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Is an HTPC really that much better than running media from every day PC? - Page 3

post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete34 View Post
Truthfully the HTPC thing is mostly about wives. Some dudes discovered they could convince their wifes to let them have an HTPC if it 'looked like' a reciever or power amp - or game box. So they went with it.

Functionality wise there is very little advantage.. It's a serious PITA to work with any SFF case IMHO. HTPC is no exception - its only worsened by the fact its a desktop style. Desktop style cases lost out for reason. They are inferior.
There's nothing preventing you from using a tower case to build an HTPC. There really is no rule/commandment stating that an HTPC must be tiny or look like AV equipment or a game console. As I mentioned earlier, the HTPC is not a one-size fits all solution. Isn't that the whole point of them? So you could have something that's tailor-made specifically for your needs - may that be an uber-tiny box mounted to the back of the TV or a tower running GTX 580's in triple-SLI or a rack-mounted server case with 20+ HDD's in hot-swap bays or even something else entirely different.
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post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete34 View Post
Truthfully the HTPC thing is mostly about wives. Some dudes discovered they could convince their wifes to let them have an HTPC if it 'looked like' a reciever or power amp - or game box. So they went with it..
So true. My GF hates (and I mean HATES) my rig because it is so big. She thinks it is one big eyesore. I think it is a very minimalistic black box. She is a Mac Air, Mac Mini etc fan... She would rather have a "cute" computer than a functional one...
    
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post #23 of 27
Doesn't it depend on what your HTPC is hooked up to? If I have a high end $500ish audio system then I'd want to have a great sound card, which most rigs dont have right? And if you have a great samsung 50" hdtv, you'd want a great video card, as well as a great BD-ROM drive so you can get the most out of it! Just my take
post #24 of 27
Whether you get more use out of a dedicated HTPC that a general use PC depends on your setup.

My Sig rig is my everything PC. I game on it, have it provide network storage for my laptop, and it IS my TV. It has a tuner card in it and one of my screens is practically dedicated to media. it works for me.

For a family things could be different. You can make an HTPC for a fairly low price if you shop right (many secondhand parts are still powerful enough for HDTV) that will let someone stream video to the TV without tying up the main system, so someone else can play games on that one or surf the net.

An HTPC is in some ways similar to a home server. in a multi-system environment, it won't replace any of the computers in your house, but it does a great job of supplementing them and allows you to do a specific job without interfering with the operation of the other systems. There's also a locational factor. Running your everyday PC from the TV isn't usually that optimal for things other than media. There's a reason ten foot interfaces are different from normal desktops. Put simply, browsing the web or typing documents on a big screen TV sucks and a TV tray does not a desk make.
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post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by rui-no-onna View Post
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.
You could do that with Ncomputing, you just need everything except a pc tower which at the end I don't know if it is worth it for you?

At my school we have one computer host 4 users with 4x monitors, 4x keyboards, 4xmic.

Back to the topic... My computer is in the living room, but it's far from the TV. I have an HTPC with an Antec Fusion 350 case which kind of looks like a DVD player and is small. I have old but decent hardware which doesnt use that much power and it's quite. Thats the only advantage and my little kid can watch Netflix and her cartoons while I game
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post #26 of 27
Quote:
There's nothing preventing you from using a tower case to build an HTPC. There really is no rule/commandment stating that an HTPC must be tiny or look like AV equipment or a game console. As I mentioned earlier, the HTPC is not a one-size fits all solution. Isn't that the whole point of them? So you could have something that's tailor-made specifically for your needs - may that be an uber-tiny box mounted to the back of the TV or a tower running GTX 580's in triple-SLI or a rack-mounted server case with 20+ HDD's in hot-swap bays or even something else entirely different.
Oh I agree - the thing is most people consider in HTPC to be a smallish desktop style case that fits in your rack. I got sucked into this when I built my HTPC and have since changed my mind.

Go look at the kinds of cases they use in AVS forum - and you will see what I mean. It's all about making a PC LOOK like an AV component. Of course these same people frequently complain about overheating or hot tuner cards..

I was pretty stupid because I am one of the luckier dudes around. My g/f is even LESS picky then me when it comes to cases. I like black functional sleek looking cases that aren't made of plastic. This is of course because she is an engineer and so values functionality over form.

My point was that in truth the tower case does function better - even for the low power builds. Reason being its easier to work on and maintain - and its easier to add new stuff to as well. I have since switched - got a wheeled chassis and stuck a regular tower case with a full ATX motherboard on it.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by kchris View Post
Doesn't it depend on what your HTPC is hooked up to? If I have a high end $500ish audio system then I'd want to have a great sound card, which most rigs dont have right?
Not really. If you've got a high end audio system (although I don't think $500 is considered high-end, that's still like home theatre in a box territory), you don't want a $100~200 sound card doing the DAC for you. You want the DAC handled by your audio equipment and not your PC. If that's the case, all you really need is a $20~50 video card (or integrated graphics) capable of bitstreaming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sodalink
You could do that with Ncomputing, you just need everything except a pc tower which at the end I don't know if it is worth it for you?

At my school we have one computer host 4 users with 4x monitors, 4x keyboards, 4xmic.
I've considered virtualization and even Remote Desktop before. Unfortunately, you lose hardware acceleration with both and the latter still requires an extra box. Remote FX is supposed to work better. From the description, Ncomputing appears to still require a thin client of some sort.
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