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Have you noticed something on this forum lately? - Page 3

post #61 of 134
I agree with @trooper11 that trolling and over-reacting in forums seems to be getting worse over time.

The worst is when the mods (not here) themselves engage in this kind of behavior, ridiculing or abusing people who express a different viewpoint from their own. I saw this happen in another forum where the first response by the so-called "moderator" (better described as an "exacerbator") was to shower the poster with sarcasm and ridicule, and others piled on. In my case, at least one post where I'd expressed disagreement had disappeared by the next time I entered. It's the most unprofessional, disgraceful mod behavior I've ever come across; I wouldn't go back there in a million years, but if I did I'd make sure to take screenshots of everything I posted, right after submitting.
post #62 of 134
This forum is like an encyclopedia. With all the knowledge here maybe just as many people access it as in prior years, but are mainly reading it & not writing. IOW postings with questions may be down but maybe it is still accessed just as frequently in order to find answers.

I’m presuming there’s stats somewhere showing the number of visits there have been over the years.
post #63 of 134
With 4k looming as the next big thing, traffic may increase. I think guys like Assassin, Mfusick, and Renethx are awesome resources and this board is invaluable.

I have been on this forum since 2001. I periodically check to see how the latest greatest hardware performs and what is on the horizon. But I don't frequent it quite like I did since HD bitstreaming was nailed.

As far as guys coming off as condescending, I don't see it; unless of course when new users ask questions without reading or searching and expect to be spoon fed and cranky old guys like me are having a bad day . . .
post #64 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by trooper11 View Post

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.

I used the forum this way since around the time of the XBMC Eden HD Audio patch and started posting some recently.

One thing I've read and noticed brought up a few times is that a knowledge base (which is a big part what exists here) needs moderation and pruning from an active group of users who hand over the keys when they need to take a sabbatical.

The stickies here should be the best resource anywhere for HTPC frontends. There is already an existing sticky for nearly every front end, but a lot of the valuable information is either riddled through the thread or added into other threads. If you were the A-type organizational personality, you would probably make a whole pinterest board of solutions from variously scattered posts within this forum rather than using the painful search function that accompanied the software change. What seems to now be a majority of the stickies haven't seen updates in a while. Summer seems like the perfect time for nerds to do such things. I don't know if "sticky" ownership could be transferred or given to a user "group" rather than a single user, but this seems like a good place to start. Also, some stickies could be added or content merged with threads that kind of dupe setup info

i.e.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1294647/xbmc-media-center-setup-guide-knowlege-base-support
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1440470/xbmc-live-tv-and-unofficial-nextpvr-guide-targeted-to-homerun-prime
post #65 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie View Post

I think guys like Assassin, Mfusick, and Renethx are awesome resources and this board is invaluable.

Don't believe Mfusick, he is lying...
post #66 of 134
The HTPC board on AVS has long lost the S in AVS, these days its usually just users asking setup questions and "whats best" threads full of claims and no science to back them up. This is also why the "true AVSers" have left, in addition to the horrible forum software. tongue.gif
post #67 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevcairiel View Post

This is also why the "true AVSers" have left . .

And yet, here you are . . .smile.gif
post #68 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

Don't believe Mfusick, he is lying...

biggrin.gif
post #69 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevcairiel View Post

The HTPC board on AVS has long lost the S in AVS, these days its usually just users asking setup questions and "whats best" threads full of claims and no science to back them up. This is also why the "true AVSers" have left, in addition to the horrible forum software. tongue.gif

I agree. Also some of these same posters appear to get irritated when you ask them to provide proof or data and instead tell you that it's "true" because it's "common sense" or more-often-than-not because "I said so".

If that's not the exact opposite of what a science forum is supposed to be then I don't know what is. For sure it's a turn off compared to what avs was like just a few years ago.

And the forum software is atrocious as well.
post #70 of 134
Yes, the new forum software and the annoying / distracting ads...

Gone are the days when I watch the forum from morning till evening... it was like a mad addiction....

