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HTPC

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October 28, 2010 2:41:42 PM

Hey guys I have been doing some research and I really think that based off what my wife and I watch on television, and the resources that are out there on the net, that we really dont need cable or satellite services, but before I build an htpc I have a few questions:
1) I dont know a whole lot about networking, but I am sure there is a way to wirelessly link my PC to my htpc so I could store date on a larger HDD in my computer, is this a hard process?
2) What OS do most people use, I dont really see the point of paying for Windows 7, if I can put a easy to use (and look at) free OS.
3) If I buy a Motherboard: ASUS M4A88T-I will the video card inside be good enough to handle high definition video. I am not sure how video cards relate to video, all I have worry about on my PC is gaming power, so I have always had more than enough for video.
4) and last of all, can anyone reccomend a good keyboard controller for use with the new system, based on previous experience preferably.

Thank you in advance,
Sammy

More about : htpc

October 28, 2010 3:55:27 PM

1) There are a myriad of ways to have the HTPC see anything you want to share from your PC where the data is stored depending on your OS.

2) Windows 7 Home Premium comes with Windows 7 Media Center. In my experience, W7MC has the highest Wife Acceptance Factor. However, you get what you get with W7MC as far as flexibility, add-ins, etc.

3) Yes, it's an HTPC board. Look at the overview here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4) This is the one I have at home. It's been trial-and-error and this is the best I've found.

IOGEAR GKM561R Black 2.4GHz Wireless HTPC Multimedia Keyboard with Laser Trackball and Scroll Wheel
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You might be interested in these as well:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=26
http://thegreenbutton.com/
http://forum.xbmc.org/
October 28, 2010 4:12:26 PM

Wife acceptance factor: WAF
I will probally be using this in the furture :) 
Thanks for all the info!
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October 28, 2010 4:19:20 PM

I just read that you can put in another radeon card and run it in crossfire, how is that possible?
October 28, 2010 5:20:55 PM

^You're talking about Hybrid crossfire. Don't bother with it. You can only do it with really low end cards and it doesn't help much as far as gaming prowess goes.

+1 to just paying the $100 for Windows 7 Home Premium. Excellent media center.

Dougie is spot on for us married guys- WAF is very important.
October 28, 2010 5:56:38 PM

In my house, XBMC unfortunately had a very negative WAF. I tried. The geek in me really liked all the skins, flexibility, etc. W7MC has enough WAF that I've convinced her to dump our CableCo DVR boxes and use W7MC and an extender for watching/recording TV (we pretty much just watch the networks).

WAF is everything :D 

When you do out your build, if you go through Newegg, you can usually find a $10-$20 off combo with Windows 7 Home Premium x64 to bring the price down to $89 or $79. It's worth it, especially if you plan to record in-the-clear TV. And, if you're kitting out more than one PC there's the Family Pack for $129.99 that brings it down to $43/license.
October 28, 2010 6:32:37 PM

can you use a satellite or cable service through the media center?
October 29, 2010 2:32:34 AM

There are a few options for getting satellite/cable on the media center. One option, if your STB (Set Top Box) has component video output is the Hauppage HD-PVR: http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hdpvr.html

Also, for cable, you can buy a Cablecard tuner. These are hard to find right now and very expensive: http://www.cetoncorp.com/products.php

Most tuner cards you see available are for broadcasts in the clear like over-the-air or Clear QAM which these days for cable customers mean just the networks. This is the one I've gone with - "limited basic cable" so just the unencrypted channels recorded with a tuner card.

It's not easy but it's doable.
!