TV/Netflix/Hulu type Streaming PC

Discussion in 'Desktop Computers' started by TheNamelessPoet, Dec 8, 2018 at 5:28 PM.

  1. TheNamelessPoet

    TheNamelessPoet Member

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    So... I am looking into building a PC for the TV in the bedroom. 95% of its use will be just streaming tv/movies in HD (not 4k).

    What do you think the minimum I can get away with for a processor/motherboard is? I would LIKE to have the smallest computer I can without spending much $. I don't THINK I will need a video card. I guess I would rather a "desktop" instead of a "tower"

    I also think I probably could get away with lower ram, maybe 8-12 GB and I want to use Windows 7.
    I also want it to be able to surf the internet since that's mostly how I will watch Netflix/Hulu/MLB.tv

    https://pcpartpicker.com/list/QdCPNQ

    ***edit* I forgot to add I need wireless internet so I don't think this motherboard has that so... HELP lol
    Any and all suggestions are welcome :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018 at 5:37 PM
  2. johnb35

    johnb35 Administrator Staff Member

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    I would not buy from My Choice Software, pretty bad reviews out there. Why don't you just use an All in One? Prebuilt with wireless but you won't have windows 7 but wouldn't recommend that at this stage in the game anyway. You can make windows 10 look and feel somewhat like 7 anyway.
     
  3. UnholyVision

    UnholyVision Active Member

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    There is a few ways of doing this. If all you're going to be doing is watching movies & tv through streaming services, you can ditch Windows all together and save a good penny. I have quiet a few HTPC's through my home all running Linux. Though if your objective is just to go small my advice would be get a Raspberry Pi, Roku, or one of
    the other media devices.
    (Which all can surf the internet too. At least I believe there is a browser in Roku. It's an Android/Linux device after all. Edit: It seems you have to tinker to get Roku to have a browser. Raspberry Pi is just dependent on which OS you install. Which if you buy a product with a N00Bs SD card there preloaded).

    As for the wireless part. You can do that, but I honestly would avoid it if possible. It really depends on a lot of factors, but WIFI isn't always great. If you can't get an actual RJ45 cable to your machine the next best thing in my opinion is ethernet over a powerline. When you have a decent powerline adaptor set it can out perform wireless setups quiet a bit. Not to mention you're not limited to overall distance, walls, and whatever else blocking the signal. You are possibly limited to the wiring of your home, but that really should go without saying.
     
  4. OmniDyne

    OmniDyne Active Member

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    The i3-8100 is overkill. You can get the AMD Athlon 200GE for $55 on Amazon. It's a solid processor for what you need.

    You won't need more than 4GB of RAM.

    I'll build you a list in a bit and see if you like it.

    I highly recommend going with Windows 10.

    I'd also go ITX.


    There's no reason not to go with WiFi. AC was a huge leap, and you can buy a $30 AC USB adapter at Walmart that will reach 50 feet no problem.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018 at 8:40 PM
  5. strollin

    strollin Well-Known Member

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    UnholyVision likes this.
  6. TheNamelessPoet

    TheNamelessPoet Member

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    the issue with a roku or other device like that is not being able to use a browser as you would normally on a computer. this is important for my wife as well as me. I really want to be able to use a keyboard with it also. I know you can use windows 10 a lot LIKE windows 7, but truthfully I would rather have windows xp.

    The Linux idea really isn't a bad one, i just need it to be pretty close to mimicking windows for my wife's benefit. I have only tinkered with it a little and it was MUCH more involved in setting up that I wanted to get involved in and she was pretty lost. I don't have some smaller things that I may need a windows emulator for but I assume you guys could help me with that.

    Originally I was going to just get a laptop with an HDMI out, but I thought building a small pc would be better (and more fun), in part because then I won't have to worry about the laptop overheating while on and closed.
     
  7. TheNamelessPoet

    TheNamelessPoet Member

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    I guess an HTPC is really want I am looking to build I suppose as long as I can have a regular internet browser and use a trackball and mouse
     
  8. TheNamelessPoet

    TheNamelessPoet Member

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    More like this?
    https://pcpartpicker.com/list/fyrBJ8
     
  9. OmniDyne

    OmniDyne Active Member

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    You can purchase a used or older computer for quite cheap, by the way.

    If you want to build, this is something that may be of interest. It's just thrown together, not a final build. The motherboard has WiFi built in.

    https://pcpartpicker.com/list/WrBppG

    Windows 10 is free. You can just download it and install it via USB from the Microsoft website and give it a try. If you truly don't like it, revert to Windows
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018 at 1:44 AM
  10. TheNamelessPoet

    TheNamelessPoet Member

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    windows 10 is free?
     
  11. OmniDyne

    OmniDyne Active Member

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    Yes. One caveat: if you change any hardware after initial installation, a small watermark will appear at the bottom right hand corner, and you lose some minor functionality.

    It's worth it, honestly. 10 is a massive improvement over 7, functionality and security wise.
     
  12. UnholyVision

    UnholyVision Active Member

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    Tell that to my room right next to me, that picks up a signal at only 5% to 15% with Linksys, Asus, & Netgear routers using AC. All as 80 & 5Ghz to get the so called best connection. Latency out the you know what too. Like I said and you qouted, "It depends on a lot of factors & it's not always the best solution". (I have quiet thick wood walls. I also have marble tile flooring down halls and a few other places of my house too).

