Elite Computers
REGISTER Other People All Forums Active Topics Contact Staff Enter a PC Buy a PC Forum Search Forum Help Main Forum menuNoLogin Image Map
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

Who's here at 4:55:07 AM on 11/21/2017?
 All Forums
 Computer Forums
 Computer Specific Topics
 What OS for my HTPC?
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

outbackshaq
Better Poster
MY PC

Canada
380 Posts

Posted - 06/24/2012 :  08:21:33 AM  Show Profile  Click to see outbackshaq's MSN Messenger address  Send outbackshaq a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Just ordered the parts for my home theater PC! I'm excited to start assembling it when it arrives. I'm only wondering about one thing right now, and that's what version of windows 7 would be best to put in it. I only wonder because it has to play blu ray in full 1080p, over hdmi (so far not integrated sound, but maybe in the future), possibly 3D (again, not right now, but maybe in the future). I want the smallest version of windows 7 that will still let me do all this, because it's going to be sitting in a 60GB SSD (Already purchased) and I'd like to have as much space free without sacrificing HTPC needs. Any advice?

if you wanted to know the parts list, this is what I ordered:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138293

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136246

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811204042

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150612

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103886

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231189

The only thing not here is that I have a 60GB SSD for the boot drive, and a terabyte drive for movie storage. I also currently have a Radeon HD 4650 that will go in instead if it can handle the blu ray playback (If no then the 7750 goes in)

There's always a work around ;)

WheelSmoke
Advanced Member
MY PC

USA
1255 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2012 :  1:58:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A HTPC should have encoding hardware that I do not see?

But if thats true there is no way I have the skills/experience to talk about video hardware myself. So maybe describing my XP system's video performance with the ATI HD 4650 display card and a HDTV Wonder tuner card installed will be of some use.

The computer has never seen enough load on the CPU to count by video because its all get done by hardware on the ATI cards when both a supported ATI/AMD tuner-encoder card and Radeon series display card are installed. (ATI calls it full video dedicated video hardware from end to end or something like that.)

or...
Something like capturing a HDTV show in real-time put my CPU load at about 2%.
Something like converting old VHS tapes to DVD or doing projects with Adobe Premier Elements in the background has never caused a noticeable load (did that for a month one time) when I have then running in the background.





Go to Top of Page

BigDOGGe
Administrator
MY PC

USA
566 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2012 :  5:18:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I did a little research on using WIndows 7 for a home theater system. According to a number of sites dedicated to the topic:

"...Home Premium is all you really need for an HTPC."


If you want to collect more info on the subject:

Click here
for info on WIndows 7 and home theater systems.

Go to Top of Page

KC
Head Honcho
MY PC

USA
3052 Posts

Posted - 06/25/2012 :  9:41:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had every intention of building a PC based home theater for years but it always came down to same problem, ease of use for how I entertain myself.

In short what I could do in the dark with a TV type remote control.
No keyboard, no mouse, just a single remote for everything and I have that now.

I based mine on my cable company's HD dual tuner DVR box and 4 device programmable remote. The only thing that could possibly be better would be voice recognition with a mic where I sit so I could just give it verbal commands like:

Turn on TV.
Pause the show on current tuner.
Jump to the other turner.
Play what is buffered up there.
Pause that and show me the TV guide.
Change this tuner to X station and pause.
Show me my already recorded shows.
Play X recorded show.
Turn on big amp 5.1 digital audio for this show.
Stop and remember where I am on this recorded show and switch to BluRay.
Play disc in unit.
Stop disc in BluRay and bring up it's Internet Netflicks menu.
Play X netflicks show.
Switch BR to YouTube videos.
Switch BR to Pandora radio.
Switch TV back to Tuner input and check both tuners buffers and shows.
Screw it, nothings on, shut it all off but the amp and play me X radio station.

In short one pretty easy to use remote with its own back-light button in case it's an odd button that controls the TV, DVR, BluRay and Amp in a consistent manner and each piece excels at what it does.

The majority of my entertainment comes in HD via cable and it's HD DVR box.
So many people just don't get that if it has Picture in Picture (PiP) it has 2 tuners and both buffer independently.

Set the PiP to full screen too and jump between them, pause, rewind or FF though whatever the 1/2 hour buffer has, or have them both recording different channels while you watch something like a 'Season Pass' show that was already recorded which I do for all my favorite shows, with theater sound or just good TV sound, etc.

All of that of course is one way media.
If you want to interact or upload then ya a HTPC is the way to go but regardless if you are anything like me I have a PC for that and when I hit the couch in the theater room I want massive amount choices from one little TV type remote.

