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Need help building a living room media Pc on a budget.

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August 15, 2006 12:24:27 AM

Hello Everyone,

First off thanks for the all the help with advice, I will post what I bought once I get it up and running.

Anyway here is my predicament, I just moved into a new place and at my roomate's old place his computer was in the same room as his PC, so he just sent video output to that, however now it is in a seperate room and we don't really want to have to drag a DVI cord through the hall or punch a hole in the wall. So we were thinking about building a media pc. However we need some advice and we're on a budget, realistically, as cheap as we can build.

It's only being used to output video to the 30 Sony HDTV, maybe download tv shows or movies also. What's our best options? And what suggestions do you guys have?


Thanks,

Paul
August 15, 2006 1:01:07 AM

Quote:
Hello Everyone,

First off thanks for the all the help with advice, I will post what I bought once I get it up and running.

Anyway here is my predicament, I just moved into a new place and at my roomate's old place his computer was in the same room as his PC, so he just sent video output to that, however now it is in a seperate room and we don't really want to have to drag a DVI cord through the hall or punch a hole in the wall. So we were thinking about building a media pc. However we need some advice and we're on a budget, realistically, as cheap as we can build.

It's only being used to output video to the 30 Sony HDTV, maybe download tv shows or movies also. What's our best options? And what suggestions do you guys have?



You can do it for $500-600.


Thanks,

Paul



Would you be helpful to know what "a budget" is as in a dollar figure. As cheap as possible is a relative term, so a dollar amount would help.

Anyway, for a media center build you don't need anything spetacular. If you want to send wirelessly to your TV look at the extenders made by Linksys and others that work with Windows MCE. That cuts the cable out altogether.

I would go probably something like AMD 3500+ (Orleans) on a Asus M2N-E with 1GB of DDR2-800 RAM. Use a Sonta II case since it comes with a psu thats decent. Get a $30 DVD burner and then spend the rest of your money on your hard drives. Get has big as you ocan afford.

The Extender will probably be the most expensive part, but it will get you out of having to buy a video card that lets you plug a TV into your PC. So it kind of evens out. Plus an extender can send output to more than 1 TV.
August 15, 2006 6:43:04 AM

Quote:
I would go probably something like AMD 3500+ (Orleans) on a Asus M2N-E with 1GB of DDR2-800 RAM. Use a Sonta II case since it comes with a psu thats decent. Get a $30 DVD burner and then spend the rest of your money on your hard drives. Get has big as you ocan afford.

The Extender will probably be the most expensive part, but it will get you out of having to buy a video card that lets you plug a TV into your PC. So it kind of evens out. Plus an extender can send output to more than 1 TV.


I agree here (notice a pattern anyone?), with the M2N-E idea, but I'd get a low end video card, then get a Happauge WinTV-PVR-150, unless the ATI All-In-Wonder cards have hardware based MPEG2 encoders.... I know they have TV tuners, but I don't know about the hardware based encoders.
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August 15, 2006 2:17:41 PM

Quote:
I would go probably something like AMD 3500+ (Orleans) on a Asus M2N-E with 1GB of DDR2-800 RAM. Use a Sonta II case since it comes with a psu thats decent. Get a $30 DVD burner and then spend the rest of your money on your hard drives. Get has big as you ocan afford.

The Extender will probably be the most expensive part, but it will get you out of having to buy a video card that lets you plug a TV into your PC. So it kind of evens out. Plus an extender can send output to more than 1 TV.


I agree here (notice a pattern anyone?), with the M2N-E idea, but I'd get a low end video card, then get a Happauge WinTV-PVR-150, unless the ATI All-In-Wonder cards have hardware based MPEG2 encoders.... I know they have TV tuners, but I don't know about the hardware based encoders.

They don't- for that you have to go the Theater 5/6xx Pro series.
August 15, 2006 5:23:42 PM

I kinda figured that was the case.....
!