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HTPC Build Advice: Need to output in Component Analog HD

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November 8, 2013 1:06:49 PM

Hi All,

I'd like to build an HTPC that allows me to cut the cord to cable and add an antennae. The factor that over-rides all other considerations is that my TV can only take component analog inputs (ypbpr) and I don't have the budget for a new TV along with the system. Also has to be easy for my wife to use.

My goals are: DVR software, don't need to record more than one show at once, but it would be nice to watch one show while recording another, BluRay playback, playing files off of my laptop that I have connected to network (laptop is wireless, HTPC would be ethernet).


Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: December 2013

Budget Range: (e.g.: 300-400) $500 to $700 after shipping, rebates, and including OS

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Live and Recorded TV, website playback (like NBC.com or Youtube or Netflix, file playback, BluRay, very light gaming.

Are you buying a monitor: No. The TV I have is a Phillips HD tube TV that looks great still and weighs about 300 lbs. I literally can not move it anytime soon.

Need a complete system, I have no existing parts except for the TV and the sound system.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes, would consider linux, but have never used it.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NewEgg

Location: New York, NY

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: Maybe if needed.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe if needed

Your Monitor Resolution: TV will accept 480i, 480p, 720p and 1080i through the component inputs/

Audio: I have a sound system that can take optical audio inputs.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Want to stop paying for cable

I like this build from the recent poll but need a Tuner Card and a GPU that has D-Sub out that I can convert to Component with an adapter cable.

A little bit of blu-ray, a little bit of couch gaming.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core ProcessorP ($118.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H77M-D3H Micro ATX LGA1155 MotherboardP ($88.24 @ Amazon)
Memory: Wintec AMPX 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 MemoryP ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: A-Data Premier Pro SP900 64GB 2.5" Solid State DiskP ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital WD Green 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard DriveP ($93.91 @ Amazon)
Case: Silverstone ML03B HTPC CaseP ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 360W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V Power SupplyP ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: LG UH12NS30 Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD WriterP ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7750 Low Profile 1GB DDR5 ($104.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $696.08



November 8, 2013 2:29:24 PM

I like to use Hauppage cards in my computers to do that. Newegg sells some and you can figure out exactly what fits your needs.

http://www.hauppauge.com
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November 11, 2013 6:08:46 AM

jnkweaver said:
I like to use Hauppage cards in my computers to do that. Newegg sells some and you can figure out exactly what fits your needs.

http://www.hauppauge.com


Thanks, but that's just the tuner card, I need a recommendation for the graphics card that will allow for a component analog output.
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Best solution

November 13, 2013 1:46:10 PM

I recommend you get a Silicondust HDHomerun Dual:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There is also a more expensive version that can stream via UPnP to smart TV's but its double the price and considering your TV is older you dont need it.

This will allow your antenna feed to be used in a pool through your router or a switch. Your HTPC can then be used as a DVR. This unit only has two tuners, so if you need more you will have to buy enough units to fit your needs.

It can use many different dvr programs such as Myth TV, but for what you want to do Windows Media Center is the way to go. Windows Media Center works quite well.

Then get an older Xbox 360, the old white units with the component video and audio cables (you can probably get a used one through Gamestop or similar outlet) for your TV, then set the Xbox as an extender for the HTPC. The xbox will act as a set top box in this config.

Not only will you be able to watch your tv feed via antenna feed, you would also have access to Xbox video, Amazon, Vudu etc, assuming you have an xbox live account. But if not you will still be able to download on your PC then stream it through WMC to the Xbox.

The only other option and probably cheaper at that is to get an HDMI to component adapter from Monoprice.

But in regards to the Silicondust option I have the Homerun prime which uses a Cable Card and acts as the cable box, then I use the same setup described above, but for cable functionality.
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November 13, 2013 4:07:10 PM

That's a pretty decent build! Take boogalooelectric's suggestion as that is probably the cheapest outlet.

Hauppauge also makes high-quality tuner cards.
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November 15, 2013 7:56:52 AM

boogalooelectric said:
I recommend you get a Silicondust HDHomerun Dual:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There is also a more expensive version that can stream via UPnP to smart TV's but its double the price and considering your TV is older you dont need it.

This will allow your antenna feed to be used in a pool through your router or a switch. Your HTPC can then be used as a DVR. This unit only has two tuners, so if you need more you will have to buy enough units to fit your needs.

It can use many different dvr programs such as Myth TV, but for what you want to do Windows Media Center is the way to go. Windows Media Center works quite well.

