sam9s HTPC project! Powered By XBMC!!!

Building a new system? Need help choosing between parts? Then step in and let our trained gerbils assist you.

Moderator: JustAnEngineer

sam9s HTPC project! Powered By XBMC!!!

Postposted on Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:42 am

Hello friends welcome to Sam's HTPC thread....

Well after 2 weeks of research and development and another week to successfully deploy it, finally completed building MY HTPC,

Following is my story and complete built

To begin with one might ask with Media players all over the place giving an out of the box experience and I; already owning one, what was the need to go for an HTPC??

Well following are the 3 main reason for the same .... ofcourse there were many other small factors as well, but the following remains the main.

1. My POHD does not support HD audio and I was not willing to spent another 10-12K to get a new Media Player just for this drawback (reason in the 3rd point)

2. YAMJ, every single media player I have seen (except TViX maybe) has a pathetic YAMJ, along with a crap interface ..... yes even extremer or new POHD2, all lack a polish quality media interface and yes, much needed elite YAMJ

3. Last but not the least, since I upgraded my PC and assembled a new one, I had my old hardware at hand, so decided to use it as my HTPC. All I added was a case and a mid level GPU


(details discussed later in the post.)

Now I had a very specific objective for the my HTPC, as to how it needs to be configured and how it should behave, which was very much in the lines of an actual media player. Few of the points that I had in mind for my HTPC ....

1. It should definitely have the feel of a media player, no windows feel at all, should boot directly in to my Media Center. Though the base would ofcourse be windows (one can opt for linux as well) but I opted to go
for windows .....

2. Boot time as fast as possible (just like media player), will upgraded to SSD later.

3. Quality YAMJ and polished look and feel...... with the entire interface drooling with quality. (This was one of my main reason to ditch media player along with HD audio support)

4. Support for HD audio. (DTA MA and DD THD streaming)

5. Remote for HTPC just like a conventional Media Player


Now that we have a small introduction before moving further I would like to show you the final product, so that you may have an idea what lies ahead.

For the Media Player I decided to choose the awesome front end media center from Xbox called XBMC or Xbox Media Center. There are loads of other media center applications as well like for example "Windows Media Center", "Media Portal", "Media Browser" etc etc and
every media center has its own pros and cones, but XBMC with its cones was the most polished looking media center with max number of TPA plugins and themes .....

Following is the video that shows the complete bootup of the HTPC in to XBMC and explorers the few main functions of the same.

If the end product is liked and there is enough interest in the thread, I will share more details as to how I configured XBMC to behave like how I wanted to.
The video is in two parts since youtube does not allow to load a video which is more then 15 minutes. Plus the quality is bit poor, I recoded the video in 720p but the entire size landed to be pretty huge, around 5GB, so I had to compress it and lessen the resolution to 640x480 to get it under 500MB .....so bare with me on the quality of the video. But it would given you a fair bit of an idea as to how XBMC looks and feel.

Part 1

YouTube - ‪XBMC Demo part 1.mp4‬‏

Part 2

YouTube - ‪XBMC Demo Part 2.mp4‬‏


To begin with the hardware .....

Remember HTPC is not big deal, you dont need a powerhouse of a hardware to actually get the max out of your HTPC, not even 3D, with my current config I could have used it as my 3D HTPC as well if I had the 3D display .....

The config (remember its the old hardware I used.)

1. Intel C2D E6300@3.2 Ghz
2. ASUS P5B Delux mobo
3. 4GB DDR2 RAM
5. nVidia Zotac GT440 GPU (This is New)
6. Silverstone LC10-E HTPC cabinet (This is new as well)


Point to note is that I chose to go nVidia way this time for multimedia needs. If you do some research you will come to know that though ATI leads the GPU segment with their HD series, when it comes to A/V playback capabilities nVidia is said to be better. Specially with CORE AVC codecs used with their popular CUDA technology. Plus there are some rare bugs with video playbacks with ATI that pushed me to go for nVidia for my HTPC. GT4XX series is the best known for A/V playback with full support for HD Bitstreaming and 3D playback.

For case ... well Silverstone LC-10 was the cheapest HTPC case from Silverstone, and I did not want to go for any conventional case. Though there was few from Thermalake that I really liked.

Apart from it I used ....

1. Logitech wifi keyboard combo
2. ANDROID XBMC remote
3. ANDROID TMT5 remote

The applications used ...

1. Xbox Media center XBMC
2. Total Media Theater 5

One can use Power DVD or MPC-HC (with ffdshow)as well

3. Media Center Master

Following are the pictures of my hardware and XBMC. The skin I have used in the below snaps are "Transperancy!" and "MediaStream Redux". Have shared loads of snaps so bare with me ...

First my hardware ....

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Now my XBMC Pics ....

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


Suggestions, Questions are welcome ......

