Round-up - Things to do with an HTPC

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Round-up - Things to do with an HTPC

Postposted on Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:57 pm

So, I'm going to build my first HTPC tomorrow, once the remaining parts arrive from Newegg, and I wanted to round up all the cool things people do with a decently well powered HTPC with a TV turner and cablecard attached. Please send cool ideas, functions or programs and I will update the OP to reflect them.

So far I have:

-Replace cable box and DVR and save enough money over time to pay for the system
-Stream live or recorded TV to multiple rooms
-Netflix and other streaming media services
-Light gaming (if no separate video card)
-Onlive for other gaming
-Home picture and video viewing
-Centralized storage and backup
-Blu-ray watching
-Wii, PS2, Gamecube, legacy system (other?) video game emulation

What else have you all used your HTPC for?
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/MSI 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/Asus 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
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Re: Round-up - Things to do with an HTPC

Postposted on Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:29 pm

pr0n.




lol seriously, I think you have all the bases covered. Throw in a Logitech 920 webcam in while you are at it. I have one and the quality is awesome.

What are the specs of your system?
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Re: Round-up - Things to do with an HTPC

Postposted on Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:02 pm

You probably want to pick up a cheap Windows Media Center remote (included with some tuner cards) and have wireless keyboard/mouse/trackball/touchpad devices, as well.
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Re: Round-up - Things to do with an HTPC

Postposted on Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:27 am

Logitecs k400 is a popular HTPC keyboard that has great range long battery ife and instead of a num pad it has a touchpad that works quite well... but can be a bit touchy. i still prefer a mouse, but the touchpad comes in handy when in the bedroom and no room on the bed for it.

if you plan on streaming hi bitrate 1080p mkvs or a bluray drive from a remote computer wireless will not cut it. get good powerline adapters to any rooms that you cannot run cat5/6 cables to. But only if you have streaming problems because of bandwidth issues.
If possible have all computers wired to a gigabit switch/modem so file transfers will be fed to the receiving computer as fast as a HDD can spit it out....but gigbit lan will limit a fast ssd drive but it will still transfer quickly saturating a gigabit connection. I average about 90mbps with 7200rpm black drives 70 with a green drive.
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Re: Round-up - Things to do with an HTPC

Postposted on Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:55 am

All I do with mine is watch things, torrent things, web-browse and play games.

When I'm not at work, that's pretty much all I do with any PC, actually ;)
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Re: Round-up - Things to do with an HTPC

Postposted on Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:05 am

I never torrent. I pay a legit company 19.99 a month for the best unlimited superfast video downloads that has literally everything you would need to watch EVER. It used to be 29.99 with a 500gb cap...the cap is gone whoo hoo

With my fios i download at 10800kb a second or around 25 gb in about a hour from there servers. I do no uploading at all! it maxes my 83MBs download speed...fios is generous i pay for 75mbs down and 35 up a dvr/hdbox along with 3 other hd boxes tha can watch whatever is recorded on the dvr, along with 2 bobo no hd boxes for 113$ a month for 2 years. Plus phone with a battery backup. Also a nice modem with gigbit conections and wifi. I have been very happy with FIOS. Plus they do not compress there video as much as rcn or comcast so your TV's picture is better.

PM me if anyone is interested in knowing the name of the video site/service
2600k HT on@4705mhz 8gb Cas9 1600 mem 2x EVGA GTX770 4gb Classified cards in SLI @1320 mhz core and 2003 mhz mem,mounted in CM HAF922 with a TX-850 PSU 2xHTPC's 2xi3 2120 3.3ghz dual core,1xasus LP HD6570 1xHIS hd7750@1150core1325mem,55"PanyVT30
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Re: Round-up - Things to do with an HTPC

Postposted on Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:50 am

Remote Potato is an excellent free plugin for WMC. It's almost a must-have. It provides a web interface to stream your recorded TV, videos, audio, and pictures. It also has guide functionality so you can set stuff to record from work or wherever. There is also an iOS app (and maybe an android app too?) but it is not free.

