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How times have changed

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs' started by keith_au, May 8, 2019.

  1. keith_au

    keith_au Auditioning

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    Some years ago now I built the classic HPTC in a Silverstone case. Win7 and the normal media management applications, backed by NAS based media storage, remote controlled, more or less standard fare at the time. It served well all this time - happy days.

    Since then times have changed with the significant proliferation of available content via streaming services as opposed to canned content from a local server or content recorded from fta TV.

    Given the HTPC recently, expired rather than refurb the hardware in the existing case I've retired it in favour of a Zotac CI327 nano fanless micro PC with Win10. Accessed via a Logitech keyboard its a much friendlier way to go. All fta stations have a streaming option now so recording is no longer a requirement.

    This is by far the best solution I've had to date, unobtrusive, starts quickly, responsive and easily powerful enough to function as a HTPC/media PC. And inexpensive too.

    Image quality is quite acceptable, audio likewise.

    We live in amazing times.
     
    Josh Steinberg likes this.
  2. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    We do indeed!

    There's never been a better time to be a fan of movies and TV shows than today. Between the high quality new content being produced, and access to older content on both physical media and digital platforms, it's amazing to me how much is available at the touch of a button now compared to when I was a kid in the 80s at the mercy of whatever my local video store had in stock.
     
    Bernard McNair and keith_au like this.
  3. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Nowadays I wouldn't even bother making an HTPC anymore. Especially for anything in hd or uhd (or higher in the future) resolutions.

    If my entire cd/dvd/bluray collection was destroyed in a house fire, flood, landslide, etc ... type of natural disaster, I proably wouldn't even bother "rebuilding" my movie/tvshow/music collection. I would just go straight to streaming.

    Frankly in the same scenario, I wouldn't even bother "rebuilding" my library of paper books, comics, graphic novels, etc .... if they were all destroyed in a natural disaster.
     
  4. keith_au

    keith_au Auditioning

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    Yes, streaming has severely dented the HTPC media library lifestyle as we knew it a few short years ago. What to do with all those CD's and DVD's I have in big boxes in the back room??
     
  5. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    This is a great time for DVD and Blu-Ray oriented HTPC. It’s all stable, worked out, and performs well.

    My impression is that the HTPC-based DVR is doing pretty well too.

    Are these better than subscribing to streaming services or buying a TiVo? <shrug> Depends on your goals and interests.

    4K HTPC is in an ambivalent place; perhaps this is what it was like for the HTPC’ers looking at blu-ray a decade ago. 4K works, but not consistently. There’s no Dolby Vision. But for projector owners you can get HDR/SDR mapping that, I’m given to understand, beats everything integrated into projector and players. But at the cost of a GPU and fussing about with settings.

    It’s a great and terrible time for the HTPC enthusiast. It’s never been more capable. But there have never been so many viable alternatives finally solving the same core problems. :)
     
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