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Poll: Do you have a htpc?

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  1. Member yoda313's Avatar
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    So do you have a htpc (home theater pc)?

    I have a pc with windows vista home premium that has windows media center. I also have a xbox 360 and finally have them stably connected and its pretty cool. I halso have two tuners on my pc and plenty of storage space.

    I also have a high def calbe dvr.

    I used to have a tivo but diliked the subscription service fee and didn't need once I got the cable dvr. I still have the tivo hardware just haven't found anything I can do with it yet.

    So what about you?
    Donatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
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  2. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    Two actually. I have a HTPC in the living room that accesses two video servers over a LAN to a back room. It outputs to a video projector. I also have a mini-ITX computer in my bedroom that also accesses the servers and a HDTV LAN tuner. The bedroom unit is dedicated to HTPC use only. The living room one does double duty as a encoder along other common PC operations.

    I use VLC and Zoom Player Pro most times with both for playback. The living room one runs Vista Premium, but I rarely use Media Center. The bedroom one uses XP.
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  3. Yeah, I rebuilt my previous desktop as an HTPC when I built this machine. XPpro for the OS, LeadTek WinFast HDTVcinema tuner. Using TotalMedia software. 3 hard drives and a decent graphics card, moderately powerful.

    What I'd really like now would be a DivX/DVD player that can handle resolutions higher than SD. So I could record an HD show (like Nova or Nature on PBS), edit and encode as XviD, burn to disc, and have it play on the set-top. I don't normally fire up the HTPC unless I intend to record something or play a recording or other multimedia file.

    [EDIT] I like MPC Home Cinema for playback in preference to the TotalMedia soft.
    Pull! Bang! Darn!
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  4. Member misterbill's Avatar
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    I built one last year and used the heck out of it, but haven't turned it on since I purchased my DVDR3576H a month ago.
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  5. Member Kayembee's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by yoda313
    So do you have a htpc (home theater pc)?
    Sort of.

    It all started with us getting unhappy with having the TV in the
    living room. It's just too bright to watch TV there during the
    day.

    So we decided to turn a mostly-unused room into our media center.
    It's a much darker room, but large, and well-suited to the
    purpose.

    That's how it started. Once that decision was made it seemed
    logical to upgrade our DirecTV service for the MPEG-4 HD
    channels, and then I also realized the new media room was just
    one wall away from my office.

    The Idea begins: poke one hole in that wall, and my main office
    PC is a double-duty box - my primary PC and a HTPC, with our 65"
    1080P DLP HDTV as its second monitor, and the 5.1 surround sound system
    its secondary audio.

    It works rather well. Rather than get HTPC software, I'm
    currently just using an RF-connected second keyboard and mouse in
    the media room to control it; a little geeky, but flexible. I can
    now listen to all my MP3s on our primary sound system, and watch
    Internet video (e.g., Crankygeeks) on the big screen.

    I use it more for audio than video, so far. Our main video
    sources have long been DirecTV and DVDs, no computer required,
    and there are no real gamers in our house, so a HTPC is more than
    we really need, but it's good future-proofing should the day come
    when the Internet becomes a better video source than regular TV.

    Only problem is a damn 60 Hz ground hum I get when both audio
    systems (the 2.1 system in my office and the 5.1 system in the
    media room) are hooked to the PC. Physically disconnect either
    system, and the hum goes away, but with both connected, I've not
    been able to get rid of the hum, only reduce it. We've checked
    all connections for good grounding, and can't find the problem.
    I'm starting to think vanilla sound cards just aren't built for
    splitting the audio out to two separate systems.

    Apart from that, though, it's excellent. I've tested sending full
    1080 HD from PC to TV, and the picture appears as flawless as the
    source is. Text isn't quite as crisp on the TV as on the PC's
    monitor (19" 1280x1084 LCD), but it's readable. I suppose
    eventually I should rig the PC to output 5.1 digital sound to the
    media room, but stereo seems enough for music - all those MP3s on
    my PC are just in stereo anyway.

    If anyone wants to suggest some HTPC software for the machine,
    feel free. Just keep in mind it's also my primary PC; it runs XP
    Pro, and will NOT endure any OS upgrades or dual boot nonsense to
    run a Linux or MCE system (my decision). It can run a virtual
    machine if necessary (I use VMWare). It'll also need a compatible
    RF remote, since the PC's not in the same room with the rest of
    the gear.
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  6. Man of Steel freebird73717's Avatar
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    I just have a lowly directv tivo. Can't even hack the thing to make it networkable with software. I would have to solder in a modded prom chip. Not something I'm willing to do. Oh well.

