Poofyhairguy's HTPC Recommendation Thread

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ARCHA1C Offline
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Post: #166
Agreed that the ATV2 is a great value for people with few requiremenrs.

XBMC runs great on it (albeit a bit sluggish in the interface transitions sometimes, but not painfully so).

If all you need is the ability to stream network stored content at 720p, look no further than the $99 ATV2.

The downsides are its lack or extensiblity (many add-ons do not work due to the iOS platform and lack of internal storage)

I stepped into the XBMC world with my ATV2, but now realize that I need to upgrade to a full-blown HTPC now that I've caught a glimpse of the possibilities.

Having all of those wonderful add-ons listed, and not being able to utilize them is pure torture. Namely, the Netflix add-on doesn't work due to lack of Silverlight support.
This is a major drawback because as many found out a few weeks ago, the native ATV2 Netflix App can be broken by Apple/Netflix during firmware updates, forcing everyone to update (re-jailbreak) the Apple TV2.

When this happens, you hope there is a new jailbreak available for the new IOS soon, or you're stuck with no Netflix.
Superorb Wrote:All it can be used for is streaming though, it can't be used to do anything else that's more CPU intensive. For example, you can't play games or any of the SAB/Couch, etc addons.

For many it would be perfect if they could get it to output 1080p, myself included. I have a server to do all those other addons and I don't play games.
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ARCHA1C Offline
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Post: #167
eskro Wrote:thanks bodhi, now at least i'll stop worrying...

To mitigate some of that RF interference, it's worth grabbing a Wi-Fi analyzer for your computer and seeing what's out in the are around you.

Many routers now do smart channel selection upon boot-up to pick the channel with the least competition/interference, but if your wireless router doesn't do that, it'd be good to know what your competing with, and manually set your radio to the best channel (6, 11 etc.)

Here's are a few utilities you can try

Android - http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/wifi-analyz...i-channel/

Mac - http://www.airgrab.com/AirGrab_WiFi_Radar/

Windows - http://www.metageek.net/products/inssider/
(This post was last modified: 2011-08-05 17:36 by ARCHA1C.)
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LB06 Offline
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Post: #168
Why do you not recommend WD Greens for raid or ZFS? Because of the inability to turn on TLER? If so, as far as I know that's only true for hardware raid. Software raid and raid-like solutions do not kick drives from an array due to error recovery going on.

I've written something on hw raid vs sw raid in another topic recently: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?p=8...post860588

Maybe it's useful.
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Superorb Offline
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Post: #169
LB06 Wrote:Why do you not recommend WD Greens for raid or ZFS? Because of the inability to turn on TLER? If so, as far as I know that's only true for hardware raid. Software raid and raid-like solutions do not kick drives from an array due to error recovery going on.

I've written something on hw raid vs sw raid in another topic recently: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?p=8...post860588

Maybe it's useful.
Something like unRAID is fine with the WD Green drives, and there are TONS of members on the unRAID forums running them.
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LB06 Offline
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Post: #170
Superorb Wrote:Something like unRAID is fine with the WD Green drives, and there are TONS of members on the unRAID forums running them.
Yeah that's why I was implying that the TS be amended to incorporate said details Smile
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loady Offline
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Post: #171
Great topic poof...im just onto this after sorting out the hardware with eskros and yours thread on builds (mostly eskros, correct ?:rolleyesSmile...i see your giving the sammy drives a bashing there..i have 2 of those in my RAID5 array on my TS 439 pro ll..never had any trouble with them..surely they cant be as bad as the hitatchi deathstars ?

Anyway, i would always go with a dedicated NAS...just like the all roundness of it....but i was thinking..say i was running out of space on my QNAP 4x2TB NAS..it has two ethernet ports and numerous USB ports..would it be viable to setup up a spare parts box full of nice cheap hdd just to house the films and have it all linked up as if it were running off the NAS...so basically i could turn of the auxilart box when not being used ?..maybe even run it as a sperate enterty for unspecial films ?
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Peter42 Offline
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Question  Please advise
Post: #172
Hi poofyhairguy (and all others)... Smile

I am working on a setup for a small "home cinema" room and for this purpose I have decided to go with the xbmc / unRaid combination for media center / nas (also on basis of this very helpfull thread).

I only know the basics about linux, but have decided to give the linux version of xbmc a try Smile On the basis of mostly this thread and a few ofthers, mainly by poofy - I have come up with the following system builds:

XBMC HTPC:
  • CPU = Core i3 I3-2105 3 MB (Intel Boxed) BX80623I32105
  • CPU Fan = Scythe BIG Shuriken SCBSK-1000
  • Mainboard = Gigabyte GA-H67N-USB3-B3 (rev. 1.0)
  • Case = Silverstone Milo SST-ML03B HTPC Sort
  • PSU = Sea Sonic X-400
  • GFX = ASUS ENGT520 SILENT/DI/1GD3(LP) (1 GB)
  • RAM = Kingston HyperX blu 2 x 4 GB
  • SSD = Kingston SSDNow S100 16 GB
  • BD-Drive = Samsung SH-B123L
  • + some kind of remote... Smile

unRaid NAS
  • Mainboard = ASUS M4A88T-M/USB3
  • CPU = Sempron 145 1 MB (AMD Processor in a Box (PIB))
  • PSU = Corsair Builder Series CX430 V2
  • RAM = Kingston ValueRAM 1 x 2 GB
  • FANS = Enermax Magma UCMA12 * 2
  • Cables = 4 * DeLOCK Seriel ATA kabel
  • Cables = Molex male to 3x4-pin Molex Female Power Cable Splitter
  • More Cables = NZXT Molex to 4 SATA Cable 200mm
  • Software = unRaid Plus
  • HDD = * 6 WD Caviar Green WD20EARS 2 TB
  • + some case i have lying around... Smile

My question is if these builds will suffice for streaming 3D Blu-Ray from the nas to the media center, and from there to a tv/projector. Natually it should also be capable of playing 3D Blu-Ray discs Wink

I have gone with most of the recommendations made by poofyhairguy, and upgraded a little here and there... Perhaps overkill in some places!?

