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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 2012-08-08, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Help with HTPC solution

With the expensive internet and TV prices through Shaw and Telus We have been contemplating getting rid of everything but high speed internet and instead setting up a HTPC instead.

I am leaning towards an Acer Revo RL100 for the main HTPC. It will most likely use XMBC as the main HTPC interface, unless someone else can suggest a better way to go (I would like to keep it total cost around $500 or less for the HTPC itself).

The issue I have is that we have 2 other TV's in the house and I am looking for a way to stream content from the HTPC to each of those TV's, independent of each of the other TV's. I have looked at Apple TV, LG Smart TV Upgrader, WD TV Live, and Roku.

The main criteria that it must have is the ability to connect to Netflix, and the ability to connect to the HTPC to stream content. I should also note that we do not own any other Apple products.

Which product would suit my needs best? I should also note that I live in Canada. I would like cost to remain around $100 for each product, if someone else has a better solution.

Thank you

Last edited by Arkitekt; 2012-08-08 at 08:23 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 2012-08-09, 08:38 AM
 
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for a media center you should look into NextPVR and are you going OTA for TV?

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 2012-08-09, 01:31 PM
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I've been in the HTPC game for a while, and I've settled on using Microsoft's platform (Windows Media Center + Xbox 360 "S" as extenders).

My previous systems were PC only (Sage TV server and clients, Beyond TV server and clients). The reason I moved to the Xbox at all my other TVs (that aren't where the HTPC is) is that the latest version of the Xbox dashboard software + apps is pretty strong, especially when kinect is added to the picture. You can get the little chatpad keyboards that attach to controllers (which I believe are mandatory whenever you are typing the name of a movie you want to watch).

And things are getting even better for using a Xbox as a TV device. The top three hits for the next iteration of the Xbox dashboard software are:

1 - You can search for a movie or TV show and it will do a federated search across all the content providers (Netflix, Hulu, Zune, etc) and show you all the different places you can watch the content, and how much it would cost in each case.

2 - Xbox Smart Glass looks very cool. It's great that they're writing client apps for iOS and Android tablets/smartphones in addition to the Windows stuff.

3 - The Xbox 360 browser looks like it will be very nice (leveraging Smart Glass), especially if your focus is finding and watching video from the web.

All while you can still leverage Windows Media Center to act as a DVR for OTA TV content.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 2012-08-09, 03:02 PM
 
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You can also use standard USB keyboard/mouse devices with the XBOX360. I often connect my nMedia HTPC keyboard when I have to do any lengthy typing.

Sony Bravia XBR 55X900F, Vizio SB3651, Dell Studio XPS 8100, AMD 5450, 2 Hauppauge HVR-2250, ASUS BC-12B1ST, Windows 10
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 2012-08-09, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation

I do already have a Xbox 360S, however I would like to stay away from purchasing another one for use by my children. This is why I was looking into a network streaming device that includes netflix access in Canada. The additional costs of an extra xbox or 2, plus increased costs of a family XBL membership is something I would like to stay away from.

As for NextPVR, I am no sure what that is, but I plan to cancel my TV service and strictly access TV/Movies through the internet (Netflix, Zune, Full episodes available online, etc).

The one thing I like about the Acer Revo RL100 is that it has a large enough hdd for our needs (for now), and that it has the wireless keyboard that can be stored within the device. I would like whatever HTPC solution I end up going with to be able to fit within the cubby that my current set-top box resides in.

I don't mind building my own if in the end it is cheaper with better specs, not to picky about 1080p, 720p would be fine for me. I was just planning on either installing the XBMC linux build, or Windows 7 with XBMC, or maybe something like MediaBrowse (which i seem to believe does pretty much the same thing as XBMC?)
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 2012-08-10, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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I have decided to build my HTPC instead of buying the Acer Revo RL100

Here is what I have so far:

I do not require it to do 3D, or gaming, nor do I require a ODD. I just plan on watching media and streaming media.(I am in Canada so all links are for Canadian online retailers in CAD):

