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HTPC/Server based AMD E-350 & WIN 7

AV Cables

sam9s

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Even though running the pc 24x7 isnt a big deal specially if the power foot print is very less, there is no harm to power cycle it (shutdown and restart) once in a while. I would suggest you do the same once every couple of day at night.

You can use windows task scheduler to put the computer to sleep (or hibernate) and wake up all automatically at specified day and time. (http://www.howtogeek.com/204742/how-to-make-any-computer-boot-up-or-shut-down-on-a-schedule/) That way you do not have to worry to do it manually and since this will be done at night say 2am or 3am you would not see it happening and it would still look like a 24x7 running machine ...

Just my 2 cents .....
 
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Neeraj0272

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Thanks for the tip.
If you mean instant restart after shutdown, then that is taken care of by some careless mishandling by cleaning lady atleast once a week
 

sam9s

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^^ lol .... no thats not what I mean, improper shutdowns should be avoided all the time, specially with windows. Even though it looks like no harm is done, in a long run it might lead to complications and since its a server you dont want that right .... :)
 

Neeraj0272

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technically you can run any PC with everything loaded on to it, but usually its advised to keep atleast your storage medium separate, with your media playing device separate. Isnt it the way.... if we have a media player (like WD Live), which is separate than out storage (HDD).

Things are more organized, plus a good HTPC with a decent GPU like GT440 will always takes lot more power than a typical NAS. Though fusion based HTPCs are said to play all HD content, I personally feel a dedicated GPU should be the way to go, specially if in future you plan to go 3D.

Another aspect is the swiftness to play music, an HTPC takes good time to boot, then you will probably open an application to stream music from your HDD. In your case if you have an SBT, and plan to run SBS on your PC, you have to keep your PC running all the time ...... (not advisable with a desktop grade hardware.) personally experience, you PSU how so ever good quality it is can go bad anytime if kept running 24x7 for months. and with that it can take your Mobo, RAM anything.

A prebuilt NAS is specifically designed to run 24x7 and has less chance of a failure when put to stress.

My Unraid is a perfect example after running for 1.2 years almost 24x7, finally gave up. Some component went bad with mobo, and I had to replace it. (Another reason that I went for a pre built NAS for my second NAS project.)


But yes everything renders useless or becomes void if one simply cannot afford to spend to have a NAS. In that case no option but to go for a single PC to server all purpose.

Regards
Sammy
So after 7 years of 24/7 running and serving my needs, this htpc has expired. I think I am to blame for its untimely death as I was tinkering with its cpu fan and case fan without turning off the pc! And now it's refusing to turn on.
In its 7 year journey I only had to replace its hdd a year back and no other problem.
 

Neeraj0272

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Now the game is a little different from 7 years back.
Now I have a 4k Android TV and most of the content is available on the Internet with different services. Also torrents are not that readily available and what is available is of low quality. Though these torrents still beat 4k contents of Netflix and other such apps.
I still need a htpc which can serve as a squeezebox server for my local content stored on its hdd as well as for torrent downloading. It should be able to play 4k @ 60 fps.
I am still not convinced by the nas option. One drawback of nas will be that I will have to access it over WiFi and however much I tried, I was not able to play 1080p videos without stutter over WiFi.
I don't want to invest money and time on WiFi networks. I think it would be better if I build a pc which is directly connected to my TV via hdmi.
Problem I am facing is that unlike 7 years back when E350 fusion pc was very cheap to build to play 1080p content, pc capable to play 4k content is turning out to be very costly.
Any suggestion regarding this 4k capable htpc?
As I am typing this, I am getting another idea. Can I build a cheap pc and connect both my TV and this cheap pc via ethernet to the same router. Will then my android TV play 4k content off my pc? Can this cheap pc be something like seagate go flex home mentioned earlier in this thread or may be raspberry pi? Or if this idea is workable then maybe I can go for a NAS?
To sum up my basic requirements are
1. A music server(squeezebox server at this point of time)
2. Downloading of torrents
3. Playback of 4k content via hdmi or ether net (as per the method mentioned above)
 
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sam9s

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Indeed things have changed a lot in going years. I no longer suggest an HTPC now as its in all fairness expensive in all aspects and needs maintenance as well. A simple fireTV 4K stick does a better job today than an HTPC with a GPU. I am not sure what budget you have but a simple one bay Synology will act as a 1. squeezebox server. 2. Downloading of torrents and for playback go for shield tv. This setup is the best I can think of today. A one-bay 119j Synology will come for around 10-13K (you cannot even build a cheap PC for that) and shield tv if you can manage to get it from US will come for another 10K. Heck, even a 4K firestick with ethernet adapter is not a bad deal for 5-6K. For around 25K you will have a robust setup that can do much much more than the your 3 points you have mentioned here.

