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howq long till htpc becomes the must have?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by watchinthewheel, Aug 13, 2005.

?
  1. 6 months

    2 vote(s)
    5.6%
  2. a year

    4 vote(s)
    11.1%
  3. 2 years

    9 vote(s)
    25.0%
  4. 4 years

    9 vote(s)
    25.0%
  5. 6 years

    4 vote(s)
    11.1%
  6. 10 years

    2 vote(s)
    5.6%
  7. never

    6 vote(s)
    16.7%
  1. watchinthewheel

    watchinthewheel
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    with the rising interest in htpcs and all in one solutions its only a matter of time before it becomes the thing eveyone wants as a standard how long do you think that will take?
     
  2. Rambles

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    In my house everything is a 'must have'... but there are lots of non-gadget people and households out there who are never going to want anything other than an off the shelf plug it in and it works solution.

    So, don't know if we will ever see the day when everyone has a htpc... I think there will be lots of developments in PVR's and DVD/Hi Def players, this is an interesting thread.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
  3. The Dude

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    I'd agree with Lisa, I think the main problem is the variety of software out there for HTPC, and the fact that the MS solutions are currently usually vastly inferior to 3rd party products..

    HTPC won't ever be a 'must have' until you can go buy one from Tesco, take it home, plug it in, and watch DVDs, play music, surf the 'net etc... all without any configuration or PC knowledge..
    By the looks of it, MS are getting close....but not nearly close enough.
    It will happen eventually for sure, but not for a long time yet, and will be almost nothing like a PC as we know it, when it does eventually become 'user friendly'

    I'd say the motor-car is probably the best comparison in recent history..
    Nearly everybody knows how to drive, most of those people own a car, and most of those car owners know next to nothing about how their car works..because they don't need to.

    HTPC is still so much in it's infancy, much like the car was in the early 1900's..

    10+ years gets my vote.. :smashin:
     
  4. Andy80

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    The big names in PC's aren't really very serious about HTPC yet. Even MS, I think, is still really only dabbling. The graphics cards manufactures are still mainly targeting gamers with any video processing capabilities only an after thought. I think that may be about to change. but it'll depend a lot on the content providers. They're not too happy about having a PC in the system especially when it comes to HD content. The rights management proposals even for HD DVD players are sounding fairly draconian.

    5+ years is my vote.

    Andy
     
  5. eviljohn2

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    I don't think we'll see HTPC as such taking over the market but the next few generations of consoles will provide similar functionality off the shelf. I can't see it ever taking over from standalone units though. :)
     
  6. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Do you not think that perhaps some of the functionality of PC's is actually going to leave them and end up in other household appliances meaning that PC's actually are the things that are going to disappear from our lives......


    Gordon
     
  7. MikeTV

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    I agree with Gordon that the distinction is becoming blurred. PVR's like Tivo are PC's, and so are games consoles, and even DVD players that can play mpegs are crossing the boundary. Maybe they are already "must-have". I guess it depends on your HTPC definition. I've always seen HTPC as a stop gap solution until the manufacturers catch up and sell me a plug-n-play high-definition media centre/games console/information portal (sold at tesco's for £199 ;-).
     
  8. eviljohn2

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    I think people here are overlooking the general publics viewpoint on these things. HTPc and HT equipment in general is very much a niche market - most families are happy with a DVD player and digibox beneath their ageing CRT and have no compelling reason to upgrade. :)
     
  9. Rambles

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    Very true - fools! :cool:
    I still have friends who haven't even got a DVD player - it's embarrasing
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2017
  10. The Dude

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    I think as the technology moves on that might all change though..?

    Voice recognition software is coming on in leaps and bounds, I think there are products even now which can give you full control over Media Center Edition 2005..
    I think the 'must have' day will come, but only when the HTPC is really no longer a PC at all, but more the centrepiece of your voice controlled home..
    There are already intelligent fridges, a current day HTPC can replace all your AV sources etc... to me the natural progression is a central PC system, driven by voice command, with full control over all intelligent electrical devices in your home..

