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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1st post on this forum, so I wish to thank you all in advance for your time, expertise and most importantly your patience ! The guys in the audio forum were instrumental in helping with my Home Theater project last year, THANKS again !


So on to the question, I just built (over kill ) a desk top PC to replace one I built many years ago, but I just don't do much work with it anymore and it just seems a waste, and what I really want is a HTPC as this would be in constant use, whole lot of fun and a perfect final touch to the Home Theater. My first thought was to gut the the Desk Top for the HTPC toss in a couple of hard drives and a tuner and be done with it then do a ultra budget re-build of the Desk Top as I'll still need it, but after reading here for hours upon hours this maybe the wrong approach as it has a poor outlook as far as future growth and enjoyment. I'm thinking now of wiring up a cat6 network, adding a storage server (unraid ?) working from the desk top and streaming most everything to the htpc. Cash is tight ! And this is 2 new builds

so if you see anything I can mix and match,let me know.


What I would like to do.


Rip,Store and Play Bluray, DVD and Audio files at the highest quality including loss-less bit-streaming audio.


Play Bluray, DVD & CD disc's


Watch & Record clearQAM and possibility of OTR broadcasts


Stream online content, Netflix, Pandora etc.


Gaming, not sure probably not at this time.


Anything I'm missing ? lol


NO web browsing.


This is the Hardware I got ,


OS- W7 Home prem. OEM

CPU- Intel Core i5-750 lynnfield 2.66GHz

MB- Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2

Memory- G.Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600

PSU- Corsair 650HX 650W

GPU- MSI R5770 Hawk Radeon HD


Sorry for the long post, but let me know what you think, like I said I'm a complete NOOB but I can handle the builds and the network, just not sure if I can get it all to work together though ??? I'm already overwhelmed Lol !
 

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Hardware choices look okay. If you are not going to game on it then you get by with a lower end CPU, MB & Video Card and save some money.

Since you already know about building a system we'll concentrate on the software portion for a HTPC.

Do you currently have any BD playback & ripping software?

The easiest route is ripping with DVDFab and playback with TMT.

Both S/W packages cost money. But are the best and easiest solution out-of-the-box for BD playback with full menu support and with HD audio bitstreaming.
HD Video on a PC
HD Audio on a PC
 

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You already have a nice system, plenty capable and it works. WHY is it a poor man's outlook to build a box, throw in some tuners, etc? YOU have to decide whether you need a gaming quality PC in your theatre, your desktop, or both! The only thing that makes a PC into a HTPC is the use of a front-end software using a sofa-distance font and a remote control. The basic applications, codecs and such are the same aside from hooking up to your larger display and an A/V receiver!


Where are you stumped? There's no need to start out using a RAID... with 2TB HDDs you can pack 3 or 4 into your system and be good for years... I don't have BR myself but have ripped DVDs stored on many HDDs... you're in the US so adding a couple o' ATSC tuners is simple as buying the AVerMedia Duet card, or a HDHomeRun tuner. What front-end s/w are you experimenting with - you can 'learn' all this stuff on your current system and you'll figure out what fits, what doesn't and whether you want 1, 2, or 3 systems and what they'll be used for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by hirent
Hardware choices look okay. If you are not going to game on it then you get by with a lower end CPU, MB & Video Card and save some money.

Since you already know about building a system we'll concentrate on the software portion for a HTPC.

Do you currently have any BD playback & ripping software?

The easiest route is ripping with DVDFab and playback with TMT.

Both S/W packages cost money. But are the best and easiest solution out-of-the-box for BD playback with full menu support and with HD audio bitstreaming.
HD Video on a PC
HD Audio on a PC
Thanks for the reply hirent, funny I read the post you linked to about a week ago, I thought it was really good and to the point for us newbies, I haven't looked into DVDFab yet, TMT5 yes and I also looked at anyDVD HD, but no I haven't made a purchase yet (both are on sale anyDVD HD w/lifetime updates ends 12/31) But I'll for sure check out DVDFab before then.


So do you see anything in my hardware I can juggle around between the PC & HTPC ?

Obviously the GPU will go to the HTPC, anything else, to balance the power ? This is were I'm confused at the moment, more processing power at the work station or the htpc,or do you all do all the work at the htpc ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Hornfeck
You already have a nice system, plenty capable and it works. WHY is it a poor man's outlook to build a box, throw in some tuners, etc? YOU have to decide whether you need a gaming quality PC in your theatre, your desktop, or both! The only thing that makes a PC into a HTPC is the use of a front-end software using a sofa-distance font and a remote control. The basic applications, codecs and such are the same aside from hooking up to your larger display and an A/V receiver!


