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I am new to the home theater obses...err, hobby.


I am curious what the advantages of the HTPC are over individual components? I want to build a HTPC, but can't really figure out what I am gaining from it. By no means am I questioning the benefits, I just don't know what exactly they are. Why do you prefer the HTPC to components?
 

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1. Record TV for free

2. Movie jukebox for ripped blurays, dvds

3. Easier home automation

Edit: 4. Its an interesting (though frustrating) hobby


Honestly, aside from those, I cannot think of much. The PQ is guaranteed to be at least as good from standalone components. I have an sagetv extender that has perfect pq and bitstreaming, that when combined with the sagetv software is able to do everything my old htpc could do, but without any of the hassle of an htpc.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sound dropouts /forum/post/20840154


1. Record TV for free

2. Movie jukebox for ripped blurays, dvds

3. Easier home automation

Edit: 4. Its an interesting (though frustrating) hobby

Honestly, aside from those, I cannot think of much.

Really?
 

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mult-room HD digital cable tv without cable set top box rentals. Depending on software room audio equalization..
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sound dropouts /forum/post/20840154


1. Record TV for free

2. Movie jukebox for ripped blurays, dvds

3. Easier home automation

Edit: 4. Its an interesting (though frustrating) hobby


Honestly, aside from those, I cannot think of much. The PQ is guaranteed to be at least as good from standalone components. I have an sagetv extender that has perfect pq and bitstreaming, that when combined with the sagetv software is able to do everything my old htpc could do, but without any of the hassle of an htpc.

Well, there's this wonderful thing called the internet, and having a pc hooked to your TV opens a door to a nearly limiteless amount of video and music from around the globe.


That was one big motivation for me.
 

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consolidation of several STBs, 1 HTPC = Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, complete access to almost all kinds of media, video or audio or image. The opportunity for ongoing improvement in picture quality and functionality on an ongoing basis. Indiviual components may get some firmware upgrades to improve playability, the HTPC is not limited to specific design targets the oem originally envisioned. Many, people besides the OEM are developing software that improves, the output quality and playability. Also you have many choices of UI. If you don't like WMC, there is XBMC, JRiver MC etc.. etc.


A PC is not a static device like a CE STB. I don't have to wait and hope that Comcast will someday change the guide.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhereToStart /forum/post/20840126


I am new to the home theater obses...err, hobby.


I am curious what the advantages of the HTPC are over individual components? I want to build a HTPC, but can't really figure out what I am gaining from it. By no means am I questioning the benefits, I just don't know what exactly they are. Why do you prefer the HTPC to components?

I only have one box on my TV stand. If I want surround sound I have to add one more.
 

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1. Record TV for free

2. Movie jukebox for ripped blurays, dvds

3. Easier home automation

Edit: 4. Its an interesting (though frustrating) hobby


Add


5. Having everything in one input on the TV is pretty damn cool, no searching for ten different remotes

6. You get a DVR with the potential for mass amounts of tv recordings instead of the small drives from the cable company

7. Hack-ability - pretty important I would say given companies tendencies to intentionally limit the usefulness of your devices

8. Ability to take recorded TV shows off the DVR and put them on my laptop

9. I'm a geek
 

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Quote:
Well, there's this wonderful thing called the internet, and having a pc hooked to your TV opens a door to a nearly limiteless amount of video and music from around the globe.
And there are non-PC devices that do this as well. I have no problem with HTPCs, but considering the advances in extenders/media players, I believe they will become more obsolete. It is just too hard to get perfect pq and audio. On my setup the only way to obtain perfect quality is with an nvidia gpu with a custom resolution with two different codecs for audio depending on whether I have PCM or TrueHD/DTS-MA. Either that or be stuck with Jriver, which is a great product, but is as limiting as extenders/media players.
 

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Quote:
5. Having everything in one input on the TV is pretty damn cool, no searching for ten different remotes
I only use one remote with my sagetv.

