HDD/NAS advice on finishing Intel I3530 HTPC


Standard Member
I'm trying to turn a spare (not used much) computer I have in the house into a HTPC but not sure on what is the best option to create this. The computer and specs are as follows:

Acer AX3950
Core I3 530
500gb HDD
3GB Ram
Windows 7 64 Bit
Windows 7 Edition Home Premium

BT home hub 2 as router

The TV I'll be using is a Philips 42PFP5532D/05

My current surround sound system is a SAMSUNG HT-THX25 Home Cinema System 5.1 system

System will be used for

1) Replacing my sky with freesat type setup in the HTPC so want to view free channels and record another channel to HDD if needed. HD quality is not that important and I don't intend going the Blu-ray route for a good while yet. I don;t mind future proofing a little for HD though.

2) Will be using Windows Media Centre to control everything on the HTPC (Wife friendly). Mostly TV and ripped DVDs.

3) Controlled with a remote. Seen a few mentioned around here.

My questions are:

1) Can I just get a TBS Dual DVB-S2 card (will this physically fit in my case?) and connect the sky dish to the card?

2) From my understanding I can't add an additional HDD to my Acer computer as there is poor to no expansion capabilities with it. Should I add a 2TB internal hard drive to my other home computer and use homegroup to store and share the files (will this be fine for recording tv through the homegroup?) or should I pick up something like this (ZyXEL NSA310 2TB (1x 2TB) NAS Drive) ZyXEL NSA310 2TB (1x 2TB) NAS Drive | Ebuyer.com

3) With my Samsung home cinema system how would I integrate that into everything? It is limited with connections. Can I connect a jack into the green port on the sound card on the HTPC and split that into a red and white phono and plug that into the samsung or will I lose digital/surround doing this? Is there any types of splitters/ connection hubs I can get to interface the HTPC, Samsung home cinema system and TV together so sound and picture work?

With the NAS I would probably have to have my other computer on anyway to run WMC so not sure if it is of much benefit.

Looking to spend around £200 max between my storage option and sat tuner card. My pc has a HDMI output which is helpful.

I'll likely be recording everything in SD as HD isn't required. Most of the DVDs to be ripped are just the kids DVDs to stop them scratching/breaking them
all the time.

Thanks for reading this and any suggestions are welcome


A 1bay NAS is a bit limited .. No expansion possible ..even with bigger disks.
Zxyel NAS box do not have the best reputation .. software running on it is, shall we say, Poor.
I think your £200 will get eaten up with connectors + storage, expect to spend more.

spyder viewer

Well-known Member
Data on both your systems is limited however, the Acer has a pci-e slot so will take the DVB-S2 card. It also has an hdmi socket so should connect to your Samsung. You could get an external ethernet drive and plug it into your router. Then all networked devices should be able to access it.

try connecting the two together and playing music or dvd on the pc before investing further cash.
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