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Old ain't dead
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm slowly putting together my HTPC build and as I was gathering information I noticed a lot of people were having troubles with bluray movies and... some were not having trouble.

What I am trying to do is build a system for Netflix, Hulu, BluRay, and Internet surfing. I do want to play some league of legends, but that is pretty much it.

If I need to use a OS like Linux or something I can. Its very important that I am able to play Bluray movies on this. What do I do?

What would be a good budget GPU for League Of Legends and new Movies? On hang I currently have a 460 GTX 2GB. I figured I would sell that and get something somewhat newer, but if you guys think that will work I'll keep it.

Here is what I have -

(Currently) Gigabyte UD3
(Just Bought) AMD 8120
Mushkin 4GB Black Lines
Pioneer BluRay Drive
Seasonic Gold PSU
nMEDIAPC 6000B

I know the CPU is a bit overkill, but I got it for such a good price. What would be a good graphic card to consider? I'm not against saving money and running SLI if I need to but I am not sure if Heat will become an issue with this case. The CPU will be cooled by a Antec 60 watercooling pre-built. It actually does pretty good with how I have the fans set up.

Any suggestions on the OS and GPU would be great.
 

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I've no idea what I'm doi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THEoBZ View Post

I'm slowly putting together my HTPC build and as I was gathering information I noticed a lot of people were having troubles with bluray movies and... some were not having trouble.

What I am trying to do is build a system for Netflix, Hulu, BluRay, and Internet surfing. I do want to play some league of legends, but that is pretty much it.

If I need to use a OS like Linux or something I can. Its very important that I am able to play Bluray movies on this. What do I do?

What would be a good budget GPU for League Of Legends and new Movies? On hang I currently have a 460 GTX 2GB. I figured I would sell that and get something somewhat newer, but if you guys think that will work I'll keep it.

Here is what I have -

(Currently) Gigabyte UD3
(Just Bought) AMD 8120
Mushkin 4GB Black Lines
Pioneer BluRay Drive
Seasonic Gold PSU
nMEDIAPC 6000B

I know the CPU is a bit overkill, but I got it for such a good price. What would be a good graphic card to consider? I'm not against saving money and running SLI if I need to but I am not sure if Heat will become an issue with this case. The CPU will be cooled by a Antec 60 watercooling pre-built. It actually does pretty good with how I have the fans set up.

Any suggestions on the OS and GPU would be great.
The 460 will work fine, but its kinda a power hog. Why not try the new GTX750? Non ti for this case.
 

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Old ain't dead
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by BWAS1000 View Post

The 460 will work fine, but its kinda a power hog. Why not try the new GTX750? Non ti for this case.
I'm actually considering something like that. Are there any used cards I should look out for?

Any thoughts on the bluray issue?
 

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I think you will run into trouble playing bluray on Linux (gurus, correct me if I'm wrong). Ripping blurays to your disk and watching them is doable I'm sure, but blurays are a PITA to play live on a pc without purchasing a program like PowerDVD to do it. The rest of your hardware is fine, and neither League of Legends nor any content HTPC related will push your hardware. I agree that if you haven't purchased a card yet to go for one of the newer gens for power and heat savings. What's nice is if you like to stream to Twitch or record League of Legends, that 750 will do it with no overhead via Shadowplay.
 

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For downloaded movies/blu-ray, nothing can touch the video quality of MadVR on Windows (mpv comes close, but is a PITA to compile
if you're new to linux). The W8 Netflix app is also much better than the web interface (and can stream 5.1 audio), plus Linux has even more Netflix issues on top of that. Blu-rays would work fine on linux if you just rip them, but I'd stick with Windows for an HTPC
biggrin.gif


IMHO you should keep your GTX 460. While relatively power hungry, it's still a potent GPU. If you want something newer, look no farther than a new/used 750(TI).
 

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Old ain't dead
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies guys! So if I rip a bluray to my Windows based HTPC video playback won't be a problem? If thats the case I wouldn't mind waiting for it to RIP before I watched it. I'll be doing that to each of my movies anyway.

Should I get windows 8 or windows 7? I heard windows 8 isn't as good for a HTPC because you cannot record TV. Is this true?

Power isn't an issue so I guess I will just keep the 460 for now.
 

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W8 is certainly better for Netflix. If I didn't have W8 driver problems, I'd switch back to 8 just for that.

IDK about recording TV, do you have a tuner card?

Also, I will re-iterate. You should use MadVR for blu-rays
biggrin.gif
 

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Windows 8 Pro with Media Center pack is required to record TV, and works just fine...at the added expense. Personally, I like all of my pc's to be able to watch and record cable tv (HDHomerun Prime works great) so I bite the bullet and go with Pro. My windows 7 pcs all record just fine though, as Media Center comes in all of those except for maybe business edition (if there is such a beast).

