Im turning my old Dell Dimension into a media center for my dorm room. I want to be able to input tv from the antenna at my house and from the wall at my dorm. I need to be able to play back HD movies from my hard drive to my tv, via HDMI or VGA (haven't decided yet) My TV is 720P so the card needs to be able to output to that at the minimum. I would like to record tv onto my computer. (is that legal? I know recording on VHS is)
Current Ideas: I'm thinking about putting in a PCI SATA controller so I can put in my 320GB HDD, but I don't know if the PSU can handle a SATA drive, I have the adapter for 2 molex to sata. For the video card I was thinking of putting in a 8400GS because they are cheap and seem to be good PCI cards.
My concerns: Will the CPU bottle neck the GPU so much it cant playback HD. What kind of TV tuner / GPU do you recommend. Is 1gb RAM enough, my DIMM slots are full so im kinda stuck at 1gb.
You are going to find that the CPU will affect your HD but you can get around this by adjusting settings. As for TV Tuner i suggest looking at hauppauge and stick with the 8400GS. Up the ram to atleast 2gb for media center win7, you may want 4gb.