Starting to consider htpc

Discussion in 'Computers' started by JohnVB, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. JohnVB

    JohnVB Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey all,

    I'm considering getting into HTPC, and I've got a few questions.

    First, do you all mostly use a keyboard an mouse with these things? Any one have a setup that doesn't require a keybaord and/or mouse?

    What OS do you all run? I was considering using linux, but I didn't know if people have run into problems with hardware compantiblity or whatnot with that.

    I'm thinking of setting mine up in a 1u or 2u server case. Should this work out ok?

    Has anyone had significant heat/cooling problems?

    Has anyone set up an HTPC with an LCD display and input buttons/dials on it? If so, can you give me any tips on how to physically install them?

    Are there any problems playing mpeg or related video files?

    I'm sure people are going to ask me what I want to do with an HTPC. I'm not 100% sure of all the details yet. Right now I'm just exploring the possibilities.

    Thanks,

    - bones
     
  2. Chris Moe

    Chris Moe Screenwriter

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    I highly suggest you do some searching on the forums here and at AVS.

    Mine is setup so that I don't need a keyboard and mouse at all. I control mine through a touchscreen tablet PC running netremote.

    95% of people are running Windows.

    No reason a server case wouldn't work, it just may look bad if you have it with the rest of your equipment.

    I am sure people have had cooling problems, but if you build intelligently it shouldn't be a problem.

    Yes LCD's are common, and some people have done input dials

    Mpegs should be fine, anything a normal computer can do your HTPC should do as well.

    You have a lot of homework to do. good luck.
     
  3. JohnVB

    JohnVB Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris,

    Thanks for the info.

    I think I just need to build something to get going. So for starters I need to get the right parts. I've looked around and mostly have an idea on what to get, but I have a couple specific questions.

    I need to start with a case.


    So the people who have input dials, did they mod their case? I've looked on the net and mostly what I see are cases for HTPC that have lcd displays and a remote control. Is there something out there that I've missed?

    Presumably you'd need more than just a dial. I'd think you'd need some input buttons too.

    What I'd like to have is a system that can operated by input controls on the case. Sometimes the durned remote is lost, stuck in the couch, or slobbered on by our 2 yr old.

    If you get an input dial and buttons, are they easy to program? Do they plug into the serial port, or perhaps internal USB connector?

    Another question I have is about a network interface.

    Has anyone tried playing the video source across a network? If so, is 100mbs fast enough, or do you need to get 1gb ethernet?

    Sorry if these questions are basic. I've been programming computers for 14 years now, and using them for more than 20, but I'm still new to HTPC.

    - bones
     
  4. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    That depends what you mean...you can use a networked drive as a source for file saved from DVD etc and they'll play back smoothly but if you want to stream video across the network that's a different story.
     
  5. JohnVB

    JohnVB Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey,

    I've got another question. Someone mentioned that most people are using some flavor of windows for the OS. With the Windows setup, when you turn on your HTPC, does it open up in the normal windows desktop, or do people often make it autoload a special HTPC program on startup?

    Thanks all, for helping me out. I appreciate this a lot.

    - bones
     

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