HTPC build.. Ordering tonight please help review!

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HTPC build.. Ordering tonight please help review!

Postposted on Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:19 am

Purpose: Strictly for watching .avi files, 720p and 1080p .mkv videos from HDD. No Tv tuner (for now but maybe in the future so I'd like to have the room). HTPC->TV set up via HDMI. A gift for my dad.

Other Notes*: Already have Win7, network card, and RAM in hand.


CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 250 ($60)

MOBO: ASUS M4A88TD-M/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX ($74 OPEN-BOX)

GPU: IGP

RAM: Already have RAM.

HDD: WD Caviar Green WD10EARS 1TB ($60)

CD/DVD: Cheap CD/DVD drive.. ~ $20.

PSU: Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W ($45). Will this PSU be enough for either of the MOBO listed above?

CASE: SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum / 0.8mm SECC Grandia Series GD05B ($100) Case has good reviews and looks solid. Don't need small-form factor.

Thanks!!!
Last edited by jti1115 on Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:54 pm, edited 9 times in total.
jti1115
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Re: HTPC build

Postposted on Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:33 am

This Would provide you with what you stated in your purpose. Add on Boxee or XBMC and it would be perfect.
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Re: HTPC build

Postposted on Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:28 pm

tanker27 wrote:This Would provide you with what you stated in your purpose. Add on Boxee or XBMC and it would be perfect.


Thanks for the suggestions tanker27! I forgot to mention that although I don't need a tv tuner now, I'd like to have the option to get one in the future if we decide that we want one.
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Re: HTPC build

Postposted on Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:07 pm

if all you want to do is watch digital movie files, a media player is all you need. simple to setup, simple to use. you can get them with and without storage. i have the wdtv live plus plugged into my network, nas in the bedroom. watching videos has never been easier. the wdtv live hub has 1tb drive built in if you need that.

the only reason i'm suggesting this is if it's for your dad, i think we all know how dad's can be with technology, you are going to want that thing to be as easy to use and maintain as possible.

$189 for the wdtv live hub http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136831&Tpk=wdtv%20live%20hub

just my 2 cents (depreciated to .0001 cents)
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Re: HTPC build

Postposted on Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:54 pm

wirerogue wrote:the only reason i'm suggesting this is if it's for your dad, i think we all know how dad's can be with technology, you are going to want that thing to be as easy to use and maintain as possible.

$189 for the wdtv live hub http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136831&Tpk=wdtv%20live%20hub


Hey wirerogue thanks for the suggestion. Yea I agree with you my dad is old and I recently taught him how to open a folder and double click video files to watch them. Great suggestion, but it won't work for my purpose because we have to have a Windows machine (for downloading HD Korean TV content).

He likes to watch Korean tv, and used to rent cd/dvd's weekly. One day I sat down to watch a show with him and the video quality is just disappointing and the costs to rent these really add up. I had just bought him a HDTV last year so it kills me to have him watch non-HD content with the new TV.

I just updated my build so take a look and let me know what you think! If I go with the new build I should be able to get away with spending less than $300.
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Re: HTPC build.. Ordering tonight please help review!

Postposted on Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:05 pm

A bigger (2 TB) hard-drive and blu-ray would help.

If you do get a tuner card, do you need ATSC (over-the-air digital), QAM (unencrypted digital cable) or NTSC (analog)?
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Re: HTPC build.. Ordering tonight please help review!

Postposted on Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:29 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:A bigger (2 TB) hard-drive and blu-ray would help.

If you do get a tuner card, do you need ATSC (over-the-air digital), QAM (unencrypted digital cable) or NTSC (analog)?


I think QAM.. and actually maybe I should put one in since tuner eliminates the need for cable box right?

p.s. and thanks JAE! you're always a great help :)
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Re: HTPC build.. Ordering tonight please help review!

Postposted on Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:43 pm

My experience is that a QAM tuner like the AVerMedia AVerTV HD Duet does not eliminate the need for the cable box unless you're subscribing to just limited basic cable. Those are the only QAM channels that aren't encrypted on my Comcast system. To get the encrypted channels, you need something with a Cablecard (or whatever the two-way standard is that will replace cablecard and allow OnDemand and PayPerView in the next few years).

Since the good folks at ReplayTV are set to discontinue the guide service for my ancient analog DVR at the end of this month and since the cable weasels are already in the process of moving my favorite channels from analog to encrypted QAM this month, I'm strongly considering buying a TiVo Premiere and having the cable installers bring out an M-card cablecard for it. It's either that or cut my subscription to limited basic and give up Discovery Channel, USA, The Learning Channel, History Channel, SyFy, ESPN and Speed. :(

It wouldn't be so bad, but the weasels at Comcast want to tack on huge amount to your monthly bill to provide you with an HD DVR. (Digital fee, HD Fee, DVR Fee, Connection Fee, etc.)
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Re: HTPC build.. Ordering tonight please help review!

Postposted on Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:27 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:My experience is that a QAM tuner like the AVerMedia AVerTV HD Duet does not eliminate the need for the cable box unless you're subscribing to just limited basic cable. Those are the only QAM channels that aren't encrypted on my Comcast system. To get the encrypted channels, you need something with a Cablecard (or whatever the two-way standard is that will replace cablecard and allow OnDemand and PayPerView in the next few years).

Since the good folks at ReplayTV are set to discontinue the guide service for my ancient analog DVR at the end of this month and since the cable weasels are already in the process of moving my favorite channels from analog to encrypted QAM this month, I'm strongly considering buying a TiVo Premiere and having the cable installers bring out an M-card cablecard for it. It's either that or cut my subscription to limited basic and give up Discovery Channel, USA, The Learning Channel, History Channel, SyFy, ESPN and Speed. :(

It wouldn't be so bad, but the weasels at Comcast want to tack on huge amount to your monthly bill to provide you with an HD DVR. (Digital fee, HD Fee, DVR Fee, Connection Fee, etc.)


Placed the order, but skipped the tuner for now..

Yea the fees are just ridiculous. I went back to limited basic cable and I'm fine with it now but come football season I'm going to want HD Channels..

thanks for the feedbacks!!
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Re: HTPC build.. Ordering tonight please help review!

Postposted on Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:29 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:To get the encrypted channels, you need something with a Cablecard (or whatever the two-way standard is that will replace cablecard and allow OnDemand and PayPerView in the next few years).

Since the good folks at ReplayTV are set to discontinue the guide service for my ancient analog DVR at the end of this month and since the cable weasels are already in the process of moving my favorite channels from analog to encrypted QAM this month, I'm strongly considering buying a TiVo Premiere and having the cable installers bring out an M-card cablecard for it.


The new CableCard devices from SiliconDust are sure changing the pricing structure.

The Ceton 4-tuner is down to $270 at NewEgg from $400ish.

The 2-tuner SiliconDust that Hauppauge will be distributing has been announced at $130, while the 3-tuner SilconDust (being released 7/25) is ~$260 shipped at NewEgg.

Some new FCC regulations take effect August 1st that should make it less hassle to get CableCards from the cable companies, too.
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Re: HTPC build.. Ordering tonight please help review!

Postposted on Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:42 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:My experience is that a QAM tuner like the AVerMedia AVerTV HD Duet does not eliminate the need for the cable box unless you're subscribing to just limited basic cable. Those are the only QAM channels that aren't encrypted on my Comcast system. To get the encrypted channels, you need something with a Cablecard (or whatever the two-way standard is that will replace cablecard and allow OnDemand and PayPerView in the next few years).

Since the good folks at ReplayTV are set to discontinue the guide service for my ancient analog DVR at the end of this month and since the cable weasels are already in the process of moving my favorite channels from analog to encrypted QAM this month, I'm strongly considering buying a TiVo Premiere and having the cable installers bring out an M-card cablecard for it. It's either that or cut my subscription to limited basic and give up Discovery Channel, USA, The Learning Channel, History Channel, SyFy, ESPN and Speed. :(

It wouldn't be so bad, but the weasels at Comcast want to tack on huge amount to your monthly bill to provide you with an HD DVR. (Digital fee, HD Fee, DVR Fee, Connection Fee, etc.)


Answer (maybe? depending upon availability): streaming from the channel websites or Netflix.
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Re: HTPC build.. Ordering tonight please help review!

Postposted on Wed Jul 27, 2011 8:04 am

Here checkout my built. might give you some ideas .....

viewtopic.php?f=33&t=76913
Core i7-2600K|Win 7 Ulti x64|ASUS P8P67 Pro|G.Gkill 16GB 1600Mhz DDR3 |Sapphire HD5850|DELL 24" UltraSharp IPS 1080p|5.0 TB storage|Intel X-25M 80GB SSD|LG Bluray/HD DVD combo|CM690|Altec Lansing ATP5|Onkyo 6200
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