That is the great debate I've come upon; my wife and I recently purchased our first home and are slowly getting used to having multiple rooms (just moved from a studio apartment), and we'll soon have multiple TV's. I'm expecting to grow from one TV to probably three in the next few weeks, but I cant decide if the HTPC Pro's outweigh the Con's, or if I should just pay the extra monthly fees for more boxes from Comcast. Help me decide.
I am considering a set-top box for commercial video-streaming. An Amazon Fire TV + Amazon Prime + Netflix subscription sounds pretty good. Should I be looking at other hardware or services? [more inside]
How can I clear up whatever problem with windows 7 permissions is plaguing my new HTPC? [more inside]
I have a number of ripped DVDs that maintain the original DVD file structure. VLC can play them fine. So can built in DVD players. I like Plex for the way it catalogs and organizes the files for me, but it never played that structure back very well, and in newer released versions it isn't even trying to play it any longer. Is there something with same cataloging features of Plex that can seamlessly pass the file to VLC or some other program for play back? Solutions for Mac and/or Windows are welcome. Extra credit if there is a client/server implementation that could actually play these files through something like Roku.
After reading this Coding Horror post and seeing some news about Dolphin emulator releasing 4.0, I've been pondering building an HTPC for media & gaming purposes, but I keep getting a lot of mixed signals as to ease of use & software quality. Is it really worth the time, money, and effort? [more inside]
The recent post of an android stick htpc on cool tools (out of stock before I even saw it) got me wondering what the best choice would be for a reliable android based stick that could plug into my tv and let me run xbmc with a large file of music and video collection. [more inside]
Mrs. Van and I enjoy watching movies at night using XMBC on our HTPC (which runs Windows 7)... But in a Manhattan apartment with two kids under the age of 2, we're usually stuck watching foreign subtitled films, using bulky headphones with a splitter, or turning the volume up and down constantly on a Hollywood blockbuster. I bought a couple of bluetooth headphones and an adapter a while back. I got one of the headsets to pair, and while that works beautifully, I don't think there's a way (using the normal Broadcom drivers) to pair two at the same time. Is there a software product or workaround that would allow us to pair *multiple* bluetooth headsets, allowing both of us to listen to audio coming from the computer? Thanks.
Why does my computer keep freezing during video games and HDTV playback? [more inside]
I currently have a tangle of external drives hooked to my HTPC. Serving that stuff via UPnP is okay, but I'd like to move my files to a separate device that would then be able to make them available to a motley assortment of devices. Thing is, I'm woefully ignorant about networking and file sharing, having never so much as set up a shared Windows folder. I need help coming up with a game plan. [more inside]
I have an old computer I'm thinking of turning into a home theatre PC, as well as a dedicated FTP and multiplayer game server. Can it be done, and what do I need? Tech specs and more detailed questions inside. [more inside]
How can I easily and reliably play Blu-Ray discs now and in the future? I have a HTPC, but the software bundled with the blu-ray drive is old, and a new version is around the sales price ofr a decent-looking stand-alone blu-ray player. [more inside]
I have an older Gateway PC acting as my media center/file server. I have it hooked up to a 42" 720p Samsung Plasma TV via VGA from the on-board connection on the PC. As such, the resolution is not very good: 1024x768 and the picture doesn't really fit on the screen. Can you recommend a cheap video card (under $50) that will let me connect via HDMI and show things at a decent resolution without stretching or cropping the picture? No gaming, just playing video files.
Can I convert HDMI to component for my HTPC? [more inside]
How can I turn android into a kickass media center? [more inside]
If you could start your HTPC set up all over again, what would you choose? I'm gifting everything (from tv to htpc to router) to my partner and starting from scratch. Tips and suggestions are welcome! [more inside]
I use Windows 7 Media Center to timeshift basketball games and it works fine, except that after a commercial break where there is a bright white commercial, the brightness is shifted down, and the subsequent footage is too dark. This happens at record time but I'm not sure exactly what is causing it or how to disable. My capture card is an ati tv wonder 600 pci.