Then get an older Xbox 360, the old white units with the component video and audio cables (you can probably get a used one through Gamestop or similar outlet) for your TV, then set the Xbox as an extender for the HTPC. The xbox will act as a set top box in this config.

Not only will you be able to watch your tv feed via antenna feed, you would also have access to Xbox video, Amazon, Vudu etc, assuming you have an xbox live account. But if not you will still be able to download on your PC then stream it through WMC to the Xbox.

The only other option and probably cheaper at that is to get an HDMI to component adapter from Monoprice.

But in regards to the Silicondust option I have the Homerun prime which uses a Cable Card and acts as the cable box, then I use the same setup described above, but for cable functionality.


Thanks so much Boogaloo! Just so I understand the workflow you are proposing, let me list it here so you can add or correct me, if you don't mind?

OTA Antenna > coax > HDHomeRun Box > Cat5 > Ethernet Hub > Cat5 > XBox > Component Cables RCA connectors > My Old TV.

Additionally, I would have an HTPC with an Ethernet connection to the same hub, and that is what would stream recorded content to the Xbox and into the TV..... XBox would also be my BluRay player.

What about live TV? Does that just follow the same route? So the HTPC would need to be on in order to view live TV? Not a problem, just trying to diagram the whole system .

I like this idea because then I can use a MUCH smaller chassis with integrated graphics and an HDMI out for the future.

Please confirm this or edit so I have a better understanding.

Thanks again!
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November 15, 2013 11:39:44 AM

jonepner said:
boogalooelectric said:
I recommend you get a Silicondust HDHomerun Dual:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There is also a more expensive version that can stream via UPnP to smart TV's but its double the price and considering your TV is older you dont need it.

This will allow your antenna feed to be used in a pool through your router or a switch. Your HTPC can then be used as a DVR. This unit only has two tuners, so if you need more you will have to buy enough units to fit your needs.

It can use many different dvr programs such as Myth TV, but for what you want to do Windows Media Center is the way to go. Windows Media Center works quite well.

Then get an older Xbox 360, the old white units with the component video and audio cables (you can probably get a used one through Gamestop or similar outlet) for your TV, then set the Xbox as an extender for the HTPC. The xbox will act as a set top box in this config.

Not only will you be able to watch your tv feed via antenna feed, you would also have access to Xbox video, Amazon, Vudu etc, assuming you have an xbox live account. But if not you will still be able to download on your PC then stream it through WMC to the Xbox.

The only other option and probably cheaper at that is to get an HDMI to component adapter from Monoprice.

But in regards to the Silicondust option I have the Homerun prime which uses a Cable Card and acts as the cable box, then I use the same setup described above, but for cable functionality.


Thanks so much Boogaloo! Just so I understand the workflow you are proposing, let me list it here so you can add or correct me, if you don't mind?

OTA Antenna > coax > HDHomeRun Box > Cat5 > Ethernet Hub > Cat5 > XBox > Component Cables RCA connectors > My Old TV.

Additionally, I would have an HTPC with an Ethernet connection to the same hub, and that is what would stream recorded content to the Xbox and into the TV..... XBox would also be my BluRay player.

What about live TV? Does that just follow the same route? So the HTPC would need to be on in order to view live TV? Not a problem, just trying to diagram the whole system .

I like this idea because then I can use a MUCH smaller chassis with integrated graphics and an HDMI out for the future.

Please confirm this or edit so I have a better understanding.

Thanks again!


You pretty much got it right, the only thing I would change is use a gigabit switch instead of a hub. Even a cheap Trendnet would do.

I use a cheap Monoprice switch.

The reason is the ethernet ports on the Xbox's are not the greatest and can be a bit finicky, using a switch will help.

What happens sometimes is the Xbox will display a message at the top right of the display that says 'Network Issue' and it can be annoying sometimes. If you were to connect all this to your router it would be even more common as the router scans all traffic though it so it can slow you down even more and the 'Network Issue' message will become more frequent.

So bypass much of that and get a gigabit switch, it will save you some headache later as eventually you will come to the conclusion that you need one and get one anyway.

The HTPC will need to be on to tune tv channels, I have a win 7 home premium OS. I have a cheap Rosewill WMC remote that works with both the Xbox and HTPC. I set the PC so that the remote will only bring it out of sleep mode and not turn the PC off, then I set it to go to sleep after a half hour of inactivity. So a half hour after I shut down the Xbox and other extenders it goes to sleep. I reboot the HTPC once a week or so, its windows after all.

