Get your HTPCs out for the (insert gender pronoun)!

Coulson

Distinguished Member
That along with all his subs. If I experience any unusual climate events or flooding, I know where to knock!;)
My "cinema" could easily fit in a Transit, possibly even a large hatchback. I suspect some of you need at least a Luton :)
 

Coulson

Distinguished Member
Yes i did. You said better off with the node 500?
Oh OK. It's called the Fractal Design Core 500 which means it's probably a little bigger (which would explain the extra 5" slot). The Node 304 has 2 small fans at the front and a large fan at the back. From the reviews I know the 500 has slots at the top where you could put a radiator or two large(ish) fans. But it's only supplied with the rear fan.
 
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Coulson

Distinguished Member
This is literally my entire Home Cinema (minus rear speakers obviously) :) In case it is't obvious, the PC is the little black box on the floor with the blue light lol. I should really include my Oculus Quest as that is an essential part of my viewing with the PC.

View attachment 1464262

Compact PC internals shows the airflow issues :)

View attachment 1464264

I updated my initial picture to make it a little clearer (and cleaner) plus I added an internal PC pic. This is why I the first purchase I made was to upgrade my CPU cooler. My second is a BeQuiet fan ;)
 

psikey

Distinguished Member
Fanless, NUC quad core with 17TB storage (one external 12TB USB, 1 internal 5TB and 512GB SSD OS). Runs PLEX and had Roon on too.

Run solid, 24/7 for over a year now. 7w idle power use. Just use Windows 10 pro. Handles 4K to multiple TV's in house, and also transcodes to remote connections as needed. Added antennas but do use via gigabit ethernet. Great for Roon too.

1613907767055.png


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Now lives under lounge TV next to QNAP as its backup so just use QNAP for scheduled backup (off most of time).

20210221_114818.jpg



PS QNAP NAS is Xeon i3-1265Lv2 with 16GB RAM so can also easily act as server too but idle power is 38w and large rotary RAID drives obviously make more noise.
 
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Conrad.

Moderator
So that machine is both the client and the server for plex? Presumably then other devices in the house (mobiles, tablets, shields) can stream plex from it?

What's the GPU?

It's very tidy.
 

Coulson

Distinguished Member
Fanless, NUC quad core with 17TB storage (one external 12TB USB, 1 internal 5TB and 512GB SSD OS). Runs PLEX and had Roon on too.

Run solid, 24/7 for over a year now. 7w idle power use. Just use Windows 10 pro. Handles 4K to multiple TV's in house, and also transcodes to remote connections as needed. Added antennas but do use via gigabit ethernet. Great for Roon too so just use for scheduled backup (off most of time).

View attachment 1464382

View attachment 1464383

Now lives under lounge TV next to QNAP as its backup

View attachment 1464384


PS QNAP NAS is Xeon i3-1265Lv2 with 16GB RAM so can also easily act as server too but idle power is 38w and large rotary drives obviously make more noise.
Nice! Approximately how much did it cost?
 

psikey

Distinguished Member
So that machine is both the client and the server for plex? Presumably then other devices in the house (mobiles, tablets, shields) can stream plex from it?

What's the GPU?

It's very tidy.
Yep. just whatever is built into the NUC which can feed 4K/60 with this Quad core version.

I actually use headless to Plex clients in each TV (2 x LG OLED and one older Samsung)
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
GPU seems to be processor based (iGPU) right?

Really do like the look of it, like a beefy amp.
 

psikey

Distinguished Member
GPU seems to be processor based (iGPU) right?

Really do like the look of it, like a beefy amp.

My build details here: Intel 8th Gen i5 NUC + Akasa Turing Fanless Case Build

Yep, iGPU but as mentioned, I use it headless really even though it is now connected to TV via HDMI (rarely use it direct to TV). Sure latest NUC is even more capable. I turned intense blue power light off in BIOS when I relocated under TV.

Don't fully recall total cost as already had RAM, drives & OS. Akasa case is ~£120 and NUC itself about £340 I think.
 
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Donnacha

Distinguished Member
So a bit of an update on trying to eek 4k UHD playback out of my old HTPC with a GT1030 card.

As of last night I had both Tenet and Flash Gordon playing back in 4k HDR 24hz with DTS MA (their default soundtracks) through MPC - BE using MadVr in HDR passthrough mode. Both play smoothly. I put the stats up on screen and render time is below 20ms.

