Replacing the old (HT)PC ¯ what should I be considering? - Page 2 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

post #16 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-11-30, 06:04 PM
Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: 127.0.0.1
Posts: 3,370
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExDilbert
I've found that recording to a NAS doesn't always work well.
True. It does work 99.9% of the time, but you do wind up with unexplained hiccups now and then that you tend not to get with local storage.

Personally, I've got a "full-size" HTPC in a very quiet case close to the TV where I've got lots of room for the thing. The rest of my TVs, I just use extenders. I just didn't like the idea of having another PC "in the back" when it could be driving one of the TVs, so if I have n TVs I could have n devices, not n+1 devices.
audacity is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #17 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-11-30, 10:34 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 991
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyMedia08 View Post
Looking for some suggestions on a suitable replacement for my failing spare XP...
If you are not using extension cards, have a look at BRIX
http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/MX46361

With RAM and mSATA SSD it will be around $600 in good configuration.
Attach it to the back of a VESA compliant monitor. Mirror the screens (monitor and TV).

You have got a nice computer and HTPC at the same time...
four is offline  
post #18 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-05, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 560
Between the really insightful dialogue and the many resources on this topic, like the one I just stumbled on like http://mymediaexperience.com/, I see I have quite a bit to absorb as I undertake a HTPC/NAS project.

From the little reading I've done to date, I already see so many options/alternatives/approaches/configurations here, so I need to be patient and plan this out.

Sure glad I asked - could have easily gone down the wrong path by just buying another pc. Great to have forums for guidance! And the mydmedia site seems to have a wealth of getting-started info - I think it will help me better understand the terminology and options. I'm sure some with disagree with the advice their-in, but that's fine - makes for healthy debate.

Nice pic on that site for context:

[1]:9865HD;55"LCD;BR [2]:4642HD; 102"; 720p Proj;BR [3]:SA4250HD;39"LED [4]:SA3200 [5]:OTA
MyMedia08 is offline  
 
post #19 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-05, 07:57 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 991
The receiver's role in this picture is of the pre-hidef era...

If you start ripping Blu-ray movies to an external storage box (DAS, NAS, etc.) and play them back on your HTPC, then SPDIF to the receiver won't be enough to get the real audio (of most movies). You'll have to run and HDMI from the HTPC to the receiver and another HDMI from the receiver to the HDTV.

Just like you'd setup a regular Blu-ray disc player...
four is offline  
post #20 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-05, 09:07 PM
Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,529
One thing as well, you have to look at, is HOW you will be playing back, etc.
If the HTPC will be doing all.. or will you have a separate server/nas hosting the media, and the HTPC for just playback.

A NAS is usually fairly low energy consumption, so that is a bonus.. but you have to look at SPECIFIC NAS's which run/host specific media servers or DLNA depending on how you want to view.

Other option you can do, is use your HTPC, as a server as well. Little more power consumption, as its always online, etc.. but can act as a server as well as player, etc.

EG: I have my server (small web host, etc) which is always on. I have all my media on there, running PLEX server. I have my TV upstairs with a built in plex player, and my HTPC downstairs for playback.
But prior, had the media server running on the same HTPC.. worked fine.. but didn't want to always run 2 boxes all day anymore.

GDKitty
Rogers Ignite Xi6, LG 47LV5400 LED TV, Yamaha
gdkitty is offline  
post #21 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-07, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 560
I want to learn a bit more before jumping into some new hardware purchases so I thought I would experiment a bit on my older XP machine (the one I intend to fully replace)

1) XBMC for Windows - Just to get the feel of XBMC, I installed XBMC for Windows on the XP machine. Good first step. Easy enough to navigate, but first question off the bat is how do I launch a web page! I could not find a program add-on that would do this. I had thought Web Viewer would be the obvious choice but it does those weird text conversions. Is the idea that one runs a conventional browser outside of XBMC? Assuming one has an operating systems to that? For example all my reference links are here : http://tv.mediamanhost.com and I'd like to still have access to them.

2) OpenElec - To really jump in, I thought I would blow away WinXP altogether and replace it with OpenElec. Based on what I read to date, I would create installable media on a USB stick (on any pc) and install on the target machine (which in this case is a Pentium 4 Dell 4330 using Intel 845 chipset). I assume the version I want is "OpenELEC Stable - Generic i386 Version:3.2.4". My questions here are, on the off chance I am complete successful, :
1) is XBMC already installed as part of OpenElec?
2) where/how do I setup the configuration so that my home network sees this machine?
3) right now I run remote desktop software (Team Viewer) so I can see and work with any of my networked machines from my home office. Is that ability now gone with windows out and OpenElec in?