Thank you in advance for any help or input you might have, and a special thanks to you poofyhairguy for your very helpfull hardware posts - without these helpfull posts I would most likely not have been able to make a custom build HTPC...

Best Regards
Peter
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seand Offline
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Post: #173
My understanding is that currently in Linux-land playing local BR discs is achieved by in effect "streaming" the content playing off the disk to yourself, so ironically its the playing the local disks "in real time" that is more likely to be a problem then playing HD mkvs you have already ripped and copied to your server. Such is the genius of protected, closed video formats on open-source platforms.

But someone with more direct BR experience can maybe fill out the details.

Acer Revo 3610 w/ Ubuntu 10.10, Giada Cube Win 7, 2 ATV 1's one w Crystal HD card, UnRaid server w/ SAB/SickBeard/Couch Potato/Transmission, MacBook Pro, Hackintosh Dell Mini 10v
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Superorb Offline
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Post: #174
That HTPC setup is totally overkill for just a frontend to an unRAID box. You can easily use an Atom 330+ION setup and it will work great. In fact, that's what I use along with my unRAID box.
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seand Offline
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Post: #175
Yeah I play 1080 mkvs from my unraid to my atom ion 330 all the time. What is the deal with the Linux Blueray work around though? Does it require a fast processor to "stream" content playing from a local drive to itself? I cough, cough rarely interact with physical BR disks so now I'm curious.

Acer Revo 3610 w/ Ubuntu 10.10, Giada Cube Win 7, 2 ATV 1's one w Crystal HD card, UnRaid server w/ SAB/SickBeard/Couch Potato/Transmission, MacBook Pro, Hackintosh Dell Mini 10v
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Peter42 Offline
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Post: #176
Superorb Wrote:That HTPC setup is totally overkill for just a frontend to an unRAID box. You can easily use an Atom 330+ION setup and it will work great. In fact, that's what I use along with my unRAID box.

I will be using it for 3D, and I was actually looking at a ION box at first but came across a few threads (including this: http://forum.xbmc.org/showpost.php?p=693232&postcount=8) where it was mentioned that a ION HTPC would not quite cut it for full 3D.

Or did I misunderstand something? Smile

Thanks for the input!
/Peter
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Peter42 Offline
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Post: #177
I was actually considering a ION HTPC but discarded it due to some threads claiming that it would not be able to do real 3D (like this: http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=86495 - post 8). So the reason I went above and beyone (also with dedicated gfx) was to get a HTPC capable of doing full 1080p 3D - but the question yet remains if it can in fact deliver that Wink

Thanks for the feed back
Peter
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seand Offline
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Post: #178
I dunno. I would assume 3D 1080p file size would essentially be double in size from normal 1080p files so it might top out some ion machines. That thread indicates that there are relatively few places to even get the disks as of yet and that the digital file format for backups isn't even settled yet and that they don't really play in XBMC regardless.

Which is why poofy was recommending the the SBS file format (basically two 720 images forming a 3-d image) as something easier to work with in XBMC and more available as a file format.

I would be highly dubious about running any of that other than the SBS files Poofy mentioned in Linux since as mentioned earlier Linux not does actually unencode Blueray disks currently but esentially rips it "live" to a https stream it then plays back to itself to circumvent blueray encoding. At least as I understand it.

I would expect considerable lag before all this as yet unsettled propietary format 3D stuff settles into an open source standard format on the Linux side. Just as a guess.

On a side note, I'm personally sort of annoyed by the concept of 3D in a home environment. Somehow sitting on my couch and having to where special glasses to watch just feel like opposites to me. I'm sure I'm just being an old fogey about. 3D still always feels kind of gimicky and distracting to me - even in features like Avatar designed for it. It doesn't go with working on a bottle of wine, snacks, ocassionally playing with the dog and his chew toy to me somehow. Maybe its me.

Acer Revo 3610 w/ Ubuntu 10.10, Giada Cube Win 7, 2 ATV 1's one w Crystal HD card, UnRaid server w/ SAB/SickBeard/Couch Potato/Transmission, MacBook Pro, Hackintosh Dell Mini 10v
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Peter42 Offline
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Post: #179
So IF I for some reason would want to watch pure 3D I would have to go with the windows version of xmbc and then PowerDVD to play the 3D movies? Is that correct?

If that is the case, would my build be sufficiant or would I need to upgrade it?

Sorry for my limited knowledge in this area Smile

Best regards
Peter
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CpTHOOK Offline
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Question  Dedicated backup option W/unRAID
Post: #180
Okay...

Now that I've built my unRAID and have TX'd all my files to array will I still need a dedicated Back-Up option either on my unRAID or on a separate machine? What do most unRAID folks do when it comes to backing up data?
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