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PCWorld's Article: "Build the ultimate Windows 8 home-theater PC for under $500" - Page 2

post #31 of 83
I thought the ultimate HTPC was a Raspi with clunky XBMC performance and some stutter on full HD ?
post #32 of 83
Ultimate home Theater cool and trendy anyway perfect for the techie loft or domicile in SF or Cupertino or anywhere in the valley eek.gif






biggrin.gif
Edited by tubetwister - 9/20/13 at 3:52pm
post #33 of 83
The article left out so many crucial things that it does more damage than good for the potential HTPC builder. I give it a huge thumbs down.
post #34 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

The article left out so many crucial things that it does more damage than good for the potential HTPC builder. I give it a huge thumbs down.

Right on captain ! I agree leaving out HDMI and SPDIF audio are two serious omissions what does he think we still use VGA ! and 2.0 line out !
Pretty obvious this was an 'arms length build ' if you will, untested and built only virtually in the new egg shopping cart ! Only thing author did was
click a mouse and not very well at that mad.gif he deserves to get flamed any volunteers I'm in biggrin.gif
post #35 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by DraZtiK View Post

I just went and looked at the article and I don't know why he chose a non HDMI board for this. Nor has anyone else caught this little tidbit of info. Am i missing something? So if he goes DVI to TV whats he doing for audio?

Very strange given that Asus has A-series motherboards with HDMI outputs for about the same price.

"ASUS A55M-A/USB3 FM2 AMD A55 (Hudson D2) HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX USB 3.0 and Native HDMI/DVI Outputs AMD Motherboard With UEFI BIOS"

BTW there is a SP/DIF header on just about every modern system board including the one he recommended. You just need to add a termination - usually a bracket with a short cable and the right connector - about $10. Of course, the full HDMI output jack has 8 channels of digital audio.
Edited by arnyk - 9/21/13 at 7:57am
post #36 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Very strange given that Asus has A-series motherboards with HDMI outputs for about the same price.

"ASUS A55M-A/USB3 FM2 AMD A55 (Hudson D2) HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX USB 3.0 and Native HDMI/DVI Outputs AMD Motherboard With UEFI BIOS"
That just shows how much thought the author put into the article. I think he must have simply picked the cheapest motherboard he could find without looking at the specs or features.
post #37 of 83
Asus isn't the cheapest motherboard
post #38 of 83
True, but the one selected by the author is only $65 so it's relatively inexpensive. I can only assume he chose an Asus board because he's familiar with the brand.
post #39 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

True, but the one selected by the author is only $65 so it's relatively inexpensive. I can only assume he chose an Asus board because he's familiar with the brand.

Yup. Not because it was a good choice. Does that mobo have HDMI ?
post #40 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Yup. Not because it was a good choice. Does that mobo have HDMI ?
No. That's been discussed already.
post #41 of 83
I think I missed that. ^

LOL @ HTPC without HDMI biggrin.gif That's hilarious. WTF was author thinking ?
post #42 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by DraZtiK View Post

I just went and looked at the article and I don't know why he chose a non HDMI board for this. Nor has anyone else caught this little tidbit of info. Am i missing something? So if he goes DVI to TV whats he doing for audio?

You realize that DVI and VGA are still alive, so is regular stereo cable. In fact, most TV's still accept VGA and stereo input.

We were using analog out from the HTPC for years until we upgraded the amp. Adn even then, we are not using HDMI, but Toslink. HDMI is NOT cure it all for any AV gear.

This is short of people complaining on SlickDeals that a water bottle didn't come with an HDMI cable.
post #43 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

You realize that DVI and VGA are still alive, so is regular stereo cable. In fact, most TV's still accept VGA and stereo input.

We were using analog out from the HTPC for years until we upgraded the amp. Adn even then, we are not using HDMI, but Toslink. HDMI is NOT cure it all for any AV gear.

This is short of people complaining on SlickDeals that a water bottle didn't come with an HDMI cable.

But this was labeled as an "Ultimate" HTPC
Quote:
Build the ultimate Windows 8 home-theater PC for under $500
post #44 of 83
Well also, to be fair - it's an HTPC article on PCWorld - not a thread on AVS. If it were an article in 'HTPC Weekly' I might expect more/care more.

