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Have you noticed something on this forum lately? - Page 2

post #31 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Agg View Post

I am new to the forum, I post here because I have only really started getting heavily interested in HTPC , I am very clued up when it comes to the IT side of things but not so much in dealing with tv / projector calibration + rendering software such as madvr/SVP etc(which is the only reason I post). The only reason I have an interest in those type of things is because I love trying to optimize/make the most of what I have.

I think the common user who will build/buy a HTPC will just want a computer for media storage and playback with the option to browse the web. Computers over the last 10 years have become inf easier to use for the "average" person and software has become way more intuitive than ever, so for basic tasks way less support (posts here) is needed .

That is where I was merely a couple years ago and I think it has gotten easier since then.
post #32 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

I think it's a few things:
...
3. This forum isn't as friendly as it used to be. There are lots of long contentious threads with little information. Who wants to wade through all of it or get bashed over the semantics of a post?

When I post I don't assume I am imparting knowledge, which I may be. I may not even really understand what the OP meant. I really am trying to be helpful but also fishing for other solutions. I evaluate every post I read to see if I agree and can use the information.

And I have a thick skin and small brain and have been bashed by talented bashers.
post #33 of 134

Actually, the real reason isn't any of those reasons.

 

The switch to the new forum software (and respective forum user interface) a year or so ago drove away most of the highly skilled and experienced forum members who posted regularly.  It just became a hassle to post and follow threads.  There's maybe just a couple of guys still left from that group who post regularly. 

 

But, yes, there are also people like me who are lucky enough to have a fully functional/hassle-free HTPC networks at their home; who haven't found new technologies that's worth upgrading to or getting excited about.  I'm still waiting for a good virtual MSO to possibly replace what I have.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kapone View Post

I don't know about y'all but I have been noticing something for the last ~ 2 years or so. I have been on AVS for over 10 years and some patterns show themselves rather easily.

The activity on this forum has slowed down considerably.

Not just a little, but a lot. I don't think this has anything to do with AVS, I think this is more of a paradigm shift in the perception of "HTPCs" in general, and I'm trying to wrap my head around it. Obviously I don't have web stats from AVS to support this, but it "seems" that way to me.

  • Is it because streaming services have taken off in the last few years and most of that streaming is consumed on tablets and/or dedicated media players?
  • Is it because the content is just not that exciting anymore?
  • The technology certainly hasn't become more difficult over the years, in fact it has become easier.
  • Is DRM/Cinavia/you name what playing a factor here?
  • Is this more of a psychological issue with big government/RIAA etc and the mental block this may be causing?
  • Is the industry just not innovating more? Nothing to excite the typical HTPC user?
  • Netflix a major driver for this, with them excluding PCs from the best streaming experience?
  • Are more people just reading, and not actually posting?


Any collective thoughts? smile.gif
post #34 of 134
As far as Android based app control, the MaCE, I am beta testing by Ovation ,is pretty easy to use. I don't have it controlling a PVR or Live Television but it seems to work quite well with the ORCA MC GUI and Android app.

Since Ovation provided the MaCE hardware to me to test with (MaCE is really just an HTPC with a Customized GUI) that launches MPC-HC and a Music player which I assume is probably also a freeware/open source. piece. The ORCA app shell, works nice and the Android app matches the PC screen display quite closely. It is running the PC and via serial is controlling my Denon. The only real shortcoming so far is that a MaCE like most PC's doesn't have a way to power on remotely. Once the PC is up then ORCA can control volume, inputs and a number of parameters on the Denon.

Yes there are ways to power on PCs remotely, but PCs aren't really designed for remote start. Yes, things can be done but so far I don't see that it is being done or at least it does not seen generally available. I haven't looked at Gizmo so I can't compare JRiver which is a total media center to MaCE/ORCA vs JR MC/Gizmo. Hard to imagine that JR is going to version 19 and they have been making their software for 30 years now.

