Uvem HTPC

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Skunkpipe

Guest
edward said:
Hi Skunkpipe,
Earlier in this thread i told you what I paid for the stuff in my Uvem. If you think I paid twice the going rate for kit, I'd be grateful for your sourcing another four new 300 GB Seagate SATAs for about £180 (or perferably 400GB Seagate SATA drives for me for £320-ish), I'll drive out to Wokingham and collect them. Alternatively, you could deliver them and I'll show you what I'm talking about.

I'm sure there are plenty who would bite your hand off if you were dishing out RME HDSP 9632 sound cards at £195 a pop. Of course if £195 will buy us a better card, please tell us what it is and why you think it is better.

My cheque book throbs in anticipation.

Hmmm I see a shift in prices to try and gain the upper hand in an arguement here.
How much is the RME9632, £350 as stated by you earlier and others on this thread or the £195 you're now quoting. £100 for a Gyration? try £75 (in fact I sold of my latest batch for £69.99 each inc vat), how much for the PSU? (SilentMax IIRC - I won't tell you how much I get those for :D ) the rest of the prices for your component list that added up to 'over £1500' also looks a little OTT to me which was nicely convenient for the discussion at that time. And anyway if I sold you a PC of that spec for £3K, hell yes I'd be happy to sell you a 300Gb HDD at whatever price you wanted. I'd be interested in the complete component list so I could price one up for myself....

More fool me and anyone else for questioning the VFM of the UVEM. I don't think anyone said it was bad. I think there is some question mark over whether it is considered good value. Of course owners will think it's good value for money, the ferver with which they defend that is apparent and admirable, but how much of that is testament to the greatness of UVEM and how much of that is some of the owners justifying their purchase to themselves? Who knows who am I to say.

And what about the rebuild? What does that entail. I'm genuinly very interested to know. If this is part of the special service UVEM service, it might be an idea for some of the other specialists to take on board and see if they can match UVEM 1 for 1 on the services provided.
 

edward

Active Member
Nice summary of the situation, Graham.
 

edward

Active Member
Hi Skunkpipe,
List on that RME card is about £390. It was you who suggested soucing the stuff for half the price. As for sourcing the four disks at half what I paid, do we have a deal or are you backing out? I'm talking about buying parts here, not systems.

Your tale about the price on the other stuff is a familiar one - many shops sell stuff at unbeatable prices when they're out of stock.

You're right about the fervour of buyers. Someone who has just dished out for an Aston Martin doesn't read the reviews of Porshes etc. But there has to have been a time before they'd spent their wad, when they were looking to find the best way of satisfying their wants. It took me more than a year to select the bits I wanted for my system. I did a fair amount of asking questions and digging before I bought my Uvem too. I tend to hang onto my toys. I'd like to think I'll get a couple of years of fun our of my Uvem too - but I do need those disks, mate, so...
 
S

Skunkpipe

Guest
Of course you don't read the Porsche reviews; you might night like what you see ;) .
funny you give the car analogy as I thought this sort of ferver was found only in many of the motoring single marque forums I've had the (mis)fortune to read over the years (the whole Caterham V's Westfield V's Lotus and to some extent V's VX220 aguement is a joy to behold), but anyway I digress...

If you read what I said, I suggest the system can be had at half price. And no, I don't mean a self build, I mean from a supplier; with decent levels of support. Now if you have the list of components I'd be happy to give you a quote:rolleyes:

And this rebuild? I'm still curious. Genuinely curious.

Now I'm off to bed with the latest copy of the Russ Andrews catalogue and a box of kleenex.

I hope to awake refreshed eager to build a uvem look alike for a fraction of the cost.....(ooo were verging on a Caterham V Westfield V LoCost type discussion here...)
 

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
None of the issues involved in building an HTPC are any more exotic or unusual than building a decent PC. There is some dabbling in custom resolutions and selecting quiet running components (which is a much more high profile area than it used to be).

I cannot see how the prices quote for prebuilt machines offer good value for money. Given the purpose of this forum I am somewhat dismayed by what I see as the practicalities of building an HTPC being mystified as something ill considered by anyone without specialist "arcane" knowledge.