One last detail is your TV entertainment delivery system, my cable system also does my Internet and phone and you need a Cable Card in your tuner for TV, so strict here in fact I couldn't even go back to a real TiVo box hard but glad I didn't other than it's program guide, I really liked it.

Bottom Line if I were you is find the most kick butt remote that will work with the box then design around that.
That, and don't discount dual independent tuners with 1/2 hour HD buffers, I use that constantly especially in the morning for the news.

I'll set one tuner to one channel and the other to a different one and just pause and jump between the two when a commercial comes on then FF past the ads when I come back to that channel.
I can't even remember the last time an entire 5 minute commercial break actually displayed on my TV ;-}






KC's Kruisers - It's all how you look at things
Go to Top of Page

BigDOGGe
Administrator
MY PC

USA
566 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2012 :  10:58:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KC
I can't even remember the last time an entire 5 minute commercial break actually displayed on my TV ;-}





I can't remember the last time I turned on my television. There's nothing new on I care to see anymore (not a "dancing with the stars" kind of guy I guess ), and I've watched reruns of good programs to death years ago.


Movies and news, I watch on my desktop. Plus all the programs I DO like to watch are available on the 'tube site to view on MY schedule... Works for me.


.

Go to Top of Page

WheelSmoke
Advanced Member
MY PC

USA
1255 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2012 :  11:20:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Sorry about being somewhat off topic again Outbackshaq.

KC, It looks like the some TV tuner cards are getting pretty nifty these days as well. (cable or antenna) Although I have never actually owned a cable TV card and the one below is the first 4 tuner card I've noticed.

This seems to be the popular (upper end) tuner card for HTPC's Ceton InfiniTV 4 PCIe - 4-channel Internal Cable TV Tuner Card along with Harmony remotes.

Personally I think the broadcast TV I get from my antenna on the roof seems so much better than the local cable TV it's not even funny.




Go to Top of Page

outbackshaq
Better Poster
MY PC

Canada
380 Posts

Posted - 06/26/2012 :  8:25:05 PM  Show Profile  Click to see outbackshaq's MSN Messenger address  Send outbackshaq a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Alright well thanks for the advice. Sounds like home premium will be good enough. And we already have a PVR so I have no interest in a tuner card. This HTPC is purely for Blu Rays, downloaded videos, and streamed videos. We're sticking with this HTPC keyboard I found for controls. It's simpler in that my family knows how to use a keyboard for PC http://ncix.com/products/?sku=68507&vpn=KB178RT&manufacture=Others&promoid=1360 I've been using it for a few months now and it's good for what it will be used for.

There's always a work around ;)
Go to Top of Page

WheelSmoke
Advanced Member
MY PC

USA
1255 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2012 :  09:53:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My system would no longer really be a HTPC without some kind of encoder card installed. The tv tuner parts optional.





Go to Top of Page

Mebla
Better Poster
MY PC

USA
121 Posts

Posted - 06/30/2012 :  11:41:20 AM  Show Profile  Click to see Mebla's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
i hope you looked up your mobo specs to see wich amd cpu's and wich sticks of ram work best with it... itle save you alot of time and money down the road if you do. didn't see a sound card in there(wich i guess really dosnt matter now adays seeing as haow most mobo's come with 7.1 built in) I would look into getting a good 1 if this is going to be your entertainment center :P im not to sure about the 4650 if it supports 3d but i had a 4670 befor and it could run skyrim on ultra so you should be fine. good luck with your project!!
Go to Top of Page

outbackshaq
Better Poster
MY PC

Canada
380 Posts

Posted - 06/30/2012 :  10:00:14 PM  Show Profile  Click to see outbackshaq's MSN Messenger address  Send outbackshaq a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I didn't opt for a sound card because as of right now the "Surround Sound" system we have doesn't have surround sound inputs (only left and right audio) so Im using onboard sound in that regard. And I'm happy to report that I have everything installed and up and running. it runs beautifully and currently boots in 20 seconds from the second I press the power button, and turns off faster than the tv does XD I'll have a my pc page up sometime soon.

There's always a work around ;)
Go to Top of Page

WheelSmoke
Advanced Member
MY PC

USA
1255 Posts

Posted - 07/02/2012 :  10:43:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
boots in 20 seconds
Awsomeness...