JR MC seems like it will eventually cover the entire arena of what is conceivable with HTPC in the end. If their tablet support isn't the best and they see enough people really asking for a step up in that area I am pretty confident they will invest in it.
Edited by gtgray - 7/18/13 at 9:04pm
post #35 of 134
Some thoughts I can share:
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKANET View Post

Actually, the real reason isn't any of those reasons.

The switch to the new forum software (and respective forum user interface) a year or so ago drove away most of the highly skilled and experienced forum members who posted regularly.  It just became a hassle to post and follow threads.  There's maybe just a couple of guys still left from that group who post regularly. 



I remember complaining about this. I got an infraction for being a little too aggressive with my complaint eek.gif

But I do clearly remember posting about the drop in forum traffic- as evidenced by my infraction receiving thread that got deleted.

In hindsight, I probably should have been a bit more passive and politically correct in my post so I am sure I deserved the infraction to some degree. But at the same time, I don't think I was 100% wrong about the topic, just my delivery was wrong.


Additionally,

I think it is more than that. I've adapted to the new forum style. It's not ideal and the search is not as good anymore, but that is not 100% the only problem

How much action do the Jriver, Mediabrowser, and XBMC forums get compared to AVS ?

How about overclockers, or Tomshardware, or Anand ?

AVS is still the best place for HTPC by far. 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"

Those types of people are finding answers without needing to visit a place like AVS. A couple years ago this forum was riddled with questions regarding basic set up prompting people like Assassin to generate the guides. I wonder what kind of drop off he has seen in his guides ??? I'd imagine it's a big drop off.

There is the majority that wants HTPC but doesn't know how to get it. They see it from others (like us AVS members) and try to half ass duplicate it at home with a laptop and an HDMI cable. But those majority of people are never going to join AVS or get serious about tinkering, or investing. They are happy if it just plays on the TV.

The true AVSer is interested in maximizing the performance, the experience, the picture and sound quality. That is what AVS has always been about. I wonder if they see a drop off in the audio or projector forums. When I bought my first projector back in 2002 it was a new thing not everyone was doing, HDTV was just taking off. My first projector was not even 720p (Those were like 10 grand lol ) Today you can buy a 2000 lumen 1080p 3D projector for like $1000. It's much more common to see projectors these days in "normal" folks houses. My dad is 65 and has one, he has no clue about Audio or Video. He just likes the big picture biggrin.gif

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. 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.

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.

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.
post #36 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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:
Quote:
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.
post #37 of 134
I've stayed out of this, but this post illustrates exactly what I've notice over the years, that being a trend away from people trying to fully integrate the PC into their Home Theaters in a seamless way. There used to be a lot more talk about integration than there is these days. One of the best example is Cinema Experience for XBMC. I'm rather flabbergasted there's no discussion of it here, it's exactly the sort of thing a lot of us looked for or tried to do, but now nobody seems interested.
Quote:
Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post

Nailed it. And they *are* doing HTPC.

It seems to me this is the same thing as "Home Theater", people get 5.1 HTIB toss it in their living room and think they have a "Home Theater". Just like I don't agree with that, I don't agree that a PC/Laptop connected to a TV is a "Home Theater" PC. "Home Theater" implies a much greater degree of integration and refinement than speakers in a room or PC connected to something other than a PC monitor.

Of course I find it "interesting" how people take offense to being told they don't have an HTPC. There's nothing wrong with just hooking your PC to your TV, or putting 5.1 speakers in your living room, in fact it's great its so easy to do it these days. Further just because you don't have/want an HTPC (or Home Theater) doesn't mean you can't participate in discussions here.
Quote:
Disagree. For many people it's not about eeking out that last 3% of performance.

I don't agree with the term "true AVSr" either, but that said, AVS was built by those people trying to get not just the last 3%, but the last 0.3% out of their setup. If it weren't for these people, AVS would be just another run of the mill forum on the internet, not the exceptional place it is. To ignore that is short sighted.
Quote:
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.

