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My HTPC...a failure

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dagamer34

Platinum Member
Aug 15, 2005
2,592
0
71
Here's the setup I've implemented which my roommate seems to have figured out:

1) Live TV - WMC via Xbox 360 connected to Mac mini running Windows 8.
2) Downloaded TV - Plex via Roku (Plex Server running on Mac mini)
3) Downloaded Movies - Plex via Roku (Plex Server running on Mac mini)
3) Netflix - Roku
4) Amazon Instant Video - Roku
5) Hulu Plus - Roku
6) Blurays - PS3

This setup gives pretty great flexibility, ability to watch TV shows and movies on any device with Plex installed, even a web browser remotely over the Internet via Plex Web ($3.99/month). My key insight is that family members and friends should NEVER interact with an HTPC directly, but instead dedicated boxes. HTPCs are too unstable, not-remote friendly enough (even with an IR receiver installed), and anything that requires a keyboard in the living room is asking for trouble. Plus, no having to deal with drivers for video output or the system crashing.
 

colonelciller

Senior member
Sep 29, 2012
916
0
0
Why bother then? What you just described is a Blu-Ray player with MKV and WiFi capability. :D
  • Huge video library available at the click of a button
  • Huge audio library available at the click of a button
  • Uncompromised Internet browsing if desired
  • Freedom from DRM and Intolerable Blu-Ray Disc "Features"
  • No TV room clutter
  • Zero moving parts (silent)
  • no WiFi (where it's possible)... cable connection is so much better
the problem with gaming on an HTPC is that people start to build a full-fledged computer (read graphics card) eliminates the possibility for having a completely silent appliance. If you don't mind the fan noise then no biggie, but if you want silence... gaming just kills the build. Admittedly its a personal preference thing, however people should know that absolute serene silence is a possibility.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,210
38
91
I didn't know you can do that. That's kind of bad in some ways. The kids not interacting with other kids will problems later on. Need socialization.

:D
Are you sure this sort of value judgement is appropriate, given the dearth of information? Certainly your comment is not at all topical.
No harm, no foul... we are used to it, anyway. As far as socialization... that's what TaeKwon-Do, dancing, field trips, horseback riding, the 10-odd out-of-town trips we take a year are for. It keeps her out of the Government School system and arguing with her teacher over whether or not she has to eat her bread crusts at lunch (true story.)

Now, back to our regularly scheduled HTPC thread... :biggrin:
 

Raduque

Lifer
Aug 22, 2004
13,132
133
106
I've built 4 HTPCs since I started building them. I've used Windows Media Center exclusively.

IMO, the emphasis should be on the "HT" of "HTPC" not the "PC". An HTPC interface should be seamless and usable; one should not know it's a PC.

You should be able to access EVERY feature the "HT"PC offers via a remote. Networked media, live and recorded TV, DVD, BRD and Music.

If you have to use a keyboard and mouse on an HTPC, you have failed at building one.
 

colonelciller

Senior member
Sep 29, 2012
916
0
0
If you have to use a keyboard and mouse on an HTPC, you have failed at building one.
If you have to scroll through >10,000 songs or down lists of hundreds and hundreds of artists looking for the right one then you have failed at building an HTPC. Keyboards are mandatory.

opinions, everyone has one. ;)
 

crashtech

Diamond Member
Jan 4, 2013
9,532
1,447
126
I know audiophiles are that way, but I remember what we used to put up with even with a high-end tape deck, so nearly inaudible fan noise can be put in context even in this age of digital audio with inaudible noise floors. Besides, my "HT" PC is so quiet, I can only hear it when there is nothing playing and nothing else going on, especially because we watch from about 10' away, so the noise is attenuated some by that distance.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,210
38
91
IMO, the emphasis should be on the "HT" of "HTPC" not the "PC". An HTPC interface should be seamless and usable; one should not know it's a PC.

You should be able to access EVERY feature the "HT"PC offers via a remote. Networked media, live and recorded TV, DVD, BRD and Music.

If you have to use a keyboard and mouse on an HTPC, you have failed at building one.
I use a remote for the HT part of my HTPC, I use and prefer a mouse and keyboard to maintain the PC part of it.

To each his own... everyone has a different vision for what their HTPC's final shape and purpose will be.
 

Raduque

Lifer
Aug 22, 2004
13,132
133
106
colonelciller, WMC includes a realtime search function and all of my remotes have a phone keypad-like text input interface. Everybody that had an old flip phone can use it, and it works well.

I use a remote for the HT part of my HTPC, I use and prefer a mouse and keyboard to maintain the PC part of it.

To each his own... everyone has a different vision for what their HTPC's final shape and purpose will be.
IMO, the "PC" part should be non-existent except as the platform, on a device designed to integrate with modern HT equipment and be operated from many feet away, by a non-technical user base.

By all means use the keyboard and mouse to maintain the PC, I do (I also remote in through VNC), but it shouldn't be the primary input device for every day usage of the simple, user-friendly 10-ft UI.



Not only that, but I, for one, obviously fail to recognize you as the ultimate authority on the subject.
Never said I was. Every paragraph following the one starting with "IMO" was, actually, in my opinion. This isn't ATOT, I didn't feel I needed to quantify every line with "IMO".
 
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Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,210
38
91
IMO, the "PC" part should be non-existent except as the platform, on a device designed to integrate with modern HT equipment and be operated from many feet away, by a non-technical user base.

By all means use the keyboard and mouse to maintain the PC, I do (I also remote in through VNC), but it shouldn't be the primary input device for every day usage of the simple, user-friendly 10-ft UI.
Then you and I are pretty much in agreement... :biggrin:

by a non-technical user base.
That would describe my wife and daughter. I think my turtles have more technical knowledge... ;)

My HTPC is set to open right into WMC and can be easily navigated with a WMC remote, including into Netflix.
 

SolMiester

Diamond Member
Dec 19, 2004
5,331
17
76
I've built 4 HTPCs since I started building them. I've used Windows Media Center exclusively.

IMO, the emphasis should be on the "HT" of "HTPC" not the "PC". An HTPC interface should be seamless and usable; one should not know it's a PC.

You should be able to access EVERY feature the "HT"PC offers via a remote. Networked media, live and recorded TV, DVD, BRD and Music.

If you have to use a keyboard and mouse on an HTPC, you have failed at building one.
Do you have very big selections of media?, I ask as I have around 50k in songs and around 1k in films, to wit, WMC seems to die scrolling around trying to read the files....I gave up on it...
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,210
38
91
Do you have very big selections of media?, I ask as I have around 50k in songs and around 1k in films, to wit, WMC seems to die scrolling around trying to read the files....I gave up on it...
It does... install the Media Browser snap-in and try that! MB smokes the standard WMC media listings. Very fast and easy to manage.
 

Goros

Member
Dec 16, 2008
107
0
0
If your wife can't come home from work, push a button on a remote and find what she wants, you have failed.

WAF is everything.
 

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