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I am an absolute HTPC Newb - please Help



Hi all

I am an absolute pc novice, however this htpc sound like it could rival a good dvd player.

My friend is good at building pc's but he is not familair with HTPC

If someone could please tell me exactly what components programs you used to work your htpc then that would be appreciated as I will buy them and get my friend to build this for me



Prominent Member
Really need to know what you want to do with it and your budget.

Watch TV? Analogue or digital (freeview or Sky)?
Watch DVD?
Do you have a sound system already?

There are threads on this forum on how to create a good HTPC, just search around.


Established Member
An alternative, depending on needs and budget, would be a pre-built one running MCE 2005, check the Exlonex Artisan thread, this seems to be a pretty good example of such a PC and needs no expertise to build it.

If all you want it to play DVDs then that's way OTT and there's little special about a PC capable of excellent DVD playback from a 'normal' one, ignoring things like sexy cases. :)

A video card costing around £50 plus some software around the same price (depending on which you think suits your needs best) will get you very good quality, throw in maybe FFDSHOW (free) for post-processing (depending on what display you have) and the quality goes to 'excellent'.

As philipb says, you need to indicate the parameters in which choices are to me made.


Established Member
I wrote a small guide a few days ago about how to make a shuttle based HTPC and keep it quiet for approx £300.
If all you want ti do is play dvd's on it then it should be fine, much better than a dvd-player for the same money :smashin:
I have found that because my PJ is connected to the vga output and I have set my output to 1280x720 I get a very good PQ.
I use sonic cineplayer and output the sound through the shuttle's on-board optical output which then goes to my decoder/amp.

Also, I use a remote administration program called 'radmin' so that I can tinker with my HTPC from my laptop without having to turn my PJ on ;)


Thanks for the replies

I will be hooking up the pc to a projector, and usingit for dvd/internet

how do i go about getting 6.1 sound

my overall budget is £1000


Established Member
I think you mean either 5.1 or 7.1 sound :) .. there are several cards but here are some examples, the M-Audio range is considered good quality audio reproduction but they are but one range, Creative of course have various Soundblaster and Audigy cards.

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