Go Back   Computer Forums > General Computing > Hardware
Click Here to Login
Join Computer forums Today


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-19-2010, 12:46 PM   #1
Baseband Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 34
Default HD Media Center

I'd love to stop paying comcast for cable, and Internet TV sounds cool. If I want to watch HD TV and videos via the internet, as well as play blu ray and burn dvd/cd, what should I look at for a build? I guess I pretty much just need a good HD video card, Blu ray optical drive, and ethernet connection right?
__________________

AnnihilationRob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2010, 01:48 PM   #2
In Runtime
 
Disenchanterx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 164
Default Re: HD Media Center

Sweet one of my topics.

How much do you want to spend.

This is my all time favorite HTPC video card.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814102854
However if your building a i3 or i5 system or using a Mobo with a good onboard video and hdmi out you don't need it.

I have 4 HTPC's running at the moment and they are all different from one to another. Like I said you you just need to know how much you want to spend. this will help you get an idea. Also what interface your television and surround sound is (if applicable)

I just built my Old-man a HTPC yesterday. His was about 750 dollars for some really sic equipment. However a guy on the forums (Staticc) has built one out of a old dell that he picked up for 30 bucks or so and he purchased some other parts like a remote etc. He can't have more then 150 bucks in that system
__________________

__________________
M.C.S.E.
Minesweeper Consultant / Solitaire Expert
Disenchanterx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2010, 04:20 PM   #3
Baseband Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 34
Default Re: HD Media Center

I was hoping for under $700. HDMI for the TV, and I don't have surround (yet). My stereo receiver is rather old and analogish, so I'll probably upgrade soon. Whats the best way to hook up sound btw? Should I get a good audio card and go analog out to analog in on the receiver? Digital to digital? Should I just be happy with the mobo chipset? Which would have the best conversion and SNR? I might be getting too audiophile on this but it would be good to know.
AnnihilationRob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2010, 05:50 PM   #4
In Runtime
 
Disenchanterx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 164
Default Re: HD Media Center

I like to use Digital or Optical coaxial (SPIDF), But if you have HDMI, that will carry your sound just as well. Digital to Digital is always better but until you upgrade your receiver I would just run HDMI to the TV then analog to the receiver

$700 will build a pretty sic HTPC. If you can swing it the i3 on a ASUS H55 board is just wicked. The i3 was designed with some of the htpc aspects in mind.

If possible I always try to go with an i3 or a really decent board with on-board video when using other processors like AMD and the lower end Intel processors. The reason I do it this way is because of noise and slot usage. You want your HTPC to make little to no noise at all. Say your watching a movie with scene's that are silent, a noisy PC will become your enemy quick! A lot of these Micro ATX boards come with only one PCI-e slot and a couple of PCI slots. You will want to build your HTPC with the ability to house and use a TV tuner card. TV Tuner cards run better on PCI-e(just learned that recently). I know you said that you wanted to get off Comcast. Just in case you want to subscribe to another service its best to leave your option open.

That video card I showed you earlier you can turn that fan down on it to half speed, It will stay cool and run at less the 5-6db of sound. It also carries 7.1 sound.

So just a quick HTPC build. (a lot of things that we can change here)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811129034
This case was developed with Mike Chin on the development team. You can find Mike's work and reviews on his website. He was the guy that designed the P-180 series from Antec. Silent PC Review


Processor and Board i just put in a HTPC build recently(I got a combo deal on it for 35 bucks off)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131602
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819116074

Blu-Ray player and RAM. I used 4gb of DDR3 Running in Dual Channel, The 4Gb meets the needs of Win7 Home premium x64. It will also help with the caching of the metadata from programs like MyMovies and Media Browser etc. Also you will probably be adding other Plug-ins and extenders to your HTPC once you realize its potential
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16827135205
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820231179

7 Home Premium and Remote. This remote is distributed under a couple of different distributer names. Its a good and easy to use remote and its cheap.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16832116754
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-003-_-Product

2tb HD its the 32mb cache EADS model. It will be a little less problematic then the 64mb EARS model from WD. If you don't need 64Mb you might thank me later for this. If you have to have the 64mb cache model then it will work great just understand that you will need to consider things about this drive during setup and future use. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136344


All that comes up to $705.82 as of today. There is a million and one things that you can change about this build. We could make it cheaper or make some of it better. Over all this will do really well.