Like I said above, I think people need to be realistic/honest with themselves and what they're doing, just because what you want to do with your PC and TV doesn't fit into the definition of "HTPC", doesn't make it wrong, or bad, and doesn't mean the definition has to change, or that you shouldn't get help.
Quote:
...and the guy who wants a little help with some of this and some of that comes in here and sees attitude like that?

I haven't seen any such attitude, I see lots of people coming here for help and getting it, regardless of what "level" of setup they have. I haven't seen any evidence that the forum evaluates if anyone's question is "worthy".
post #38 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Some thoughts I can share:


I remember complaining about this. I got an infraction for being a little too aggressive with my complaint eek.gif

But I do clearly remember posting about the drop in forum traffic- as evidenced by my infraction receiving thread that got deleted.

Interestingly enough, I actually got an infraction for calling someone a grammar N@zI. I think it keyed in on the N word and did it without any human interaction since it is obviously not an offensive phrase. I do not know if the new BBS software is keyed to do the same, this was under the older, and better, software.
post #39 of 134
I remember years ago when what are now called "crossover" vehicles came into being--essentially, replacements for the old station wagon. For a number of reasons from the beginning they all drove all four wheels in some fashion or another. And immediately, the hardcore Jeep crowd--those who go rock crawling all the time for fun, who spend all their time and money figuring out how to crawl over larger rocks and ford through deeper streams--jumped in and started yelling about how "that ain't no four wheeler!"

In their world, driving all four wheels meant exactly one thing. And anyone who dared to drive all four wheels in some other fashion or for some other purpose, immediately saw their scorn if not outright wrath.

And yet, the world moved on and now driving all four wheels is commonplace if not de rigeur--and those rock crawling Jeep owners no longer own the world of four wheel drive. One can now buy, straight from the dealer, any number of vehicles that drive all four wheels and which serve any purpose from suburban mom duty all the way up to rock crawling levels that Jeep crowd used to spend huge amounts of time and money to accomplish.

I see a similar thing happening here. The world is moving on--as is what the world considers an HTPC to be. It is no longer a rock-crawling beast that you spend all your time with trying to get esoteric levels of virtually invisible performance from. Can you plug together a bunch of parts from Newegg--or even take an off the shelf PC--and rip your movies and have them presented with a nice interface that the whole family can use, all with very little effort? Sure. Can you get superb sound with equally little effort and relatively low cost? Absolutely.

Can the whole family use it with little to no training? Can your wife? Yep. No longer is it the exclusive domain of the caveman.

Could you improve on things? Well sure--but if you're already 95% of the way there, and if the improvements are defined only by instrument measurement and take huge amounts of time to implement, then people say "eh" and skip it.

And yes, they still have an HTPC. That's where the world has moved to.

I'm sure there are audio freaks--I'm talking those who spend $3000 for a 6 foot speaker cable, or $500 for a Denon interconnect cable that's actually just an ethernet cable--who to this day lament the rise of the iPod, and claim it's not an audio device because it doesn't do the things *they* want to do. But the world has moved on and decided differently.
post #40 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post

You and I are in violent agreement here.


"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." - Salvor Hardin, First Mayor of Terminus City
post #41 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post

I remember years ago when what are now called "crossover" vehicles came into being--essentially, replacements for the old station wagon. For a number of reasons from the beginning they all drove all four wheels in some fashion or another. And immediately, the hardcore Jeep crowd--those who go rock crawling all the time for fun, who spend all their time and money figuring out how to crawl over larger rocks and ford through deeper streams--jumped in and started yelling about how "that ain't no four wheeler!"

In their world, driving all four wheels meant exactly one thing. And anyone who dared to drive all four wheels in some other fashion or for some other purpose, immediately saw their scorn if not outright wrath.