Also a NAS is always highly recommended to be connected via ethernet only and not wifi
 

Neeraj0272

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Indeed things have changed a lot in going years. I no longer suggest an HTPC now as its in all fairness expensive in all aspects and needs maintenance as well. A simple fireTV 4K stick does a better job today than an HTPC with a GPU. I am not sure what budget you have but a simple one bay Synology will act as a 1. squeezebox server. 2. Downloading of torrents and for playback go for shield tv. This setup is the best I can think of today. A one-bay 119j Synology will come for around 10-13K (you cannot even build a cheap PC for that) and shield tv if you can manage to get it from US will come for another 10K. Heck, even a 4K firestick with ethernet adapter is not a bad deal for 5-6K. For around 25K you will have a robust setup that can do much much more than the your 3 points you have mentioned here.

Also a NAS is always highly recommended to be connected via ethernet only and not wifi
Thanks for your reply. Can I connect this NAS and my tv both to my router via Ethernet cables and then can my tv play videos stored on the hard drive of this NAS? I believe it would be called streaming. My tv is able to see and play my videos over wifi but skips a lot . If instead of wifi this can be done over lan cable then it would be a perfect and cheap solution. Then I wouldn't need to buy Shield or firestick etc.
 

Neeraj0272

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Btw @sam9s we are still chatting with each other on the same forum after 7 years! Thanks for your valuable inputs 7 years back and also for many more to come in the future.
 

sam9s

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Thanks for your reply. Can I connect this NAS and my tv both to my router via Ethernet cables and then can my tv play videos stored on the hard drive of this NAS? I believe it would be called streaming. My tv is able to see and play my videos over wifi but skips a lot . If instead of wifi this can be done over lan cable then it would be a perfect and cheap solution. Then I wouldn't need to buy Shield or firestick etc.
Yes you can, your TV if it is a smart TV and has apps like Kodi (and other apps like netflix and all) or something to play media, then yes your tv can and will play videos stored on the HDD of the NAS via LAN. And yes it is called streaming. :) ... and that is how we most of us consume media over ethernet. Also as you said use ethernet LAN cable to connect your NAS and TV to your router so that all communication happens over ethernet and not wifi. This will make sure your videos do not skip.
 

sam9s

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Btw @sam9s we are still chatting with each other on the same forum after 7 years! Thanks for your valuable inputs 7 years back and also for many more to come in the future.
Always there to help and assist, that's the beauty of the forum. A tech family can always stay connected whenever in need... :)
 
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Neeraj0272

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So I connected a laptop and my TV via ethernet cables to a router. And Kodi installed on the TV was able to play all contents off my laptop flawlessly.
Thanks once more @sam9s.
As I already have a case, pico psu, Ram sticks and multiple HDDs, can I just change my motherboard and reinstall windows?
Some motherboard like Intel J1800 or J1900 which has cpu built-in nd it's Fanless. I have a J1800 at my office and it does all simple office duties like accounting software, file management, Internet, emails etc. Its costs about Rs 4500. Drawback is that its several years old model and its price hasn't dropped. So I am sure that some new model must be available now.

Also on amazon I see some combo like

Zebronics Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0 GHZ + G41 Zebronics + 4 GB DDR3 Dolgix RAM https://www.amazon.in/dp/B0752HSRHW/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_qW3ZDb59M3B4T

Zebronics Intel Core H55 with i3 processor Chipset Motherboard https://www.amazon.in/dp/B071NPL3M6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_lZ3ZDbNKNXEBQ

I think these are a mix of new and used parts coming with both manufacturer and seller warranty respectively.
 

Neeraj0272

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above combos on Amazon are costing about 3 to 4k. How will these compare to J1800 motherboard. any similar option to J1800 in AMD?
 

sam9s

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what would you be using the J1800 for or Core 2 Duo E8400 ..... if its for just watching movies on kodi and streaming netflix or APV then a Firestick is 10 times better in all aspects. More powerful, Less power consumption, ease of space, maintainence

If you already have eveyrthing and just want to buy a motherboard even then it does not make sense as a PC will always be more expensive specially in long run for media consumption.

If you would be using the PC for other activities as well like general browsing, downloading, ms office stuff then J1800 will do the job, but it wont play all those 4K videos I am sure...
 

Neeraj0272

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Pc for torrent downloading and media server with occasional general use. For video playback I will be using Kodi on my Android TV which as I mentioned will be on the same lan as this pc.
What will be the energy consumption difference between fanless J1800 and arm chipset motherboard that Synology NAS uses?
 

sam9s

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J1800 cannot act as media server too weak. Yes torrenting it will do. if you buy a synology NAS (super energy efficient 18-30w), then you wont need J1800 as Synology will do all your torrenting and as a decent media server. Rest you can use your Android TV for media playback stored on your HAS.
What I mean is you just need one synology for all your tasks since you alrady have your android tv for media playback.
 

sam9s

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BTW if you want to go for a PC only for some reason, you can go for this low cost low profile PC (NUC). Its cheap and has very less power consumption 10-12W

BOXNUC5CPYH NUC

Cost will be around 12K, with 240GB SSD and 4GB RAM, this can act as a decent torrent downloader and a generic PC as well for light tasks.
 
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