HTPC advice on this forum/thread? Please check my spec.

Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by lostbok, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. lostbok

    Active Member

    Jan 30, 2007
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    Surrey, UK
    I've noticed that there are a few threads here asking for HTPC advice... but most that were offering advice are a few years old (the main sticky is offering advice from 2001!!!).

    So it's only questions here?

    Is there somewhere more recent that I need to look? Or even just recommended external sites?

    I'm looking for a bit of advice wrt to HTPC and was wondering if my current PC spec and plans tie-up or if I've missed anything obvious:

    I have a Dual Xeon (64bit,HT) 3.6Ghz system, 80Gb sys drive, 500Gb media drive, minimum 2Gb RAM (DDR2, but ECC, PC3200, so slow... but possibly as much as 6Gb!!), NEC 18X DL-DVDRW... probably aiming for Vista Ult.

    Still to buy:
    All I need to sort out is controls and the main graphics / sound.

    Graphics/Sound: If I put in something like a Radeon 2600XT which I understand will handle 720p video and 5.1 AC3 audio via HDMI and also some VIVO (less of an issue).
    I was going to go for something like the 256MB Sapphire HD2600XT:
    But have noticed that it is a single-slot cooling and I think I'd rather have the card venting outside of the case - but really not essential.
    Also, I have noticed that some models don't include the HDMI adapter(or have it as an optional extra), so I know to look out for that.

    And then add a wireless keyboard&trackball:

    And a remote for £10 that will essentiallly just provide an IR header (so it will then be sustituted by my Harmony 525 for most stuff):

    Have I missed anything obvious?

    Cabling: HDMI cabling will be using a spare Profigold OxyPure (heavilly shielded) HDMI 1.3 cable.... and then the TV has a co-ax line back to the amp for surround sound.

    Noise: PC is reasonably quiet - I'll look at slowing down fans / reducing noise once I've got the box in situ (well ventilated) and checked heat levels and noise levels. It's in a large, open-back wooden cabinet, so I think temps should be fine and what noise there is should be sufficiently absorbed.

    Blue-ray / DVD-HD: I'll work out if I want to splurge on a Blue-Ray / HD-DVD / dual format drive once I have this setup. Or if I need a writer!!

    Tuner: Don't really require a tuner (more for output of H264 content) - I assume I can switch my V+ box to component / SCART out and output into the VIVO if needed.

    Connectivity: Machine will eventually be linked to my main PC in another room using CAT5e/6e cabling via an ASUS gigabit switch.

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