Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

HTPC Build - Low Profile with Cable Tuner

Last response: in Systems
Share
January 27, 2010 2:47:26 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This Week
BUDGET RANGE: whatever it costs but I am looking for good value for my $$ and don't need to spend for things I don't need. I am guessing it will cost around $1000

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Watching BlueRay movies in HD, watching TV, listening to music, surfing the net


Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 4550
Sound Card: ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 Slim
Case: LIAN LI Black Aluminum PC-C39
TV Tuner / Conax Card reader : TerraTec Cinergy C PCI& CI, HD-sup
Blue Ray: Lite-On Blu-Ray Reader IHOS104-37
Keyboard: Microsoft Remote ZV7-00009
OVERCLOCKING: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Optoma HD20 projecktor
RAM: I have 4GB from another computer I will use
PSU: unsure - whatever works.
HD: possibly one I already have. nothing too large as any media files will go on a server in the house. perhaps a 500gb drive I have kicking around.

So any thoughts on this gear or suggestions for things that might work better? I want to send the video via HDMI cable to a receiver which will then send it to the projector. I chose the video and sound cards for this purpose. I chose the cabinet because it has the same width as the receiver which is already in the living room.

I don't need to burn any blue ray discs, so I don't want to buy a burner.

thanks from a newb.
January 27, 2010 3:32:52 PM

A few of things:

1) The TV Tuner / Conax Card appears to be for European TV only. Are you in Europe?

2) The graphics card you've chosen already provides 7.1 Digital Surround Sound and you've stated that you'll route the signal from the PC to the Receiver to the Projector. Why are you including a sound card?

3) You do not list a motherboard/CPU. Pretty much any modern dual-core processor should cover your needs.

4) You're not going to need much in the way of a power supply, but this is something you should never go cheap on. I'd say a 400-500 watt PSU from Antec, PC Power and Cooling, Corsair, or FSP (Fortran Source) would be more than sufficient.

5) I have that keyboard and it serves me well, though I'm not too fond of the nipple mouse control. Also, it states that it requires an MCE IR Receiver (not included). I'm not sure that the IR Receiver on your selected case qualifies.

-Wolf sends
January 27, 2010 4:13:51 PM

What kind of RAM are you going to reuse? DDR2 vs DDR3 will affect our motherboard suggestions.

Related resources
January 27, 2010 4:24:08 PM

If you can wait a bit, the Radeon HD 5450 will be out and will eliminate the need for the Xonar soundcard. It's also a low profile card. The new HD5xxx series supports 7.1 bitstreaming over HDMI which I assume is why you've chosen the Xonar Slim card in the first place? Either way, the HD 5450 is going to be a better choice than HD 4550 for an HTPC.

Alternately, since you don't have a CPU/mobo specified and you want to do multimedia, consider the Core i3/i5/H55 chipset combination for low power and native 7.1 HDMI support. Then you don't need a discrete graphics card at all. You can use the IGP built into the Core i3/i5 chip.

What you can choose will depend on what RAM you have -- DDR2 or DDR3 and if you're set on using what you have or not.
January 27, 2010 8:23:56 PM

A pre-built HTPC from NinX Media PCs - www.ninx.com - should meet your needs nicely.
January 27, 2010 8:51:18 PM

Thanks for the responses everyone.

Wolfshadw said:
A few of things:

1) The TV Tuner / Conax Card appears to be for European TV only. Are you in Europe?


yes

Wolfshadw said:

2) The graphics card you've chosen already provides 7.1 Digital Surround Sound and you've stated that you'll route the signal from the PC to the Receiver to the Projector. Why are you including a sound card?

Oh, I thought I had to send the audio through audio card as well so...

Graphics card HDMI out -> Sound card HDMI in
Sound Card HDMI OUT -> Receiver If I can get 7.1 Digital surround with just the graphics card then I would be happy. but then why does the audio card have an HDMI in?

