What are your planned HTPC changes over the next year? 2 years?

Page 2 - Seeking answers? Join the AnandTech community: where nearly half-a-million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.

Binky

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,046
0
81
#26
I talked to my wife about it last night, and she mentioned that she had gotten so sick of the stuttering while playing through emby that she went and opened the files directly through windows explorer off of the server and still got stuttering. I had assumed that was not the case originally.

So, it seems to either be a local performance issue, a network bandwidth issue, or something is clogging up the file server. Time to get testing I suppose, but it doesn't seem as related to emby as I originally thought.
Have you tried setting Emby to use another video player for movie files, like MPC-HC? That may fix your issue. This setting is in the Emby Classic configurator, external players tab.
http://emby.media/community/index.php?/topic/733-mb-classic-setup-and-configuration/#entry23269

You can also check the Emby logs to see what it is doing with the file (i.e. transcoding, etc.).
 
Jun 6, 2003
71
0
0
#27
I did some upgrades to hardware, a 480w PS from a 300w, a GTX750ti 2gb OC card, from a GTX9600. I am running Windows Media Center at 2160p (to my 65" 4K tv)

In the next few weeks, I am doing a MAJOR upgrade to my gaming PC, so the old motherboard, CPU and RAM is going into the HTPC (Q9650 core2quad @ 3ghz, 8gb of PC-1600 ram and ASUS Motherboard)

It will be a minor upgrade for hardware, as it uses a HP board (Picked up during the Vista days to use cablecards, it had to be certified back then to use cablecards), and it has a Core2quad @ 2.5ghz, but, only 3gb of memory.

I use Extenders in my home so moving to another software product that does what I need and does it so easy will be hard to find. SO I plan in sticking with WMC for a LONG time to come.
 

pauldun170

Diamond Member
Sep 26, 2011
5,776
170
126
#28
Currently my i3-2100\HD7770\Kodi combo is holding up nicely.
The next change will be the upgrade from Window 7 to Window 10.
 

hoorah

Senior member
Dec 8, 2005
747
6
81
#29
Have you tried setting Emby to use another video player for movie files, like MPC-HC? That may fix your issue. This setting is in the Emby Classic configurator, external players tab.
http://emby.media/community/index.php?/topic/733-mb-classic-setup-and-configuration/#entry23269

You can also check the Emby logs to see what it is doing with the file (i.e. transcoding, etc.).
I think I found the issue. One of my drives seems to have lower performance than I expected. Not sure why that is. Any ideas?

 
May 15, 2000
24,574
1,776
126
#30
I'm happy running kodi for all my needs. I used to want to watch live tv and have DVR support but you have to go through so many hoops only to have a sub par solution (low quality, poor user experience, poor integration, etc), so now I just stream most of my stuff.

The only thing I wish kodi would do (easily) is support profiles across multiple devices, just to make setup easier. But for now I'm happy to just use network shares for all my media.

I probably won't change anything until 4k really takes off, until then I'm happy with my i7 HTPC, rpi2, and chromebox, all running kodi with the tvaddons plugin.
 

Raincity

Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2000
4,468
4
81
#31
None. I am watching live tv less and less each month and really don't even need a PVR anymore with the HBO Go, Showtime along with a Hulu sub on my Roku 3. WMC can go away and I wont even miss it. The only action on my HTPC anymore is gaming on steam in wide screen mode.
 
Feb 15, 2015
39
0
0
#32
I really wish Apple would release a new Apple TV with MKV and lossless audio support....But since I highly doubt that will happen, Im waiting to see what 4k streamers come out with the above capabilities and a user friendly/quick user interface that can support Netflix.

I know, asking too much.
 

scannall

Golden Member
Jan 1, 2012
1,418
263
136
#33
I really wish Apple would release a new Apple TV with MKV and lossless audio support....But since I highly doubt that will happen, Im waiting to see what 4k streamers come out with the above capabilities and a user friendly/quick user interface that can support Netflix.