If I need to use a Keyboard for the HTPC I have one of these:

http://www.cideko.com/pro_con.php?id=3

Its not he best for gaming, but for controlling an HTPC from the couch its great.

Also make sure you go to the Silicondust forums, there are lots of tips there and helpful FAQ's. There are lots of cool little programs to make this set up top notch. They have links to programs like Tuner Salad which enables more tuners in WMC (WMC can only handle 4 tuners, Tuner Salad enables it to handle 8), My CHannel Logos, which will put the channels logos in the guide, its a pretty cool little app, that cost me $5.00 to get.

And if you have any problems the experts on the forum are very responsive and helpful, there is a guy called Mediaman there who will probably be the one to help you, he is very knowledgeable about cable systems and HTPC's.

I got some CAT 6's from Monoprice, they are cheap there and they have most colors so you can match the paint on your walls, carpet etc.

Sorry if I am forgetting something.

If I did, ask and I will answer as best I am able.
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November 15, 2013 12:12:58 PM

I just built a similar machine using a heswell board and processor

Intel Pentium G3220 Haswell $69
http://www.cpu-world.com/benchmarks/Intel/Pentium_G3220...
So close to the power of an i3 you will never know the difference

GIGABYTE GA-H81M-HD3 $69
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Two RAM slots limits expansion , but 8 gig is more than enough , and it also means the board is an inch narrower than a standard m-ATX motherboard . In a small case the extra room is really useful . I used a Seasonic 350 watt gold psu with few extra cables and the extra space was still a blessing even in the larger GD-05 . 7.1 sound , display port , HDMI VGA and DVI

I had an Avermedia tv tuner card so I have installed that . But Hauppage are better . And should include a remote

Use the onboard video . You should not need a separate graphics card
http://www.ebay.com/bhp/vga-to-component-video-converte...
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November 15, 2013 1:00:53 PM

You pretty much got it right, the only thing I would change is use a gigabit switch instead of a hub. Even a cheap Trendnet would do.

I use a cheap Monoprice switch.

The reason is the ethernet ports on the Xbox's are not the greatest and can be a bit finicky, using a switch will help.

What happens sometimes is the Xbox will display a message at the top right of the display that says 'Network Issue' and it can be annoying sometimes. If you were to connect all this to your router it would be even more common as the router scans all traffic though it so it can slow you down even more and the 'Network Issue' message will become more frequent.

So bypass much of that and get a gigabit switch, it will save you some headache later as eventually you will come to the conclusion that you need one and get one anyway.

The HTPC will need to be on to tune tv channels, I have a win 7 home premium OS. I have a cheap Rosewill WMC remote that works with both the Xbox and HTPC. I set the PC so that the remote will only bring it out of sleep mode and not turn the PC off, then I set it to go to sleep after a half hour of inactivity. So a half hour after I shut down the Xbox and other extenders it goes to sleep. I reboot the HTPC once a week or so, its windows after all.

If I need to use a Keyboard for the HTPC I have one of these:

http://www.cideko.com/pro_con.php?id=3

Its not he best for gaming, but for controlling an HTPC from the couch its great.

Also make sure you go to the Silicondust forums, there are lots of tips there and helpful FAQ's. There are lots of cool little programs to make this set up top notch. They have links to programs like Tuner Salad which enables more tuners in WMC (WMC can only handle 4 tuners, Tuner Salad enables it to handle 8), My CHannel Logos, which will put the channels logos in the guide, its a pretty cool little app, that cost me $5.00 to get.

And if you have any problems the experts on the forum are very responsive and helpful, there is a guy called Mediaman there who will probably be the one to help you, he is very knowledgeable about cable systems and HTPC's.

I got some CAT 6's from Monoprice, they are cheap there and they have most colors so you can match the paint on your walls, carpet etc.

Sorry if I am forgetting something.

If I did, ask and I will answer as best I am able.[/quotemsg]

messed up the quoting here:

Thanks again Boogaloo!

What do you think of using a Zotac ZBox as an HTPC or an INTEL NUC box? I'm not much a builder, and these seem to come close to finishing the picture without having to worry about heat loads, PSU's etc.
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November 15, 2013 2:51:25 PM

The Intel unit looks pretty good, it should work.

If you went with the Prime then you would need a discrete GPU, I tried to get by with onboard graphics on that and it would not pass the diagnostic program that comes with the Prime, I ended up having to slap a low profile 5450 into the system and it works great.

The dual does not have that though so you should be able to use that box.

Also please pick a solution if you feel your question has been answered =).
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