Salvaging old parts for HTPC. Need advice!

Hi all,

I have never built PCs before, so I am a bit of a n00b(please bear with me). I have a 2 year old HP Pavillion a6535c desktop. I want to salvage a few old parts from this computer but I need some good advice. This will be strictly a HTPC, primarily used for media(Bluray, MKV, DVD, AVI), and possibly TV.

Here is some background information:

Country: Canada

Approximate Purchase Date:Until May 2011

Budget/Parts Preferences: Economic but open to opinions.

System Usage: HTPC. Strictly for media(Bluray, MKV, DVD, AVI), and possibly TV.

Preferred Websites: Anything as long as its Canadian. I.E. newegg.ca, ncix.com, and etc

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: I have a 32 Inch Sony Bravia. HDMI. 720p ?

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Parts that I have:

Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.40 GHz (Socket 775 LGA)

Motherboard: This is the confusing part for me. When I run CPU-Z it says (Manufacturer: Pegatron Corp; Model: Benicia; Chipset P35/G33/G31)

But the manufacterer website says: Asus IPIBL-LB and Benicia-GL8E with form factor: Micro-ATX: 24.5 cm (9.6 inches) x 24.5 cm (9.6 inches)

Here is the website: http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=c01324212

RAM: 6GB DDR2 (Dual Channel)

Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GS (512 MB)

OS: Windows Vista Home Premium 64 bit

HDD: 500GB SATA 7200 RPM 3.0 Gb/sec

PSU: 300W

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Parts I would like:

- Bluray COMBO drive

- Do I need a new mobo and PSU ?

- Small casing

- Remote (IR receiver)

- Possibly a tv tuner that I can hook up to my PVR.

- Can you suggest a good HTPC software for my use?


Thank you for your help!
2 answers Last reply
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  1. w0okie said:
    Parts I would like:

    - Bluray COMBO drive

    - Do I need a new mobo and PSU ?

    - Small casing

    - Remote (IR receiver)

    - Possibly a tv tuner that I can hook up to my PVR.

    - Can you suggest a good HTPC software for my use?


    Thank you for your help!


    Welcome to the Tom's HTPC crowd.

    Blu-ray Drive: LITE-ON Black 4X BD-ROM 8X DVD-ROM 32X CD-ROM SATA Internal 4X Blu-ray Disc Reader Model iHOS104-08 $49.99 before $10 MIR, Free shipping w/ promo code EMCKHHH36, ends 2/28.

    You're motherboard is fine unless you want optical S/PDIF. If you need optical digital out, then buy a sound card with S/PDIF. The power supply is fine too, unless you find it too noisy. If too noisy, consider a new PSU by Seasonic, Antec Earthwatts, or Corsair. Doublecheck the front panel pinout on the motherboard where the power button, LED's, etc connect. Some OEM motherboards use a proprietary motherboard header to connect the front panel stuff.

    Here's a case that will fit your motherboard and comes with a remote (kill two birds, blah blah blah): Antec Black Aluminum / Steel Fusion Remote Black Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case $149.99

    Remote? See above.

    If you already have a PVR, connection options are very limited. Most TV tuners for PC's are designed to pull over-the-air digital or clearQAM digital cable. To pull from a third-party set-top box requires a capture device like the HD-PVR coupled with an IR blaster. Can you verify that you want to capture video from a separate PVR?

    The best HTPC software is built into Windows 7: Windows Media Center. You can supplement WMC with plugins and addons. See this thread for some tips: link. Media Browser, MyMovies, and XBMC are a very popular front ends that you can use along with WMC to organize and launch your media. You will need playback software for blu-rays. PowerDVD 10 and TotalMedia Theatre 5 are the most popular. You can get TMT5 for $100, and take another 20% off with this coupon code: ARC404P20. If you don't mind not having blu-ray menu support, XBMC can play blu-ray movies and is free. TMT5 and PowerDVD are worth the $$$ because both integrate into Windows and support all blu-ray features like BD-live and menus.
  2. Just want to note that you need some form of software to play Blu-ray disks (no native codecs). I use Cyberlink's Power DVD 10 and it works swell.
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