HTPC Confused

jmsuch

Standard Member
I am considering building a HTPC over the next couple of months. A couple of questions.

  1. Any reccomendations for a guide
  2. I like to keep things really simple and want an AV amp which does not had 483 differtent set up choices any thoughts?
  3. which case, there seem so many!!!


Many thanks

Jools
:)
 

wywywywy

Active Member
1. If MCE is your thing, then this:
http://www.thegreenbutton.com/community/shwmessage.aspx?ForumID=41&MessageID=107242
If you are planning on using MCE, make sure you get a TV card with good driver - this is essential.

If you are not planning on using MCE, check this out
http://www.htpcnews.com/forums/index.php

2. Budget? But for most people its a choice between Pioneer, Denon and Yamaha (and Sony for some). And if you want it REALLY easy then why not get a home-cinema-in-a-box setup with optical audio input to compliment the HTPC and screen?

3. I love Silverstone cases. But the Zalman one is meant to be the dog's b... at the moment. What size do you want anyway?
 

jmsuch

Standard Member
Thanks for those links. the plot thickens. I really want to include Windows Vista, budget is probably sub £1200 to include whistles and bells (excluding amp and monitor).

I really want to keep everything quite simple, lose some boxes from the lounge and run a media pc from under the plasma (when I buy it)
 

pannivas

Novice Member
if you are going to run DVB-C/S from your HTPC i wouldnt recommend Windows Vista as the new Vista MCE will not be supporting DVB-C/S.

Another very good open source free HTPC software is Media portal www.team-mediaportal.com with a great and big community behind it.

As for hardware there lots of choice out there at the moment. Depends on your needs/budget.

Some good HTPC cases.
1) Silverstone (they have so many htpc cases and probly one of tthe most experienced out there)
2) The new Zalman HD160
3) Antec Fusion (new model)
4) CoolerMaster 260
5) OrigenAE Case
 

dan1979

Well-known Member
£1200 is more than enough, could do the job well for half that.

What exactly do you want it to do?
 

jmsuch

Standard Member
My plans are still quite embryonic but i want to

  • replace my dvd
  • watch tv on a plasma (or lcd) monitor
  • connect the htpc to an incredibly simple amp & 5.1, just sold my Yam 750 which had hundreds of different sounds settings
  • watch films stored on hard drive
  • Radio, but probably through DTV
  • surf & email (a bit as i will have another pc)
  • link the two pc's

I am thinking of a nice large case (silverstone or zalman) not looking for fancy displays, as few remotes as possible, dual core, 2mb memory, 2 500GB drives etc.

I know by christmas half of this will have again dropped in price although the pound is looking good at the mo so may start collecting odds and sods.


I do like simplicity and subtlety, clean lines and not to many remotes.
 

dan1979

Well-known Member
My 3 year old £500 PC can do all that - I upscale DVD, watch High def films, connect to a projector and an LCD screen.

I am building a new machine in a month or so, based on what I know I will need rough spec will be:

Asus M2NPV-VM 6150 motherboard (built in Nvidia graphics optimised for HTPC)
1GB RAM
AMD 3800x2
Silverstone LC17
PSU

That will come in at under £400 (have 1.6TB of hard drives already). The on-board graphics can be replaced later with a dedicated card to cover HDCP/on-board decoding for HD-DVD/Blu Ray.

If you're not gaming 2GB of RAM is overkill, the spec I listed above is more than adequate to cover anything that's out right now and with the graphics card update the new formats.

Add to that a remote, hard drives and any software and you're still well under budget. You could spend a lot more but the law of diminished returns will kick in pretty quick.
 

pannivas

Novice Member
dan1979 said:
My 3 year old £500 PC can do all that - I upscale DVD, watch High def films, connect to a projector and an LCD screen.

I am building a new machine in a month or so, based on what I know I will need rough spec will be:

Asus M2NPV-VM 6150 motherboard (built in Nvidia graphics optimised for HTPC)
1GB RAM
AMD 3800x2
Silverstone LC17
PSU

That will come in at under £400 (have 1.6TB of hard drives already). The on-board graphics can be replaced later with a dedicated card to cover HDCP/on-board decoding for HD-DVD/Blu Ray.

If you're not gaming 2GB of RAM is overkill, the spec I listed above is more than adequate to cover anything that's out right now and with the graphics card update the new formats.

Add to that a remote, hard drives and any software and you're still well under budget. You could spend a lot more but the law of diminished returns will kick in pretty quick.
agree with dan1979. That motherboard is the best buy at the moment imo. Even the onboard nvidia 6150 is way better than any other nvidia 6series out there. The above specs should do you just fine.
 

MarkSS

Novice Member
pannivas said:
Even the onboard nvidia 6150 is way better than any other nvidia 6series out there.
Thats perhaps a bit misleading, the 6150 isn't a touch on the 6600GT. That said, if the HTPC is intended to be used only for SD TV and no games, the 6150 will do the job fine.
 

pannivas

Novice Member
MarkSS said:
Thats perhaps a bit misleading, the 6150 isn't a touch on the 6600GT. That said, if the HTPC is intended to be used only for SD TV and no games, the 6150 will do the job fine.

well he is building an HTPC for watching movies not playing games as far as my understading was about the post.

both support PureVideo and with the a future driver will support PureVideo HD.

Also as far as i know (maybe i am wrong) faster clock speed will give you better results in HD playback.

and correct me if iam wrong below as well
6150 is clocked @475MHz
6600GT is clocked @400Mhz
 

jmsuch

Standard Member
Quite Right


I want to join Bill Gates' vision of the future, get home from work, sit in the lounge, check my mail, listen to my music (5.1) and watch tv or a DVD (even HD) using one screen (prob panny) and a linked pc upstairs when I want to do some serious workaway from the family.

at mid thirties Doom 3 is a long way away unless they bring back Acorn Elite ah those simple days, Chuckie Egg and Twin Kingdoms am I digressing
 

jamieuk23

Banned
jmsuch said:
Thanks for those links. the plot thickens. I really want to include Windows Vista, budget is probably sub £1200 to include whistles and bells (excluding amp and monitor).

I really want to keep everything quite simple, lose some boxes from the lounge and run a media pc from under the plasma (when I buy it)
mate with that buget you could make the bomb !!

make sure you buy a HD DVD writer, as you have such a high buget
 

jmsuch

Standard Member
which is exactly what i want to do but i am looking for some guidance to build the mother of a machine
 

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