HTPC for my 80 yr old Grandpa, help wanted

Hey everyone, really needing some advice on this build:

HTPC

Approximate Purchase Date: 03-09-2011


Budget Range: $800-$1000


System Usage from Most to Least Important: TV/Movie Watching (blu-ray) (Netflix),DVR function, Playing Music, Playing Home movies, web browsing. (we will set it up to boot into media center)


Parts Not Required: Need everything but the monitor.


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg


Country of Origin: U.S.A.


Parts Preferences: by brand or type: AMD, small form factor case, also need a media card reader. Seriously considering a Samsung 1TB F3 spinpoint to base this system on.


Overclocking: No


SLI or Crossfire: No


Monitor Resolution: 1920*1080


Additional Comments: My grandpa needs a computer that is easy to use via remote control. This is a special challenge because most of us don't think about how easy the remote is to read. I was also thinking about possibly getting a large wireless keyboard with a trackball built in. That seems like a far superior solution to having a separate mouse that could get lost. I also don't want him to wait on the computer so a fairly beefy proc may be needed.

Please rack your brains for peripherals that will be extremely easy to use for an older person while they are in a chair or on the couch watching t.v. Thank you very much in advance.
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  1. Hello wwusa83;

    Is this is a build-it-together project?
    If not a pre-built system might be a good way to go.
    DELL Inspiron 580 Core i3 550(3.20GHz) 6GB RAM 750GB HDD $600
    Or Core i5-650 3.2Ghz 6GB RAM, 1TB HDD on the Dell site for $600
    Adding a SSD boot disk might be a good option for that 'lightning fast' response. Mushkin Enhanced Callisto 60GB Sand Force 1200 SSD $135

    Logitech diNovo Mini -Bluetooth might work for your keyboard solution.
    Backlight keyboard is a big help in a HTPC environment.

    http://www.ergogeek.com is a good place to look for alternative keyboard options.
  2. WR2 said:
    Hello wwusa83;

    Is this is a build-it-together project?
    If not a pre-built system might be a good way to go.
    DELL Inspiron 580 Core i3 550(3.20GHz) 6GB RAM 750GB HDD $600
    Or Core i5-650 3.2Ghz 6GB RAM, 1TB HDD on the Dell site for $600
    Adding a SSD boot disk might be a good option for that 'lightning fast' response. Mushkin Enhanced Callisto 60GB Sand Force 1200 SSD $135

    Logitech diNovo Mini -Bluetooth might work for your keyboard solution.
    Backlight keyboard is a big help in a HTPC environment.

    http://www.ergogeek.com is a good place to look for alternative keyboard options.



    Your instincts are correct, this is a build it together project, that mushkin looks pretty good. How long do SSD's last?
  3. Meh i dun see why a sub $350ish build is even needed but for SFF/mITX perhaps
  4. In average HTPC usage a SSD could easily last 10 years.
    I like these recommendations on how to optimize a SSD: Installation and recommendations

    Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz Dual-Core CPU $150
    BIOSTAR TH67+ H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Motherboard & RAM combo $140
    4GB G.Skill DDR3 1600 RAM
    WD Caviar Green 1TB 5400 RPM 64MB HDD $65
    ~$355 to this point.

    Any guidance on needing a Blu-Ray player?
    And what style of case would work best?
  5. My suggested config could already be overkill

    For merely streaming no encode Toms did HD DVD/Blu Ray on far humbler hardware back in '08 hehe


    Smooth HD Playback With A Sempron 3200+
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-780g-chipset,1785-3.html
  6. You can go old school nostalgia 'where is the computer?' or Home Theater component style. batuchka mentioned the mini-ITX size.
    Always be sure to check the case size against the actual spot you'd like to have the HTPC sit.
    http://images17.newegg.com/is/image/newegg/11-204-039-S01?$S300W$ http://images17.newegg.com/is/image/newegg/11-163-166-TS?$S300W$
  7. I don't suppose you'd be lucky enough to live hear a MicroCenter?
  8. WR2 said:
    I don't suppose you'd be lucky enough to live hear a MicroCenter?


    I do live near a microcenter.
  9. We can be watching there to see whats available.
    Some heavy or bulky items like a case or PSU can be picked up locally if they have high shipping charges online.
    And MicroCenter has some crazy good prices on things now and again.
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