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PC to TV

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June 2, 2008 1:01:56 AM

hello everyone, i decided to have a PC that will play movies in my coming 50 inches plasma TV. 60% of these High Def movies will be from the internet download, while 40% will be from Blue Ray discs. i would need a suggestion for the LEAST hardware that i should have for this project, the least so i could cut the cost down. any other suggestions are always welcome.

the main purpose of this PC is to play movies in a very very big screen. the 2nd is computing. so what will i need for this rig?

thanks a lot guys!!!

More about : question

a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2008 1:14:06 AM

Budget?
June 2, 2008 1:32:43 AM

budget would be the price of the least hardware we will need for this rig to run its purpose.
Related resources
June 2, 2008 2:06:47 AM

Well if your asking for the bare hardware and nothing else, then you can get by pretty cheap. But, remember that it is well worth it to spend a good part of the money on input devices to make the whole experiance more enjoyable. Here is a short quick list of the BARE minimum things you should buy.
GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-S2H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Athlon X2 4050e 2.1GHz 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM2 45W 65nm Dual-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar GP WD5000AACS 500GB 5400 to 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LITE-ON Black 12X DVD-ROM 32X CD-ROM SATA Blu-ray DVD-ROM Drive Model DH-4O1S-11 - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Aluminum Veris Fusion Black 430 Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case with IR receiver - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think thats about it. Of course there are many things missing, like input devices, OS, Bluray software (they dont play in media center) and speakers ext. But this is the BARE Hardware. Your pretty much asking for a HTPC you know that right?
June 2, 2008 2:35:40 AM

yes an HTPC. and i will need the bare hardware only. any suggestions as to which OS should i use?

thanks!!
June 2, 2008 2:47:02 AM

I would go with Windows XP Media Center. XP is pretty bug free compared to Vista, and supports more devices then Linux (i.e. sound cards).
June 2, 2008 2:47:30 AM

I second the 780G chipset recommendation for an HTPC. The case is way too expensive (but nice) for my tastes, but I guess if your into that kind of thing, go for it. I would probably just get a piece of wood and mount it in a cabinet or something if we're talking bare minimum here. :p 
June 2, 2008 2:48:59 AM

Some type of linux OS (yes it is very easy to connect to a windows network with most linux OSes too). With a little work they work great for HTPCs, although you'll need to check if they support blu-ray playback yet. I used both Fedora and Kubuntu for an HTPC with a Hi-def TV. Mythbuntu or Mythdora would probably be easier to start with since they come prepackaged with the right repositories. Also, you'll want both a wireless keyboard and mouse (might want blue tooth mouse).

June 2, 2008 2:59:22 AM

monst0r said:
I second the 780G chipset recommendation for an HTPC. The case is way too expensive (but nice) for my tastes, but I guess if your into that kind of thing, go for it. I would probably just get a piece of wood and mount it in a cabinet or something if we're talking bare minimum here. :p 


thanks for the input.. are there any other case that would really fit this superb motherboard in? i don't care the looks, as long as it will work,the power supply that it has will be sufficient enough and thats it. hey, we could make cool designs on the case later:) 
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2008 3:33:37 AM

780G motherboards are mostly micro-ATX in size so any case that fits micro-ATX or larger motherboards should work.
Samples of case types
It would help if you could at least pin down the style, color and price range acceptable to you.

Don't forget to think about the option of PVR - personal video recorder as in TIVO to record your favorite programs off the TV for watching later.
June 2, 2008 7:37:45 AM

^ I think she decided to the Gigabtye 780G one... which is matx.

Here's a tip, have a separate PC for computing tasks. Its too hard to work on a 40" not to mention a 50". Anyways I find dual monitors with differences like that to be quite annoying eg. opening a program to find its on the other screen and etc.

