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HTPC.....anyone got one

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8 years 1 month ago #6207 by Kilabee
Kilabee created the topic: HTPC.....anyone got one
Soooo i'm thinking (seriously as I have some cash burning a hole in my pocket) about building a Htpc.
I bought a new tele a little while back and so far I have not really taken advantage of the most of its HD features.
I've got some thing in mind but I was just wondering if any of you guys have a setup already and any suggestions.
Cheers
Kila

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  • S.A.F M3RRiK
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8 years 1 month ago #6208 by S.A.F M3RRiK
S.A.F M3RRiK replied the topic: Re: HTPC.....anyone got one
You need to talk to Te, he has recently completed this himself. HDMI output, DVD rips and ISO playback, Blue-Ray and a nice frontend using MediaPortal . You might also want to look at BOXEE . When my current media player dies I'm going the way of the HTPC too. :)

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8 years 1 month ago #6209 by S.A.F I-Robot
S.A.F I-Robot replied the topic: Re: HTPC.....anyone got one
Dont have a dedicated one right now but I've built and owned plenty in the past.

I'll be happy to advise if you want. Got to go out for a bit but a little later I'll post back some info that might be useful :)

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8 years 1 month ago #6211 by Kilabee
Kilabee replied the topic: Re: HTPC.....anyone got one
Cheers.
Looking to go pretty Budge for starters.Current situation doesn't call for outrageous spend up ;D ummm looking to spend around 800-900 NZ.Already have power supply and 2gb ram.

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8 years 1 month ago #6217 by S.A.F TeMorituri
S.A.F TeMorituri replied the topic: Re: HTPC.....anyone got one
Mine is a little more in the pennies department but worth it : Around $1500 will get you
2*1.5 Tb drives/, 2.7GHz C2D/hauppage HVR3000/4Gb RAM /Radeon 4570 running direct HDMI to my 40 inch Sony LCD. I am running Oggy Vista 64Bit which works flawlessly.
The front end is Mediaportal 1.02. I use a Logitech Harmony 800 to run it all with plugins like MyTvSeries, Moving Pictures etc
You need the grunt CPU even with a good blu ray player to avoid bleed on the graphics when playing blu ray...I only own 1 disc: Batman. Lets just say that when the Joker laughs the makeup wrinkles in Blu ray can make you shudder.

I will post some piccies another day but basically this baby can tune/record terrestrial freeview and satellite ( my wife watches a free to air video channel called 3ABN). It has all my TV series and about 450 movies on the main drive...I can also play simple .iso files of the DVDs I own and have ripped and use RSS for news and weather.

Basically it beats the crap out of rubbish like MySky and acts as my main movie/TV repository.Apart from plugging the blinding blue blinking Blu ray light this little deathstar rig is FULLY OPERATIONAL and gains me SAF.....in fact .....she's watching it right now 8)

http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=84

http://www.team-mediaportal.com/

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8 years 1 month ago #6220 by S.A.F GOATKILLER?
S.A.F GOATKILLER? replied the topic: Re: HTPC.....anyone got one
jack D is the only way i get SAF xp's

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8 years 1 month ago #6222 by S.A.F I-Robot
S.A.F I-Robot replied the topic: Re: HTPC.....anyone got one
The easiest way Software wise is one of the versions of Vista with media center.

If youre up to more of a challenge http://www.mythtv.org is supposed to be pretty good.

As to hardware I would say this.

Many people like to go for the fancy little cube pc's, and they are good but heat is always an issue as with other pc's.

An alternative is to look into larger cases and go completely fanless as with htpc's more so than most pc's noise is an annoyance.

Heres one of the best htpc cases there is, but its horrendously expensive http://www.silentpcreview.com/article678-page2.html

http://www.hfx.at/

I used to use a standard mini tower case, some of the coolermaster series look really nice in the living room, and for remote and display I used to use one of these http://www.tomsguide.com/us/htpc-remote-possibilities,review-663-4.html

Soundgraph make a lot of nify displays http://www.soundgraph.com/Eng_/main.aspx

I found the remote sensor displays great but I wasnt keen on the remotes so I used to use it along with a logitech software programmable remote http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/remotes&cl=us,en

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8 years 1 month ago #6224 by S.A.F M3RRiK
S.A.F M3RRiK replied the topic: Re: HTPC.....anyone got one

The easiest way Software wise is one of the versions of Vista with media center.