    I love my tivo!
    Donadagohvi (Cherokee for "Until we meet again")
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  7. I have a dvd recorder in my living room and a dvb-s card in my computer.
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  8. Useful Idiot Phlexor's Avatar
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    Running MediaPortal 0.2.3.0 (haven't got around to updating yet) on XP Pro SP3

    ASUS M2NPV-VM
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    68cm SDTV
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    Combo Wireless Keyboard with built in trackball.
    2x WD 750GB SATA drives
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    All in a Black windowless Aspire/Apevia X-QPACK mATX case
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  9. Actually I chose the wrong option above. Instead of picking the right one I managed to click other.

    I have two HD DVRs, 3 SD DVRs, & 2 DVD recorders. Pioneer and Philips.

    The Phiips I added for the ATSC/QAM tuner. The two HD DVRs I can plug in External USB2.0 drives and move video to the external and play from there or move it to the other HD DVR. I use 2 500Gb EHDs and 2 320Gb EHDs with them.
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  10. for the 50Hz hum look for a isolator. It sounds like you have a ground loop. IOWs the two grounds are at a slightly different level with relation to each other. You could also try running a heavy wire from each piece of equipment. If you have a sensitive Volt meter, unplug one set of speakers and measure from it to the case of the computer.

    Second easy test. Unplug one speaker, just hold it's plug against the metal of the computer case. You'll probably hear the hum.
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  11. Member
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    A networked PS3 does everything I want to do.
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  12. We have a computer with a capture card, HDMIed to the TV and networked to a Slimp3 on the stereo upstairs. No special software; just PowerCinema for capture (came with the card), VLC and Media Player Classic for video, and SqueezeCenter for audio. They work great. The video isn't used much now, just for weird stuff, since we added a Motorola HD-PVR a couple of years ago. Much of what we get on cable is encrypted digital and the HTPC can't capture it directly.
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  13. Member Nitemare's Avatar
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    I've only recently started playing with media options, but using the PC for recording just doesn't seem very practical for me. I have had to use TVersity to serve files to my son's PS3... it works half of the time. I can't get WMP11 to work at all, though it tells me the server is running and the library loaded.

    So far, even for the limited way that I'm using it, it's been just one big PITA. Since I only time-shift anyway, I still record with a VHS.
    Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
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  14. Member
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    Originally Posted by SCDVD
    A networked PS3 does everything I want to do.
    " Who needs Google, my wife knows everything"
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  15. Member lordhutt's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by t0nee1
    Originally Posted by SCDVD
    A networked PS3 does everything I want to do.
    I have a HTPC and have no reason to use my PS3 for video files but just curious as to what it supports....

    divx
    mpeg
    vob
    dvd iso or img files....etc.

    Also speaking of PS3 perhaps you can answer me a question.
    Is there a way to make your PS3 remember where you left off on a DVD when you power it down (you know, like every dvd player does).??
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  16. Member
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    @lordhutt,
    have you ever played a Bluray flick on your PS3? or stream HD video? Shame on you!...LOL..
    Yes the PS3 supports avi/divx,xvid, mpeg, vob...
    And yes it'll remember where you left off....
    " Who needs Google, my wife knows everything"
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  17. Member lordhutt's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by t0nee1
    @lordhutt,
    have you ever played a Bluray flick on your PS3? or stream HD video? Shame on you!...LOL..
    Yes the PS3 supports avi/divx,xvid, mpeg, vob...
    And yes it'll remember where you left off....
    Played plenty of standard def and blu ray dvd's....I swear if I stop the disc and power down it starts the disc over when I boot it back up. I'll double check to make sure I am not imagining things

    Anyway, I notice you didn't mention nothing on the image files...not supported I take it?
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  18. I guess I'm collecting them.

    Still have the P4 2.8 OC'd to 3.2, with the ATI card for S-video input. DVD-ready MPG from HD channels thru the S-Video is still the most versatile input. Need the dongle for Component output. Creative X-fi for 5.1 SPDIF capture.

    Old amd 3000 with Nvideo 7600 card, with Component out, now running a Hauppage DVR 1600 for HD OTA capture. Good quality and gives a real HD source for H264 re-enocding for the Xbox360.

    One of these will join the Xbox360 on the 32" 4:3 HDTV in my son's room.

    Dual-core 3ghz with Nvidea 8400 is the gaming PC, connected DVI-HDMI to the widescreen HDTV. Primary video playback PC. Second X-fi connected to amp and surround speakers.

    Need an amp with multiple digital inputs. Need HDMI switchbox. Have an unused ATI 2400 with HDMI output and a Toxshia A30 still in the box, unopened. Missing one speaker form Logitech 5.1 set due to X-wife. Two oldest boxes AGP only.

