Forum home Mountain biking forum The hub

Media PC's - links on getting started

jairajjairaj Posts: 3,009
edited October 2011 in The hub
Hi All,

I know a few of you guys are into your media PCs or home theatre PCs. Im thinking of setting up something for my self too but I've been away from the computer world for a while now so don't really know what's out there.

Im thinking of setting up a simple fan less mini pc to almost turn my TV into an internet connected TV, possibly even play run blue rays if its powerful enough?

Any one point me towards forums or good "how to" guides to refresh my knowledge. Also any good online retailers too.

cheers, Jai

Posts

  • bluechair84bluechair84 Posts: 4,352
    Design spec; mini PC + capable of blue ray + fanless = insanely expensve. If I were you, I'd pick any two (like the old Bontrager addage).
    Something powerful enough to run blueray will need a decent graphics card which will have quite a high power draw, so a good power supply too. Both of these will generate a lot of heat.
    I don't know much about microPCs but I assume they'd run onboard graphics and not have a dedicated graphics card. If you have want to run blueray, I assume you have a nice TV too? Onboard graphics can rarely push out an image big enough to fill the screen meaning the TVs processor will have to do a lot of upscaling which never looks good. Images get pixellated easily. My rents have this problem with a huge TV and standard definition Sky.
    I'd think more about getting a microATX size motherboardboard which is minitower sized - so not huge - get a proper graphics card so it isn't underpowered, a roomy case and put lots of fans in. More fans mean they can turn slower and sit quieter. Yes it'll be bigger, but not much more so than a standard amp.

    As for places to start, overclockers forum everytime. They recommended me a motherboard and CPU, and couldn't be happier with my system.
  • jairajjairaj Posts: 3,009
    thanks for tips. the projects been put on hold for a bit due to house and car repair costs.

    But I've also been think about putting a PS3 slim in to the mix as well. Its small enough, has a blue ray player and can browse the internet too. Although as it is firstly a games console im not sure how well it does these things?

    i'll see what the guys over at overlclockers say.
  • bluechair84bluechair84 Posts: 4,352
    jairaj wrote:
    thanks for tips. the projects been put on hold for a bit due to house and car repair costs.

    But I've also been think about putting a PS3 slim in to the mix as well. Its small enough, has a blue ray player and can browse the internet too. Although as it is firstly a games console im not sure how well it does these things?

    i'll see what the guys over at overlclockers say.

    I've never used a PS3 so dunno about it's competances as a media centre. I didn't prioritise gaming so the PC was the way forward for me but still wanted it to be able to play (I use an xbox 360 controller), it is perfectly capable of playing third gen games. It cost less to build but PS3s have come down in price since. The other advantage is all our movies, photos and music is digitised and the PC with it's ability to stream to my phone via DLNA is the best option for us. The only other thing that would improve it for our use is if the media database was on an external router-mounted hub so we could access everything without the HTPC being turned on (Em likes to stream one of our movies to her laptop whilst working upstairs).
  • Mojo_666Mojo_666 Posts: 860
    I've never used a PS3 so dunno about it's competances as a media centre.

    Not very good, but as a device to use for media and to stream from a media centre IMO it is probably one of the best pieces of tech you can get for the money. I use a a windows 7 desktop with 2TB of HDD, blue ray player and a GFX card with HDMI out (not required but cheap as chips these days) windows vista+ comes with media centre included so you can easily get a remote to control for the pc for media usage, win7 is better as 3rd party programs such as power DVD hook into media centre rather than launch externally, I have this media PC hooked up to my main living room TV as a media centre and I use PS3's to hook up my other TV's which allows me to stream from my media centre.

    I would go find your way to a forum specific to this stuff though, but basically you are best off with a windows vista or windows7 PC which can serve as a media centre, you do not and I would advise against some designer little crappy box that you can never upgrade.
  • bluechair84bluechair84 Posts: 4,352
    Aside from using PS3s for streaming, sounds like a similar system to mine - we only have the one TV but use laptops to watch things from the HTPC around the home.
    One thing you could do is have a main arterial HTPC and then pick up some old refurbished Dell desktops to sit under the kitchen telly. You could access the sharing folder and stream movies, playing them at lower res to a smaller screen.

    Word of warning, XP does not mesh very well with Win7. There's no reason why it shouldn't and should be an easy collaboration but there are dozens of threads around the web discussing this same issue with no resolve. Another Windows consipracy maybe?
Sign In or Register to comment.