If youre up to more of a challenge http://www.mythtv.org is supposed to be pretty good.


Ohhhhh.... Te is going to argue me thinks. After doing the research on forums for easy install and config + all the bells he settled for MediaPortal. BOXEE would be my choice but I think they both beat out myth. :)

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8 years 1 month ago #6227 by S.A.F I-Robot

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8 years 1 month ago #6233 by Kilabee
Kilabee replied the topic: Re: HTPC.....anyone got one
So far i'm looking at
Case- http://www.nzoczone.com/product_info.php?cPath=41&products_id=39173
Mobo- http://www.nzoczone.com/product_info.php?products_id=40646
cpu- http://www.nzoczone.com/product_info.php?products_id=37076
Hdd - 1Tb WD black
and just a dvd drive at this stage but maybe the mighty blu ray down the track (when i'm fully addicted)
Because it's a budget build I think I will go with onboard graphics for the time being. Comes to around $ 850 with fans etc and leaves room for later improvments.
Oh I also have a tv card (Winfast tv 2000) pretty s**tty but will do the job for now.

Thoughts? Still noob btw so go easy.
Cheers for any help.

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8 years 1 month ago #6234 by S.A.F M3RRiK
S.A.F M3RRiK replied the topic: Re: HTPC.....anyone got one
Nice thing about building a HTPC is that you can upgrade the parts as required. As Te said, regardless of if you are going Blue-Ray now or later the PC does need a little grunt. Put your $ into good MB, Memory and CPU and you'll have a solid core for your system.

If the price difference between DVD player and Blu then you might want to just go with Blu now so you don't have to muck around later. :)

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8 years 1 month ago #6237 by Kilabee
Kilabee replied the topic: Re: HTPC.....anyone got one
I think i'll need a dedicated Gpu to go Blu ray won't I ?

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8 years 1 month ago #6249 by S.A.F TeMorituri
S.A.F TeMorituri replied the topic: Re: HTPC.....anyone got one
@Kila .. so right: dedicated GPU for Blu ray AND no point in blue ray if you dont have HDMI out on GPU to monitor / TV otherwise you just pushing it into conversion on the DVI interface. Oh yeah..and just to be cheerful..make sure your TV and video card are both HDCP compliant before you think you are seeing great graphics..if they dont say it they aint doing it !!( signal gets downgraded)

@ M3rrik you are so right and Robot is WRONG ! Vista Media Centre will not do you any favours..it will drive you mad >:(
New Zealand Freeview uses an unusual form of H264 video codec.....DONT rely on anything working with it except Windows 7 which comes with out of the box/native H264 codec support. I tried Vista Media Center with 2008TV pack and very explicit install..it sucked. No terrestrial or satellite Freeview
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=84&TopicId=26532

I have Windows 7 RC1 and installed that and its media center is pretty sweet..especially if you hack it !! http://www.hack7mc.com/


You need a better TV card mate. Do you have a nice terrestrial aerial on the roof for UHF reception?? ( getting freeview that way is much easier that getting it via satellite..ooops did you say you have a dish?)

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8 years 1 month ago #6254 by Coincidence
Coincidence replied the topic: Re: HTPC.....anyone got one
HTPC?

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8 years 1 month ago #6256 by S.A.F M3RRiK
S.A.F M3RRiK replied the topic: Re: HTPC.....anyone got one

HTPC?


(H)ome (T)heatre (P)ersonal (C)omputer

Like MySky but on steriods, oh, and with 1 to 2TB of storage!

