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1) Convenience

Backing an HTPC w/ a server and ripping only the movie and preferred audio means watching anything with just a couple button presses. No warnings, menus, coming attractions, etc.

Using my tablet (netremote, girder, usb-uirt) with nice big easy to see, easy to press, completely intuitive and fully automated or use my wireless headset to execute voice commands is the best and easiest remote control gets. I have tailored my remote control/automation to exactly reflect my desires.

You could watch 10 movies in my home and never even know you are using an HTPC.

No shelves full of DVDs taking up space and risking damage. The entire DVD experience is completely invisible.


2) Repairability

No matter what breaks, I can troubleshoot the problem and repair it myself. I could not do that with a STB and cannot do it with my audio setup or dish setup or TV. I wish everything worked like my HTPC. Sending anything for repair is a MAJOR PAIN and very expensive.


3) Upgradability

For either no money or relatively little money my HTPC keeps getting better (improved PQ, functionality, convenience, etc.). No thowing out and buying new.


4) Fun

Reading the forums, getting new ideas and trying them out is fun. I like it.


5) Uniqueness

I like being the only one on my block to have such a setup. I also like being the only one on my block to have the knowledge and capability.


6) Functionality

All the things that a single box can do and the price at which it can do it ... DVDs, PVR, Photos, home automation, music, etc, etc, etc. Plus I can do PC things on the big screen - Email, net, word, games, etc, etc, etc.


Sorry, these are the big 6. I believe I've calculated 22 reasons in total.
 

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1. ) I have 200 DVDs I have ripped to DIVX, store them on the HTPC and through My Movies can watch them on any TV in the house, assuming that TV has a HTPC.


2.) My TIVO requires a $13 a month subscription, HTPC is free after initial build.


3.) You can upgrade/expand the HTPC, this is quite difficult with other DVRs.


4.) In all other respects My TIVO is better. The GUI is better, the reliability is better, It is quieter. The TIVO just works.


Really reason #1 is the biggis, the rest is gravy.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clipse /forum/post/0


Give me your top 5 reasons why you built your HTPC and its uses.....


I`m trying to see why I should build one besides being a glorified PVR.

1) I built it to be a glorified PVR.


2) I use it to watch my DVDs from the hard drive, and keep my original DVDs tucked away in the closet.

3) I'm a geek and like tinkering with home-brewed stuff instead of canned off the shelf stuff.

4) If I need more storage space, I can easily add it or use storage space on another networked PC in the house.

5) I can easily add multiple HD tuner cards to it.

6) I've ripped all of my 200+ CD's to it for easy access.


If you do not have a "geeky bone" in you and do not like tinkering with things, then forget it, go out a buy a Tivo. I feel HTPC is not ready for prime-time yet, but it's getting there. Having said that, I love mine and would not part with it.



Ronnie
 

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These are reasons I'm already taking advantage of:

1) PVR

2) For the fun of building/tweaking it

3) Upscales DVDs

4) Ability to Surf Internet from recliner


These are reasons I hope to take advantage of someday:

5) Network media content and access throughout the house

6) Upgrade path for BlueRay/HD-DVD



Reasons against:

1) Cost

2) Frustration of getting it all working


-- Kevin
 

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i actually bought a 61" TV so i would have an excuse to build an HTPC



but as has been said, don't even think about going the HTPC route unless you actually ENJOY tinkering with computers/software, and have a good deal of patience....lots of beer on hand is also quite advisable
 

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All the above reasons, plus I like to have network access to control recording, etc. I have more than one media server, and more than one PVR, hooked up to the network and can control them all from the PC in my den. Try that with a TIVO...
 

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I have no desire for a PVR, never needed to record anything to be watched later, but I do think it's a nice feature to have. However, I have a regular 4-year-old PC that I hooked up to my DLP TV. I can watch all my ripped movies that are stored on the hard drive, as well as have access to the internet. For high def watching I have Dish Network. I plan to network all the computers in the house with Cat-5 cables, so I can watch the movies from one hard drive on any other networked TV. Would a HTPC setup benefit me? I'm interested in finding out how a high definition tuner card can work for me. Since I already have a subscription for high def satellite TV, and also have an OTA antenna, I don't really need a HD tuner card right? Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only thing a tuner card would add is to record programs (either from the Dish satellite or from the OTA antenna) to the hard drive and watch it at a later time. Unless I'm missing some other added benefits that you guys are enjoying, I don't see how my lowly PC is different from your HTPC (aside from the points mentioned above).


Thanks for your responses,
 

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Dalat,

I think you may have answered all of your own questions. Some have a dedicated HTPC and others use a multi-use PC.

I find a dedicated HTPC useful in that the programs and settings that I use are optimized for use in my home theater with my CRT projector. I don't particularly want a lot of other programs on that machine. (eg: Office, Norton etc) It is more of a restricted entertainment machine with the video settings dialed up specifically for the theater. I don't want automatic updates, or virus scans going on during theater use. I have a MYHD card. TheaterTek software along with MYHTPC, Girder, TitanTV and Display control software along with utilities like DVD Shrink and DVD decrypter.