Do you have plans to use any extenders?
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Re: Round-up - Things to do with an HTPC

Postposted on Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:03 am

I used to have a YouTube plugin for WMC, but YouTube updated/changed their protocols too often for the developer to keep up with it.

Now I use Steam's Big Picture interface to select & launch games on my HTPC.
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Re: Round-up - Things to do with an HTPC

Postposted on Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:06 am

Minecraft server / small voice-comms server for your buddies (if machine is always on!).
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Re: Round-up - Things to do with an HTPC

Postposted on Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:24 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:You probably want to pick up a cheap Windows Media Center remote (included with some tuner cards) and have wireless keyboard/mouse/trackball/touchpad devices, as well.


I don't know why anyone would bother with a IR remote instead of a decent bluetooth (ie, a mouse with good wireless range) mouse for a PC. What can you do with a remote that you can't do with a mouse? Is going to the volume slider to adjust the volume really that much effort? And you can obviously do much more with a mouse on a PC...
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Re: Round-up - Things to do with an HTPC

Postposted on Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:41 pm

vandy wrote:pr0n.




lol seriously, I think you have all the bases covered. Throw in a Logitech 920 webcam in while you are at it. I have one and the quality is awesome.

What are the specs of your system?


Just set it up today:

Processor: Core i3 32253.3ghz

MOBO: Biostar H77MU3 LGA 1155 mATX Intel Motherboard

RAM:G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

Case: Silverstone GD05B case

Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12Vr

Hard drive: 1Tb Seagate - going to add a 2tb WD Caviar for DVR

Blu-ray drive: Asus 12x internal Blu-ray burner

Tuner: Ceton InfiniTV 4 Quad-tuner Card for Watching Digital Cable TV on the PC, PCI-Express x1 Interface

Windows Experience Index rating thing: 5.9 because of HDD, everything else was above 6.5.

Thing flies. Love it. First desktop since college 10 years ago.
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/MSI 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/Asus 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
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Re: Round-up - Things to do with an HTPC

Postposted on Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:47 pm

I got the Logitech K400, but I may return it since my Nexus 7 + the free Unified Remote app seems to work pretty well. Will have to play around with it more to see if I need a real keyboard or not.

@dextrous - Only extenders I have atm are my computers and my Xbox 360, and I wouldn't be able to get wired internet to any of them outside of the living room. So, for now, no. I have been looking at Ceton's extender, but its a bit steep at $175 - only $10 more than I paid for the cable card tuner!
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/MSI 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/Asus 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
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Re: Round-up - Things to do with an HTPC

Postposted on Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:58 am

My HTPC is running off a very compact Microsoft Arc keyboard that will sit on one leg, and a basic wireless mouse (Microsoft 4000 mobile mouse, I think).

I tried running media remotes so many times but whilst they compliment a mouse and keyboard they will never adequately replace either; I found that the Unified Remote apps are pretty good for just film/tv watching. backlit pause, rewind, skip ahead buttons > exiting full-screen to play with a slider or hunting for keyboard keys in low-light.
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Re: Round-up - Things to do with an HTPC

Postposted on Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:29 am

cynan wrote:I don't know why anyone would bother with a IR remote instead of a decent bluetooth (ie, a mouse with good wireless range) mouse for a PC. What can you do with a remote that you can't do with a mouse?
Hand it to my wife and then leave the room.
If there is one thing a remote-controlled, silent and unseeable surveillance/killing machine needs, it’s more whimsy. -- Marcus
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Re: Round-up - Things to do with an HTPC

Postposted on Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:34 pm

Darkmage wrote:
cynan wrote:I don't know why anyone would bother with a IR remote instead of a decent bluetooth (ie, a mouse with good wireless range) mouse for a PC. What can you do with a remote that you can't do with a mouse?
Hand it to my wife and then leave the room.

Mouse + Keyboard are 2 items. A remote (if you can get away with it), is just one item in hand to worry about.
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