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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I'm going to assist some friends in building HTPCs, and am trying to save money and complexity where possible. [this isn't a money-generating venture for me, my friends are interested in getting into this arena but are looking to me to create a primer list/kickoff point for them].


I'm currently trying to determine whether we really need a DVD burner in these units as that could be a potential target to cut down on cost. I can get a DVD-R for $25, but a decent DVD-RW is about $100. I've had a quasi-HTPC for about 12-18 months, and a full blown HTPC client/server system for about 6 months. I haven't needed to burn anything yet, but I readily admit that could be because I haven't done some bit of functionality that my friends may want.


As it's easier to do it right the first time rather than do it over, I thought I'd come up with a complete list of reasons my friends would need a DVD burner. That way I can show it to my friends, and if they decide they want to engage in some of these activities, they can purchase the DVD+-RW instead of just the DVD-R. This way we do things right from the get-go, rather than get everything stable then swap things out and have leftover parts in short order.


I should further explain that everyone I'm guiding already has at least 3 PCs in their house with at least 1 DVD burner, some folks have many more. They already do the home-movie to DVD/other stuff on these PCs.


I'd like to constrain this thread to just the management and manipulation of professionally produced and purchased DVDs and CDs, as well as TV. That's the only thing these PCs will ever be used for as all of us already have other machines to do the standard stuff like email, MS-office, camcorder&digi-cam capture & editing.


I've done some searches - here's what I've come up with. If you can think of anything else, I'd appreciate adding on to this list.

1) Recording TV to a transferable format [i.e., you want to give someone else tonight's Law & Order:CI episode.

2) Transferring prior purchased formats [i.e., VHS or Laserdisk] to another transferable format.

3) Archiving HDTV to a transferable format [i.e., save the Superbowl in HDTV]

4) Backup of OS

5) Backup of CDs in a highly leveraged format [i.e., 4.7GB of DVD space can hold a lot of MP3s]


Seems like a full list, but I'm paranoid about providing incomplete and/or erroneous guidance to my friends because of a lack of due diligence on my part.


If you have anything else you can think of, please let me know. If not, thanks for reading.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, I started that thread but via a badly worded question. As the flames outrank the useful posts by 3:1 [me included], I've had that thread closed, and am asking that it be deleted.


I'm trying to create a clean thread devoid of abuse dedicated to this so I get can any add'l items that people may have but didn't post due to the thread content.
 

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IVB,


I can't think of any other than the ones that you posted above, but I did want to commend you for re-wording your original question in such a well-though out way. Even if you didn't mean it to be, the other post really did insinuate a really judgemental attitude, & those of us that use these items ethically don't react well to that. I for one am sorry if I read too much into that original question & I hope that you're able to help your friends get what they want out of the HTPC venture.


Plus here's a bump to the top for ya'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. Sorry if I conveyed that type of attitude - I was just trying to keep the post short and ask what goals I could achieve, and instead ended up shortening too much and unintentionally conveying something totally different. Chalk it up to the NY upbringing [well, not NYers now - too darn nice; NYers of the mid-80s were much, uh, different] - still trying to get used to this whole kindler gentler world thing.
 

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IVB-


If New Yorkers are anything like Chicagoans (my former home), you have to 'chip through' their initial tough shell, but if you do you might have a friend for life. Californians (my and your 'new' home) are almost the opposite-you can make a friend in five minutes but also lost them just as fast.


Regarding recordable DVD drives, I would now recommend them 'in general', for any computer (HTPC, 'mixed', or not), for the same reasons I would stick with Athlon XPs and Pentium 4s, or USB 2.0 versus 'serial only', etc.... The 'current state of the art' and the 'sweet spot for low-cost, high capacity removable storage' is with recordable DVDs right now, in my opinion, when the drives sell for US$100 and the discs are $3 for rewritable and much less for write-once.
 

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the biggest reason why i went ahead and put a dvd R/RW in my HTPC was that if I didn't I was going to put in a DVD Rom and CD-RW (Use the CDRW to make ghost images of my HTPC setup so I can tweak away and not worry about messing up a working configuration). Then I would have needed the DVD Rom in addition to the CD-RW to play DVD's from. I looked at dual DVDROM's/CD-RW's, but heck the price of just putting in a DVD-RW was eqaul--so it was a no brainer.
 
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