4-wheel-drive != "4 wheeler"

My truck is 4 wheel drive, but it's not a 4 wheeler. Can't say I have any experience with the topic, but if someone said their Ford Edge was a 4 wheeler, I would say they are wrong, it may be 4 wheel drive, but it's not a 4 wheeler.
Quote:
And yet, the world moved on and now driving all four wheels is commonplace if not de rigeur--and those rock crawling Jeep owners no longer own the world of four wheel drive. One can now buy, straight from the dealer, any number of vehicles that drive all four wheels and which serve any purpose from suburban mom duty all the way up to rock crawling levels that Jeep crowd used to spend huge amounts of time and money to accomplish.

You've been able to get 4 wheel drive vehicles since the 80's, it's nothing new, Audi showed the Quattro in 1980.
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I see a similar thing happening here.

It is, people are misusing the term, and getting upset when that misuse is pointed out.
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The world is moving on--as is what the world considers an HTPC to be. It is no longer a rock-crawling beast that you spend all your time with trying to get esoteric levels of virtually invisible performance from.

If you want to go rock crawling or 4-wheeling you do need to something special. Likewise and HTPC is something special, and non standard as well. That doesn't mean you have to go that far to drive around town, or to play media on your TV. But just because you drive around town with 4-wheel-drive doesn't mean you have a 4-wheeler, playing media on your TV with a PC doesn't mean you have an HTPC.
Quote:
Can you plug together a bunch of parts from Newegg--or even take an off the shelf PC--and rip your movies and have them presented with a nice interface that the whole family can use, all with very little effort? Sure. Can you get superb sound with equally little effort and relatively low cost? Absolutely.

Can the whole family use it with little to no training? Can your wife? Yep. No longer is it the exclusive domain of the caveman.

If you go through the trouble of configuring said PC so that it's easy to use by the family and has a nice "10 foot" friendly interface that integrates cleanly with the rest of your system, then you have, IMO, the definition of an HTPC. I don't think an HTPC was ever about spending hours tweaking custom timings, that effort was just a means to the end of having a nicely integrated system.
post #42 of 134
no, the world has moved on--and the term has taken on meanings beyond what drives you in particular.

That it differs from what you want in an htpc, doesn't mean it's not an htpc.

Which leads me back to my opinion: the world that has expanded on in what it considers an htpc comes here and sees what amounts to bigotry--"if you're not one of us, you're one of them"--and just leaves and moves on to somewhere that does suit their needs.

That will drive forums like this down to a handful of participants. I think that's what the OP is seeing. It's just not an inviting place with attitudes like the "it's us vs them, you're not doing an htpc because you're not doing it like me".

Quote:
If you go through the trouble of configuring said PC so that it's easy to use by the family and has a nice "10 foot" friendly interface that integrates cleanly with the rest of your system, then you have, IMO, the definition of an HTPC. I don't think an HTPC was ever about spending hours tweaking custom timings, that effort was just a means to the end of having a nicely integrated system.

And that is incredibly easy nowadays, and people do stop at that 95% level and let good enough be good enough. That it's so easy to do makes it obvious why traffic here is down--people don't *need* the help they needed in years past.

But in addition there does seem to be an attitude here of "if you're not chasing after that last 5%, doing all sorts of weird things that only a handful of people bother with, then it's not an htpc"--and that lends to the other half of the problem, in that this isn't a comfortable hangout for people who are less than intensely interested in twiddling and fiddling.

To generate traffic this needs to be a comfortable hangout for a wide range of people who share the general interest, and it just isn't. It's evolved into a "hardcore or die" playground, and less than intense visitors are either intimidated or not interested.

Maybe it's time for a split? A new subforum for the less than intense crowd to hang out? I dunno.
post #43 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post


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...

