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Nice desktop with good parts: First HTPC

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

i have a desktop i built last year that i'm wanting to turn in to a HTPC. has Asus P7P55D-E mother board, windows ultimate 7, blue-ray player/writter, i7 processor, 16 gb ram, MSI Radeon HD video card(hdmi), Intel 120 gb ss hd, and WD 1tb 7200 rpm hd. all im going to use this HTPC for is watching movies and listening to flac's. i guess JRiver will be useful for software. just downloaded it. right now i'm looking at getting a nice sound card. unfortunately, sound cards with fixed xlr outputs are very expensive. how does this work if you want to run a 5.1 system? in the next day or 2, im going to start building some waveguide monitors and a subwoofer. does the Asus Xonar Essence STX come with a subwoofer output jack?  i need suggestions for a good power amp to run with this pc. not to expensive. baby on the way... cant get to crazy with this build lol.

 

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4540646&CatId=2771

post #2 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LAVIATHAN View Post

how does this work if you want to run a 5.1 system?
HDMI from GPU into an AVR.
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

HDMI from GPU into an AVR.

Hmmm... What's the purpose of even building a htpc if your gonna use a receiver? That makes everything way to easy. How bout a sound card?
post #4 of 27
No sound card
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

No sound card

ok... a link to ebay you posted?

post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 

so... everybody here just uses a home audio receiver and thats it? i just dont see no reason to even add a pc to the mix. this is just to simple. like hooking your laptop to the receiver and playing movies. if this is all the help im going to get on building a "DEDICATED HTPC".... i think im headed to a different forum

post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LAVIATHAN View Post

Hmmm... What's the purpose of even building a htpc if your gonna use a receiver? That makes everything way to easy. How bout a sound card?

I doubt most people here build htpcs for the purpose of making their life more difficult; they do it to accomplish a specific task that off-the-shelf gear can't do. You just posted a listed of hardware that left the impression that you are considering a pc as a preamp.

Before you storm off annoyed about not getting any answers, you might try asking a question. We aren't mind readers. What is your goal?
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricN View Post


I doubt most people here build htpcs for the purpose of making their life more difficult; they do it to accomplish a specific task that off-the-shelf gear can't do. You just posted a listed of hardware that left the impression that you are considering a pc as a preamp.

Before you storm off annoyed about not getting any answers, you might try asking a question. We aren't mind readers. What is your goal?

my goal? is to build a dedicated HTPC. i have hundreds of HD movies and flac music files on my hard drive. i just want to use my pc to control my ht. i had the impression that all i had to do was add an excellent sound card, software and throw an amp in the mix. im a total newb to this. sorry for the misunderstanding

post #9 of 27
It gets considerably more difficult than that. Most HTPC's lack inputs, they have outputs. If you use it to control your system, you need both audio and video inputs. HDMI inputs are problematic, due to HDCP issues. A few soundcards have optical inputs, but not many. There is at least one thread on here detailing what is involved in building a HTPC/Pre-processor. Most here use there PC's to stream video content from their home servers, or stream from the internet, and as a DVR for TV, usually via cablecard tuner.
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdcrox View Post

It gets considerably more difficult than that. Most HTPC's lack inputs, they have outputs. If you use it to control your system, you need both audio and video inputs. HDMI inputs are problematic, due to HDCP issues. A few soundcards have optical inputs, but not many. There is at least one thread on here detailing what is involved in building a HTPC/Pre-processor. Most here use there PC's to stream video content from their home servers, or stream from the internet, and as a DVR for TV, usually via cablecard tuner.

my video card has an HDMI

post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LAVIATHAN View Post

Hmmm... What's the purpose of even building a htpc if your gonna use a receiver?
Multiple sources, Audessey etc
Quote:
Originally Posted by LAVIATHAN View Post

How bout a sound card?
Not needed. Even if you did, you don't need balanced out to drive balanced amps.
Edited by A9X-308 - 10/25/13 at 12:50pm
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 

so... using a pc as a preamp will be costly and not as effective... just buy a receiver and go from there.

post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 

ok... really appreciate the help.

post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LAVIATHAN View Post

so... everybody here just uses a home audio receiver and thats it? i just dont see no reason to even add a pc to the mix. this is just to simple. like hooking your laptop to the receiver and playing movies. if this is all the help im going to get on building a "DEDICATED HTPC".... i think im headed to a different forum

I do have a "DEDICATED HTPC". It is used for my home theater, but that does not mean it is the only component used. For example I have a satellite DVR, It would be impossible for me to watch satellite programming without it.

