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SOLVED Time to Update HTPC (Media PC)

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JLK03F150

What have I done! Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Georgia
X6800, nvidia e-7150 i630, 2x2GB Mushkin PC2-8500, HD 4650, WD Blue 160GB, WD Blue 500GB, EVGA 430W

It's time to retire this box due to the south bridge failing on the old LGA 775 board. That assumption is being made because the D: drive & USB ports only show up when they feel like it. The C: drive has a nice knock of death going on too. This system is running Vista 32bit & MS had really messed up Update. I haven't been able to update since October.

I'm planning to keep the Antec NSK2480 Case, LG Bluray drive, & EVGA 430w PSU.
The new system is an older HP Compaq 6200 Pro, which I came across for free. It has an i3-2120, 8GB DDR3-1600, & an HD 7750. Its currently [email protected] 24/7 in the basement. The HP motherboard is uBTX, so it won't fit in my old Antec case. A friend was super kind to give me a Foxconn mITX s1155 H67S board - THANKS! I have a Win7 Pro key & have done the free Win10 update.

The final build should be i3-2120 w/ stock Intel cooler, Foxconn H67S mobo, 2x4GB DDR3-1600 (which will only run at 1333 due to the CPU), HD 7750, TBD SSD C: drive, WD Blue 1TB storage drive, LG SATA BluRay burner/player, EVGA 430w PSU, Antec NSK2480 case, and Win7 64bit.

What do you think? What would you do differently? I'm going to need new software to play BluRay disks. What is out there these days for Win7 (and Win10). The two player software I have don't support beyond Vista.
Thx for looking.
 
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rescuetoaster

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
For free I'd say you did well. I never found good blu ray software that was free (there is one that sort of worked, but was clunky). I'd install the ones you have anyway, I can almost guarantee they will work fine on 7 and 10.
 

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
I would (and did) go back to Windows 7. Windows 10 picture quality wasn't as good as it is through 7. In fact, it sucked. Exact same rig (in my sig in a dual boot) and exact same software from Hauppauge to go with my tuner card, and the picture through W10 was noticeably lesser quality. That was with a brand new RX 480 at the time and current drivers. Windows 7 Media Center gave a much better picture, as did Media Player, than anything I tried on W10.
 
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JLK03F150

JLK03F150

What have I done! Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Georgia
I did some research & it looks like PowerDVD is still the best option for a player. I'm not sure what version I have, but supposedly versions 8 deluxe & older won't play Blu Ray in Windows 7. I'll test out my version on Win7 & see how it goes. (now where that install CD. lol).

Thanks for the info about Win7 vs Win10. I also forgot that 10 doesn't have Media Center - lots of people are mad about that.

I won't be using a tuner card unless I want to try capturing OTA in the future. It's just going to be media files (Tivo files transferred to disk), streaming & Blu Ray.
 

Alaric

New Member
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Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
My tuner card also doubles as a cable box if needed. And Media Center has been the easiest to use DVR I've found yet. A couple clicks and a series is set to record. There are advantages to the "latest and greatest" OS, but since my rig is also my HTPC and music server and gaming rig, Win 7 was my best option. If I ever have to have DX12 I have a dual boot set up with W10, I just don't use it ATM.
 
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JLK03F150

JLK03F150

What have I done! Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Georgia
My friend, the motherboard donor, is using a tuner card with an HD antenna to record over the air. He's a big fan of Media Center & its ease of use.
 

rescuetoaster

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
I did some research & it looks like PowerDVD is still the best option for a player. I'm not sure what version I have, but supposedly versions 8 deluxe & older won't play Blu Ray in Windows 7. I'll test out my version on Win7 & see how it goes. (now where that install CD. lol).

Thanks for the info about Win7 vs Win10. I also forgot that 10 doesn't have Media Center - lots of people are mad about that.

I won't be using a tuner card unless I want to try capturing OTA in the future. It's just going to be media files (Tivo files transferred to disk), streaming & Blu Ray.

FWIW you can force install media center on 10, there are some instructions via google that will lay it out for you. It is relatively involved, and I haven't used MC in quite a while so I haven't tried it myself.
 

Alaric

New Member
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Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
Installing MC came up in a thread here at OCF, but I don't recall anyone being entirely successful. The guide wouldn't work was, I think, the big problem. That eliminates a huge part of the functionality that was the reason to do it in the first place.
 
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JLK03F150

JLK03F150

What have I done! Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Georgia
Good news, I checked my PowerDVD and it's version 9. I forgot that I got a new version when I replaced my HD-DVD/BluRay combo drive with the BluRay rewriter. This version should work fine in Win7 with a few free updates.

First boot hung on the Vista system failed tonight because it couldn't see the USB keyboard. Second time was the charm.

Yes, no one can get the guide working, which will be a serious problem for a DVR.
 

rescuetoaster

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Jan 4, 2012

Alaric

New Member
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Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
That could be useful for folks stuck with Windows 10. The comments are still showing people having issues, but if it's your only option it would be worth looking at.
 
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JLK03F150

JLK03F150

What have I done! Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Georgia
Well I've run into a huge snag. The mobo I got did not come with a driver disk, my friend couldn't find it. I installed Windows 7 Pro 64bit on the Foxconn H67S system today and it seems most of the driver downloads at Foxconn Support are broken. :(

I tried to download the LAN driver from a 3rd party site (I hate those sites!) and it was not the correct driver. Aargh!
 
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JLK03F150

JLK03F150

What have I done! Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Georgia
I got the audio driver from Foxconn, the LAN driver from Realtek, and chipset from Intel. No more :confused: in Device Manager. Downloading Win Updates now. The offline rollup is nice, only 46 updates. :beer:
 

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
I got the audio driver from Foxconn, the LAN driver from Realtek, and chipset from Intel. No more :confused: in Device Manager. Downloading Win Updates now. The offline rollup is nice, only 46 updates. :beer:
:thup:

I've had to go driver hunting like that. Find out who made each chip and start praying to Google. LOL Glad you're on the home stretch.
 
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JLK03F150

JLK03F150

What have I done! Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Georgia
Well I'm watching a Bluray in 5.1 surround @ 1080p. It seems the PowerDVD 9 works great with Win7 on my TV. :) Netflix is running great in FireFox too.

I forgot to mention, I didn't buy an SSD for O/S. I decided to use the 250GB spinner that was in the HP box. I might replace it later, but it'll work fine for now.
 
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rescuetoaster

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Hey, cheap and working is better than blowing a bunch of money!
I'm not trying to get you to move to windows 10 if you don't want, but just be aware that the only way to get dolby digital on netflix is thru the windows store app.
 
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JLK03F150

JLK03F150

What have I done! Member
Joined
May 17, 2005
Location
Georgia
I won't have surround using Netflix on Win7? That's a bummer, but I haven't tested it out yet on something with good surround yet. I just tested it out with a TV show.
The problem is I'll have to buy Win10 because I swapped motherboards. My free Win10 upgrade was tied to the HP uBTX board, not my new Foxconn, so I'm guessing I couldn't get a reinstall to activate. The original Win7 key on the HP box did activate without any issue.
 

Alaric

New Member
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Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
Just let your pre/pro handle surround sound duties. Dolby digital isn't all that relevant. It's a lot like THX certification. Decent equipment doesn't need it and less than decent equipment can't use it effectively.