A PCWorld 'ultimate' HTPC being a very-very simple-not well thought out HTPC shouldn't surprise anyone here. Doesn't mean it couldn't/shouldn't be better - but is anyone really surprised is all I'm getting at.
post #45 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by staknhalo View Post

Well also, to be fair - it's an HTPC article on PCWorld - not a thread on AVS. If it were an article in 'HTPC weekly' I might be more upset/care more.

Fair point. But the omission of HDMI on anything labeled as "Ultimate" in the year 2013 for the home theater is pretty laughable.
post #46 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Fair point. But the omission of HDMI on anything labeled as "Ultimate" in the year 2013 for the home theater is pretty laughable.

That was just from the author not doing due diligence and throwing this together in 5 secs to publish the article
post #47 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

No mention of extenders either, or how most of them won't work with Windows 8. And no mention of the vast sums of cash you save by ditching cable DVR fees, recouping all your build costs in the first year or two.

However, there is enough good, basic info in there to hopefully pique the interest of a novice.

Yup, OTA DVR is by far the best justification for HTPC.
post #48 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by staknhalo View Post

That was just from the author not doing due diligence and throwing this together in 5 secs to publish the article

I understand that --- which is why he and the article are getting ripped.

Great idea for an article. Horribly executed.
post #49 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I understand that --- which is why he and the article are getting ripped.

Great idea for an article. Horribly executed.

Eh, I look at it more as a public service announcement HTPCs even exist. Gets someone not familiar with it in the door.

Could you imagine if it were an 'AVS approved' article - firstly, it would never get finished/publish because we would all fall to infighting over some minute point/detail - and secondly, we would probably make it seem easier to build a nuke to the average PC user/layman.

Instead, you have a simple article/build like this (HDMI and whatever issues aside) and you get someone in the 'HTPC door' so to speak. Then a couple of months or years later, that person is on here bitching with the rest of us for 37 pages over what constitutes the true definition of an actual HTPC :P
post #50 of 83
The "ultimate" HTPC would need to have a GPU card, and HDMI- support advanced video processing, and stream HD audio. It would also need to do 3D. Without such things no HTPC can claim it's "ultimate" at anything.
post #51 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

support advanced video processing

That's exactly what I'm talking about. There should be no talk about mad-vr or anything in a PCWorld HTPC build IMO. Wrong audience, or just plain beginners. Stuff like that would just scare them off most likely.
post #52 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by staknhalo View Post

That's exactly what I'm talking about. There should be no talk about mad-vr or anything in a PCWorld HTPC build IMO. Wrong audience, or just plain beginners. Stuff like that would just scare them off most likely.

I am with you there.

It should be super easy to use for the newbie (meaning typical reader of PCWorld). But I think that HDMI is a must as its the standard for HD Video and Audio at this point.
post #53 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I am with you there.

It should be super easy to use for the newbie (meaning typical reader of PCWorld). But I think that HDMI is a must as its the standard for HD Video and Audio at this point.

Oh no, I agree that the HDMI thing is an oversight and should have been in the build - but that's all I can really say. The rest of it being coined an 'ultimate' HTPC build in a PCWorld article - is what I would expect/have no issues with TBH.

HDMI was overlooked because he put this together in 5 seconds without a second glance and it just doesn't surprise me is all.
post #54 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

It should be super easy to use for the newbie (meaning typical reader of PCWorld). But I think that HDMI is a must as its the standard for HD Video and Audio at this point.

+1. An argument that suggesting a motherboard missing HDMI is "beginner" or "ok" is simply arguing for arguments sake. Not even my 2007 Panasonic plasma has a VGA input and my old Onkyo amp had at least S/PDIF. Any HDMI motherboard will have at least analog outputs if not S/PDIF.

I think though some of the replies to the author are unnecessarily harsh. Telling the author they "FAIL" because it's not a $100 streamer is ridiculous. If someone presented the author's build here as the first post of a thread asking for suggestions, would we reply "FAIL" or "hey, your motherboard is missing HDMI, what does your TV have for inputs?". I'd like to think we'd be respectful and helpful and make suggestions for a simple build and in my experience we usually are.
post #55 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

+1. An argument that suggesting a motherboard missing HDMI is "beginner" or "ok" is simply arguing for arguments sake.

