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Old 01-05-2008, 07:28 PM   #1
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Default Media PC ?

Im lookin to buy a PC to hook up to my tv and stereo. I only want it for playing and storing music and movies. What do I need?
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Old 01-05-2008, 07:36 PM   #2
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Ok depends what you want to do... and what kind of computer you have right now and what you want to spend

If you are not recording tv, and just playing music and movie library (which is what i do) you just need a media extender.

I use my base computer (nothing impressive 4 years old) to hold all my music and movies.
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Old 01-05-2008, 07:44 PM   #3
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I use a low profile microATX with an AMD athalon mobile. Looks like a VCR under my TV.
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Old 01-05-2008, 07:47 PM   #4
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When XBMC gets ported, install Linux and XBMC.
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Old 01-05-2008, 07:56 PM   #5
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Im not recording tv. I just need something that i can store movies and music that I download and also be able to play dvds, and cd's. I want something seperate from my home pc. I have an old Gateway here that I dont use anymore. Here are its specs. Can I just use it.

OS Name Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2 Build 2600
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name MAIN
System Manufacturer Gateway
System Model "
System Type X86-based PC
Processor x86 Family 6 Model 2 Stepping 1 AuthenticAMD ~648 Mhz
BIOS Version/Date American Megatrends Inc. 063101, 7/23/1999
SMBIOS Version 2.3
Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS
System Directory C:\WINDOWS\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume1
Locale United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "5.1.2600.2180 (xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158)"
User Name MAIN\Holly
Time Zone Eastern Standard Time
Total Physical Memory 320.00 MB
Available Physical Memory 82.74 MB
Total Virtual Memory 2.00 GB
Available Virtual Memory 1.96 GB
Page File Space 774.32 MB
Page File C:\pagefile.sys
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Old 01-05-2008, 08:03 PM   #6
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Another option is buy a used Xbox for cheap and chip it, then install XBMC on it, add the DVD remote and it is the perfect multimedia hub. You can store stuff on its hard drive or connect to your other computer and stream from there (it supports samba).
It is the perfect media box out there for SD stuff (if you want HD video decoding you'll need much quicker processor)
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Old 01-05-2008, 08:18 PM   #7
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http://www.team-mediaportal.com/

always one of my favorites. I would just put the PC in anothe rroom and used a wireless video connection
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Old 01-05-2008, 08:37 PM   #8
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First question I have is this.

How do you want to interface the TV with the computer?
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saml01 View Post
First question I have is this.

How do you want to interface the TV with the computer?

Thats was gonna be my next ? The only output on the pc is 15 pin. My Tv has the usual rca, and s video inputs. It also has DVI-HDTV input. Whats my best option.
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by levnubhin View Post
Thats was gonna be my next ? The only output on the pc is 15 pin. My Tv has the usual rca, and s video inputs. It also has DVI-HDTV input. Whats my best option.
If you got a DVI then you gotta go with DVI. No sense in short changing now.
That means you got either a flat panel or a DLP.


If I were you. I would get a cheap intel dual core 2 ghz, 2 gigs of ram, a monster 1tb harddrive, get a PCIE Nvidia 7800(cheap, plenty of power and no HDCP) or something equivalent and throw media center XP on it. Yes, there are alternatives to XP media center but despite what people say its just so damn simple and easy to configure with other pc's on the network it makes no sense, at least to me, to use something else.

If you plan to do video capturing or use it as a TIVO then get yourself a twin tuner capture card from Pinnacle.

All of the above should run you no more then 600 bucks not counting the capture card. You can go cheaper with a smaller harddrive.

That PC you have you can go use as a boat anchor.
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:28 PM   #11
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:33 PM   #12
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:37 PM   #13
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Hey Sam thanks for your help but im not very computer literate, could you tell me the best place to look for a pc like your tellin me.
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by levnubhin View Post
Hey Sam thanks for your help but im not very computer literate, could you tell me the best place to look for a pc like your tellin me.
easy peasy.

www.newegg.com its the Begi of online computer stores.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814136007

Svideo, DVI, and VGA

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Originally Posted by levnubhin View Post
In the mean time, could I use this-
http://www.ramelectronics.net/audio-...d55873RCA.html
To expensive, you can find **** thats cheaper. Hell you can find a video card on the website above with composite out for 25 bucks.

