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Is an HTPC really that much better than running media from every day PC?

post #1 of 27
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My gaming rig is in the same room as my tv, is hooked up to my 47 in flatscreen through HDMI, and it has 1x500 GB boot drive, and 2x2TB internals (media drive and backup) and then a 500 GB external that i back up music/photos/and game files to.

I have WMC with about 550 movies (standard def) and all of them are redundantly backed up on the second 2 TB harddrive. When I play the movies from my couch, I just fire up the TV, go the PC connection and select the TV output for sound.

This solution seems to work well for me, so what advantages would a dedicated HTPC have over this solution?
post #2 of 27
I have wondered this myself, and I don't realy see any advantage if you are happy with how you have it set up for yourself right now. I use my primary PC as my HTPC because there has never been a time when I would need to use both at the same time.

edit: GO BUCKS!
    
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post #3 of 27
A HTPC is just a normal pc that is used for media. There is nothing special about a HTPC. HTPCs generally just have a small form factor case and are made to be quiet to you don't hear them while watching a movie. They also generally don't have top end parts in them because performance isn't really an issue. As long as it can play video it is sufficient.

People make "HTPCs" when they want a cheap, small computer that can sit in their living room and not use a lot of power, take up a lot of space, or be heard.

My PC and TV are also in the same room and I also use my PC as a HTPC.
Edited by Epitope - 6/9/11 at 11:28pm
    
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post #4 of 27
none. HTPCs are simply designed as media centers but many people use their gaming rigs to do the job.
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post #5 of 27
If you're using your rig on your home theater, it is a HTPC
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post #6 of 27
The thing with an HTPC is that you use it for pretty much your media only so it doesn't interfere with anything else...documents, games, browser, etc...from my point of view.

If your current computer is used as an HTPC then that's great. I myself use my computer for pretty much everything so I can say that it is also an HTPC. If you feel the need of having a dedicated HTPC without worrying about yourself or others in need of a computer for general uses then feel free to build one.
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post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks, it sounds like a lot of people are doing what I am doing. I just read all of these threads about people's HTPCs, and RAID arrays and massive servers. I know the importance of backup, and finally got my second 2TB to do the job. Eventually, once the 2 TB is full, I will need to figure out a solution to add another 2 drives (media/backup). I will probably need to get an HDD tower, PSU and SATA card for all the drives I have, but still cheaper than a separate PC.

Thanks for the input!! Out of curiosity, how many movies do you guys all have? I currently have 568, but they're all SD except a few. Quality isn't all that bad, however, some of my friend's ripped MP4s come out way better than mine. Why is that you think?
post #8 of 27
Having a HTPC allows us to game while the wife / family watch tv

Ripping movies is all about the settings. MP4 is just a format. You can have all sorts of variety within the format (compression). DO you know settings (bitrate, frames, etc) your friend did his at? Also, how was it better? Video quality, jaggies, audio quality?
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post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SurfBuckeyesBC View Post
Thanks, it sounds like a lot of people are doing what I am doing. I just read all of these threads about people's HTPCs, and RAID arrays and massive servers. I know the importance of backup, and finally got my second 2TB to do the job. Eventually, once the 2 TB is full, I will need to figure out a solution to add another 2 drives (media/backup). I will probably need to get an HDD tower, PSU and SATA card for all the drives I have, but still cheaper than a separate PC.

Thanks for the input!! Out of curiosity, how many movies do you guys all have? I currently have 568, but they're all SD except a few. Quality isn't all that bad, however, some of my friend's ripped MP4s come out way better than mine. Why is that you think?
I've got a dedicated htpc, only because my pc is in another room, not near the living room. And it looks like just another box under the tv, and not a big honkin pc case.

As for movies, I have 150ish currently on my media pc, but those are only about half of mine, plus I have barely scraped my wife's collection (we just got married so it hasn't quite turned into one collection yet.). You can find my movie/tv collection listed in my sig if you're interested.
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post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvp309rcp View Post
The thing with an HTPC is that you use it for pretty much your media only so it doesn't interfere with anything else...documents, games, browser, etc...from my point of view.
This. We've got a PC and HTPC in the living room. Having a dedicated HTPC allows my dad to go on Facebook and his airplane forums while my mom's watching Netflix on the TV. I've entertained the idea of using one PC for both functions simultaneously but the problem is user input. No easy way to get two people control the PC at the same time even if one's using a remote control and the other one has keyboard and mouse.
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