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Old 08-08-2011, 08:37 PM   #1
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Default My first HTPC build

Actually my first PC build period.

My wife and I are finally getting FIOS (after the strike is resolved). Disappointed in the DVR selections, we decided to go the HTPC route. Lots of info available online, almost too much. Looking forward to learning how to do this.

Specs:
i3 2105 w/hd 3000
z68 mATX
2tb HDD
silverstone HTPC case GD04B
4GB RAM
ceton infinitv 4
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:12 PM   #2
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delturcious has a pretty nice setup, but he never posts. So I doubt he'll chime in.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by icantthink4155 View Post
delturcious has a pretty nice setup, but he never posts. So I doubt he'll chime in.
Well if you call me out I'll have to prove you wrong

I actually have pretty modest hardware (3-year old Athlon X2 BE-2400, 2gb DDR2-800, nVidia 8200-series motherboard) in the living room but it does DXVA hardware acceleration for h264 just fine. Good choice on the Silverstone case--I have an LC11b which routinely fools people into thinking it's not a computer. The last thing I want in my living room is an ugly tower. Upstairs I just have a tiny $45 media center extender plugged into my receiver.

You're probably planning on sticking with Windows Media Center with that Ceton card... those are supposed to be the holy grail for HTPCs since you can finally use a Cablecard. I pulled the tuner cards out of my machine years ago when I "cut the cord"--Hulu Desktop provides more TV for free than little ol' me could ever watch on my own. If you're doing a lot of video encoding though (4 tuners???), you may want to consider something with a bit more oomph than that i3.
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:28 PM   #4
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Well so far so good! We built it today and installed w7. I was expecting it to be more difficult considering I am no computer wiz. Still need to do some BIOS tweaks. I am also weighing whether to put it in the basement or with the rest of the av equipment. Still researching universal remotes. IR if it stays with tv and rf if it goes in the basement. Any suggestions on remotes (that are still made and don't require unobtanium rf receivers, ahem gyration, ahem, coug)?
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Old 08-09-2011, 11:37 PM   #5
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Tips:

Ensure that the MB has a SPDIF output so you can output directly to a Receiver.

Fans are very noisy so make sure that the case has 120mm fans - 80mm fans and smaller will whine noticeably.

Core i3 will be fine for HPC, I have one HTPC that uses an older 1.8GHz Intel Dual Core CP and it's fine.

Hard Drives are noisy - Western Digital "Green" drives are much quieter so use them.

If you get a Digital TV tuner, get one that is capable of supporting 2 channels - it gets real frustrating if you can only watch or record ONE channel at a time. Usually when you record programs, you should record several minutes beyond their end-time to ensure you don't miss the ending - if you want to record different programs on different channels that overlap this period, you can't do it using a single-tuner card.
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:23 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by stratosteve View Post
Any suggestions on remotes (that are still made and don't require unobtanium rf receivers, ahem gyration, ahem, coug)?
Regardless of whether or not you want a remote that looks like a remote, you want this:
http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3188858
That's the cheapest I've ever seen these.

I assume you're wanting RF since the box will be close but won't have line of sight?
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:44 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by delturcious View Post
Regardless of whether or not you want a remote that looks like a remote, you want this:
http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3188858
That's the cheapest I've ever seen these.

I assume you're wanting RF since the box will be close but won't have line of sight?
Damn you suck, I was so happy to get it fgor $36. Luckily the payment didnt go through on Amazon because of a goof up I made, so I can save the $12.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:57 AM   #8
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My last htpc build is about 3 yrs old now, but still doing everything needed. It's based on a gigabyte mobo (full atx) that has both pci and pciE slots (during the transition from analog to digital tv signals) in a big silverstone LC10B-E. Big box was for 3 drives- but that's no longer the case.

Drives now reside externally, hooked to a pogoplug to create a media cloud. The pogo itself is tolerable, but has had issues. Currently the linux file system has a bad habit of corrupting its file indexes, which means hooking the drive up to a pc and removing the index so it can reindex. The are some real pros to it- like active copy which is a sync app allowing the drive to clone any directories or drives to each other and maintain a sync. Remote accessibility from anywhere- not necessarily unique, but beneficial. As it sits now, the htpc records files to it's internal drive then rips them to a compressed format saved to the pogoplug. That reduces network bandwidth and creates a universally accessible file.

Just added a silicondust HDHR to my network and have to say I'm kicking myself for not doing it sooner. There is nothing like putting a digital tv signal on your network. Especially when there are so many opensource apps that the ability to "tune" the signal.

edit- just received this deal from tigerdirect. That's everything for $300... amazing.

Last edited by m2cupcar; 08-10-2011 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delturcious View Post
Regardless of whether or not you want a remote that looks like a remote, you want this:
http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3188858
That's the cheapest I've ever seen these.

I assume you're wanting RF since the box will be close but won't have line of sight?
After thinking about it, I don't think I am comfortable with it being in the basement. Rf would not be necessary then. I need to make sure that this will be "wife friendly." I think I am going to get a cheap mce remote for now and figure out what I do/don't like about it.
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