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This is for video capture, you need output.
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Old 01-06-2008, 03:06 AM   #15
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let me know what configuration you want and i might be able to cut you a deal. my distributor has some good sales going on right now
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Old 01-06-2008, 11:37 AM   #16
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Honestly, I second buying a used X-box idea. For the money, it cannot be beat, period. Gamestop sells them for $60, and with either a Softmod (free), or a chip ($50), it turns into an unbelievable media center. It will play almost any video file, audio file, and with X-box Media Center, you can stream both music and audio straight from your PC. It is by far the cheapest option compared to building a computer.

X-box - $60
HD Cables (component video, optical audio) - $5-$15 used at Gamestop
Softmodding it and installing Xbox Media Center - FREE!

Plus, it comes with a 10gb HD that has only about 3gb free on it, so you could use that, or go out and spend another $50 on a 300gb drive from Fry's, install it, and you're set! Seems like the best idea IMO......
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:40 PM   #17
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Xbox is a great solution as people have mentioned, but if you need Tivo style capabilities it wont do it. Also Xbox is limited in the formats it can play, I think, while a computer with codecs will play anything under the sun. Plus the Xbox drive is small, 20 gigs, so now you are keeping two computers on to stream data. Plus if you want to stream data to the Xbox realitime you need a pretty powerful system on the other end, according to my friend who has a dual dual core feeding his X360.
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Old 01-06-2008, 12:47 PM   #18
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I stream to my ps3 and my computer isnt that powerful. 2gig amd athalon 64 and 768 megs of ram. Cost me 1000 dollars 4-5 years ago, i bet it wont be half that much now
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Old 01-06-2008, 01:01 PM   #19
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I want simplicity. I dont want to have to use a pc and a xbox or ps. I want to put something in my entertainment center and leave it there. Hooked up full time to my tv and stereo and im also gonna run an ethernet cable to it from my dsl so I can download stuff right into it. I want to use it to store movies and music and also play the dvd's and cd's that I already have. I donot need it to have Tivo capabilities. I have a 50" HDTV RCA Projection monitonr that I amgoing to hook it up to.

Urbansoot- SamlO1 recomended this- If I were you. I would get a cheap intel dual core 2 ghz, 2 gigs of ram, a monster 1tb harddrive, get a PCIE Nvidia 7800.

Now I dont know enough to know weather or not thats good enough or overkill. I'll take a suggestions you might have.

Another question I have is can I use this spare pc I have here and overhaul it? New Hard drive, mother board, and video card DVD burner and maybe a better sound card. Basically just using the box and power supply from the old pc.
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Old 01-06-2008, 01:25 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by levnubhin View Post
Urbansoot- SamlO1 recomended this- If I were you. I would get a cheap intel dual core 2 ghz, 2 gigs of ram, a monster 1tb harddrive, get a PCIE Nvidia 7800.

Now I dont know enough to know weather or not thats good enough or overkill. I'll take a suggestions you might have.

Another question I have is can I use this spare pc I have here and overhaul it? New Hard drive, mother board, and video card DVD burner and maybe a better sound card. Basically just using the box and power supply from the old pc.
Its not overkill because its like the cheapest stuff you can get today that will do what you want and will also last you a few years. The harddrive may be overkill, but if you plan to store a lot of **** on it might as well get as much space as possible so you dont have to think about it for a while. If you want overkill, I can do overkill too. Can you say 1TB mirrored array on 3mware controller? Thats like 800 just for two harddrives and a controller card.

No you cant use that computer. You will want a new case probably, a nice one that will implement well with your home theater. A horizontal style case, probably black, and thin, so it doesnt look gaudy standing near your TV. You will also need a new powersupply(comes with case) because the junk in your old computer probably wont have enough power to pull the new stuff.
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