I don't think anyone argued it was OK. Just wasn't surprising he overlooked it in the 30 secs he took to make the parts list.
post #56 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by staknhalo View Post

I don't think anyone argued it was OK. Just wasn't surprising he overlooked it in the 30 secs he took to make the parts list.

Why even write the article then? Giving the OP an excuse for the omission due to "throwing it together" is poor form.

Let's put it this way...

Newbie reads article.

Newbie doesn't read the comments.

Newbie purchases all of the recommended parts.

Newbie builds HTPC.

Newbie goes to plug in his $150 Monster Cable HDMI cable and says, "WTH! This "Ultimate" HTPC doesn't even have a friggin HDMI!" (even a newbie knows that his appletv, bluray player, etc have a HDMI)

So in a way its actually a disservice to the HTPC community. I wish the author would have taken a little more time and maybe even (gasp!) actually built and tested the thing to ensure compatibility, list any caveats, etc.

On the other hand I am glad he wrote it because I am sure there are readers looking at it that had never even heard of the term HTPC before the article.
post #57 of 83
Dude - no one is giving him an excuse and saying it's acceptable - I'm just not even caring enough to brandish my pitchfork over it is all; and where we differentiate apparently. He was corrected in the comments - how much sleep do you want to lose over it?
post #58 of 83
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

So in a way its actually a disservice to the HTPC community. I wish the author would have taken a little more time and maybe even (gasp!) actually built and tested the thing to ensure compatibility, list any caveats, etc.
 

 

So true, that's my beef with the article...well said.

post #59 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by staknhalo View Post

Dude - no one is giving him an excuse and saying it's acceptable - I'm just not even caring enough to brandish my pitchfork over it is all; and where we differentiate apparently. He was corrected in the comments - how much sleep do you want to lose over it?

Not losing any but thanks for asking. rolleyes.gif
post #60 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by StardogChampion View Post

+1. An argument that suggesting a motherboard missing HDMI is "beginner" or "ok" is simply arguing for arguments sake. Not even my 2007 Panasonic plasma has a VGA input and my old Onkyo amp had at least S/PDIF. Any HDMI motherboard will have at least analog outputs if not S/PDIF.

I think though some of the replies to the author are unnecessarily harsh. Telling the author they "FAIL" because it's not a $100 streamer is ridiculous. If someone presented the author's build here as the first post of a thread asking for suggestions, would we reply "FAIL" or "hey, your motherboard is missing HDMI, what does your TV have for inputs?". I'd like to think we'd be respectful and helpful and make suggestions for a simple build and in my experience we usually are.

This is well said.

I think we usually would say "do you need HDMI? " (which is appropriate) If the OP does not, then hey... all good in da hood. biggrin.gif

But that is a big difference versus writing an article to be published in perhaps the most popular computer magazine- for a target audience and segment that is "techie" considering most of the home theater products available for more than just a few years have been primarily based on HDMI ( AVR , TV, etc... )

It should be assumed a brand new HTPC build that is "ultimate" would require HDMI. How would you bitstream audio ? optical? Can that do HD audio ? or 7.1 ? (nope)

Anything "ultimate" really needs to support HDMI and specifically should support it for 3D, and HD audio (even if we can argue about the advanced video processing)

I think "ultimate" means it needs to support advanced video processing because in my opinion it's not "ultimate" if it does not. The term ultimate suggests what the word means:
Quote:
ul·ti·mate (lt-mt)
adj.

a. Of the greatest possible size or significance; maximum: Has the ultimate diamond been found?
b. Representing or exhibiting the greatest possible development or sophistication: the ultimate bicycle.
c. Utmost; extreme: the ultimate insult.
d. The greatest extreme; the maximum: actions that represented the ultimate in political expediency.

Using "ultimate" to me means it's going to represent the best or most sophisticated that is available today. That HTPC he built is weaker than your average noob build around here.

It really seems like people go different directions with these things. One side you have the energy conscious and budget conscious extremists looking for "ultimate" in the sense of power consumption, physical size, and smallest budget spent. Then you have "ultimate" in that the performance and user experience is representative of the best possible available today- this includes picture and sound quality, ease of use, and performance capabilities. Very different "ultimate" HTPC's though....

I reserve judgment on which is better. HTPC is a hobby and people should be able to enjoy it how they wish. I know which one I would like better though tongue.gif
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