    Coupon for digital converter coming. Considering upgrading the old AMD to 4200 CPU, cheap but marginal. Looking at converting approx 1GB movie collection on multiple hard drives to H264. Gotta hook up the A30.
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  19. Member Xylob the Destroyer's Avatar
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    yes, XP.
    "To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research." - Steven Wright
    "Megalomaniacal, and harder than the rest!"
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  20. In the living room, I have:

    - Popcorn Hour A-100 with HDMI
    - HP 50" HD Plasma TV using HDMI
    - Denon AVR-888 Receiver with built-in HDMI Upconversion
    - StarChoice HD Satellite Receiver (Using Component connection. Has DVI output. Tried DVI-to-HDMI adapter, but looks worse than Component for some reason)
    - LG LDA-531 DVD Player with HDMI UpConversion

    In the Rec Room (for the kids)
    - DLink DSM-320
    - Starchoice SD Satellite Receiver
    - 36" GE Std Def TV

    On the back-end feeding the DSM-320 and Web Streams to the Popcorn Hour:
    - 3 1TB NAS Devices
    - HP Quad-Core Q6600 CPU 8GB mem/500GB disk on Ubuntu 8.04 (for Video Editing and Conversion)
    - HP Dual-Core CPU 4GB mem/200GB disk on Windows 2000 Server (dedicated TVersity uPNP server)
    - End to End wired 1 GB Network. All NICs are 1 GB (except media players which are 100MB wired)
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  21. 12
    Last edited by Anonymous4; 11th Mar 2017 at 12:24. Reason: Scrubbing myself from the Internet.
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  22. Member Epicurus8a's Avatar
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    I just discovered this:

    The MediaPlayer XS is a compact, no nonsense media centre capable of displaying movies, music and photos straight from a USB drive via a television with no computer required. Smaller than a paperback novel this media powerhouse can play pretty much anything including; avi (Xvid and DivX), dat, mpg (1, 2 and 4), m-jpeg, mp3, wma, wav, jpg, tif, gif and bmp. It even has a built-in photo slideshow to turn your telly into a digital picture frame. It reads FAT32 or NTFS hard drives, has a USB2.0 interface and its firmware is upgradeable so who knows what it will do in the future. Just donít expect HDTV out of this thing, itís strictly analogue.


    http://www.freecom.com/ecProduct_detail.asp?OID=12668&ID=3767&catID=400&sCatID=&ssCatID=
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  23. Member
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    Originally Posted by Epicurus8a
    I just discovered this:

    The MediaPlayer XS is a compact, no nonsense media centre capable of displaying movies, music and photos straight from a USB drive via a television with no computer required. Smaller than a paperback novel this media powerhouse can play pretty much anything including; avi (Xvid and DivX), dat, mpg (1, 2 and 4), m-jpeg, mp3, wma, wav, jpg, tif, gif and bmp. It even has a built-in photo slideshow to turn your telly into a digital picture frame. It reads FAT32 or NTFS hard drives, has a USB2.0 interface and its firmware is upgradeable so who knows what it will do in the future. Just donít expect HDTV out of this thing, itís strictly analogue.


    http://www.freecom.com/ecProduct_detail.asp?OID=12668&ID=3767&catID=400&sCatID=&ssCatID=
    According to their data sheet, it only supports PAL. Also, it only has composite output.
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  24. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    Here's a link to a thread on my Mini-ITX computer that I use for a bedroom HTPC. It just has a 1.2Ghz CPU, so not really made for HD video. Cost about $250US for parts. I now use the VGA output to my projector and that works very well. https://forum.videohelp.com/topic349524.html#1837526
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  25. Member tonydead's Avatar
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    Windows Home Server to Xbox360 and PS3. Upscaling available through Onkyo receiver.
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  26. 12
    Last edited by Anonymous4; 11th Mar 2017 at 12:22. Reason: Scrubbing myself from the Internet.
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  27. Member GMaq's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Epicurus8a
    I just discovered this:

    The MediaPlayer XS is a compact, no nonsense media centre capable of displaying movies, music and photos straight from a USB drive via a television with no computer required. Smaller than a paperback novel this media powerhouse can play pretty much anything including; avi (Xvid and DivX), dat, mpg (1, 2 and 4), m-jpeg, mp3, wma, wav, jpg, tif, gif and bmp. It even has a built-in photo slideshow to turn your telly into a digital picture frame. It reads FAT32 or NTFS hard drives, has a USB2.0 interface and its firmware is upgradeable so who knows what it will do in the future. Just donít expect HDTV out of this thing, itís strictly analogue.


    http://www.freecom.com/ecProduct_detail.asp?OID=12668&ID=3767&catID=400&sCatID=&ssCatID=
    Doesn't support H.264

    If you ask me H.264 is the ONLY choice for an htpc codec wise, other than leaving movies in their original formats.
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