    I would be happy to help with any of that.

    Also, what programs are you trying to run that are Windows?

    I would second this if you don't want to build. Though if you're wanting small you're probably better off building.

    It's free, but locked down even more than normal Windows 10. Microsoft wants you to buy a license for a reason. You will not be able to change a lot of the settings. Even basic things such as changing the wallpaper on your desktop will be locked away behind a pay wall. (It's just like installing say WIndows 7 from a disc and not entering a Windows Activation Key).

    I suggested the Raspberry Pi sort of for that reason. You can install Raspbian which is a Debian spin off for the Raspberry Pi. It also supports mouse and keyboards. The only issue with Raspberry Pi's in my opinion is, you have to buy license for decoding some codecs through their weird site & it doesn't have a x265 hardware acceleration. Though if just streaming from web based sites it manages fine with software decoding.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018 at 3:07 AM
  13. OmniDyne

    OmniDyne Active Member

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    Never had any issue with AC, including latency.

    This is only true after the trial period ends. You have full functionality until that point.
     
  14. UnholyVision

    UnholyVision Active Member

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    Okay... Congratulations? (Edit: This isn't meant to be rude. I just don't know what you want me to say here).

    You just answered the question of free then. A trial period isn't equal to free, nor is a game demo equal to a full copy. Also, I just recently did an install of Windows 10 for a video on how to make a bootable USB of Linux to help someone out. (Which I quickly purged as I don't want that privacy concerning OS. That is another topic). Couldn't even change the background through the normal means. Had to kind of hack my way into it. This was day one after installing from a Windows 10 ISO I got directly from Microsofts site, lol. Not everything is unlocked sadly.
     
  15. OmniDyne

    OmniDyne Active Member

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    You can use Windows 10 indefinitely without paying. It is free.

    You can pay for more features that don't affect the functionality in a meaningful way; security and usability wise.

    I used Windows 10 for 6 months on new hardware with full functionality, until I changed hardware.

    It's possible Windows recognized your hardware from before on the fresh install.
    It's also possible that Microsoft decided to change their policy regarding the trial period.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018 at 4:19 AM
  16. UnholyVision

    UnholyVision Active Member

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    Eh okay... If that is your definition of free then yes. (Again sound harsh. Though don't mean it as such. I just don't consider half an OS free. Sort of like a F2P game. Sure you can use it, but oh you want to advance, got to pay for that magical gem to build your castle).

    Not possible as it was the first time ever anything was installed on the machine. Since I just built the machine and was doing a guide on how to install Arch Linux right afterwards. It was my RTX2080Ti machine too. :)

    Possibly, I'm not going to say they couldn't have. Things change so I'll agree with the fact the policies could have.
     
    OmniDyne likes this.
  17. OmniDyne

    OmniDyne Active Member

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    You get way more than half the OS, just saying lol. You simply lose customization options.

    Yeah, they probably decided to change it up.
     
  18. UnholyVision

    UnholyVision Active Member

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    Windows 10 is already half an OS, lol. Every big update comes with a list of removed features, some worse than others. Of course some not being as big of a deal, but it effects someone & the overall support for legacy. (Windows Media Center and DVD support for one. Yes, there is alternatives, but come on with that license cost and no DVD support).
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us...-or-deprecated-in-windows-10-fall-creators-up

    I would say that customizing is a big part of an OS alone. Mind you Windows isn't exactly know for customizing with its limited options to do such changes. You're not going to be making Windows look like Mac easily or free as you could say GNU/Linux. It would even break the EULA on modifications doing so.

    - Limted Microsoft account privileges (If that bothers anyone). Such as syncing devices.
    - Locked lock screen options.
    - Personalizing the desktop & theme
    - Some updates you will not get (not all, but some. I suppose you could do without some of the deleting files updates. :p).
    - The watermark
    - Can't use the Linux Subsystem (bash clone)
    - More locked Group Policy Settings. (Which that is even locked a good bit to Pro owners)

    Then there was one or two other things I can't remember off the top of my head. I read this a few years back with a list of all the features from each versions of the OS. Basically when I was considering installing Windows 10 in a VM for development purposes. Yet, reasons such as the EULA keep me from doing such thing for personal use. I've used such a thing in the work environment though. (Years ago I use to QEMU+KVM Windows 7 for those select games. Now I just Steam Proton or regular DXVK :p). Anyway, use what you want to use, but I still am not considering that free & could effect you in some ways without your knowledge. Specially if anything changes down the line as you basically sign your rights away with Mircosofts EULA's. =/

    Nonetheless, let the OP decided what to do with our suggestions so far since this has kind of wrapped up. :)
     
  19. Cisco001

    Cisco001 Well-Known Member

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    I would suggest spending $150 on used PC instead...
     
  20. Ivan_matematicas

    Ivan_matematicas New Member

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    Hello good day I recommend you buy a device to watch online TV for example apple tv, roku or Google Chromecast, they are not very expensive and are essentially manufactured for what you are looking for.
     

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