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[Steam Box / Big Picture Mode] Build & set up your own living room PC gaming console!

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Posts

  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Fanda wrote: »
    Fanda wrote: »
    Esh wrote: »
    I was thinking of Steam boxing to my TV from my PC. My PC is literally on the other side of a set of French doors from my TV. It's got an Nvidia 670 in it which is hooked up to my LCD via DVI. Can I just run an HDMI from one of the available ports on it to my TV and call it a day? How will my computer know which to send signal to?

    I just finished doing this exact thing. You'll have to go into the Nvidia control panel -> set up multiple displays -> clone display. That way it sends the signal to both devices. Before I did that it would only send to whichever I had plugged in first.

    Perfect. Thanks!

  • testsubject23testsubject23 King of No Sleep ZzzzzzzRegistered User regular
    Is there a way to clone audio output in Windows? Have, say, a game output to the PC's speakers/headphones AND to an HDMI audio link at the same time?

    Up 'til this week I had no real intention of hooking my PC up to the TV, as I enjoy the personal immersion of the desk PC set up... but then my wife told me she'd like to watch me play Far Cry 3, and at the time the only way she'd have been able to do that is if she sat on my shoulders. :)

    So I got an HDMI cable that'll run from the comp to the TV, but I can only get the game audio to output to once place or the other. Ideally, I'd like to play the game at the computer (which is already set up for it) and just have the audio/video cloned out to the TV for spectators.

    There might be an option buried somewhere in your audio hardware's proprietary software -- output audio to all devices is a pretty common customization. Otherwise, you'll need to probably set something up with Virtual Audio Cable. It has an application called Audio Repeater that will allow you to output a stream to any other device on your system. Here's some guides:

    http://lparchive.org/techsupport/guide-vac.html
    http://software.muzychenko.net/eng/vac.htm

    And a download link for the trial version of the software.
    http://www.softpedia.com/get/Multimedia/Audio/Other-AUDIO-Tools/Virtual-Audio-Cable.shtml

    Wow, thanks! That'll get me where I need to be, I expect. I'll check my drivers when I get home and then.... just download VAC anyway. :)

    camo_sig2.png
    Steam: Chaos Introvert | Twitch.tv: Chaos_Introvert | R*SC: Chaos_Introvert | PSN: testsubject23
  • AlectharAlecthar Alan Shore We're not territorial about that sort of thing, are we?Registered User regular
    emp123 wrote: »
    It could be a hybrid storage setup. That would be incredible, although i'm leery of how small that enclosure is re fitting multiple drives.

    As far as windows versus linux if their custom linux does the job and i can play a decent chunk of games i'd probably just leave it as is, though that will depend on what kind of other media streaming i can get it to go.

    MythTV. Yes please.

    Eh. MythTV is an excellent back-end, but there's nothing demanding that it be on your HTPC/Steambox, it's just as solid when placed on a Linux-based server, delivering media to the client HTPC/Steambox.
    Every time Steam updates BPM, I keep hoping it would finally get rid of the annoying big block of text covering up screenshots.

    But nope, that's still present. Until they get rid of that, I'll never enjoy looking over my screenshots.

    Also, are there any alternatives to XBMC? I've been happy with the program minus a couple of minor issues, but if they've actually created a better alternative, I'd be willing to give it a look.

    Out of curiosity, what issues are you having with the program?

    There are alternatives. Windows Media Center, iTunes (to a certain extent), MediaPortal and Plex are all options. Of those my favorite is Plex, partly because of how similar it is to XBMC in terms of folder/file naming conventions. They also have apps available for smartphones and tablets, along with Roku boxes. Plex also seems to have a much better Netflix app than XBMC.

    That said, I find XBMC allows you much better control over exactly how your library is "scraped" and put together. For example, in XBMC you can use .nfo files to set up bookmarks for the beginning of different parts of multi-episode files, but Plex (as far as I can find) doesn't allow you to do that. At this point my preference is for XBMC.

  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    Out of curiosity, what issues are you having with the program?

    Nothing major, just a couple of minor things.

    1. Resuming playback on YouTube vids don't work. All too often it'll just hang on the video, forcing me to restart it.

    2. Fast forwarding/skipping on YouTube videos also don't work. Basically the app isn't very good at streaming the videos.

    3. A certain filter for playing back a certain kind of video won't work through XBMC. Google has turned up no results on how to fix this.

    Again, minor issues on what is still (as far as I know) the best method for watching PC content off your TV. But I'm always willing to try potentially better programs.

  • AlectharAlecthar Alan Shore We're not territorial about that sort of thing, are we?Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Yeah, the apps aren't always the best. If you're looking for something with a bit more polish, Plex is probably the best option. I assume WMC is pretty solid, but all of my stuff is in .mkv containers, which WMC won't play out of the box, and it's not worth my time trying to bludgeon it into submission.

    I am curious about the filter/video incompatibility you've got. I know XBMC v12 (Frodo) now supports 10bit H.264 files along with other stuff, maybe try the release candidate to see if it works with the video(s) you're having trouble with?

    Alecthar on
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    I actually wasn't aware there was a new version of XBMC available. I'll give it a shot.

    Also this XBMC+BPM talk has interesting timing, since this just popped up: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=118102362

    Not sure what would be different from adding it as a non-Steam shortcut, but I voted in favor of it either way.

    Edit: Frodo worked like a charm. And it appears to have included some long-awaited add-ons (Cinemassacre!).

    And seeing how I couldn't get Plex to work, I hereby dub XBMC the continuing standard for Big Picture Watching. They definitely should make it an official Steam app.

    Professor Snugglesworth on
  • AlectharAlecthar Alan Shore We're not territorial about that sort of thing, are we?Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    I actually wasn't aware there was a new version of XBMC available. I'll give it a shot.

    Also this XBMC+BPM talk has interesting timing, since this just popped up: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=118102362

    Not sure what would be different from adding it as a non-Steam shortcut, but I voted in favor of it either way.

    Edit: Frodo worked like a charm. And it appears to have included some long-awaited add-ons (Cinemassacre!).

    And seeing how I couldn't get Plex to work, I hereby dub XBMC the continuing standard for Big Picture Watching. They definitely should make it an official Steam app.

    I'm glad to hear it worked for you.

    RE: Plex. Not sure if this was your stumbling block, but Plex requires Plex Media Server and the Plex player app itself. Basically you set your library up through the media server application and browser-based manager, then any Plex applications (either desktop or on tablets/iDevices/Roku boxes/etc.) can be connected to that instance of the server software and access that library. For people with fairly big home networks, a home server/NAS and multiple devices they might want to stream media to, it can be an elegant solution. It's less so when dealing with a single PC that has locally stored media.

    It sounds like the XBMC in Steam deal is just basically slightly better Steam integration. You'd be able to download and update the app through Steam, etc. That said, maybe in the future they could do cool stuff with the Steam cloud or the like. Honestly, I think Steam needs to get itself a Netflix app for BPM. Especially if they could make that work on Linux somehow.

    Alecthar on
    Day of the Bearminor incident
  • NosfNosf Registered User regular

    Started to do the comfy couch gaming thing this week after buying a 35' HDMI cable to run around the perimeter of the room. It's not bad, I mean lots of games are flakey as hell with secondary screens and stuff, but once I had it sorted out for a couple it was pretty nice. I hope some companies start to make better use of big picture mode - launch right into the game, able to control it all with the controller alone, none of this launch a launcher (Skyrim, I'm looking at you) or some other little widget before going into the game itself. Tera is a great comfy couch game with the controller support, but poop in terms of not displaying on a secondary display. Have to make TV primary, flip stuff about then back after.

    So far, the real downfall has been the beagle hops up into my comfy recliner with me and licks my face while I play. Hard to save the world while the beagle is cleaning your beard.

  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    One other XBMC question: what should I be using for Audio Output Device and Passthrough Output Device?

    First one should be self explanatory, but it gives the option between direct sound and WASAPI. I have no idea what the difference is between the two.

    No idea what passthrough output is supposed to be, either.

  • emp123emp123 Registered User regular
    Alecthar wrote: »
    Yeah, the apps aren't always the best. If you're looking for something with a bit more polish, Plex is probably the best option. I assume WMC is pretty solid, but all of my stuff is in .mkv containers, which WMC won't play out of the box, and it's not worth my time trying to bludgeon it into submission.

    I am curious about the filter/video incompatibility you've got. I know XBMC v12 (Frodo) now supports 10bit H.264 files along with other stuff, maybe try the release candidate to see if it works with the video(s) you're having trouble with?

    I used to run Windows Media Center back when I was using my old HTPC as a dvr and I really liked it, aside from its complete reluctance to play .mkvs (and a variety of other codecs despite having several codec packs installed).

    I haven't given the Windows 8 version a shot yet, but as I'm currently also trying to overcome the persistent task bar (or whatever the bar at the bottom where the Windows button and dock thing are is called) issue I've been just watching video via VLC.

    Also, does anyone know how to force a controller to be player one? I currently have a PS3 controller plugged in and emulating a 360 controlled via motioninjoy and a wired 360 controller and Darksiders wants me to use the PS3 controller which has a considerably shorter cable.

  • AlectharAlecthar Alan Shore We're not territorial about that sort of thing, are we?Registered User regular
    One other XBMC question: what should I be using for Audio Output Device and Passthrough Output Device?

    First one should be self explanatory, but it gives the option between direct sound and WASAPI. I have no idea what the difference is between the two.

    No idea what passthrough output is supposed to be, either.

    DirectSound is the preferred option there. As for passthrough, basically if you're outputting sound via Optical/SPDIF, or HDMI, to a receiver capable of decoding one or all of the various "HD" sound codecs, you want to set your Passthrough output device to whatever connection you're making to that device (HDMI cable, Optical cable, etc.) and make sure to check the radio boxes corresponding to the sound codecs the receiver can decode. If not, don't worry about it and make sure to uncheck the radio boxes for any codecs that your receiver or TV won't decode, XBMC will do the decoding.

  • CuvisTheConquerorCuvisTheConqueror They always say "yee haw" but they never ask "haw yee?" Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    So, I see there's lots of folks using XBMC on their Big Picture rigs... anybody else having an issue where XBMC will crash if you pull the batteries out of a 360 controller while connected? I should mention I'm on Eden.

    CuvisTheConqueror on
    xderwsaxganu.png
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    I've never actually done that, so I can't help you there.

    But on the subject of controllers, is there a way to change the button config for the latest XBMC build (Frodo)?

    I like most of the default configuration, but there are a few extra things I'd like to switch around.

  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    I have something substantial I would like to share with you. Something that would be worth adding to the OP.

    Some of you have probably dreamed like I have of being able to turn on BPM, switch the display from your PC monitor to your TV while turning off the PC monitor, and switching to the appropriate audio source all with the push of a single button.

    At long last, I have achieved this, courtesy of a user-made script posted on GAF.
    I think it might be a good idea to compile all the stuff that's been done to date to get this working well.