I know, asking too much.
They may. There will be an app store opened when the next version is released. I think it would be something a 3rd party developer would be happy to sell there.
 
Aug 25, 2001
44,463
807
126
#34
I think I found the issue. One of my drives seems to have lower performance than I expected. Not sure why that is. Any ideas?

That's really bad, if that's not a USB flash drive. It may be failing.
 

WT

Diamond Member
Sep 21, 2000
4,817
2
91
#35
No changes in my foreseeable future. Still running a Vista/WMC combo, as I just don't see the need to put Win7 on the HTPC that does nothing but use WMC as a frontend. Every so often I think about pulling the AMD X4 830 (@3.2) and putting an FX 6350 in it but again it doesn't benefit me for much at all other than transcoding.

What I would like to do is pull the 2 4TB Seagate NAS HDDs in it and add one 8TB, then move the two 4s to my WHS and greatly increase my home server storage capacity.
 
Feb 15, 2015
39
0
0
#36
They may. There will be an app store opened when the next version is released. I think it would be something a 3rd party developer would be happy to sell there.
That would be nice, but Apple hasnt been known for listening to what people want, rather introducing their proprietary version of something similar.
 

lsd

Golden Member
Sep 26, 2000
1,158
3
81
#37
No changes in my foreseeable future. Still running a Vista/WMC combo, as I just don't see the need to put Win7 on the HTPC that does nothing but use WMC as a frontend. Every so often I think about pulling the AMD X4 830 (@3.2) and putting an FX 6350 in it but again it doesn't benefit me for much at all other than transcoding.

What I would like to do is pull the 2 4TB Seagate NAS HDDs in it and add one 8TB, then move the two 4s to my WHS and greatly increase my home server storage capacity.
Why not go with a lower power solution? I upgraded my x4 640 to a g3258 set up and it has not missed a beat even with multiple clients/ server apps running.
 

WT

Diamond Member
Sep 21, 2000
4,817
2
91
#38
Why not go with a lower power solution? I upgraded my x4 640 to a g3258 set up and it has not missed a beat even with multiple clients/ server apps running.
I am just not that into low power stuff. It seems like everybody these days cares more about how much they are pulling from the wall, but it is a non-issue to me. No point throwing $$ at an Intel rig when the AMD just works.
 
Aug 25, 2001
44,463
807
126
#39
Why not go with a lower power solution? I upgraded my x4 640 to a g3258 set up and it has not missed a beat even with multiple clients/ server apps running.
Minor hijack: My friend is rocking an X4 640, would a G3258 be an improvement for web browsing, and watching 1080P online streams?
 

lsd

Golden Member
Sep 26, 2000
1,158
3
81
#40
Minor hijack: My friend is rocking an X4 640, would a G3258 be an improvement for web browsing, and watching 1080P online streams?
I'm not sure because my setup is mostly for TV but I did notice a big difference when pulling up the channel guide up in wmc while watching live tv in 1080p. The x4 640 with hd4200 is much slower to scroll through the list with live tv in the background. The g3258 has no problem watching netflix in hd but I should add that it is mildly o/c'd to 3.8 ghz.
 

LoveMachine

Senior member
May 8, 2012
491
0
81
#41
Minor hijack: My friend is rocking an X4 640, would a G3258 be an improvement for web browsing, and watching 1080P online streams?
Is Friend using the IGP on the motherboard? As LSD mentioned, the HD4200 series is barely capable of 1080p and the intel CPU/iGPU is much better, but for $25 you could get a low end discrete video card (6450 at a minimum) that would be substantially faster for HTPC tasks without necessitating a new CPU/MB/etc. and a lot less hassle regarding installation/drivers/Windows license issues.
 