These days I just pop in once in a while to see if there is anything interesting...
post #71 of 134
In the Firefox browser you can turn off all the annoying ad movement and sounds with flash blocker. Then you will only get a daily annoying request to turn flash blocker off.
post #72 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevcairiel View Post

The HTPC board on AVS has long lost the S in AVS, these days its usually just users asking setup questions and "whats best" threads full of claims and no science to back them up. This is also why the "true AVSers" have left, in addition to the horrible forum software. tongue.gif

You might be right to some extent but there is not always going to be science available for everything and if you left the conversation to be purely scientific it would scare away a lot more folks by being boring and hard to understand IMO.

I think your right, and your talking in my direction eek.gif and I can even admit I am guilty too tongue.gif but how would you suggest improving it? My offense is when I read BS crap I don't believe to be true. Just because there is no "science" to support my belief doesn't mean my belief is wrong. Example: You said 5400rpm slower speed drives last longer, I said 7200rpm drives are more reliable- we disagree. No science exists in either direction so who is right ? It's a lot easier to ask for science than provide it, and that is where the offense I take is. Nothing wrong with science- but, asking for it when it doesn't exist only to support some other BS idea/opinion that no science supports either is hypocritical IMO.

There is always going to be areas of discussion that folks don't agree on, and that no scientific evidence exists or clearly supports on way or the other. These are sometimes the most fun, controversial, and active threads- and often there is good information brought to light by a variety of great posters in a great community. I think the community and the understanding of the knowledge both benefit in the long run from such posts- the important thing is just to behave nicely to each other when you disagree. It's easy when you get passionate to error in such matters.

There is nothing wrong with having an opinion either wink.gif You make it seem like a bad thing. I disagree that the "true AVSers" have left. <-- [opinion] biggrin.gif

There is also nothing wrong with asking "what's best" - that's long been a staple product around here with asking for advice on PC hardware to build a PC or Media Server. You might be bored from it, but there is nothing wrong with that and it certainly does not make the forum a bad place. Perhaps your better off just reading technical white papers ??? tongue.gif That just seems to less fun to me biggrin.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I agree. Also some of these same posters appear to get irritated when you ask them to provide proof or data and instead tell you that it's "true" because it's "common sense" or more-often-than-not because "I said so".

If that's not the exact opposite of what a science forum is supposed to be then I don't know what is. For sure it's a turn off compared to what avs was like just a few years ago.

And the forum software is atrocious as well.

See my comments above^

If I could suddenly waive a magic wand and transform this forum into what your saying I have a feeling that traffic would slow down even more, and there would be fewer posters. There is only so much science that can be applied to basic stuff. It's great when it's presented but it's not something that everyone can participate in or that can be provided very easily and very often. If this really turned into a science only forum it would be completely stagnant and boring IMO.

There needs to be opinion and discussion and ordinary chatter to make stuff more exciting. I too will take all the science I can get too, but when it doesn't exist it simply doesn't exist. Asking for it when it is in all practicality impossible to obtain or unlikely to exist only as a tool to support a BS opinion over another BS opinion is a dirty tactic and no more right or wrong than stating an opinion as a fact. It's as intentionally deceptive and confusing to a casual reader as stating an opinion without any science as a fact, and possibly much more so. Shame on those who do it. It's no more right or wrong.

Pointing out there is no science behind something is fine- but twisting that to support another opinion that has just as little science behind it is not. There is either science- or there is not. If there is science then present it and rest happily in that your right and science proves you are. If there is not, then I think there is room for some opinion. You make it seem like only science is important and should be posted and there is no room for personal opinion. There is always room for personal opinion, just as there is always room for scientific facts. You need both to make a good forum work.
post #73 of 134
As a cow let me say that AVS puts the hay down where the cows can get at it. This is not bad.

A forum where Renethx, Nevcairiel and Assassin were learning facts would have few users. Perhaps this forum would be Doom9 or Tomshardware.

