need help with home theater

THRESHIN

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so here's what i'm looking for out of a very simple home theater:

would like to stream video and music over my wireless network
want to play old nintendo and other games on emulators with USB controllers.

simple to ask i figure...don't care much about sound or any extras. i don't watch enough tv/movies to care and i can always add that stuff later if i want to.

but its the ability to run game emulators that has me scratching my head...without that i'd just get one of the little tv boxes like the WD media player or something along those lines. those won't cut it for emulators.

with that in mind, is my best bet just to get a cheap/low powered laptop or are there other options i'm not thinking of? just going to put an HDMI cable on it and call it a day...

just looking to see if anyone has any other good ideas and if not what i should be looking for in a laptop. obviously low power, so we can stay away from getting into the specs too much. more so what would be worth spending extra on and what to stay away from.

please keep in mind that i live in canada so there are a few items that are more difficult to get or the price is out of whack making it not worth while.

honestly 1080p is enough for me....
 

Fenris_Ulf

[H]ard|Gawd
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Any decent PC should be OK. Some emulators have a recommended minimum specification. I use a ITX mobo with a Pentium G620 (fairly low end) and it does everything.
 

THRESHIN

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so in other words i'm on the right track with either a laptop or HTPC. thanks!

any other thoughts would be welcome.
 

Fenris_Ulf

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At least dual core processor from the last three generations is recommended, an add in midrange video card is nice too. Onboard graphics are barely passable for emulation IMHO. A SSD for speed, 120 GB should be enough unless you have alot of ROMs. In that case, just add a cheap mechanical HDD for the ROMs.
 

THRESHIN

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yeah thats sounding about right to me....trying to decide between laptop with a reasonable video onboard (such as ATI) and building a small HTPC.

i like the idea of using an SSD. i already have a 120GB in my main system and it might be worthwhile to pull that for the HTPC and put a bigger one in this thing.

as far as space goes for emulation, etc. i'm just going to run this all over my network so no worries there.

the next step will be to get my main system to wake from sleep from something over the network trying to get to it...that way i won't need to have this water cooled beast running constantly sucking back the hydro. but thats another problem entirely.
 

Fenris_Ulf

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It's called Wake On LAN (WOL), it does just that and comes on a great number of motherboards. Laptops generally have weak processors due to heat constraints. My HTPC with the Pentium G530 (I was wrong about the model # in my previous post), is marginal for running emulations. Personally I'd want a little more power, especially for multiplayer.
 

THRESHIN

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yeah i've been trying to get the WOL working...its just not been working as it should. some issue is going on that i have yet to nail down...not sure if its the router or mainboard as of yet.

more power isn't really necessary here. by emulation i'm talking about NES and SNES mostly. think the old classics. i don't really care to play any of my PC games on the big screen and i never did care for anything newer in consoles. other than that movies so the performance requirement here really is sweet F all.

that being said, i was looking into getting something very simple and its not as expensive as i thought to build a HTPC to meet my needs. i'm thinking of going with an AMD A series. used one for a budget built for my parents couple years back and have to say i was very impressed for the cost. weather it'll keep up with a pentium G doesn't really matter - its more than enough for what i'm looking for and it saves on buying a video card.

well indirectly i think you've helped me figure out what to go for. thanks!
 

Fenris_Ulf

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OK. I was thinking GameCube/Wii which takes a little more power. Pentium Gs are cheap and an old video card (think 8800GT) or new low power like the 5450 or 6450 should do. Together, those can be pretty inexpensive.
 
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