..Doyle
 

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another restricted use htpc for a dedicated room


Music Jukebox with touchscreen

scaling of 480i external sources, including SDI input and component input.

HD DVD and Bluray will be added, for use with a 9" crt pj (72 Hz refresh rate)

frees up rack space by eliminating several components

far cheaper then the components it replaces!

upgradability factor

plus eventually, it will control the screen masking
 

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I did ours first to listen to our online music service on the big stereo. Then we imported all the music and ditched the 400 CD megachanger. Then my wife discovered that photos look very cool on the TV. Then we got a big plasma screen, and at the same time I added an analog TV tuner and we ditched the (long unused) VCR and the DVD. BTW, DVD picture quality from the HTPC was lightyears above the standalone player. Then we added a digital tuner to discover HDTV. Then came HD-DVD (XBox drive). At this point, adding Blu-ray would be straightforward, when and if necessary, just for the cost of the drive.


After adding the plasma and ditching all source components, going back to separates was difficult to imagine, although for a while I seriously considered getting a Toshiba standalone HD-DVD, and then pulling its drive out and using it in the HTPC when the software was released and bugs worked out, but I had a connectivity/cabling issue, so I decided to wait a little bit. That was before PowerDVD was available.


Of course, during the two years, the HTPC grew from a very humble setup to the most powerful machine in the house.
 

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I didnt originally build my rig with any plan for it to be an HTPC but I eventually realized, with how updated I keep the hardware, that it would be a perfect fit.


Since I don't use mine as a DVR my 5 reasons are:

1) Upgradeability.

2) Versitality. Internet, upconverted DVD viewing (w/ something like ffdshow), music, and gaming in 1 box, and all of this with only 1 input used on my receiver.

3) rbmcgee is right about repairability.

4) It has made me drop the stigma of 'sitting at a chair behind a desk' for computer use. that activity now falls in the same category as watching TV and for me thats appealing.

5) I have a full size Antec tower and it doubles as a stand for 1 of my speakers ...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pat_smith1969 /forum/post/0


2.) My TIVO requires a $13 a month subscription, HTPC is free after initial build..

For me it was the DTivo required a $50 a month fee, while OTA was free. That's what got me to upgrade to a newer HTPC.


For the original HTPC it's that there weren't any great options for HDTV at the time, that also offered DVR functionality. Adding a MyHD card to an old computer was a good and cheap solution.
 

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So I now know the reasons for HTPC now which one to buy or invest in, I don't really have the time to build, test, regret or frustrate over this, but I want one, I could buy a Niveous media server with windows media software ready to go or build one myself?


So should I build or buy???????


And why?


How can I get this system?


Also the Niveous system can stream to x-box players all it's media, this is what i need!! I have 5 x-boxs networked in my home now!!!


TP
 

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1) Music server with over 10,000 ripped songs

2) Photo slide show viewer

3) 100s of music videos, concert footage and personal videos via playlists

4) Karoake Player with over 7000 Karoake songs

5) Online Poker playing

6) Video conferencing with relatives around the globe via web cam

7) Internet and chat on 5O" Plasma

8) Offloading and archival of Tivo content


Coming soon...

8) Easily downloadable movies via netflix and IPTV

9) Security cam monitoring

10) OTA HDTV PVR
 

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I don't use my HTPC as a PVR as I can't get a signal for Digital TV where I live



My list:


1) Downloaded tv shows (effectively PVR type usage)

2) My ripped DVDs to my HDD

3) 1080p content on my new LCD

4) Fun!


Dave
 

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And don't underestimate Blu-ray and HD-DVDs... it'll be much cheaper to add drive(s) to an HTPC for these formats (assuming you already have sufficient CPU/GPU power) compared to buy stand-alone units.


I finally decided to build an HTPC. I am strictly OTA HDTV and DVD. I currently have an OTA HDTV PVR (Sony DHG-HDD250).


For me, the reasons are:

- Expandability (high priority)

- Nearly limitless PVR storage (high priority)

- playing ripped videos/music

- video/music server (low priority)


-T
 

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I don't watch or record TV through mine so it isn't a glorified PVR, I have a PVR for my PVR needs


1) I can watch Blu-ray movies without having to buy an expensive stand alone player

2) I can burn my own Blu-ray movies

3) I can watch HD-DVDs without haveing to spend loads on a standalone player

4) It upscales my standard def DVDs

5) It's easy to watch anything you download without having to do any converting or burning
 

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1) HD-DVD Xbox 360 add on drive and Cyberlink's Ultra software allow me to view HD-DVD's in their full glory

2) PVR functions along with VideoReDo (to edit our commercials) allow me to archive my favorite's from History Channel International, Discovery Times etc. iTunes downloads are of no use to me because I simply don't watch the major networks drivel iTunes offers for downloading. I can play my archived shows on my Archos 504 widescreen PMP too.

3) Now with the new networked hi-def OTA tuner from HDHomeRun and Sage-TV plug-in, I can record and archive Public Television hi-def shows.

4) Stores and upscales DVD's

5) I have a dual head set-up so I can do all this and email/surf on another monitor.
 
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