Are HTPCs Dead

A place to talk about A/V receivers, Blu-Ray players, LCD or Plasma TV mounting, audio tips or anything else that you think fits.
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Apoptosis
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Are HTPCs Dead

Postby Apoptosis » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:21 pm

My HTPC is nearly 4 years old... It sucks down power and is in dire need of an update. The old AMD 'maui' PC uses over 100W at idle and in this day and age that is way too much. I can easily build a new box with a third of that idle power use...

I went to build up a new one and it got me wondering... I won a Sony Blu-Ray player in a contest a year ago and it's sitting in the box brand new. I can get a Charter Communications DVR box with multi-room support for $7 more a month. Why do I even need a HTPC any longer?

Before it was because I wanted an inexpensive way to play blu-rays and recordcable TV shows with windows media center, but now in 2012 with on-demand and DVR leasing being inexpensive I am starting to debate on needing one at all. I know back in 2008 Charter DVR was $15-$20 a month if I remember right. Now a multi-room DVR is $7 a month and that is a feature I can't easily copy with a HTPC. Having 4 TV's around my house that would be a nice feature to have.
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Re: Are HTPCs Dead

Postby Major_A » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:33 pm

Not on my end. But with that said they are becoming antiquated. Most Blu-Ray players and flat screen TVs support video codecs. My sister has a cheap Samsung that will playback 1080P MKV files without an issue (among a long list of other video and audio codecs). The reason I keep mine around is I don't want to give Dish Network any more money. Plus if I record something that I want to backup indefinitely it's in an easy to use format (MPEG). I know what you mean about power though. I certainly don't need a GTX 260 in my HTPC but I figured I might install a game or two. Well that hasn't happened and probably won't. If I had a few extra bucks I would like to go the Llano route and have everything in a small and energy efficient package.

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Re: Are HTPCs Dead

Postby kenc51 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:52 am

I'm about to build one. Currently using a laptop with a broken screen attached to my plasma, sold the PC over a year ago as no need for it. (Yes Nate, it's the same laptop i broke on the plane while flying over to STL)
I think the need for add-on cards, specifically TV tuners etc. are on their way out.
As you said, with DVR boxes from cable companies, netflix etc. there really isn't any need for the tv tuner.
That is, if you have an internet connection fast enough to stream & have the DVR setup.

Soon we will see the removal of the DVR box as well. Apple and Google are already working on television sets.
Next step will be to have your DVR recording done in the cloud and streamed straight to the TV.
You'll have the usual youtube apps on the TV and more.

Little known fact, one of the last things Steve Jobs done for Apple was contact the management of ITV in the UK (TV station) and ask to buy the iTV brand name. They declined in the end. I bet he made an inticing offer to them though.

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Re: Are HTPCs Dead

Postby sasamkd » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:53 am

I'm also planing a new one. So, guess they are not. :P
But I think that the number will go only down. Also planning to store A LOT of media on it (videos, music, pics, etc...).

And about the one. Just to share something.
I wanted silent htpc. Or as silent as possible. In this hole (where I live), I can not find low power models (on that note, not a lot of models at all). So I searched the web (and forums) for advice on low power cpu / apu. Also unlocked ones for reducing the multiplier and voltage, and using cooler without fan, or fan on very low rpm (~600). And searched, and searched, and searched, until my head started to hurt. And as usual, I found nothing helpfull. Always you could, you could, you could... but never I DID THAT. And finally today, after couple of hours searching, is it better to buy 55w locked intel or 65w unlocked amd (to underclock it), I had a revelation. :P Why I didn't think of that earlier?
Why I don't put the htpc in the room next to the "ht" room, drill the wall, and just have the cables between. And, there is my silent htpc. :)
Flat TV, or project the picture on the wall? Yes, nice, flat. But, where is my flat amplifier? Or flat htpc for that matter? Or flat speakers (ok, there are flat ones but at what cost of the sound), or flat woofer?
So, I can go with cheaper (uglier) case, can use other than mATX mobos, can put more hdds, can put "normal" cooling solution and "normal" cpu...
Only disadvantage that I see would be going to the other room to put the cd/dvd/br in the pc. But I guess it is not such a pain to go to the other room, I'll get up anyway from the seat.

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Re: Are HTPCs Dead

Postby Apoptosis » Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:22 pm

sasamkd wrote:I'm also planing a new one. So, guess they are not. :P
But I think that the number will go only down. Also planning to store A LOT of media on it (videos, music, pics, etc...).

