My new HTPC setup


Standard Member
After what seems like days of research on this site my HTPC is up & running after a fashion.

At the minute it's cobbled together in an old PC case with an aging 100Gb 2.5" Sata drive.

Here's what I went for:

Asus M3N78-VM Geforce 8 Series Dual VGA HDMI (Skt AM2+)
AMD Athlon II X2 250 (Skt AM3) Retail Kit (Including Heat Sink+Fan)
Kingston 2GB DDR2 PC2-6400 (800 MHz)
Pinnacle 3010IX PCTV Dual Hybrid Pro
2 x Compro VideoMate S350 DVB-S Tuner PCI Card(Scan had no stock)

That's it so far, I wanted to get up & running at the weekend & the rest of the bits I need to order online this week (Web Systems linked above have a shop near me).

Threw the board into my huge disused tower case, with an old 100Gb SATA laptop drive & proceeded to install Windows 7. I had a problem with install just stopping at the early GUI based stage. A quick google of the problem revealed that Win 7 is waiting for a floppy drive. Floppy was promptly disabled in the BIOS & the install went to plan.

The cards were then installed 1 at a time with no problems, W7 got updated drivers off the net.

Had a bit of a problem with the tuners, it kept coming up a blank on some tuners, I eventually pinned down a problem with one of the Sat cards not getting a signal, this was removed & has just been RMAed, so I'm a tuner down at present.

Once the rogue tuner was out all was well. It's a bit slow switching channels due to the crappy HDD. I tested it to the max last night & recorded Doctor Who in HD & 2 random programmes on the DVB-T tuners at the same time, the drive didn't half make a racket, but Doctor Who played back flawlessly, albeit on a 19" TFT monitor via DVI. My CRT will be upgraded to a 37" LCD this week.

So with it working well & having missus approval I'll now get the rest of the bits, I'd appreciate any comments on my shopping list below, especially the case.

Shiny Piano Black/Silver Super Slim Micro ATX Mini Tower Case - With 200W PSU 20+4pin 1x SATA
2 x Western digital WD 1TB CAVIAR GREEN AV SATA-II HDD
Cyberlink remote should have arrived today.
And one other item I'll pick up on Wednesday :D
TOSHIBA 37RV635D 37" 1080p LCD TV

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Standard Member
Hello again

I have now got my almost complete setup running now. The case gets delivered tomorrow, but it's all working OK now.

Since my first post the only change is a pair of 1.5TB WD Green AV drives in a mirrored pair.

I have a couple of questions about W7 media center & my telly now I'm going.

1. There is some overscan when the PC is hooked up to the telly. I had to reduce the resolution in Nvidia control panel, so it's a bit less than 1080p. Is there a hidden menu in the telly that will let me adjust the overscan>

2. Channel changing, it seems to take a while to switch channels, up to 10 seconds before it "catches up" sometimes, is this normal?

3. Linking tuners/channels. Is there an easy way to link up the channels & tuner priority etc.? I can do it on a channel by channel basis, but it's cumbersome to say the least. I want the sat tuners to be first & only resort to the DTT when necessary due to the ropey reception.

4. Distorted sound. I've had a couple of occasions today when the sound has gone tinny/distant/echoey, once on a live TV channel & just now when my nipper was watching Thomas & friends (.mov format), any ideas why?

5. Lip sync. There are a few problems with lip sync on downloaded xvid/divx files (mkvs seem fine). The telly has a lip sync setting but I haven't noticed a deal of difference with it on or off.

Thanks in advance, all being well I'll do some build pics when the case arrives & update my OP with them.


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