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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,


Was hoping to get some advice. Here are my requirements. HTPC will be hooked up directly to a TV via HDMI


1) Run WMC - only way to get live TV with copy once channels (thx TWC)

2) Play blu-ray backups via network also a variety of other already transcoded content

3) Have a relatively snappy processor to have a front end like XBMC or MP to run smoothly

4) No gaming

5) 3D ok, not a must

6) Exact 24p not a big deal, usually just set to 60p and leave it

7) Maybe support for sound bar expansion in the future?

8) Unsure about whether or not being able to do post processing, e.g. MADVR etc is useful on blu-ray rips. Thoughts here?


I need something in a very small form factor. I found the gigabyte Brix series. Lots of choices, AMD A8-5545, and Haswell I3 or I5 seem to be the main options. Price is a concern, so any reason to look at the I5 given my constraints? What about AMD versus I3? No Kalv options yet it looks like.


Thanks!
 

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Aside from MadVR you may be able to get everything else you mentioned from one of the new bay trail celeron nucs (including 24p and 3d, at least according to one of the posters who reviewed it in the bay trail NUC thread here). That would be your cheapest option if your budget is limited.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the input guys. Think I'm going to pickup the i3 brix today, unless you all think the AMD version is better. Ordered 8 gigs of crucial mem in dual channel and a M500 240gb msata drive and rosewill wmc remote/receiver.
 

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I put together my 1st HTPC right after Christmas, and just got everything working the way I wanted about 1 month ago. I went the Brix route too and am happy with it.


I went with the BRIX Intel i3, specifically the model is GB-XM12-3227. I put 8gig of memory in it as well as a 128gig SSD and a wifi/BlueTooth adapter (so I could use a bluetooth keyboard when required). All my recordings as well as my Video,Music, and Pictures are stored on a USB3 connected 2terrabyte WD Red. I've been very happy with it. No fan on the Brix or the WD, so very quite and no heat of any significance is generated. Both are barely more then room temperature. I have the Brix hooked to my HDTV (Panny 60inch plasma) via HDMI to my Onyko and then the TV. I have a Silicon Dust dual tuner OTA box as well as a Silicon Dust 3 tuner cable card box (Comcast). I frequently am recording 3 shows while watching another already recorded show and have had no stop/start/ or studdering. I have a Raspberry Pi in the bedroom which gets all it's content from the BRIX also. Everything I watch from the Pi is also solid with no noticeable video delays or anomalies. Everything is hard wired Ethernet in my home with most being CAT5E. I have one leg that is Cat6. I have a gigabit router and a gigabit switch in my living room as well as the bedroom. In the living room I have the HTPC (Brix, WD drive, 2 Silicon Dust boxes), Tivo, ReplayTV, Onyko NR717 Audio/Video Receiver , BluRay Disk, and Roku Soundbridge all housed in a nice cabinet I built. I should mention that I am running Windows 8.1 on the Brix and OpenElec on the Pi. Both are running XBMC Froto 12.3. The PVR function is handled by NextPVR running on the Brix. Running the Amber skin on both as well. That way I have the same exact look on both. Using Flirc with my MX-500 universal remote in the living room and a HP MCE remote with "HoneyPi" ir receiver in the bedroom.


This setup is solid. Pretty much to my surprise, the Brix has crashed only once and that was when I was messing with the remote setup and I just sent too much junk to XBMC for it to handle. Just XBMC crashed. The HTPC itself has been 100% solid. I have nothing installed on it that is not required for the HTPC function. I do admit, I reboot it just about every night before I go to bed (unless something is recording). I figure good to clean up the garbage. Since it auto loads NextPVR, recordings overnight are fine and I just crank up XBMC in the morning and Wa La!


So I am pretty happy with this setup. The Replay gets almost no use right now. I record the News on there just as a backup as well as Jeopardy for my wife (also a backup). The Tivo only records Golf and really that is a backup as well. So probably in the next month or so I will eliminate both those. While the Brix has been solid, I am a old long time mainframe computer guy, so I like my backups. But only a matter of time till I have enough confidence in the HTPC that I will let those old boxes go to a nice new family that will appreciate them.


Good luck on your HTPC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Got all the components in and Windows 8.1 installed tonight. Form factor was a bit bigger than expected since I had been looking at the i7 brix pictures, but still this little system packs a serious punch. Doing 101 windows updates now and will put it through full paces tomorrow. Still have to decide on which codec pack to install.
 
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