Regards
Sammy
Core i7-2600K|Win 7 Ulti x64|ASUS P8P67 Pro|G.Gkill 16GB 1600Mhz DDR3 |Sapphire HD5850|DELL 24" UltraSharp IPS 1080p|5.0 TB storage|Intel X-25M 80GB SSD|LG Bluray/HD DVD combo|CM690|Altec Lansing ATP5|Onkyo 6200
sam9s
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 352
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: India - New Delhi

Re: sam9s HTPC project! Powered By XBMC!!!

Postposted on Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:05 am

Very nice. I tried to use XMBC, but couldn't find the time to set it up as you have it. By the way...the apperance pic you have, I am using as my desktop :D
WarBastard
Gerbil
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 3:06 pm

Re: sam9s HTPC project! Powered By XBMC!!!

Postposted on Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:40 am

sam9s wrote:5. nVidia Zotac GT440 GPU (This is New)

Point to note is that I chose to go nVidia way this time for multimedia needs. If you do some research you will come to know that though ATI leads the GPU segment with their HD series, when it comes to A/V playback capabilities nVidia is said to be better. Specially with CORE AVC codecs used with their popular CUDA technology. Plus there are some rare bugs with video playbacks with ATI that pushed me to go for nVidia for my HTPC. GT4XX series is the best known for A/V playback with full support for HD Bitstreaming and 3D playback.
Anandtech recently looked at graphics cards for HTPC:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4380/disc ... shootout/1
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15137
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: sam9s HTPC project! Powered By XBMC!!!

Postposted on Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:20 am

^^ Thanks for the link, looks like 430 is a pretty good card , 440 is a bit more advanced version with 2 GB ram and so. Anyway the point was thay nVidia has better performing cards when it comes to A/V playback ......
Core i7-2600K|Win 7 Ulti x64|ASUS P8P67 Pro|G.Gkill 16GB 1600Mhz DDR3 |Sapphire HD5850|DELL 24" UltraSharp IPS 1080p|5.0 TB storage|Intel X-25M 80GB SSD|LG Bluray/HD DVD combo|CM690|Altec Lansing ATP5|Onkyo 6200
sam9s
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 352
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: India - New Delhi

Re: sam9s HTPC project! Powered By XBMC!!!

Postposted on Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:14 am

Anandtech's conclusion was different regarding performance. They said that the AMD card had better performance out of the box, but NVidia had more support for obscure codecs and utilities if you liked incessantly tinkering with your HTPC setup.
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15137
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie

Re: sam9s HTPC project! Powered By XBMC!!!

Postposted on Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:01 pm

What made you choose XBMC over Boxee?
bdwilcox
Graphmaster Gerbil
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2003 11:21 am

Re: sam9s HTPC project! Powered By XBMC!!!

Postposted on Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:55 am

bdwilcox wrote:What made you choose XBMC over Boxee?


XBMC is more comprehensive, plus the interface is far better and polished. Also XBMC has better TPA, plugins and online support. .... :-)
Ans I think XBMC A/V codec support is also better than boxbee (I am not sure as I did not extensively test boxbee on highbitrate movies)
Core i7-2600K|Win 7 Ulti x64|ASUS P8P67 Pro|G.Gkill 16GB 1600Mhz DDR3 |Sapphire HD5850|DELL 24" UltraSharp IPS 1080p|5.0 TB storage|Intel X-25M 80GB SSD|LG Bluray/HD DVD combo|CM690|Altec Lansing ATP5|Onkyo 6200
sam9s
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 352
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: India - New Delhi

Re: sam9s HTPC project! Powered By XBMC!!!

Postposted on Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:18 pm

Love the looks of your xbmc. Which theme did you use?

Never mind. Read the post again and it was listed there. :o
Last edited by Jeb0921 on Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jeb0921
Gerbil In Training
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 3:14 pm

Re: sam9s HTPC project! Powered By XBMC!!!

Postposted on Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:40 pm

5. Remote for HTPC just like a conventional Media Player


Does your remote do Power On for the HTPC? It's the last bit of my setup that I haven't sorted out yet as I still have to physically turn on the PC as the BIOS settings doesn't allow input through USB when the PC is turned off, where an infrared receiver is hooked to.
*yawn*
etilena
Gerbil Jedi
 
Posts: 1669
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 6:43 am
Location: .ozziefied.

Re: sam9s HTPC project! Powered By XBMC!!!

Postposted on Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:54 am

etilena wrote:Does your remote do Power On for the HTPC? It's the last bit of my setup that I haven't sorted out yet as I still have to physically turn on the PC as the BIOS settings doesn't allow input through USB when the PC is turned off, where an infrared receiver is hooked to.

See if your BIOS allows PC powerup through keyboard combinations. Often Ctrl+F1 will power on a PC and different combinations can often be set in the BIOS.
bdwilcox
Graphmaster Gerbil
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2003 11:21 am

Re: sam9s HTPC project! Powered By XBMC!!!