Its not difficult and it needn't cost thousands of pounds or eat up hours of your life...but like anything else it has a (not particularly steep) learning curve.
 

bad robot

Well-known Member
Hope this interesting thread doesnt get out of hand...

Im too itching to get building at a machine if scan would hurry up and get the corsair 3500 back in stock i finally might get my components and build a machine ive been pondering over for a little while. Anyways i hope to run a pictorial helpfull thread based on what i think are well chosen components and possibly compete with many overpriced specialist product/machines, consider it an alternative option.

See what you guys think.

internals:
AMD 64 X2 3800 / 2GB Corsair 3500 PRO / Asus Premium A8N (silent pipe)
Theraright XP120 (massive 120mm heatsink) / Stealth 120mm fan (quietest i could find) Nvidia 6600 256mb Silent/fanless cooling / ibm 500Gb 16mb cache sata II / 450w PSU (cant mind make but only 22db) Pioneer DVDr /

externals:
Silverstone LC14s-M (stylish case includes remote and VFD)
MS MCE keyboard & MCE Remote

Total price yet tbc but its going to be under or approx £1500
The case uses a silver and black theme to match in with a Sony V40 / 710 DVDr & DAV 700 cinema system all sat on a Alaphason piano black A03 stand for a small living room system. Pc PVR functions who needs it with DVDr and Sky+ or SkyHD all of which will work on their own without using Pc resources and be more reliable with no stalls/dropouts or MCE or other software related issues..

Style / low operating noise / Perfromance
These were all taken into account and ive matched components i know will work well. 2GB 3500DDR may be overkill but i know this ram will allow the FSB/CPU to be ran alot faster matching a CPU performance costing approx £130 more...

I wont dissapoint with a detailed thread once everything arrives....
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
Hi bad robot,

Sounds like a good spec, but a shame you are dismissing the use of it as a PVR. I have a pace twin pvr and an mce machine. The advantage mce has is that the recorded tv is on the home network, and can be played back via extenders, other pc's in different rooms in the house. Also, you can easily edit, re-encode, archive the recordings. And with infinite upgrade options, you need never run out of hard drive space.

Anyway, good luck with your build, keep us posted.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

bad robot

Well-known Member
deleted member said:
Hi bad robot,

Sounds like a good spec, but a shame you are dismissing the use of it as a PVR. I have a pace twin pvr and an mce machine. The advantage mce has is that the recorded tv is on the home network, and can be played back via extenders, other pc's in different rooms in the house. Also, you can easily edit, re-encode, archive the recordings. And with infinite upgrade options, you need never run out of hard drive space.

Anyway, good luck with your build, keep us posted.

lisa

I know what you mean but as yet wireless wont fully support the best 1080i films and ive no real need to have a full entertainment database ontap for my other rooms. Any transferring i do between Pcs is usually easily done buy USB2 drives connected to whatever machine is being used.

I prefer to record via Sky onto the Sony 710 which allows simple minidisc style editing. Once the editing is done its a matter of burning the disc and then ripping this to the PC and have the contents placed within the database. The good thing is that each recording is individually chaptered and is a seperate typical mpeg 2 vob file. No overlapps of adverts needing more complicated PC editing and picture quality is identical to the source. Thats why i feel ive no main benifits adopting PC PVR if anything its more problematic besides any wanted/archived content recorded via the DVDr is added to the database at a suitable time.

Anyways works for me..

Keep you posted, ta.
 

edward

Active Member

bad robot

Well-known Member
ive had the case for quite a while, indeed looks excellent but as yet all the other main components are awaiting shipping because of the RAM being ouyt of stock.

I only intend to run the quiet 120mm CPU fan and the PSU fan as i know the 60mm fans on the back of the case can be quite noisey. Currently run my loft PC this way with no heating issues although case temps are higher stability isnt a problem. Will see how things pan out

:edit btw 3dg rodney reynolds has a video review on it = KICKASS
 

edward

Active Member
And another thing...

