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First Build Help/Recommendations - HTPC

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December 31, 2010 1:47:19 AM

Hello, I am fairly new to the PC building process and I am looking to put together a machine that does it all as far as media is concerned (record HD Tv - cable, play stored movies, play Blu-rays and HD-DVDs, and of course Netflix). I won't really be using this for gaming.

I am looking to build a system that can handle the Ceton InfiniTV 4 card (ordered it, now playing the waiting game). I have listed below a build that I would like to do, but as I said earlier I am fairly new to this so I am not sure if all the components match up correctly, or will fit in the case:

MoBo:
ASUS P7H55-M PRO LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Micro ATX Intel
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Processor:
Intel Core i3-540 Clarkdale 3.06GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


PSU:
Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


RAM:
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


HardDrive:
Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS 2TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Blu-Ray/HD-DVD:
LG GGC-H20L BLURAY SUPERMULTI HD DVD
http://www.esaitech.com/commerce/ccp54421-lg--ggc-h20l-...


Case:
Steel HTPC 5000B Micro ATX Media Center
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I will be using Windows 7 as my OS. The Blu-ray HD-DVD combo drive isn't necessary but I have an HD-dvd player for my xbox which will be in the other room so I can use it as an extender for the Ceton card.

I was hoping for input first and foremost to see if this build is possible, if it isn't then are there recommendations? I don't want to get too pricey, ideally I'd like to keep the build on/under the $1,000 mark with the cable card reader.

Thanks much!

More about : build recommendations htpc

January 4, 2011 4:46:31 PM

Looks like a good build, but be sure to check out the new Sandy Bridge parts coming out right about now.

Also, how many HD-DVD's do you have? I suggest you just get a blu-ray drive (without HD-DVD support), and use your XBOX HD-DVD drive to rip any HD-DVD's to your hard drive using the HTPC (yes, the XBOX drive can connect to a PC just fine), then put the drive back on your XBOX and forget about it. Play the HD-DVD's from the hard drive only.
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January 4, 2011 9:38:23 PM

Thanks for the response, rwpritchett. I do forget that Microsoft products are actually interchangeable... which is somewhat ironic.

I have been keeping my eye on the Sandy Bridge processors/parts that are on the horizon, I may hold off until I hear official word at this week's CES.

One other quick question, since I think I will heed your advice and steer away from the HD-DVD/BluRay combo, do you have any suggestions for a quality BluRay player? I have looked at a few of the cheaper ones on Newegg and they haven't been given the best reviews.

Thanks again for your help!
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January 4, 2011 10:11:12 PM

I have two BD drives: one is an LG (GBC-H20L) and the other is an Asus (08B1LT). The LG is the better drive and has been perfect for over two years now. The Asus is two months old and has a few quirks... it has refused to read a few CD's for me. Also, the LG is a 4x drive and the Asus is a 8x drive, but the LG is faster at ripping :??:  . Be sure to discount any bad reviews that complain about lack of software, cables, mounting hardware, etc. in those newegg reviews. That's all I can give you.

I don't have any experience with Samsung, Sony, or Lite-on BD drives.

I'm also waiting for Sandy Bridge details... I'm planning an ITX HTPC for the bedroom. I think I'll wait until the G620T chip is released in February to make my decision. I've already got the case, it's tempting me. Unfortunately it only accepts slim drives, try shopping around for slim BD drives! :cry: 
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