What's the difference if you use a receiver to amplify the sound or use an amplifier? You still need something. I haven't priced stand alone amplifiers in a long time but I'm guessing it's more cost effective for most folks to buy a Surround Sound receiver.

I need a receiver to amplify & distribute the audio. It also handles A/V switching. Again something has to do that.
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 

i plan on adding a power amp for 2ch music... is this a good receiver for my HTPC? i see this unit has to 2 zone preouts. very nice

 

Onkyo TX-NR616 

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-NR616-7-2-Channel-Certified-Receiver/dp/B0077V88W2/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1382674279&sr=1-3&keywords=ONKYO+TX-NR525

post #16 of 27
Well,
I SPDIF out to an external DAC that feeds my 2-channel Rotel receiver (all analog inputs). But, if I were buying new I would use HDMI or SPDIF directly to a receiver.

Harmon/Kardon make nice 2 channel receivers with SPDIF input.
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lespurgeon View Post

Well,
I SPDIF out to an external DAC that feeds my 2-channel Rotel receiver (all analog inputs). But, if I were buying new I would use HDMI or SPDIF directly to a receiver.

Harmon/Kardon make nice 2 channel receivers with SPDIF input.

 

 

i want a 5.1 system. i just like to add more power to my main towers. i just want a receiver that has a good dac and nice features so i can add more power in the future if need be. we all know major manufactures really skimp out on the power section

post #18 of 27
Desired price range?
I saw a 5.1 H/K on newegg (H/K 1650 I think) for under $200 yesterday.
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lespurgeon View Post

Desired price range?
I saw a 5.1 H/K on newegg (H/K 1650 I think) for under $200 yesterday.

under $300. i saw that H/K to. not so good reviews. im watch a review for the Onkyo TX-NR616. nice thus far. firmware update madatory

post #20 of 27
When thinking about 5.1 / 7.1 / 9.1 receiver + outboard amps outboard amps for frt mains first consider this :

2 x power = +3dB perceived loudness barley perceptible

2 x loudness +10dB = 10 x power req. on same speakers

4 x loudness +20dB = 100 x power req on same speakers

If using 87 dB 1w1m efficiency speakers and 100wpc receiver
+ powered sub/subs you can reach THX reference levels @ about ~ 60-65 watts
on your mains and surrounds OTOH with 90dB 1w 1m speakers you will need only ~30wpc and so on.
maybe less if room gain is factored in . ofc room size and distance to speakers are a consideration also
lots to gain with efficient speakers though any decent powered sub/subs will take care of itself .
usually pointless to add outboard amps in most cases with decent 100 + wpc AVR unless you are making a large dedicated theater.
THX consumer reference spec is 100wpc receiver like the gang says no need for discrete sound card just use S/PDIF or HDMI out to AVR .

Skip the power amp and sound card save the money for diapers no joke ! you can also get a better receiver although that one or a similar spec one looks OK .
Some of the ONK's and HK's have been having reliability issues lately though FWIH from technicians .
The Denons and Marantz seem to be OK they say . NR 616 at that price might be worth a shot though THX Select2 Plus at that price is good.


Hopefully you wont be listening to music in excess of 100dB for long periods
if so so you might not be doing it for long anyway .

What frt end/media browser for HTPC WMC, XBMC ? WMC is included in win 7 HP +
XMBC is excellent free open source alternative
foobar 2000 is excellent free open source music player
lots better than J river for music has a lot of features not found in J river or anything else short of a DAW (digital audio workstation ) just doesn't have the eye candy.

