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Buying Media Center PC - what to get?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows' started by OhPinchy, May 19, 2005.

  1. OhPinchy

    OhPinchy
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    Hi,

    I am in the market for a new Windows Media Center PC and would really appreciate advice on what hardware to get. The PC will be located in a separate room and VGA cables will connect it to the TV in the Living Room (will use IR Repeater for controlling it) so the noise of the PC isn’t too much of an issue so I don’t need a fanless model.

    I am in Ireland and will be buying from either here or the UK if I can get it delivered. I want to buy the parts separately and assemble it myself. Budget is 1500EUR/£1000 GBP.

    I want to be able to watch one channel while recording another so I will need either two TV tuners or a dual tuner. I will be using NTL digital and so think that both tuners should be digital (which will require two settop boxes). What make and model TV tuner(s) would be the best for my setup?

    Which graphics card would be the best for this setup?

    As far as I can make out I will also need the following:

    Processor (P4 3 Ghz preferably)
    RAM : 512MB at least (would that be enough?)
    Hard disks: would one 250GB drive be enough or should I get two separate drives (why?)?
    Motherboard: I don’t have a clue about this bit.
    Graphics card: see above
    TV Tuner(s): see above
    DVD +/-R DVD Writer
    Inbuilt Infra-red receiver: are these readily available?
    Wireless keyboard and mouse: if I get Bluetooth could I control the PC using these from the Living Room?
    Windows Media Center & Remote
    USB 2.0 ports: do these come as standard nowadays?
    PC Case
    Sound card: what would be the most suitable one for this setup (sound will be routed through an amp)?
    17” or 19” Flat panel monitor.

    Any advice on the most suitable components so as to ensure a good performance and limit WMC compatibility issues would be much appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. JonMace

    JonMace
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    You will need 2 Analogue tuners, Digital tuners pick up Freeveiw, Analogue for everything else
     
  3. OhPinchy

    OhPinchy
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    Thanks Jon-

    I am in Dublin and will have NTL Digital coming in through a settop box connected to the cable point - I just want to be 100% sure before I buy anything so can you confirm that the signal between the output of the settop box and the input of the TV Tuner will be analogue (and so would require an analogue Tuner)?

    I take it I could use a dual tuner as long as both are analagoue?

    Thanks :thumbsup:
     
  4. JonMace

    JonMace
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    I'm on NTL Digital and my DMSII has duel analogoue tuners - works a treat bar I can only use one STB as 1 is a pace 4010 which works fine :D and the other is a samsung which does not :mad:
     

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