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Old 05-28-2009, 12:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default someone please explain HTPC's to me...

I am splurging and finally getting myself a decent television... growing up with nothing larger than a 20" has led to me wanting a decent sized TV now that I can afford one.. that got me thinking about other TV related entertainment.. and how often I see people building HTPCs .. but what exactly is a HTPC? what do people use them for? playing movies, looking at pictures, music, etc..? is that all? because my ps3 does all I need when it comes to that... and my 24" monitor is plenty big enough for picture viewing... the reason I ask is since I've almost completed my i7 build.. it would be easy to turn my current rig into one... but I'd like to know if I even need one...? so what would you, or do you, use a HTPC for?
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: someone please explain HTPC's to me...

Think of an htpc as a super fancy tivo box.

You can use them for recording tv.
streaming media from another computer.
surfing the internet.
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: someone please explain HTPC's to me...

Also it's nice to be able to fine tune things, I have a TV card and used to record TV shows and set my TV as a second monitor and works nice for that,(with the S video) The surround on my PC is a nice touch too because the TV is about 14 yrs old and I didn't want to spend the $$ on a surround for it (I want a new TV too) also when I use the watch it now option on Netflix I just set it on the TV. Just make sure you get a good TV card if you do it, Mine is old and will be replaced in not too long.

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Old 05-28-2009, 09:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: someone please explain HTPC's to me...

I wouldn't mind a TV card to record my old VHS tapes...

You can build an HTPC for under 500 bucks (if I remember correctly) that will play just about everything from AVI files to Bluray. Actually, more often than not, the HTPC case is the most expensive thing in the build, lol. All you really need hardware-wise is a dual core and decent video, which you can get with the 7750 and a 780G chipset.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: someone please explain HTPC's to me...

I use my htpc for watching movies i have on my computer on my tv. (i have ripped most of my stargate sg1 and sga collection to my computer, and some of my dvd's that i watch a lot. i will do the same with battlestar galactica soon. So it makes things a lot easier. I also listen to music on it as well.
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: someone please explain HTPC's to me...

I'm building one for Blu-Ray capabilities. I figure a good BD player is going to be about the same price as a HTPC (I already have some parts laying around to keep that cost competitive to BD players) but a HTPC will give me more functionality.

However, if you already have a PS3 then that might be all you need. Unless you want to record TV and/or rip movies then you probably would be fine with the PS3 and could pass on a HTPC.
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: someone please explain HTPC's to me...

If you grab this drive here: Newegg.com - LG Black 6X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SATA Internal Combo LG Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVDĪR DVD Burner Model GGC-H20L - Blu-Ray Drives

You can basically play anything. Combine that with a 7750 and a 780G chipset, you're set.
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Old 05-28-2009, 03:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: someone please explain HTPC's to me...

I'm building my second HTPC right now, is for the bedroom, it has a lot to do with my HD home video. I also don't watch much tv so the shows i and the wife want i download in HD and watch whenever I feel like it without having to pay for cable and the box.

My other issue is that my tv room is very tight for space so having one mATX box for everything instead of half a dozen players, boxes, etc... it cleans it up a lot.

Other nice thing is that now with two in the house and all my movies/tv on the network I can access them from my bedroom without having to run down 2 levels to the basement for my DVDs and stuff.

Final bonus for me is the additional systems I have at my disposal for my annual LAN party.
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Old 05-29-2009, 02:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: someone please explain HTPC's to me...

I have always wanted to build a HTPC up mainly for music and watching movies on, maybe just have it set to launch media center at startup. But this means i would need to have another set of nice surround speakers and thats not within my budget so i just use my pc for music and a plain LCD 1080p tv for movies, using my z5500's through optical cable to the blu ray player.
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