Go to Top of Page

Mebla
Better Poster
MY PC

USA
121 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2012 :  07:03:55 AM  Show Profile  Click to see Mebla's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by WheelSmoke

quote:
boots in 20 seconds
Awsomeness...




win7 has amazing boot up time i have it installed on my cheep 40gig hdd from 2005 and it boots up around that fast too. outback if you got 40 bucks to spend just buy a cheap 1 you will notice a difference in depth of sound
Go to Top of Page

outbackshaq
Better Poster
MY PC

Canada
380 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2012 :  09:36:10 AM  Show Profile  Click to see outbackshaq's MSN Messenger address  Send outbackshaq a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Huh. I uploaded all the specs for my HTPC here, and it's there in the my pc page. but it didn't create a forum topic for it?

There's always a work around ;)
Go to Top of Page

KC
Head Honcho
MY PC

USA
3052 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2012 :  12:42:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by outbackshaq

I didn't opt for a sound card because as of right now the "Surround Sound" system we have doesn't have surround sound inputs...
it runs beautifully and currently boots in 20 seconds from the second I press the power button
Cool, but sound is a pretty important part, to me anyway.

Not for everything mind you, in fact most TV I just watch with TV sound, but Blu-Ray, Netflicks, or a good movie or show my DVR recorded the amp gets a Power ON Baby! hehehe ;-}

It's almost embarrassing when I make my living room theater fill with sound that rivals the real theater experience.

5.1 but true 5.1 with a a nice dual speaker center, powered bass with it's own power and volume control, and 4 real man old school 3 way speakers (The big suckers), one in each corner of the room aimed just right and level adjusted from the amp I can control with the same remote I control everything else with.

As I mentioned before, a PC can make a cool home entertainment center controller, but unless you can't do sound and a use remote that can control everything... ya know what I mean?


KC's Kruisers - It's all how you look at things
Go to Top of Page

outbackshaq
Better Poster
MY PC

Canada
380 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2012 :  02:47:12 AM  Show Profile  Click to see outbackshaq's MSN Messenger address  Send outbackshaq a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
If I can find a good universal remote to control our tv, computer, pvr/tuner, and stereo then I'd be happy to put that in. but as of right now I hear talk of how many IR setups get interference from plasma tvs. And it occurs to me that I do have a sound card that isn't being used sitting in the Dell in my room (I use front audio jacks a lot, and the rest of the case is too old to plug into the card) so I could put that into the htpc (Creative Labs EMU10K1 Audio Chipset (SB Live!)) . but again. the surround sound system we have, currently doesn't actually have surround sound input. the only way to get surround sound is by playing dvds in it internally. and my family hasn't even bothered to put the rear speakers in place. The tv only has optical audio out which is incompatible (duh) with the stereo. so the only thing that goes through the stereo is the HTPC (which is fine because it's the only place we watch movies). I definitly know what it's like to have the 3 way speaker system KC. I Bought a 30 year old speaker system from a garage sale to put in my room. it's got tweeters, mids, a ported subwoofer, they're big, beautiful and wooded. it's nice and oomfy :) . I don't know what you mean by "Unless you can't do sound" though. it is hooked up to the stereo. just it's only RCAs that are hooked up to it directly. si that means even if my card can handle 7.1 or 5.1 surround. there's no where for that signal to go.

There's always a work around ;)
Go to Top of Page

WheelSmoke
Advanced Member
MY PC

USA
1255 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2012 :  4:42:26 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If your wallets fat enough I'm sure one of those Logitech Harmony 15 device remotes with the RF features can do most anything. Only $350 for the high end models. ($29 - $350)

But Home Depot has a GE universal remote (4 dev) for $9.99 that I liked so much that I went back and got two more for the bedroom TV's.

--- edit
Almost forgot the computer is actually in another room and has a RF type remote I would still need to use for watching it in the other room TV's. LoL Basically it works in all the rooms but doing it is silly.





Edited by - WheelSmoke on 07/12/2012 01:26:05 AM
Go to Top of Page

Mebla
Better Poster
MY PC

USA
121 Posts

Posted - 07/18/2012 :  2:40:12 PM  Show Profile  Click to see Mebla's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
quote:
it's got tweeters, mids, a ported subwoofer, they're big, beautiful and wooded. it's nice and oomfy :) .


oh yeah got a few of those in the garage.. cant use both because the garage just dosnt have enough power. Even so i dare not turn them all the way up for fear of the cops showing up from the 5 block radius amount of rock!

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4459743&Sku=C44-3400

this is the card i got (probably a little bit newer) but its 30 bucks and itle do the job and its even got a line in!
witch you will find a use for!
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Elite Computers Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000