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Living Room Media Center

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  • New Build
  • Media Center
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
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June 25, 2008 9:26:30 PM

Hello everyone!

My name is Romano and I come from a small country called Slovenia. I just have a few questions for you guys, because this is my first Media Center. Let me tell you why.. well I just got LG Scarlet 37LG6000 and I must say that I was very excited. I connected my laptop to it, but the resolution was low (1024x768), so that's why I connected my gaming PC and went to play GRID on FullHD (1920x1080) and it was... outstanding.. amazing.. I was speechless (even with my 2900XT). I will watch many HD videos (720 and 1080).. so I'll need a good machine. Anyhow I'll order components one by one. And they are:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ (50€)
--http://www.peluga.at/main.php?action=78&ARANUMMER=15274

Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H (70€)
--http://www.peluga.at/main.php?action=78&ARANUMMER=16645

Patriot 2GB DDR2 RAM, PC2-6400 (33€)
--http://www.solo.si/racunalnitvo-10087/racunalniske-komp...

Samsung SpinPoint F1 750GB 32MB SATA II (77€)
--http://www.peluga.at/main.php?action=78&ARANUMMER=16194

Linkworld 648-01U/A-C.2228+LPK2-23 (30€)
--http://www.peluga.at/main.php?action=78&ARANUMMER=16551

LG Electronics GH20NS SATA (24€)
--http://www.peluga.at/main.php?action=78&ARANUMMER=16443

Alltogeather that's about 285€.. quite cheap. But I also have a few questions about that.

Will the ingergrated radeon HD 3200 run that comp at 1920x1080 resolution?
Should I buy a TV-card?
Should I buy a Blu-Ray player?

What do you think.. is it good for a ultra-cheap Media Center? I'll use Vista Ultimate's Media Center. And.. what do i need to control it with my remote? Do I need to buy, if so, which?

Thank you for your replies, i'm looking forward to it (sorry for my english, i'm 14 :D  )

More about : living room media center

June 25, 2008 9:42:06 PM

Parts list looks decent.
Id bump to a 1 TB HD though. Youll need the storage.

"Will the ingergrated radeon HD 3200 run that comp at 1920x1080 resolution? "
Yes - however if you want to game, youll need a dedicated video card.

"Should I buy a TV-card?"
Does the TV have a tuner in it? If it doesnt, Id buy one. Or if you plan on recording TV ala a Tivo, youll need one.

"Should I buy a Blu-Ray player? "
Yes if you want to watch Blu Ray disks.

As far as a remote goes, you should be able to find something you like as well as the receiver for it. Or you may want to buy a case that has a remote.
June 25, 2008 9:44:39 PM

Well you chose a good board. The HD3200 IGP is the best IGP out right now, aside from it's successor the HD3300 that's on the new 780GX boards. It'll run all your movies in glorious 1080P and laugh at you for giving it such an easy task. For media center, your CPU should be fine and the RAM should be sufficient. You only need a TV card if you want to watch cable or whatever TV service through your computer. But you might as well just plug the cable box, or whatever you get over there, directly into the LG TV as it has 4 HDMI and a component+audio, and an additional optical audio out. Your 780G board will have an onboard HDMI port that'll plug right into your TV as well. You'll need a Blu-Ray player if you want to watch Blu-Ray movies and don't already have a standalone Blu-Ray player or PS3. As far as the remote, I'm not sure about that. And no worries man, your english is as good most people's here in the US lol..

EDIT: According to the specs I looked up on your TV, it has a built-in analog PAL/SECAM tuner. And it has something else called Digital FreeView, whatever that might be. It also has a PC input that is VGA, and has a composite, component, and 4 HDMI inputs. Like Kaldor said, and I forgot to mention, it will run your Blu-Ray movies with ease, and it will play less demanding games without all the fireworks and extras, and may have to be less of a resolution than 1080P. If you want to play games on it, higher than like WOW, you will need a video card.
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June 25, 2008 9:53:33 PM

Wow.. thank you for such a fast response. And answers. However, I don't have the money to buy me extra 250Gigs.. I'll just wait till I fill it up, then I'll buy another one. I won't play games on it, although I'd want to.

What about if I change the procesor for a cheaper one (Athlon X2 3600+)? Will the performance suffer?

For the TV card.. recommend me one, I'd want to record stuff. I really don't know what to choose (max 100$). Blu-Ray players are quite expensive now, eh? The case supports 2 external 5.25", so I'll just wait for prices to lower.

