New HTPC build... Advice pls!

glenviewjf

Standard Member
Afternoon all, first time poster and i must say ye have a wealth of info here!

Great forum :smashin:


Have been looking over the past few threads about advice, and the FAQ thread which was very helpful and I'm thinking everyone's needs leads to different recommendations for the hardware they need for the HTPC Build..

What i have:

* USB DVB-S Tuner

* USB DVB-T Tuner

*1tb external


And an old laptop, not sure will it be any use to me!

Anyways, I would like to build a HTPC that will integrate one satellite tuner (2 in the future) and one terrestrial tv tuner... Be able to watch my Tv shows / Movies on my external hard drive which i would like to expand to 2 tb's at least... And listen to the music from it also...

I already have Surround Sound System / Bluray player and would like to intergrate thiss if i could!

I have a copy of Windows 7 and would like to use Media Portal...

Any advice on what i'd need is appreciate..

As it's my first build i'm hoping to get some items second hand maybe, and keep it cheap until i learn the ropes!

Thanks

glen
 

bryanchicken

Active Member
what are the specs of the old laptop? It might be usable.
If it is, it would be a good way for you to get your hands dirty and see if you can get everything working to your satisfaction without spending any money.
 

glenviewjf

Standard Member
Its an old Compaq Presario V5000, and has a Intel Celeron M CPU..

Its similar to this only has all working functions except the screen so use it off a tv..

Code:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/COMPAQ-PRESARIO-V5000-LAPTOP-/330648364372?pt=UK_Computing_Laptops_EH&hash=item4cfc2da554#ht_2612wt_1270

I used it with Ubuntu before and recently swapped back to XP to mess about with Media Portal on it..
 

bryanchicken

Active Member
It won't be a speed demon but it might be all right for SD content. I'd imagine HD is a no-go with the CPU and graphics card in it though, although i don't know anything about that particular GPU.

As your tuners are USB have you considered the barebone nettops or revo-a-likes?
They have slowish CPUs but have GPUs that can do the decoding work.
That will probably be your cheapest way in with new components.

Doing 2nd hand, a half decent core 2 duo (or better) coupled with a £30 new graphics card will do the job.
 

glenviewjf

Standard Member
Currently checking out a Revo alright..

Guessing that will work ok with Media Portal, etc??

My mate has been looking at second hand motherboards alright, but i don't think he knows what exactly he's after...


One thing that's catching me (simple answer i know well) is the lack of usb ports..

From the top of my head I can see 5 maybe 6 usb ports needed:

2 for the tuners..

2 for wireless mouse keyboard ( all be it they can be removed and remote used)

And external hard drives..

Will a good usb hub be able to take the load of all those?
 

bryanchicken

Active Member
Currently checking out a Revo alright..

Guessing that will work ok with Media Portal, etc??

My mate has been looking at second hand motherboards alright, but i don't think he knows what exactly he's after...


One thing that's catching me (simple answer i know well) is the lack of usb ports..

From the top of my head I can see 5 maybe 6 usb ports needed:

2 for the tuners..

2 for wireless mouse keyboard ( all be it they can be removed and remote used)

And external hard drives..

Will a good usb hub be able to take the load of all those?

The usbs on the motherboard won't all be on the same host controller/hub.
I'm not sure i'd attached 2 tuners + hard drive to an external hub going into 1 port on the pc. It might work, not sure.
Keyboard/mouse will use next to no usb bandwidth.

Or are you talking about power consumption load?
 

glenviewjf

Standard Member
Usb load.. As in will the hub be able to power the tuners ( although the dvb-s has its own power supply) and the rest of the usb equipment...

Will have a look around and see what i can pick up..

Might go the Revo route if i can pick up one handy, if not i'll see what I can get second hand..
 

shade_of_meta

Well-known Member
Might go the Revo route if i can pick up one handy, if not i'll see what I can get second hand..

Revo's are great but you will only be able to view content with one...ripping BD's or DVD's will be a waste of time (obviously you need an external BD or DVD reader as well) so unless you're doing the ripping from another PC and then transferring to the external / NAS I'd give a Revo a miss!
 

glenviewjf

Standard Member
Revo's are great but you will only be able to view content with one...ripping BD's or DVD's will be a waste of time (obviously you need an external BD or DVD reader as well) so unless you're doing the ripping from another PC and then transferring to the external / NAS I'd give a Revo a miss!

Cheers what would you advise then? :)
 

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