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Refitting old PC to function as HTPC?

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February 11, 2010 3:53:00 PM

I have an older system that I would like to modify to function as HTPC. Here is what I already have:

- Athlon64 3000+ 1.8ghz
- 2x1gb DDR2
- ATX motherboard
- nVidia GF 7600GT
- HDD, DVD

I think I will add a TV tuner card and a sound card with optical output so I can connect it to my home theater sound system. Then I will need to replace the noisy old PSU with a quiet one, perhaps a Corsair 400W. The old case is way too big and must be replaced with a HTPC case that looks good under the TV stand.

Can anyone suggest a HTPC case that takes ATX motherboard?
What TV tuner is good? If I want the HTPC to function like a DVR/TiVo, what equipment do I need besides the TV Tuner?
Is this system powerful enough to play Blu-ray movies?

February 11, 2010 4:14:43 PM

yiplong said:
I have an older system that I would like to modify to function as HTPC. Here is what I already have:

- Athlon64 3000+ 1.8ghz
- 2x1gb DDR2
- ATX motherboard
- nVidia GF 7600GT
- HDD, DVD

I think I will add a TV tuner card and a sound card with optical output so I can connect it to my home theater sound system. Then I will need to replace the noisy old PSU with a quiet one, perhaps a Corsair 400W. The old case is way too big and must be replaced with a HTPC case that looks good under the TV stand.

Can anyone suggest a HTPC case that takes ATX motherboard?
What TV tuner is good? If I want the HTPC to function like a DVR/TiVo, what equipment do I need besides the TV Tuner?
Is this system powerful enough to play Blu-ray movies?

I'd recommend atleast to get more memory.
what's the mb's specs? that gpu won't play blueray, all in all, it is doable
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 11, 2010 4:43:04 PM

I suggest you ditch the 7600GT for a newer HD5670. That will get you OK for blu-ray.

The tuner you need will depend on how you plan to hook things up. Are you just going to pull TV from an antenna or do you have cable? Do you have premium channels?
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February 11, 2010 7:09:34 PM

rwpritchett said:
I suggest you ditch the 7600GT for a newer HD5670. That will get you OK for blu-ray.

The tuner you need will depend on how you plan to hook things up. Are you just going to pull TV from an antenna or do you have cable? Do you have premium channels?


I have a cable box from Verizon FiOS, I only watch HD channel, but I don't have premium channels like HBO or Starz.

I don't think the 7600GT will have a problem playing back BD movies. A friend has 7600GS coupled with Athlon II for BD and it works fine. The main problem with this card is the heat it will generate.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 11, 2010 8:11:13 PM

Not all Geforce 7xxx series video cards were HDCP compliant (I had a 7600GT that wasn't). Plus, they can't offload h264 decoding away from the CPU.

If a CPU has enough horsepower, then it can handle the decoding. To be honest, I don't think your 1.8GHz A64 is fast enough. I'd be more worried about HDCP so double-check to make sure your 7600GT is compliant. If it's not, AnyDVD HD or an analog connection can get around HDCP, but again... I don't think your CPU can decode BD.

Since you are using a cable box, you may need to explore the upcoming Ceton CableCards that are due out soon or look into an IR blaster setup and a tuner card that can take an input from our cable box.

BTW, here is a link to the Cyberlink Blu-Ray advisor tool.
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