I take extreme exception to your suggestions. I think they are wrong. While perhaps "True AVSer" might seem negative to you I think your seeing it in the wrong light. Why does a "true AVSer" have to be someone that excludes people? Or looks down on them ? AVS is and always has been about getting more performance from Audio and Video, and that passion is shared by all it's members and the collective community benefits from the spread of the knowledge gained in the quest. I have found that most AVSer's are very willing to share information and help out. It's those people that make AVS a great place, and better than the other places that lack the technical expertise and veteran community.

You make it sound like I have an attitude towards "noobs" which is very inaccurate and wrong. A quick scan through my post history will show I am very active in helping out beginners, sometimes the only one posting in their thread. ReneTHX is another great example- he's technically very experienced but offers plain advice continually to all- Not just high end. I find getting the most bang for your buck to be one of the areas I really have a passion for - and I have been active in many threads about building basic and affordable simple HTPC's for ordinary folks.

Just because someone has a passion for HTPC that leads them to ever higher levels of performance doesn't mean they exclude the lower levels. I think your seeing it wrong.

I often post build advice and simple set up advice for a newcomer on small budgets with modest expectations with genuine sincerity and desire to help them. There is no "exclusion" or "club of 1" I see in any of the forums. DIY audio, Theater building, HTPC, or where ever. There is always experienced veterans, and always newcomers. It's the experienced veterans offering great information that isn't easily found other places that makes AVS great.

I think if you dumbed it down it would be less than it is for sure.

Perhaps you misunderstood my attitude on the subject or viewed it in the wrong light. Just because a true "AVS-er" is seeking maximum performance and experience doesn't mean they have an attitude or exclude others. I've seen quite the opposite. And, if I was a newcomer again in this forum I would sincerely appreciate the FREE advice I got from experienced members. I don't think anyone is being excluded.

I just think less newcomers are coming to this forum, as evidenced in the shrinking number of new build threads, and build advice threads. I've literally posted thousands of free and sincerely well intended replies offering advice to other members one topics of very low budget, or simple set ups. So I do take exception to your post above.
post #44 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post


Which leads me back to my opinion: the world that has expanded on in what it considers an htpc comes here and sees what amounts to bigotry--"if you're not one of us, you're one of them"--and just leaves and moves on to somewhere that does suit their needs.

That will drive forums like this down to a handful of participants. I think that's what the OP is seeing. It's just not an inviting place with attitudes like the "it's us vs them, you're not doing an htpc because you're not doing it like me".
And that is incredibly easy nowadays, and people do stop at that 95% level and let good enough be good enough. That it's so easy to do makes it obvious why traffic here is down--people don't *need* the help they needed in years past.

I think your over-reacting. Have you actually seen evidence of anything your saying? I have not.

I could easily link or post hundreds of posts I've made personally in recent time that was intended as friendly and helpful advice on basic topics to basic folks. I know my posting style isn't perfect, but that's a personality trait and personal flaw of mine. Not all people are perfect, and I certainly am not. But I think the vast majority of posting done in this forum is very friendly, and very sincerely made with the best of intentions. The only time when things get heated up is when people have a true passion for the subject and disagree or have a differing viewpoint. But that passion is what makes them good members and fuels great discussions. Even the heated debates often produce good information. And those threads are always almost exclusively veterans debating advanced topics, and almost never aimed at a beginner topic or thread. Simply put there just isn't much left to discuss at the beginner level these days- we've all been there and done that. That is why the traffic is down. The hardware is advanced enough to be where the small differences in product A versus product B don't equate to anything in the real world so why debate which is better? I don't see as much SSD chatter these days, or CPU chatter. That was a large portion of the posting in 2010/2011/2012 and today even a cheapo SSD or CPU is fine so what can we really talk about ???