Postposted on Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:41 am

etilena wrote:
5. Remote for HTPC just like a conventional Media Player


Does your remote do Power On for the HTPC? It's the last bit of my setup that I haven't sorted out yet as I still have to physically turn on the PC as the BIOS settings doesn't allow input through USB when the PC is turned off, where an infrared receiver is hooked to.


etilena, This can be achieved using a very nifty utility called Remote Launcher ...... basically its a tool that enables you to launch applications remotely on your PC via your Android phone. There are other loads of similar applications that do the same, but what I found with this one was the "Wake ON Lan" support, plus the interface is neat and it actually works like a charm.

Few things that needs to remembered is your hardware should support WOL which in today's scenario most of them do. Second your PC should be in hibernate mode. And lastly you PC should have a static IP. To make it work just put the IP of your HTPC/LAN Card and the MAC address of the same, and that's it. Press WOL button on your android application and it powers on your machine right from your couch .... :). I have a small video I prepared to show but cant post the link as I am in office and I can not access youtube from office. Will do it whern I get home.
Core i7-2600K|Win 7 Ulti x64|ASUS P8P67 Pro|G.Gkill 16GB 1600Mhz DDR3 |Sapphire HD5850|DELL 24" UltraSharp IPS 1080p|5.0 TB storage|Intel X-25M 80GB SSD|LG Bluray/HD DVD combo|CM690|Altec Lansing ATP5|Onkyo 6200
sam9s
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 352
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: India - New Delhi

Re: sam9s HTPC project! Powered By XBMC!!!

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:53 am

sweet. don't have an android device though, only have iOS devices, but it has given me something to read through to find out more.

you still have the link to youtube that i can watch? thanks!
*yawn*
etilena
Gerbil Jedi
 
Posts: 1669
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 6:43 am
Location: .ozziefied.

Re: sam9s HTPC project! Powered By XBMC!!!

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:59 am

etilena wrote:sweet. don't have an android device though, only have iOS devices, but it has given me something to read through to find out more.

you still have the link to youtube that i can watch? thanks!


iOS must be having some kind of similar application. I will try if I can find one ....... and apologies I forgot about the video, actual there is so little activity these days on Tech report that my visits have become less frequent ...... here is the video link ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMzaH3bvZm8
Core i7-2600K|Win 7 Ulti x64|ASUS P8P67 Pro|G.Gkill 16GB 1600Mhz DDR3 |Sapphire HD5850|DELL 24" UltraSharp IPS 1080p|5.0 TB storage|Intel X-25M 80GB SSD|LG Bluray/HD DVD combo|CM690|Altec Lansing ATP5|Onkyo 6200
sam9s
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 352
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: India - New Delhi

Re: sam9s HTPC project! Powered By XBMC!!!

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:06 am

oops, just realised another problem, can't do WOL because my HTPC is running on wifi.
*yawn*
etilena
Gerbil Jedi
 
Posts: 1669
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 6:43 am
Location: .ozziefied.

Re: sam9s HTPC project! Powered By XBMC!!!

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:18 am

Damm then ofcourse WOL wont work, BTW, over wifi are you able to stream full DB ISO. Reason I am asking is that I have a wifi-n network and still I was not able to stream full BD ISO. It stutters. I decided to go wired and all is well since then ......What is your experience on this ......
Core i7-2600K|Win 7 Ulti x64|ASUS P8P67 Pro|G.Gkill 16GB 1600Mhz DDR3 |Sapphire HD5850|DELL 24" UltraSharp IPS 1080p|5.0 TB storage|Intel X-25M 80GB SSD|LG Bluray/HD DVD combo|CM690|Altec Lansing ATP5|Onkyo 6200
sam9s
Gerbil XP
 
Posts: 352
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 12:49 pm
Location: India - New Delhi

Re: sam9s HTPC project! Powered By XBMC!!!

Postposted on Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:21 pm

sam9s wrote:Damm then ofcourse WOL wont work, BTW, over wifi are you able to stream full DB ISO. Reason I am asking is that I have a wifi-n network and still I was not able to stream full BD ISO. It stutters. I decided to go wired and all is well since then ......What is your experience on this ......


it is a problem depending on the number of wireless devices running at the time. i haven't tried streaming a full 1080p/i movie before but did have issues with stuttering on 720p movies previously. i upgraded the wifi antennas on my router and the HTPC from 2dbi ones to 9dbi ones. haven't had many problems since. distance may also be a factor as my NAS and HTPC sit on separate floors over 15-20 metres apart i think, so maybe the antennas might work if the two devices were closer together.
*yawn*
etilena
Gerbil Jedi
 
Posts: 1669
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 6:43 am
Location: .ozziefied.


Return to System Builders Anonymous

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest