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HTPC advice for MOBO, full HDMI, Case, etc

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May 19, 2009 3:03:43 PM

Looking to build a medium budget HTPC.

My concerns ( wish list ) are:
1. A HDMI connection that carries full DTS audio and Video to a new TV.
2. Footprint has to be small like a Micro ATX
3. heat, heat, heat - as little as possible - unit will be on 24/7
4. processor - intel or amd and exactly which one
5. good looking case with a couple of usb connectors in front
6. small Wireless RF keyboard with trackball built in.
7. Windows - able to run both win vista and win7 when avail.
8. Blu-ray/DVD HD drive

Although I have a background in computers, it has been a long time since I have built one.
I am open to any ideas and suggestions to improve upon the system.

Basically I will be streaming video from Netflix, Hulu, and everywhere I can find it over a 1G lan ( hard wired ).
I currently have no Blu-ray disks.

Thanks for your help.


a b V Motherboard
May 20, 2009 1:48:10 AM

What exactly is your "medium" budget?
What about a TV tuner?
That motherboard you linked looks awesome... hard to find right now though. Pair it up with an AMD 5050e and you'll have a good starting point.

For a keyboard, here is the one I use: MK700 $30

Do you prefer cube cases or 'home theater' cases?

Related resources
a b V Motherboard
May 20, 2009 12:27:34 PM

I see a few problems here:

1: You need something to decode a DTS sound signal. Even if a soundcard says it can decode DTS, thats only for an incoming signal. If your connecting directly to a TV, DTS audio is not going to happen. (That being said, a HDMI connection allows for 5.1/7.1 sound to be transmitted as uncompressed PCM, so no big issue there).

2: You could go with an ATI GPU, which has its own audio processer, and using its supplied DVI-HDMI converter, can carry A/V as one signal. Alternativly, you can get the ASUS HDAV1.3 soundcard, the first to carry a HDMI In/Out. Those two options make the most sense for your A/V needs.
May 20, 2009 3:25:59 PM

Gamerk316 -- did you look at my link to the new motherboard?

Doesn't that mobo have everything I need without additional cards?

May 20, 2009 3:30:58 PM

I see that I have posted this info into the wrong forum area. I now have a pretty good idea of what I want and will make an attemp to post it under HTPC system builds......

Please go to that forum and look for me there to see detail on the system as of this date.

I would really appreciate your feedback, especially on cost reductions without sacrificing performance or quality.
July 18, 2009 12:50:38 AM

Wow, I was asking the same question at the same time.

Here is what I did:

HTPC CASE LIANLI|PC-C37B
MB ASUS | M4A78-EM AMD 780G/SB700
CPU AMD|A64 X2 5050E 2.6G AM2
MEM 2Gx2|GSK F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK
PSU CORSAIR|CMPSU-650TX 650W
BLU-RAY BURN LG| GGW-H20L
ADESSO WKB-3200UB Black 103 Normal Keys USB 2.4 GHz RF Wireless Multimedia/MCE Keyboard with Optical Trackball

$649.00 from NewEgg

Nice and quiet,
August 20, 2009 11:40:57 AM

1. most new m-atx boards have hdmi now.
3. make sure you choose a psu around 400w, CPUs that go at 65w.
4. amd is cheaper. but most intel boards support 7.1 LPCM. if that doesnt concern you much, a 785g w/ a 65w AM3 processor would be good for heat/power
6. if you can afford a dinovo mini (bluetooth-30ft) go get one. trackpad that doubles as cursors.
7. 785g and phenom II x4 is more that enough to run win7 with 4 winxp running virtually inside. same with new core i7's or most q9xxx with nvidia 9XXX boards.


also, regardless if you have giglan, netflix/hulu still depends on the speed of your ISP. if your isp is stuck at around 56 or 128 kbps.. you might not like it as much.

wired giglan switches/routers are great if you have the hd content already on your computer/network storage.

i.e. - streaming a movie in the harddrive of your htpc to your bedroom computer.. or from closet NAS to htpc in lounge.

blu-ray is a step up. don't take it unless you are willing to pay around $30-40 a movie.
!