    If you look at everything than can be remotely controlled these days, to my mind there is no reason why these devices (everything from your curtains to your hifi) can't be connected and controlled by a 'HPC' (I might trademark that :)).. and all driven by a voice recognition system... It will be a helluva long time before it becomes cheap enough to become mainstream, but I still think it will happen.. Hell, you can probably get one already thinking about it..! :devil:

    "Computer... sausage&egg on toast, and some coffee......Engage -->" :D
     
  11. eviljohn2

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    It seems more like the Jetsons to me. :D

    I really can't see these advances coming into the mainstream for several decades purely because most people/families don't have the infrastructure or finances to support such things and certainly don't have the motivation to go ahead. Light switches tend to work just fine as they are. :)
     
  12. The Dude

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    yeah.. I'd say definitely at least another 10 years.... tell you what though..when you've got a few minutes do a quick google for HAL2000 ... people are already getting started on things... :)

    I was looking around last night... I'm half tempted to give it a go! :rolleyes:
     
  13. rdhir

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    I think it will be a must have when your Internet enabled microwave/fridge/freezer from (Insert unknown chinese brand) can be bought from Tesco. Once plugged in it will order the frozen dvd and hollywood pizza online based on your previous shopping at Tesco and you will never need to leave the house again.

    Silly as that sounds I agree with those who say a PC owner won't recognize the ubiquitpus HTPC when it arrives. I'd say the closest models will be between next gen games consoles and the next version of the sony PSX, or Sky++ ie Sky+ with a built in games console.

    I think Mr & Mrs smith will buy when you can get the following in a £200 box

    Games Console
    DVD Playback & Record
    PVR or at least HD Recorder
    Digital TV (Freeview and or cable/sky)
    Surround Sound in a box

    and maybe 4 cables - power, telephone/broadband, cable/satellite/antenna, TV.

    Another interesting approach is what's happening in France. Wanadoo (France Telecom) operating as free give a "freebox" to all subscribers. This single box provides telephony, TV (via a SCART plug), broadband all from a single box. I think they are going to bring the same box over here, but basically it allows them to provide more and more services. I don't think the content is there yet but you can see where there headed.
     
  14. meansizzler

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    How Very True, Well Said...
     
  15. Steve.J.Davies

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    PCs have been around for over 20 years and they are still not plug and play nor do they show any sign of being so.
    HDD DVD/PVR recorders are PCs really - though specialised ones.

    The PC controlling everything - a k a Convergence - a pipe dream by the vendors who would like to be in control of all those services and charging a percentage for all the services/media delivery.
    Look up Microsoft and 'TV tax' to see the numbers/projections.
    As said most folks happy to go to the high streel and buy 'boxes' - otherwise Currrys/Comet el at wouldn't exist.
    For the enthuisast I think a HTPC is a must have now - but thats a tiny percentage of the marketplace.
     
  16. richjthorpe

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    From reading the thread my conclusion is that HTPCs will never be a must have in the home, but instead there will be Home Theatre Systems where the functions are straight forward and you can connect extra boxes via wireless to play music and video from one machine downstairs.

    Very simplistic yes but HTPCs are complicated machines that the general leyman doesn't know how to use. There are so many variables with so many hardware problems that you would either need to make a easy peasy to use generic OS the would work on everything but the quality wouldn't be there or wait for a company to create a box that does everything and ties you down to manufacturers. Microsoft are doing the first way and with the PVR and Music Centres that are out, it's only time we will see the other way.

    My opinions ofcourse !

    Richie.
     
  17. Xelon

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    HTPC's in their current form will never be mainstream IMO, I have one, pretty much State of the art currently, but I'm a bit of a gadget freak and only ever so slightly Geekish, building a Quiet, powerful, Aesthetically pleasing box, using very selective components, is something of a black art, which takes much researching. OK you can buy one of the shelf, but they're usually very underpowered, especially in the Graphics department, so HD gaming is generally out of the question.

    Then there is the issues of connectivity, Wi-Fi, Extenders, streaming, Input devices, not to mention OS updating/patching, driver updates, security, AV solutions, Internet Access.

    Oh yes and by the time you've got all the above right, the OS and hardware will be due an upgrade.

    Personally I enjoy the challenge, but for you're average non techie Joe, I don't think so, try teaching the Mrs. how to use the latest and greatest HTPC frontend!
     
  18. jameson_uk

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    There are several problems with HTPC out there at the minute.

    Firstly cost, this will change but building a decent spec, silent, good looking HTPC costs. Then there is complexity. Currently you have to do all sorts of things to try and get sound and video out let alone dolby digital or DTS.

    These however I think will both become less of an issue in the future leaving the problem I have now after a few years playing with HTPC and a load wasted money.