I'm sorry you have this "it's us or them" attitude but I am not seeing where it is coming from. I'm reading between the lines and guessing your not interesting in chasing that last 5% for the extra cost and trouble; That's ok biggrin.gif But, ...just because someone else has a passion to do it when you do not doesn't make them unfriendly rolleyes.gif

IMO there is many reasons for the drop in chatter and traffic, and those are certainly not because of the reasons your suggesting regarding "us vs them". I haven't seen that much myself. Care to post a few examples? I am guessing for every example that could get posted showing what your suggesting then 100 more examples of veterans helping beginners could be shown as well. The ratio IMO is probably like 100:1 or more.
post #45 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post

Which leads me back to my opinion: the world that has expanded on in what it considers an htpc comes here and sees what amounts to bigotry--"if you're not one of us, you're one of them"--and just leaves and moves on to somewhere that does suit their needs.

OK, so what is an HTPC? A term has to have a definition, if it doesn't have a definition it's meaningless.

Are you saying an HTPC is anything anyone might want? If so, then what does the "Home Theater" portion of "Home Theater Personal Computer" mean, and how is it different than a regular PC?

Or are you saying that an HTPC is a PC connected to a TV? If so, what about people who are using a PC monitor (for space reasons maybe) but have gone through the trouble to setup a nice remote-driven 10-foot UI?
post #46 of 134
I think we have a drop in traffic because we have discussions about the drop in traffic rather than about hardware and software.
post #47 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I think we have a drop in traffic because we have discussions about the drop in traffic rather than about hardware and software.

Actually,

This thread appears to have sparked more posting than most recent threads in memory. tongue.gif

But sure, I will bite. What hardware or software do you want to talk about that is more interesting or needs discussion more than this thread biggrin.gif
post #48 of 134
Everybody's playing outside right now. Wait until Fall.
post #49 of 134
There is a definitely a pretty good amount of condescension on the forum - not just HTPC. Someone asks what the best way to rip and compress movies for Xbox 360 is and people start posting "remux to mkv" which isn't helpful for a few reasons - mkv doesnt really work on 360, the bitrate is too high, they want to compress them anyway. Then there's definitely a chorus of "I choose to watch movies in the highest quality and in the OAR that the director intended."

Another one is that you see a novice with a question - say its about capturing their Directv. There is a chorus of "buy a cablecard tuner, don't pay dvr 'taxes'." I think its best to try to answer their question and ask nicely if they've considered the alternatives I recommend instead. There could be a bunch of reasons they want to use Directv and/or a capture card. There are some pretty awesome advantages to using DVB Link and the HD-PVR. But instead of educating the newbie a number of posters take the time to announce that they aren't bothered by those issues on their superior system.

I was trying to help a friend set up an Apple/Airplay whole home audio solution. I went into that forum and asked what we should look for clientwise and the answer was just Apple TV. I asked for clarification since I wasn't aware at that time that it would work sans tv, and was given a snarky response about not being able to afford Apple products and ignoring their advice.
post #50 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Everybody's playing outside right now. Wait until Fall.

This is true^

Summer has a slow down in posting historically.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

There is a definitely a pretty good amount of condescension on the forum - not just HTPC. Someone asks what the best way to rip and compress movies for Xbox 360 is and people start posting "remux to mkv" which isn't helpful for a few reasons - mkv doesnt really work on 360, the bitrate is too high, they want to compress them anyway. Then there's definitely a chorus of "I choose to watch movies in the highest quality and in the OAR that the director intended."

Another one is that you see a novice with a question - say its about capturing their Directv. There is a chorus of "buy a cablecard tuner, don't pay dvr 'taxes'." I think its best to try to answer their question and ask nicely if they've considered the alternatives I recommend instead. There could be a bunch of reasons they want to use Directv and/or a capture card. There are some pretty awesome advantages to using DVB Link and the HD-PVR. But instead of educating the newbie a number of posters take the time to announce that they aren't bothered by those issues on their superior system.

I was trying to help a friend set up an Apple/Airplay whole home audio solution. I went into that forum and asked what we should look for clientwise and the answer was just Apple TV. I asked for clarification since I wasn't aware at that time that it would work sans tv, and was given a snarky response about not being able to afford Apple products and ignoring their advice.


