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#324035 - 09/27/10 02:27 PM HTPC
Listener Offline
local

Registered: 09/05/08
Posts: 267
Loc: CT, US
So I have been thinking of building the HT PC for quite some time, but recently I stumbled upon this:
http://www.asrock.com/nettop/overview.asp?Model=Vision 3D 137B

It looks like a really nice option. I have ripped many of my blu-rays to MKV files. Does anyone have expereince playing those back on their hi end systems? I have so far only watched them on my pc and while they look great it is difficult to judge the audio performance. The MKV files retain the original size of the blu-ray about 30Gigs or so. I assume they keep lossless audio. These systems are also capable of bit streaming True HD audio. Can anyone comment on the performance of their HTPC when it comes to MKV playback?
_________________________
w22s, w150, qs8s, ep500

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#324041 - 09/27/10 02:42 PM Re: HTPC [Re: Listener]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8267
Loc: Tacoma
That looks pretty freakin' cool. cough cough Mac Mini cough cough

Can't help you with the MKV stuff, sorry.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#324042 - 09/27/10 02:44 PM Re: HTPC [Re: Listener]
gkornato Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/17/10
Posts: 1
I would suggest you have a look at http://www.xbmc.org

In their forums you will find a lot of hardware recommendations, most that will be far cheaper than the asrock above.

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#324048 - 09/27/10 03:36 PM Re: HTPC [Re: gkornato]
Listener Offline
local

Registered: 09/05/08
Posts: 267
Loc: CT, US
Originally Posted By: gkornato
I would suggest you have a look at http://www.xbmc.org

In their forums you will find a lot of hardware recommendations, most that will be far cheaper than the asrock above.

Thanks. I will have a look. I do know that I can build something for less $$ but it is also about size and having the htpc be quiet. I also really like the slot loading blu-ray drive. Much less likely to get broken by the kiddies.
_________________________
w22s, w150, qs8s, ep500

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#324049 - 09/27/10 03:42 PM Re: HTPC [Re: gkornato]
Capn_Pickard Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 1056
Loc: Arlington, VA (NOVA)
Meh. I think the HTPC thing has its place, but also its limitations.

I use a PC to store my pics and music and, for a time, considered converting all my DVDs onto it to act as a server (made especially easy with Windows 7 and a home network). But, alas, the time to rip all those movies and the space to store them on became too much to overcome. In addition, then I would be in a position where I could not lend out the movies to friends or take them with me on vacation.

Consider this: To rip 250 DVDs it was going to take up somewhere north of 1TB at compressed (4/9) rates. Since I didn't have a couple of TBs laying around (I would insist on backing this data up, hence the need for 2TB for each 1TB ripped), I thought about selling my DVDs off once I ripped them. By my modest calculation, I would probably get somewhere in the ballpark of $300 - $500 for the collection depending on how they were sold off (as a lot, or individual titles), with all the hassle that comes with it. I might come out marginally ahead, with a slick movie server to show off to my friends. But what for? I would lose, of course, the ability, to share movies with friends or take them with me in the car to entertain the kids on long trips. Nevermind that each movie would take about 30mins to rip (total elapsed time = 125 hours or just under a full week of ripping, if you took no breaks). No thanks.

In any event, I didn't find there to be any audio or video advantages to playing them on my PC. If anything, the video was slightly degraded. (Toss in the problems with playing uncompressed High Def sound with the PC and the whole thing was dead in the water).

As a music and pictures server, the computer is great. For everything else (including recorded TV - who doesn't have/need a cable box these days anyway?), I find the source to simply be superior in every way.

If you think the PC will be a one stop shop for all your media, unfortunately, I don't think that's the case. It's a nice compliment to a cable box and DVD/Blu Ray player, but it doesn't take the place of either.

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#324050 - 09/27/10 03:54 PM Re: HTPC [Re: Capn_Pickard]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
I don't have a cable box, but I do have 4 TB of storage.
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#324051 - 09/27/10 04:16 PM Re: HTPC [Re: ClubNeon]
Listener Offline
local

Registered: 09/05/08
Posts: 267
Loc: CT, US
Storage is getting cheap. I just bought 2tb for about $100. I am planning on getting an external 4 bay case to house 4 x 2tb HDs. This will be enough to hold 200+ Blu-ray movies.
_________________________
w22s, w150, qs8s, ep500

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#324063 - 09/27/10 05:00 PM Re: HTPC [Re: Listener]
Capn_Pickard Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/09/04
Posts: 1056
Loc: Arlington, VA (NOVA)
ClubNelson - What kind of HD can you get OTA? Is it just the basic channels (ABC, NBC, FOX, etc.) or is there more than that? My wife and I like Bravo, Science Channel, FoodNetwork, etc.

Yeah - storage isn't that expensive anymore. But there are few means of ripping all that content that, at the end of the day, it makes it worthwhile.

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#324066 - 09/27/10 05:07 PM Re: HTPC [Re: Capn_Pickard]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
I let the people of the Internet pull in the shows from OTA, or what ever source, edit out the commercials, encode them into H.264, and pack them into MKV files. I just fill up my HDs with the shows (and eventually buy them on BD when available).

I find most every show I want to see, but I've not looked for anything from those three example channels you gave.
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#324067 - 09/27/10 05:09 PM Re: HTPC [Re: ClubNeon]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16257
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
eztv?
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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