Quick edit. I'd like to specify that recording digitally encoded TV via a cable card enabled tuner requires Windows 7 or Windows 8 PRO with media center pack (available on the app store). If you are only concerned with recording and watching analog cable or over the air with an antenna, you can still use win 7, win 8 Pro, or Win 8 with a freeware program like MythTV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow, thanks guys for the info guys!

Adding to list: Tuner card, MadVR and W8.

Do you think I need to get a fancy sound card? Or will onboard work? I'm not into Home audio :/.... yes
thumb.gif
 

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I've no idea what I'm doi
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Just mentioning that VLC plays Blu-rays. Onboard should work fine.
 

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+1 to onboard, it works great nowadays especially if you are going over HDMI or optical. I think I messed with VLC once trying to get it to play Bluray, but not long. I had a family waiting to watch a movie and patience was not something in great supply. My PowerDVD version was apparently too old to play the movie so I had to pay for an upgrade. It erked me a little that I had to do that but 2 hrs later I didn't care.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavey00 View Post

+1 to onboard, it works great nowadays especially if you are going over HDMI or optical. I think I messed with VLC once trying to get it to play Bluray, but not long. I had a family waiting to watch a movie and patience was not something in great supply. My PowerDVD version was apparently too old to play the movie so I had to pay for an upgrade. It erked me a little that I had to do that but 2 hrs later I didn't care.
MPC works with Blu-Rays, or at least my installation does. I don't think you even need MadVR for blu-rays on the latest build.

No-one should be using VLC anyway
thumb.gif
. MPC's video quality is far superior, and it's even better once you add MadVR with a good GPU.

If you don't have one now, you probably don't need a sound card OP. A receiver or any speaker system with digital input basically has a built-in soundcard, and cheap headphones don't need one either. However, if you have half-decent headphones, a Xonar DS with Dolby headphone is quite nice for 5.1 or 7.1 movies
biggrin.gif
 

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I use makemkv and rip it, and just use handbrake to shrink the files and save some space, I personally like that option more than just playing the disc because I can just leave my library on the shelf and shift through the movies in xbmc. It doesn't take too long to rip them anyways, so it doesn't bother me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I do have some pretty decent cans, but I won't be using them too often on this rig... well maybe my Grado's or AD700's but other than that probably not much else.

Beings I live in a apartment right now I don't exactly have the space I'd like to have to have a 5.1 setup. So for now I might try out my SWAN bookshelf speakers and pair them with maybe a Sound Blaster Audigy SE? Not sure if those are still a good value.

If I don't like the SWAN setup I normally use on my desk area what would be a decent affordable 2.1 alternative to get me by for 7 months? I don't like far out 'gaming gimmick' type speakers. I'm not a bass guy really, I enjoy more sound clarity and quality.

About how long does it take to RIP a bluray?

Also, this is the first build I have ever done that actually needs storage. Before I could get away with a 120GB SSD for the few games I played. Right now I have a 500GB WD. I'm not sure if that is large enough to hold my movie library a long with the few games, pictures, and misc albums I would like to have. Am I over thinking this? Or would you get more space right off the bat?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by THEoBZ View Post

About how long does it take to RIP a bluray?
Quite awhile. Depends on the movie, but drives are slow. It can take an hour or more to rip a 40GB blu ray IIRC (might be a little off on that).

Also, I can't recommend XBMC enough for an HTPC if you want an HTPC that is basically only for watching movies and tv shows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfej View Post

Quite awhile. Depends on the movie, but drives or slow. It can take an hour or more to rip a 40GB blu ray IIRC (might be a little off on that).
Oh Lord, I'm definitely going to need more storage haha! I just realized I should probably have windows and maybe the few games I play on a SSD and the rest on my 500GB. I think I might go ahead and order another drive for now and upgrade if I need to later.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by THEoBZ View Post

Oh Lord, I'm definitely going to need more storage haha! I just realized I should probably have windows and maybe the few games I play on a SSD and the rest on my 500GB. I think I might go ahead and order another drive for now and upgrade if I need to later.
You can run XBMC on Windows. It's what I do currently, and if I want to browse the web or play games I just hit the '\' key and it goes out of full screen. I have an IR receiver and a Harmony remote for the full experience. I wouldn't give it up for anything.
 

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anytime i have someone ask about HTPC, i ask why? Whats your goal with it?

Do you have another computer thats capable of playing LoL? If so is it relatively close to the TV?

The reason i ask is, putting the gaming aside for now, an HTPC doesnt really offer a whole lot over a much cheaper streaming device for internet based content like netflix or streaming your own media. The one caveat being recording live TV if you plan on doing that. If gaming on the TV is what you primarily want, then it may still be beneficial to get a streaming device for things like netflix and playing your video files. If you have another computer close enough to the TV you may be able to just run the display cable to the tv and play that way. For playing local media or streaming a dedicated device like roku, google tv or apple tv will be way more energy efficient and focused on that purpose.