For example, after two years I have just returned to Netflix streaming. There is currently a thread discussing the Netflix controls...or the lack of controls. This information is useful to me but it is not science. For instance one can select HD quality, (almost DVD quality), and subtitles but Netflix needs to be opened in a browser rather that media center and played for five minutes to get the selections turned on. Also, the remote commands like pause still work but are not displayed on the screen. I can get Dolby Digital Plus by playing netflix with my PS3 but 7MC use WMA 9 Pro, (I believe) and I can only get stereo using HDMI. The stereo audio is not as understandable as 5.1 audio. This information is useful but it is more software idiosyncrasies than it is science.
post #74 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

If I could suddenly waive a magic wand and transform this forum into what your saying I have a feeling that traffic would slow down even more, and there would be fewer posters. There is only so much science that can be applied to basic stuff. It's great when it's presented but it's not something that everyone can participate in or that can be provided very easily and very often. If this really turned into a science only forum it would be completely stagnant and boring IMO.

I completely disagree. A good forum is one that mixes threads/discussions with both personal opinion and science (i.e. actually testing a product and reporting the data). AVS over the last few years has shifted to much more opinion and much less science.

Let's take a good review piece on some of the non-AVS review sites --- often I learn and gain more by reading the users' comments (if they are allowed and enabled) than the article itself. This is the perfect example of where data, fact and opinion blend really well together. Without the basis of science you end up having a bunch of people screaming at one another usually with the bias of defending what they personal use and completely negating what else might be out there that may be better suited to the discussion at hand.

Two years ago AVS was much more active. I am not going to say that the primary reason is because it was more "scientific" then as there have been many good possibilities listed in this thread for the change --- I think they all play a role.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postmoderndesign View Post

As a cow let me say that AVS puts the hay down where the cows can get at it. This is not bad.

A forum where Renethx, Nevcairiel and Assassin were learning facts would have few users. Perhaps this forum would be Doom9 or Tomshardware.

I agree completely. I still learn a lot from reading this forum (and answering PMs) each and every day. I think that the HTPC-centric nature of AVS is what historically has set it apart from Doom9, Tomshardware, Anandtech, Hard Forum, etc. Taking what is done in those forums (non-HTPC) and trying to transfer it over to the HTPC platform doesn't alsways yield ideal results and this is where AVS used to shine in using science and data to try to reach a conclusion instead of just saying "Well the PC enthusiasts are using this so it must always be good for HTPC as well".

That's my $.02 and I appreciate and respect that many may disagree.
post #75 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

You might be right to some extent but there is not always going to be science available for everything and if you left the conversation to be purely scientific it would scare away a lot more folks by being boring and hard to understand IMO.

I think your right, and your talking in my direction eek.gif and I can even admit I am guilty too tongue.gif but how would you suggest improving it? My offense is when I read BS crap I don't believe to be true. Just because there is no "science" to support my belief doesn't mean my belief is wrong. Example: You said 5400rpm slower speed drives last longer, I said 7200rpm drives are more reliable- we disagree. No science exists in either direction so who is right ? It's a lot easier to ask for science than provide it, and that is where the offense I take is. Nothing wrong with science- but, asking for it when it doesn't exist only to support some other BS idea/opinion that no science supports either is hypocritical IMO.

There is always going to be areas of discussion that folks don't agree on, and that no scientific evidence exists or clearly supports on way or the other. These are sometimes the most fun, controversial, and active threads- and often there is good information brought to light by a variety of great posters in a great community. I think the community and the understanding of the knowledge both benefit in the long run from such posts- the important thing is just to behave nicely to each other when you disagree. It's easy when you get passionate to error in such matters.

There is nothing wrong with having an opinion either wink.gif You make it seem like a bad thing. I disagree that the "true AVSers" have left. <-- [opinion] biggrin.gif

Just try saying someone should adjust their audio gear to what sounds best for them instead of what a graph or chart says should sound the best for them...pitchforks and torches come out! An example of adjusting to what sounds best is to run Audyssey and then bump up the power level of the rear surrounds for more of an in your face effect. Charts and graphs say you are doing it wrong, the smile on your face says otherwise. smile.gif Sometimes people forget to actually enjoy their system!
post #76 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

Just try saying someone should adjust their audio gear to what sounds best for them instead of what a graph or chart says should sound the best for them...pitchforks and torches come out! An example of adjusting to what sounds best is to run Audyssey and then bump up the power level of the rear surrounds for more of an in your face effect. Charts and graphs say you are doing it wrong, the smile on your face says otherwise. smile.gif Sometimes people forget to actually enjoy their system!