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8 years 1 month ago #6258 by S.A.F TeMorituri
S.A.F TeMorituri replied the topic: Re: HTPC.....anyone got one
Naah..3Tb...and thats just in the box...not counting the rest of the network 8)

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8 years 1 month ago #6389 by S.A.F majorpous
S.A.F majorpous replied the topic: Re: HTPC.....anyone got one
I use an AMD 780G chipset motherboard for my HTPC - with an opteron 9650 in it, 4GB of ram and LOADS of hard drive space - its got 4*1.5TB, a pair of 1TB drives and a 250GB drive for the OS and media portal to reside on. I like to keep the software on seperate drives to the media, as that makes it easier to replace / upgrade.

I have an LG BR RW drive in it, and it plays 1080P content perfectly well. However, It wont stream off the HD audio from the disk, this is not easily solved yet, and I believe you need an Asus Xonar type of audio card for this. Something to do with content protection.

I also run Squeze center on this HTPC, as I found the Squeezebox was SO much better sounding than the digital out from the PC, via either Analog, Coax S/Pdif or Optical S/P dif. HDMI and its uber jittery audio interface was no better. And the duet remote is so cool!

I use 64bit Vista, which is OK but very resource hungry. Mediaportal, the most current stable release. Hauppague HVR 3000 and also a Nova S. I would not buy the 3000 again, I bought it as I wanted a second recording device, and wanted both satellite and terrestrial digital, but I am not happy that it shows up as 3 devices, and if you try to use 2 at once its a major tack spitting response you get!.

A dual tuner DVB - T or DVB - S card would be MUCH more satisfactory.

Make sure your case is not too noisy, and also keep in mind that if you do eventually load it up with a heap of hard drives, its going to need a decent PSU and vry good cooling.

Have fun.

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8 years 1 month ago #6685 by S.A.F TeMorituri
S.A.F TeMorituri replied the topic: Re: HTPC.....anyone got one

I use an AMD 780G chipset motherboard for my HTPC - with an opteron 9650 in it, 4GB of ram and LOADS of hard drive space - its got 4*1.5TB, a pair of 1TB drives and a 250GB drive for the OS and media portal to reside on. I like to keep the software on seperate drives to the media, as that makes it easier to replace / upgrade.


First..gotta say..dribble dribble. Then gotta say _ hope you have a liquid cooled system sitting in an aircon room because that amount of shit is gonna fry eggs on its best day and second..the noise from that biatch's fans is gonna ruin any appreciation I have of your rig.

Big bad is is big bad noise..how do you cope ??

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8 years 1 month ago #6691 by S.A.F Masterpetey
S.A.F Masterpetey replied the topic: Re: HTPC.....anyone got one
wow whats your power bill like!?

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8 years 1 month ago #6709 by S.A.F majorpous
S.A.F majorpous replied the topic: Re: HTPC.....anyone got one
Ok, to deal with the noise, its in the basement, which is immediately below the lounge. This is a good thing, as my amplifiers and power conditioners are also there.

Dealing with heat was easy, a pair of 8" fans, a highly hacked side panel for the fans to go into, and a lot of other case work removed.

However, remember that the hard drives are often sitting spun down, and the processor is not doing much most of the time. I only did that work to the case as in the summer it was reaching about 35 degrees. The basement is not a hot place, even in the peak of summer. This computer was not noisey before I did the 8" fan mods, indeed, it was quieter than my I7 gaming box, which is basically a standard I7 920 ( not overclocked, I never found it to make any real noticeable difference when gaming an I want to leave something for when I want more speed :) ) with a pair of Black caviar 1TB drives and a gigabyte ATI 4850OC 1gb card. And that's in an Antec Sonata 3,which should be quieter than a budget iCute case I got a PB tech for the htpc.

The gaming box is pretty fast actually, it smokes along with photoshop too, lots of ram helps. Pity I am a crap FPS player, most of you have my dogtags, but no one can beat me at COH :D

And as for the power bill, that computer draws around .5 to .9 amps generally, so thats costing about 5 cents an hour. Nothing compared to the pair of 600watt Perreaux anplifiers, and quartet of 250w monoblocks that run my main speakers, which are left on from about 3pm till about midnight most days.

But the household power bill is generally in the $350 - $450 region.

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