Planning my first HTPC build (and know nothing)

Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by Marky P, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. Marky P

    Marky P
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    Hi,

    I quite fancy having a go at building a HTPC. But I know virtually nothing about building PC's at all or what is even needed to do it. But I want it to do the following:

    Blu-Ray & HD-DVD playback at 1080p

    Lossless HD audio on-board to go to a non-HDMI amp.

    Freeview & Freesat reception and timer recording capability.

    Hard Drives with plenty of space (Terrabytes)

    It will be fed into an Arcam AVR350, so I'm looking for decent quality components that can match the performance of stand alone gear.

    Cheers!:D

    Edit: Forgot to mention, this will be for home cinema use only. I will be keeping my regular PC for regular PC jobs.
     
  2. s_inman

    s_inman
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    How much do you want to spend?

    Basic components are Motherboard, CPU, Ram, Then you move to hard and optical drives.

    For hard drives I would get a couple of these Seagate OEM 1.5TB Barracuda 7200.11 Internal Hard Disk: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo.

    Optical drive this LG Blu Ray HDDVD drive is a good choice LG GGC H20L Super Multi Blue - Disk drive - DVD±RW: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo.

    2gb of ram should be enough and can be had for around £20, also if you get a motherboard with a hardware decoding gfx chipset like the Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H 780G Sockel AM2+: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo it will hardware decode the blu ray video so you dont need a fast cpu. Something like the AMD Athlon X2 4850e AMD Athlon X2 4850e Energy Efficient Dual-Core: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics & Photo will be more than capable :thumbsup:. The only thing I dont know about is audio as I use spdif. Hope that helps!

    Edit: For freeview & freesat you will need a dvb-s dvb-t tuner, I use the pinnacle 7010ix but its no longer made! I got mine off ebay a couple of weeks ago for £20, Blackgold also make one http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/BlackGold-BGT3540-6in1-Dual-DVB-S-Dual-DVB-T-Dual-Analogue-Terrestrial-PCI-E-Tuner-Card But its quite expensive.

    Stuart.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2009
  3. Scott_Mac

    Scott_Mac
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    In which case have a read here...

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/8675476-post22.html

    That's the list of everything that i bought (agrees with the above!) and ticks every box that you have.

    Only thing to note is that if you will be playing back a lot of 1080i or 720p stuff, you may want to consider the ATi HD4550 graphics card as it handles that content a lot better... for 1080p or Blu Ray etc there is no difference between that card and the onboard one in the motherboard in my thread.

    I've just ordered another of the HDD's too as i worryingly almost filled mine in a very short space of time!!!
     
  4. harry66

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    I have read some comments on here about the 780G motherboards not playing 720p that well. But I have played a few 720p MKV files and watched quite a few BBC HD programmes and everything looks great to me. Watch an episode of Nature's Great Events on BBC HD the other day and it looked awesome....
    (I have a Sony 40V4000 TV hooked up to my HTPC).
     
  5. Scott_Mac

    Scott_Mac
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    I agree... i'm perfectly happy with the 780g performance... but the HD4550 *is* better.... quantifiably tricky mind!!
     

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