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Who else now uses htpc's exclusively for all content (including TV viewing)? - Page 2

post #31 of 41
I've been wanting to pick up a Google TV since the price drop, but it will have to wait until I come back from my trip.

Use the HTPC for everything now and will add more functionality later this year.

Likely to include an update to AMD APU and SSD for OS/Media Browser/Game Browser and a few very select programs. As I will shift this completely to a Media machine and I will boot from a flash drive (Mint 11 or Mini XP) if I need a emergency desktop in case the laptop goes kaput.

I built a WHS 2011 earlier this year and will expand its storage and abilities going forward as well. To get some SQL experience I may add it to the server for Meta data, we'll see.

The big change I've been meaning to do is Media Browser (ran it previously) with Game Browser (formerly Game Time) Game Emulator front end. I will run ePSX, possibly PCSX (PS2), ZSNES/SNESx9, RockNES, nullDC and possibly a few others.

When I can finally add more space to the server, I will put all be recently recorded media there. A 640GB will serve as storage for recently recorded content. I'll retire the 320GB IDE/PATA to a external case and my other externals to possibly server duty but only when everything is transferred as WHS wants to format any new drives (unless that's changed in 2011...)
post #32 of 41
We use HTPC's for nearly all viewing. The only exception is when a new Blu-ray arrives and we want to watch it right away instead of waiting for it to rip (only my workstation has a Blu-ray drive). For that we use the PS3.
post #33 of 41
I had some buffering issues too however most have gone away when I replaced all 3 switches in my house with the Dlink Green series gigabit switches. I noticed the supported QOS and priority which seems to have made a difference with my XBOX streaming live Ceton TV as well as MKV's etc...I had gigabyte netgear and trendnets prior
post #34 of 41
its been my homes 100% for about 5 years now.

basic build (athlon ii x3, 6gb ddr2, hd4830)
i have only about 2tb worth of storage for now (would love to build a nas upstairs)
using two OTA ATSC tuners
netflix
hulu desktop
lots of hd rips
also is my only gaming rig in the house as well, looks so much better than the xbox 360, though i may bring out the 360 when halo 4 arrives to play with some friends...
post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

The only media I don't use my HTPC for is my car radio . Otherwise, it's everything - music, home videos, movies, photos, security camera, caller id, everything. That is why I love it.

Caller ID???
post #36 of 41
If you install a modem and connect it to your phone jack you can receive caller ID in media center
post #37 of 41
100% htpc use since 2009; single box for everything.

Windows 7 MC
hdhomerun (dual OTA)
Movies
Music
Bluray (TMT5)
Hulu+
Netflix

I might add dish network 211K receiver with a hauppauge colossus to the mix soon.
post #38 of 41
I wanted to reply to this thread with great details, but instead I want to give the brief story of my exploits with about the topic of HTPC.
I did build my own, and at one time had two HDTV tuners off and antenna, one FTA receiver hooked to TiVo, and Comcast cable through one tuner. This all worked pretty well, but I owned three working Tivo's at that time. The TiVo units were all standard Series 2, standard definition, including one original series 1 with lifetime on it.

So it is with much experience, and the fact that I work in the computer field, that I shoot HTPC from the hip, right between the eyes.

I eventually progressed to HD TiVo, and after a few years of having it replaced at $150 cost to me each year, I can say that I no longer have any contract service on a TiVo, and I am very happy with my current setup.

Here are the facts, as I see them.

First there is the money. I never considered the cost of what I was doing. The cost of the HTPC, however, exceeded many, many years of cost cost of running multiple Tivo's with TiVo service on them. So building an HTPC should never be about saving money, because you won't save anything. If you do it right, it is expensive, if you spend less, you will exchange the lower cost with either, inferior abilities, or lots of man power, and down time.

This next issue is about the hardware. The truth about HD recording, is not as harsh as the truth about HD-
DVR recording, which is where you capture a stream of roughly 30 minutes, along with any programs you want along the way. The beating that hard drives take is tremendous, and they fail on a pretty regular basis. On my HD TiVo, which came after I experienced failures on my HTPC and gave it up, came at a cost of $159 per year to TIvo company, on top of the monthly fees I pad them for service. Each year, I would start getting problems with the recording, and or play back. If I ignored it, it would turn into failures of both, then a total failure. In the days of my swapping TiVo hard drives, and always keeping a backup, we're left behind when I moved on from series one TiVo, to series 2 ,and 3.

It wasn't so much about the money, because I really love the TiVo way, it was about losing a year of saved TV and movies, and having to start over each time my HD TiVo bit the dust.

We have since went to Comcast for a long while, right up until they gouged far too much money out of me for service. We paid ComCast $180 per month for cable Nd Internet. We has two pay channels, HBO and Showtime. The last straw with ComCast came when I called and wanted to watch Showtime, and HBO in the guest bedroom , and it was going to cost me another monthly fee. I told them that I would stop my service before I paid them another penny for something that's feel I am entitled to.
The Comcast retention rep told me that he would take my disconnection order if I wanted to do that. I was drop- jawed, and to,d him that I would have to call him back as soon as I settled on new service with some other company, and the. I hung up on him.

I had experience with Dish Network, for a number of years, many years before, so we're was no special deal waiting for me, since I was not a new customer. Plus, I never really liked Dish much anyway.

I ended up with two HD DVR's with whole house viewing, and recording on either. And 3 other HD receivers. I have the top level programming that gives me every channel they offer. every pay channel, spots channel and so on. The service plan on all of it is a grand total of $7 per month. Not $7 per receiver, just $7 for everything. Knowing the odds of having a failure on one of the DVR receivers told me that this was amazing. I did have a failure of one of the DVR's in the first three months. It could happen, so it didn't surprise me, what did surprise me was the customer service at DirectTv. After some troubleshooting on the phone, they sent a new receiver, and sent a pickup for the one that failed. Try to get that from TiVo.

It has been right at one year, and we are happy with the cost in relation to all that we get, and how much we like it, and it is still less than Comcast, even though our Internet is still with Comcast, and we add that cost to DirectTv for the true comparison.

There were lots of lessons learned in the past 5 years, which included a couple of years of HTPC.

Joe
post #39 of 41
We have 4 HTPCs throughout the house, including the garage. All are connected to a WHS that supplies all of the saved media. Got rid of all cable boxes, saved about $25 per month.

We use ours for about 70% of what we do:
TV
Recorded TV
Hulu
Netflix
Youtube
Music
Pictures
Movies
Bluray - sometimes. I can't seem to get the HTPC to produce the same level of PQ as the dedicated Samsung. Been working on that one for awhile, but have not found a solution.
post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tizi View Post

We have 4 HTPCs throughout the house, including the garage. All are connected to a WHS that supplies all of the saved media. Got rid of all cable boxes, saved about $25 per month.

We use ours for about 70% of what we do:
TV
Recorded TV
Hulu
Netflix
Youtube
Music
Pictures
Movies
Bluray - sometimes. I can't seem to get the HTPC to produce the same level of PQ as the dedicated Samsung. Been working on that one for awhile, but have not found a solution.

I use a Roku 2 XS to watch most of what you listed,it is way better than my old WDTV Live, and my Apple Tv, and all the other streaming boxes I've tried. You need the XS model to get the Ethernet port, the cool remote, and the micro SDRAM slot to increase channel capacity. It draws hardly any power,is small and cooler that Apple Tv, and way more entertaining than anything else. Between that and my DirecTV System,I'm not hurting farthings to watch, ever. Including loads of streaming music.
post #41 of 41
Aside from CDs (only reason I don't still play LPs is that I had to put them in storage a couple of moves ago) everything is on the PC. Because of frequent moves and small places, it is currently a Thinkpad T400 outputting DVI and SPDIF from a dock to stereo and 2 video heads (24" monitor and 1080p projector). Avermedia expresscard HDTV tuner. I now have a Mediasonic Probox for storage.
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