HTPC revamp

Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by mid_gen, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. mid_gen

    mid_gen
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    Hi all.

    I've just moved into a new place, and lost my study, so I've got a big desktop machine, that is currently sat in the living room, and is going to be my HTPC.

    It's in a monolithic Coolermaster Stacker case, with 7 HDDs and isn't exactly quiet. It's been built up over a while, has about 1tb of data storage. It's running Vista Ultimate with a Hauppage Nova-T USB external freeview tuner for MCE and all works swimmingly at the moment.

    Now I want to upgrade it, to make up proper HTPC of it, rather than a massive desktop that happens to play some TV.

    Current spec : Fairly new Core 2 Duo chip (don't know speed off top of my head). 1gb RAM, Radeon 9800XT graphics, 37gb WD Raptor SATA system drive.

    I want :

    A smaller case.
    Future-proofed BluRay support.
    A single interface that can be operated from my hauppage remote as now.
    Ability to play a range of SD and HD downloaded content.
    Ability to run via HDMI with all the annoying HDCP compliant rubbish into a new TV when I upgrade.

    My PC is currently connected to my aging Sharp LC30HV4E 30" LCD tv via D-SUB running native res of 1280x768(ish). I am planning on upgrading to a 50-60" 1080p plasma later this year when prices are sensible.

    Sorry this is a bit of a rambling post, I used to be really keen and into my PC hardware but I've pretty much totally lost track. I was considering getting a Shuttle barebones system and sticking a single 1tb SATA drive in as the first 'step' of an upgrade, but would like to hear some opinions!

    Cheers.
     
  2. Zarch

    Zarch
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    What size motherboard is your current system?

    Small HTPC cases are normally mATX.

    If you can get your current system in the case you want, then i think all you'd need to add is an ATI3450 card, which is fully hdcp compliant and capable of all blu-ray, now and in the future.

    What about sound though?

    Do you have an amp. Has the current motherboard got a spdif or coax output? if not, that might need to be addressed.
     
  3. mid_gen

    mid_gen
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    I've got a full ATX board at the moment, but I don't mind replacing that with mATX.

    Thanks for tip on graphics card. All I'm really interested in is BluRay proofing basically, any 3D capabilities are a bonus.

    Audio is handled by my Marantz SR5200 receiver, so optical or co-ax digital audio will be needed. My current TV only accepts VGA or component as HD inputs, so I need either of them, plus HDMI for more future proofing as I plan on upgrading the TV soon.
     

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