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Official HTPC Guide Discussion Thread (Part 1)

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ok, moved all the HTPC Guide posts to it's own thread, as it takes forever just to load it to reply lol.

 

This thread will be the discussion thread for it (just like we do in the OCDB/SSDB) ;)

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Guest nibs

After recently putting together a very basic HTPC (I'm using a laptop and its basically a media server, older games like Sims 2, and checking my e-mail without having to leave the couch) I noticed a large omission of something essential to every HTPC... Input devices.

 

Obviously running running USB cables across the living room has a very low WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) so most people are going to be at least interested in a wireless solution. Unfortunately, many wireless products only have an actual range of 3-5 feet (since they were made to sit on a desk right next to a computer), and most couches are further then that from the TV.

 

I actually purchased a Logitech X710 Laser Keyboard and mouse combo ($33 after MIR) to use before I realized this. So now I have a USB 15' cable running off of my entertainment center along a wall with the receiver. The keyboard seems ok to about 9-13ft, however the mouse looses connectivity around 7ft. According to Logitech tech support all of their non-bluetooth wireless devices are only suggested to be used at ranges from 3-5 feet. He also admitted that he hears many complaints from people who have the bluetooth and couldn't really recommend any device from their entire line to use.

 

I happen to have a VX Revolution Mouse that reliably works from 15ft away from the receiver. Even though according to the same tech it is only rated for 3-5ft.

 

The problem of course is that most Bluetooth keyboard and mouse combos cost >$100, and it'd be nice to pick up something more budget priced.

 

I would love to see a part of the guide dedicated to recommended input devices to use with HTPCs. I imagine the sweet spot is anything that works at 2.4GHz and doesn't interfere with wireless. The VX Revolution works at 2.4 GHz non-bluetooth, the X710 is in the 27mhz band.

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Guest Jarod888

I am definitely thinking about building a HTPC. I am not sure yet if I want to make it a DVR or if I just want to use it as a movie server, using Daemon tools. I am curious, can you have both a DVR, say from comcast and a HTPC that can record live TV as well? Would you have to spit the incoming coaxial cable input or how would you do this?

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I am definitely thinking about building a HTPC. I am not sure yet if I want to make it a DVR or if I just want to use it as a movie server, using Daemon tools. I am curious, can you have both a DVR, say from comcast and a HTPC that can record live TV as well? Would you have to spit the incoming coaxial cable input or how would you do this?

 

a lot of cable companies offer a 'cable card' which is like a tv tuner card that allows you to use a PC as a DVR

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I finished installing MythTV on my Ubuntu box this weekend (in time to record the Seahawks beating the Redskins W00t!). I am using the Hauppage! PVR-500 (wanted the dual tuner and the price wasn't too bad).

 

If I want higher quality later, I can add another card.

 

Getting the PVR-500 workign in Ubuntu and with MythTV was a snap. Driver support is excellent and has not been nearly as annoyign as the Nvidia driver or even the audio...which turned out to just be settign the correct volumes in alsamixer.

 

Right now my concern is automating the commercial removal and encoding the original MPEG2 as h264.

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I finished installing MythTV on my Ubuntu box this weekend (in time to record the Seahawks beating the Redskins W00t!). I am using the Hauppage! PVR-500 (wanted the dual tuner and the price wasn't too bad).

 

If I want higher quality later, I can add another card.

 

Getting the PVR-500 workign in Ubuntu and with MythTV was a snap. Driver support is excellent and has not been nearly as annoyign as the Nvidia driver or even the audio...which turned out to just be settign the correct volumes in alsamixer.

 

Right now my concern is automating the commercial removal and encoding the original MPEG2 as h264.

 

What type of TV reception are you using? OTA, Dish or Cable?

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After recently putting together a very basic HTPC (I'm using a laptop and its basically a media server, older games like Sims 2, and checking my e-mail without having to leave the couch) I noticed a large omission of something essential to every HTPC... Input devices.

 

Obviously running running USB cables across the living room has a very low WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) so most people are going to be at least interested in a wireless solution. Unfortunately, many wireless products only have an actual range of 3-5 feet (since they were made to sit on a desk right next to a computer), and most couches are further then that from the TV.

 

I actually purchased a Logitech X710 Laser Keyboard and mouse combo ($33 after MIR) to use before I realized this. So now I have a USB 15' cable running off of my entertainment center along a wall with the receiver. The keyboard seems ok to about 9-13ft, however the mouse looses connectivity around 7ft. According to Logitech tech support all of their non-bluetooth wireless devices are only suggested to be used at ranges from 3-5 feet. He also admitted that he hears many complaints from people who have the bluetooth and couldn't really recommend any device from their entire line to use.

 

I happen to have a VX Revolution Mouse that reliably works from 15ft away from the receiver. Even though according to the same tech it is only rated for 3-5ft.

 

The problem of course is that most Bluetooth keyboard and mouse combos cost >$100, and it'd be nice to pick up something more budget priced.

