What HTPC?

Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by scott8629, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. scott8629

    scott8629
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    I have decided to build myself a HTPC to complement my new Sharp 1080P LCD

    The PC will also be used to surf the net, recieve emails and a small amount of office work as well as watching TV and HD content on its hard disk.

    I have built PC's before but I have been out of the fold for a few years and have never attemped a HTPC.

    Could someone point me in the right directions as of the compents I will require especially the video card (1920x1080) as I would like a HDMI o/p?

    Also this HTPC will be replacing a Topfield PVR, are there any programs that I can install on to the HTPC that will perform fucntions like 14day EPG with sky plus like recording (just like the toppy)?

    Any good online retailers of these components?

    Sorry for all the questions but I am totally new to this HTPC lark!

    Kind regards

    Scott
     
  2. jezzer256

    jezzer256
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    Hi Scott

    I'm no expert either, but I know that there are very few graphics cards with HDMI outputs. However all new models will have DVI, so a simple DVI-HDMI lead should do the trick nicely :) .

    Components wise, it all depends on how big you want the case to be & how much you want to spend. Also, you may be limited if you want to have an 'as-near-to-silent-as-possible' HTPC. If you could tell us this, it will be much easier to spec up a machine :thumbsup: .

    I'm not familiar with the Topfield PVR, however there are TV cards out there that can be set to timer record (I think). I don't know much about this though.

    Hope that helps

    Jezzer
     
  3. dh140770

    dh140770
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    I would recommend installing the minimum amount of software that you need on the HTPC

    There are some video cards with HDMI output now, there weren't any when i built. Perhaps this one may suit your needs
    http://www.shoeboxcomputers.com/pro...d=23385&osCsid=b33cfea2687215f70d7f79a29df960
    With that said, build your machine to be as quiet as possible. If budget allows use a silent or near silent PSU. The above graphics card has a fan, you may be able to hunt out one that uses passive cooling. If i was doing it again i would have one hard disk for the Operating System and another for Data, possibly with disk mirroring for the data disk and a spare disk with a ghost image of the operating system on standby. You will come to rely on this machine for your TV viewing so you need to make sure you have adequate backup and recovery options should it fail.

    ...erm that will be Windows Media Centre Edition 2005 or the forthcoming versions of Vista that contain Media Centre
    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/getready/editions/default.mspx
    You don't need additional software for the TV guide, it's built into the operatiing system.

    I use a variety as i find that not one supplier has all the bits i need. Dabs, Scan, Ebuyer have all proved useful in the past.
     
  4. scott8629

    scott8629
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    I would like it to be quiet, I dont need silence, as long as it is not in you face loud like my xbox 360.

    I will be buying the components over time, I will want a HTPC whcih will last a while and be able to play HD content.

    Budget circa £500
     
  5. jezzer256

    jezzer256
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    OK Here's a stab in the dark for you, see what you think:

    Case: Zalman HD160
    PSU: Seasonic M12 500W
    Motherboard: Asus P5LD2 SE
    CPU: Intel Core2 Cuo E6300
    RAM: 1GB OCZ PC2-4200 (512MB x 2)
    Graphics: Asus 7600gs silent

    Plus an optical drive of your choice.

    Jezzer.

    EDIT: Oops, I think that might be a bit expensive. Sorry! Forgot the hard drive, not sure about this, haven't seen how noisy most are. Maybe others recommendations will help?
     
  6. dh140770

    dh140770
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    Samsung are reported to the quietest. Go for the 400gb if cash allows. This is the best pence per gb at the moment i think
     

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