My home-made HTPC running Windows 7 shuts down without warning, first after prolonged use playing HD (720) videos with VLC. Then it stopped twenty minutes into an episode, and switching to Media Player Classic seemed to be the answer. Then the computer shut down after about 20 minutes of simply being idle. And there's never a "sudden shutdown" error message when I reboot. How do I diagnose this, or what could be wrong? [more inside]
Ideas for what to do with a (moderately fast) spare PC in 2012? (Intel C2D 3ghz E8400, 8GB RAM, etc) HTPC comes to mind, but open to more creative suggestions. [more inside]
Why won't my computer (Asrock ION 330) play HD netflix smoothly? [more inside]
What are the best ways to watch and record live, broadcast TV in a Windows environment without using Windows Media Center? [more inside]
Something is stealing focus on my Windows 7 HTPC. How do I figure out what application it is so that I can get rid of it? [more inside]
Boxee is leaving the PC platform (Mac / Linux / OSX) after the current release (which drops a bunch of features). What should I migrate to? [more inside]
Is there a non-expensive way I can add system-wide EQ to my Windows 7 HTPC (Asrock ION 330)? [more inside]
How to connect a PC to an AV Receiver for the best quality audio? [more inside]
My homebuilt, always-on HTPC has ground to a halt. It won't boot past the BIOS, which slowly - slowly - fills the screen like it's being downloaded by a very old dial-up modem. What's my "checklist" for zeroing in on the problem? [more inside]
I need an ultra-low-power home server/media hub. Cheap is good. Suggestions? [more inside]
Tivo and streaming local video files? [more inside]
Can GoogleTV add value to my HTPC setup, without cable TV? [more inside]
I want to buy or build a home theater PC and I'm overwhelmed by the options for hardware. Mac or PC? Low-end or mid-range? [more inside]
One universal remote to rule them all? [more inside]
Looking to build a Intel Sandy Bridge Windows 7 machine that will primarily function as a centralized repository for mp3s, movies, and photos. Anyone have any hardware recommendations? [more inside]
I have a few questions about a home server / backup / HTPC solution and I would really appreciate some help. Details inside. [more inside]
Looking for a mini-ITX motherboard for an HTPC that supports analog video out (s-video or composite/y-rca) or I need a cheap way to convert HDMI or DVI to one of those analog video formats. [more inside]
I am debating between getting a Mac Mini Vs getting having a few different appliances in the house. Am sharing a description of what I think I need and what my options are and what my initial evaluation is. Thoughts from others will be appreciated! [more inside]
I want to build a budget low power and quiet home theater PC to replace my XBox with XBMC. I'm not looking for HD or Bluray (I don't have the TV for the HD or the interest for the Bluray). I'm pretty out of touch with hardware these days so I don't really know what I need for a minimally viable HTPC. What do I need? [more inside]
Can I use an HTPC/DIY DVR solution to record shows off my DirecTV DVR? [more inside]
I built a Windows 7 HTPC / Media Server. It worked beautifully for a few months, but now it's f-ing up. Any ideas?
I built a Windows 7 HTPC / Media Server. It worked beautifully for a few months, but now it's f-ing up. Any ideas? [more inside]
What is the best choice currently for a media streamer to play back ripped DVDs and other content on your network? [more inside]
I've caught karaoke fever. What are my best options for a karaoke player setup at home? I'm looking for more of a karaoke box setup where participants are able to enter a number on a remote to add a song to the queue or to use a laptop to remotely add songs, rather than a bar-style KJ setup that needs maintenance. Would be interested in either software or hardware solutions <$200. I can figure out the audio, but the software options are vexing!
What's the latest in small, cheap media centers? [more inside]
Please recommend a good wireless integrated keyboard/mouse device suitable for a home theater PC. [more inside]
I have long held a fantastic dream of what I want my home theater setup to be. I've tried several times, in several different ways, to realize this dream - but there is always something. There's always something that doesn't work right - that makes my final implementation lacking in some fundamental way. I'm starting to give up hope. So - I'll tell you what I want and what I've tried - and I want you to tell me if there's another way. I can't be alone here. [more inside]
Yet another Can you help me decide how to build my home theater question [more inside]
Should I use Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2 for my home theater pc? It will also function as a server. [more inside]
Small HDMI A/V amp? [more inside]
I've got an Acer Aspire Revo hooked up to an HDTV. When the Revo is powered up, the digital channels (coming in through a coax cable from an outside antenna...for free, over the air signals) do not come in. When I power the Revo off or put it to sleep, then the digital channels come in and I can watch TV. What gives? [more inside]
What type of wirelessly accessible storage solution should I go with in my new home network? Details inside...
What type of wirelessly accessible storage solution should I go with in my new home network? Details inside... [more inside]
Windows 7 on virtual machine in/beside Ubuntu 10.04 to watch streaming Netflix - will it work? And will it work well? Will I be able to watch Netflix streaming movies (preferably in HD) on a Windows 7 guest system running inside VirtualBox OSE on an Ubuntu 10.04 host? Google has turned up very little recent chatter, with one or two people saying that it doesn't work well. Anyone here manage to get it working? [more inside]
I’m planning on buying a Mac Mini as an HTPC, but I have some questions about the best option for additional storage. [more inside]
Help me figure out how to stop my HTPC from going into standby/sleep when I switch the HDMI source on my AVR away from my HTPC. [more inside]