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Bitstreaming HD Hardware Requirements

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September 9, 2010 12:04:09 AM

I subscribe to MLB.TV and my Eee PC 1000H is not up to the task even with my AT&T Elite DSL download speeds of up to 6 Mbps. It makes more sense for me to consider building a pc for these needs rather than purchase a pre-built system. Can anyone advise me regarding the CPU, MoBo, RAM, video card, etc? I have a true HD monitor and have no desire to go back to any form of television service.

I may want to convert some of my older VHS tapes to DVD's (not bluray; I preferred to buy an Oppo up-conversion player).

Other uses of my desktop are for school, computer languages and office applications for home needs.

Thanks,

Rick
a b B Homebuilt system
September 9, 2010 2:06:06 AM

What is your budget? .....or, just pick one of these.
September 9, 2010 12:27:52 PM

I did see these HT pc system build suggestions. If nothing else I can use them as a base for understanding the hardware and the benefits it provides. The $700 limit imposed by the original post seems quite affordable but, I would consider extending this value based on quality or performance. If I could accomplish a measurable improvement to any of these and keep the cost lower than $1k I would be happy.

Rick
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 9, 2010 9:39:49 PM

Additions or upgrades to the $700 limit are dependent on your needs. Do you want a huge library of videos? Are you storing family pictures that you cannot risk losing? Will the machine be in your living room and need to fit in with the decor, maybe with wireless mouse and keyboard? What is your monitor/TV situation - do you need to run multiple monitors?

There are a lot of things you can do with the extra $300. Don't forget the builds do not include a Windows OS, so if you don't have that already and don't want to go Linux, add another $100 to the total cost. BTW, Linux has some excellent choices for media programming - look up MythTV for starters.

Edited to remove reference to cable service - OP mentioned getting rid of it (and good riddance).
a b B Homebuilt system
September 9, 2010 9:45:16 PM

In general, for bitstreaming HD (video & audio), you need either:
a) ATI HD 5000 series (5670 and up is most frequently recommended)
or
b) Intel i3/i5 with H55 motherboard for integrated graphics.

An AMD build using integrated graphics can handle HD video, but (as I understand it) does not do full HD audio bitstreaming.
September 11, 2010 4:15:09 PM

eloric & coldsleep,

Thanks for the additional information. I've been off radar since my last post. All of this looks good and will help me do my research.

I cannot predict how this system will be used at this time. I'm planning to return to graduate school and video/audio are not hobbies or pastimes. It's just the current interest in enjoying the MLB.TV I currently subscribe to. The family photos, etc. are an interesting point but, my sister took that responsibility a few years ago so she has squatter's rights.

I am a definite Linux fan/user. My current desktop is a W2k/Fedora 10 dual boot machine. I will also take your suggestion for MythTV and see where this leads.

Yes, no satellite or cable tv service in our home. The wife and I dismissed this in 2003 and we love not having it. The tv is on only when we absolutely want it on.

Thanks again. I'll begin working up a spreadsheet to hold the notes I take.

Rick
!