Your Very First HTPC? But Where do You Start?

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Superorb Offline
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Post: #106
grnerd Wrote:My head spins at all of the possibilities. I would like to tell you all my situation, and have you recommend a build for me.

I would like to build a dedicated XBMC appliance, that works seamlessly as possible with my current AV equipment. I am dealing with a wife and two young kids that will be using this as well, so simplicity is the key. I feel that XBMC live on a SSD is the right way to go for me.

I will not be using it as a DVR, I will be streaming Netflix, I will want to rip my DVD collection to hard drive and be able to play it, my TV is only 720p, and audio will be piped to the reciever via optical cable.

So much to choose from.... what do you recommend?
What is your budget?
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grnerd Offline
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Post: #107
Superorb Wrote:What is your budget?

I would like to keep it on the low range, and looking at the builds at the beginning of this post, I am thinking less than $300 all in. I will be using network storage for my media files, so that is covered already.

I didn't think about remotes either, I have a wmce remote now, but will probably invest in an Harmony when I build.
(This post was last modified: 2011-03-16 19:19 by grnerd.)
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T800 Offline
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Post: #108
@grnerd
Have you thought about an AppleTV 2?
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grnerd Offline
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Post: #109
T800 Wrote:@grnerd
Have you thought about an AppleTV 2?

Not ever. I have been using my old xbox up to this point, but just upgraded my TV and thought I would upgrade my XBMC along with it. What is the advantage to the AppleTV2 over building a new box?

*** Just checked it out, and that does look pretty cool. It may be the ticket for me. I will do more research, but thanks!
(This post was last modified: 2011-03-16 19:39 by grnerd.)
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Superorb Offline
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Post: #110
grnerd Wrote:Not ever. I have been using my old xbox up to this point, but just upgraded my TV and thought I would upgrade my XBMC along with it. What is the advantage to the AppleTV2 over building a new box?

*** Just checked it out, and that does look pretty cool. It may be the ticket for me. I will do more research, but thanks!
Well, the ATV2 is only $99, runs XBMC, decodes 1080p videos (outputs 720p) and is easy to use. You can also use an old PC with a modern video card to save some cash.
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eskro Offline
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Post: #111
i guess ATV2 at $99 will suit your needs...
just dont expect too much out of it...
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robby naish Offline
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Post: #112
Guys,

3d video r handled good with Xbmc Live or with OPENLEC?

Thnks

Ale
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grnerd Offline
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Post: #113
eskro Wrote:i guess ATV2 at $99 will suit your needs...
just dont expect too much out of it...

See now, I was so excited for a bit....

What types of things would I not be able to do with an ATV2? I hate missing out on things Smile
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Superorb Offline
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Post: #114
grnerd Wrote:See now, I was so excited for a bit....

What types of things would I not be able to do with an ATV2? I hate missing out on things Smile
You wouldn't be able to run game system emulators, some heavy skins, etc. ATV2 will run a basic install of XBMC and run it well, but if you're looking for extras or beefy processing power than you should be looking elsewhere. All we know is that you have a 720p TV and need it to be easy for others in your family. The ATV2 will accomplish those tasks.
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wicky Offline
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Post: #115
The ATV2 also has a few other great advantages over an old PC hacked together. First is size, ATV2 is tiny, about the size of your wallet. It is very low power, typically measured in milliwatts where as some old pentium 4 box may be consuming 200+ watts. You also get "instant on" performance thanks to it's fancy sleep mode you need only press a button and it will be good to go, vs a pc in sleep mode with a traditional spinning hard drive it may take up to a minute to load back up. And finally, the ATV2 does other things as well, from the main menu you can stream netflix, rent movies and tv shows, or with the 4.3 update you'll be able to sit back with your ipod/iphone/ipad (if you have one) and send your content wirelessly from the device to the TV. This is even supported by some third party apps now, and wont be long before some basic games would even work.

As an all inclusive platform, its ideal. You'll have no problem teaching family members or friends how to use it, as opposed to a dedicated PC theres always some tinkering required if something goes wrong Tongue

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Superorb Offline
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Post: #116
^^ You're a little off there. My old P4 system draws under 90watts playing 1080p content and around 65watts at idle. Also, it resumes from sleep in about 3-5 seconds on an old 5400rpm IDE drive.

