HTPC Build


I'm expecting to move out of my house here in April and I'm starting to price out some nifty ideas for the new house. One of the things that I'm looking to do is purchase and set up the home theater experience, complete with a surround sound system and a HTPC that would be compatible. I've built several regular tower PCs before, but this would be my first HTPC. I've heard of several of a HTPC's capabilities but I'm not familiar with all of them, and not sure if it could be used or integrate with a DirecTV receiver or system or if they are completely separate.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: April 2010 BUDGET RANGE: Around 1,000 (Flexible either way +/- 500)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Blue Ray Player, Internet Videos / Streaming, DVR, whatever else it's capable of. Has to be compatible with a surround sound system. (Most likely 5.1)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: monitor, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I'm a big fan of, but I'm open to anywhere


MONITOR RESOLUTION: LCD TV / Surround Sound Receiver

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would like it to be quiet, run blue ray movies with great sound / video quality, and of course be friendly to a surround sound setup. TV tuner would be nice if it's in the budget, although not completely necessary. It would be cool to have it able to show media from the internet like Youtube, or the's game center broadcast.

Question: Is a stand alone sound card required to connect to a surround sound receiver? Would it significantly increase sound quality over an integrated motherboard sound setup?

Thanks in advance for taking a look!
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  2. Best answer
    Found this combo out on Newegg as well. We're I in the market, I'd definitely consider it:

    Newegg HTPC Combo

    Add in Windows 7 Home Premium and a CPU Heatsink/Fan and you're only around $650. Add in a Ceton Tuner Card, which should be available by the time you're ready to build and that puts you just over $1K.

    The motherboard in this combo provides you with HDMI out and an HD4200 integrated graphics chipset, so no need for a discrete graphics card. The motherboard also has an Optical S/PDIF audio output for connecting to a surround sound receiver.

    My only real concern with this setup would be finding a CPU HSF that's going to work inside that case.

    -Wolf sends
  3. Maybe this ??? I filed it away ... gets good press.

    E:\Intel LGA 1366\CoolJag Falcon II Low Profile Core i7-Core 2 CPU Cooler Review ThinkComputers_org.htm
  4. OOOPS That was my local drive archive path ....

    ... This?
  5. Nice cooler, but not AM3 compliant.

    -Wolf sends
  6. I would recommend getting Wolfshadw's build but as parts so you can take a ddr3 ram and mb
  7. Wow. Thank you guys very much for the input! I'm looking over the suggestions now to see what might work for me. I'm interested in that Muilti-Stream Tuner Card, I'm going to see if I can't find out if DirecTV supports that. Always open to more suggestions, but awesome thus far!
  8. Best answer selected by Malpraktis.
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