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Why HTPC?

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wirednuts

Diamond Member
Jan 26, 2007
7,121
1
0
Because mini-ITX boards are SO FREAKING COOL! :cool:
yep. htpc's were always cool, but usually just a bunch of desktop parts that wouldnt go into or out of sleep properly

now with the mini-itx boards and cases with all the new htpc geared technology in them, its just a blast to make a windows htpc. and they only cost about $500 to do it well... not to mention run idle on 15w
 

assassin24

HTPC Moderator
Mar 27, 2005
394
0
0
To me its simple. I am into gadgets and the HTPC is the greatest gadget ever invented if you know how to choose the correct hardware and most importantly how to setup and use the appropriate software.
 

RazorUK

Member
Mar 18, 2002
47
0
0
Well I have what I believe is a great HTPC setup. I use the now google owned Sagetv and it's extenders. Great product that unfortunately you can't buy anymore until Google decide what they are going to do with it. Everything is handled by the extenders, no problem playing any file type and every other solution I have tried has fallen short in one area or another.

I'd love to break the satellite cord and go to streaming etc, but there has as of yet been no satisfactory solution for me to live sports.

Watching a stream off the internet may be barely okay on a 19 inch monitor, but on a 73 inch tv it's unwatchable.

Live sports are the only reason I am still tethered to cable/satellite.
 

wirednuts

Diamond Member
Jan 26, 2007
7,121
1
0
Live sports are the only reason I am still tethered to cable/satellite.
:/ i know what you mean. ive been known to subscribe to cable during the nba season.

nfl its not so bad though, since you dont need super high res or fluid framerates to tell what going on. but baseball or basketball? forget it. you need a high quality picture.
 

kalrith

Diamond Member
Aug 22, 2005
6,630
7
81
I felt the same way about live sports until ESPN3 came along. Now ESPN3 fulfills most of my live sports needs. Sometimes it looks rough, but a lot of times it looks pretty good. It was good enough for me to cancel my satellite and go with OTA and streaming.

I can't find an HD package with ESPN for less than $50/month after the initial discounts run out. Satellite is the only option in my rural area. For me, live sports that I can't get on ESPN3 aren't worth $600/year. Then again, I'm not a sports nut and mostly just watch college football, NFL, and college basketball. I paid the ~$8 for March Madness on Demand this past spring, and that was well worth the money. I was able to stream any game I wanted without having a cable/satellite bill.

If other stations like FSN would start streaming online, then I would love that.
 
Sep 12, 2004
16,852
58
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I felt the same way about live sports until ESPN3 came along. Now ESPN3 fulfills most of my live sports needs. Sometimes it looks rough, but a lot of times it looks pretty good. It was good enough for me to cancel my satellite and go with OTA and streaming.
The problem here is that you cannot legitimately have access to ESPN3 without a cable or sat subscription that includes ESPN.
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
71,978
6,333
126
VLC plays way more than any other specialty device. Streaming from a NAS is no longer exclusive to computers, so thats not an advantage. I guess if your NAS was huge and all these set top devices could only access a 2TB drive or lower, that might be a deciding factor.
The web browsing is always better on a computer, mostly cuz you have a choice of browsers but also because they are faster.
 
Sep 12, 2004
16,852
58
86
I have internet through AT&T, and that legitimately qualifies me for ESPN3.
I guess I'm behind the times. Having an ESPN subscription use to be a requirement for watching ESPN3. Looks like they've migrated that requirement to their Watch ESPN online service now and they are beginning to restrict content that was available previously on ESPN3.
 

kalrith

Diamond Member
Aug 22, 2005
6,630
7
81
I guess I'm behind the times. Having an ESPN subscription use to be a requirement for watching ESPN3. Looks like they've migrated that requirement to their Watch ESPN online service now and they are beginning to restrict content that was available previously on ESPN3.
VERY behind the times :). My AT&T internet qualified me back when it was ESPN360, which was maybe 3-4 years ago.

Here's a list of ESPN3 participating providers: http://espn.go.com/espn3/affList
 

zon2020

Member
Aug 17, 2012
52
0
0
I think ESPN3 has always been based on having a participating ISP, not on your cable/satellite provider. Other things like HBOGO are based on having a cable or satellite subscription.
 

Zorba

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 1999
7,084
1,117
126
I had wanted to build a HTPC since the 90s, before DVRs ever came out because I thought it would be cool to record TV and watch it later. I actually bought a TV tuner at one point, but my hardware wasn't really up to it at the time :(.

I finally built a real HTPC about 3 years ago. I was able to convince my wife we wouldn't need dish any more, saving ~$65 a month and I got a huge unexpected OT check. The HTPC cost about $650 with 2 tuner cards and a blu-ray drive ($130 at the time).

I love the DVR, and the quality of OTA material. I also love that I can do anything with the files I want. I also use Comskip, so I almost never even notice commercials. My skip forward has several skip lengths so I don't have to hit skip 80 times, like during the Olympics. The functionality for movies is also a little nicer than a stand alone player.

I also use the HTPC to play all my music and we use it for Karaoke, which is really fun. Of course I also stream shows, especially ESPN3. Sometimes I use the internet, watch online videos (break.com, etc) and Pandora. I also enjoy playing old video games on it. It is also fun to play flight simulator on the big screen.

Since my other computers are laptops, I also use it to back all of my personal files.

After having the HTPC for 3 years with no cable, when I travel I think "Hey, I can watch cable!" Then I get into the hotel room and it drives me crazy, there is nothing on and what I do watch is full of commercials.
 

AllWhacked

Senior member
Nov 1, 2006
237
0
0
I guess my first HTPC was technically my main computer during college. I had a 3DFX Voodoo 3500. That was an awesome card/tuner combo and had it hooked up to my 20"
monitor to watch dorm room television. Once I moved into an apartment, I didn't bother with an HTPC until after I got out of college and the prices for large flat-screen TVs went down and I bought myself a 42" Plasma to play on my new PS3.

At the time, I had solely gamed on PC and so I owned quite a few PC racing or console port games that would look/play better with a large screen/game controller combo. From that, my next HTPC was technically my LAN Party box. However, I later I splurged and bought an Antec NSK1300 and later an NSK2480 so I could put a more powerful video card in. Currently I'm running my HTPC on an old Fry's e7400 + ECS mobo combo deal with a XFX HD6870 Double D w/ a BD drive to rip Blueray to MKV while streaming ripped videos from my WHS. I also use it to watch Hulu (since I don't subscribe to plus) and used to use it for watch Prime & Netflix before Prime & Netflix became available on PS3. However, if I didn't own a PS3 I would definitely use my HTPC more.
 

Coldkilla

Diamond Member
Oct 7, 2004
3,945
0
71
1. WD Media Player has format issues with some file types, doesn't allow for troubleshooting, adding summaries, etc.
2. GoogleTV is slow as hell.
3. Best of both worlds for nearly same original cost + unlimited modding = Conclusion: HTPC.
 

69mustang

Member
Aug 17, 2011
76
0
66
XBMC makes it super easy to watch all my movies,tv shows, anime and play music files. Even the wife loves it.
 
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