As for the remote, I still have no idea what to buy. Never had or ever seen one like that.

Thanks again for answers.
June 25, 2008 10:43:50 PM

Sorry, but my Deutsch is a little rusty, so I may be missing something. I might recommend this TV Tuner which comes with a remote control.

-Wolf sends
June 25, 2008 11:55:56 PM

I would not go for the cheaper CPU since the integrated graphics card uses considerable cpu proccesing power.
About the blu-ray, forget about it its too expensive considering your budget, just download the movies via torrent, the ones that say 1080p and should be arround 8-9 GB (let's hope you have enough bandwith).
About the remote control, I bought a Streamzap about 3 years ago and I'm happy with it, but I don't have vista nor use its media center so I don't know how will it perform. I think I saw a remote control specially design for Vista Media Center, but don't remember much.
June 26, 2008 5:53:23 AM

Okay, I'll take the 4200+.. should I go further? I don't worry about those HD movies, I'm a member at HDBits.org :D  So that's why I'll need a huge HDD.

Another question here: how loud will this machine be? Because it'll be in the living room, when sometimes (or quite often) someone sleeps in. The only thing that will cause noise would be CPU (or also HDD?), so what do you recommend to do about it?

And I found a nice remote: http://www.ricavisionplix.com/product_p/msrmrc.htm. What do you think about it? Sounds promising.

Wolfshadw - you can recommend me any TV tuner, I won't buy everything in that shop ;)  (it just that it's the closest and cheapest around). A question about that remote WITH TV tuner - will it operate like a keyboard on Media Center or only on their programs?
June 26, 2008 4:50:23 PM

Everything that has a fan makes noise so you'll have to worry about case, HS, and PSU. Also the HD makes some noise, but I heard the F1 are good in that area. Sadly I don't have any of your suggested components, so I can't tell you how they perform. I can only tell you that a good case makes you forget about HD noise an reduces any other.
Remote controls bundled with the tv tuner usually control only their own programs, I can't tell you about the one you like though. There's a program that lets you use it for whatever you like (GIRDER), but it should cost as much as the remote you like
June 26, 2008 5:16:45 PM

I have a HTPC with an identical setup

AMD X2 4200
Gigabyte uATX 780 mobo
1TB WDC Greenpower HDD
3GB 800MHz DDR2 ram
LG Blu-Ray writer
twin tuner PCIe card
2x Twin Tuner USB Hauppauge sticks (Yes, thats 6 tuners in all)

I have no problems playing Blu-Ray and HDDVD disc at full HD resolution (1920x1080) at upto 60Hz (usually run at 24Hz for the blu-ray discs).

What I have learnt is that you need the biggest heatsink you can fit inside your case. Not for the cooling aspect but because it will cool the CPU with the slowest fan possible where a smaller heatsink will need a faster fan for the same cooling. You also need a case with very good airflow in the case but with slow fans.

I have also been using RMClock to lower the voltage that my CPU runs on when idle and at full load. I have managed to reduce the idle voltage from 1.1v down to 0.8v and the system is still stable but there is a marked drop in temps. I have also done the same with full load voltages with the same marked temp drops.
June 26, 2008 9:03:46 PM

Okay. So I guess that I'll just need a good CPU cooler, right?. With a huge fan. But it cannot be more that 120mm, becuse the case is only 140mm wide/high.

And I'll try to lower voltages to stable running when I'll have it at home. Just another question. What's the fastest way to transfer 10GB+ files from another computer without USB connection. Wi-Fi, USB stick, pocket disc?
June 29, 2008 2:36:41 AM

maybe LAN.
June 29, 2008 4:36:29 PM

I cant mess with cables. Maybe Wireless LAN?
June 29, 2008 6:27:59 PM

romanowskiy said:
I cant mess with cables. Maybe Wireless LAN?
.
Yes, if you have a wireless switch/router.
June 29, 2008 9:05:56 PM

Well. I just have to ask, how to join all my computers into a network? Any advice?
June 30, 2008 5:43:08 PM

there are two ways I can think of right now (if you have a switch):
1) Create a workgroup on windows and share folders. I haven't done it, so you may ask on the windows forum.
2) if they are specific files you can just pack them on a zip or rar file and transfer them via messenger. It wont use your internet bandwidth but the switch's.
I believe there's another way if you have a router, but don't remember. Anyway, I usually go for 2, but that doesn't mean that's the best way.
!