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:
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
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: I have a 32 Inch Sony Bravia. HDMI. 720p ?
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.
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.