A very fair analogy. A comparable HTPC analogy is the person that says that 1080p is superior (or inferior) on ATI vs NVidia vs Intel or that WMC looks better (or worse) than MPC-HC, XBMC, JRiver or that Madvr or SVP is going to look significantly better (or worse) to absolutely everyone no matter what display, media type or device they are using.

A lot of this is subjective and forum noise quite frankly. What gets my attention is when people start posting data, tested results, screenshots to illustrate the data, etc. So I balance the collective opinions from AVS (whose members and contributors I greatly respect) to the data that is before my eyes where I can make my own conclusions and see if it would be reproducible by myself and others. To be able to reproduce data or results from an experiment (or in the case of HTPC a particular set of hardware and software) really forms the backbone of what I view as relevant science.

What really makes me uninterested is when someone posts something as truth or game-changing with nothing really to backup their statement other than their own opinion.

Ask yourself these questions --- why is Renethx such an asset to this forum? Is it because of his opinion alone? Or is it because of the fact that he goes to painstaking lengths to test a hypothesis and provide all of us with data that actually backs up his opinion? Contrast this to the user who does little more than regurgitate the usual mumbo-jumbo that they read somewhere on a forum such as this without all this added data and then tries to pass it off as the gospel. Would this forum be better off with more or less posters such as Renethx and why would that be?
post #77 of 134
I wish I had the time an patience to do the testing that renethx does. I also wish that a few more like him would participate here. I've been know to regurgitate what is said by others but typically only on things that I have actually used and done so I do have first hand knowledge.. you know, that repeatable part of the scientific method. I know for a fact that on my system I get better PQ from madVR than from EVR (CP) In MPC-HC and I do repeat that from time to time but at the same time I usually try to indicate that results may very for different users and they my find the WMC player or standard MPC-HC or SBMC players to be just fine and I don't fault anybody for that.
post #78 of 134

I'm the OP on the second link there, but haven't really had much to update on the guide. An XBMC dev (FernetMenta) was working on some changes to their internal player and a Mediaportal dev (margro) put out some custom branches of XBMC with those changes incorporated that allowed the HDHR Prime to tune channels in XBMC much quicker with mediaportal (and spread over to other backends like nextpvr). The pull request for "those" changes was completed, but there was some extra mumbo-jumbo that never made it into that request.

On the other front, the NPVR dev (sub) is working on the next release of NPVR which will move on to .NET 4 and take care of the tuner not being released and liveTV playback breakage after multiple channel changes.

As Gotham nears, I hope several of these changes get off the "fence" and become reality. Until such time as there is significant improvement I wouldn't likely update the guide.


In even further news, I told Alex (Greeneyez) that he was free to add my content to the sticky, but I'm not sure where he went off to either. His last post was 2/24/2013?? I'd gladly take stewardship of some XBMC content since I use it so regularly, but I don't know if there is anyway for us to do such things currently. Also, prior to the forum switch you could follow the sticky threads very easily, and now they seem like they are supposed to be footnotes with much smaller font than other areas and no indication of the last post unless you dig down through the forum to find their thread.
post #79 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I completely disagree. A good forum is one that mixes threads/discussions with both personal opinion and science (i.e. actually testing a product and reporting the data). AVS over the last few years has shifted to much more opinion and much less science.



Well then you actually agree because that is what I was saying. biggrin.gif A good forum mixes both. You can never have too much science, but you can't have ONLY science and keep it fun either. It needs to be both.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

Just try saying someone should adjust their audio gear to what sounds best for them instead of what a graph or chart says should sound the best for them...pitchforks and torches come out! An example of adjusting to what sounds best is to run Audyssey and then bump up the power level of the rear surrounds for more of an in your face effect. Charts and graphs say you are doing it wrong, the smile on your face says otherwise. smile.gif Sometimes people forget to actually enjoy their system!