    What does this script do?
    This script switches displays to an attached device (usually a television), preserving your original resolution and launches Steam Big Picture Mode. It also switches the audio device used and allows you to set a volume for the device (with a different volume depending on the time of day so as not to disturb roommates / neighbours). Finally when you are done using Steam in Big Picture mode and exit the script will automatically restore the state of your computer for normal use. This can all be achieved with a single button press. It should also be noted that the script will not do anything if big picture mode is already open.

    What are we using?
    How to get set up.
    • Install AutoHotKey_L
      Should be pretty straightforward to install from the binary.
    • Extract SSD to your Windows folder
    • Extract QRes to your Windows folder
    • Extract VA.ahk to somewhere
      The full path will be needed but it doesn't matter where you put the file
    • Save the joystick test script
      It's already a working script. As long as you have AutoHotKey installed you can run it to see what your controller does

    With all of that done all you need is the script.

    (COPY AND PASTE THE FOLLOWING)

    Includes functions for controlling audio devices under vista
    ;Use the full path of where you extract VA.ahk
    #Include D:\Steam\VA.ahk

    ;modify with the hotkey you would like to use
    ;or delete the line and run the script from your desktop when you want to switch
    Joy13::

    ;Checks if big picture mode is already running, if it is then don't execute the rest of the script
    IfWinExist, Steam ahk_class CUIEngineWin32 ;checks to see if the big picture mode window is running
    return

    ;Switches displays with internal rendering mode enabled
    Run, "C:\Windows\System32\Displayswitch.exe" /internal

    ;Switch to sound device to use with the television
    Run, "C:\Windows\ssd.exe" 7

    ;Stores the old volume of the device to be used when gaming
    oldVol := VA_GetMasterVolume()

    ;Gets the current hour in 24 hour format Midnight = 0, 11pm = 23
    FormatTime, aTimeH, A_Now, H
    if(aTimeH < 8)
    ;set a low volume if it's after midnight but before 8am
    VA_SetMasterVolume(30.0)
    else
    ;Set the volume to what you want to game at
    VA_SetMasterVolume(80.0)

    ;Set x and y to the resolutions of your television
    Run, "C:\Windows\qres.exe" /x:1920 /y:1080 /c:32

    ;Checks if Steam is running and open big picture mode accordingly
    Process, Exist, Steam.exe
    if ErrorLevel
    Run, "steam://open/bigpicture"
    else
    Run, "D:\Steam\Steam.exe" -bigpicture

    ;Waits for big picture mode to open
    WinWait, Steam ahk_class CUIEngineWin32

    ;Waits for big picture mode to close
    WinWaitClose, Steam ahk_class CUIEngineWin32

    ;Closes Steam, we're done
    ;Delete this line if you want Steam to remain running
    Run, "D:\Steam\Steam.exe" -shutdown

    ;Restore the old volume of the sound device
    VA_SetMasterVolume(oldVol)

    ;Switch back to your primary sound device
    Run, "C:\Windows\ssd.exe" 5

    ;Switch back to your primary display
    Run, "Displayswitch.exe" /Extend

    ;set x and y to the resolutions of your primary display
    Run, "C:\Windows\qres.exe" /x:1920 /y:1200 /c:32
    return

    (SCRIPT ENDS HERE)

    First, copy this into an empty text file. Then what you want to do is update all of the settings to reflect your machine and preferences. Change the #include path to where you extracted VA.ahk, change the path of Steam to where you have steam installed. Change the volume levels to what you want.

    There's two lines that run ssd.exe, the numbers represent the position of the audio device in the list of playback devices. So if you open the playback devices window (right click on the speaker icon on your task bar and select playback devices) the first device in that list is 1, the second is 2, and so on and so forth. So for the first one, put in the number for the device you want to use with your tv, and for the second one, put in the number for the device you use normally.

    The bolded line ends steam when you exit big picture mode, if you do not want to exit steam simply remove that line from your script.

    As electroflame so helpfully mentioned these are the meanings of the displayswitch calls
    /internal switches to "Computer only" mode
    /external switches to "Projector" mode
    /clone switches to "Duplicate display" mode
    /extend switches to "Extend display" mode.

    So the second of the two lines that have Displayswitch.exe in them might need to be adjusted depending on your setup. If you normally clone your display onto both outputs you will want to use clone, so on and so forth. It's pretty self-explanatory but you can try each of them to see what works if worst comes to worst.

    Now, there are two ways to use this with slight modification. by simply the line that reads Joy13:: you can make it a script that runs every time it's executed which means you can place it on your desktop and double-click to activate it.

    Otherwise, if you want to run it on a hotkey, replace Joy13 with the hotkey you want to use. You can use the Joystick test script to see what button does what on your joystick and set one of them to operate the script. For example if your start button is Joy1 and you want to run the script whenever you press the start button you simply change Joy13:: to Joy1:: The full list of keys for HotKeying is here.

    Now you save your script in a .ahk format and you should be just about good to go. If you are trying to use it as a hotkey you will need to make a shortcut to the .ahk file you just saved and place that shortcut in your startup folder. You can find this folder by going to your start menu then All Programs and scrolling until you find startup. Right click that and select "Open". Place your shortcut in there and the next time you restart your computer the script will be running.

    I think that about covers it for this script

    You could basically copy the above script and follow the guide without having to change much. In my case, I had to change the directory for Steam, the number of the audio device I wanted to use, the hotkey, and the display switch to clone instead of extend.