    Mainly TV quality. My digital satellite box outputs a nice RGB signal to my TV and looks good. If I either convert this to S-Video or use the S-Video out on the box (only just changed from cable which had no S-video out) so I can plug it into my PVR150 the signal degrades quite a lot. Then you have to try and connect your PC to the TV. I have an oldish CRT and have spend ages playing about with custom built VGA => RGB scart cables, powerstrip and various other things but this is still no where near as good as the basic TV guide on my satellite box. If you have a Plasma then you are at risk of screen burn but I think this is less of an issue for most people.

    When components are available that will allow hardware encoding of an RGB signal and there is the ability to display RGB on a TV screen of a similar quality to that of a STB then and only then will HTPC be great.

    I have now actually taken a step backwards and unplugged TV from my HTPC. I use the Sky+ as the PVR as it has excellent picture quality and is increadibly easy to use. I only use the PC for music / pics and DVD although I am far from happy with the picture quality.
     
  19. Docta teef

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    Im trying to convince myself i need 1 as i know it would be no trouble to build it even got a spare A8N-SLI motherboard and 3000+ processor to use.
    Ok so i could use it as a cheap way of streaming music round the house get a sound get a few sound bridges and self powered speakers (anyone know any in ceiling one that are not expensive?)

    I can load all the family snaps on to if to view on tv that would keep the other half happy for 5 mins but who cares

    Oh i can use it as a pvr, no wait a minute ive got sky+ and multi room that would only give me free view cheaper to go buy a dvd recorder.

    Well i could use it for playing DVDs but then why did i spend 800 quid on a DVD player i must be stupid.

    But then theres HD, well let me see im unable to to get an HD DVD or Blueray drive at the min so that leaves windows media HD that will give me Terminator 2 that i wont be able to play out side the USA a film with fish, a film with snow the grand canyon and i believe a porn film.
    (tempting as that last one makes it) No i dont think i need i need an htpc just yet and as most of us here like our kit more than joe public i think its gonna be a long slog for the htpc
     
  20. Spacecat

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    my MCE system cost me about £400 total inc a harmony 680remote, which controls anything.

    I have had it for a year and never missed a programme, my missus can control it perfectly and she is something of a techNOphobe.

    Can play my music,dvds,tv , photos etc etc.Can even control and watch it from upstairs

    Its not so complicated once the basic system is built. Its a very tidy all in one solution
    and will evolve in time as well as new technologies are introduced
     
  21. Mr.D

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    I'm firmly in the convergence camp. The distinction HTPC will no longer be necessary . You'll have a central house entertainment hub. The fact its a PC will be immaterial . You'll have one box that provides all your sources in every room and handles your email/internet and phone line.

    You probably won't even have a visible box ...it will live in the cupboard under the stairs.
     
  22. MikeTV

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    I agree - you'll have an ISP and a black box. All media will be online, and you'll subscribe to the on-demand service.
     
  23. Docta teef

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    Thats not the question though i would love to want one but dont know why, the question is more when will we all have one. I always thought the idea of logans run was a good idea till i turned 30 now im not so sure
     
  24. Steve.J.Davies

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    all through one box.. hope it doesn't BSOD or go splut/virus/worm et al.
    No way to phone, no tv to watch, no flims. no radio.
    will need a non microsoft solution then !
    Convergence is supply side led - beware !!
     
  25. Rambles

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    Have you got a big screen tv?
    How about lying on the sofa and surfing the net - that's a good excuse!
    I hear what you said about having separate boxes to do everything... but consider it a new toy/hobby/techno experiment...
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  26. Sandman

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    I dont think the general public know or are evenintersted in what a HTPC can do for them. I think the reason it hasnt taken off quicker than it has is down to poor (or non existant publicity). How many adverts have you seen for MS Media Center? When I built my Media Center my friends couldnt believe how good it was and were all amazed to see how easy it was to record/playback tv shows, view photos, listen to music from my music library all on the TV screen and via remote control. A few of them started asking questions about how to convert their pc's to media centers but gave up when they saw how much it was going to cost them. My point is, although my HTPC impresses everyone who sees it, nobody is prepared to build one themself. HTPC's, in my opinion, will never be a must have product in their current incarnation. As soon as somebody sells a complete unit that replaces their dvd player, suround system, set top box, cd player and video recorder that is 100% reliable, silent and costs less then £400 there will never be a "must have" item. It almost needs to be a disposable item as joe public isnt interested in opening up a computer to upgrade memory/HD/graphics/cpu etc.
     

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