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post #211 of 320
^^ That's not a bad idea. I am really thinking about building a HTPC now. I have been talking about buying a NMT for over a year and nothing ever happens. I have most of my standard def DVDs and mp3s loaded onto a 2 TB internal hard drive but problems keep arising with the Popcorn Hour C-200 and the TVIX 6500 (?) NMTs.

It may cost more money but I am thinking a low powered AMD CPU plus a quiet HD5770, with two 2 TB hard drives, may be the solution I'm after. I don't need DVR recording at the current time because I have a standalone Panasonic DVR but I believe you can get software for HTPCs to record TV if needed. Plus I would be able to game on my Kuro, which you cannot do with a NMT.

Gonna do some more thinking about this ....
post #212 of 320
What chip are you considering for your HTPC? AMD has a single core socket AM3 chip for like 30 bucks.
post #213 of 320
Quote:
Originally Posted by javyn View Post
What chip are you considering for your HTPC? AMD has a single core socket AM3 chip for like 30 bucks.

I bought an Acer Revo (the dual-core model) for a hair over $200 and like it a lot as my HTPC.

I have it running XBMC over Ubuntu (although I think I might try trimming it down to a very barebones linux since it doesn't really run anything other than XBMC/Browser/Torrent Client) and it does just fine playing 1080p over hdmi thanks to the ion chip.

If linux blu-ray playback is really figured out by the time I feel like upgrading, I might switch back to building my own HTPC box. The revo is awesome, (and if you have a house and multiple TVs, it would be a great head unit on secondary tvs--especially since it can vesa-mount to the back) but if you have to start tacking on external bluray and extra HDDs, it sort of defeats the purpose. Also, it can't run frets on fire at any level of playability...though it can recognize the PS3 drum kit without issue.
post #214 of 320
Cool. Does it have HDMI output integrated?

If Ubuntu is too much for ya, maybe want to try Lubuntu. I'm running Lubuntu 10.04
on my Acer Travelmate (512 RAM, 1.3 ghz) and it flies.
post #215 of 320
Quote:
Originally Posted by javyn View Post
Cool. Does it have HDMI output integrated?

If Ubuntu is too much for ya, maybe want to try Lubuntu. I'm running Lubuntu 10.04
on my Acer Travelmate (512 RAM, 1.3 ghz) and it flies.



Native HDMI (hdmi audio works fine too although I am currently using the optical as my reciever does not do HDMI).

With 2gb of ram and a 1.6ghz dual-core atom (and with video processing being handled by the ion chipset), it is pretty zippy.

I would just rather make the setup more seamless...now I sort of drop out of XBMC into ubuntu (with the "\\" key) and use firefox or start a torrent but I would rather have a look and feel that is more appropriate for using my little wireless lenovo controller from the couch.
post #216 of 320
Wow pretty damn sweet. I'll definitely take that one into consideration.
post #217 of 320
Getting the dual core Atom with Ion is a good solution for a budget HTPC. The problem with that Revo is you're limited to a 2.5" hdd (small slow) or an external (slow). I heard heat can be a problem as well...

I'm just going to downclock/undervolt my e8400 when I get around to upgrading, grab some 1tb drives, an inexpensive nvidia card with HDMI out, nice Receiver looking box and turn that into my HTPC.
post #218 of 320
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteslashasian View Post
Getting the dual core Atom with Ion is a good solution for a budget HTPC. The problem with that Revo is you're limited to a 2.5" hdd (small slow) or an external (slow). I heard heat can be a problem as well...

eSATA port = fast. Also, HDD speed is a non-issue with an htpc unless you are recording (and why bother when you can download...not like you could use a non-usb capture card anyways). 1080p videos play fine off the laptop hdd in the unit and if you use it with a server or NAS of some sort, anything besides 1080p will stream just fine over the network (I had issues streaming the 1080p rip that I tried...but my switch is only 10/100).

I have not had any heat issues although I haven't done anything like swap the drive for a faster drive (no need really).
post #219 of 320
Quote:
Originally Posted by otc View Post
eSATA port = fast. Also, HDD speed is a non-issue with an htpc unless you are recording (and why bother when you can download...not like you could use a non-usb capture card anyways). 1080p videos play fine off the laptop hdd in the unit and if you use it with a server or NAS of some sort, anything besides 1080p will stream just fine over the network (I had issues streaming the 1080p rip that I tried...but my switch is only 10/100).

I have not had any heat issues although I haven't done anything like swap the drive for a faster drive (no need really).

I was assuming someone would use it standalone, not connected to a server. Also I would rather record things to watch later in the night then wait the next day to download which would require some processing power and hard drive use (heat). It's fine for what it is, but I have options to go a more preferable (to me anyways) route allowing me to make my HTPC my media server rather than bogging down my gaming PC or going dedicated. Will probably get something like the Patriot Box Office to stream media from the network to the bedroom TV too.

Whatever works for your situation.

I would suggest getting a gigabit switch. Newegg has the metal cased Trendnet 8 port unit on sale for $30 on the occasion. Will be picking it up next time.
post #220 of 320
Only thing really holding me back from a HTPC is that my home theatre receiver isn't high def. Old TEAC 100 watt heh, cost me 100 bucks off Ebay refurbed years ago.

