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First Time HTPC Build

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December 10, 2009 12:47:21 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: End of Year BUDGET RANGE: around $500 - $1000 / After Rebates for base unit and software.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: DVR functions (time shifting), watching tv and movies, network file server/storage, no gaming.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: AV receiver, blue-ray player.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: open to platform, probably would prefer unit to sit on top of the TV.

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I was an early adopter of HDTV. I have an older (1999 era) HDTV without any HDMI ports. My HDTV has to be connected either via component RGBHV cables (YPbPr) at a 1080i resolution or a VGA (HD15) cable (which is harder to find on current hardware today). My HDTV does not have an ATSC tuner. I currently use a satellite TV box as my ATSC tuner. All of my video equipment is connected to my Denon AVR-2807 A/V receiver via component cables, although the receiver does have HDMI. I have yet to find a HDMI to 5 BNC component cable (video) plus 2 more for audio. Does this cable exist?

I just lost my job, so I am looking into the possiblity of building this HTPC and discontinue my satellite service. I receive a good number of OTA channels and I also have free basic cable as part of my internet cable service. All of my PC equipment in my home is 1GB LAN and/or Wireless-N.

I build my own desktops and repair my own laptops. So, doing this myself is not an issue. Should I build, or buy a name brand unit? Your suggestions for hardware and software?

More about : time htpc build

December 10, 2009 1:23:36 AM

One other question. Should I insist on SATA 6 and USB 3.0? I only know of one motherboard (ASUS) available at this time. I know it might be overkill now, as there are few devices that can use this speed at this time. But, you should see more devices in 2010. Eventually, my desktops will be replaced with SATA 6 and USB 3.0 and then they will be at the same speed.
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December 10, 2009 1:28:48 AM

fivestarplus said:
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: End of Year BUDGET RANGE: around $500 - $1000 / After Rebates for base unit and software.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: DVR functions (time shifting), watching tv and movies, network file server/storage, no gaming.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: AV receiver, blue-ray player.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: open to platform, probably would prefer unit to sit on top of the TV.

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I was an early adopter of HDTV. I have an older (1999 era) HDTV without any HDMI ports. My HDTV has to be connected either via component RGBHV cables (YPbPr) at a 1080i resolution or a VGA (HD15) cable (which is harder to find on current hardware today). My HDTV does not have an ATSC tuner. I currently use a satellite TV box as my ATSC tuner. All of my video equipment is connected to my Denon AVR-2807 A/V receiver via component cables, although the receiver does have HDMI. I have yet to find a HDMI to 5 BNC component cable (video) plus 2 more for audio. Does this cable exist?

I just lost my job, so I am looking into the possiblity of building this HTPC and discontinue my satellite service. I receive a good number of OTA channels and I also have free basic cable as part of my internet cable service. All of my PC equipment in my home is 1GB LAN and/or Wireless-N.

I build my own desktops and repair my own laptops. So, doing this myself is not an issue. Should I build, or buy a name brand unit? Your suggestions for hardware and software?


I know you intended to spend a lot of cash, but I thought it would be useful to see these things. :) 

I just wanted to show you these little Home theater setups. The advantage is that there simple, cheap, pre-loaded with software to navigate your media from the tv, and in general do everything a HTPC does for like 1/10 the cost, depending on how much you wanted to spend. Look in the external hdd section to find more, weirdly Newegg puts these hd setups in that section.

Argosy 1TB USB 2.0 / Ethernet / WiFi USB Dongle Multimedia TV HDD Media Player HV359T-00999 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$175

Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player WDAVN00BN - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$100 -Freeshipping

Recertified: Western Digital USB 2.0 HDMI Composite A/V Black TV HD Media Player WDAVN00BN -Good deal here, normally $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$75

Seagate FreeAgent Theater+ USB 2.0 / Ethernet HD Media Player Only STCEA201-RK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$140

SAMSUNG STORY Station 1TB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive HX-DU010EB - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$100

There are a couple of hd setups here too:
http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategor...
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December 10, 2009 1:43:52 AM

Thanks, I will take a look at these. Wasn't sure if these units were powerful enough. I am concerned with streaming HD content over LAN, which is why I mention the option to build my own or buy pre-built.
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December 10, 2009 3:16:09 AM

All of those fall a little short. No ATSC tuner to replace satellite service. Some are NTSC. LAN is 10/100MB speed (would prefer 1GB). Seems like they are just storage devices to hold your DVD and/or video files. Then, play those files on your TV. No DVR functions to record programs.
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December 11, 2009 7:27:00 PM

Is it possible to build a multipurpose HTPC? I want a DVR with an ATSC tuner combined with a LAN file server for files other than video. I realize the hard drive for the DVR might have to be a dedicated drive. Should I backup the HTPC like any other desktop and/or laptop?
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