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Anyone using a NUC for their HTPC?

Booty

Senior member
Aug 4, 2000
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I've been waiting for something I can tuck behind my TV... kicked around buying a laptop but glad I waited as it looks like the NUC is what I want. I run Windows Media Center and Media Browser, primarily because I run our live TV through WMC with a HD Homerun Prime. Otherwise I'd probably look at something else like XBMC...

Anyway, just looking for some feedback from any current owners. Thanks!
 

Dirigible

Diamond Member
Apr 26, 2006
5,950
7
81
Been using mine for over a year. It's great. Tiny. A real computer - I have the original i3 version. Live TV with hdhomerun. DVR with recordings transferred to home server since I have little local storage. Lots of playback of Netflix and HD content over my home network.
 

Booty

Senior member
Aug 4, 2000
977
0
0
Been using mine for over a year. It's great. Tiny. A real computer - I have the original i3 version. Live TV with hdhomerun. DVR with recordings transferred to home server since I have little local storage. Lots of playback of Netflix and HD content over my home network.
Cool - running Windows 7 I take it? What did you use for ram and storage? Thanks for the feedback!
 

Dirigible

Diamond Member
Apr 26, 2006
5,950
7
81
Yes. Windows 7.

I don't remember what ram/ssd and am too lazy to open it up to look. Nothing special for either one though. Bought 8gb ram and 120 GB msata ssd, whatever was cheap and decently reviewed.

Kind of wish I got a slightly bigger ssd for DVR duties. Occasionally when recording multiple long HD shows at once, the ssd fills up and I lose a scheduled recording. Pretty rare though. Normally things are transferred automatically to the home server upon completion of recording and it's not an issue.
 

Dirigible

Diamond Member
Apr 26, 2006
5,950
7
81
I think someone posted recently about a NUC with a less capable CPU being not quite powerful enough. Don't remember exactly which version it was. My i3 has been fine for everything.

Oh, and for some reason I was having issues with pixelation of the TV signal when I first got it. I tried a plugable USB Ethernet adapter instead of the provided Ethernet on the NUC and it worked perfectly. I don't have any clue what is going on there or if anyone else has had that issue. It worked so I didn't spend any more time on it.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,481
451
126
I use a newer Haswell i3 NUC as a HTPC, and it works fine. As for software, I use Windows 7 with WMC and PLEX. WMC is just for TV via a Ceton InfiniTV 6 ETH tuner. PLEX handles all of my shared media that's on my file server, and it puts a menu option in WMC so you can easily launch the software (you can do this with XBMC via free third-party software). If you open PLEX using that menu option in WMC, WMC will reopen when you close PLEX.

I'm not 100% sure, but you might just be able to use PLEX without entering WMC. I'm wondering what would happen if you started recording something in WMC, closed WMC (it will still record), and then opened the WTV file in PLEX. WMC will constantly pull in new data while you're watching the video, but I don't know if PLEX will.

EDIT:

As for hardware, I use...

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 8GB (2x4GB) SO-DIMM - This set was on sale for $50 in December, which is a fantastic deal.
SSD: Crucial M500 120GB mSATA SSD - I didn't think that I needed that much room. I probably would've been comfortable with about 90GB, but I wasn't keen on having 60GB. Some media programs like to store or cache metadata files locally. My PLEX folder uses around 10GB!
WAN: Intel 7260HMW 802.11ac + BT 4.0 - I don't really use WiFi on any of my set-top devices unless I absolutely have to (like on the Wii U), but I mostly got this because I need Bluetooth for my Logitech MediaBoard Pro. By using the internal card, I don't have to sacrifice one of the four USB ports for a Bluetooth adapter. As a note, that's a really nice keyboard for HTPC purposes. My only complaint is that it lacks a Windows key since it's designed for a PS3.
 
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Booty

Senior member
Aug 4, 2000
977
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0
For anyone interested, I pulled the trigger on the Intel D34010WYK kit and am pretty happy with it so far. This isn't our 'main' HTPC - it's in a room that we don't watch as much in, so there's no surround sound setup and it's just hooked up to an old Toshiba 40" LCD.

That said, it's been great... exactly what I was looking for, really. I screwed the VESA mount to the wall with drywall screws and tucked the little guy back there. The IR sensor still works back there (actually didn't realize it had one built in before it arrived yesterday), so I can ditch the one that came with my cheapo WMC remote.

Now I just have to run a new outlet behind there to had the cables running up the wall and everything will be neatly hidden behind the screen.

Oh, running Windows 7 with WMC and Media Browser 3... HDHomerun Prime for live TV. 8 gigs of ram and just a ~60 gig Plextor mSATA SSD, so I won't be doing much of any recording from this system until I automate moving recordings to my server. But, again, very happy with it so far! Thanks to everyone who provided feedback to help make my decision.
 

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