Originally Posted by Mfusick
I think we are seeing a drop in people just wanting a computer hooked up to their TV to watch stuff, as that need is much more easily satisfied these days. I know tons of people that just hook up laptops to flat panel TV's via HDMI and think they are doing "HTPC"
Nailed it. And they *are* doing HTPC.
The true AVSer is interested in maximizing the performance, the experience, the picture and sound quality. That is what AVS has always been about.
Disagree. For many people it's not about eeking out that last 3% of performance.
Fact is, back in the day one had to spend quite a bit of time and effort just to get a basic setup going--and once you've spent that kind of time and effort, it was no big deal to keep going. Now, one can plug and play with off the shelf equipment and get to the 95% level. Given how easy it was to get that far, and how hard and involved it is to go further, they decide that good enough is good enough--and they go on with their lives.
When something becomes a commodity that anyone and everyone can participate in casually yet reap the huge benefits that the pioneers spent years of sweat and scars gaining, there's no real need for forums like this. Not really.
I think this is a natural progression of any tech. It starts out as complicated, expensive, and limited in adoption. It gets cheaper, easier and more adopted.
Just like I said.
The interest in basic HTPC is mostly gone simply because the normal or "old school" posters are tired of it. It's all been said and done before. I recognize most of the names in this thread- and I can't think of the last time I engaged in conversation about simple set up or even much hardware talk. You can almost bring up the newegg page of products and close your eyes and point - open you eyes and that's the one you buy. Any motherboard, Any CPU, and SSD- It's all fine these days.
Just like I said. You and I are in violent agreement here.
We used to have long discussions about which was best and why, but today the conversation is pointless because all the products can do what the high end ones did a few years ago. These day's the build advice comes down to simple HTPC play back, or advanced playback with SVP/MadVR type video rendering. For simple playback- Any integrated AMD or Intel CPU is good- even the $35 ones. Pair it with basically any DDR3 and any motherboard with HDMI and your all set. Any SSD will work too. There is no mystery anymore for the majority of people. I think only a small percent (the true AVS crowd) cares about perfecting upscaling, or frame interpolation, or getting zero dropped frames. Even HD audio used to be a big deal and now it's basically automatic and available a variety of different ways easily. You can do it in WMC, XBMC, MPC-HC and tons more.
Again, a big "yep".
This is not unlike the progression of audio equipment. Bigger and better was the norm, until Apple upset the cart (see what I did there?) with the iPod. Suddenly, everybody was listening to his 192K CD rips through those tiny earbuds--and because everyone was doing it, it became OK for everyone else to do it. That's human nature. Next thing you know, the whole "what stereo should I get" discussion just went away, and nobody cares anymore outside of a very few holdouts, relatively speaking. It's just not a cultural thing anymore. The iPod brought incredible convenience, and the music got into peoples' ears, and that was all they wanted. Without the convenience they wanted real sound--but they were perfectly happy to trade off that sound for what the iPod brought to the table. Then smartphones came along and brought the music with them AND introduced cameras to everyone's hip, and the camera business joined the audio business in that "wtf?" moment. And so on.
Don't lament buggies and buggy whips. Everything moves on. I know that auto enthusiasts are having the same discussions as the world moves through the decline of manual transmissions and over to Google self-driving cars. "That ain't no car!" they scream. Well, nobody cares anymore. And yes, it is a car. Really.
HTPC is losing it's high tech cutting edge status and becoming main stream- so it's getting boring. That's why all the threads are now based about building big media servers, or machines that do MadVR and SVP. We used to say that i5 and i7 was overkill. Anyone that suggested one a couple years ago got flamed for being overkill. Now- it seems like it's really the right choice for high end playback- and the best path to take if you want to do 4k someday. A celeron or even an i3 just isn't up to the duties demanded from MadVR, SVP, or 4k. Only a true AVSer is going to concern themselves with those things so there is fewer posts these days.
and back to your comment:
I know tons of people that just hook up laptops to flat panel TV's via HDMI and think they are doing "HTPC"
Please allow me to take exception with your continued use of the phrase "true AVSer", and your comment about "think they are doing HTPC". It sounds as if you'd like to exclude from here anyone who isn't interested in what you are, in dedicating weeks of his spare time and much of his spare money to eek out that last 1% of performance, or swap around video cards and take screen shots to share here, etc. THAT attitude, combined with everything you said above about "people are tired of it, they've moved on" is why this place is so quiet. Old posters have moved on--and the guy who wants a little help with some of this and some of that comes in here and sees attitude like that? He decides to go elsewhere. He doesn't need that attitude.
You define "HTPC" in your way, and think that's the only definition. You're making a very small clubhouse of one there...
The goal of an HTPC is to enjoy the results, and people are happy with what they can currently plug together and play while also living a life *not* fiddling and twiddling with the computerized video thingy.