Those stealth bays close beautifully because they're damped and on a black case they really are very "stealthy" but they're bloody noisy when they open.
 

alexs2

Distinguished Member
The end result of all the bickering over value for money etc is that if you're prepared to pay for your own PC in bits,build it to your own spec,and in your own time,plus install all of the relevant software,and do the inevitable troubleshooting,plus configure it to your own AV/HiFi system(s),then you will undoubtedly save money.

As far as I'm concerned,the prices that UVEM quoted me when I bought,were pretty reasonable VFM for a ready-built machine,and even more so when the installation was done for free,along with the software loading and configuration.

The presales help was superb,and at no time was any pressure applied,and the ability to tailor the PC to your own requirements was extremely useful.

Those that doubt that the "person who built it" also does the installation,should be reminded that it was indeed the case here...Phil Hale himself.

Perhaps another salient point is that none of those who own them seem to have any complaints at all,and Graham's comments about quality are also relevant,esp so from an industry insider.
 
D

Deleted member 27989

Guest
Also it is not that unheard of that the 'guy' who built the system comes along for the installation...Part of job satisfaction and rounded customer service etc....And having someone there who can really understand how it works....

When I bought two IBM Pseries servers the guy who build them (from France) came over to oversee the installation etc.....Part of the standard service....
 

bad robot

Well-known Member
I think this thread will be split between those who are fortunate enough to easily cough up 3k for a system and think nothing much of it and those that see it as overpriced. However they get it all done for them and enjoy what seems to be a good personal service.

It has to be pointed out though that i think regarding the specs mentioned for such 3k systems these fall far below what really should be included. Im not in such a position to just through money at it and tbh part of the project/enjoyment is picking and building the system. Its also alot more satisfiying to boot.

Ive carefully chosen what i know are quite recent but good performance components and really i dont think i could of bought better for such a budget. It has taken quite a bit or price searching but i found scan to be very competitive for most components. Having rsearched each component believing they work well together which sometimes may be a problem, particulary with recently released motherboards/ram/cpu/graphics causing problems usually regarding bios or driver/upgrades.

All in all its possible to create a much better system than these guys are selling and for alot less money, no offence but the charges they seem to have for such customer services may indeed be more suited to the well heeled, aint it.

Everyone wants good service but by eck sometimes you REALLY pay for it.
You cant put a price on satisfaction though and 3k to me may be alot more than it is to many others here ^^^. From a business point of view im sure they need a good profit margin for the time involved with regards such systems and installs but im surprised many others havnt tried offering such services/business ideas from their garages. Really theirs nothing more to such a business than having the hardware/software knowledge, knowing where to buy components from wholesalers and being polite with good customer relation skills. 1k profit a system could easily be possible.

Maybe time i built a garage lol :)
 

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
alexs2 said:
Perhaps another salient point is that none of those who own them seem to have any complaints at all

And are more than happy to send them back for a rebuild even.


alexs2 said:
,and Graham's comments about quality are also relevant,esp so from an industry insider.

We don't all find it necessary to repeatedly mention what we do to give our comments more weight.
 
S

Skunkpipe

Guest
edward said:
Hi Bad Robot,
have you read the reviews of the LC14?
http://www.sysopt.com/features/cases/article.php/12024_3549061_1
http://www.moditory.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=133&Itemid=1

I've gone for this case and it does look damn good - a spare stealth bay for a Blu Ray or HD DVD or Samsung combo reader as well as a writer. Fortunately, I didn't have the challenges that the reviewers encountered - Uvem did ;-)

How cool and quiet is that IBM drive?

LC14 is a very nice case. It's a bitch to keep cool and quiet though, but can be done. At least silverstone have addressed these issues with the new chassis uses by the 16,17,18
 
S

Skunkpipe

Guest
edward said:
And another thing...

Those stealth bays close beautifully because they're damped and on a black case they really are very "stealthy" but they're bloody noisy when they open.
Taking the draw fascia off helps a little....not a lot but a little....
Now could you be so kind to answer my earlier question? PM if you wish
 

bad robot

Well-known Member
Skunkpipe said:
LC14 is a very nice case. It's a bitch to keep cool and quiet though, but can be done. At least silverstone have addressed these issues with the new chassis uses by the 16,17,18

Yeah the intake and 60mm exhaust fans are noisey. I have 2 silverstone cases. Although the stock fans could be replaced by much quieter stealth fans such as those from "vantec".