Where are you stumped? There's no need to start out using a RAID... with 2TB HDDs you can pack 3 or 4 into your system and be good for years... I don't have BR myself but have ripped DVDs stored on many HDDs... you're in the US so adding a couple o' ATSC tuners is simple as buying the AVerMedia Duet card, or a HDHomeRun tuner. What front-end s/w are you experimenting with - you can 'learn' all this stuff on your current system and you'll figure out what fits, what doesn't and whether you want 1, 2, or 3 systems and what they'll be used for.
Good advice, and that's what I'm exploring now, my new pc build is nice it wasn't really meant to be a gaming PC, it just turned out that way lol! But it just sleeps here at the desk in my office most of the time and I just goof off on a old laptop at the kitchen desk.

But my first thought as in my first post was to basically re-case it into a htpc, I was unsure how to set up the additional HDD's with any kind of redundancy. The easiest solution would be to have a all in one htpc in the living room (cable, router are all ready there) but is it the best solution, as I may like to stream into the bedroom or others in the future.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy ATX
Obviously the GPU will go to the HTPC, anything else, to balance the power ? This is were I'm confused at the moment, more processing power at the work station or the htpc,or do you all do all the work at the htpc ?
Well, you don't need that much power in an HTPC. A dual core CPU from 2-3 years ago is plenty enough power for example. What "work" are you talking about doing on the HTPC? Ripping Bluray? I just slap the Bluray in, fire up MakeMKV and let it rip. Only thing more power will do is make the rip faster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'd rather not do any work (ripping etc) at the htpc (think Home Theater Component) and do all the work from my desktop and copy to a storage/server and stream the content to the htcp (s) I would also like to stream clearQAM/OTA TV over the network (HD homerun ?) So I need 2 computers (well 3 with the server ) but as a noob I'm just not sure of the demands at each computer, and I'm trying to save a little cash, with what I already have so....PC general use Plus ripping of all sorts. HTPC awesome play back of ripped media including all forms of HD audio and everything an HTPC is supposed to do!


PC Case---- HTPC Case


Hardware list below is what I have now, which case would make better use of it ???


OS- W7 Home prem. OEM

CPU- Intel Core i5-750 lynnfield 2.66GHz

MB- Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2

Memory- G.Skill 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600

PSU- Corsair 650HX 650W

GPU- MSI R5770 Hawk Radeon H
 

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I think many would say you could buy a tiny ITX-based PC (and stick it behind your TV) that is dedicated to your HTPC for playback of your media - media you've ripped on your current desktop PC, storing it there on multiple HDDs (your mobo has 6 SATA ports, one ATA and 1 eSATA) or on some server (if you must - consider this as a future build seeing as 2TB HDDs are the norm today) and using some front-end s/w to bring it all home. Since you don't want gaming in your HTPC any high-end video card is off the table... what are your a/v receiver & speakers at the HTPC room - are you into the 7.1 and want the HD audio then you have to get something capable of streaming them. IF you choose an ITX based unit I can't say but a smallish HTPC case would fit an ATi 54xx ($50) video card and stream 7.1 LPCM. Your mobo would support a PCI-e x1 in the extra x16 slot and the AVerMedia Duet would give you two ATSC tuners... often you have a SERVER running in a remote location doing the recordings, serving the HDDs and ripping while a low-powered HTPC with better than average GPU for video and audio streaming. Do you have cable port at your desktop or can you get it there? The HDHomeRun can be placed anywhere on your network (within reason due to LAN traffic (you don't want to overload the LAN and lose a recording)) although it costs more for that convenience. Besides... just because your tuner is in a box running as a SERVER doesn't mean a box running a CLIENT can't access the tuner (through the SERVER) and watch TV as if you were on the box with the tuner... read up... I use MediaPortal myself but don't do BR so I can't help on BR or the 7.1 audio.
 

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Are you also (or maybe not) considering 3D blu-ray playback?


That is the not so new but upcoming hype in the HTPC world...


If yes, you might want to reconsider your GPU.


The TMT you're looking at already has support for 3D blu-ray.
 
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