For an OS try Mythbuntu... if it works, it works... XP Media Centre Edition is hard to find these days... or go with Home Premium. Vista's ripened to the stage where I'll give it as an option...
a b x TV
June 2, 2008 8:47:11 AM

Here's my HTPC that I recently built:

==========================
CPU: Intel C2D E6600 (from my old PC)

Mobo: MSI 975X Platinum v.2 (from my old PC)

RAM: 4GB Corsair DDR2 675 RAM (from my old PC)

DVD Drive: I don't remember, I think it's an NEC DVD burner (from my old PC)

Sound Card: Soundblaster Audigy 2 (from my old PC)

Power Supply: Seasonic S12 500w (1st generation) PSU (from old PC)

Video Card: ECS N9600GT-512MX-P GeForce 9600 GT 512MB - Silent video card and marginally powerful enough to play some games on this thing if I decide to do so.

CPU Heatsink: Tuniq Tower

Hard Drive #1 (for OS): Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250310AS 250GB 7200 RPM - Very quiet slim hard drive.

Hard Drive #2 (mass storage #1) : Western Digital Caviar RE2 GP WD1000FYPS 1TB 16MB Cache - Enterprise class 1TB hard drive

Hard Drive #3 (mass storage #2) : Western Digital Caviar RE2 GP WD1000FYPS 1TB 16MB Cache - Enterprise class 1TB hard drive

Hard Drive #4 ("Thrash Drive"): An old 160GB IDE hard drive. This is a "Thrash Drive" 'cause all video capturing data will be written to this drive. Also, my DVD collection will be ripped to this drive to be converted over to DivX or H.264 codec. Since a mass amount of raw data is written to this drive, I expect this drive to die first. Of course all converted videos will be stored in one of the mass storage drive.

Keyboard / Mouse combo: Gyration Mini Keyboard and "Air" Mouse - Laptop like keyboard with only 88 keys (no number keypad), long range (I used it up to 20 feet away, rated for 30 feet). Mouse is great for typical usage (on a table) or in mid air.

Additional Case Fan: Scythe 92mm PWM fan #DFS922512M - Used to cool the hard drives.

HTPC Case: SILVERSTONE Black Aluminum Crown Series CW02B-MXR ATX Media Center

OS: Windows XP Pro

==============================

A NAS is in the works to backup the Mass Storage drives.

==============================

EDIT:


A capture card will be installed once I decide to buy my HDTV.
June 2, 2008 9:39:54 AM

I just built one using an Asus P5E-VM HDMI plus an Intel E7200.

Two main reasons I went this route over the AMD path:

1. Intel is the only board (currently) that will output 7.1 PCM over the HDMI - with the AMD you are limited to the older Dolby Digital (AC3) or DTS as the audio connection to the HDMI on the board is SPDIF and so is limited to ~ 1.5Mbps. This stops all transmission of HD audio to the amp.

2. The E7200 will decode any HD stream (including high rate H264) in software whereas the AMD CPU will struggle on high bitrate Blurays. I know that the AMD can decode and H264/VC1 in the chipset, but only if the s/w supports it ... Linux does not and most media player software packages (such as Team Media Portal) won't either ... the 7200 plus CoreAVC is killer.
June 2, 2008 6:40:57 PM

am i correct to say that in building a HTPC, the processing power is the key to a smooth, flawless viewing of any HD content/format?
June 2, 2008 6:54:10 PM

sherpagirl said:
hello everyone, i decided to have a PC that will play movies in my coming 50 inches plasma TV. 60% of these High Def movies ...


Do you mean 1080p? I'm trying to also determine the minimum requirements for solid playback, and am getting conflicting answers.
June 2, 2008 7:14:04 PM

yes the 1080p. thanks!
June 2, 2008 7:40:47 PM

gagaga said:
I just built one using an Asus P5E-VM HDMI plus an Intel E7200.

Two main reasons I went this route over the AMD path:

1. Intel is the only board (currently) that will output 7.1 PCM over the HDMI - with the AMD you are limited to the older Dolby Digital (AC3) or DTS as the audio connection to the HDMI on the board is SPDIF and so is limited to ~ 1.5Mbps. This stops all transmission of HD audio to the amp.

2. The E7200 will decode any HD stream (including high rate H264) in software whereas the AMD CPU will struggle on high bitrate Blurays. I know that the AMD can decode and H264/VC1 in the chipset, but only if the s/w supports it ... Linux does not and most media player software packages (such as Team Media Portal) won't either ... the 7200 plus CoreAVC is killer.


Sherpagirl - I think the above post is VERY helpful! So the Asus P5E-VM HDMI with onboard video/built in HDMI will do the job with an Intel E7200 ( 2.53GHz and about $131). I'd spend a bit more and get an Intel E8400 for about $195 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - I think a good deal - it is overkill it but may allow you to squeeze more life out of the system.

a b B Homebuilt system
June 2, 2008 8:33:12 PM

A 780G + a 65W Phenom is also an option.
June 2, 2008 10:03:44 PM

SuicideSilence said:
Well if your asking for the bare hardware and nothing else, then you can get by pretty cheap. But, remember that it is well worth it to spend a good part of the money on input devices to make the whole experiance more enjoyable. Here is a short quick list of the BARE minimum things you should buy.
GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-S2H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Athlon X2 4050e 2.1GHz 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM2 45W 65nm Dual-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar GP WD5000AACS 500GB 5400 to 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LITE-ON Black 12X DVD-ROM 32X CD-ROM SATA Blu-ray DVD-ROM Drive Model DH-4O1S-11 - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Aluminum Veris Fusion Black 430 Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case with IR receiver - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think thats about it. Of course there are many things missing, like input devices, OS, Bluray software (they dont play in media center) and speakers ext. But this is the BARE Hardware. Your pretty much asking for a HTPC you know that right?



has anybody seen/tried this configuration on the 1080p resolution without any problem?
June 2, 2008 10:05:23 PM

superfuzzy said:
Sherpagirl - I think the above post is VERY helpful! So the Asus P5E-VM HDMI with onboard video/built in HDMI will do the job with an Intel E7200 ( 2.53GHz and about $131). I'd spend a bit more and get an Intel E8400 for about $195 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - I think a good deal - it is overkill it but may allow you to squeeze more life out of the system.



thanks for the suggestion, superfuzzy, but going the intel + Asus route will hurt my budget. :ange: 
June 3, 2008 2:26:43 PM

thanks very much everyone for the input. :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
June 3, 2008 7:04:38 PM

^So what are the final specs?
June 4, 2008 12:52:29 AM

i will go the 780G + AMD route. also, will the speed of the hard drive matter in the HTPC machine?
a b B Homebuilt system
June 4, 2008 1:16:45 AM

^Not really. But a 7200.11 HDD is almost as fast as a Raptor.
June 4, 2008 1:57:10 AM

ok noted. thanks guys. any other suggestions with the configuration before i hit the store?
a b B Homebuilt system
June 4, 2008 11:12:19 AM

^You also might want a couple of Scythe S-Flex 120mm to improve air flow in the case.
June 4, 2008 11:53:17 AM

May want to consider buying a Radeon 3450/3650 and Hybriding it with the 780 G (in vista of course) to increase the performance of the machine.
June 4, 2008 12:10:37 PM

^ not the 3650 tho... its incompatible...
June 4, 2008 3:22:31 PM

smalltime0 said:
May want to consider buying a Radeon 3450/3650 and Hybriding it with the 780 G (in vista of course) to increase the performance of the machine.


any particular VGA brand of the Radeon 3450 should i get? or it really wont matter?
a b B Homebuilt system
June 4, 2008 7:54:26 PM

^400W is enough, BUT the quality of the PSUs that come with the case are usually cr@p. I recommend you get a Corsair or PP&C, but if that's out of budget look at Antec and Thermaltake.
June 4, 2008 9:30:13 PM

Shadow703793 said:
^400W is enough, BUT the quality of the PSUs that come with the case are usually cr@p...


True, but I've heard that Ultra are not bad, and I've used one for 4+ years with no problems.

The specs are at: http://www.ultraproducts.com/product_details.php?cPath=...

V-Series 400-Watt ATX Power Supply
This new V series power supply offers more connectivity choices than the typical power supply, with options for 20/24 pin motherboards, SATA and PCI Express connections. This durable, high-performance power supply features a low-noise 120mm cooling fan. It supports AMD and Intel motherboards and includes short circuit protection, in-rush current protection and thermal overload cutoff protection.

Features

* Supports AMD and Intel Motherboards
* Low Acoustic Noise
* Meets ATX Version 2.03 and
ATX 12V Version 1.2 Specifications
* Short Circuit Protection
* In-Rush Current Protection
* Thermal Overload Cutoff Protection
* MTBF > 100,000 Hours at Full Load,
110VAC and 25°C Ambient Condition
* FCC and UL Recognized

Connections:
1 - 20/24 Pin Motherboard Connector
1 - 4 Pin +12V Motherboard Connectors
8 - 4 Pin Molex Connectors
2 - 4 Pin Floppy Power Connectors
1 - PCI Express Connector
2 - SATA Connectors

June 4, 2008 11:31:36 PM

Stay clear away from ULTRA V-Series, Not only is it from ULTRA, but it's the "V-Series". In case you didnt know, V stands for Value. So, basically its a cheap PSU made from a Cheap PSU Company in the first place.

Too answer your question on which 3450 to get, if you choose to get one, i would recommend something fan less too keep things nice and quite. I like these,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
June 5, 2008 1:38:53 AM

SuicideSilence said:

Too answer your question on which 3450 to get, if you choose to get one, i would recommend something fan less too keep things nice and quite. I like these,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I have only seen one model of 3450 with a fan...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The visiontek one for $10 more appears to have a copper heatsink...
Not sure on their rep though... The only stuff I know about them comes from a decade ago, when they sold IBM chips (fake ones at that).
June 5, 2008 2:52:10 AM

smalltime0 said:
I have only seen one model of 3450 with a fan...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The visiontek one for $10 more appears to have a copper heatsink...
Not sure on their rep though... The only stuff I know about them comes from a decade ago, when they sold IBM chips (fake ones at that).


look at those heatsinks. looks like radiators plastered on their faces.... :D 
June 5, 2008 11:27:20 PM

sherpagirl said:
look at those heatsinks. looks like radiators plastered on their faces.... :D 

But those radiators will keep it uber cool...
Quote:
am i correct to say that in building a HTPC, the processing power is the key to a smooth, flawless viewing of any HD content/format?

Yes/no. Whilst you need processing power to decode HD content, the processing power from a CPU alone if rarely enough (watch some Intel fan post their CPU which claims to do it). The chipset AMD has (780G) is capable of rendering HD with a mid-ranged processor. For DVD (or SD) render any modern CPU should be up to the job.
a b B Homebuilt system
June 5, 2008 11:45:35 PM

Imo, the AMD 780G is the best integrated graphics chipset. The Intel integrated graphics are cr@p. At least when it comes to the HTPC market AMD is a good option.

HTPC/ or smiler: AMD
OCing/raw performance: Intel (C2D)
Best $ for performance (GPU) :nVidia (8800GT) [Not counting the new 4000 series)
Laptops (performance): Intel (C2D)
August 29, 2008 3:43:32 AM

hello everyone am back from hibernation :)  well for the update, i got the Sony Bravia 46" LCD tv. and the final specs for my HTPC are the following:

hec Black 0.7mm Thickness SECC Steel 7KJ9 Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-S2H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

WINTEC AMPX 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar GP WD5000AACS 500GB 5400 to 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Brisbane 2.6GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i put Vista Ultimate for the OS and play the movies with VLC. i got a logitech wireless keyboard for control.

i have one problem though.. playing last samurai in 1080p res doesn't go as smooth as it should be. i noticed the video freezes over the scenes where there are reflective video/image (reflection of water, bright sun, etc). did i miss anything here?

also, after sometime in using the HTPC, it just turns off by itself. then i have to push the power button again.

please help. really need some inputs here. am lost.. :( 
!