And about the one. Just to share something.
I wanted silent htpc. Or as silent as possible. In this hole (where I live), I can not find low power models (on that note, not a lot of models at all). So I searched the web (and forums) for advice on low power cpu / apu. Also unlocked ones for reducing the multiplier and voltage, and using cooler without fan, or fan on very low rpm (~600). And searched, and searched, and searched, until my head started to hurt. And as usual, I found nothing helpfull. Always you could, you could, you could... but never I DID THAT. And finally today, after couple of hours searching, is it better to buy 55w locked intel or 65w unlocked amd (to underclock it), I had a revelation. :P Why I didn't think of that earlier?
Why I don't put the htpc in the room next to the "ht" room, drill the wall, and just have the cables between. And, there is my silent htpc. :)
Flat TV, or project the picture on the wall? Yes, nice, flat. But, where is my flat amplifier? Or flat htpc for that matter? Or flat speakers (ok, there are flat ones but at what cost of the sound), or flat woofer?
So, I can go with cheaper (uglier) case, can use other than mATX mobos, can put more hdds, can put "normal" cooling solution and "normal" cpu...
Only disadvantage that I see would be going to the other room to put the cd/dvd/br in the pc. But I guess it is not such a pain to go to the other room, I'll get up anyway from the seat.


So why not just get a NAS? I've been without HPTC for a year and the Blu-Ray Player is smart, so it does all the online apps and then I got my home NAS and all my tablets that can connect to my smart PC. Haven't needed a true HTPC once.
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Re: Are HTPCs Dead

Postby KnightRid » Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:57 am

Apoptosis wrote:
sasamkd wrote:I'm also planing a new one. So, guess they are not. :P
But I think that the number will go only down. Also planning to store A LOT of media on it (videos, music, pics, etc...).

And about the one. Just to share something.
I wanted silent htpc. Or as silent as possible. In this hole (where I live), I can not find low power models (on that note, not a lot of models at all). So I searched the web (and forums) for advice on low power cpu / apu. Also unlocked ones for reducing the multiplier and voltage, and using cooler without fan, or fan on very low rpm (~600). And searched, and searched, and searched, until my head started to hurt. And as usual, I found nothing helpfull. Always you could, you could, you could... but never I DID THAT. And finally today, after couple of hours searching, is it better to buy 55w locked intel or 65w unlocked amd (to underclock it), I had a revelation. :P Why I didn't think of that earlier?
Why I don't put the htpc in the room next to the "ht" room, drill the wall, and just have the cables between. And, there is my silent htpc. :)
Flat TV, or project the picture on the wall? Yes, nice, flat. But, where is my flat amplifier? Or flat htpc for that matter? Or flat speakers (ok, there are flat ones but at what cost of the sound), or flat woofer?
So, I can go with cheaper (uglier) case, can use other than mATX mobos, can put more hdds, can put "normal" cooling solution and "normal" cpu...
Only disadvantage that I see would be going to the other room to put the cd/dvd/br in the pc. But I guess it is not such a pain to go to the other room, I'll get up anyway from the seat.


So why not just get a NAS? I've been without HPTC for a year and the Blu-Ray Player is smart, so it does all the online apps and then I got my home NAS and all my tablets that can connect to my smart PC. Haven't needed a true HTPC once.


Agreed. HTPC's were great when you could actually record television with them but now days everything is encrypted except OTA which is non-existant in some places (plus I remember reading something that they will be able to start encrypting those signals also).

I think NAS are way over priced for the most part but I am looking into getting the Synology DS413J and grabbing 4-3TB WD RED drives. Seems to be a decent price (for a NAS anyway) but not going to happen overnight though ;) I figure my dvd/bluray collection can keep growing and I can always add another NAS down the road to store the full rips to share across the house (now if I could figure out how to play them on my touchpad in webos or android, I would be in heaven).

NAS will save a ton of electricity which is why I am looking at it. Pricing is still stupid for the simplicity (same with RAID cards) but I am hoping over the long haul it will save enough power to make up for the cost.
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Re: Are HTPCs Dead

Postby sasamkd » Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:50 pm

Well, yeah. I guess you are right. NAS + BR player would do the trick. But I wanted to build htpc myself. Not to buy something that will work right out of the box :) And I agree that I don't explicitly need one. So again I think that htpcs are dying, but dead - no. Guess there will always be persons like me, or with some other specific need(s). And btw in a lot of parts of the world you still and will be able to record the programs.

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Re: Are HTPCs Dead

Postby sbohdan » Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:37 am

I never used HTPC because I like media players the most. I have a Dune HD Base 3.0 since 2006 and Used it for all my movie watching. It has better quality picture than most bluray players. For music I have a separate High End stereo system and that's it. The media player only uses like 20W, so that is better too.
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