[WINDOWS] My 2011 HTPC Project, cutting cable with your help!
#1
Hi there, i'm just starting to research my htpc project and i'd like your input. Apologies ahead of time, but I'm posting this on a couple of different boards to get multiple points of view.

Current setup-
wii
DTVPal
Sony BDP-S310 bluray
Sony STR-DG910
Polk center channel
Polk RT-16
Boston Accoustics sub
Verizon Fios motorola box
Phillips 42" HDTC lcd


Goal-
Reduce the footprint of my current setup, improve functionality without losing too much in current content while cutting cable.

What I'm passing up-
I feel like I could cut cable but I would go against my footprint goal.

wii http://goo.gl/PpOS
ZVOX 325
Veebeam
Boxee or Roku
Dlink NAS (4TB)
Sony Bluray
DTVPal

My projected setup (hardware)-
I'm not invested in anyone product. I want to get rid of the elaborate stereo setup for something minimalistic. Do need a graphics card really if I have an i5? Should I stick to the NAS and take the mechanical drives outside of the case? Should I focus on mini ITX or just stick with mini ATX?

ZVOX 325 http://goo.gl/5EAc3
wireless adapter http://goo.gl/ku8gz
TV Tuner http://goo.gl/uT8u
Video card http://goo.gl/hki0
Hard drive x2 http://goo.gl/szgn
Power supply http://goo.gl/rQYq
Memory x2 http://goo.gl/tY61
CPU http://goo.gl/JyaF
Bluray optical http://goo.gl/imP4D
SSD http://goo.gl/STbH
Case http://goo.gl/GNbBI

Budget - I hope to sell the dtvpal, bluray player, receiver, and speakers for 600 and spend 1100 on the replacement components for a $500 out of pocket delta.

My projected setup (software)-
Am I biting off more than I should try to chew here? Am I being redundant?

windows 7 ultimate
mediaportal
xbmc
boxee
zumocast
sabnzbd
sickbeard
couchpotato


Thanks so much for getting through this, i'm hoping to do this right on the first attempt. Please help if you think I'm making any mistakes.
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#2
I'm not familiar with most of the stuff.
Wanting to DVR live TV (OTA) will definitely add complexity.
Unless you get the Boxee box, I don't see a point to consider boxee over XBMC.

If you leave livetv recording out of the mix and go for scene releases, torrents etc, it will simplify your life.
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#3
Did you think about maybe having two computers? One to manage movies and shows you recorded with the capture card and one small computer to view all the content?

The reason why I suggest this is if you want to edit videos you recorded or ripped dvds/blurays you own it might be easier way of dealing with it.


I have a server which is basically another computer with all my media on it in my office. I do all my dvd ripping and torrent stuff on this and if I want to convert videos.

Then I have a XBMC box in my living room to view every thing. That way if I need to do anything with the videos I don't have to grab a keyboard and plug it into my streamer in the living room.

My 2 cents..

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#4
Thats pretty much my setup. I actually have 3 systems.
1 - Revo which is my Win7/XBMC box.
2 - Win7 w/file shares with a 2 TB drive.. Soon to be expanded.
I'll hopefully add a tv tuner/dvr into it
3 - Desktop which my day to day, as well as downloading, renaming, and then file copies media to file server.

Soon I'll have an additional Revo, for another bedroom.
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#5
thanks for the input thus far. some comments that might shift the discussion:

  • i don't necessarily care about recording live tv, i just would like to pause it if necessary.

  • i would probably lean towards ripping my bluray discs, but i'm just worried about the size per movie. is it reasonable to expect 4gb per film?

  • i would really like to avoid multiple boxes. one of my goals going into this is to reduce the overall footprint. i can't say that i would be opposed to having a NAS.

should i focus instead on a revo with a usb tv tuner and xbmc? the problem i have with that is now i'm looking at a usb bluray optical. Sad
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#6
4 GB would be pretty conservative. It depends on your quality and encoding. I've seen BR rips that are 12-24 GBs
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#7
choebear Wrote:[*]i don't necessarily care about recording live tv, i just would like to pause it if necessary.

