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Apple TV 3 Vs. Custom HTPC
#1
My old Xbox (and subsequent XBMC installation) is starting to fail on me, and I need to get a replacement soon. As I see it, I have two options:

1. Get a 3rd-gen Apple TV, jailbreak it, and install XBMC. Also, get an external hard drive with UPnP support so I can stream right to the ATV without needing a separate computer
Pros: Cheap, compact, and stylish. Also has all the standard features of an Apple TV.
Cons: Streaming creates a complicated, multi-part setup that is not very portable and streaming in 1080P could be unfeasible with a bad network. Also, the ATV has no local storage.

2. Make my own HTPC out of parts, or buy a premade one.
Pros: High-power, customized setup with tons of flexibility and storage space. Also self-contained and upgradeable.
Cons: Really pricey compared to the former option.

I can't spend a ridiculous amount of money, but storage space is really important to me. What are your recommendations?
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#2
(2012-04-04, 03:30)lisalover1 Wrote: My old Xbox (and subsequent XBMC installation) is starting to fail on me, and I need to get a replacement soon. As I see it, I have two options:

1. Get a 3rd-gen Apple TV, jailbreak it, and install XBMC. Also, get an external hard drive with UPnP support so I can stream right to the ATV without needing a separate computer
Pros: Cheap, compact, and stylish. Also has all the standard features of an Apple TV.
Cons: Streaming creates a complicated, multi-part setup that is not very portable and streaming in 1080P could be unfeasible with a bad network. Also, the ATV has no local storage.

2. Make my own HTPC out of parts, or buy a premade one.
Pros: High-power, customized setup with tons of flexibility and storage space. Also self-contained and upgradeable.
Cons: Really pricey compared to the former option.

I can't spend a ridiculous amount of money, but storage space is really important to me. What are your recommendations?

Well first... I would add a 3rd option(Pre-Built HTPC) lots of options out there http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid...+pre-built

Second..... I would add a highly significant con to your first option. ATV3 has not been JB and there is no perspective ETA on a future JB. I have an ATV3 siting on my closet shelf, USELESS and still in the plastic!

Third......... Hands down your best option would be a DIY HTPC.. Look here!

Good luck with whatever you decide!Wink
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#3
I'm under the assumption that your xbox only supports 720p in which case you could opt for an ATV2 which has been jailbroken and will provide 720p. You would still need to get some sort of attached storage but it is a valid option. However for not much more $$$ you could build your own HTPC which would absolutely blow away the ATV2.
HTPC: Win 7 Home 64-bit | MB | CPU | GPU | RAM | Case | PSU | Tuner | HDDs: OS, Media | DVD Burner | Remote
Media server: unraid 4.7 | CPU | MB | RAM | Case | PSU | HDDs: Parity-2TB, Data-2x2TB
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#4
I've decided to splurge and build an HTPC. I have a spare copy of Windows 7, so I have the software covered. Here are what I have decided for my motherboard and hard drive, and I was just curious if I could fit both a 2.5" SSD and 3.5" HDD into this motherboard:

Mobo: http://www.amazon.com/Socket-AMD-A8-3850...B005UFD6Z6
HDD: http://www.discountsandmore.net/2-5tb-sata-6-gb-s-3-5/
SSD: http://www.mydigitaldiscount.com/mydigit...-inch-ssd/

Looking over all of this, it seems like the minimum cost I could get away with for a respectable HTPC is $600. Does that sound right?
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#5
soundz pricey just for a htpc
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#6
(2012-04-04, 16:57)wsume99 Wrote: I'm under the assumption that your xbox only supports 720p in which case you could opt for an ATV2 which has been jailbroken and will provide 720p. You would still need to get some sort of attached storage but it is a valid option. However for not much more $$$ you could build your own HTPC which would absolutely blow away the ATV2.

It's becoming increasingly difficult to find ATV2's - at least around here. Stores pulled stock, and while you can find used ones, they typically sport ridiculous prices. The cheapest used ATV2 I've found post-shipping weighed in at more than a brand new ATV3.

Of course, without a jailbreak for the 3, there is a usefulness-value debate... but I just can't bring myself to pay more for the previous, low res model than a brand new better one.
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#7
The jailbreak is a value booster. I can get a small fortune for my iPhone 3Gs old boot rom.
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#8
(2012-04-05, 00:38)eskro Wrote: soundz pricey just for a htpc
Yeah, I can't think of a good way to make it cheaper. Confused I might just wait for the ATV3 to get a jailbreak, and get a UPnP-capable external Hard Drive. Any suggestions for one of those?
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#9
Those parts are on the pricy side, although a hard drive is going run more than it should. Using eskro's builds, you can save a ton.

Building a HTPC is very different than building a normal rig. Don't overbuild is the first rule...

The A6-3500 is about $60 cheaper than the 3850, and even that is probably overkill. You don't need the SSD if you're looking to save some cash. Just saw a Seagate Green 2TB drive deal today for $109 after rebate. Kills two birds with one stone.
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#10
(2012-04-04, 22:21)lisalover1 Wrote: I've decided to splurge and build an HTPC. I have a spare copy of Windows 7, so I have the software covered. Here are what I have decided for my motherboard and hard drive, and I was just curious if I could fit both a 2.5" SSD and 3.5" HDD into this motherboard:

Mobo: http://www.amazon.com/Socket-AMD-A8-3850...B005UFD6Z6
HDD: http://www.discountsandmore.net/2-5tb-sata-6-gb-s-3-5/
SSD: http://www.mydigitaldiscount.com/mydigit...-inch-ssd/

Looking over all of this, it seems like the minimum cost I could get away with for a respectable HTPC is $600. Does that sound right?

