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Advice on HCPC Build

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by MartinY, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. MartinY

    MartinY
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    Hi all

    Want some constructive advice on building a HTPC from scratch and any thoughts you may have on home build vs Uvem or similar.

    I will be using either MCE or xlobby or similar and want to drive:
    - multi-zone music
    - main panel (not yet purchased, prob LCD, maybe plasma)
    - source for my house-wide video uplink
    - DVD playback from hard-drive
    - freeview PVR (playback and recording)
    - cable (NTL) PVR (playback and recording)
    - web viewing, email pick-up and possibly playing the odd game

    I may try to achieve the multi-zone music through localised music servers reading of the same hard drive or through my AV receiver, so not too worried about that here. Silly question: can I drive 2 sound cards from the same system? No idea on what soundcard. M-Audio?

    Am considering the Claritas 390M (large) case as a build, but since the HTPC will be in an under-the-stairs cupboard, no real issue on fan noise etc.

    I will need around 2TB of hard drive space.

    Considering also the use of the 6600GT 1GB graphics card (do I need to go this big?). No idea on the cable PVR card or the motherboard. I'm guessing around 2GB for main memory. DAB radio card would be nice (can I record digital radio yet), plus need a bluetooth (or similarly wireless) keyboard and gyroscopic mouse. Thoughts on remote controls (preferably pretty-looking and wireless) would be good too.

    Would appreciate input / experience on the above. In addition, what problems will I hit rather by a self-build rather than the UVEM or similar route. This PC would be well over £3500 with Uvem, but significantly less through self-build.

    Sorry about the long post. Thanks in Advance!! :)
     
  2. mahkum

    mahkum
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    I would recommend that you build everything around MCE 2005. It works like a charm and it is very stable as well. Also, all sorts of plugins are being made available on the net all the time to expand it's capability/feature set.

    http://www.msmvps.com/chrisl/

    http://www.thegreenbutton.com/

    http://www.xpmce.com/

    Normally people choose Claritas 390M type cases so that they could place it next to their a/v gear in the living room. Since you are going to put it inside a cupboard why not go for a proper midi tower case? When choosing and installing components this option provides much more flexibility. If you decide to go for a midi tower I would recommend the following case.

    http://www.gladiatorcomputers.com/support/index.php?page=22&code=CASANTP180

    http://www.silentpcreview.com/news452.html

    http://www.thetechlounge.com/article.php?directory=ces_05_antec&page=5

    http://www.pcmag.com/image_popup/0,1735,s=26820&iid=95248,00.asp

    As for the sound card I would recommend the HDA Digital X-Mystique. What is so special about this card is that it could encode all normal/stereo sound into Dolby Digital real time. It is the only card of this type available at the moment that can do this.

    http://www.ihda.co.kr/skin/ihda/goods/productView.php?goo_code=010000027136

    http://www.hdaudiovisual.com.au/mcpc/xmgold71.htm

    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/HiTeC.html

    As for the Freeview digital and PVR cards check out the following links

    Freeview Digital cards

    http://www.pcworld.co.uk/martprd/st...1&category_oid=-23920&fm=7&sm=13&tm=undefined

    http://www.lowestonweb.com/products/DisplayInfoMain.asp?e=7F9E1776-0568-4C93-A6DA-B3729A752309&td=1

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=9833

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=189914

    PVR card for NTL view/recording

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=150990

    For hard drives ...

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=126601

    And finally to the remote control for your specific purpose, I would recommend the following

    http://store.niveusmedia.com/s.nl/sc.2/category.2/it.A/id.4/.f

    http://www.vendur.no/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=1&products_id=53

    http://www.letsautomate.com/11506.cfm?& (same as the one above and the one I am sucessfully using with MCE 2005)
     
  3. MartinY

    MartinY
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    Thanks Mahkum - sorry for the delayed reply!

    Very useful links. Gonna order it all this weekend after the home automation show at the NEC! :thumbsup:
     

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