Aug 25, 2001
44,463
807
126
#42
Is Friend using the IGP on the motherboard? As LSD mentioned, the HD4200 series is barely capable of 1080p and the intel CPU/iGPU is much better, but for $25 you could get a low end discrete video card (6450 at a minimum) that would be substantially faster for HTPC tasks without necessitating a new CPU/MB/etc. and a lot less hassle regarding installation/drivers/Windows license issues.
He has an ASRock 780G board, but his chipset video hardware-acceleration is borked in Flash Player / Firefox / Win7 64-bit. So he disabled HW Accel in Flash Player, and just decodes 1080P Twitch streams on his quad-core CPU.

He complained about lag some time ago, so I hooked him up with a GT610 or GT620 NV PCI-E video card, but it didn't really improve anything, and if anything, seemed to make things a bit more choppy, for some reason. (Like the frame delivery wasn't as smooth, even if the framerate was higher.)

So, just curious if a G3258 @ 3.6-3.8 would be an improvement for watching 1080P Twitch streams and web browsing, over the quad-core AII X4 640, with or without the NV GT610/620 added or not.

His LCD is VGA, 1440x900 or something like that. He doesn't actually have a 1080P monitor, I don't think.
 

lsd

Golden Member
Sep 26, 2000
1,158
3
81
#43
He has an ASRock 780G board, but his chipset video hardware-acceleration is borked in Flash Player / Firefox / Win7 64-bit. So he disabled HW Accel in Flash Player, and just decodes 1080P Twitch streams on his quad-core CPU.

He complained about lag some time ago, so I hooked him up with a GT610 or GT620 NV PCI-E video card, but it didn't really improve anything, and if anything, seemed to make things a bit more choppy, for some reason. (Like the frame delivery wasn't as smooth, even if the framerate was higher.)

So, just curious if a G3258 @ 3.6-3.8 would be an improvement for watching 1080P Twitch streams and web browsing, over the quad-core AII X4 640, with or without the NV GT610/620 added or not.

His LCD is VGA, 1440x900 or something like that. He doesn't actually have a 1080P monitor, I don't think.
I fired up a 1080p 60fps youtube video in chrome and found it using a max
of 65% of cpu resources. A regular 1080p youtube video took about 35%.
Video was smooth with no issues. The g3258 is definitely a good buy and every so often it goes on a combo sale with a motherboard for a good price.
 
Aug 25, 2001
44,463
807
126
#44
Are most 1080P Twitch.tv streams 60p? I seriously think that perhaps he is just getting used to the streams getting better quality, and with his faster internet, putting a higher load on his PC. His CPU is from 2010.
 

Kneedragger

Golden Member
Feb 18, 2013
1,183
0
91
#45
I'm still running a Acer Aspire 1600 in my bedroom and in my livingroom a PC with a ASUS AT5IONT-I Intel Atom D525 mobo. Both play my Blu-rays and everything I have. I want to upgrade but they still fire up when I turn them on haha.
 

spencers

Senior member
Aug 21, 2003
459
0
76
#46
Pretty happy I ditched the NUC for the Raspberry Pi 2 a couple months ago. Running OpenELEC instead of Windows 8.1. The Pi2 surprisingly does just as well as the NUC with Kodi.

Up next is adding a discrete GPU to my NAS and passing through the video to a VM, which would get plugged in to the TV for a cool gaming/steam machine. That would really round out my vision of a do-it-all NAS.
 
Last edited:
Jun 30, 2004
13,807
285
126
#47
I find a lot of overlap in posts here that give me more confidence in what I'd done only with WMC.

Some of the configurations described be some seem just a bit over my head. I'm usually reluctant to tinker with something that works perfectly, after the hoops I went through to set it up.

I just tried KODI to see if I might live with it for wanting to update my boxes to Windows 10, and I see confirmation from others that my own disappointments are real.

My personal conflict is greater than some here because I tried to make Sandy Bridge K systems capable of doing everything. So desktop towers connect via high-quality HDMI cabling to the opposite side of the room. That's why I'm not surprised at Aikouka's dGPU choices, even if he doesn't do what I'm doing.

