HTPC Crew v. Current Hotness?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Heinzanova, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. Heinzanova

    Heinzanova OT Supporter

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    Hey guys :wavey:

    Just built a cheap htpc to replace my old xbox running xbmc due to it's lack of ability to play HD content.

    Just a low end build:
    Intel E5200 Dual Core 2.5ghz
    4gb 6400 kingston
    ATI HD4650 1gb (nothing fancy just wanted to have something to offload the H.264 encoded content).
    Antec fusion case blah blah blah.

    Minor details, all media is on a centalized NAS appliance.

    So what is the current hotness for the OS/Front end layer?

    I did just XP Pro with XBMC, but there are some serious issues with XBMC's handling of video content, and it also is lacking youtube/hulu/online media browsing abilities.

    I dont mind using Firefox when I want to hit a site or two, but having to fall out and run VLC so my videos play using hardware acceleration is ridiculous.

    I was looking at LinuxMCE and MythTV (Mythbuntu build) but I am not using the tv tuner/pvr aspects as I have a DVR from comcast, and their HD package, which would require ball pain to get set up, no to mention I have no reason not to just use their DVR...

    Problem I see with using either of those two is:
    1.) video card driver issues (did not even think about it when I bought ATI instead of nVidia) although there are good enough drivers for this board so I can sort of say fuck it
    2.) Platforms too robustly built around DVR/PVR experiance
    3.) non windows will lack ability to play blue ray discs (amirite).

    Newsrover is windows based, and is totally awesome :-( for my nzbs.

    So what are you guys running? Screen Shots?
    What are the pros/cons of ur software set up?
     
  2. sams0n

    sams0n $ OT Supporter

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    would like to know this also. im using vista media center w/ k-lite codec for xvid and mkvs. when i want to play netflix or hulu i have to close it and use firefox which sucks.
     
  3. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I'd use a Shuttle XPC if anything.
     
  4. skinjob

    skinjob Active Member

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    For hardware acceleration, you're better off with a nvidia card. Nvidia's drivers support higher x264 levels than ATI. You'll run into a lot of x264 content that won't work with ATI's UVD. Also, you're not getting hardware acceleration from VLC. It's internal decoder doesn't support DXVA for x264, and VLC doesn't use external decoders. You should use Media Player Classic - Home Cinema or at least its standalone decoder for hardware accleration.
     
  5. Heinzanova

    Heinzanova OT Supporter

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    I can open up a 720P video and the cpu doesnt even nudge above 5%...
     
  6. Heinzanova

    Heinzanova OT Supporter

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    So if I put an nVidia board in, (swtich with board from other machine) what 'should' I be running?
     

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