Need Advice on Media Server

Hello all,

I am looking to create a media server that will be used to stream audio/video and record live TV. I was initially going to go with a NAS, but this was nixed due to not being able to record live TV. Then I was going to build a server using some old PC parts, but my wife severely balked at the idea of having that big machine sitting in the room making a bunch of noise.

So my new plan is as follows... I'd like to get a mini PC and connect an external HDD enclosure with built in hardware raid along with a USB TV tuner stick. The HDDs would be connected via eSATA and the mini PC would NOT be used for anything other than to stream content (no office or personal use). Can anyone give me any feedback on the following setup?

Jetway HBJC231C63P-330D-B with NVIDIA ION (
250 GB internal SATA HDD
1GB of RAM

External Enclosure
ICY DOCK MB662US-2S with built in RAID (

Hard Drives
Two 2TB Samsungs (

HDTV Tuner
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-850 HDTV Adapter (

Will this setup work for what I am trying to accomplish? I've never tried this before and cost is a concern, so I don't want to spend too much. Thanks for all replies!
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  1. I'm not sure if the system you selected comes with a CPU so you'd need to throw that onto your list as well, I think. Even if it does, the CPU it supports is quite frankly not powerful enough according to the System Requirements of the TV Tuner. The tuner looks like it almost requires a 'big noisy machine'.
    Here's the way I see it
    Best option: Use old parts and make a 'big noisy machine' and keep it in a closet somewhere
    Second best: Build a passively-cooled or water-cooled machine using low-power parts that still pack enough of a punch to get the job done (I could see this being done for under $400, all said and done...)

    Also it looks like you need to be running windows for this USB card. Google around to see if a linux driver exists.

    Take a look at the system requirements:
    System Requirements

    2.2 GHz Intel P4 or 1.8 GHz Centrino or equivalent
    2.8 GHz Intel P4 or Core Duo or equivalent (for analog TV recording with MPEG-2)

    Graphics Card
    Graphics with 64MB memory (or greater)

    Available Slot
    Available Hi-Speed USB port (will not work with USB 1.1)

    Operating Systems Supported
    Microsoft Windows 7 (32 and 64-bit), Windows Vista or Windows XP with Service Pack 2

    Sound card
    CD-ROM drive (for software installation)
  2. Thank you for the response killersquirrel. I honestly completely overlooked the system requirements of this USB Tuner. I had just "assumed" it wouldn't take much to get it running, boy was I wrong. Thanks so much for pointing this out.

    The mini-pc barebones comes with an Intel Atom 330 (1.6GHz, dual-core). So yeah, it's not powerful at all, but aside from the live TV recording, do you guys think it could work for streaming HD content if I have it on a 100 mb LAN connection?

    If it were just me, I'd definitely go the big noisy route, but I think putting the PC in the closet with no ventilation on my third floor would cause some major issues during the summertime (I live in North Carolina). Am I wrong in assuming this? Even if I went with a water-cooled system, wouldn't I still need adequate ventilation?
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