Quote:
6. You get a DVR with the potential for mass amounts of tv recordings instead of the small drives from the cable company

7. Hack-ability - pretty important I would say given companies tendencies to intentionally limit the usefulness of your devices

8. Ability to take recorded TV shows off the DVR and put them on my laptop
Again, doable with sagetv.

Quote:
9. I'm a geek
Fair enough. I understand the desire to do HTPCs, I even had one for several years. In the end I got fed up with trying to do 23.976 consistently well. With a 150 dollar device from sagetv, I got perfect 23.976 out of the box without giving up any functionality.


Now, I will probably have to go the HTPC rout now that sagetv has been bought by google. Unfortunately none of the other media streamers have the ability to be controlled by external devices (like, say, an android phone). This is the one area which PCs have the huge advantage: it is incredibly easy to do implement home automation/ alternate control methods. I included that under my points for why to get an HTPC.
 

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Flexibility I think is number one.


Just for playing back video and audio you have a multitude of tools and options. On top of this you can use your HTPC for many other general purpose tasks such as NAS or automation or just general usage PC tasks. You also get flexibility in hardware choice and the ability to change or upgrade the hardware.


Of course the downside of flexibility is that if you want to keep current it will require a bit more knowledge and patience on the part of the end user. Sometimes the leading edge can be a bit frustrating and if you want to use the latest and greatest tools you need to be willing to learn and play around a bit.
 

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And just to make my position clear: I believe EVERYONE should have a media server in their home, with music, movies, and tv recording capabilities. The simplicity and convenience of a media server cannot be replicated. I do not consider such a device to be an HTPC. I think the most efficient way to get those movies, music, and tv shows to the actual television is by extenders/media players.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sound dropouts /forum/post/20841866


And just to make my position clear: I believe EVERYONE should have a media server in their home, with music, movies, and tv recording capabilities. The simplicity and convenience of a media server cannot be replicated. I do not consider such a device to be an HTPC. I think the most efficient way to get those movies, music, and tv shows to the actual television is by extenders/media players.

Media players and extenders don't play blu-ray do they? If so you could be right, stick a tower in the closet that can record and store your multimedia, and do home automation and then cheaper extenders at the actual TV. This is of course assuming you have more than one TV. I'm kind of doing this now, I have a zacate system in my bedroom that acts as my 24/7 NAS(with redundancy), DVR, and eventually home automation/surveillance system. My HTPC is networked to the zacate system and pretty much functions as a media player/extender and web browser.
 

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You seemed to have ignored having a full blown web browser, indeed a choice of full blown web browsers, giving one total access to any kind of media on the internet, regardless of format, Flash, Silverlight, or anything else, and the ability to immediately address new or changed formats.


Do any extenders do that?


Having total access on my HDTV to everything the internet offers was probably the single biggest reason for an HTPC for me.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sound dropouts /forum/post/20841866


And just to make my position clear: I believe EVERYONE should have a media server in their home, with music, movies, and tv recording capabilities. The simplicity and convenience of a media server cannot be replicated. I do not consider such a device to be an HTPC. I think the most efficient way to get those movies, music, and tv shows to the actual television is by extenders/media players.

Another one here with this line of thinking. Did the HTPC-next-to-the-TV thing for the better part of 10 years. PC as a media server (not connected to the TV) with competent hardware players at the TVs is a much more usable situation imo. But then, most of the people that say it can't be as flexible never had a chance to try SageTV


It used to be that having a PC at the TV offered real media playback advantages. Now the advantages are almost entirely non-media related (checking your email/surfing the web on your TV, etc.)


YMMV of course. Depends what you want out of it.


-Suntan
 

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Quote:
Having total access on my HDTV to everything the internet offers was probably the single biggest reason for an HTPC for me.

If thats what you want, then yes, an HTPC is the only route. But I dont know how many people actually want to surf the internet on their HDTV...thats what computer monitors are for. Surfing the web via remote is horribly slow and inefficient, and having a keyboard and mouse by the TV is just not something I (or I cant imagine most people) want.
 
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