I've put together a HTPC but am not convinced :-(

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by Paul Barr, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. Paul Barr

    Paul Barr
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    Hi All,

    I've put myself together a HTPC and am not entirely convinced by it. The spec on is is way more than adequate (quad core, asus graphics and MB, 8GB ram) basically it's a good spec for a pc let alone a HTPC. It's just the whole software seems a bit clunky. I have installed media portal, but not got round to using it much yet. I did have a PS3 doing the honours as my media centre before it YLOD-ed. I've spent over £500 on this HTPC and think that maybe a new PS3 and a large NAS would be the way to go as gaming would be an occasional use I'm sure.
    Am I giving up to easily or should I persevere a bit more?

    PB
     
  2. andy1249

    andy1249
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    Putting the hardware together is the easy part.

    What most fail to mention when recommending a HTPC is the huge amount of time you need to spend getting the software setup properly.

    The likes of the PS3 , and most other hardware media players have hardware upscaling and fixed settings out of the box.

    You will have to sort your codecs and upscaling and all that good stuff out yourself on the HTPC , and it takes an age.

    In the end , once youve got it all correct , the results can be nothing short of spectacular , but it is a lot of work.

    If you decide to stick with it , make a log , take lots of notes as to what you did and when , then when you are done , image the drive and make at least two back-ups , because if you lose the setup , starting from scratch all over again is just too much.

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/home...tpc-faq-building-configuration-your-htpc.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  3. Rich Marshall

    Rich Marshall
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    Have you tried XBMC as a front end?
    I get stunning results with minimal messing tbh and with the android app it's a joy to use :smashin:
     
  4. davepuma

    davepuma
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    I'm kind of with the OP. I have had a few HCPC's over the years and there is always something to update, reboot or muck around with. They can be a hobby in itself. However, I don't mind that. I used media portal on my attempt at an HCPC but have since moved on to XBMC and prefer it by far. I've setup numerous XBMC installations now on my own current machines (at the last count 4) and numerous friends' and work colleagues'.

    My biggest gripe is having to reboot everytime I go to use it due to EDID and handshake issues as I get no audio. HDMI isn't all that it's cracked up to be sometimes!!

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/home...p-support-thread-updated-version-11-eden.html
     
  5. Trollslayer

    Trollslayer
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    I have tried a fwe and gone back to XBMC - no live TV which is fine for me, it work well without any messing and a very nice UI.
    Use XBMCButnu and you don't need to pay for Windows.
     
  6. ninposam

    ninposam
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    My HTPC is 80% films 20% gaming so I dont use a front end as such.
    I just use powerdvd, all the codecs that I need and it can upscale old dvds, it also has an app that you can use on your phone to control it with so no moving back to the mouse.
     
  7. byngo

    byngo
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    I would agree that it takes time to get it right.
    The most pleasing interface I have used is the windows 7 media centre with the addition of the "My Movies" plugin. Much better than media portal. Ive never traied xmbc.

    I rarely get handshake problems but have had the odd - "no audio & reboot required" problem.

    The most difficult part to get right was deciding on the right playback sofware and combination of codecs.
    Taking into consideration that you may already have many movies stored in various formats on your HDD (iso, MKV, AVI, TS, MP4 etc) and they will be from a mixture of sources such as DVD and Bluray and you might want to play the actual disc from time to time, it is difficult to cover all the options well, and just when you think you have it sorted and playing anything you throw at it you will come across a new movie that stutters, skips frames or with other issues, out of the blue and you have no idea why.

    In the case of a mixture of DVD and Bluray, it is not straight forward in deciding which desktop resolution to choose because what suits one will not suit the other.

    I would say it has taken me about two years of fiddling to get to what I believe is a pleasing experiance.

    I decided that for the majority, my back-ups would be in ISO and I use Reclock with Power DVD to overcome 24hz and 50hz bluray and DVD formats.

    This takes more space on my HDD than other back-up methods but especially for Bluray, I have found it to be the most successful playback satisfaction combination.

    The linked HTPC set-up guide is one I have reffered back to many a time.
    Good luck. Only you can decide if you want to stick with it and it does become a bit of a hobby.
     

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