    Speaking of the hotkey, you've got two options: you can either use Xpadder to map the key you want to a controller button, or a universal remote to do the same. For the controller, I like to map it so the hotkey requires two button presses (for my Logitech controller, it's holding down L1 and pushing start), so that way I don't accidentally fire up the script while playing a non-Steam game. The remote option is probably the best one in any case.

    So thanks to this, I now have the ideal Big Picture Mode that can be fired up at the push of a button. I am now living the dream.

    Professor Snugglesworth on
    Blendtecexis
  • Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    Is there a way to disable the Steam overlay in non-Steam shortcuts?

    Having pop-ups on XBMC gets in the way of subtitles.

  • CincituckyCincitucky Registered User regular
    Been looking at and reading builds for a living room Steam box. Intrigued at the thought of replacing consoles and getting back into the online PC gaming community.

    So far, components looking at currently:
    A10 5800K
    mATX board
    16G of DDR3 1866
    HD 6670
    Fractal Core 1000

    Trying to keep this inexpensive but have some juice to it.

    Imagine what "cheese' could exist if someone tried to copy Velveeta.
  • FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Cincitucky wrote: »
    Been looking at and reading builds for a living room Steam box. Intrigued at the thought of replacing consoles and getting back into the online PC gaming community.

    So far, components looking at currently:
    A10 5800K
    mATX board
    16G of DDR3 1866
    HD 6670
    Fractal Core 1000

    Trying to keep this inexpensive but have some juice to it.

    just go with 8gb of ram, 16 won't be used on a gaming machine. 4gb would work just fine too, as you wouldn't be running anything in the background while playing a game.

    and if your going to run a dedicated gpu, you might as well swap over an an i3, it will give better performance.

    Foomy on
    Steam Profile: FoomyFooms
  • CincituckyCincitucky Registered User regular
    Foomy wrote: »
    Cincitucky wrote: »
    Been looking at and reading builds for a living room Steam box. Intrigued at the thought of replacing consoles and getting back into the online PC gaming community.

    So far, components looking at currently:
    A10 5800K
    mATX board
    16G of DDR3 1866
    HD 6670
    Fractal Core 1000

    Trying to keep this inexpensive but have some juice to it.

    just go with 8gb of ram, 16 won't be used on a gaming machine. 4gb would work just fine too, as you wouldn't be running anything in the background while playing a game.

    and if your going to run a dedicated gpu, you might as well swap over an an i3, it will give better performance.

    Yeah, the goal is to have more of a gaming rig.

    Read including the correct series of a Radeon GPU with a A10 allows for a hybrid crossfire setup. Is that worth overlooking to go an Intel route with more options in the future for upgrades?

    Imagine what "cheese' could exist if someone tried to copy Velveeta.
  • AlectharAlecthar Alan Shore We're not territorial about that sort of thing, are we?Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Cincitucky wrote: »
    Foomy wrote: »
    Cincitucky wrote: »
    Been looking at and reading builds for a living room Steam box. Intrigued at the thought of replacing consoles and getting back into the online PC gaming community.

    So far, components looking at currently:
    A10 5800K
    mATX board
    16G of DDR3 1866
    HD 6670
    Fractal Core 1000

    Trying to keep this inexpensive but have some juice to it.

    just go with 8gb of ram, 16 won't be used on a gaming machine. 4gb would work just fine too, as you wouldn't be running anything in the background while playing a game.

    and if your going to run a dedicated gpu, you might as well swap over an an i3, it will give better performance.

    Yeah, the goal is to have more of a gaming rig.

    Read including the correct series of a Radeon GPU with a A10 allows for a hybrid crossfire setup. Is that worth overlooking to go an Intel route with more options in the future for upgrades?

    Hybrid Crossfire doesn't really make sense, price-wise. For the amount of money you'd spend on a setup like that you could get adequate compute performance out of a 60-70 dollar Pentium chip and a nicer card to go with it, like a Radeon 7750 or GTX 650, either of which would likely outperform a hybrid xfire setup. There's even a low profile version of the 7750, so you can fit it into a more entertainment-center friendly case like the Silverstone ML03B.

    Basically I think the APUs are primarily useful for people who want to game, but simply cannot afford to spend more than $120 on their CPU and GPU together, or those who want gaming performance but don't have room for a discrete GPU in the case they're using. If you can spend $160-$180 on your CPU and GPU, you should get a discrete GPU. You'll have superior hardware for gaming, and compute performance that, while not as good as the best Trinity APU, is still good enough for a Steam Box

    Alecthar on
  • CincituckyCincitucky Registered User regular
    Alecthar wrote: »
    Cincitucky wrote: »
    Foomy wrote: »
    Cincitucky wrote: »
    Been looking at and reading builds for a living room Steam box. Intrigued at the thought of replacing consoles and getting back into the online PC gaming community.

    So far, components looking at currently:
    A10 5800K
    mATX board
    16G of DDR3 1866
    HD 6670
    Fractal Core 1000

    Trying to keep this inexpensive but have some juice to it.

    just go with 8gb of ram, 16 won't be used on a gaming machine. 4gb would work just fine too, as you wouldn't be running anything in the background while playing a game.

    and if your going to run a dedicated gpu, you might as well swap over an an i3, it will give better performance.

    Yeah, the goal is to have more of a gaming rig.

    Read including the correct series of a Radeon GPU with a A10 allows for a hybrid crossfire setup. Is that worth overlooking to go an Intel route with more options in the future for upgrades?

    Hybrid Crossfire doesn't really make sense, price-wise. For the amount of money you'd spend on a setup like that you could get adequate compute performance out of a 60-70 dollar Pentium chip and a nicer card to go with it, like a Radeon 7750 or GTX 650, either of which would likely outperform a hybrid xfire setup. There's even a low profile version of the 7750, so you can fit it into a more entertainment-center friendly case like the Silverstone ML03B.

