTPC experience (base functionality and Plugins galore). IMO, the only thing that might hold you to MC7 is Live-TV.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesla1856 View Post

Night and day difference.

Before, dual-core couldn't handle 1080p without skipping (processor maxed out).

After, dual-core handles 1080p, using only 10-20% processor (with plenty to spare).

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=118224

But the decision to go to XBMC is really more about a much more feature-rich HTPC experience (base functionality and Plugins galore). IMO, the only thing that might hold you to MC7 is Live-TV.

An i3 doesn't need dxva.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

An i3 doesn't need dxva.


Yea, but I paid like $80 for my GPU!
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

An i3 doesn't need dxva.

If you can easily use less CPU (offload more processing to GPU) and leave more processing power for other things ... I can't really think of a reason NOT to do it.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesla1856 View Post

If you can easily use less CPU (offload more processing to GPU) and leave more processing power for other things ... I can't really think of a reason NOT to do it.

Because an i3 only uses about 10% of its CPU power for 1080p and XBMC's DXVA is horrible with Intel's iGPU.

So that's at least 2 reasons not to use it. I recommend NOT to use it as, again, its just not needed.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Because an i3 only uses about 10% of its CPU power for 1080p and XBMC's DXVA is horrible with Intel's iGPU.

So that's at least 2 reasons not to use it. I recommend NOT to use it as, again, its just not needed.

His GPU make/model was not defined in above specs.

Thanks, I'll keep that in mind about Intel iGPUs (I've never tried to use one on a HTPC ... especially not one that also supports Windows gaming).
post #14 of 14
Hd2000 or hd3000 if plenty for 1080p. Thats what he is using.
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