Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. So I have a computer that is a couple years old that I want to turn into some version of a HTPC. My current home theatre set up is as follows. I have a Sony HDTV, a Sony Blu-ray/receiver, an Xbox 360 and a 5 disc DVD changer. Currently I have my Xbox plugged into my network using a powerline adapter and I have to have my regular PC turned on when I want to access any movies or TV shows that I have on it. I use Windows Media Player extender to play them through my Xbox. I hate this set up.

So what i want to do is utilize my old PC. Either I want to put Linux on it and use it as a HTPC plugged directly into the TV and receiver. But this means I'd either have to download my shows and movies directly onto that PC, which in a living room could be fairly awkward and annoying, or download on regular PC and somehow port to the HTPC. Which if I don't have Windows installed on that machine, could be difficult.

Alternatively I was thinking of turning it into a NAS, but then I'd still have to have the Xbox turned on and streaming.

Thoughts? Any better way to do it that I haven't thought of? My router and regular PC is in another room on a different floor, hence the powerline adapter. I also don't have a TON of space in my living room.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
390 Posts
I bought an Acer Aspire Revo (Nettop) to use as an HTPC and store all of my movies/pictures/everthing else on a NAS in my office. The Revo uses HDMI into my receiver and pulls all of the media from the NAS. The Revo is running XBMC on top of Windows 7. Using Powerline Networking, i just point XBMC to my NAS IP/Share. I have 2 devices at the TV, my DVD/Blu-Ray player and the Revo. Both are connected to the receiver via HDMI.

Everything works flawlessly. The bonus is XBMC doesn't care about DRM, and it can mount/play ISO files seamlessly. If I want to watch a movie, I just wake the Revo from sleep. It then wakes up the Receiver and the NAS box. Flip the TV to HDMI and I'm good to go. I don't need any other PC's running, and no files are actually stored on the HTPC. YouTube is also a snap through XBMC.
 

·
Member #1
Joined
·
47,683 Posts
Honestly, I'm really not sure what your question is.

Nettop with NAS is an excellent way to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,131 Posts
Currently I have my Xbox plugged into my network using a powerline adapter and I have to have my regular PC turned on when I want to access any movies or TV shows that I have on it. I use Windows Media Player extender to play them through my Xbox. I hate this set up.
Love it or hate it, this is a good solution. Replacing the desktop PC with a dedicated NAS or media server is an improvement. Using an old PC as a NAS has it's good and bad points. The cost of entry is quite low but setup can be complicated. The learning curve is quite high for Linux. If it's a Pentium 4 or older AMD CPU based PC, cost of operation can be quite high. If you have the money, purchasing a dedicated NAS (Drobo, WD Sharespace, Buffalo LinkStation, Netgear ReadyNAS or similar) is a good option. If want to use a PC, it's a good idea to do some experimenting first. FreeNAS and Openfiler are good solutions to easily set up a dedicated NAS. Windows XP/MCE or Win7 also be used on a small network but it's not as flexible for disk management. Windows Home Server is another option but I don't recommend it due to cost and weak disk management features. Building a dedicated HTPC is an option to replace the Xbox but it can also be costly, difficult to set up and will require a NAS or media server for extended storage.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top