Yeah, the ATV2 is great when integrated with other Apple products, but Apple products are some of the most expensive devices you'll ever find for what you actually get, so that takes away if budget is an issue. I pretty much despise Apple, but I'd buy an ATV2 in a heartbeat for another room in the house besides the main TV if needed.
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wicky Offline
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Post: #117
well thats what i get for generalizing, I should have said my old socket 478 media center was able to draw 200w, long live the prescott 3.8F! Then again it also had a 9800 AIW and a couple 36gb raptors...a poor example and i apologize, but it is still the ATV2 is considerably lower power. But I stand by my boot and sleep times, my old box was painfully slow thanks to the various applications that had to load.

I'm a gadget freak the ATV2s integration with my other idevices is great, means when friends or family drop by and have something they "just have to show you", it's an easy process and I'm not even involved...just give them the password for airplay.

But the ATV2 is pretty well priced in particular, as all the other streaming devices from boxee, ruku, and what not are all in a similar range with similar features, the ATV2 is probably apple's only "product for the masses". I mainly use the ATV2 for the other rooms, so when I have to babysit my nephew or something like that, he has a very easy to use device that can access all my movies, tv shows, and netflix. My main HTPC will likely remain x86 exclusive for a while to come. Though...that new dual core A5 chip really makes me think the next apple TV is going to be 1080p smooth, and with dual 1ghz cortex A9 cores it'll handle most skins with ease.

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Superorb Offline
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Post: #118
wicky Wrote:well thats what i get for generalizing, I should have said my old socket 478 media center was able to draw 200w, long live the prescott 3.8F! Then again it also had a 9800 AIW and a couple 36gb raptors...a poor example and i apologize, but it is still the ATV2 is considerably lower power. But I stand by my boot and sleep times, my old box was painfully slow thanks to the various applications that had to load.

I'm a gadget freak the ATV2s integration with my other idevices is great, means when friends or family drop by and have something they "just have to show you", it's an easy process and I'm not even involved...just give them the password for airplay.

But the ATV2 is pretty well priced in particular, as all the other streaming devices from boxee, ruku, and what not are all in a similar range with similar features, the ATV2 is probably apple's only "product for the masses". I mainly use the ATV2 for the other rooms, so when I have to babysit my nephew or something like that, he has a very easy to use device that can access all my movies, tv shows, and netflix. My main HTPC will likely remain x86 exclusive for a while to come. Though...that new dual core A5 chip really makes me think the next apple TV is going to be 1080p smooth, and with dual 1ghz cortex A9 cores it'll handle most skins with ease.
Yup, the ATV2 is a great price considering it can run XBMC, the only drawback is that it will not display 1080p and that the remote only has like 5 buttons on it. I'm not sure if you can use a regular MCE remote though.

My old PC is a P4 Northwood CPU. It is slow to boot, but resume/sleep only take a few seconds. I have an 8400gs and a single 5400rpm drive though.
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ProphetVX Offline
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Post: #119
Superorb Wrote:Yup, the ATV2 is a great price considering it can run XBMC, the only drawback is that it will not display 1080p and that the remote only has like 5 buttons on it. I'm not sure if you can use a regular MCE remote though.

My old PC is a P4 Northwood CPU. It is slow to boot, but resume/sleep only take a few seconds. I have an 8400gs and a single 5400rpm drive though.

You can program any remote to work with AppleTV, it has an option in the settings to receive each button press and memorize it with any spare IR remote you may have laying around. It's actually easier to setup than most LIRC configurations, albeit you have a more limited range of buttons to access the functionality of XBMC but all the important ones are there.

If you have an iphone or android based phone or tablet though, the need for a remote is pretty much gone now anyway. The apple tv is a great device, however it seems there are a few residing samba issues that I'm sure will be solved in the near future.
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Superorb Offline
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Post: #120
ProphetVX Wrote:You can program any remote to work with AppleTV, it has an option in the settings to receive each button press and memorize it with any spare IR remote you may have laying around. It's actually easier to setup than most LIRC configurations, albeit you have a more limited range of buttons to access the functionality of XBMC but all the important ones are there.

If you have an iphone or android based phone or tablet though, the need for a remote is pretty much gone now anyway. The apple tv is a great device, however it seems there are a few residing samba issues that I'm sure will be solved in the near future.
I didn't know this. Is it possible to just plug in an MCE receiver and use an MCE remote? There was o setting up the remote on my end, just install XBMC and I was good to go.
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