For what it is worth, I asked this question about six months ago and got a 50-50 split on this subject. I believe there are pros and cons to both answers and I am convinced that there is no majority in this matter.
As far as what I do? On the weekends when I use it more, I leave it on. During the week when work interferes with my playtime, I usually turn it on and off.
Since my HTPC is also my HD PVR, my home automation controller, MP3 Jukebox, and FTP based media server I leave it on all the time. Plus it takes to long to boot it up when I want to watch HD or DVDs.
6 PCs running 24x7 here (inluding an HTPC). Most for a business I run from home, then there's one that my wife uses, and one for my daughter. It's amazing how reliable these things are (all on UPS though), many have been running like this for years. The only problem I've had a few times is when a PC gets completely switched off (powered down): The HD will fail when trying to power it up again, it doesn't spin up any more (worn bearings most likely). Same HD was working fine just before as long as it was kept running. Since I make nightly backups that's not a problem, just an annoyance. In all these cases the drives had been running multiple years, day in day out.
I used to leave it on but with a new 2.4G Pentium the bootup time is so fast it takes about as long to boot up as a DVD player. So I turn it on when I need it. Plus its easy to turn off from the remote....now if I could just figure out how to turn it on from the remote without spending any money...
3 pc's all networked....HTPC is usually on and is a mp3/video server for the rest of the house. Daughters goes into hibernate, the HTPC and main ones shut down the hard disks. I believe in the lightbulb theory of electronics that bulbs usually blow from the surge of power to them. I think running electronics all the time is better than turning them off and on constantly. Could be wrong, but its worked for me...
Only my HTPC is near "silent" -- I turn off all the other computers in my house because of NOISE (waking up from XP hibernate has been unreliable for me). Since I only watch movies about every third or fourth night, I turn off the HTPC when not in use because I have kids, and an idle PC truly is the devil's playground.
Originally posted by Craig Woodhall just to play the devils advocate, what about saving energy?
I guess it would depend on how often you start it up as to how much energy you would save -- assuming a cold boot. If you shut down once a day and you had a CD-ROM, Floppy, Hard Drive, and a couple of case fans that had to be brought up to speed during boot, how long would you have to leave it off to make up for the energy spent during the boot?
Standby isn't shutting down, so I wasn't referring to that.
HTPC is always on. My main computer and my wife's are off unless being used.
The HTPC remains on for two reasons: (1) It's running Win 98 with a 1 GHz P3 so it's kinda slow booting up and (2) I use it as a caller id box when watching tv - just switch to the input 6 on the 34XBR800 when the phone rings and the caller id program information is in a little pop-up window (Not quite as elegant as installing the caller id software on my Directivo, but it works).
Since the unit is an old Dell with the case and CPU fans modded with 2 potentiometers mounted on the front of the case its pretty silent. Add to that it being inside a pretty sturdy wood cabinet, it's virtually silent. So why not leave it on?
A forum community dedicated to home theater owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about home audio/video, TVs, projectors, screens, receivers, speakers, projects, DIY’s, product reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!