JR is OK but just that . I tried JR19 trial just to see I've had JR 14 forever don't use though. 19 didn't impress either just newer eye candy '(nice though)
and otherwise useless so called 'sound processing' that isn't beyond the capabilities of anything else out there for free or just about any included PC chip or sound card EQ and definitely not even close to Foobar 2000 I wouldn't pay for it with what else is out there for free. Otoh decent AVR has plenty of options there. Foobar 2000 has S/PDIF output option also

WMC /XMBC + FB 2000 are free though and just as good IMO better. You may also want VLC ( free also ) for the occasional video file nothing else will play . WMC does not support .flac without this plug in .
Edited by tubetwister - 10/25/13 at 2:59am
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LAVIATHAN View Post

we all know major manufactures really skimp out on the power section
And it makes no real world difference unless you are testing full power all channels simultaneously with tones or noise. And that happens how often?
Quote:
Originally Posted by LAVIATHAN View Post

im watch a review for the Onkyo TX-NR616.
No pre outs for external amps.
post #22 of 27
How are you planning on accessing and controlling your HTPC? Remote? What 10 foot interface are you planning on using?

If you are going to control it with keyboard and mouse using Windows explorer to get to your files, then might as well just call it a PC connected to a TV.

This is, IMHO, where the difference between HTPC and PC connected to TV lies. One is totally an appliance like device controlled from the comfort of the couch with a remote.

Take it a step further, and network all of your TV's and AVR's in the house to feed of your HTPC, using the same interface layout, and giving you access to your media on ANY TV in the house, not just one.
post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

And it makes no real world difference unless you are testing full power all channels simultaneously with tones or noise. And that happens how often?
No pre outs for external amps.

I'm building some 12" wave guide monitors. Their very efficient but, they perform well in the 200/300 watt range. I'm looking at getting a Yamaha power amp for the mains.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LAVIATHAN View Post

I'm building some 12" wave guide monitors.
Which ones?
I have been building high efficiency speakers long before the Ewave craze too off.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LAVIATHAN View Post

Their very efficient but, they perform well in the 200/300 watt range.
How do you know? If relying on anecdote, most people have no idea at all how to measure the actual power a speaker is receiving, and so assume that because there is a 300W amp present, 300W is actually going to the speakers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LAVIATHAN View Post

I'm looking at getting a Yamaha power amp for the mains.
I'm a Yamaha amp fanboy, so I would recommend them. However, if you don't actually need it, why buy it?

I'm not sure if you got my point before but the Onkyo you linked doesn't have pre out except for subs, so you cannot add an external power amp for L/R. You need the 700 series or above for that.
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post


Which ones?
I have been building high efficiency speakers long before the Ewave craze too off.
How do you know? If relying on anecdote, most people have no idea at all how to measure the actual power a speaker is receiving, and so assume that because there is a 300W amp present, 300W is actually going to the speakers.
I'm a Yamaha amp fanboy, so I would recommend them. However, if you don't actually need it, why buy it?

I'm not sure if you got my point before but the Onkyo you linked doesn't have pre out except for subs, so you cannot add an external power amp for L/R. You need the 700 series or above for that.

building these. very good reviews. in the next couple of weeks, i'll start building a bass horn aswell.    http://www.diysoundgroup.com/waveguide-speaker-kits/fusion12-kit.html

post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post


Which ones?
I have been building high efficiency speakers long before the Ewave craze too off.
How do you know? If relying on anecdote, most people have no idea at all how to measure the actual power a speaker is receiving, and so assume that because there is a 300W amp present, 300W is actually going to the speakers.
I'm a Yamaha amp fanboy, so I would recommend them. However, if you don't actually need it, why buy it?

I'm not sure if you got my point before but the Onkyo you linked doesn't have pre out except for subs, so you cannot add an external power amp for L/R. You need the 700 series or above for that.

my post has to be approved... till then, i'm building the "FUSION 12- TEMPEST"

post #27 of 27
Wont have any trouble powering a 98db 1w/1m speaker with 300 wpc thats a given or 100 wpc either .
Your speaker project looks interesting.
Edited by tubetwister - 10/26/13 at 11:07am
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