Not COOL mad.gif

Bad advice is often lack of a poster reading the full question, or not understanding what the OP really wants. They see a couple sentences and just reply. It's not ill intended all at, just poorly thought out. I'm guilty of this too. Everyone is. It's particularly hard to read big long explanation posts with no apparent specific questions too.

But for the most part - what your describing isn't really happening in THIS FORUM. It's happening- but not here. If anything that should show us it could get a lot worse just as easily as it could get better.
post #51 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Everybody's playing outside right now. Wait until Fall.

This is true^

Summer has a slow down in posting historically.

I've been more active over on http://www.boatingabc.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/forum_summary.html right now than here actually but I haven't been too active there either other than reading stuff and catching up.
post #52 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I've been more active over on http://www.boatingabc.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/forum_summary.html right now than here actually but I haven't been too active there either other than reading stuff and catching up.

What kind of boat you got ? My family is pretty heavy into boating. I'm the nerd without a boat. Dad and brother have multiple; works well for me since I don't need to pay for them or do all the care to them biggrin.gif
If people think HTPC is an expensive hobby they should try boating eek.gif
post #53 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

But for the most part - what your describing isn't really happening in THIS FORUM. It's happening- but not here. If anything that should show us it could get a lot worse just as easily as it could get better.

It absolutely happens. I've seen plenty of threads here where the OP's wants/needs are completely ignored in order to have war over something not even related to the OP's question.

Even the replies here to this thread which amount to "what's your opinion" make my point. How many replies here instead of saying "Here are my reasons" start with "Wrong, those aren't the reasons at all"?
post #54 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

It absolutely happens. I've seen plenty of threads here where the OP's wants/needs are completely ignored in order to have war over something not even related to the OP's question.

Even the replies here to this thread which amount to "what's your opinion" make my point. How many replies here instead of saying "Here are my reasons" start with "Wrong, those aren't the reasons at all"?

You think it happens more than other forums? Either here on AVS or in other places?

Or is this just a general result of an open internet forum ?

My opinion is I see relatively the same behavior on other forums and outside of AVS so while your probably right, I am not sure this particularly forum is significantly much worse than most others. Everyone could always behave a little better, and that's going to be nearly universal. So while I totally agree with you and even admit I'm guilty myself, I'd also like to point out or suggest my opinion is it's just going to happen sometimes. I think it's important to point out while your right, and it might happen - it's also happening other places too and it's not at all unique to this forum in particular but rather a relatively normal result of internet forums in general.

It's the passion people have for one thing or another that creates it, and that's not necessarily a bad thing either IMO.
post #55 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I've been more active over on http://www.boatingabc.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/forum_summary.html right now than here actually but I haven't been too active there either other than reading stuff and catching up.

What kind of boat you got ? My family is pretty heavy into boating. I'm the nerd without a boat. Dad and brother have multiple; works well for me since I don't need to pay for them or do all the care to them biggrin.gif
If people think HTPC is an expensive hobby they should try boating eek.gif

I did have a Searay Sundeck but I just sold it to pay off my kid's student loan. In about a year I will probably get another but right now I will be reading about them while I decide what to get next and riding in friends' boats. I've had a boat for 20 years and it is sort of odd to not have one now in the middle of the Summer though. And it is an expensive hobby for sure as in Break Out Another Thousand! This last one I had was my first hobby as I spent countless hours and money making it better only to sell it in the end but when it is time it is time. I'll be moving up from ski boat to cruiser next time and starting all over.. biggrin.gif

And now my HTPC has settled into appliance status. I hardly touch it other than to use it for its intended purpose now so there's not much to post but I enjoy passing on what I've learned to others that have questions here. I remember being there and the struggle it was at that time to tweak to perfection.
post #56 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I know tons of people that just hook up laptops to flat panel TV's via HDMI and think they are doing "HTPC"