[1]:9865HD;55"LCD;BR [2]:4642HD; 102"; 720p Proj;BR [3]:SA4250HD;39"LED [4]:SA3200 [5]:OTA
MyMedia08 is offline  
post #22 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-07, 09:53 AM
Rookie
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 13
While you're experimenting on the old box, give Mediaportal a try. I use it as my "main menu" with menu options to start vpn services, Netflix, XBMC, Hulu desktop, and other options. The big perk of this software is the live TV option using an antenna which gives you a PVR function to your htpc. If not for the need of live tv, I would probably recommend an android mini pc with a NAS for local content. I'm playing around with a quad core model right now and it can do almost everything my htpc can do at a fraction of the price.


Sent from my LG-P999 using Tapatalk 2
Smitten8r is offline  
post #23 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-07, 10:51 AM
Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,529
Myself, since I am not doing any live TV, and next to no web streaming.. I moved to PLEX.. insanely simple to set up for media streaming/playing (like litteraly 5 minutes).
Players for desktop mac/pc, some smart TVs, connected devices like Roku, and all mobile platforms.
(plex is built off of XBMC)

But if you are looking for a little more FULLY fleshed out player, with some more flexibility of launching other stuff.. I would agree with Smitten8r, Mediaportal is a great one. I was using it prior to Plex.
(media portal is also based of of XBMC)

GDKitty
Rogers Ignite Xi6, LG 47LV5400 LED TV, Yamaha
gdkitty is offline  
post #24 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-07, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 560
Does media portal run on top of Windows, or on top of openelec.. or either?

UPDATE .. Per their link here http://www.team-mediaportal.com/medi...l/requirements, it does not appear to run on windows XP.. so not a gdod candidate right now, but it does look interesting. But under Unsupported, they do say "◦Windows XP 32-bit Edition before service pack 3" so I will give it run !

[1]:9865HD;55"LCD;BR [2]:4642HD; 102"; 720p Proj;BR [3]:SA4250HD;39"LED [4]:SA3200 [5]:OTA
MyMedia08 is offline  
post #25 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-07, 12:08 PM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Posts: 15,071
MyMedia08, you should re-read that link. Under "Unsupported Operating Systems", it says

MP won't run on ... Windows XP 32-bit Edition before service pack 3

MP will issue a warning, but will install on ... Windows XP 32-bit Edition with at least service pack 3.
Dr.Dave is offline  
post #26 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-07, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 560
Yes caught that too... but it not installing on my XP (Sp3). Could be for any number of reasons, but I don't want to devote time to it given this unit is going to be scrapped eventually. Is good for playing around (till it really dies) , so I'm gonna try OpenElec next and see how far I get.

[1]:9865HD;55"LCD;BR [2]:4642HD; 102"; 720p Proj;BR [3]:SA4250HD;39"LED [4]:SA3200 [5]:OTA
MyMedia08 is offline  
post #27 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-07, 12:52 PM
Rookie
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 13
You can always try a previous version... I'm still using 1.2.2 because it supports a "my programs" plugin that makes for easy menu customization.

Sent from my LG-P999 using Tapatalk 2
Smitten8r is offline  
post #28 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-07, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 560
Media portal - OK will try an earlier previous version next. Good tip! On this XP machine, I cannot use OpenElec anyway as the BIOS wont let me boot to a USB.

OpenElec - I have yet another XP machine, also quite dated, but it has a newer bios and has both the Boot Sequence and Hard Drive Sequence in the BIOS options, so I CAN select USB as a boot drive. I prepared a USB stick, booted to it, got to the OpenElec install screen option, selected the default install option, got the full screen with OpenElec logo, but it's just sitting there. Not sure how long its supposed to run for, but I will leave it for a bit. I don't see any hard drive activity, so me thinks this isn't going anywhere!

[1]:9865HD;55"LCD;BR [2]:4642HD; 102"; 720p Proj;BR [3]:SA4250HD;39"LED [4]:SA3200 [5]:OTA
MyMedia08 is offline  
post #29 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-07, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 560
UPDATED

Media portal (on Dell 4300, XP): - NOW WORKING (had to reinstall the older 1.2.2 version). Interface very nice. Just scratching the surface of course re functionality.

OpenElec flash install (on Dell 4550, XP): DEAD IN THE WATER. I had re-downloaded and re-created the USB install disks. More progress this time, but not working. Using OpenELEC Stable - Generic i386 Version:3.2.4 , it boots to OpenElec but complains about fc-cache not found. Using OpenELEC Legacy - Generic i386 Version:2.0.0 it boots to OpenElec, but spits off numerous errors. As OpenElec is not meant to me, I will try going back to XP if I don't get stuck on silly activation/license roadblock - after all these years!! With the boot drive wiped, not sure how far I will get, but this machine was due for a refresh - or a recycle.

[1]:9865HD;55"LCD;BR [2]:4642HD; 102"; 720p Proj;BR [3]:SA4250HD;39"LED [4]:SA3200 [5]:OTA
MyMedia08 is offline  
post #30 of 361 (permalink) Old 2013-12-07, 07:29 PM
Rookie
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 13
Glad to hear you got Mediaportal installed! Let me know if you need any help on configuration. It can do anything you want, but the steps can be a little daunting at first.

Sent from my LG-P999 using Tapatalk 2
Smitten8r is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome