Advice on new media PC

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klingenfelter
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Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:42 am

Advice on new media PC

Post by klingenfelter » Thu Feb 23, 2017 5:28 pm

Actually I'm not new to this forum, I built a home theater PC which has served me well for over 8 years, using this forum. It's time to change. I would like a small Media PC and do not need a DVD or CD player just a couple of USB ports, HDMI, and SSD drive and windows 10. However, I like the iMON infrared control of the silverstone case I used for the old HTPC for turning the unit off and on. I do this on off via a programmable URC remote control unit with programmed macro that sets all the receiver, speaker acoustic settings for music.

I now have space limitations in the media equipment cabinet thus the small or mini media PC. All I use the unit for is playing music from a a large capacity server off of a very good CAT 6 network using windows media player (I like the drag and drop feature for loading a play list). I don't need it for movies etc. as I have other media streaming options. None of the media access software on the typical Blue Ray or HDTV's (e.g. PLEX). will allow the easy drag and drop features of windows media player.

Does anyone know a good mini PC with infrared control for on and off.

Klingenfelter

CA_Steve
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Re: Advice on new media PC

Post by CA_Steve » Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:02 pm

Only purpose is a music streaming front end? I know you are focused on Windows Media Center, but have you looked at other media center s/w like JRiver? Seems like you could have a 5W or less front end appliance with DAC or digital out to drive your Rx.
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klingenfelter
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:42 am

Re: Advice on new media PC

Post by klingenfelter » Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:01 pm

Well I must admit I've been using windows media player for stacking music to play like a jukebox for many years. I'll take a look at JRiver and indeed I need very little to process streaming music. The music is on a fairly high power 4 tbyte server with connection to a CAT 6 network. The device that builds the "on the fly" play list (Media PC) does not do any DAC work, that is done by the receiver, a high end Yamaha receiver, and this unit also does all the surround decoding. So I don't need much, just the GUI and processing digital bit streams. The media players that come with the new UHDTV's and BlueRay players as apps all seem so clunky to use. It looks like JRiver is a windows application so I'll still need a Media PC to run it. This new unit will need to integrate into the whole home theater. I'd like to get rid of the big Silverstone case with DVD/CD drive, several unneeded hard drive bays and such that is my current Media PC. The only function that it has that I'd like to keep is the infrared control for on/off (iMon). Any suggestions for a mini quiet PC or place to look for research on such?

Keith Lingenfelter

CA_Steve
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Re: Advice on new media PC

Post by CA_Steve » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:31 am

To me, the ideal case would be to use an appliance for the front end, like a Roku, and your phone as the remote/cuing device to minimize the power used, footprint, and cost. I do a lowbrow version of this where I've got a ~40GB subset of my library on an old Android phone and the phone acts as the music server to a Chromecast Audio appliance connected to my Rx. The Android app on my phone has copied my iTunes playlists as well, and that's what I use rather than building playlists on the fly. So, my investment was a 64GB RAM card for the phone and a $35 Chromecast.

I think JRiver has a mobile app - if you want to use that for the GUI...I wish I knew more about using some of the appliances out there (Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, etc) for JRiver front end.

Anyway, if you want to go with a small footprint PC, take a look at some of the pre-build options, like the MSI Cubi. Actually, the Atom version is fanless and $150. Just add RAM/SSD/OS. Pushing digital audio won't tax it at all...and it'll use ~5-8W.
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klingenfelter
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:42 am

Re: Advice on new media PC

Post by klingenfelter » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:14 am

I'll check these out thanks

Keith

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