Great point. Most people like to run the subwoofers HOT and do the same for that. Turn the sub down, run audyssey, then turn the sub back up biggrin.gif


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I wish I had the time an patience to do the testing that renethx does. I also wish that a few more like him would participate here. I've been know to regurgitate what is said by others but typically only on things that I have actually used and done so I do have first hand knowledge.. you know, that repeatable part of the scientific method. I know for a fact that on my system I get better PQ from madVR than from EVR (CP) In MPC-HC and I do repeat that from time to time but at the same time I usually try to indicate that results may very for different users and they my find the WMC player or standard MPC-HC or SBMC players to be just fine and I don't fault anybody for that.

I think everyone agrees ReneTHX is a special asset to this community biggrin.gif But he is unique and not easily duplicated also. Thinking you, or I, or many of the other regulars here could even do what he does with the same success is unreasonable. He's just in a position to do it more than any of us are.
post #80 of 134
I still think Stickies would be better replaced by Wikis where a small community of experts could keep the information up-to-date and when people leave the community others can be added, etc. Discussion forums make for lousy knowledge bases.
post #81 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

I still think Stickies would be better replaced by Wikis where a small community of experts could keep the information up-to-date and when people leave the community others can be added, etc. Discussion forums make for lousy knowledge bases.

The stickies are mostly out of date now and should be unstickied IMO. There is many more recent threads that are better to be stickied. This forum lacks in particular a good media server sticky, the old one is pretty bad.
post #82 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

The stickies are mostly out of date now and should be unstickied IMO. There is many more recent threads that are better to be stickied. This forum lacks in particular a good media server sticky, the old one is pretty bad.

I will go one better. There needs to be a dedicated HTPC server forum as most of the time these are dedicated machines. Thus, they deserve their own forum and place of worship.
post #83 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I think everyone agrees ReneTHX is a special asset to this community biggrin.gif But he is unique and not easily duplicated also. Thinking you, or I, or many of the other regulars here could even do what he does with the same success is unreasonable. He's just in a position to do it more than any of us are.

I didn't mean to suggest that anyone should become another Renethx. But it is fairly easy to post actual data, charts, etc that goes along with one's opinion.

I see on a weekly basis on AVS someone posting something along the lines of "there is data behind this but I am too lazy to find it for you". (Know anyone like that MFusick? tongue.gif )

What I suggest is that if you have something insightful and can add some data please do so. It doesn't even have to be your own --- it can be from another review site. But as I pointed out with my Renethx example adding a little objectivity instead of just opinion goes an awful long way to strengthening this forum and your opinion on how or why you came to a particular conclusion. It also doesn't take much to post some screenshots, wattage readings, temps, CPU usage, etc etc etc.
post #84 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I didn't mean to suggest that anyone should become another Renethx. But it is fairly easy to post actual data, charts, etc that goes along with one's opinion.

I see on a weekly basis on AVS someone posting something along the lines of "there is data behind this but I am too lazy to find it for you". (Know anyone like that MFusick? tongue.gif )

What I suggest is that if you have something insightful and can add some data please do so. It doesn't even have to be your own --- it can be from another review site. But as I pointed out with my Renethx example adding a little objectivity instead of just opinion goes an awful long way to strengthening this forum and your opinion on how or why you came to a particular conclusion. It also doesn't take much to post some screenshots, wattage readings, temps, CPU usage, etc etc etc.

While I agree and like to see more information, there is a proven in use part of the forum that I find particularly helpful (maybe stems from me being naive)

I'd be the first to say I don't know anywhere near as much as ReneTHX about video playback. Same goes for Nev, Madshi, and the handful of others who really know the nitty gritty ins and outs between the play button and what your screen displays.

In some cases knowing the theory goes beyond knowing the practical limits. Just as one could say, "That's great but which car should I buy out of these" or "which bullets with which model out of these" is asked of experts in the automotive engine and ballistic fields, those types of questions must also sometimes be applied to video playback. Also, in the end an HTPC is much more than just a video component. It can be asked to easily catalogue all movies and tv shows with info/artwork and display it in a manner that is easy to sort through as well as categorize if wanted. Similarly for music, pictures, games, and web based plugins like Pandora, internet-radio apps, Hulu, Netflix, etc, etc, etc. Piecing together a truly usable front-end that doesn't take a true "AVSer" to be able to use is sometimes the final decision in which direction some of us take with our HTPCs rather than best video playback, audio playback, gaming performance, etc. This is where several practical questions are often asked in a how-to fashion, and what's truly great about this forum is that there are people here who actually rolled up their sleeves and did what they recommend. When you balance that with truly high quality video playback advice from more knowledgeable posters then you get what makes me want to start here for every computer related problem I have.

