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.
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.
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.
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
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.