Computer peeps! Need your opinion on a HTPC!





Busaman5000

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#1
Im going to dump DirecTV and just do a HTPC set up. I hardly ever watch TV anymore and the shows I do watch are shown on Hulu for free anyway so the $80+ I spend a month on TV just isnt worth it.

It will be a dedicated HTPC and used to view sites such as Hulu.com, OTA local channels in HD and Blu-ray movies on my 42" 720p plasma

I want it to be fairly cheap and QUIET above all.

So here is what I am considering...

Athlon X2 4450B 45W AM2 $75.00

Gigabyte GA-M61PME S2P AM2+/AM2 Nvidia Gforce 6100 Mirco ATX motherboard $52.99

4GB OCZ DDR2 1066 $48.99

Western Digital Caviar 320GB 7200RPM harddrive $49.99

Sony Optiarc 2X BD-ROM SATA $79.99

Rosewill Stallion RD400-2-SB 400W ATX Powersupply $34.99

Rosewill R115-P BK Black MicroATX midtower $19.99

Thermaltake TMG A3 92mm Enter CPU cooler $19.99

Visiontek All-In-Wonder HD 3650 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready video card With Remote $149.99

Grandtotal $530.92

Anything I am missing or need to change?

Will a ATX power supply fit in a MicroATX case???

Oh and I will be using Windows 7 RC1 for the time being.
 

Spectre

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#2
i'll take a look at this in a little more detail as soon as i get this project out.

a couple sites that come to mind are:
silentpcreview.com | Everything about Silent / Quiet Computers

i like it for the fanless systems i run. it's amazing how loud computers have become the norm...

and MythTV, Open Source DVR

know that the mythtv is typically a Linux system so that might be a deal breaker for you. although the site usually has good hardware setups for this type of thing.

the upside is you drop the cost of an operating system that can lower your budget.
 
#3
if your doing hd or blu ray htpc i would step up too a x4 for a $100 more. i have a similar setup ecs board amd x2 4800 2.5ghz
2 gigs ocz ram
evga 9400 gt 512ram video
1394 card
hard drives
160gigX3
320gigX1
500gigX2
640gigX1
1tbX1
samsung 37" lcd 1920X1080 1080p
 
#5
I'd also go with a Solid State Drive (doesn't have to be huge, though it should be 16gb+ imo) to keep things quiet while watching. I run one with a removable usb hdd for storage. Copy a few movies/shows over from the removable and unplug it. This keeps much from making noise while playing movies off the ssd or watching via hulu.

I would also go fanless, as Spectre mentioned, if possible but in a pinch get a big case fan or two and keep things fairly quiet.

I also run linux and have done the MythTV thing a couple times and it's worth a look.
 

Busaman5000

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#6
I like the sound of linux. Anybody know if the ati all-in-wonder will work with linux? Its not listed as being supported in the specs.
Posted via Mobile Device
 
#7
... Ya could just go with a Mac Mini... :laugh:

I have one "boot Camp" with XP. The Mac part actually performs better and it is basically silent. Shoehorn in some extra RAM and your there. :whistle:
 

Spectre

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#9
I like the sound of linux. Anybody know if the ati all-in-wonder will work with linux?
unless something has changed very recently i will say "no". sorry.

i'm curious though, have you thought about maybe a card that has a hardware encoder? that would save your some CPU work.
 

Spectre

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#11
Well I thought the all in wonder was a hardware encoder? What do u mean?
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they might now, but a few years ago the All-in-Wonder cards didn't. at that time they emulated a hardware encoder.

back then i went with a Hauppauge PVR-350 for my build.

[From the site linked above]
Well Suited for: a single-card solution for input/ouput of video and audio to a standard television, running only MythTV and recordings. Also well-suited for underpowered systems, since the onboard mpeg encoding and decoding mean your CPU has very little to do. As a single data point, consider that the utilization on 750 Mhz PIII is only 20% while watching live tv.
i'm currently looking for some new equipment for a new MythTV build. will let you know what i find, but most likely i will stick with a newer Hauppauge card.
 

Spectre

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#13
someone needs to put together a "build sheet" :thumbsup: last time I thought about HTPC, I got so overloaded with options I gave up... tons of parts, no idea which way to go..

and any comments on this unit?

Newegg.com - Hauppauge HD PVR High Definition Personal Video Recorder 1212 USB 2.0 Interface - TV Tuners & Video Devices

(for a DVR?)
take a look at the Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H. it will do VDPAU

[From MythTV Wiki]
I went to the Gigabyte board over the Asus one for two reasons:

* 9400 chipset vs 9300. Not sure if it makes much difference at the end of the day with VDPAU and what deinterlacers you can use

* Read a few reports about the Asus having problems with overheating ...
 
#14
they might now, but a few years ago the All-in-Wonder cards didn't. at that time they emulated a hardware encoder.

back then i went with a Hauppauge PVR-350 for my build.

[From the site linked above]


i'm currently looking for some new equipment for a new MythTV build. will let you know what i find, but most likely i will stick with a newer Hauppauge card.
ATI's All-in-Wonder still doesn't work with most Linux builds. The Hauppauge's do work on most (out of the box normally) however and are typically better units from a hardware perspective though not supported as well with windows software and drivers. I had both and can confirm this to be accurate.

Some of the newer ATI's are true hardware encoders but they cost a good deal more than the rest.

A linux build will give you more over all control of your system and the presentation is better in my opinion. Even better, 99% of the software is free and available via download... and usually you'll be notified as soon as a new update is released.

It won't cost you anything but the price of the hardware and a little time to try a linux setup - I say go for it.
:thumbsup:
 

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