Does your consternation stem from what they are doing or the words they use to describe what they are doing?
post #57 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

There is a definitely a pretty good amount of condescension on the forum - not just HTPC. Someone asks what the best way to rip and compress movies for Xbox 360 is and people start posting "remux to mkv" which isn't helpful for a few reasons - mkv doesnt really work on 360, the bitrate is too high, they want to compress them anyway. Then there's definitely a chorus of "I choose to watch movies in the highest quality and in the OAR that the director intended."
Hey - he said he wanted to rip the discs and have the option of playing to an Xbox extender. Not that the extender was going to be his primary playback device.

My post was not intended to be condescending, but pointing out that if you are going to re-encode your videos for a specific device, it's going to take a lot longer to rip, usually doesn't save you that much space if you want acceptable quality, and you will probably find yourself ripping the disc again at some point if you aren't storing it in its original quality. Streaming to an extender is usually not a priority, so storing the original for the HTPC, and transcoding to an extender is often the best solution.

I found out the hard way when ripping my CDs and DVDs that once storage was no longer a concern, or format limitations of devices I no longer owned, I wanted to have a 1:1 copy of the data, and ended up having to re-rip everything which was a very tedious process.
If I had just made a lossless copy of these and transcoded, I wouldn't have to do anything when upgrading the extender/client device. (in fact, I just eliminated client devices and use a HTPC hooked up to everything now)

Creating a lossy rip of your media is very short-sighted. And ok, maybe you still end up wanting to do that - but it's something that ought to be considered.
post #58 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricN View Post

Does your consternation stem from what they are doing or the words they use to describe what they are doing?

I don't have any issues with either. I know lots of people (friends/family) that do this with a high level of enjoyment. I'd say the percentage is way higher than the percent of people that have HTPC's at our level. I wasn't judging, simply noting that for this task these days normal folks much hardly visit a place like AVS HTPC FORUM to get the intelligence needed to pull it off.

Much of the higher volume of posting in the past was troubleshooting problems or trying to get stuff working right. The down turn in those types of posts is nothing more than a result of HTPC becoming easier, simpler, and more compatible.
post #59 of 134
Thread Starter 
It is very very VERY interesting to see all of the different opinions. I'm still trying to digest a lot of them in a meaningful way, but I have to say, I think every single opinion matters.

We are all adults (right? no lil kids here? (anybody under 40 is a kid...tongue.gif ) and I think we can have a healthy discussion about this without denigrating anybody or ticking off AVS.
post #60 of 134
I'm a long time follower of this site and these forums. I've never been a heavy poster, but I will jump into some threads and when I have a new project, I always come here to see what the latest recommendations are.


My personal use of the forums hasn't really changed recently, but I agree that it seems things are a lot quieter. Thankfully, there are still enough serious posters that I can get answers to questions I have. I think people have already posted reasonable reasons why this might be happening and I think its a combination of factors.

I did want to touch on the idea that one issue is some people coming off as condescending, arrogant, or down right rude to people just looking for a straight answer and people that troll or derail threads, ignoring the OP's subject.

This is not a problem just with the AVS forums, but ALL forums on the internet. I have noticed a sharp increase in such bad attitudes and trolling/derailing practices over the last few years. It crosses all subjects and has touched almost every forum I have frequented. These forums aren't nearly as bad as some others I use to follow, but it shows up here as well. For some reason, people either get a kick out of being jerks or simply don't care. I have stopped following various forums precisely because of these things getting out of control. It works both ways too; as the trolling and bad attitudes increase, so does the number of people that overreact to the smallest comments made by people not trolling or copping a bad attitude. Its a cycle that doesn't end well.

This is a forum that I go to to seek straight answers to problems and information regarding new hardware/software in related areas. This is not a general chat forum for me, its a knowledge base with a community of users always working to refine and improve that knowledge base.
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