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Old 05-29-11, 09:31 PM   #1
six_storm
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Default Downsizing HTPC, Need Suggestions

My current HTPC is a mid-tower full-blown PC that is basically taking up space and its time to replace it with something smaller. I don't play any games on it and I never got a chance to start up a small Arcade/MAME machine out of it.

Right now, I don't download movies any more so we don't use it as much as we used to (went legit ). So what would you guys recommend for downgrading? Also, it HAS to be a wireless device as everything in my house is wireless. I thought about an Apple TV as it can run Plex, stream 720p vids from my server and has expansion for Airplay for the future. Also thought about a Boxee box but it $200. That's a little too much.

Any thoughts or recommendations?


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Old 05-31-11, 12:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: Downsizing HTPC, Need Suggestions

you would need to give a few more pointers as to what you are looking for.
A real HTPC cost sensibly more than $200. Price scale both with power and reduction in size (the smaller, the more you pay).
What do you expect that box to do? Play movies (from where? Disc? server? stream?), watch TV, record TV, display pictures, browse?

The wording of your demand is a little bit too generic and vague for any answer to be useful.
What is your budget, too?
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Old 05-31-11, 04:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: Downsizing HTPC, Need Suggestions

I just built a new Mini-ITX HTPC to replace the current one in my signature. It's running AMD's E350 series and it handles XBMC great, runs 1080p content no problem with DVXA2 acceleration, produces hardly any heat and barely uses any power to run. Not to mention it's TINY.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813157247

I paired 4 gigs of ram with it and a case for $200. Plus I was I was able to stick a OS hdd along with 2x3TB drives and a 1.5TB in it. I highly recommend checking them out.

EDIT: If people are intersted, I can post some pics online to show the set up. It's pretty slick for how small it is.
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Old 05-31-11, 05:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Downsizing HTPC, Need Suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchy2k1 View Post
you would need to give a few more pointers as to what you are looking for.
A real HTPC cost sensibly more than $200. Price scale both with power and reduction in size (the smaller, the more you pay).
What do you expect that box to do? Play movies (from where? Disc? server? stream?), watch TV, record TV, display pictures, browse?

The wording of your demand is a little bit too generic and vague for any answer to be useful.
What is your budget, too?
Sorry, I kinda rushed this thread when typing it out. I currently have a HTPC (AMD E Series CPU, Gigabyte board with AMD 780G GPU, 2GB RAM, 500GB HDD (data) and 74GB Raptor w/Win7) but I was looking to replace it with a small device (like an Apple TV 2) to run Movies, Music, pictures, etc. I don't need to do anything with TV playback or recording. I don't necessarily have a budget but I'd like to be as cheap as possible.

After looking at a lot of options, the best option for me right now is Western Digital's Live TV device. It allows you to plug up external hard drives and play whatever you want. Not sure how the UI really is though. Still looking around . . .
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Old 06-01-11, 10:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: Downsizing HTPC, Need Suggestions

After being at a friend's house tonight checking out his Apple TV 2, I'm sold on it. Both he and his wife had pics on their iPhones and were able to use Airplay to show them off to us. Same thing for some Youtube videos they wanted to show us. They just played the video, clicked Airplay and bam, it was playing flawlessly on their TV.

And now that my wife has an iPhone (and I'll be getting one in December), it will fit perfectly for showing our media off to friends and family. I don't understand why any other company isn't trying to compete with them on the little things like this. No one else is doing it.
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Old 06-03-11, 04:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Downsizing HTPC, Need Suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by six_storm View Post
After being at a friend's house tonight checking out his Apple TV 2, I'm sold on it. Both he and his wife had pics on their iPhones and were able to use Airplay to show them off to us. Same thing for some Youtube videos they wanted to show us. They just played the video, clicked Airplay and bam, it was playing flawlessly on their TV.

And now that my wife has an iPhone (and I'll be getting one in December), it will fit perfectly for showing our media off to friends and family. I don't understand why any other company isn't trying to compete with them on the little things like this. No one else is doing it.
http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2010/11...ng-your-media/


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Old 06-03-11, 05:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Downsizing HTPC, Need Suggestions

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Originally Posted by Buenamos View Post
That requires a lot of setup plus purchasing an app. No thanks. I want to plug it up and it work OUT OF THE BOX. I'm so sick and tired of tinkering and hoping that it works. Trust me, I hate sitting down to watch a movie and something being broken or I have to perform a ritual to get it to work right. Forget that.
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Old 06-03-11, 05:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: Downsizing HTPC, Need Suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by six_storm View Post
That requires a lot of setup plus purchasing an app. No thanks. I want to plug it up and it work OUT OF THE BOX. I'm so sick and tired of tinkering and hoping that it works. Trust me, I hate sitting down to watch a movie and something being broken or I have to perform a ritual to get it to work right. Forget that.
Simplicity ftw!
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Old 06-03-11, 07:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoomy942 View Post
Simplicity ftw!
Agreed.

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Old 06-12-11, 02:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: Downsizing HTPC, Need Suggestions

Got a $20 gift card for Best Buy and decided to get an Apple TV; only cost $87! Got everything hooked up in minutes, although I am going to need another HDMI cable (Monoprice.com FTW).

I'm updating my iTunes right now so I can stream some things from my MBP to the ATV, so I haven't done much yet. Still going to jailbreak it and put XBMC on it for streaming my movie collection. I'll put more thoughts up later.
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Old 06-12-11, 09:15 PM   #11
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Default Re: Downsizing HTPC, Need Suggestions

ATV is jailbroken and now has Plex and XBMC on it. All I gotta say is wow. I can stream any 720P MKV from my gaming PC (wireless) onto my ATV (wireless) and the quality is 1:1. The only problem (not really a problem considering the setup) is that it takes about a whole minute to buffer. Other than that, it's perfect for me and the Wifey.

BTW, I was able to stream my vacation photos straight to my 40" LCD to show my family with minimal effort. It was amazing just to hit "Slideshow" and go through them, talking about it with the family. Also, I got my wife's iPhone out, popped up her photos that she's taken with her phone and hit "AirPlay". She was sharing her photos she took in seconds. It was incredible.

Not to open a can of worms in here, but I've never seen, heard or read of anything doing the same just as simple. It just goes to show that Apple makes some awesome quality stuff and puts some thought into their products. Yeah, they may be pricey and may not be as a power house, "open choice" company, but you have to admit that make some pretty cool stuff. Jussayin.
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Old 06-12-11, 10:49 PM   #12
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Can of worms is comin' my friend.

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