I forgot to ask you. You are going to use this only for an HTPC right. That is the position I took when typing this.

EDIT: I also used an Intel system here because I am an Intel Fanboy. If you would rather have AMD thats not a problem.
__________________
M.C.S.E.
Minesweeper Consultant / Solitaire Expert
Disenchanterx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2010, 06:17 PM   #5
Baseband Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 34
Default Re: HD Media Center

Yes this will be a media center only. I didn't plan on storing many movies on there so I doubt i'll need 2 tb. I really only envisioned this to be a blu ray player/music player/internet media player and surfer. I also thought it would be nice to play some light multiplayer games (chess, risk, pocket tanks etc.) on there so i was thinking i'd use a wireless keyboard and mouse.
AnnihilationRob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2010, 06:31 PM   #6
In Runtime
 
Disenchanterx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 164
Default Re: HD Media Center

Then drop the 2 Tb out and stick a 320 blue in it.

Keyboard and mouse are cool, I would still buy the remote. Ask any one that has an HTPC and a remote, The Remote is GOOD. Although you might be the one guy I talk to that absolutely can't stand a remote.

I use VNC for anything else I need to do with it that my Harmony One can't handle, which isn't much.

If your planning on using it for light gaming what I showed you will still do good.
__________________
M.C.S.E.
Minesweeper Consultant / Solitaire Expert
Disenchanterx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2010, 06:41 PM   #7
Baseband Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 34
Default Re: HD Media Center

looks pretty effing solid. thanks for the help!
AnnihilationRob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2010, 03:25 PM   #8
Solid State Member
 
Staticc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 18
Default Re: HD Media Center

Hey I know I'm a few days late on this but like Disenchanter said, I got a HTPC running in my bedroom thats on a p4 2.8 ghz with 1g DDR2 ram with a 80 IDE drive running win7 32 bit, I used media browser to connect to the movies on my WHS, and netflix, all running through Media Center, I have the remote, and a wireless keyboard/mouse for those little emergancies that creep up after I'm all laid back in bed and don't want to run all the way back out to my main PC to VNC, but 99% of the time I use my remote, and once I got the remote, omg I was in heaven with it. my HTPC will be getting rebuilt in the relativly near future, it has a bit of lag and some long loading times, but while playing a movie, it runs great.

Just my 2 cents, the remote was some of the best $25 I ever spent. I HIGHLY reccomend you get it if you got a HTPC, even if you keep the wireless K/M to do the light gaming etc, you will LOVE the remote with Media Center
Staticc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2010, 06:06 PM   #9
Baseband Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 34
Default Re: HD Media Center

Sick thanks for the advice. I'll definitely pick up a remote. What loads slowly and/or lags with your system? I'm worried about that as well. Also, if I'm gonna be watching videos/tv online, should I think about getting a really good router? If i just plug right into the ethernet jack I shouldn't have to worry too much about my connection speed/quality right?
AnnihilationRob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2010, 02:25 PM   #10
In Runtime
 
Disenchanterx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 164
Default Re: HD Media Center

I pretty sure everything lags on his HTPC. After the movie starts and is playing it is fine. Only the RAM is holding him back he needs 2Gb but with the ram we have laying around 1gb was the best we could do.

The router isn't a big deal. Movies stream from servers at less then 2mbs. So 10/100 is fine normally. Now if you are going to process movies on one machine and transfer them to another machine for storage then a gigabit router would be useful.

Routers made for home use are almost an exact science when talking in terms of 10/100. So branding generally doesn't matter much. Now when talking about security, gigabit, wireless routing, and hardware firewalls. Then router types and brands start becoming more relevant.
__________________

__________________
M.C.S.E.
Minesweeper Consultant / Solitaire Expert
Disenchanterx is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:02 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0