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Old 10-12-2015, 02:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cheap htpc for sis or me?

My sis is back at home. She wanted to know what was a better option for streaming. A Htpc or one of those (insert brand here) USB tv plug ins for Amazon Netflix Hulu ect. (She came from a place with a nice htpc that a roommate had)

I told her it would be cheapest to just get one of the USB plug ins. Or a wifi bluray player.


But this question did get me curious, how does a hd 4850oced do streaming 1080? Jw. I have a bunch of parts left over from my old system so was just curious. For me prob more than her

Thanks guys.
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cheap htpc for sis or me?

I have both a Chromecast and an Amazon FireTV Stick. I like the FireTV Stick more than the Chromecast for the living room for me personally. I use it for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, as well as for my local Plex Media Server that I have running on a system that has all of my media (music, TV shows, and movies) on it. I can then stream content from my Plex Server to my Fire Stick (or Chromecast...but the Chromecast has to transcode more where as the Fire Stick can play more natively). I'm able to stream 1080p content locally just fine - over the web I drop it down to 720p because of my restricted upload speed.
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Old 10-12-2015, 03:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cheap htpc for sis or me?

Remember you from years ago thank you for responding.

Yeah my sis is thinking and familiar with chromecast. So that's what I have been leaning her towards other than a name brand bluray. I only suggest the bluray because that has the mainstream needs she wants. Plus a bluray player, which she does not currently have(but she owns blurays)

I think I'm going to just tell her to get the bluray or chrome.

But for me.. a guy with a psu/memory/hdd/hd4850 in a box in the basement. would it be worth turning that into a htpc for myself? For 1080 streaming? And just for s's n g's what's a 4k tv need for streaming? Gpu wise?
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Old 10-12-2015, 06:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cheap htpc for sis or me?

I also have both, and I also prefer the Fire stick as it has a remote.

A PC for streaming depends on the CPU.
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Old 10-12-2015, 07:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cheap htpc for sis or me?

I use an old Dell Optiplex 3-something for an HTPC in the living room. Added a good wireless adapter, as well as a wireless mouse and keyboard. We stream locally as well as do Netflix and Hulu. It has a Core 2 Duo in it and 4GB of RAM, and it gets the job done very well.
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Old 10-12-2015, 11:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cheap htpc for sis or me?

I have an old HP with an e8400 / 6GB of RAM doing running my Plex server. Does good with the FireTV Stick for 1080p since it can offload some of the transcoding to the Fire Stick, or even just let the Fire Stick play it natively.

THough the official Plex app for the Fire Stick has issues (lots of stuttering and buffering with 1080p movies that were MKV)...so I had to install Kodi on my Fire Stick and the PleXMBC add-on (both free), and then installed FireStarter (home screen replacement) and now it works fantastic. No stuttering whatsoever.
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Old 10-12-2015, 05:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cheap htpc for sis or me?

Thanks everyone !
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Old 10-12-2015, 05:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cheap htpc for sis or me?

What's not being mentioned here is bitrate. Higher bitrate 1080p requires higher end CPU to transcode depending on how you're doing the streaming. Now if you're using the machine for simple playback almost anything can do 1080p. 4k is a different story.
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