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New media center PC

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February 9, 2010 5:15:45 PM

I have been looking at building or buying a media center pc. What I would like is a PC that does an average job at running my cable through it and also be able to stream netflix. I was thinking the cheapest way to go would be to buy a cheap emachine or other pc with about a 2.0 Ghz dual core processor. If i were to buy something like that for about 300 bucks and add a TV tuner card how would that work. Also, I have read a few things about people controlling their media center pc with a logitech remote. I have a harmony 610 and was wondering how the remote would communicate with the pc. Would i need to purchase some sort of thumb drive to allow them to communicate? Thanks for any help you guys can give me.

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a b B Homebuilt system
February 10, 2010 1:30:14 PM

The problem with a cheap OEM PC or *cough* Atom *cough* isn't the cpu processing power per se, but the GPU. You haven't said it, but I'm guessing it is HD? You'd be looking at choppy playback on a HDTV. Also, what OS would it be? Windows? Then a AMD 785G + HD 4200 onboard video will do just fine. If Linux, you want a discreet nivida gpu like GeForce GT 220.

For netflix, you don't need a TV tuner card. For cable, it's best to consult with your cable company about recording shows on computers. It may not be doable. i.e. encrypted cable signals.

Yep, the Harmony would work with a pc or any pc, but you need the driver software & the bundled USB infrared receiver. You'd plug the receiver in a pc, install & set up the driver.

$300 can buy the HTPC minus a tv tuner card:
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February 10, 2010 2:25:14 PM

Thanks for the reply. I think that actually seems like it would work really good. One question is I have a few friends that have built computers and would I need to purchase any additional wires to hook this up or would they be included in one of the components. Thanks
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 11, 2010 1:27:09 PM

What exactly you want to do with your friends' pcs? Are they in the same house/apt?

If all you want is to share your media files on your HTPC with them in the same location, you just plug every pc in the router/switch. That's it.
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