I have a high def TV, but am connected with red, yellow, white cables lol
post #221 of 320
Quote:
Originally Posted by javyn View Post
Only thing really holding me back from a HTPC is that my home theatre receiver isn't high def. Old TEAC 100 watt heh, cost me 100 bucks off Ebay refurbed years ago.

I have a high def TV, but am connected with red, yellow, white cables lol

My receiver doesn't process HDMI sound either, thought it has a built in HDMI switch. What I do is run my HDMI straight to the TV (like my HD DVR or PS3) and then run the optical TOSLINK out from the TV (most have this) to my receiver. So whatever sound is sent to the TV is relayed to my receiver, I just mute the TV and use the receiver for sound. It's not 7.1 sound but 5.1 dolby digital or whatever is fine for me.
post #222 of 320
Quote:
Originally Posted by javyn View Post
What chip are you considering for your HTPC? AMD has a single core socket AM3 chip for like 30 bucks.

I haven't done a lot of research yet but I am most certainly going with AMD as I don't need a ton of CPU power and would like to keep costs down.

Maximum PC Magazine's Ultimate 3D HTPC build article has a build ... for $1,800. I don't have a 3D display so I'm definitely not going to spring for all their bells and whistles.

What I want is a solid system that I can use to playback standard def DVDs (ISO format) from internal hard drives located in the HTPC ... and that I can use for light gaming. My condo is not wired for more than one internet connection and I haven't been able to use wireless reliably.
post #223 of 320
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteslashasian View Post
I was assuming someone would use it standalone, not connected to a server. Also I would rather record things to watch later in the night then wait the next day to download which would require some processing power and hard drive use (heat).

Shows usually get posted an hour after they air...combine that with a torrent client w/ RSS and its about the same thing as recording (unless you watch your recorded shows at almost the exact time they air )

I don't use mine connected to a server, but when I first got it, most of my stuff was still stored on my desktop so I streamed it. I have been thinking about getting some sort of networked storage unit and I would probably then store all media on there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteslashasian View Post
What I do is run my HDMI straight to the TV (like my HD DVR or PS3) and then run the optical TOSLINK out from the TV (most have this) to my receiver.

I did this until I set up my center/surround speakers and it worked fine. One thing to watch out for though is that many TVs (like mine) do not pass 5.1 signals from HDMI...If I watch TV from the antenna, it outputs in 5.1 but if I watch something from my htpc, it would only be in stereo (so I am now using toslink from the pc straight to the receiver until I find a new receiver)
post #224 of 320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace Rimmer View Post
I haven't done a lot of research yet but I am most certainly going with AMD as I don't need a ton of CPU power and would like to keep costs down.

Maximum PC Magazine's Ultimate 3D HTPC build article has a build ... for $1,800. I don't have a 3D display so I'm definitely not going to spring for all their bells and whistles.

What I want is a solid system that I can use to playback standard def DVDs (ISO format) from internal hard drives located in the HTPC ... and that I can use for light gaming. My condo is not wired for more than one internet connection and I haven't been able to use wireless reliably.

If you have a micro center near you, you can get a Phenom II X2 555 and a mATX mobo for $93. Can't beat that. I'm actually getting that combo for my dad this weekend. Maybe it will unlock to a quad

Alternatively Newegg has the Ahtlon II X2 245 for $58 with free shipping. Quite a bit more processing power than the Sempron which frankly I wouldn't use for anything other than email and word processing. You could also get the the Sempron on the hopes that it will unlock to an Athlon II X2...

*EDIT*
Quote:
Originally Posted by otc View Post
Shows usually get posted an hour after they air...combine that with a torrent client w/ RSS and its about the same thing as recording (unless you watch your recorded shows at almost the exact time they air )

I don't use mine connected to a server, but when I first got it, most of my stuff was still stored on my desktop so I streamed it. I have been thinking about getting some sort of networked storage unit and I would probably then store all media on there.

I did this until I set up my center/surround speakers and it worked fine. One thing to watch out for though is that many TVs (like mine) do not pass 5.1 signals from HDMI...If I watch TV from the antenna, it outputs in 5.1 but if I watch something from my htpc, it would only be in stereo (so I am now using toslink from the pc straight to the receiver until I find a new receiver)

Interesting points. I always did torrents the manual searching way. I'm not home but I'm guessing utorrent can utilize RSS feeds to automatically download new torrents for a series? That would be helpful. Though sometimes I watch a show that is recording half an hour after it starts so I can fast forward through the commercials and finish the show right around the time it normally ends too.

I believe my TV (samsung LNT4069fx) outputs in 5.1 but I am not 100% sure now. I might have to go back and take a look at my set up to confirm. There's a possibility that I have my PS3 and DVR plugged straight into my receiver for sound after determining that I didn't get surround coming from the TV Optical, it was a while ago....
post #225 of 320
Ace, shit I didn't even spend half that on my workstation build! whiteslash, Have you ever seen a Sempron in action? I haven't, but based on the descriptions it seems made for an HTPC, low power needs, cheap, etc. Does it not handle full screen video well or something? Only reason I really want a HTPC is to play my Xvids on. Not into turning DVDs into ISOs...seems a bit silly. If I was going to put my DVD collection on the HD, I'd surely convert it to Xvid to save space. Anyway, it's a want, not a need, the WD TV I got is serving me quite well so far. Perhaps if I can quit smoking for a year, I'll look into an HTPC more, or one of those Acers.
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