That SSD probably won't work with most of the motherboards out there currently without an added cable or card. Also, the read/write speeds are atrocious.

Check this out, it'll only cost you about $300:

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6811204035 - $49.99
MOBO/APU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6813157228 - $94.00
SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6820226247 - $74.00
PWS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6817339029 - $39.99
RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6820231308 - $39.99
DVD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6827135204 - $19.99

Now, if you have to have an HDD (I prefer all my media being stored on a server), they have a 3TB external on Amazon right now that you can pop open and use as an internal:
HDD: http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-FreeAgent-...066&sr=1-1 - $149.99

I'm going to be building this HTPC within the next month or so... very excited!
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#11
(2012-04-05, 01:38)wil.fortune Wrote: RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6820231308 - $39.99

I'm going to be building this HTPC within the next month or so... very excited!

lol.....Y not go for 10GB of RAM boss or even 20Wink!

(2012-04-05, 00:48)Wintersdark Wrote: It's becoming increasingly difficult to find ATV2's - at least around here. Stores pulled stock, and while you can find used ones, they typically sport ridiculous prices.

That's for sure! Even the major on-line vendors are charging the ATV2 tax. The ATV3 seems like it could be a gem running XBMC. Only time will tell if it will become possible. In the meantime, DIY HTPC IMHO!
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#12
Just call this guy!

He has a "bran new apple tv"

http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/ele/2882959103.html

My Living Room Theater XBMC Mini-ITX Build
CASE: MI-100 - MOBO: ASRock A75M-ITX - APU: A6-3500
Kingston 4GB 1600MHz - SanDisk 128GB SSD -- DVDRW
W7 HP - Kodi 15 - Confluence

ATV1 w/BCM970015 & Crystalbuntu in the BR

My 12 drive capable 8TB Unraid server - SAB, SB, & CP
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#13
(2012-04-04, 22:21)lisalover1 Wrote: I've decided to splurge and build an HTPC. I have a spare copy of Windows 7, so I have the software covered. Here are what I have decided for my motherboard and hard drive, and I was just curious if I could fit both a 2.5" SSD and 3.5" HDD into this motherboard:

Mobo: http://www.amazon.com/Socket-AMD-A8-3850...B005UFD6Z6
HDD: http://www.discountsandmore.net/2-5tb-sata-6-gb-s-3-5/
SSD: http://www.mydigitaldiscount.com/mydigit...-inch-ssd/

Looking over all of this, it seems like the minimum cost I could get away with for a respectable HTPC is $600. Does that sound right?

(2012-04-05, 02:30)CpTHOOK Wrote:
(2012-04-05, 01:38)wil.fortune Wrote: RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6820231308 - $39.99

I'm going to be building this HTPC within the next month or so... very excited!

lol.....Y not go for 10GB of RAM boss or even 20Wink!

I know it's ridiculous, you don't really need more than 4, but 4 just feels too flimsy. Like at some random moment, I might need more than 4. With that SSD though, you really wouldn't need more than 4. I just saw that one today, but before that I had a 32GB SATAII in this wishlist, so the 8 GB of RAM really seemed more logical at that time Wink

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#14
4 is really fine for an HTPC, with or without an SSD. At 4GB an HTPC isn't going to need to be gnawing on a page file. More RAM is just going to sit there and look cute Smile

I'm building a new htpc this weekend. I've long just left my desktop connected to my TV by a ridiculously long hdmi cable, but it's a beefy monster that eats too much power. Was seriously looking into the aTV thing, but I'm too impatient to wait for a (potential) aTV3 jailbreak and too cheap to pay a premium for the aTV2 - The whole appeal of the aTV with XMBC is that it's really cheap. Take away the cheap, and you're left with underpowered and limited. Meh.

I've looked at that very E-350 ASRock E-350 ASRock board, but I'm concerned about the E-350's ability to handle 1080p playback. I'm waffling between that and eskrow recommended ASRock A75 mITX FM1 and an A6 3500. The A6-3500 build costs about $50 more, and draws twice the power (though still very little overall), but offers enormously more processing power and future-proofing with USB3, support for much faster RAM, etc. Augh, decisions!

RAM, though? At least you can save a lot of money effectively with these little buggers: Pareema 2x2GB DDR3-1333. Never heard of Pareema before, but it got great reviews, and is just $20.
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#15
I recently just built a htpc after coming from a soft modded xbox. Wow, what a difference.

ASRock MB-A75M ($75)
AMD A8-3850 APU ($125)
SilverStone ML03B ($65)
Patriot Memory Torqx 2 Series 64 GB SSD ($65 after MIR)
Kingston Technology HyperX Blu 8GB 1333MHz DDR3 CL9 ($41)
Silverstone 400w psu ($49)
Coolink pmw fan ($12)

Couldn't be happier. Also ordered a Logitec rf keyboard and a hp ir remote and receiver.
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