Changing from a AMD/Intel RRP packaged noisey CPU cooler to something much larger but superior performance should as ive done in the past mean no exhaust fans are really required. Okay leave a PCI plate or two off for added ventalation if need be. Ill report if i run into problems with the dual core with this idea but then id certainly spend a few quid more obtaining 2x 60mm stealth fans if heating stability was an issue.

I wonder if these such specialists use performance cooling or retail/stock fans, would like to know.
 
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Skunkpipe

Guest
You could look at putting a Zalman CNPS 9500-LED in there - you won't need the exhaust fans then.
The problem with the intake is that is it is just holes punched into the case - best cut this out with a dremmel
 
S

Skunkpipe

Guest
bad robot said:
I wonder if these such specialists use performance cooling or retail/stock fans, would like to know.
I couldn't speak for UVEM, but we do. (in our top line HTPC for instance the quiet PC cooler, fans, silcone fan mounts, HDD coolers/vibration isolation etc. retail for about £250)
 

bad robot

Well-known Member
Skunkpipe said:
I couldn't speak for UVEM, but we do. (in our top line HTPC for instance the quiet PC cooler, fans, silcone fan mounts, HDD coolers/vibration isolation etc. retail for about £250)

Hey i like your system spec seems im on the right tracks then.
 

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
There is nothing I like better than taking a really expensive case and cutting a dirty great hole in it!

It lets the demons out!
 
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Skunkpipe

Guest
Mr.D said:
There is nothing I like better than taking a really expensive case and cutting a dirty great hole in it!

It lets the demons out!
it's ok if the hole is hidden behind a nice shiny fascia:thumbsup:
 

alexs2

Distinguished Member
Mr.D said:
And are more than happy to send them back for a rebuild even.




We don't all find it necessary to repeatedly mention what we do to give our comments more weight.

In answer to both of these comments....

I've had the PC for over 2 yrs,and it hasn't crashed once.
If something simple needed upgrading,I can manage that myself,and for sure,if it needs anything else,why shouldn't it go back.
Would a Dell or IBM owner have a problem with returning a machine for a repair?

Your second point...I have mentioned Graham's reply,and happen to agree with his views.

No-one is forcing anyone to buy one of these,but a number of us evidently feel that you do get the quality and back-up that you pay for.
 
S

Skunkpipe

Guest
alexs2 said:
In answer to both of these comments....

I've had the PC for over 2 yrs,and it hasn't crashed once.
If something simple needed upgrading,I can manage that myself,and for sure,if it needs anything else,why shouldn't it go back.
Would a Dell or IBM owner have a problem with returning a machine for a repair?
Nobody said anything about a repair - infact it was mentioned that it "ain't broke"
I read (and maybe I read it wrong) it as it was going back for a rebuild in the same way you'd send you amp away for a service - this was what was being questioned? What does it entail and why would it be deemed necessary by uvem. I'm seriously interested. As a small supplier selling kit at Artisan and slightly above prices and offering a more personal service (admittedly I don't do the install personally, although I would if local, but there's nothing else mentioned in this thread that uvem do that I don't - ooooo apart from rebuilds(?), I want to offer these value added services for my customers to set me apart from the box-shifters like elonex. Now I've never thought of providing a rebuild service, as for a PC, I feel it's totally unecessary - but if there's a good reason for it and people want it, I'll look into offering it. Shame edward has avoided answering that one.)
HAving been a HiFi enthusiast for over 20 years now I've become a bit cynical and jaded by the amount of snake oil products and services on the market, I don't think it's bad to question the validity or pricing of items, in fact it's quite healthy - it's not as Graham say an 'attack', it's simply a question why. PPL think they're overpriced, and they're questioning why, no body said they were bad. WE got an answer, the service. Now some will question if the service is worth the doubling of the price tag, some will accept that, others won't - simple as that.
What sad is the fact people don't like their purchasing descisions being bought into question and then throw their toys out of the pram if someone disagree
 

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