I've grown accustomed to WMC and adding HTPC functionality to systems as I'd described. I really didn't want to make any "HTPC changes over the next year" (or 2 years) except for upgrading the systems to Windows 10, and I needn't explore my frustration any further than that. You can feel my pain with a Vulcan mind-meld.

So the OP question is critical, because it's now forcing me to imagine what I might or will do in the near future.

But the option I cannot embrace in the slightest is a return to my Charter set-top box and its klutzy primitive menus. Or adding DVR rental. Or getting TIVO.

And my answer to that OP question about my plans is pathetic: "I don't . . . freakin' . . . .know yet."
 
Last edited:

hoorah

Senior member
Dec 8, 2005
747
6
81
#48
That's really bad, if that's not a USB flash drive. It may be failing.
Heh, way late noticing your response (just saw the thread got bumped recently). You were the only one to notice how bad those numbers were on the drive performance.

The graph I posted was actually from when I dug up my very first 170 MEGAbyte hard drive to see if it still worked - it did. Performance was a little on the slow side though - but that was considered normal for the time. 170MB of hard drive storage of which the only thing I cared about at the time was the 20MB under C:\wolf3d and C:\doom.

Joking aside, the actual drive performance on my media drive (a 750GB SATA) was somewhere on the order of 10-15 MB/s, and it fluctuated greatly, which suggested something was wrong. I just tested the drive again recently and got 85MB/s consistent performance. Not sure whats going on at this point. At the time of investigating I was using the windows resource monitor to see if anything was accessing the drive in the background and it appeared the answer was no.
 

hoorah

Senior member
Dec 8, 2005
747
6
81
#49
I've grown accustomed to WMC and adding HTPC functionality to systems as I'd described. I really didn't want to make any "HTPC changes over the next year" (or 2 years) except for upgrading the systems to Windows 10, and I needn't explore my frustration any further than that. You can feel my pain with a Vulcan mind-meld.

So the OP question is critical, because it's now forcing me to imagine what I might or will do in the near future.

But the option I cannot embrace in the slightest is a return to my Charter set-top box and its klutzy primitive menus. Or adding DVR rental. Or getting TIVO.

And my answer to that OP question about my plans is pathetic: "I don't . . . freakin' . . . .know yet."
After all the responses, it seems the consensus is to continue using what works and wait until the market matures more. As media consumption changes it seems like the whole market is comfortable being fragmented. I know people that use Roku, people that use AppleTV, (a very few) people that use HTPCs, and some people that just use tablets/laptops. Everyone seems happy with their own setups and isn't really concerned with some magical uniform interface.

As I mentioned before, I started testing out Kodi on our upstairs HTPC (that has poor network connectivity to my server, so I copy over bits and pieces of local content). My wife has had no problem switching back and forth between Kodi / WMC by using the small wireless keyboard, something I never would have expected when I started with HTPCs years ago.

Also an interesting anecdote - spent some time with my non-techie family over the holiday weekend and listened to a whole bunch of people that couldn't tell a hard drive from HDMI talk about their Rokus, chromecasts, fireTV sticks, and what streaming services they use. Its definitely becoming a lot more mainstream.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
5,941
0
81
#50
Also an interesting anecdote - spent some time with my non-techie family over the holiday weekend and listened to a whole bunch of people that couldn't tell a hard drive from HDMI talk about their Rokus, chromecasts, fireTV sticks, and what streaming services they use. Its definitely becoming a lot more mainstream.
That's my point... the mainstream consumer wants PnP connectivity, not another box of hardware they have to maintain. Because we now live in a disposable society, when the (insert your favorite)Stick gets outdated, pull it out, throw it in a drawer, and stick in the newest Stick.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
skyking Home Theater PCs 0
Muse Home Theater PCs 58

Similar threads



ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS