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Getting Started: Building a Video Player

Last response: in Systems
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May 22, 2008 4:03:27 PM

Hi folks, I'm new to this forum; though I was an avid Tom's Hardware fan in the 90s, I haven't actually built a computer since the turn of the century, so I'm hoping you all can help me get back into the game for this fun project.

I want to build a small video archiving system that hooks into my "home theatre" for playing video and audio. H

ere are my priorities:

1. Video output: component video preferred; S-Video OK.

2. Audio output: At least 2-channel audio; Dolby surround or surround-like would be cool, but I probably will hook the system into a stereo reciever

3. Simple UI/remote control: I know there are some companies that produce computer remotes with LCD screens, but which are the best.

4. Video performance: this should be a no-brainer with today's video cards, but I obviously want to play DVD-quality MP4s, MOVs, and AVIs with no slowdown or frameskips

5. Storage: Obviously I want the biggest, quietest HD out there. Probably 2 physical drives if the case will allow it.

6. Network connection: Again, probably a no-brainer, but I want to make sure the network capabilities will support the fastest connection speeds, e.g. for HD video streaming that may be coming down the pipes in the future.

7. Media input: I don't necessarily need DVD, but other device readers like USB, SD cards, etc should be on the front of the box.

8. Low profile: the case itself needs to be as small as possible. Having seen some very small consumer PCs, (IBM springs to mind) I know I can build something small--but how small can I go without compromising the preceding priorities?

9. Cost: I'm guessing I won't spend more than 700 for this. Again, I have no recent exposure to hardware cost, so maybe I can build it for a lot less. My guess is the most expensive piece will actually be the remote control.

I know, that's a lot! And I can research each of these out independently, but I figured you guys can probably make some suggestions or recommendations to 1 or 2 of these to set me in the right direction.
May 23, 2008 1:38:57 AM
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