Live TV support is in rapid development and isn't ready for general use yet. There is a way to get the development PVR branch to work on Windows, but if you are new to this leave this for the last thing.

If you really want live TV pausing from the get go, I can help you with getting a HDHomerun to work. With one of those you playback the actual stream so you can:

A. Pause it

B. Not need the PVR work.

Quote:[*]i would probably lean towards ripping my bluray discs, but i'm just worried about the size per movie. is it reasonable to expect 4gb per film?

Pure Blu Ray rips are 30+gbs. Decent re-encodes are 10gb. 4gb is the absolute basement for 720p stuff. This is why you want a NAS.

Quote:[*]i would really like to avoid multiple boxes. one of my goals going into this is to reduce the overall footprint. i can't say that i would be opposed to having a NAS.

NAS + Frontends are always the best setup.

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#8
30GB!! WOW!

So let's say I did NAS and frontend...


Can I keep a front end all in one box that can handle everything I'm looking for?

How much should I expect to spend on a NAS; and a front end that does what I want?

Based on that, I'll probably readjust my scenario.
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#9
choebear Wrote:Can I keep a front end all in one box that can handle everything I'm looking for?

Sure. In fact I you should look into prebuilt systems like one of these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6883114087

I like that one for its more powerful CPU compared to ION systems.

Quote:How much should I expect to spend on a NAS

Depends on the size you want. You can make a 10 bay NAS really cheaply with an Antec 300.

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#10
should i go with something like this then if i want bluray built in and a usb tuner? i just worry about stuttering on playback or pausing live tv without a dedicated gpu.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6856158014


and this with 2 2tb drives: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...llHelpful1
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#11
n/m
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#12
choebear Wrote:should i go with something like this then if i want bluray built in and a usb tuner? i just worry about stuttering on playback or pausing live tv without a dedicated gpu.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6856158014

That CPU is enough to cut through anything, no matter the GPU. That box is an extremely safe play.

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#13
thanks poof, i was hoping you would be the main contributor in my thread.

so, updated schematic, at least hardware:

This will be my do all front end:
ASRock Core 100HT-BD HTPC - 650

I'm thinking about replacing the hard drive that comes with it for this: OCZ Vertex Series OCZSSD2-1VTX30GXXX 2.5" 30GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) ~100

I'll pick one of these up for my harmony 880 remote: HP Media Center IR Infrared USB Receiver OVU400103/00 ~ 20

I'll need this to watch OTA channels: 500Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-850 HDTV Adapter 1200 USB 2.0 Interface -55

I'll opt for a standard NAS rather than roll my own:
D-Link DNS-343 Diskless System 4-Bay Network Storage Enclosure -400

I'll start with one of these and add as I go:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 2TB 5400 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - 100

This will replace my current stereo:
ZVOX 325 Cabinet Speaker - 150 used

at 1475, this is not exactly budget, but not overly extravagant in my opinion. like i mentioned before, i plan to sell a lot of of my current equipment, hopefully for 600. hopefully prices drop a little when i decide to pull the trigger in a few months. i may switch primarily to the boxee box if they make some firmware upgrades, that's part of the reason why i'm waiting. the tougher part is getting the software right. that will be next. for now, am i missing anything?
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#14
choebear Wrote:I'll start with one of these and add as I go:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD204UI 2TB 5400 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - 100

Becareful with those drives. They have trouble with some NASes/RAID Arrays. Make sure the NAS you want is compatible.

Otherwise it looks like a great setup, and if you need more help please ask.

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#15
poofyhairguy Wrote:Becareful with those drives. They have trouble with some NASes/RAID Arrays. Make sure the NAS you want is compatible.

Okay that scares me a bit, what do you mean by this? I can't just throw any SATA compatible drive in?
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