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Thread: HTPC vs Media player on TV set

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    HTPC vs Media player on TV set

    Scenario is: I have a panasonic TV that has some networking software on the set which I think lets me access media on wireless and the usual Viera offering. It allows TV recording to flash drive, it has youtube & browser (but no proper way to input things apart from the remote) which is pain but its there. I have a Blu-Ray player from them that offers youtube/netflix etc as well that I have yet to use this aspect of it as TV set offers the same.

    I have a desktop PC in my old Lian Li case which may become surplus but it works great built with low noise in mind. It is Athlon II 250 with 880chipset (4200IGP) with seasonic 330w 80plus. All that would need to do is change is the case.

    What does a HTPC offer over the Network media player functions already in the TV set...

    If you do think HTPC has a lot to offer here would you install a gfx card like ATI 5450 and an optical drive...

    Thoughts..

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: HTPC vs Media player on TV set

    I certainly wouldn't install a discreet card for an HTPC when you've already got the HD4200 graphics. You're not really going to be using the shaders for any of the media playback as it will all be accelerated by UVD block. Whether you add an optical drive is very much down to whether you think you might need to install software that you can only get on DVD - if you've already got a blu-ray player I don't think I'd bother.

    What the HTPC offers is flexibility - it's a fully functioning PC with all the benefits that brings. For instance, mine is used quite often for the family to play hidden object type games together, and the kids both use it for casual gaming (and some more serious gaming - my step-son plays Skyrim on it!). So really it's down to whether you think you'd get use out of having a PC in the living room.

    If you do go for the HTPC option, check whether your board supports undervolting, and if it does drop the volts (and potentially the stock multiplier) on the X2 to bring power usage down. With good tuning you should be able to get peak power draw down to around 60W...

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    Re: HTPC vs Media player on TV set

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    I certainly wouldn't install a discreet card for an HTPC when you've already got the HD4200 graphics. You're not really going to be using the shaders for any of the media playback as it will all be accelerated by UVD block. Whether you add an optical drive is very much down to whether you think you might need to install software that you can only get on DVD - if you've already got a blu-ray player I don't think I'd bother.

    What the HTPC offers is flexibility - it's a fully functioning PC with all the benefits that brings. For instance, mine is used quite often for the family to play hidden object type games together, and the kids both use it for casual gaming (and some more serious gaming - my step-son plays Skyrim on it!). So really it's down to whether you think you'd get use out of having a PC in the living room.

    If you do go for the HTPC option, check whether your board supports undervolting, and if it does drop the volts (and potentially the stock multiplier) on the X2 to bring power usage down. With good tuning you should be able to get peak power draw down to around 60W...
    Thanks Jim.

    I do want to get PC side of it as well since inputting into TV is a pain. Not to mention the overall better browsing experience available. So yeah there are so many pluses. Main thing is it doesn't look like a PC and I don't have throw perfectly good parts.

    I'll check my manual for MSI 880GM-E41 but it already undervolts the cpu when idle or doing non-intensive tasks via AMD cool n Quiet software in Windows. Is this what you mean or are you thinking within bios itself manually.

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    Re: HTPC vs Media player on TV set

    Quote Originally Posted by pp05 View Post
    ...it already undervolts the cpu when idle or doing non-intensive tasks via AMD cool n Quiet software in Windows. Is this what you mean or are you thinking within bios itself manually.
    I was thinking in the BIOS itself - my ASUS 785G board allows for up to 0.3v undervolting of the CPU (e.g. that takes my Sempy 140 from 1.35v stock to 1.05v), and then you can also enable CnQ which drops it to 0.75v whilst idle. Your X2 might not go that far, but it should run with a bit less voltage and you can massively drop your power draw that way.

    As far as cases go I'm as huge fan of the Antec Aria (sadly now discontinued) as an HTPC case: the new version is the NSK-1380 but unfortunately it's *very* expensive (I paid a lot less than that for mine ) and it uses a custom PSU so you wouldn't be able to move your Seasonic over. This Silverstone MILO ML03 looks pretty nice and takes standard ATX PSus, and I believe the SUGO SG02B is always popular too; might be an option? Or you could always scratch build something, of course

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    Re: HTPC vs Media player on TV set

    Always liked the look of Novatech's case.

    http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/c...ov-vision.html

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    Re: HTPC vs Media player on TV set

    That is *very* pretty. Only takes mATX PSUs though, by the look of it? I think the OP wants to reuse a standard ATX PSU...

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    Re: HTPC vs Media player on TV set

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    I was thinking in the BIOS itself - my ASUS 785G board allows for up to 0.3v undervolting of the CPU (e.g. that takes my Sempy 140 from 1.35v stock to 1.05v), and then you can also enable CnQ which drops it to 0.75v whilst idle. Your X2 might not go that far, but it should run with a bit less voltage and you can massively drop your power draw that way.

    As far as cases go I'm as huge fan of the Antec Aria (sadly now discontinued) as an HTPC case: the new version is the NSK-1380 but unfortunately it's *very* expensive (I paid a lot less than that for mine ) and it uses a custom PSU so you wouldn't be able to move your Seasonic over. This Silverstone MILO ML03 looks pretty nice and takes standard ATX PSus, and I believe the SUGO SG02B is always popular too; might be an option? Or you could always scratch build something, of course
    Antec make really slick looking cases for htpc scenarios. I was looking at their cases just yesterday. From their stable it was between 1380 and Antec NSK 2480. 2480 appears to have better ventilation over Ml03b and comes with Earthwatts PSU as well (I have a 330w seasonic anyway) which is a nice touch.

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    Re: HTPC vs Media player on TV set

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    Always liked the look of Novatech's case.

    http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/c...ov-vision.html
    Drools.....

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    Re: HTPC vs Media player on TV set

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    That is *very* pretty. Only takes mATX PSUs though, by the look of it? I think the OP wants to reuse a standard ATX PSU...
    Yeah I was hoping it would be a case of taking existing set-up including standard ATX psu and moving into new case.

    My motherboard cannot undervolt but can adjust multipliers. NSK1380 has a custom Antec PSU, not sure how good they are but some reviews on Ebuyer say it is loud.

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