I also like that several users here know and have taken low-end hardware all the way to the limit, not just high end. I myself have used and seen what a broadcom asus 400 MHz SoC can do as a server, in addition to what a TI OMAP 4460 and Tegra 3 can do with video playback, all the way through P2, P3, P4, amd64, athlon x2, Core 2 Duo/Quad, i3 sandy, i5 ivy, g550, g645, g1610, and others I can't recall. If I have the time, I'm never afraid to check out an alpha or beta or "this will most likely break but could help" type of software to get what I need. I feel like in several other forums users really don't know the low-limits of hardware and only focus on the upper limits. I enjoy and want to know more about what can be done with less, and I feel like this is one of the few places left that even considers that to be a valid mindset


Edit: I noticed I kind of agreed (regurgitated) with what this user posted a while back
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifishcat View Post

for me, the wealth of information already here greatly curbs any post I might make. Additionally, these days, there is a dedicated forum for either the hardware or software I might choose to use (and I don't post at those forums either for the same reasoning). (AVS is an amazing resource, made by individuals who actually roll up sleeves and use the stuff)

Edited by Dark_Slayer - 7/23/13 at 1:32pm
post #85 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Ask yourself these questions --- why is Renethx such an asset to this forum? Is it because of his opinion alone? Or is it because of the fact that he goes to painstaking lengths to test a hypothesis and provide all of us with data that actually backs up his opinion? Contrast this to the user who does little more than regurgitate the usual mumbo-jumbo that they read somewhere on a forum such as this without all this added data and then tries to pass it off as the gospel. Would this forum be better off with more or less posters such as Renethx and why would that be?

He would be an even bigger asset if he changed his stance against the use of wire lifters...they really cause audio to soar! smile.gif



(did you see what I did there....lifters - soar...)
post #86 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

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.

+1. Now that I've fined tune my HTPC I'm not checking the forums every couple of hours to see whether someone has posted something that I can use to further tweak my setup. I generally just browse the forum once a week, and only post if I can add something to the discussion that no one else has (this post being the exception biggrin.gif). The only other time I check is if something new pops up (such as Windows 8) to see what everyone else’s take on it is and whether it is worth the hassle of modifying my stable setup.

If I do need an answer to a problem I'm having I can generally find it by searching the forums without needing to aska a question.
post #87 of 134
It's just HTPC has matured^.
post #88 of 134
netflix+hulu plus the smart tv..
i know many people who dumps their htpc when they got smart tv..

and to me i regularly visit this forum and reading mostly =)
post #89 of 134
I'm the opposite. I have a dumb TV and want to get a bigger one and find no purpose for a smart TV at all. The thing is, is, that just a monitor with a power connector and one HDMI will cost you more than a smart TV if you can even find one in the 60" range. Due to limitations of the SoC's on smart TV's they will never replace an HTPC and they are for the masses not the tech savvy.
post #90 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by stan300 View Post

netflix+hulu plus the smart tv..
i know many people who dumps their htpc when they got smart tv..

and to me i regularly visit this forum and reading mostly =)

It would depend on what they or you defined as HTPC. A PC connected to a TV will probably be dumped in favor of a stand alone device.

But a true HTPC, with a 10 foot interface, controlled with a remote control (no mice no keyboards) is far more capable than any one of the individual stand alone devices.

You would have to have a DVR/Cable Box + DVD/BluRay player + SmartTV or Roku or WD Live + game console (XBOX, Wii, PS3) and then you would have somehow switch between them to get where you want to be.

HTPC has all of those in one place, controlled with one remote.

We have a smart TV, but we bought it not because of the smart tv feature, but because it was at the right price for the TV, i.e. it was a good deal. After playing with the smart TV features, only someone who has not had a full blown HTPC would consider them useful.
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