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What advantage does HTPC have over consumer products?

post #1 of 16
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Its a basic question since I don't know much about HTPC. I would like to know what one can do with HTPC that ps3, DVRs or other storage media players offered by WD cant, and if its used alongside NAS or not.
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post #2 of 16
no replies? haha

I haven't actually owned a HTPC (yet) but from what I gather the only benefit is that you get to build it yourself which means its entirely up to you as to what you put in it and how you build it (so you could make it a feature of the room if you wanted). Another benefit would be that it is easier to upgrade I guess. For example if you had a htpc with a dvd drive and then blu ray came out, all you had to do is buy just the drive which would almost certainly be cheaper than buying an entire media player.
    
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post #3 of 16
Alright here's what the difference is:

• Sony's PS3 and the Xbox 360 cannot handle games at full 1080 resolution. If you ever do plan to play games at 1080 resolution, then with a halfway decent video card, the HTPC WILL look better.

•HTPC's have the advantage of pulling music/videos off of NAS drives and other forms of storage. The Xbox and PS3 do not have this ability. (Although, the Xbox 360 with Windows Media Center can perform this function pretty well)

•The HTPC is completely upgradeable. Since you built it, you can change it however you want. Add a bluray drive or some extra storage. The possibilities are endless.

•The HTPC can browse the internet. While the PS3 has this capability, it just isn't the same as using an actual computer. Plus, with an HTPC, you can choose whichever browser you wish.

•The HTPC will likely cost more after a mouse and keyboard are added, and the components for them generall cost more than the $200 price tag of a 360. Be careful as you build one that costs don't get out of hand. Also remember, you will need a $100 license for Windows too.
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Heisenberg
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post #4 of 16
One box to rule em all tongue.gif Also after multiple tuners in my HTPC and having them work in perfect harmony the feeling is awesome biggrin.gif
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post #5 of 16
Well, I've tried a number of consumer boxes (Roku, Logitech Google TV, Boxee, etc), so I'll share a bit:

The HTPC will play more files. Easier web browsing IMO, stronger hardware, expandability (none of the above can play CDs, Blu Ray, etc). possibility of storage & gaming (think emulator & wireless controller), multitasking (download something, listen to music, and surf for example), and more options for keyboards / controllers.

Sometimes the interface isn't as easy - like the Roku & netflix combo is stupid easy.
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post #6 of 16
My biggest selling point on building a HTPC is that it's much more future proof in terms of media than most other options. Supports way more codecs and mediums of acquiring media online (Netflix, Youtube, etc.).
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post #7 of 16
Not just the fact that an HTPC will do more, play more, and be more future proof...I built mine to be a "box" eliminator....cable, blu-ray, etc...
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post #8 of 16
An HTPC does everything. When you shop for a consumer device, you're buying into different sets of features, but not an all-in-one solution.

An HTPC can be,
-your TV Tuner
-DVR
-music player
-network computer
-bluray/dvd player
-online streaming player
-video game center (i use my wireless 360 controller with my HTPC in 1080p)
-video playback

it just does everything. I use my HTPC everyday. I HARDLY use my sig anymore frown.gif sad, because I put so much time and effort into it. I truly love it to death, but it is no longer needed w/ my HTPC + MacBook.
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post #9 of 16
I have had a HTPC since early 2006. Actually before that, I had one of the first ATI All In Wonder video cards, that was 1997-1998.

Used one everyday since then. If it doesn't work, I can't watch TV...

Main advantages is that you can have all your media centralized. That means Music with CD Covers and Fan Art, TV Shows (from DVD) with DVD Covers, Screen Shots and Fan Art (thetvdb.com), Movies with Trailers, Fan Art and Screen shots. You can also add game console and MAME emulation and have the same thing. It looks great you'll never go back to a standard set-top box for anything else.

The WOW factor just isn't there with consumer products.

With XBMC and the You Tube add-on, its flat out the best way to access You Tube. I am testing XBMC for Metadata and Streaming Content (You Tube, Revision3, ESPN3).

I use Windows Media Center in conjunction with DirecTV Standard Def for the moment. I have an OTA-HD tuner as well to pick up most of the local HD channels including Fox, NBC, ABC and PBS. I also get sub-channels like Antenna TV (TV from the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's) and all the PBS sub-channels.

For series I want to keep, TV Archive from the Windows Server Connector automatically sends Mad Men, Thundercats and Avengers to the server (WHS 2011).

I also use Internet TV in Windows Media Center as well.

The best forum for HTPC IMHO is AV Science Forums. Lots of builds, buying guides, HTPC specific hardware reviews or support threads.
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post #10 of 16
Also what do you mean that PS3's don't play 1080p games? Isn't that the point of the hardware???? Wipeout HD is 1080p and so is Grand Turismo 5. I'm sure there some others but those are the ones I know and big deal 720p looks just fine. All this getting caught up in HD is silly, I see no difference in 1080i uncompressed over the air TV, say sporting event (Football) and Blue Ray Movies like Taken which is very good Blu Ray in general in terms of PQ (Picture Quality).
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