Funnily it says that tenet is 346 (?) Nits, whereas Flash Gordon is 1000 Nits....does that make any difference? Is that why FG is a higher bitrate?

The main issue with FG now, is that if I pause or chapter skip then then video stops working, I can here the sound though. Tenet seems to be Ok for skipping / pausing.

I don't know what I changed that made the difference, but I also found that i need to close MPC-BE down fully after each file, and also have it launch in fullscreen, as if I try to go into fullscreen more after the video starts it just stops working...although sound continues.

At least its progress...in that I can watch both rips back now in their full PQ and AQ....as long as I don;t need the toilet :)
 

Conrad.

Moderator
Nits is a measure of brightness, not bitrate. For bitrate you need something like mediainfo I believe, I don't think MadVR stats show that.

Are you using DXVA2 on the image upscaling tab? That might help a lot.

On your stats what are buffers showing and do they fluctuate? It should be expressed as x/y and it basically shows how quickly MadVR is able to get the data it needs to display images. They should be full all the time. If they are then there's a few things you can do:

Try dropping your CPU and GPU buffers down to 1. If you have no problem retrieving the content from disk/over the network then small buffers shouldn't matter, but it means that MadVR doesn't need to fill buffers which should make it more responsive. Also on the general tab check Delay Playback, and the sub-box about delaying after seek as well. Everything else can be unchecked.

In windowed settings (assuming you're using windowed and not exclusive) uncheck "present frames in advance" and set backbuffers to 1.

This should make MadVR much more "real-time" as it's reading and presenting rather than dealing with large queues.

One other big performance improvement for minimal cost is to check the box that says Scale Chroma Separately on the Trade Quality for Performance section. I only have that and the top one about subtitles checked.

If you end up with micro-stutters even though everything looks good in MadVR then try:

In the nvidia control panel (manage 3d settings) you should also change the power settings to performance rather than the default which I think is optimal or something.

Also change the Vertical Sync option to on or Adaptive (I can't remember which).
 

Coulson

Distinguished Member
So a bit of an update on trying to eek 4k UHD playback out of my old HTPC with a GT1030 card.

As of last night I had both Tenet and Flash Gordon playing back in 4k HDR 24hz with DTS MA (their default soundtracks) through MPC - BE using MadVr in HDR passthrough mode. Both play smoothly. I put the stats up on screen and render time is below 20ms.

Funnily it says that tenet is 346 (?) Nits, whereas Flash Gordon is 1000 Nits....does that make any difference? Is that why FG is a higher bitrate?

The main issue with FG now, is that if I pause or chapter skip then then video stops working, I can here the sound though. Tenet seems to be Ok for skipping / pausing.

I don't know what I changed that made the difference, but I also found that i need to close MPC-BE down fully after each file, and also have it launch in fullscreen, as if I try to go into fullscreen more after the video starts it just stops working...although sound continues.

At least its progress...in that I can watch both rips back now in their full PQ and AQ....as long as I don;t need the toilet :)
Can you supply a screenshot of the stats?
 

MI55ION

Distinguished Member
So a bit of an update on trying to eek 4k UHD playback out of my old HTPC with a GT1030 card.

As of last night I had both Tenet and Flash Gordon playing back in 4k HDR 24hz with DTS MA (their default soundtracks) through MPC - BE using MadVr in HDR passthrough mode. Both play smoothly. I put the stats up on screen and render time is below 20ms.

Funnily it says that tenet is 346 (?) Nits, whereas Flash Gordon is 1000 Nits....does that make any difference? Is that why FG is a higher bitrate?

The main issue with FG now, is that if I pause or chapter skip then then video stops working, I can here the sound though. Tenet seems to be Ok for skipping / pausing.

I don't know what I changed that made the difference, but I also found that i need to close MPC-BE down fully after each file, and also have it launch in fullscreen, as if I try to go into fullscreen more after the video starts it just stops working...although sound continues.

At least its progress...in that I can watch both rips back now in their full PQ and AQ....as long as I don;t need the toilet :)

Don't know anything about MPC that you guys are talking about but you could use the 30 day trial of JRiver to see if it plays ball:

 

Donnacha

Distinguished Member
Thanks for all the tips and suggestions so far. Only got a chance to get the stats screenshots last night (Tenet first then Flash) Hope they make sense?
 

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Conrad.

Moderator
Render times are fine, those queues could be a problem though (upload, render, present)
Do they sit at that level or do they usually sit full? Is the content local or streamed over the network? If it's network can you copy the files locally and see if that changes things?