    Basically I think the APUs are primarily useful for people who want to game, but simply cannot afford to spend more than $120 on their CPU and GPU together, or those who want gaming performance but don't have room for a discrete GPU in the case they're using. If you can spend $160-$180 on your CPU and GPU, you should get a discrete GPU. You'll have superior hardware for gaming, and compute performance that, while not as good as the best Trinity APU, is still good enough for a Steam Box

    After taking the advice, now mulling over a build consisting of a i3-2100 CPU with a Radeon 7850 GPU and 8gb of G Skill memory sitting on a ASUS board. Those parts all going into a Fractal Node 605 case.

    I probably won't settle on the 7850 GPU, that's my impulse buying telling me to not be such a wuss and get the higher end card. What sense would it be to frugal with my money when I want the best possible 1080p display?

    I appreciate the feedback. Haven't pulled the trigger on this yet.

    Imagine what "cheese' could exist if someone tried to copy Velveeta.
  • SyphyreSyphyre A Dangerous Pastime Registered User regular
    I'm planning to spend my tax return completely unwisely and build me a steam box. Amusingly enough I don't have any issues with the internals, I just need to figure out the right case for me.

    This is going to double as a backup network server for pictures, videos, etc, so I'll need HD space in there too.

    These are the two cases I'm looking at, based on suggestions from around the net (and this thread)
    Silverstone Sugo
    BitFenix Prodigy

    Are there any other popular cases that can suppose two or three HDs inside that are recommended? Not the Liam Li, that's slightly higher than I want to spend on a case

  • FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    when looking at cases also remember that your most likely not going to be using your 5.25 drive bays and that there are a lot of converters that use 2 or 3 of them to house 3-5 hdd so even a small case can pack in a lot of drives

    Steam Profile: FoomyFooms
  • SyphyreSyphyre A Dangerous Pastime Registered User regular
    That's a good point. I won't be finding many 5.25" drive bays in the form factors I'm looking at (The BitFenix is even a bit on the large side, I want more of a HTPC form factor, not a Mid-Tower) but that does help if I find one with two drive bays.

  • emp123emp123 Registered User regular
    Sometimes when I switch to my HTPC I get an unsupported signal message from my tv which forces me to unplug the HDMI cable from my HTPC and plug it back it. What's that about?

    Video card is a ATi 4850, tv is a Sony Bravia if that matters. Also, running Windows 8.

    I don't remember having this issue when this exact HTPC was plugged into my other (much older) Sony tv.

  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    emp123 wrote: »
    Sometimes when I switch to my HTPC I get an unsupported signal message from my tv which forces me to unplug the HDMI cable from my HTPC and plug it back it. What's that about?

    Video card is a ATi 4850, tv is a Sony Bravia if that matters. Also, running Windows 8.

    I don't remember having this issue when this exact HTPC was plugged into my other (much older) Sony tv.

    Can you get it back if you toggle inputs? Sometimes I lose sounds on my cable box connected via HDMI and i just toggle inputs to get it back

    camo_sig.png
  • CuvisTheConquerorCuvisTheConqueror They always say "yee haw" but they never ask "haw yee?" Registered User regular
    Cincitucky wrote: »
    Alecthar wrote: »
    Cincitucky wrote: »
    Foomy wrote: »
    Cincitucky wrote: »
    Been looking at and reading builds for a living room Steam box. Intrigued at the thought of replacing consoles and getting back into the online PC gaming community.

    So far, components looking at currently:
    A10 5800K
    mATX board
    16G of DDR3 1866
    HD 6670
    Fractal Core 1000

    Trying to keep this inexpensive but have some juice to it.

    just go with 8gb of ram, 16 won't be used on a gaming machine. 4gb would work just fine too, as you wouldn't be running anything in the background while playing a game.

    and if your going to run a dedicated gpu, you might as well swap over an an i3, it will give better performance.

    Yeah, the goal is to have more of a gaming rig.

    Read including the correct series of a Radeon GPU with a A10 allows for a hybrid crossfire setup. Is that worth overlooking to go an Intel route with more options in the future for upgrades?

    Hybrid Crossfire doesn't really make sense, price-wise. For the amount of money you'd spend on a setup like that you could get adequate compute performance out of a 60-70 dollar Pentium chip and a nicer card to go with it, like a Radeon 7750 or GTX 650, either of which would likely outperform a hybrid xfire setup. There's even a low profile version of the 7750, so you can fit it into a more entertainment-center friendly case like the Silverstone ML03B.

    Basically I think the APUs are primarily useful for people who want to game, but simply cannot afford to spend more than $120 on their CPU and GPU together, or those who want gaming performance but don't have room for a discrete GPU in the case they're using. If you can spend $160-$180 on your CPU and GPU, you should get a discrete GPU. You'll have superior hardware for gaming, and compute performance that, while not as good as the best Trinity APU, is still good enough for a Steam Box

    After taking the advice, now mulling over a build consisting of a i3-2100 CPU with a Radeon 7850 GPU and 8gb of G Skill memory sitting on a ASUS board. Those parts all going into a Fractal Node 605 case.

    I probably won't settle on the 7850 GPU, that's my impulse buying telling me to not be such a wuss and get the higher end card. What sense would it be to frugal with my money when I want the best possible 1080p display?

    I appreciate the feedback. Haven't pulled the trigger on this yet.