 

I would love to see a part of the guide dedicated to recommended input devices to use with HTPCs. I imagine the sweet spot is anything that works at 2.4GHz and doesn't interfere with wireless. The VX Revolution works at 2.4 GHz non-bluetooth, the X710 is in the 27mhz band.

 

 

I am currently using this for my HTPC and it works amazingly well up to about 25 feet away. This does come with a beefy price tag of $150 though, this thing is beautiful and has a rechargeable battery which lasts over a month.

 

Other solutions which I have used are from Wireless Computing

 

And here is what it looks like in my den....

 

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Hi, I am new here, I would like to share my HTPC project that started about 1 year ago, I am a Home Theatre buff from back in the Laser Disc days

 

I am starting to do some heavy encoding of blu rays and my 6000+ ain't cuttin' it so I ordered a Phenom II 940, and I am going to need some help setting up the OC

 

This looks like a great forum!

 

Thermaltake MozartTx aluminum case

MSI K9A2 Platinum motherboard

AMD Deneb core Phenom II X4 940 BE w/ Coolermaster V8

4x 2GB modules of OCZ Platinum DDR2 1066 5-5-5-15

Silverstone Decathalon 54a single 12v rail 650 watt modular psu

Thermaltake 21a combined dual 12v rail 250 watt 5" bay dedicated gfx card psu

EVGA 8800GTX gfx card

LSI Logic 4-port SAS/SATA Host Bus Adaptor

3x Seagate 7200.11 1500GB 32mb cache HDD

2x Seagate 7200.11 750GB 32mb cache HDD

1x Seagate 7200.11 500GB 32mb cache HDD

2x Western Digital 640GB 16mb cache HDD

2x BYTCC Hot Swappable HDD trays

LG 6x Blu Ray ROM (firmware hacked for read speed)

Creative labs SB Audigy 2 ZS Platinum sound card

Hauppage ATSC HDTV TV tuner card

19" Samsung CRT 2048x1536 .20 dot pitch

Logitech Inspire 2.1 speaker system

Turtle Beach Ear Force 5.1 surround headset

Ideazon Z-board keyboard

Razor Diamondback mouse

IceMat silver and glass mouse pad

Logitech Extreme 3D Pro joystick

Vantech Nexstar 120GB usb external HDD

Kingston usb multi-media flash card reader

 

I dual boot Windows XP 32bit/XP 64bit

System running @ 19x200 for 3.8Ghzhz on the cpu and DDR2 1066 5-5-5-15 @ 5-7-7-20-32

Gfx card @ 600/2000 rivatuner fan fixed @ 100%

 

56" Samsung 1080P DLP

Marantz RC 2000 MKII learning remote

Thermaltake multi-media keyboard

Logitech G-7 wireless mouse

 

Yamaha HTR-5860 Receiver 110 watt x7 (drives center and surround speakers)

Adcom 200 watt @ .03% THD per channel stereo power amp (drives front speakers)

Adcom 385 watt @ .03% THD per channel stereo power amp (drives subs)

2x Cerwin-Vega 15" 3-way 400 watt speaker (main) (27-20,000Hz +/-3db) 102db/w/m sensitive

2x Cerwin-Vega 12" 3-way 250 watt speaker (surround channel) (28-20,000Hz +/-3db) 97db/w/m sensitive

2x Cerwin-Vega 2x15" 400 watt sub woofer 102db/w/m sensitive

1x Cerwin-Vega dual 6.5" 3-way center channel speaker (80-20,000Hz +/-2db) 94db/w/m sensitive

 

I rip Blu Ray movies w/ Slysoft AnyDVD HD, and I demux out the subtitles and extra language tracks w/ TsMuxer which cuts the 30GB average Blu Ray into a 18GB folder on average in a 20-30 min process, I play these folders w/ Cyberlink PowerDVD Ultra 3319a

 

I join DVD VOB files w/ TsSplitter into a single .ts stream which is about a 10 min process which I play w/ Windows Media Player 11

 

I convert HD-DVD's to Blu Ray format w/ Evodemux and TsMuxer, now this takes an hour, my Blu Ray player will play HD-DVD's but I like to maintain a common file type for all Hi-Def movies

 

Since I have not been recoding the movies only repackaging them my processes have been fast which is good because I process a lot of movies (232 Blu Rays and approx 200 DVD's atm)

 

I rip CD's w/ Windows Lossless compression w/ Windows Media Player which allows you to be able to reconstitute the original file and I play them back w/ Media Player (4800 songs)

 

I stream in movies from a service called Netfix

 

I have the Hauppage remote control and the Creative Labs remote control both programmed into my Marantz learning remote which also controls the Samsung HDTV, the Yamaha Receiver, and the room lighting

 

I am starting to recode blu ray to x264 BD-9

 

btw I am |SI| Lieutenant General SERIALBUTCHER in BF2

 

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ocgw

 

peace

Edited by ocgw

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