New HTPC / PVR / DVR System - Processing Power vrs Heat.

I am looking to replace my DVR from Charter Cable with a home built PVR / DVR. I currently rent a HD DVR from Charter for 12 USD per month, because I could not give up the DVR capability when I dropped my cable service for the Standard service which includes the SD Analog channels (about 90) and about 30 Clear QAM Digital channels, including a few "free" HD channels (I don't have good access to an ATSC HD signal). Mostly I will be recording SD but would like to play Blueray and Record some of the few free HD Clear QAM signals I receive. Also will be doing some Hulu, Netflix, and maybe some boxee. Also will be streaming DVD's backed up to my central NAS. No gaming.

Doing my initial homework, I decided to base my new pc off of the recommended build found in this tread,

The "important" componenets will most likely be,

Antec HTPC Case w/350 watt PSU
Gigabyte 785G motherboard
Beyond TV4 DVR Software
DIAMOND ATI TV Wonder HD 650 Tuner

My question is the following,

Processor - Considering cramped spaces with lot's of heat, does it really make sense to drop a 95 Watt Quad-Core processor or would a 65 Watt Dual-core be more prudent? Wouldn't either be overkill to record HD in real time? Would I be insane for even mentioning that I wouldn't mind trying to get away with a 45 watt single core? Is it really necessary to have the processing power or is this mostly people who never tried it being more safe then sorry?

I am hoping to get some feed back from people who actually have done some of this and can confirm problems or no problems with single, dual or whatever core's and HDTV recording / playing (I am guessing for SD TV there is no problems since the card has a HW encoder).
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  1. Just a little side-note ... something that may really help some ...

    I have a DB2 HDTV/ATSC antenna ... I am pulling in stations from 100 miles away!

    "They" also make a DB4 and a DB8 (Sears and Wal-Mart have ! ) . . . No telling WHAT a DB8 can do !

    = Alvin =
  2. I am in the process of putting together a HTPC myself and went with the following:

    See this thread for the components:"e_only=0&new=0&nojs=0

    It came in at ~$800...note that I have 3 TB worth of storage...that took up $250 of that cost...I've got 270 ish DVD's that I'm putting on this as well as a few TV Series.

    One change from the parts I used is that you will need a blu-ray drive vs. DVD drive

    At the price range of CPU/MOBO for a HTPC, there are alot of possibilities.

    I've done a lot of reading and from what I gather, single core + HD (blu-ray or TV) = not the best performance. I've mostly seen 2.5 + Ghz Dual Core (or better) used for HD/Blu-ray

    I went with the i3-530 because of these reasons:
    - Dual core/Quad Thread
    - 73 watt
    - amount of positive reviews with HTPC use

    Check the AVS forums for more advice/info on HTPC's

    I decided to not go the AMD route because well, there really isn't a good reason, I'm just more familiar with Intel systems...and the price difference wasn't there. Like I said earlier, there are a lot of CPU/MOBO combinations at the $150 to $250 price range that would be good canidates for HTPC use.
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