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Old 04-05-2010, 09:35 PM   #1
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HTPC Revisited

So, I have just built a new little rocket ship of a PC for my coach. I have put a lot of time into the researching and reviewing the ins and outs of making this thing an HTPC which will be a central Home Theater System, a High-End Virtual Server box (ignore that if its not your bag) and a personal desktop for working from home when I need to.
I just searched for HTPC and was quite surprised that there are only three old, short threads on the subject.
I think you all are missing out of some tremendous technology and fun if you haven't considered an HTPC setup yet.
But before I start a discussion, I wanted to see if in fact there is any interest in such a thread and what questions some of you might have at the outset.
I'm not "all things HTPC" but I am an IT pro working for a really big IT company here in Redmond and I am also a full-timer living in Redmond.
So, how about it, should we get the party started or what.

If so, there are a number of things to consider and lots of issues to address but it really is not that complex and should not intimidate the likes of those folks who I have seen contibute hithertofro.

The reason I am going down this road in the first place is because the entire setup in my 03 Suncruiser is ok but dated. People don't use VHS anymore so I replaced it like many of you. People don't use CD Changers anymore, they plug their Zune into their radio. People download many of the movies they watch instead of running to the store for a DVD. People Skype with family and friends instead of just calling. You get the idea.

Let me know if this is time well spent or else I am happy to stay in my geeky little world and play.

Thanks Keith
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:25 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by kcaravelli View Post
The reason I am going down this road in the first place is because the entire setup in my 03 Suncruiser is ok but dated. People don't use VHS anymore so I replaced it like many of you.
Keith, I dropped kicked the VCR out of my 03 Adventurer in favor of a Magnavox digital converter box. I use the VCR input on the A/V switch to select the converter. Works great plus I can take it out of the system if I have to however there really isn't any good reason to remove it.

We have Sirius, Garmin and DeLorme GPS, Direct TV and I use a CradlePoint so the DW can run her HP LT & iPod Touch and I can run my HP LT. Sorta of a hi tech environment - certainly not something that we had on the onset of our ownership with this coach back in 2003.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:39 AM   #3
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"Keith, I dropped kicked the VCR out of my 03 Adventurer in favor of a Magnavox digital converter box. I use the VCR input on the A/V switch to select the converter. Works great plus I can take it out of the system if I have to however there really isn't any good reason to remove it.

We have Sirius, Garmin and DeLorme GPS, Direct TV and I use a CradlePoint so the DW can run her HP LT & iPod Touch and I can run my HP LT. Sorta of a hi tech environment - certainly not something that we had on the onset of our ownership with this coach back in 2003."


That all sounds like you have had fun with it.
I am interested in also seeing the explainations to some of these setups for those who are less technical and would like to understand what they are getting into. I work as an IT Pro and I'm constantly reminding myself not to speak in Acronyms.
For example, what is the Digital Converter Box for and what does it do. What is a Cradle and how does that work or what is it's purpose. I think we can shorten much of our explainations but as a someone who is a tech at a very high level for a living I can attest to the need to know. There is just so much stuff out there we can't assume anyone has a clue about what we are talking about. We don't have to get technical in our discussions at all, we can take those off to specialized threads. Here we can focus on what functionality is out there and what has evolved in ways that makes MH living fun and cool and more enjoyable.
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:09 AM   #4
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Keith,
I appreciate your opening this door and will contribute what little I know . We're not 'full-timers' and make our longest trip during our winter retreat. In your words, "get the party started' and I'll try to keep up with you folks! As an aside, we have networked our home HVAC system and have complete control of all functions while RV'ing. Provides peace of mind to be able to check/adjust the system as needed.
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:36 PM   #5
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You work for a large firm in Redmond and use a Zune - wonder what company it is!!! or at least associated with

Seriously though - would love this thread to go on. Just getting my RV so I will not doing a HTCP setup just yet, but as a person with a Home-Theater and a Audio-Video closet in the basement feeding three different rooms this is still of great interest and I can probably contribute on some general items.

As mentioned above people are putting their houses "online", WIFI is available in lots of campgrounds etc so a HTCP solution makes sense to many even if they don't know it. Add Netflix streaming, paying bills

Now what is sad the new RV that I am buying has "ipod interface"....called the factory (winnebago) to get this clarified. It is a full......wait for it.........aux input jack.

WOW that is truly ipod interfacing don't you think -- it is actually a big deal for me living in AK which doesn't have radio coverage in many areas. So for me it will be a Ipod USB cable that splits into regular usb and audio (to avoid going through the headphone amp) to the radio then a separate USB to car adapter charger to get music.

If I had a solution in the back that fed it all I would avoid all the cables....
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:18 PM   #6
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Serious WiFi.

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Old 04-07-2010, 07:21 PM   #7
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Keith, I think it would be time very well spent. I believe I am like many others who would like to know and do more with our systems but don't know enough to tackle the task. To have someone explain the possibilities and how to's would be great.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:16 AM   #8
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Keith, I think it would be time very well spent. I believe I am like many others who would like to know and do more with our systems but don't know enough to tackle the task. To have someone explain the possibilities and how to's would be great.
I am interested as well Kieth. Go for it.
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:28 AM   #9
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Keith, I'm interested. Go for it.

Mr Transistor, what is "serious wi-fi??
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Old 04-13-2010, 02:16 PM   #10
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Thatís my 12 DB WiFi antenna with low loss coax running to my wireless card on the computer. I got really tired of having to park just so, in the right space, to see the parks network. Seems I was always blocked by the metal of the refrigerator, sidewall, or something, so I mounted this antenna from Radio Labs to the crank up TV antenna. Now I park anywhere and can always see all the antenna.
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:26 PM   #11
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Mr. Transistor, that's excellent work. That's what I'm looking for here. How do we make these toys work really well and not fight the technology. Good explanation, not too long and not too detailed thanks.
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:50 PM   #12
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Ok, that was just too long a message. I'm going to give more thought to this thread and figure out where to start.
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