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Old 05-28-2016, 04:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Building a media center

Hey guys, I used to be a frequent of this forum about 8 or 9 years ago. It's good to see it's still up and running!
I've been disconnected from the computer world for some time now and looking to get back in it, but as we all know it's something that changes every day and if not constantly updated we can be left behind in a heartbeat.
I digress..

I'm interested in building a media center, used for holding movies, tv series, playing netflix, playing music, playing games, etc. Rather than using a playstation and I feel it would be more beneficial in the short and long run.

I used to get kicks out of building rigs for people, so if anyone else gets their rocks off by it as well I'd greatly appreciate it if someone could help me out and get me up to speed.
Last I was in the loop, Newegg was the place to go..Anything change since then?

Thanks a bunch!
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Old 05-28-2016, 10:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a media center

Newegg and Amazon. Amazon can sometimes be a little more expensive but if you have Prime for free 2 days it's sometimes worth it.

Will you be using Plex at all? Any kind of hard budget?
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Old 05-28-2016, 10:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a media center

I haven't heard of Plex before, but after Googling it I'm pretty interested in learning more about it.
I'm assuming a solid rig would run me about $600-$800. I'm not trying to have the best of the best, but I do want something that's going to appeal and impress not just myself, but my girlfriend and guests of the house.

I'm not a cheap guy, I work hard to have nice things and understand the value of a dollar for sure lol.
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Old 05-28-2016, 01:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a media center

Well, it's not the Canadian dollar so you would only need to spend like 500 to do just a media PC minus HDDs.

So if you're going direct into your TV with no other devices you won't need a beefy machine. An i3 rig would be more than sufficient for anything really. The expensive parts will depend on how fancy of a case you want and your HDD setup for storage.
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Old 05-31-2016, 11:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a media center

I've got a few buddies who are running OpenMediaVault (OMV) with the Plex feature running and they're doing it from a flash drive connected to a basic crap 6 year old desktop with a Core 2 processor. It doesn't take much to run it, in all honesty. That said, the flash drive crapped out after about 3 months for one of those guys, so I would use a hard drive. Otherwise, you can run Plex pretty easily.

Point is, you don't have to spend much at all to run a media pc, depending on what you're wanting to do with it. OMV is a pretty sweet little platform. I'm still looking into a few others, but so far this is the one for me.
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Old 05-31-2016, 11:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a media center

Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightShadow View Post
I've got a few buddies who are running OpenMediaVault (OMV) with the Plex feature running and they're doing it from a flash drive connected to a basic crap 6 year old desktop with a Core 2 processor. It doesn't take much to run it, in all honesty. That said, the flash drive crapped out after about 3 months for one of those guys, so I would use a hard drive. Otherwise, you can run Plex pretty easily.

Point is, you don't have to spend much at all to run a media pc, depending on what you're wanting to do with it. OMV is a pretty sweet little platform. I'm still looking into a few others, but so far this is the one for me.
If you want to be able to transcode videos though, you'll need a decent CPU. I have an e8400 dual core in my server that has Plex on it, and it sometimes struggles a bit with 1080p MKV movies.
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Old 05-31-2016, 11:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a media center

You may not need transcoding depending on how it's setup: https://goo.gl/EqcHJm

Even if you do, the requirements are really lightweight: https://goo.gl/1OrvZ5

EDIT:
OMV requirements without considering any plugins: http://goo.gl/vJTBZO
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Old 05-31-2016, 11:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a media center

To be better put, if you want to transcode 1080p video to something mobile friendly like 360 or 480p you'll need a good processor. Anytime my Firestick hits my server it maxes all 24 threads for a solid 5 minutes. I'll also add, 5 1080p streams on a 2600k basically kept it at 100%.
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Old 06-06-2016, 12:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a media center

Interesting stuff thanks guys for being active in this thread!
I haven't gotten to this post as much as I'd like, but I was browsing around Newegg and came across these Zotac barebones, and they seem pretty interesting. Anyone able to shed some light on these and how efficient/practical they would be?
Thanks!

Here's the link ZOTAC, Mini-PC Barebone, Barebone / Mini Computers, Components - Newegg.com
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Old 06-06-2016, 02:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building a media center

It depends on which one you want to get.
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