    My personal Steambox has a Radeon 7750, and that does OK at 1080p. I sometimes have to mess with anti-aliasing settings, but it generally handles games well. I probably would have gone for a 7770 if I hadn't gotten such a good deal on the 7750 (it ended up being about $60 after rebate) and if I didn't need a beefier power supply for it (my Steambox's power supply is 300 watts). The Geforce GTX 650 TI would be a good choice as well, and would give you PhysX support.

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  • emp123emp123 Registered User regular
    mts wrote: »
    emp123 wrote: »
    Sometimes when I switch to my HTPC I get an unsupported signal message from my tv which forces me to unplug the HDMI cable from my HTPC and plug it back it. What's that about?

    Video card is a ATi 4850, tv is a Sony Bravia if that matters. Also, running Windows 8.

    I don't remember having this issue when this exact HTPC was plugged into my other (much older) Sony tv.

    Can you get it back if you toggle inputs? Sometimes I lose sounds on my cable box connected via HDMI and i just toggle inputs to get it back

    Ah, yes, toggling back and forth did work. Ive tried it in the past but apparently I stopped toggling before I should have, it took several more switches back and forth than I thought it would.

    Thanks!

  • CincituckyCincitucky Registered User regular
    Cincitucky wrote: »
    Alecthar wrote: »
    Cincitucky wrote: »
    Foomy wrote: »
    Cincitucky wrote: »
    Been looking at and reading builds for a living room Steam box. Intrigued at the thought of replacing consoles and getting back into the online PC gaming community.

    So far, components looking at currently:
    A10 5800K
    mATX board
    16G of DDR3 1866
    HD 6670
    Fractal Core 1000

    Trying to keep this inexpensive but have some juice to it.

    just go with 8gb of ram, 16 won't be used on a gaming machine. 4gb would work just fine too, as you wouldn't be running anything in the background while playing a game.

    and if your going to run a dedicated gpu, you might as well swap over an an i3, it will give better performance.

    Yeah, the goal is to have more of a gaming rig.

    Read including the correct series of a Radeon GPU with a A10 allows for a hybrid crossfire setup. Is that worth overlooking to go an Intel route with more options in the future for upgrades?

    Hybrid Crossfire doesn't really make sense, price-wise. For the amount of money you'd spend on a setup like that you could get adequate compute performance out of a 60-70 dollar Pentium chip and a nicer card to go with it, like a Radeon 7750 or GTX 650, either of which would likely outperform a hybrid xfire setup. There's even a low profile version of the 7750, so you can fit it into a more entertainment-center friendly case like the Silverstone ML03B.

    Basically I think the APUs are primarily useful for people who want to game, but simply cannot afford to spend more than $120 on their CPU and GPU together, or those who want gaming performance but don't have room for a discrete GPU in the case they're using. If you can spend $160-$180 on your CPU and GPU, you should get a discrete GPU. You'll have superior hardware for gaming, and compute performance that, while not as good as the best Trinity APU, is still good enough for a Steam Box

    After taking the advice, now mulling over a build consisting of a i3-2100 CPU with a Radeon 7850 GPU and 8gb of G Skill memory sitting on a ASUS board. Those parts all going into a Fractal Node 605 case.

    I probably won't settle on the 7850 GPU, that's my impulse buying telling me to not be such a wuss and get the higher end card. What sense would it be to frugal with my money when I want the best possible 1080p display?

    I appreciate the feedback. Haven't pulled the trigger on this yet.

    My personal Steambox has a Radeon 7750, and that does OK at 1080p. I sometimes have to mess with anti-aliasing settings, but it generally handles games well. I probably would have gone for a 7770 if I hadn't gotten such a good deal on the 7750 (it ended up being about $60 after rebate) and if I didn't need a beefier power supply for it (my Steambox's power supply is 300 watts). The Geforce GTX 650 TI would be a good choice as well, and would give you PhysX support.

    Right now, the Steambox is shelfed. Ended up getting a general use laptop for the wife and me. Our first child's due date is July, making sure the wife has something easy to handle and portable for any downtime she might have when the little one sleeps... or if the little one sleeps?? For me, I'll be able to finally game with PC PA'ers.

    I'll keep the GTX 650 TI in mind. By the time I get around to building this, components will be dropping in price. Are gains from PhysX worth going the Nvidia route? Everytime I've shopped for Steambox parts, its been a Radeon card included in the builds. I have a subconscience loyalty to Radeon cards for some reason.

    One change to my planned Steambox will be the case. Really liked the Fractal Node 605 but that had to be scrapped because it won't fit the current entertainment center, there's only 1/4" of clearance on the sides. I'd imagine even if I squeezed it in there the air circulation would be terrible and it'd end up sucking in the same hot air its expelling.

    Imagine what "cheese' could exist if someone tried to copy Velveeta.
  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    @Cincitucky PhysX is neat but not worth factoring into a build because of how few games use it if you're loyal Radeon fan.

    I will admit to loving the effects in Borderlands 2 so much that I am now running a dedicated card and modified files in order to run the effect on high with an Radeon card, but the game is just as fun without the effects on. With a Radeon card the PhysX processing is offloaded to the CPU so if you have a powerful enough CPU you can run the effect on medium with a loss of some amount of FPS. If you have an open PCI-E slot, $30-50, and little bit of patience you can buy a Nvidia GT 430, modify a few files, run a program, and can run PhysX on high using a dedicated card just for PhysX processing.

    Steam: Gridlynk | PSN: Gridlynk | FFXIV: Jarvellis Mika
  • Ed GrubermanEd Gruberman Registered User regular
    @Cincitucky Congrats on the kid. Keeping the wife happy and sane at this time is a very appropriate priority. Having something around to watch things on is very important. I watched a lot of movies in bits and pieces late at night since the baby would only sleep while being rocked.