It's common for the number of dropped and repeated frames to spike when you start playback. Press ctrl+r to reset the values and check that they stay at or close to zero when playing.
 

Donnacha

Distinguished Member
Hi - Tenet sits on the network, but FG is off the local HDD. I think they stay at those numbers ...what do they mean/represent and how can I change them (if at all)?
 

Conrad.

Moderator
They're the queues that MadVR picks up and processes frames (I think it's frames) from.

So if you have a little bit of lag on the network or in the CPU or GPU then MadVR can process the items in the queue/buffer. If the network lags a lot then the buffer will empty and MadVR will stall. Same for the CPU and GPU. Although usually if the CPU/GPU can't process the frames in time then that won't change without a change in the processing algorithm.

If MadVR processes more quickly than the buffer can fill then it'll start to drain. If it drains completely then frames will drop. If it gets low but the network then picks up it'll refill.

With a good and solid network they should stay full 8/8 for example.

If the queues are set at 1 then MadVR will be very responsive, but any issue with processing will result in dropped frames.

If you have very large buffers MadVR will not be responsive, it'll wait until the buffer is cleared before it allows the player to pause, and it'll wait until the buffers are full until it starts. With large buffers this can feel slow. But it protects against any issues. If the CPU stutters the queue has more in it which means MadVR can keep showing frames.

That's a terrible explanation of how cache and buffers work but hopefully it makes sense.
 

Coulson

Distinguished Member
So you are using MadVR to tone map HDR to SDR? If not then why are you using it?
 

Donnacha

Distinguished Member
So you are using MadVR to tone map HDR to SDR? If not then why are you using it?
Is that to me? Not that I'm aware of....I have it set to passthrough HDR and my projector is showing this as its receiving a BT2020 HDR signal.

Is there any other way I can get a HDR 4k signal through to my projector...considering my old HTPC? Is there another player that doesn't need MadVR?
 

Donnacha

Distinguished Member
They're the queues that MadVR picks up and processes frames (I think it's frames) from.

So if you have a little bit of lag on the network or in the CPU or GPU then MadVR can process the items in the queue/buffer. If the network lags a lot then the buffer will empty and MadVR will stall. Same for the CPU and GPU. Although usually if the CPU/GPU can't process the frames in time then that won't change without a change in the processing algorithm.

If MadVR processes more quickly than the buffer can fill then it'll start to drain. If it drains completely then frames will drop. If it gets low but the network then picks up it'll refill.

With a good and solid network they should stay full 8/8 for example.

If the queues are set at 1 then MadVR will be very responsive, but any issue with processing will result in dropped frames.

If you have very large buffers MadVR will not be responsive, it'll wait until the buffer is cleared before it allows the player to pause, and it'll wait until the buffers are full until it starts. With large buffers this can feel slow. But it protects against any issues. If the CPU stutters the queue has more in it which means MadVR can keep showing frames.

That's a terrible explanation of how cache and buffers work but hopefully it makes sense.
thanks for taking the time to type all that ! I think it makes sense......understanding computers is not a strong point ...LOL !!

Is there anything I can do to adjust the buffers to what you suggest is best practice?
 

Coulson

Distinguished Member
thanks for taking the time to type all that ! I think it makes sense......understanding computers is not a strong point ...LOL !!

Is there anything I can do to adjust the buffers to what you suggest is best practice?
You can't adjust the buffers in the same way you can't adjust a car speedometer. If the car can only reach 20mph then the speedometer will show 20mph.
Is that to me? Not that I'm aware of....I have it set to passthrough HDR and my projector is showing this as its receiving a BT2020 HDR signal.

Is there any other way I can get a HDR 4k signal through to my projector...considering my old HTPC? Is there another player that doesn't need MadVR?
If you are using a projector then fine. I just looked at the stats and it shows a limited colour range for your projector so although it's receiving HDR BT.2020 it looks like it's displaying Rec 709 SDR.
 

Conrad.

Moderator
If you are using a projector then fine. I just looked at the stats and it shows a limited colour range for your projector so although it's receiving HDR BT.2020 it looks like it's displaying Rec 709 SDR.

Where are you seeing that?
 

Coulson

Distinguished Member
Where are you seeing that?
Below HDR 1000nit. It says limited range (upstream). It's the only thing that doesn't make sense to me on the stats.
 

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