A good example is my PS4 can do netflix and amazon streaming etc...and i almost never use it for that because my Vizio Co-Star can do it just as well, but came with a nice remote and uses way less electric.

An alternative approach may even be what i just did, i built a server. This serves my media to all my devices (co-star,nexus 5, samsung s4, kindle fire HD, desktop gaming rig) and i can also view the content via any browser even outside my network. I can goto a friends house and connet my phone hdmi and play any movie on my server, or open a browser from any internet connected computer to pull it up. The server is also a file server, backups my gaming computer, and can run downloads and stuff without needing to run my power hungry gaming rig.

I use Plex Media Server and its awesome. I personally dont like XMBC although it may have gotten easier to setup now. Plex has apps for devices or can be watched via browser. It automatically grabs posters/art, metadata, etc and organizes the content very nicely.

My server is in my sig if your interested and i have a build log for it.

To answer some of your questions, if you want BD playback go with Windows. It will give you more options and easier to get working. A card like the 750 or 750Ti would be a good choice, depends on your budget and if you may want to play other games in the future.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by THEoBZ View Post

About how long does it take to RIP a bluray?

Also, this is the first build I have ever done that actually needs storage. Before I could get away with a 120GB SSD for the few games I played. Right now I have a 500GB WD. I'm not sure if that is large enough to hold my movie library a long with the few games, pictures, and misc albums I would like to have. Am I over thinking this? Or would you get more space right off the bat?
It takes me on average 15-20 minutes to rip the english portion of the main movie, I usually leave off the other languages, and the extras just because I never watch them, and that leaves a 20-22 gb file. After I run it through handbrake at default settings, the file is then around 5-8 gbs ( I personally don't see the difference between the two pictures, though that's not to say there isn't one).

I have a 64 ssd for windows and the other programs, and a 2tb hdd for the media files. Currently the 2 tb hdd has about 800 gbs of free space. I'm not currently home but counting the movies in my head I have maybe 18 movies so far on it, and around 15 or so tv series, a few (I want to say less than 10) gbs worth of music, and plenty recorded shows. I let the recorded shows pile on which is what pushed me over the first tb, when I go and delete them I'll have a little over 1 tb of free space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zer0CoolX View Post

anytime i have someone ask about HTPC, i ask why? Whats your goal with it?

Do you have another computer thats capable of playing LoL? If so is it relatively close to the TV?

The reason i ask is, putting the gaming aside for now, an HTPC doesnt really offer a whole lot over a much cheaper streaming device for internet based content like netflix or streaming your own media. The one caveat being recording live TV if you plan on doing that. If gaming on the TV is what you primarily want, then it may still be beneficial to get a streaming device for things like netflix and playing your video files. If you have another computer close enough to the TV you may be able to just run the display cable to the tv and play that way. For playing local media or streaming a dedicated device like roku, google tv or apple tv will be way more energy efficient and focused on that purpose.

A good example is my PS4 can do netflix and amazon streaming etc...and i almost never use it for that because my Vizio Co-Star can do it just as well, but came with a nice remote and uses way less electric.

An alternative approach may even be what i just did, i built a server. This serves my media to all my devices (co-star,nexus 5, samsung s4, kindle fire HD, desktop gaming rig) and i can also view the content via any browser even outside my network. I can goto a friends house and connet my phone hdmi and play any movie on my server, or open a browser from any internet connected computer to pull it up. The server is also a file server, backups my gaming computer, and can run downloads and stuff without needing to run my power hungry gaming rig.

I use Plex Media Server and its awesome. I personally dont like XMBC although it may have gotten easier to setup now. Plex has apps for devices or can be watched via browser. It automatically grabs posters/art, metadata, etc and organizes the content very nicely.

My server is in my sig if your interested and i have a build log for it.

To answer some of your questions, if you want BD playback go with Windows. It will give you more options and easier to get working. A card like the 750 or 750Ti would be a good choice, depends on your budget and if you may want to play other games in the future.
Thank you for the information. I've considered everything you've just said. However, my problem is my lack of space. I need this not only to be my HTPC but I will also need it to play the light games I want, Estimating programs, and I need to be able to easily surf the web. The layout of the PS4, Smart TV, and any other media device just doesn't cut it for what I need this to do. I'm not very fond of the web layout of non-computer based media setups. To me its easier for me to use a wireless keyboard and mouse to pretty much do everything.

Living in a small apartment definitely has its downs. Yet, my electric bill is crazy low each month so I'm not really that concerned with power usage.
 
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