    I'm thinking of building my own steambox/home media/backup server and was looking forward to hearing how yours turned out. I haven't built a new computer since reassembling an old 286 in my shop class so it's pretty crazy overwhelming as far as how much choice is really out there these days. Can anyone point me in the direction of what level of videocard I would need to run games on max settings on a 1080p TV? My understanding is that you don't need to go all out anymore but I don't want to be kicking myself in a year from now. Any reason to go AMD over Nvidia? PhysX sounds cool but I don't even really understand what it is.

    steam_sig.png

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  • minor incidentminor incident discount etsy agitprop Registered User regular
    Cormac wrote: »
    @Cincitucky PhysX is neat but not worth factoring into a build because of how few games use it if you're loyal Radeon fan.

    I will admit to loving the effects in Borderlands 2 so much that I am now running a dedicated card and modified files in order to run the effect on high with an Radeon card, but the game is just as fun without the effects on. With a Radeon card the PhysX processing is offloaded to the CPU so if you have a powerful enough CPU you can run the effect on medium with a loss of some amount of FPS. If you have an open PCI-E slot, $30-50, and little bit of patience you can buy a Nvidia GT 430, modify a few files, run a program, and can run PhysX on high using a dedicated card just for PhysX processing.

    Yeah, I totally didn't sit around spraying bullets into cloth banners and watching how they shred apart and flap around in the breeze. No sir.

    a handshake of carbon monoxide, no alarms and no surprises
    Big Classy
  • emp123emp123 Registered User regular
    I kinda think PhysX adds a lot of Arkham Asylum/Arkham City but its rare to say that about a game.

  • CincituckyCincitucky Registered User regular
    @Cincitucky Congrats on the kid. Keeping the wife happy and sane at this time is a very appropriate priority. Having something around to watch things on is very important. I watched a lot of movies in bits and pieces late at night since the baby would only sleep while being rocked.

    I'm thinking of building my own steambox/home media/backup server and was looking forward to hearing how yours turned out. I haven't built a new computer since reassembling an old 286 in my shop class so it's pretty crazy overwhelming as far as how much choice is really out there these days. Can anyone point me in the direction of what level of videocard I would need to run games on max settings on a 1080p TV? My understanding is that you don't need to go all out anymore but I don't want to be kicking myself in a year from now. Any reason to go AMD over Nvidia? PhysX sounds cool but I don't even really understand what it is.

    @Ed Gruberman Thanks. Told the wife about PA congratulating us and she appreciates it. Can only imagine having a little one and what it takes to make sure they're content. Having a new laptop will help with those moments where the little one is sleeping and we have time to kill while they're passed out.

    I wish I could be an example of what and what not to use in a Steambox build but its going to be a few months before I can report back to PA with a new system. Definitely post to this thread because @Alecthar and others will help you build a system that suits your needs. Based on @Cormac and @CuvisTheConqueror, you would benefit from looking at getting a GTX650 TI for PhysX since the price point is about thirty dollar difference from a HD7750/70.

    Imagine what "cheese' could exist if someone tried to copy Velveeta.
  • AlectharAlecthar Alan Shore We're not territorial about that sort of thing, are we?Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    @Cincitucky Congrats on the kid. Keeping the wife happy and sane at this time is a very appropriate priority. Having something around to watch things on is very important. I watched a lot of movies in bits and pieces late at night since the baby would only sleep while being rocked.

    I'm thinking of building my own steambox/home media/backup server and was looking forward to hearing how yours turned out. I haven't built a new computer since reassembling an old 286 in my shop class so it's pretty crazy overwhelming as far as how much choice is really out there these days. Can anyone point me in the direction of what level of videocard I would need to run games on max settings on a 1080p TV? My understanding is that you don't need to go all out anymore but I don't want to be kicking myself in a year from now. Any reason to go AMD over Nvidia? PhysX sounds cool but I don't even really understand what it is.

    PhysX is basically a physics engine (like Havok) for games, with some games implementing more demanding effects that allow for hardware acceleration with compatible GPUs (at this point, just NVIDIA cards). Those extra effects are optional, and generally don't affect gameplay in games that have them. Basically, a number of games/game engines always use PhysX, running it off the CPU, and it doesn't make much difference because it's the standard physics engine crap that other games do with different physics engines that also use the CPU to process those calculations. The additional stuff (fancier liquid, breaking glass, flapping banners, etc.) is a bit more complex so it's generally worthwhile to offload to a GPU. It's nice, but it's like Eyefinity for me, something I consider when making a buying decision, but not a huge part of it.

    Max settings for most modern games would probably require an investment of at least 200ish bucks, GTX 660 and Radeon 7870 territory, basically.

    If you want to combine your Steam Box/HTPC with a backup server, what kind of storage are you looking for? I assume you'd want a case that doesn't look too out of place in an entertainment center, and you'd also need enough space in that case for the drive necessary to hit your storage target. What's your budget on this?

    And congrats on the upcoming mewling flesh-ball beautiful child, @Cincitucky.

    Alecthar on
  • IanatorIanator Gaze upon my works, ye mighty and facepalm.Registered User regular
    For those who remember the so-called "Steam Box" from CES, the small computer shaped like a piston assembly, NeweggTV just put up an overview of it. -Video here!-

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  • FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    Ianator wrote: »
    For those who remember the so-called "Steam Box" from CES, the small computer shaped like a piston assembly, NeweggTV just put up an overview of it. -Video here!-

    so it's super tiny, and the specs on it also blow chunks, slow old laptop cpu, 2GB dd2 memory, no gpu.

