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Old 02-25-2011, 08:28 PM   #1
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Default What is different about a HTPC (Home Theatre Personal Computer)???

What characteristics are special to a HTPC compared to other computers?
What are the special hardware requirements?

In my situation,gaming is not a consideration.
Thanks for the help!
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:52 PM   #2
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Default Re: What is different about a HTPC (Home Theatre Personal Computer)???

You'll want a large hard drive (or several large hard drives) if you plan on storing a lot of movies/video that way. A capture card or TV card for hooking up cable TV is pretty common on HTPCs. A decent video card is important, but you won't need a high end gaming card or anything. Onboard video will usually do as long as it's a decent one and has the correct port(s) to connect to your TV.
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: What is different about a HTPC (Home Theatre Personal Computer)???

i've seen a few HTPCs around lately, and they seem to me to be slightly toned-down gaming PCs. If you plan on playing ripped Blurays/1080p movies you will need an efficient CPU, but not overkill. something in the range of an i3/Athlon dual would probably suffice. Like Cboucher said, video card wont be too much of a consideration, since most onboards will handle it reasonably well. If onboard is hard to come by, something like a GT 220 or a HD 3/4000 series would be fine, and not too pricey.

Since a DVD-resolution film is around 800MB usually, and a HD (720p/1080p) film can be anything upwards of 3-4GBs each, a large drive or several is definately recommended.
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: What is different about a HTPC (Home Theatre Personal Computer)???

Thank you.
What kind of PSU would be sufficient for these needs,how much power?

Would there be an advantage in having multiple hard-drives versus one large HD?
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: What is different about a HTPC (Home Theatre Personal Computer)???

Noise and heat is also a big consideration with HTPC's, because a lot of people like to just stuff it into their media center and forget about it. Therefore a quality PSU and power effecient parts are certainly a plus
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: What is different about a HTPC (Home Theatre Personal Computer)???

Well, having more than one drive does present a certain fault tolerance over a single drive. Because if one fails then the others still work, so you dont lose ALL your movies.

Also, i suggest having the OS (whichever you decide to use) on a separate HDD, or atleast separate partition from your film data, since OSs (especially Windows tbqh.) do have a tendancy to crap out on you once in a while, and reformatting and reinstalling while knowing your data is being destroyed is a bitch.

Also, it's not unheard of for a HTPC to use server tricks like RAID for securing of movies, specifically RAID5, since the parity (fault tolerance) element would help avoid loss of large amounts of data.
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:43 AM   #7
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Default Re: What is different about a HTPC (Home Theatre Personal Computer)???

Most common in HTPCs are big drives, a mid-range GPU for hi-def movies, a TV tuner (That's kind of needed for them!) and most of them provides a look that resembles your other electronics, like your DVD player. Also, a Blu-Ray drive would be great...in fact, even Blu-Ray burners are less than a hundred bucks nowdays!
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