Need advice picking a HTPC

dinoprada2003

Distinguished Member
Been years since I ran and built a HTPC so am out of the loop and want a one box ready made solution I preferably want something as cheap as poss that I can buy new or S\H

Needs are a bootable GUI like xbmc that will catalogue and fetch info on my movies in a nice jukebox style format
About 3tb internal hdd
Blu/DVD region free player /writer so I can rip blus
The ability to use my iPad to control the media jukebox
A torrent client so I can download straight to the HTPC
Mkv files to be played back in 1080p
Full 5.1 HD playback of movie soundtracks via hdmi to my amp

Err that's it really been looking around but most of the commercial HTPC are well over priced


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Deleted member 39241

Guest
Most people build their own HTPC hardware, or just adapt any PC that has the hardware requirements, and then all the functionality you are after is provided in software.

There are many options of HTPC front end software, a lot of it is free, not all of it, that will do most of what you want.
 

dinoprada2003

Distinguished Member
self build is not an option sadly . Xbmc looks good with Linux OS

i need to still have accsess to web though for torrents and net flix amazon prime
 

liamt

Distinguished Member
you could buy any relatively low powered machine to do this. you can also spec computers to be built by places like overclockers.co.uk. they will do all the hardware side of things.

beware of HDMI audio though...
i have a geforce 580GTX, which at the time was a high end card. annoyingly i cannot pass encoded HD audio over it (DTS master etc). even though the 2 lower cards in the same range support it. this means i have to output HD audio over PCM (uncompressed audio) but this has limitations in that it always passes 6 channels even if its only a stereo TV rip. which means my amp cant do 7.1 matrixing and just does stereo. so now i use 1 bit of software to play blu-rays and xbmc for everything else.

i think newer cards and ATI do support encoded HD audio though. im just too tight to blow another £300 on a gfx card when mine still does well with games. just check it can bitstream HD audio!

i bought a blu-ray recorder a couple of months ago for £60 and have ripped a few kids movies to my NAS using makemkv. you can also re-encode them to be smaller using handbrake etc but its not that user friendly and storage is cheap anyway.

have you used linux before? its hardly user friendly still no matter what anyone tells you. if you arent up to building your own PC then i doubt linux would be for you. win7/win8 will do you fine.

xbmc is pretty easy to setup and nice to use, pulls most of your movie, music and TV show info down as long as they are named right. plus, you can spend a few quid on a TV card and turn your HTPC into a sky+/Tivo style PVR. and the advantage of that is that you can edit recordings and store them where you like. you can also use your phone or tablet to control xbmc which is pretty good, i just let my son choose what he wants to watch.

basically a HTPC is a bit more of a clat to setup than sky+ or tivo but its free after the setup and you have much more functionality. i can even still play top games on mine :) my issue is that its noisy compared to all my silent AV equipment :( i still use my old blu-ray player when im watching a movie as its silent! :)
 

Tboggie

Active Member
Been years since I ran and built a HTPC so am out of the loop and want a one box ready made solution I preferably want something as cheap as poss that I can buy new or S\H
Needs are a bootable GUI like xbmc that will catalogue and fetch info on my movies in a nice jukebox style format
About 3tb internal hdd
Blu/DVD region free player /writer so I can rip blus
The ability to use my iPad to control the media jukebox
A torrent client so I can download straight to the HTPC
Mkv files to be played back in 1080p
Full 5.1 HD playback of movie soundtracks via hdmi to my amp
Err that's it really been looking around but most of the commercial HTPC are well over priced
Sent from my iPad using AVForums
You can build an Intel i3 or AMD A6 HTPC.
I would suggest an AMD build. Less expensive and better price/performance ratio

Case: Silverstone Milo ML03B. It should fit a Bluray Drive, 3TB and SSD
If you need a bigger case, check Silverstone SST-GD06B. This case will fit 4 x 3.5” hard drives and 2.5” hard drive or SSD
CPU: AMD A6-6400K - 3.90GHz Dual-Core APU with Integrated Radeon HD 8470D
Smooth video playback and you should have no issues running any heavy XBMC skins. I like Aeon NOX
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-HD3 FM2+ AMD A88X
7.1 HD Audio via HDMI connection
RAM: Any 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz should do. Something like this
Bluray Drive: 8x Blu-ray Reader like BDC-207DBK or 12x Blu-ray Reader like LG UH12NS30
PSU: Corsair 430W
Ipad Control: Download Official XBMC Remote app
XBMC: I would suggest XBMC Gotham v13. No issues with HD audio. V12 also supports HD audio passthrough but i prefer wasapi settings on v13

This setup should cover all your requirements
 
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dinoprada2003

Distinguished Member
tboogie that's great is there somewhere i can ask a company to use those parts to build it for me ?
 

AidenL

Well-known Member
tboogie that's great is there somewhere i can ask a company to use those parts to build it for me ?
Dino,

I'm selling one in the classifieds, not a million miles away from your ideal spec.
 

AidenL

Well-known Member
Lots of companies online sell prebuilt htpcs but i have not used any so can't really recommend.
You'll also find prebuilt htpcs on ebay

BTW, AidenL's HTPC is a good deal
It was, but had no takers!

So, I actually spent a few hours with it yesterday, tweaked my Harmony remote, and it's all working perfectly for wifey now, so I am going to keep it for a while.......
 

liamt

Distinguished Member
another useful option i have found with HTPCs is to get RDP setup on them. RDP is remote desktop protocol which allows PCs to connect to each other and see the screens.

what is useful about a default RDP connection is that it takes you to a different view from the main one. meaning my son can be watching peppa pig and i can connect to the pc and be doing backend stuff like copying dvds, video editing etc. you can also use a -console switch and view what is being seen by the TV.

for win7 home premium you need to download a little hack for this but ive found it very useful. i also have teamviewer setup on the machines so i can connect remotely from work etc and its got a few more tools built in than RDP. teamviewer is free

another thing to check out is fans. i would try and go as silent as you can. sometimes 1 fan can make the system noisy and for another £10 you could have got a virtually silent one. if its going to be on all the time in a lounge you want it as quiet as possible. this is something im now looking into as my heatsink fan is noisy as hell as its for overclocking but i dont oc this machine so its pointless
 

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