    That thing can't actually be used to play any sort of games at all, I'm really surprised it's not using a trinity chip in it.

    I guess the x7 series ones are suposed to be the gaming versions, but those aren't for sale yet as far as I can tell, and jugding by the pricing on the 5 series, are going to be like $1k+

    Foomy on
    Steam Profile: FoomyFooms
  • IanatorIanator Gaze upon my works, ye mighty and facepalm.Registered User regular
    After looking at the specs, yeah it looks like for $900+ you're getting a pretty case with modular components of which the CPU is currently not one.

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  • Ed GrubermanEd Gruberman Registered User regular
    Alecthar wrote: »
    @Cincitucky Congrats on the kid. Keeping the wife happy and sane at this time is a very appropriate priority. Having something around to watch things on is very important. I watched a lot of movies in bits and pieces late at night since the baby would only sleep while being rocked.

    I'm thinking of building my own steambox/home media/backup server and was looking forward to hearing how yours turned out. I haven't built a new computer since reassembling an old 286 in my shop class so it's pretty crazy overwhelming as far as how much choice is really out there these days. Can anyone point me in the direction of what level of videocard I would need to run games on max settings on a 1080p TV? My understanding is that you don't need to go all out anymore but I don't want to be kicking myself in a year from now. Any reason to go AMD over Nvidia? PhysX sounds cool but I don't even really understand what it is.

    PhysX is basically a physics engine (like Havok) for games, with some games implementing more demanding effects that allow for hardware acceleration with compatible GPUs (at this point, just NVIDIA cards). Those extra effects are optional, and generally don't affect gameplay in games that have them. Basically, a number of games/game engines always use PhysX, running it off the CPU, and it doesn't make much difference because it's the standard physics engine crap that other games do with different physics engines that also use the CPU to process those calculations. The additional stuff (fancier liquid, breaking glass, flapping banners, etc.) is a bit more complex so it's generally worthwhile to offload to a GPU. It's nice, but it's like Eyefinity for me, something I consider when making a buying decision, but not a huge part of it.

    Max settings for most modern games would probably require an investment of at least 200ish bucks, GTX 660 and Radeon 7870 territory, basically.

    If you want to combine your Steam Box/HTPC with a backup server, what kind of storage are you looking for? I assume you'd want a case that doesn't look too out of place in an entertainment center, and you'd also need enough space in that case for the drive necessary to hit your storage target. What's your budget on this?

    And congrats on the upcoming mewling flesh-ball beautiful child, @Cincitucky.

    @Alecthar - Thanks so much for the suggestions. It's going on the wishlist. Someday, it will be more than just a wishlist but that definitely makes it more clear.

    As far as storage, I'm thinking a reasonably sized SSD for programs/OS/Games. Maybe 128 or bigger depending on pricing. Then a couple of big HDD for family pictures/music/videos and redundancy. The redundant drive will only cover the stuff that would be hard to replace like pictures and music so I won't need it to be as big. I'll pick out a nice enough looking case. Something without a ton of lights and sirens. Probably one of those "silent" cases. Since it's still just a dream, the budget is bendy. Just trying to think of all the things I would need/want and figure out what it would cost from there.

    steam_sig.png

    SteamID: edgruberman GOG Galaxy: EdGruberman
  • AlectharAlecthar Alan Shore We're not territorial about that sort of thing, are we?Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    Okay folks, apparently the "Piston," the full-on Steam Box version of that super-small PC, will be out around X-Mas this year, starting from the eye-popping price of $1000.00, though I gather you can get it for $100 less if you pre-order. It comes standard with 128GB worth of SSD (and I'm relatively certain you'll never cram a secondary drive in that chassis) along with 8GB of RAM.

    I for one am staggered, because powering the box is a 3.2GHz Quad-Core AMD APU, indicating 7000-series graphics, which means congrats you're about to pay a thousand fucking dollars for a little box with what is basically a down-clocked version of a processor that costs like 130 bucks.

    I understand that the form factor costs money, especially when you're cramming in and cooling a proc with a 100W TDP that doesn't want to go above 60C, but the machine is truly god-awful value for money. You could easily spend half that and come up with something similar, if not slightly better, provided you didn't demand a PC that you could fit in a moderately sized cargo pocket.

    Alecthar on
    Donovan Puppyfucker
  • FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    Alecthar wrote: »
    Okay folks, apparently the "Piston," the full-on Steam Box version of that super-small PC, will be out around X-Mas this year, starting from the eye-popping price of $1000.00, though I gather you can get it for $100 less if you pre-order. It comes standard with 128GB worth of SSD (and I'm relatively certain you'll never cram a secondary drive in that chassis) along with 8GB of RAM.

    I for one am staggered, because powering the box is a 3.2GHz Quad-Core AMD APU, indicating 7000-series graphics, which means congrats you're about to pay a thousand fucking dollars for a little box with what is basically a down-clocked version of a processor that costs like 130 bucks.

    I understand that the form factor costs money, especially when you're cramming in and cooling a proc with a 100W TDP that doesn't want to go above 60C, but the machine is truly god-awful value for money. You could easily spend half that and come up with something similar, if not slightly better, provided you didn't demand a PC that you could fit in a moderately sized cargo pocket.


    From the specs it really does look like a trinity based machine in a slightly smaller then you could build yourself package. But it's a machine you could build for $400-500, the form factor just isn't worth $600.

    Foomy on
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    AlectharDay of the Bear
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