Can someone just build me a HTPC sub £600?

Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by b16mts, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. b16mts

    b16mts
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    Hi,

    At the end of my tether with this htpc business.

    Ive spent months looking, but totally baffled now. Ive cancelled sky, so i must have something working within 4 weeks.

    In simplest form i need this:

    case front to back less than 360mm.
    Blu ray player.
    Dual dvb-s2
    Usb 3.0
    1tb plus.
    Remote control

    Alls i want it for is to replace my sky box, use on demand tv and downloading movies etc.

    It must be stable as the wife will go nuts otherwise.

    Ideally:

    Ssd sounds a good idea.
    Happy to try linux and mythtv etc
    Either dual s2 and dual t2 tuner, or ability to add an extra one later.


    Please help. Spoke to a couple of companies and been looking at the fiercepc ones on ebay. As for case, so long as its fits and it doesnt look stupid, i really don't mind.
     
  2. Stiggy

    Stiggy
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  3. b16mts

    b16mts
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    Thanks Stiggy. I did speak to Graham, but he's a bit out of my price range as uses top quality cases.

    Cheers
     
  4. DavidT

    DavidT
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    Case: Silverstone GD05 £65
    Bluray drive: Samsung SH-B123L £55
    PSU: Silverstone Strider ST40F-ES £35
    Motherboard: ASRock H77M £65
    CPU: Intel Pentium G630 £50
    RAM: 2x 2GB DDR3 1600 £25
    SSD: Samsung 830 64GB £50
    HDD: Western Digital Green 1TB WD10EAR £70
    OS: Windows7 Home £70
    Keyboard and Remote add another £40

    How's that for £525 approx.

    For blu ray playback you will need a software player, I use TMT5 but some use PowerDVD, there are other players available but I found TMT5 to be cheapest at £35.

    David
     
  5. b16mts

    b16mts
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    If i buy all that does it just go together and turn on?

    Never built a pc, but I'm good with computers etc. Would using ubuntu/media portal/mythtv be easy enough and save £70 that could be spent elsewhere?

    I'm used to wimdows xp, and google android on phone and asus tablet, so guess windows 7 is just as different to xp as ubuntu might be.

    Or am i wrong?

    Cheers

    Martin
     
  6. graham.myers

    graham.myers
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    the problem with some of the cheaper cases particularly the ones that come with a power supply, is they're cheap for a reason. We put some machines into pig ugly cases cos they were in a cupboard but the aluminium is so thin if you sneeze it bends. The cheap PSUs as well as being inefficient and waste energy also have noisy fans - ok if they're in a cupboard but not under the TV

    The case DavidT suggests is a good case - my own 2 htpcs are in GD05s (one might be a GD04). I'd check the depth on them though - they are big cases.
     
  7. b16mts

    b16mts
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    That case would fit fine. would you able/happy to build one based on that Graham, and meet the other requirements including budget?

    is it worth going dow the linux route to save a few pennies to spend elsewhere?

    If you're able to, please send me a quote by pm or email. I've messaged a few companies, but they either dont have what i need, dont instill me with confidence, or dont respond to my messages.

    thanks,

    Martin
     
  8. graham.myers

    graham.myers
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    where have you seen tmt5 for £35? its $99.99 on their site so ~£63
     
  9. WheresMyArtisan

    WheresMyArtisan
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    Apologies in advance for the grumpy tone, but this thread alarms me somewhat!

    In my opinion a HTPC is not suitable for anyone who just wants to switch it on and use it. It's for enthusiasts who are prepared to take the time to understand how it works and tinker with it to make it do what they want it to.

    I've had one for 7 years, and still have to get the mouse and keyboard out and muck about with it now and then. It's a hobby, not an appliance.

    I'm sure I could make a HTPC that meets your requirements for £600 but I don't think you'd be happy with it.

    If you're looking for a PVR then just buy a Freeview HD+ box, or a YouView box also includes iplayer etc. E.g. something like this for £270...

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Humax-DTR-T...QMYG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345731721&sr=8-1

    Info on it...

    http://www.humaxdigital.com/uk/youview/default.asp
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
  10. b16mts

    b16mts
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    I dont mind a tinker at all, but it does have to be stable enough for the wife to use it day to day as our main source of tv viewing.

    I assumed it was the best way to go to ensure i could view hd freeview, pause, record etc with a big hard drive, and stream tv and maybe download movies etc.

    If a htpc is not the most sensible option as theyre not quite there yet with regards usability and stability, then i'll happily look at a pvr, if i'm honest I hadnt realised they had the functionality now that they perhaps do.

    I'll shall do further research.

    thanks for your help,
     
  11. ArmitageShanks

    ArmitageShanks
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    Agree with this. It does, however, depend on how anal you are about stuff like refresh rates, colour spaces, dropped frames etc ;)

    I use mine pretty much as a PVR and media viewing appliance. It's an ASRock Vision 3D, can be had for under £600 (only 500MB though, and no built-in tuners). Simply added 2 USB DVB-T2 tuners, installed Windows 7, all its patches, the bundled drivers, and that was pretty much that: everything up and running in about half a day. For viewing clips, photos, live TV, recording TV etc, it does the job admirably and I rarely need to get the keyboard or mouse out. Not exactly power user stuff.

    That being said, I've given up using it for Bluray playback - the available software (TMT and PowerDVD) simply wasn't (and probably still isn't) up to the task of being used without the constant need for tampering with refresh rates and whatnot. A cheap stand-alone BD player just does the job of playing discs better IMO.
     
  12. b16mts

    b16mts
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    Oooo i like the look of that asrock thingy! Would external tuners coupled withit be the answer perhaps?

    Then again I'm pushimg the budget again.
     
  13. WheresMyArtisan

    WheresMyArtisan
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    Thinking about it a bit more, with some of your remaining budget you could get a really good separate blu-ray player. I'd guess that some of them must now include movie download functionality (I don't know this, but it seems obvious for them to have done it).

    The YouView user interface looks bloody good from what I've seen of it. It actually makes Media Center look pretty limited in some respects. MC can't do iplayer, 4OD etc. The way it's all integrated is very slick indeed.

    I've been using Media Center for years. I'm not bothered about Media Portal, I basically use it as a PVR. It's actually pretty reliable since Win7, but I wouldn't say it's a consumer product.

    To me, building the PC is an important part of understanding it. I can't imagine how you could setup a PC that someone else has built - you could spend ages trying to work out the mystery device showing in Device Manager. If you'd built it you'd install hardware then software for each thing, and you'd know exactly what was what.

    To my mind, you either build and setup a PC or buy something consumer-level off the shelf, ready to plug in and use.
     
  14. spyder viewer

    spyder viewer
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    This is not the place to conduct trade enquiries
     
  15. DavidT

    DavidT
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    Sorry, I thought the Softpedia offer was still on at 50% off.

    David
     
  16. ArmitageShanks

    ArmitageShanks
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    It is a nice bit of kit. You simply add USB tuners (it's got about 5 or 6 USB ports at the back). I added two PCTV Nanostick DVB-T2 tuners to mine, works very well. Don't forget you'll probably also need a booster to split your aerial signals if you go this route.
    The DVB-T2 Nanosticks can be expensive, although I see they're now selling at about £55 each which is cheap compared to what they were a few months ago. Throw in a copy of Windows 7, and you're looking at about an extra £170 - something to consider.
     

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