HTPC Build - Going strong for 6+ months!

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HTPC Build - Going strong for 6+ months!

Postposted on Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:24 pm

I thought I would share this, as I finally got around to taking pics and documenting it. I completed this build in mid 2013. It started out as a mix of old and new, as I had some spare parts laying around that I wanted to put to use. It then turned into a pretty in depth build, as I wanted this little box to be an all in one solution for my living room. It has definitely worked out for me!

The hardware breakdown is right here, but the crowning achievement of this build, in my opinion, is on the software side. I'm utilizing XBMC as the front end for just about everything, with advance launcher settings to get to Steam (Big Picture view FTW), PowerDVD for blu-rays, netflix, etc. This is all tied in extremely nicely with my Logitech harmony remote. I also have 2 dual tuner HDTV tuners for OTA reception, with a NextPVR backend that is seamless with XBMC. Free DVR! It also works great as a whole home DVR for my other PCs that have XBMC installed.

I am very proud of this build. Many hours of blood, sweat and tears have been poured into this. Here are some pictures of the completed build, and here are some pictures of my entertainment center putting it to use, which is next to my Gaming PC as well!
Intel 4770K @ 4.3 ghz (delidded) | Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler | Asus Z87-A Mobo | G.SKILL Ares 16GB DDR3-1866 RAM| Gigabyte GTX 770 4GB | Samsung 840 EVO 500GB SSD | 3 TB Mechanical Storage | Corsair Carbide 400R Enclosure
firerules16
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Re: HTPC Build - Going strong for 6+ months!

Postposted on Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:57 am

Sweet builds! Love those sff Silverstone cases.

I may be adding an NH-D14 to my having rig for some better overclocks since I'm trying to get better performance out of Guild Wars 2.
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: HTPC Build - Going strong for 6+ months!

Postposted on Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:18 am

Good to hear your build is working well.

My own system is still doing great duty since a difficult birth back in 2008-2009. The astute will notice just a couple of upgrades since that era.

HTPC: Antec Fusion 430, Gigabyte GA-MA78GPM-UD2H F7, AMD X2 4850e, Sapphire 4670 1GB, Corsair 4x1Gb, Adata 128Gb SSD, WD10EARS Green, LG GGC-H20L Blu-ray, Hauppauge NOVA TD-500, Logitech z-5500, Logitech Harmony 525, Samsung LA40B530 1080p, Vista Premium-32 SP2, Catalyst 10.12(Facelift preview), Mediaportal 1.2.3+OneButtonMusic, AC3Filter, Cyberlink Powercinema 6 h.264 codec, WinDVD 11 Pro

I find Mediaportal does great duty for digital TV/music, and WinDVD is my option for blu-ray/dvd. One highlight of this system has to be the Logitech z-5500 speaker set: great sounds.

Dale
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Re: HTPC Build - Going strong for 6+ months!

Postposted on Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:45 am

Thanks for the update. I'd like to know more about your software and remote integration.
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Re: HTPC Build - Going strong for 6+ months!

Postposted on Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:09 am

Hmm, where to begin? I'll start with the software I'm running:

XBMC 12.3 Frodo
Power DVD 13 Ultra
WMC Netflix
Steam in 'big picture' view
NextPVR as DVR backend (XBMC has a PVR addon that works pretty well, so integration with XBMC is really tight)
Misc XBMC addons / custom skin

I am using a Windows MCE remote sensor, and I have my Logitech Harmony remote programmed for it. To get out of XBMC and into other programs (ie Steam, Power DVD, etc) I use an XBMC addon called Advanced Launcher to start scripts that will close XBMC and open the new program. Once I am done with that, I press the 'XBMC' button I have programmed on the remote, and it closes that app and restarts XBMC. A very large part of what's driving things on the backend is a wide arrangement of Event Ghost scripts to automate things. Here are some software pics to give you an idea.

Long story short, quite a bit of trial and error went into making this all work. I don't care to guess at how many hours I have sunk into this thing to get it just the way I want, and I'm always trying to come up with ways to make it better. :D
Intel 4770K @ 4.3 ghz (delidded) | Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler | Asus Z87-A Mobo | G.SKILL Ares 16GB DDR3-1866 RAM| Gigabyte GTX 770 4GB | Samsung 840 EVO 500GB SSD | 3 TB Mechanical Storage | Corsair Carbide 400R Enclosure
firerules16
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Re: HTPC Build - Going strong for 6+ months!

Postposted on Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:22 am

I see. I wasn't sure if you actually had Netflix running within XBMC.

I have a gaming HTPC running Windows 8 that I use primarily for Steam, Netflix, and XBMC. I attempted to get Google Play Music to stream in XBMC, but was not successful a couple months back. I suppose I should try again. I'm surprised W8 has been so bad at HTPC functionality, it's featureless for couch PCs. My MCE remote barely did anything by default. I went back to using only the Logitech K400. I still think the HTPC solution is way better than all these Apple TV, Roku, etc devices.
gigafinger
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Re: HTPC Build - Going strong for 6+ months!

Postposted on Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:53 am

To my knowledge, native netflix within XBMC is not possible atm due to the DRM Netflix has in place. It'd be awesome if they made an official addon for XBMC, but I don't see that ever happening. I've thought about using Win 8 for the HTPC if only for the superior netflix app that it has, but seems like a waste just for that.
Intel 4770K @ 4.3 ghz (delidded) | Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler | Asus Z87-A Mobo | G.SKILL Ares 16GB DDR3-1866 RAM| Gigabyte GTX 770 4GB | Samsung 840 EVO 500GB SSD | 3 TB Mechanical Storage | Corsair Carbide 400R Enclosure
firerules16
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Re: HTPC Build - Going strong for 6+ months!

Postposted on Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:16 pm

firerules16 wrote:To my knowledge, native netflix within XBMC is not possible atm due to the DRM Netflix has in place. It'd be awesome if they made an official addon for XBMC, but I don't see that ever happening. I've thought about using Win 8 for the HTPC if only for the superior netflix app that it has, but seems like a waste just for that.

Superior netflix app? Who told you this lie? :lol:
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