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Noob needs help with HTPC build

bangbounce

Junior Member
Sep 5, 2013
15
0
0
Basically I have over 400 DVD's I usually rip these into xbox 360 format with DVDFab. Then stream them to my xbox with Tversity. I am ready for a new machine, the one I do this on now is big, LOUD, low on space and just plain old. I want to build a real HTPC. My main wants are small, very quiet, and lots of storage (for those DVD rips)

This thing will only be used to rip and stream movies, internet use and occasional word processing.

I want to get some of the best internal TB drives there are, very quiet fans (hear noctua is great). I may get a small SSD just as a boot drive.

Anywho what are yall's recommendations on everything, even including how I stream because I know there are other ways that could be easier/better. If you guys could suggest parts and other advice as to how I should do this it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys. :D
 

Medikit

Senior member
Feb 15, 2006
338
0
76
Basically I have over 400 DVD's I usually rip these into xbox 360 format with DVDFab. Then stream them to my xbox with Tversity. I am ready for a new machine, the one I do this on now is big, LOUD, low on space and just plain old. I want to build a real HTPC. My main wants are small, very quiet, and lots of storage (for those DVD rips)

This thing will only be used to rip and stream movies, internet use and occasional word processing.

I want to get some of the best internal TB drives there are, very quiet fans (hear noctua is great). I may get a small SSD just as a boot drive.

Anywho what are yall's recommendations on everything, even including how I stream because I know there are other ways that could be easier/better. If you guys could suggest parts and other advice as to how I should do this it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys. :D
I would consider building an intel NUC system and then using an external hard drive for your movies.
 

bangbounce

Junior Member
Sep 5, 2013
15
0
0
What do you guys think about the way I am streaming? Are there better options that I should consider. I know hardware pretty well, was just getting all yalls opinons on what you would do. I don't really need a step by step guide to building a PC but thanks for the info anyway.:)
 

bangbounce

Junior Member
Sep 5, 2013
15
0
0
I would consider building an intel NUC system and then using an external hard drive for your movies.
Thanks for this! I had never heard of a NUC before, after doing a little research it looks very promising. Im not a huge fan of external storage but, we'll have to see what I can do with it. Another, thing is no internal optical drive. Hmm
 
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smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
It sounds like you want a media server, not an HTPC.

You didn't give us much info to work with so I'll venture out and guess. You also didn't mention a budget so I am going to assume it is modest.

Since you are talking about ripping and streaming, you are also talking about transcoding. Since you are talking about Tversity, I would assume you are familiar with what that entails. You'll need at least 3TB of storage, so:

CPU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819113343
MB - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813130661
Memory - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820231396
HDD x 3 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148834
PSU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ilder%20series
Case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...0define%20mini
CPU Fan - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835103065
OS - http://www.freenas.org/
Flash Drive for OS - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820139999

FreeNAS is a free OS that runs off of the flash drive so you won't pay for the OS or need HDD space for the OS.

3 x 2TB in a RAIDz1 will give you 4TB of parity protected storage. Striped array with these drives will be FAST. Because it runs ZFS, your data will also be about as resistant to errors as possible. The case comes with 2 fans that are quiet enough on their own and come with a fan controller. CPU cooler is also very quiet at stock. CPU is low power 65W and has onboard graphics. Since the OS is Linux based and only using 4TB of storage, you won't need more than 4GB. If you decided to add a 4th HDD (6TB of storage), go to 8GB of memory.

Dump Tversity and get the Plex plugin for FreeNAS and use it to set up your library, stream and transcode. I didn't do the math, but you'll be into it about $500-$600. It might be a little larger than you wanted, but you can shove it into just about any corner. It will be cool, quiet and fast.

If you think you may need to stream High Definition video/movies in the future, you'll wanna upgrade to this CPU or something comparable:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819113288

Why would you need an internal optical drive?

EDIT: I failed to notice that you also want to do some basic computing, too. Dump the FreeNAS option and the flash drive in favor of Windows 7. You'll only need as many drives as you need space since it won't need an extra drive for parity but it won't be protected at all. Optical drives are pretty much a commodity so don't stress that choice much. I still stand by my statement of dumping Tversity and getting something like Plex.
 
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bangbounce

Junior Member
Sep 5, 2013
15
0
0
It sounds like you want a media server, not an HTPC.

You didn't give us much info to work with so I'll venture out and guess. You also didn't mention a budget so I am going to assume it is modest.

Since you are talking about ripping and streaming, you are also talking about transcoding. Since you are talking about Tversity, I would assume you are familiar with what that entails. You'll need at least 3TB of storage, so:

CPU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819113343
MB - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813130661
Memory - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820231396
HDD x 3 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148834
PSU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ilder%20series
Case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...0define%20mini
CPU Fan - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835103065
OS - http://www.freenas.org/
Flash Drive for OS - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820139999

FreeNAS is a free OS that runs off of the flash drive so you won't pay for the OS or need HDD space for the OS.

3 x 2TB in a RAIDz1 will give you 4TB of parity protected storage. Striped array with these drives will be FAST. Because it runs ZFS, your data will also be about as resistant to errors as possible. The case comes with 2 fans that are quiet enough on their own and come with a fan controller. CPU cooler is also very quiet at stock. CPU is low power 65W and has onboard graphics. Since the OS is Linux based and only using 4TB of storage, you won't need more than 4GB. If you decided to add a 4th HDD (6TB of storage), go to 8GB of memory.

Dump Tversity and get the Plex plugin for FreeNAS and use it to set up your library, stream and transcode. I didn't do the math, but you'll be into it about $500-$600. It might be a little larger than you wanted, but you can shove it into just about any corner. It will be cool, quiet and fast.

If you think you may need to stream High Definition video/movies in the future, you'll wanna upgrade to this CPU or something comparable:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819113288
Wow thanks man. Awesome job, although that NUC is tempting.

The internal optical was going to be for ripping and burning files.
 
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bangbounce

Junior Member
Sep 5, 2013
15
0
0

bangbounce

Junior Member
Sep 5, 2013
15
0
0
It sounds like you want a media server, not an HTPC.

You didn't give us much info to work with so I'll venture out and guess. You also didn't mention a budget so I am going to assume it is modest.

Since you are talking about ripping and streaming, you are also talking about transcoding. Since you are talking about Tversity, I would assume you are familiar with what that entails. You'll need at least 3TB of storage, so:

CPU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819113343
MB - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813130661
Memory - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820231396
HDD x 3 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148834
PSU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ilder%20series
Case - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...0define%20mini
CPU Fan - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835103065
OS - http://www.freenas.org/
Flash Drive for OS - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820139999

FreeNAS is a free OS that runs off of the flash drive so you won't pay for the OS or need HDD space for the OS.

3 x 2TB in a RAIDz1 will give you 4TB of parity protected storage. Striped array with these drives will be FAST. Because it runs ZFS, your data will also be about as resistant to errors as possible. The case comes with 2 fans that are quiet enough on their own and come with a fan controller. CPU cooler is also very quiet at stock. CPU is low power 65W and has onboard graphics. Since the OS is Linux based and only using 4TB of storage, you won't need more than 4GB. If you decided to add a 4th HDD (6TB of storage), go to 8GB of memory.

Dump Tversity and get the Plex plugin for FreeNAS and use it to set up your library, stream and transcode. I didn't do the math, but you'll be into it about $500-$600. It might be a little larger than you wanted, but you can shove it into just about any corner. It will be cool, quiet and fast.

If you think you may need to stream High Definition video/movies in the future, you'll wanna upgrade to this CPU or something comparable:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819113288

Why would you need an internal optical drive?