CPU: Intel Pentium Dual Core G850 Processor LGA1155 2.9GHZ 3MB Retail Box

MOBO: Gigabyte H77M-D3H mATX LGA1155 H77 DDR3 2PCI-E16 1PCI-E1 HDMI CrossFireX SATA3 USB3.0

RAM: Corsair CMV4GX3M2A1333C9 4GB DDR3 2X2GB DDR3-1333 CL9 Dual Channel Memory Kit

CASE: Silverstone Milo ML03B Black mATX HTPC Case 1X5.25 2X3.5INT USB3 Supports 4 80MM Case Fan

PSU: Antec 450W Power Supply (VP450)

SSD: Crucial m4 64GB SATA Solid State Drive (CT064M4SSD2)

CASE FANS: Silenx Effizio Thermistor 80mm Quiet Fan 1700RPM 32CFM 15DBA Fluid Dynamic Bearings 3/4PIN x4

Remote: Rosewill RRC-126 Windows 7 Certified Media Center Infrared Remote Control

OS: Either Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows 8

I have selected Intel only because I do not know anything about AMD, it was easier for me to search for an select an Intel CPU and Mobo. If someone has a better cost effect method that is AMD please let me know

I have chosen a SSD for OS and programs, the HDD will be for media storage. Any help on making this better suited for my needs and cheaper will be greatly appreciated, currently this set up would cost approx. $550 CAD not including OS cost.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 2012-08-11, 09:24 AM
 
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I tried two of your links, they didn't work.

Two months ago i upgraded to a ASUS F1A57-V pro mb and an AMD A6 quad core for about $190.

And I ask again no tuner?

Srvr:ASUSF1A75-VPro,RadHD6000,A6-3670K,WD2TB,W7Ult
NPVR,5.1,2xHaup2250MC,ATI650,CM7777,WGHD8800,5clts
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 2012-08-11, 10:39 AM
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I would at least spend the few bucks more to get a Core i3 CPU, if not a Core i5.

Or build an AMD Llano based system. I have a Fusion E350, and it works pretty well for HTPC duty, although I don't do HD with it a lot, nor have a tuner.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 2012-08-11, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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I have been looking at building a Llano based system with a A6-3500. Haven't decided whether or not to get a A55M motherboard or a A75M. Is SATAIII and USB3.0 worth the little bit extra?

OTAJuncqui, not sure why none of the links are working, I can't seem to edit that post either so I can't check or fix the links. And yes, no TV tuner, not for now at least. I don't know that much about tuners, but don't you need to have some sort of cable service with them? I will be cancelling my cable service. Also, my current cable service is IPTV.

Last edited by Arkitekt; 2012-08-11 at 12:23 PM.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 2012-08-11, 12:24 PM
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Depending on location, HDTV is available with an antenna and tuner. There is lots of info in the OTA section on this. Check the reception results thread for your location.

At 20 I had a good mind. At 40 I had money. At 60 I've lost my mind and my money. Oh, to be 20 again. --Scary
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 2012-08-11, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Looks like there isn't much being picked up in Kelowna from what I could tell, but all the posts were from years ago. I posted in the thread asking for updated results.

Is there anyway to check what I can pick up, without having to buy a TV Tuner?
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 2012-08-11, 03:31 PM
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Do you have a TV with a digital (ATSC) tuner?

At 20 I had a good mind. At 40 I had money. At 60 I've lost my mind and my money. Oh, to be 20 again. --Scary
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 2012-08-11, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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I have a Samsung LN46B550

According to the spec sheet it says it has a 'Built-In Digital Tuner'
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 2012-08-11, 04:43 PM
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Connecting an antenna to the TV antenna input will determine what channels are available. A DIY antenna will do the job and it's cheap to make a prototype. A simple UHF loop is really easy to make. I also suggest building a SBGH or DBGH (without reflector) using some 14/2 copper house wiring cable. It can be held together using a short piece of 1x4 and some screws and washers.

At 20 I had a good mind. At 40 I had money. At 60 I've lost my mind and my money. Oh, to be 20 again. --Scary
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 2012-08-11, 06:56 PM
 
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go to tv fool.com and use the "TV Signal Locator" from the "tools" menu on the left. But results don't look to promosing using only "Kelowna".

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