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Cheapest ever HTPC that's decent. Proud of myself. - Page 2

post #31 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post


Until the buyer or a competitor turns you in (better hope you have 100% customer satisfaction scores). Not something I would ever condone. It does cost more to do things the right way and to not cut corners but in the end its much more fulfilling.

Fulfilling in the sense that you don't ever have to wonder, "what if...?" I agree. Again, if this is your main source of income, you're a time bomb waiting to happen.
post #32 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joeforsale View Post

Fulfilling in the sense that you don't ever have to wonder, "what if...?" I agree. Again, if this is your main source of income, you're a time bomb waiting to happen.

And if its not your main source of income its still a time bomb. And then you go to jail for something that wasn't worth the risk.

I am sorry. I just can't see your argument at all.

Its fulfilling because you just built someone the best product you could for the money. Not because of the legal reasons.
post #33 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Seriously? You would knowingly sell pirated copies of Win7 to people.

Wow. No thanks.



No thanks. You try troubleshooting a Linux computer to someone who has limited PC knowledge let alone Linux+PC knowledge. No thanks. People can (and do) tinker and change things. Linux is not a great choice for a PC company like mine.

Yeah, I have tried to setup linux for non-tech people and it really doesn't work out.
post #34 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

It makes no difference if you charge for it or not. The end result is you just sold a htpc with a pirated copy of windows to someone.

I also pay $15 for each and every version of Media Browser that I use. I probably don't have to as I could just download the same thing for free but this would also be illegal. So in the end I have paid hundreds of dollars to Media Browser because its the right thing to do.

Now if people want to use their htpc for illegal downloads and rips (technically backing up a bluray that you own to your hard drive is illegal) , then thats fine and their choice. But they won't be getting any illegal software or media/movies from us.

Backing up movies that you legally purchased might not be meeting the user agreement with the company but I wouldn't say its unethical.
post #35 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post


And if its not your main source of income its still a time bomb. And then you go to jail for something that wasn't worth the risk.

I am sorry. I just can't see your argument at all.

Its fulfilling because you just built someone the best product you could for the money. Not because of the legal reasons.

First, I'm not trying to argue the point for piracy, it was simply an option worth mentioning. Second, are you serious about going to jail? Yould be slapped with a meager fine (plenty of court cases to validate this). Also, big companies
like Microsoft aren't going to waste the dollars on small time pirates. They're going after the Internet providers and torrent sites. I respect and applaud your decision to always use legit copies of software you use, but don't say things that you are simply speculating on.
post #36 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Backing up movies that you legally purchased might not be meeting the user agreement with the company but I wouldn't say its unethical.

Never said unethical. I said its illegal.

Like it or not (or agree with it or not) it is illegal.

You can thank Hollywood and our government for that law.
post #37 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joeforsale View Post

First, I'm not trying to argue the point for piracy, it was simply an option worth mentioning. Second, are you serious about going to jail? Yould be slapped with a meager fine (plenty of court cases to validate this). Also, big companies
like Microsoft aren't going to waste the dollars on small time pirates. They're going after the Internet providers and torrent sites. I respect and applaud your decision to always use legit copies of software you use, but don't say things that you are simply speculating on.

That you could go to jail for doing something illegal like knowingly and willingly selling pirated software in the United States of America?

I don't think that's speculative at all. Maybe not likely but its definitely a possibility.

30 second google search...

Quote:
Civil judgments can include actual (for unregistered works) and statutory damages (for registered works) in addition to court costs and attorney's fees, and sometimes punitive damages. Statutory damages can range from $750 to $30,000, with willful acts punishable up to $150,000.

On the criminal side (and these prosecutions are relatively frequent for infringers who do this on a large scale), if more than 10 copies having a total retail value of more than $2,500 is involved, that's a felony. Criminal penalties may include a large monetary fine and a jail sentence of 5 years.

I think I will pass on selling pirated software .
post #38 of 1016
Are you from the states? Do you understand what a civil case entails? No company in their right mind is going to try and take a bunch of pirates one-at-a-time to court. Also, just because you googled and found the maximum penalty that can be applied for given law, doesn't mean it's upheld. Again, look up the many cases that have already been tried here in the US.
post #39 of 1016
So help me out here. Exactly how does this build qualify to be an HTPC with out a Blu-ray drive? Seriously.
post #40 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie View Post

So help me out here. Exactly how does this build qualify to be an HTPC with out a Blu-ray drive? Seriously.

External. Drive on another machine. Etc.
post #41 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie View Post

So help me out here. Exactly how does this build qualify to be an HTPC with out a Blu-ray drive? Seriously.

Well for starters where does it say an HTPC has to have bluray?
post #42 of 1016
Of my 4 HTPCs only 1 has a bluray. No need to have drives in all of them.
post #43 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joeforsale View Post

Are you from the states? Do you understand what a civil case entails? No company in their right mind is going to try and take a bunch of pirates one-at-a-time to court. Also, just because you googled and found the maximum penalty that can be applied for given law, doesn't mean it's upheld. Again, look up the many cases that have already been tried here in the US.

Does anyone remember Jammie Thomas-Rasset who was sued by the RIAA? I wouldn't take the chance on selling a PC with pirated OS.
post #44 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie View Post

So help me out here. Exactly how does this build qualify to be an HTPC with out a Blu-ray drive? Seriously.

It plays movies, music, TV, other home theater stuff. Heck, my main rig does not have a bluray drive full-time on it and i'm watching TV on it right now. It sure looks like an HTPC to me!
For blurays, i rip with makemkv on my secondary non htpc, bluray drive equipped drive.
post #45 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie View Post

So help me out here. Exactly how does this build qualify to be an HTPC with out a Blu-ray drive? Seriously.

Easy.
All my blu-rays are ripped and sit on my unraid server.

Good grief....this isn't 2004....I don't actually 'touch' physical media when I want to watch something...(shudder)...
post #46 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Of my 4 HTPCs only 1 has a bluray. No need to have drives in all of them.

I have dual blu ray in my main machine. None in any others.

Blu ray drives are for ripping. Not for playback.

Only a heathen would play back from a disc.
post #47 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post

Amazing what you can get for the price these days. Are you guys planning on running Windows (another $100 at least) or use something like XBMC Live?

If any of use end up using Windows 8 Consumer Preview (which is free till next year) let us know if it works. That's what I'm running on a couple of pc's to save costs.

I fought with Windows 8 last week when I decided to swap out my hard drive for a SSD.
I had the great idea I'd save my windows 7 license and use Windows 8....fail.

8 loaded perfectly, booted extremely fast, was working smooth as can be, and had a nice big interface for when I wasn't in the XBMC GUI.
Sadly, I almost threw the whole rig out into the street after the hours of frustration I went through trying to get the audio to work correctly.
Win 8 would insist on loading the windows audio driver and ignore my catalyst driver I repeatedly tried to get to work. It kept saying I only had a 2 channel capable system. I was up to 3am fighting it before I gave in and just loaded win 7 on it.
That said, there are posters on the XBMC forum using 8, so I may give it another go sometime.
post #48 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I realize.

But what is my cost and best option?

Currently I just buy the discs. I have a PRO, a PRO OEM, a Home premium.

I use the same discs and just call microsoft when the codes stop working.

They give me new codes.

Is there a better way ?

Well, it probably isn't the most ethical way to do it but I got a Windows 7 from my little cousin who was going to college.
I think it was about $30 at the time with the student discount.....

Other than that the cheapest I have seen is a 3 pack deal for 119 or something like that.
post #49 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan4081 View Post

Well, it probably isn't the most ethical way to do it but I got a Windows 7 from my little cousin who was going to college.
I think it was about $30 at the time with the student discount.....

Other than that the cheapest I have seen is a 3 pack deal for 119 or something like that.

I was wondering if you can register an OEM or normal version on many PC's from same disc and just buy a keycode at reduced rate.

And if so... how cheap?
post #50 of 1016
Great builds guys! I love to see people pushing the envelope with what can be accomplished with a limited budget. Hell I even see more cuts/subsitutions that can occur. To start, I would sell off that junk PSU that came with the enclosure for $15-20 to some unsuspecting ebayer... I absolutely do not trust low tier PSU's since I've had a few experiences where they took out other components when they malfunctioned (no thank you). I would pick up one of the $15-20 Corsair 400W units that usually floats by during the year (I usually buy one if I don't already have one on hand if I see the deal). Next I would cut the memory in half because for my HTPC uses, I only need 4GB. Find a nice $10-20 AR 4GB deal on newegg and you're golden. Finally the SSD, since I base most of my HTPC's around network attached storage... there isn't much of a need for a SSD that's capable of fast large file transfers or storage in general... I'd cut it down a 64GB SSD, something that's below $1/GB. Even then I've been able to get away with 32 and 40GB drives although their price/GB ratio wasn't as good. With those adjustments right there, you could potentially knock off quite a bit more cash.

Regardless, great job on piecing together that budget build. Next I want to see similar specs but at the $200 price point .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie View Post

So help me out here. Exactly how does this build qualify to be an HTPC with out a Blu-ray drive? Seriously.

Lol lets break down the term HTPC: Home Theater Personal Computer. Where the heck are you getting the disc drive requirement from?!?!?!? I have a bluray drive in mine... I've used it maybe twice. What a waste of money. I rip everything to my server and call it a day... getting up to change discs is too much work for me .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joeforsale View Post

blah blah blah piracy

You have absolutely no argument here and I think you were just dragging it out for the sake of dragging it out. Bottom line piracy is bad and it is never ok to sell pirated software even if you aren't charging for it (just including it). Even though it might not actually be affecting consumer's pricing... these companies will continue to use it as an excuse to keep their prices where they are. You're just feeding their greed.
post #51 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by drealit View Post

blah blah blah people truly care about what I think

Wow it's easy to make it look like someone said something when they really didn't. You sir must be a master of the internet. Maybe you should type up a tutorial and post it here on AVS.
post #52 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post


Only a heathen would play back from a disc.


Lol
post #53 of 1016
You're quoting and laughing at yourself now?
post #54 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars99 View Post

You're quoting and laughing at yourself now?

Yup

Don't know why but it hit me funny when I re-read it.
post #55 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie View Post

So help me out here. Exactly how does this build qualify to be an HTPC with out a Blu-ray drive? Seriously.

I get what Willie is saying, the poster should have put up a notice that said something like: "bare minimum network HTPC with linux". So us noobs with one HTPC don't get confused and sad that we spent so much money for our statup systems

You will have to purchase/have already purchased some or all of these to enjoy the HTPC:
OS
network/external tuner
mouse + keyboard
remote
storage drive
Optical Drive
various software licenses

I commend the OP for putting together a working list of low-cost items. This is a very attractive option. It seems like you essentially shaved $100 off my build, the only drop in quality was the processor from an i3. But a 25% decrease in cost for the essential hardware components is huge.
post #56 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xosubuckeyex View Post

I get what Willie is saying, the poster should have put up a notice that said something like: "bare minimum network HTPC with linux". So us noobs with one HTPC don't get confused and sad that we spent so much money for our statup systems

You will have to purchase/have already purchased some or all of these to enjoy the HTPC:
OS
network/external tuner
mouse + keyboard
remote
storage drive
Optical Drive
various software licenses

I commend the OP for putting together a working list of low-cost items. This is a very attractive option. It seems like you essentially shaved $100 off my build, the only drop in quality was the processor from an i3. But a 25% decrease in cost for the essential hardware components is huge.


I included an optical drive. LiteOn. I did not omit that. It's in the build list.
I also stayed with 8GB of DDR3. I choose 1600mhz because I might use it for something else sometime. (Z77 or 68) I could easily have gotten 1066 and only 4GB for $20 cheaper.
Same with SSD. I could go with a cheap model 64GB instead of a 120GB Vertex3 and save another $50.

The drop from i3 to a G630 is only a couple hundred Mhz. In a HTPC it's not a difference. I have a i3 2100 right next to me now, I built it last week. It's no different real world. i3 was like $120 vs $61 so it was a no brainer.

That said,

Your 100% right about the other stuff. But I do already own all that. My mouse pad was $60.. lol... That always cracks me up since I can't believe I did it but honestly it's the best investment I ever made. I would never look back. Also, My Mice $150 (Razer) . My Keyboards are $300. (Razer gaming + Rosewill Cherry MX for type) I have four sets of PC speakers, My main Rig has dual sound systems. AVR with HDMI and also a THX Logitech Z 5.1 analog.

Software- you name it- Mediamaster, Mediabrowser, Jriver, Windows 7 Pro, Home, OEM etc.. also, Driverwizard, Media Monkey, the list can go on and on....

I actually have 5 PC's. You can see a few here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1393537
i7 Main PC




i5 second PC:



For me...

This $300 HTPC is for networking into what I already have- I will use all the software I already own... the wireless Lenovo remote keyboard I already have... and just HDMI it to my system in that room. It should work great and take the duties of my main PC which has a long HDMI run previously... to do it.

I hope I just don't miss the speed of the I7 and the MAX IOPS SSD, and the 16GB of overclocked DDR3. My turboboost on that machine clocks to 4.5ghz when needed. It's pretty quick.
post #57 of 1016
Great, every f*cking thread here is going to be about whether or not something is illegal, immoral or piracy.
post #58 of 1016
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

Great, every [profanity removed] thread here is going to be about whether or not something is illegal, immoral or piracy.

@StardogChampion
You may want to edit this post to remove the obscured profanity. I was recently served an infraction from an AVS mod for "inappropriate language" when I posted an obscured profanity.

My infraction notice came by PM, and read as follows:


Quote:


You have received an infraction at AVS Forum.

Reason: Inappropriate Language
-------
Do not circumvent the language filters. This is an all ages board.
-------

This infraction is worth 1 point(s) and may result in restricted access until it expires. Serious infractions will never expire.


All it takes is someone reporting your post to the mods...

Just an FYI for everybody.
post #59 of 1016
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

Great, every f*cking thread here is going to be about whether or not something is illegal, immoral or piracy.

Yeah. It's a tired subject. Everyone has different views so it's really up to the individual to decide what to do, and the law to enforce itself.
post #60 of 1016
@Mfusick Have you tried 1080P playback, and if so how was the performance? Im sure it probably played it just fine, but I would still like to hear your opinion. Definitely like the idea of building the cheapest HTPC possible.
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