EDIT: I failed to notice that you also want to do some basic computing, too. Dump the FreeNAS option and the flash drive in favor of Windows 7. You'll only need as many drives as you need space since it won't need an extra drive for parity but it won't be protected at all. Optical drives are pretty much a commodity so don't stress that choice much. I still stand by my statement of dumping Tversity and getting something like Plex.
I will have to try Plex out, thanks for the suggestion.
 

frowertr

Golden Member
Apr 17, 2010
1,371
41
91
The Brix would be my first choice if you didn't need an internal optical drive.

I use Plex in my home for all my media play back. Love it! Can't say enough about it really. I run the Plex Media Server on my homebuilt NAS with FlexRAID being my RAID choice.
 

bangbounce

Junior Member
Sep 5, 2013
15
0
0
The Brix would be my first choice if you didn't need an internal optical drive.

I use Plex in my home for all my media play back. Love it! Can't say enough about it really. I run the Plex Media Server on my homebuilt NAS with FlexRAID being my RAID choice.
I'm giving the Brix serious consideration, not sure if I should go with the i3 or i5, considering I will only be surfing the web and word processing, the i5 maybe overkill. But, I want to be able to stream 1080p easily and am not sure if that would affect it. Have heard the i3's sometimes play Youtube 1080p vids choppy.:hmm:

Everyone is talking about this plex and am going to check it out after my Cisco course tonight.

As for the optical drive its not necessary, just a luxury, I have one on my big tower I can always use. External is always an option as well.:)
 

frowertr

Golden Member
Apr 17, 2010
1,371
41
91
I'm giving the Brix serious consideration, not sure if I should go with the i3 or i5, considering I will only be surfing the web and word processing, the i5 maybe overkill. But, I want to be able to stream 1080p easily and am not sure if that would affect it. Have heard the i3's sometimes play Youtube 1080p vids choppy.:hmm:

Everyone is talking about this plex and am going to check it out after my Cisco course tonight.

As for the optical drive its not necessary, just a luxury, I have one on my big tower I can always use. External is always an option as well.:)
An i3 (any architecture) is plenty for streaming 1080p. Heck, even the new Celerons do it fine. I am using a G2120 in my HTPC and it is also plenty for streaming from my Plex Media Server.

I built my HTPC out of this last year: http://www.amazon.com/Shuttle-XH61V-...=shuttle+xh61v

If I had to do it again, however, I'd go with the Brix. I like its small form factor and I never use the 2.5" CD-Rom I installed in the Shuttle. Just load up W7 (or WHS if you want to save some money) on a USB key and install it to the NUC that way. Make sure you put in a SSD like the 840 Evo or Pro and it will be a speedy little machine.
 
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bangbounce

Junior Member
Sep 5, 2013
15
0
0
An i3 (any architecture) is plenty for streaming 1080p. Heck, even the new Celerons do it fine. I am using a G2120 in my HTPC and it is also plenty for streaming from my Plex Media Server.

I built my HTPC out of this last year: http://www.amazon.com/Shuttle-XH61V-...=shuttle+xh61v

If I had to do it again, however, I'd go with the Brix. I like its small form factor and I never use the 2.5" CD-Rom I installed in the Shuttle. Just load up W7 (or WHS if you want to save some money) on a USB key and install it to the NUC that way. Make sure you put in a SSD like the 840 Evo or Pro and it will be a speedy little machine.
Yeah I have Ultimate on a USB and was gonna use that. Was thinking of going with a Crucial 128GB SSD.
 

frowertr

Golden Member
Apr 17, 2010
1,371
41
91
Yeah I have Ultimate on a USB and was gonna use that. Was thinking of going with a Crucial 128GB SSD.
Yeah, that will be fine. I'm partial to the Samsung's but it really doesn't matter what you pick. It will be a speed demon regardless.
 

Medikit

Senior member
Feb 15, 2006
338
0
76
Thanks for this! I had never heard of a NUC before, after doing a little research it looks very promising. Im not a huge fan of external storage but, we'll have to see what I can do with it. Another, thing is no internal optical drive. Hmm
I use a USB 2.0 hub and attach a portable DVD drive and any other USB connections to the hub. This allows me more flexibility for positioning the DVD drive.
 

bangbounce

Junior Member
Sep 5, 2013
15
0
0
Yeah, that will be fine. I'm partial to the Samsung's but it really doesn't matter what you pick. It will be a speed demon regardless.
Yeah I will probably go with the 840 pro. I was thinking crucial RAM but also considering g.skill or corsair, not sure about that yet.

Actually I don't think the 840 pro, comes mSATA compatible, but I may be incorrect.
 
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bangbounce

Junior Member
Sep 5, 2013
15
0
0
I use a USB 2.0 hub and attach a portable DVD drive and any other USB connections to the hub. This allows me more flexibility for positioning the DVD drive.
Yeah if anything I will just get 3.0 compatible external, but its not necessary at this point, we will see what the future holds.:biggrin:
 

bangbounce

Junior Member
Sep 5, 2013
15
0
0
I purchased the parts.

Now I may need some help with plex.

Remember I am straight ripping my dvds using DVDfab, what format should I rip its as .MKV, another file? I am not sure. I am going to be ripping them, storing them on external harrdrives connected to my Brix, and hopefully streaming them through Plex. I just want the highest quality. Not sure if DVD menus would even work?

Anyways thanks for the support.:sneaky:
 
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frowertr

Golden Member
Apr 17, 2010
1,371
41
91
Also, I'd check out XBMC too. While I love Plex, I feel Plex is geared a bit more toward device streaming (i.e. Rokus, Tablets, phones, etc...). If you are simply streaming from a NAS or other media server on your network directly to your HTPC, I'd give XBMC a shot. It is a beautiful solution once you spend some time setting it up correctly.
 

bangbounce

Junior Member
Sep 5, 2013
15
0
0
Also, I'd check out XBMC too. While I love Plex, I feel Plex is geared a bit more toward device streaming (i.e. Rokus, Tablets, phones, etc...). If you are simply streaming from a NAS or other media server on your network directly to your HTPC, I'd give XBMC a shot. It is a beautiful solution once you spend some time setting it up correctly.
I believe DVDfab can rip straight to MKV's will have to check though.

I think Plex has an am for my Samsung tv, but will check on that also.

Willing to check out XBMC have heard great things, maybe a little difficult to set up, but isn't that part of the fun? :D
 

Medikit

Senior member
Feb 15, 2006
338
0
76
Also, I'd check out XBMC too. While I love Plex, I feel Plex is geared a bit more toward device streaming (i.e. Rokus, Tablets, phones, etc...). If you are simply streaming from a NAS or other media server on your network directly to your HTPC, I'd give XBMC a shot. It is a beautiful solution once you spend some time setting it up correctly.
The interface on Plex is also more user friendly.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
I prefer the interface and setup of XBMC over Plex, but Plex takes care of any transcoding that may need to be done with incompatible files and codecs. You'll need that with an Xbox on there.

It's easy to try them both, though, since they are free. You could install them simultaneously and just pick the one you like better.
 

bangbounce

Junior Member
Sep 5, 2013
15
0
0
I prefer the interface and setup of XBMC over Plex, but Plex takes care of any transcoding that may need to be done with incompatible files and codecs. You'll need that with an Xbox on there.

It's easy to try them both, though, since they are free. You could install them simultaneously and just pick the one you like better.
I am now thinking of streaming directly to my samsung smart tv, with plex or xbmc. Trying to cut out the xbox :sneaky:
 

bangbounce

Junior Member
Sep 5, 2013
15
0
0
I prefer the interface and setup of XBMC over Plex, but Plex takes care of any transcoding that may need to be done with incompatible files and codecs. You'll need that with an Xbox on there.

It's easy to try them both, though, since they are free. You could install them simultaneously and just pick the one you like better.
Is it possible to get the dvd menus to work over plex?
 

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