Wolfshadw said:

3) You do not list a motherboard/CPU. Pretty much any modern dual-core processor should cover your needs.


Yeah, I forgot that. I guess that is probably one of the biggest questions. I find there to be SO many motherboard choices with seemingly no difference between them. I have a Intel Q6600 quad core processor that I plan on using from another computer so i need a board with a 775 socket


Wolfshadw said:

4) You're not going to need much in the way of a power supply, but this is something you should never go cheap on. I'd say a 400-500 watt PSU from Antec, PC Power and Cooling, Corsair, or FSP (Fortran Source) would be more than sufficient.

thanks, I'll check those out, or see what I have laying around.


Wolfshadw said:

5) I have that keyboard and it serves me well, though I'm not too fond of the nipple mouse control. Also, it states that it requires an MCE IR Receiver (not included). I'm not sure that the IR Receiver on your selected case qualifies.
-Wolf sends


Oh really? Ok, I'll have to check out the IR situation.

The ram will be DDR2 (I assume) but I guess whatever is best.

Dougie Fresh said:
If you can wait a bit, the Radeon HD 5450 will be out and will eliminate the need for the Xonar soundcard. It's also a low profile card. The new HD5xxx series supports 7.1 bitstreaming over HDMI which I assume is why you've chosen the Xonar Slim card in the first place? Either way, the HD 5450 is going to be a better choice than HD 4550 for an HTPC.

Alternately, since you don't have a CPU/mobo specified and you want to do multimedia, consider the Core i3/i5/H55 chipset combination for low power and native 7.1 HDMI support. Then you don't need a discrete graphics card at all. You can use the IGP built into the Core i3/i5 chip.

What you can choose will depend on what RAM you have -- DDR2 or DDR3 and if you're set on using what you have or not.


so are you saying that with the Sapphire Radeon HD 4550 card I WOULD need a sound card?
January 27, 2010 9:35:56 PM

Or maybe this motherboard
Zotac_GF9300

and i can scrap both the video and sound card?

Basically I want to be sure I can send HD video with HD quality sound (Dolby TrueHD) through an HDMI wire.
January 28, 2010 1:20:40 AM

Quote:
why does the audio card have an HDMI in?


To be honest, I don't know. Possibly to get Dolby TrueHD or some other output that a graphics card can't produce to a specific receiver setting.

Quote:
I have a Intel Q6600 quad core processor that I plan on using from another computer so i need a board with a 775 socket


The Q6600 is more than enough to handle anything you intend to use this system for and since the HD Audio/Video are being handled by your graphics card, all you really need is a motherboard that has the following:

Micro-ATX form factor --> to fit in your selected case
Socket 775 --> to reuse your Q6600 CPU (Check for CPU Compatibility lists on each motherboard's web site).
If the RAM from your other computer is DDR2, then your new motherboard needs DDR2 slots as well.

Quote:
so are you saying that with the Sapphire Radeon HD 4550 card I WOULD need a sound card?


No. What he's saying is that if you can wait, the HD5450 will be a better choice than the HD4550. If you have either card, you do not need the sound card

-Wolf sends
January 28, 2010 1:52:00 AM

htpc_newb said:
Or maybe this motherboard
Zotac_GF9300

and i can scrap both the video and sound card?

Basically I want to be sure I can send HD video with HD quality sound (Dolby TrueHD) through an HDMI wire.


Now that I see you do want Dolby TrueHD, maybe you do need the sound card. The integrated chipsets on some motherboards with HDMI outputs can only produce certain audio signals to be picked up and decoded by your receiver. Early chipsets could only do 2.1 stereo. Later chipsets can only do 5.1. I don't know if any on-board chipset can do 7.1.

Concerning that motherboard:

1) It's a mini-ITX form factor which will not fit in your case.
2) It only has a single PCI-Ex16 expansion slot. Both your sound card and CInergy card are PCI (I think) and incompatible with the slot

-Wolf sends
!